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Is sex a sin? If so, why aren't people repenting?:

 1 0dd 1, Sun, 8th Apr '12 11:23:12 AM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
So, according to quite a few (though mostly Judeo-Christian) religions, sex out of wedlock is a sin. Adultery is against the Ten Commandments and lust is considered one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Yet, people, from the most secular to the holiest of rollers, still do it anyway, and have done so throughout most history. There are even documented cases of Popes fathering illegitimate children too!

So, my question is, why is that so many religious people still do this, knowing full well that it is a sin according to their religion's doctrines, and have no remorse whatsoever about it?

NOTE: I realize I might be coming off as a tad prudish here, and that's certainly not my intention. It's just something I was thinking about that I'm curious about others' takes on it.
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 2 Best Of, Sun, 8th Apr '12 11:47:50 AM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
With Mod Hat On
I wanna change the title of this thread to "Is sex a sin? If so, why aren't people repenting?"

I don't think that mainstream Christianity hold sex within the context of marriage and for the purpose of having children a sin, so the statement that "sex is a sin" is in itself controversial. Better not have that in a thread title.

OK?
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
 3 Aceof Spades, Sun, 8th Apr '12 11:53:21 AM from The Wild Blue Yonder Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
The problem with your question is that you're not taking into account cultural change. Sure, a lot of Christians still thing sex outside of marriage is sinful, and thus don't have sex outside of marriage. As well as often shaming those who do. BUT! In the Western world at least, the Sexual Revolution has taken hold and generally the idea of sex as sin has fallen out of popularity in modern day American culture.

So yeah, quite a few people don't see engaging in sex as much of a big deal as it used to be. Plus, the Seven Deadly Sins are sins of excess. It's possible to have sex without going after every single thing on two legs.

Interestingly, this reminds me of a news thing I saw a while ago about a preacher and his wife who were talking about sex as part of marriage and in their sermons. They had a bed on stage an everything. (It was a big enough church to attract TV recordings.)
 4 0dd 1, Sun, 8th Apr '12 12:23:18 PM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
[up][up]Well, I was considering saying "Sex out of wedlock", but that's not as snappy-sounding.

edited 8th Apr '12 12:23:27 PM by 0dd1

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 5 Carciofus, Sun, 8th Apr '12 12:40:59 PM from Alpha Tucanae I
Is that cake frosting?
Christians are people too, you know.

We are not perfect, far from it. And sexual attraction is certainly one powerful motivator.
But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 6 0dd 1, Sun, 8th Apr '12 1:03:55 PM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
I realize that, I'm Catholic myself.

The thing is, with sins, especially sins like these, one must repent in order to get into Heaven, so it seems as though (if one were to go strictly by the book on this) few people would get into heaven in this case, since nobody seems to want to repent for having sex out of wedlock (and really, who could blame 'em—few people are gonna be concerned with that, obviously).
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 7 Carciofus, Sun, 8th Apr '12 1:17:01 PM from Alpha Tucanae I
Is that cake frosting?
Hooray, yet another Catholic! tongue

Generally speaking, I think that Christians do acknowledge that adultery is a grave transgression, and they do repent about it. And then they fall again, and repent, and fall again. I am not entirely convinced myself that sex out of wedlock, when no adultery is involved, is as grave a transgression — it's not ideal, but it seems to me that if no oath- and trust-breaking is involved the matter is not as dramatic.

But as for the "few people would get in Heaven", I have to refer to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, article 1861, which says that
Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.

edited 8th Apr '12 1:17:37 PM by Carciofus

But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 8 0dd 1, Sun, 8th Apr '12 1:21:59 PM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
Very very true. I often wonder about how much of the Church's law is actually complete BS in God's eyes and if He would be willing to let everyone into Heaven. But yeah, it's not my place to judge or anything. Just gotta have faith, I s'pose. *starts singing George Michael*

edited 8th Apr '12 1:23:14 PM by 0dd1

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 9 Midnight Rambler, Sun, 8th Apr '12 1:22:10 PM from Germania Inferior
JEZUS MARIA PANIE KURWA BOŻE
the Catechism of the Catholic Church, article 1861

Mother of God.
"...and by 'the real world' I mean continental Europe."

