• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A study of the New Testaments’ teachings, on adultery and homosexuality- How might these cause problems for Christians today?

Extracts from this document...


A study of the New Testaments' teachings, on adultery and homosexuality- How might these cause problems for Christians today? Homosexuality as defined by the "New dictionary of Christian Ethics" is "The presence of a predominant and persistent psychosexual attraction towards members of the same sex." The dictionary also says "The homosexual orientation must be distinguished from same-gender sexual acts, which may be engaged in by persons who are predominately heterosexual or which may be refrained from by celibate homosexual persons." Over recent years the term "homosexual" has come to have a somewhat negative association. Members of the homosexual community now prefer to be referred to as "gay men " or "lesbians" because of the negative associations with the word homosexual. The main view is that Homosexuality is a divergence from normal sexual orientation. Throughout history each culture and religion has had several views on the homosexual population. Homosexuals have been institutionalised, tolerated without approval, ignored, or penalised and persecuted depending on the given time and situation. Some would argue that the Jewish and Christian communities in the west have treated the issue of Homosexuality with contempt. The reason for this is that there are many instances in the New and Old Testament where homosexuals and their associated activities are mentioned and disapproved of. These texts have since been used as grounds for disapproval of homosexuality. The first place to look in the New Testament is the book of Jude where the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is used to criticise homosexual activities and people. In Jude there is an instance, which refers to Sodom. The book of Jude refers to the people of Sodom giving themselves over to fornication and going after strange flesh." This strange flesh has been translated to mean that the people of Sodom were going after members of the same sex to have intercourse with them. It is hard to know how to take this section of scripture we could say that Jude s referring to the angels but ...read more.


But this statement is also emphasising one of the other commandments "thou shalt not covert thy neighbours wife"13. In Deuteronomy on adultery and fornication it says, "If a man is caught sleeping with another man's wife both must die, the man who has slept with her and the woman herself. You must banish this evil from Israel."14 Jesus does not mention sexual relations other than adultery. Jesus emphasises the act of lust as being just as bad as the act of adultery itself (Mathew 5:27) "But I say this to you if a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart" Jesus' again disregards the laws set in Deuteronomy in John 8:1-11. Here a woman is found in the act of committing adultery and is brought to the Temple Square to be stoned to death. The scribes and Pharisees were trying to test Jesus to see if he would obey the Jewish laws or ignore them. There was a very angry atmosphere around so Jesus took himself out of that atmosphere by bending down and writing in the sand. He did this to show that he was acting as a servant to the woman. This act alone shows that the act of adultery was not such a huge crime that God would reject the woman. When Jesus was asked by the Pharisees "...Moses has ordered us to condemn women like this to death by stoning. What have you to say?" Jesus used these words "If there is one of you that has not sinned let him be the one to throw the first stone at her"15. It is possible to say here that Jesus does not consider adultery to be a sin but this is wrong. Jesus in fact says later to the woman. "'Has anyone condemned you?' 'No one, Sir' she replied. 'Neither do I condemn you,' said Jesus 'Go away, and don't sin any more.'"16 On this James McPolin, S.J.17 said, "the acquittal of Jesus is authoritative, a free decision of one who is conscious of God's mercy towards sinners". ...read more.


The church in fact says, on the subject of homosexuals "They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity27". The Catholic Church sees adultery as "when two partners, of whom at least one is married to another party, have sexual relations - even transient ones - they commit adultery." 28 Christ even condemned the desire or lust as being just as grave as adultery Mathew 5:27. And the sixth commandment condemns adultery outright. Adultery is commonplace in today's society the sacredness of marriage today is violated more and more. People's values have changed and in a way we have become self-centred and the attitude each man for himself, has been adopted. Where as before the marriage was the unity of two separate peoples with god to become one is no longer the same. In fact people now see marriage as a union between people where there is a security of a prenuptial agreement people actually expect for the marriage not to last. So why has marriage taken this sudden change is it because of more relaxed attitudes to relationships in general or is t to do with a new attitude about what one might be missing if one is tied down in marriage. Whatever the reason adultery is a failure to live up to the commitment made to each other and to Christ. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church this is summed up as "He who commits adultery fails in his commitment. He does injury to the sign of the covenant, which the marriage bond is, transgressing the other spouse and undermines the institution of marriage..."29 The spouse also has the children of his family to think of they rely on the security and safety of the family, and when adultery invades this sanctuary, it is the children who suffer the most. That is why the Catechism states "He compromises the good of human generation and the welfare of children who need their parents stable union."30 Surrounded by the modern values of today Christians have to be extremely strong and proud of their morals. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Christianity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Christianity essays

  1. Situation ethics. Joseph Fletcher developed the idea of making a moral decision for a ...

    Only love is good in and of itself. Actions aren't intrinsically good or evil, they are good depending on whether they promote the most loving result. Secondly, "the ruling of norm Christian decision is love, nothing else." Love replaces law as Jesus broke the commandment which love demanded.

  2. Compare and contrast the key features of Natural Moral Law & Virtue Ethics

    The problem with this deontological viewpoint however, is that sometimes one needs to consider the consequences of an action. If, for example, the torturing someone resulted in the prevention of a disaster such as September 11th 2001, one could argue that it was necessary to torture that one person to save the lives of thousands of others.

  1. Outline and examine Jesus attitudes concerning wealth and the poor. To what extent do ...

    is preparing for his own future instead, as he simply thinking of the pleasures rather than thinking of God. In addition another example would be of the Hypocrisy of the Pharisees; the Pharisees at the time considered their wealth to be the most important thing, even if they said they

  2. Why are the I AM sayings so controversial? Exodus 3: ...

    The law was, instead of helping the Jews, condemning them, and Jesus by his death and resurrection is changing that. Jesus is replacing the laws. This was very controversial to the Jews because the laws were very important to them.

  1. Cyrano de Bergerac Act V Character List.

    Hard, sometimes, to match these faded colors!...After fourteen years, Late-for the first time!" *Describing the color of the leaves: "What color-Perfect Venetian red! Look at them fall." CYRANO: "Yes-they know how to die. A little way from the branch to the earth, a little fear of mingling with the common

  2. Outline and Examine Jesus attitudes towards outcasts in Lukes Gospel.To what extent do these ...

    his faith towards him, where Jesus then said he would be staying around his house, to the joy of Zacchaeus. However, once again, many people were sceptical with what Jesus was saying, with the quote many of them said was "Guest of a sinner?!!"

  1. The Kingdom of God was the centre of Gods teachings Discuss.

    In addition, Jesus used an illustration of mustard seed and how it grows for birds to perch in. This creates an imagery of the growth of the God's Kingdom. Everyone individual is part of the growth as illustrated by Jesus.

  2. Discuss Christian Views on Contraception, Marriage and Divorce.

    God gave humans their own conscience and so to some extent it is humans? choice as to who they fall in love with and so I believe God may accept civil partnerships. Describe Christian beliefs about Divorce (6) Christians belief a marriage is a life time commitment amongst a couple.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work