Over the last two years (and beyond), River East Church has wrestled with the question of inclusion—specifically, of how to better include those of the LGBTQ+ community. This process has created a lot of discussion about the Christian discipleship and human sexuality.
However, almost none of this conversation has discussed Christian sexual ethics. If REC has been talking about the who of sex, we have not yet talked about the how. That is, does the Christian faith offer any moral guidelines for sexual activity in the 21st century? Is it really all about consent?
This Fall, we will be tackling these questions in a series entitled ‘Just Love,’ following Margaret Farley’s book of the same name. Over five Sundays, we will explore 7 theological pillars that gesture toward a Christian sexual ethic. Society is absolutely correct to emphasize, over and again, the values of 1) do no unjust harm, and 2) free consent. The Christian imagination, however, calls us to consider five additional angles: 3) equality, 4) mutuality, 5) commitment, 6) social justice, and 7) fruitfulness. Through conversation with all seven of these characteristics, may we grapple with a Christian sexual ethic for our 21st century—start not with which actions are ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ but with how our actions build up our relationships.