Me
 10 Best Of, Sun, 8th Apr '12 1:25:24 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
Changed the title. I think this one's better.
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
 11 Carciofus, Sun, 8th Apr '12 1:28:51 PM from Alpha Tucanae I
Is that cake frosting?
[up][up][up]I hear you. Personally, I'm very much a fan of Empty Hell Theory. But I cannot know if that is true, obviously; I can only hope that it is.

But I agree with you main point that more focus on repentance and redemption would certainly be a good thing. I think that sex is a little overplayed as a sin. Yeah, I agree that it can be one, obviously, but I think that greed or envy are far more widespread and, perhaps, more dangerous: at least if one commits a sin of lust they can generally notice that, while one can be outrageously greedy or envious and be perfectly convinced that they are not.

[up][up]Yeah, that's one bulky text. But it's an useful reference if one wants to know the current position of the Church on an issue — it has no dogmatic value, and previous editions were rather different on certain points, but I find it very useful. It is here, if you are curious.

edited 8th Apr '12 1:31:18 PM by Carciofus

But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 12 0dd 1, Sun, 8th Apr '12 1:34:38 PM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
That's a good point, and certainly greed especially is an extremely noticeable sin entrenched in modern first-world society if one were to take a step back for a moment and really look at everything. Hell, advertising probably wouldn't be as obtrusive as it is today without greed and envy being at an all-time high.
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 13 Vellup, Sun, 8th Apr '12 1:36:21 PM from America Relationship Status: The Skitty to my Wailord
I have balls.
All this vagueness about whether or not sex is a "sin" in the first place probably has a lot to do with why no one is "repenting, " which is in itself, a rather broad term as well. People just aren't going to take such an obscurely phrased explanation about the nature of "why this is a sin" very seriously—especially now that the threat of the church coming down on them as heretics is long gone.
They never travel alone.
Decemberist
I will say that the only Christians IIRC who still push the whole "sex is a sin out of wedlock" are Catholic
Dutch Lesbian
 15 Carciofus, Sun, 8th Apr '12 1:40:49 PM from Alpha Tucanae I
Is that cake frosting?
[up][up]The Church had never (or almost never, except during Savonarola's reign in Florence or the like) really come down on sin anyway. If you talked against the doctrine of the Trinity, you might have risked the attentions of the inquisitors; but if you betrayed your wife, that was a matter between you, your wife and God.

I mean, the Pontifical State even had legal brothels...

I will say that the only Christians IIRC who still push the whole "sex is a sin out of wedlock" are Catholic
I think that many Protestant denomination are every bit as strict as us on this, and perhaps stricter.

But in any case, I agree that a distinction must be made between "sex out of wedlock" and "adultery". The latter is unmistakably a grave sin; as for the former, opinions differ.

edited 8th Apr '12 1:43:53 PM by Carciofus

But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 16 0dd 1, Sun, 8th Apr '12 1:43:06 PM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
@whale: I dunno, in my experience, most Catholics I've met tend to be really moderate, to the point of almost being completely secular.
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 17 Oh So Into Cats, Sun, 8th Apr '12 1:52:55 PM from The Sand Wastes Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Most of the passages in the Tanakh, at least, talk about sex out of wedlock under the assumption that a woman who is not a virgin when she's married has completely dashed her marriage prospects. This is most certainly no longer true in many parts of the world, so it's debatable as to whether these are still relevant or not.

However, betrayal of one's spouse is definitely still relevant today.

edited 8th Apr '12 1:53:17 PM by ohsointocats

"Beware of the wolves. They were raised by wolves."

Eidolonomics: ~60.4k/100,000 words
I want Kat's glasses!
I'm a bit more disturbed by the "non-reproductive sex is doubleplusungood crimesex" part, personally. Gives fuel to homophobia.
They Called Me Mad!! I decided to show them all; but when I looked on my works, oh mighty, I despaired: for it made me realize they were right.
 19 Pykrete, Sun, 8th Apr '12 3:18:33 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
I will say that the only Christians IIRC who still push the whole "sex is a sin out of wedlock" are Catholic

Erm...the Baptists, Pentecostals, and any number of other southern Protestant sects say hi.

 20 Aondeug, Sun, 8th Apr '12 3:26:34 PM from  Our Dreams
Oh My
Yay time to provide a non-Judeo-Christian standpoint. Buddhism doesn't have a concept of sin. There isn't a "divine punishment" idea in the religion. There is the whole kamma idea, but there isn't a God punishing you for messing up. Instead sex is considered a bad thing for a few reasons. The two chief reasons being that it increases your attachment to reality and that there's a lot that can go wrong with sex. Preventing pains of various sorts is a big thing in the faith.

Now there is never, to my knowledge, a total ban or "this is wrong" on the thing for everyone. There are instead rules and guidelines and advice that is to be followed. "No sexual misconduct" is one of the five moral guidelines that laymen are to follow because sex is a very destructive thing physically, socially, economically, and emotionally. Few things can mess shit up so bad so easily and are so wanted. Monks tend to have a total ban in most schools though this varies from school to school.

As for what sexual misconduct means...That's considered to be up to debate though any definition that doesn't include rape, adultery (I consider polyamory a different subject so long as the participants are willing), and high risk sex practices (anal without lube and condoms as an example) is one that I wouldn't accept as being properly Buddhist. As well as difficult to classify emotionally damaging instances of sex.

Of course this still leaves the problem of "Why do people still run around having it willy nilly?" The answer to this is "They're human and they're still very far from the goal." The path is long and if you're Buddhist you'll get there. Maybe not this life time or anytime soon, but eventually. You might be a sexed up horn dog at the moment, but at the end of things you won't be. In theory of course. If you're serious about it you should at least be trying to cut back and trying abstinence every so often for holidays and such though.
If someone wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells, then that's their business. We know what we're doing. - Achaan Chah
Decemberist
Erm...the Baptists, Pentecostals, and any number of other southern Protestant sects say hi.

What about European Protestant churches? also I said IIRC for a reason
Dutch Lesbian
Super Fighting Robot
Because I don't care what other people consider wrong as long as what's in question isn't hurting anyone. Not in the slightest.

With that said, sex can and does cause harm when indulged in carelessly. I've been a victim of it a few times, in a few ways, and even had a recent reminder of the damage it can cause. But when it involves responsible individuals that mean no ill will or extreme selfishness, it can be and often is a rather enjoyable, and emotionally and physically rewarding experience. That's nothing to repent for.
Cynics are optimists that have become used to disappointment.
 23 Tam H 70, Sun, 8th Apr '12 4:19:59 PM from 合計虐殺 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War ALWAYS changes. Man does not.
I don't think hell will be empty. Saddam, Stalin and Adolf need somewhere to hang out. I think the reason why folks do not repent having sex is that they do not see it as a sin. And no longer see priests of any stripe as having a role as a moral policeman in their bedroom.
 24 setnakhte, Sun, 8th Apr '12 4:33:09 PM from inside your closet
That's terrifying.
[up]I think you're confusing the Empty Hell hypothesis for Universal Reconciliation. They're two different, though related, notions of the Christian afterlife.
"Roll for whores."
 25 Loni Jay, Sun, 8th Apr '12 5:02:44 PM from Australia Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Why aren't people repenting (assuming they believe it's a sin)? Well, why do people eat junk food when they know it's bad for them? Why do people smoke? Humanity isn't all that good at denying itself things that are pleasant when they might hurt them.
Be not afraid...
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