Caught with our trousers half down…

By Peter Mullen, CEN

I can imagine – just about – St Paul writing to the spectacularly rambunctious church in Corinth and saying, “Hey guys, d’you know what? I reckon that when it came to sexual morality those dudes in the Old Testament got it all wrong. Yesterday, God told me that He’s not at all as buttoned-up as He seems from the Ten Commandments – and especially parts of Leviticus – and really a lot of what we thought was not permitted is probably OK with Him.”

St Paul was, after all, a particularly robust sort of guy himself and not at all backwards at putting his opinions forward. So I can, with some considerable effort I grant you, hear him declare that we‘ve been wrong all this time about what God intends in the way of sexual morality and that consequently we should change our teaching and our behaviour. What I can’t for the life of me imagine is St Paul saying something like this: “Y’know guys, these pagans in the Roman empire have got some pretty revolutionary notions about what to get up to in the sack. We’ve gotta listen up to what they’re saying.”

With this admittedly slightly off the wall conjecture in mind, my thoughts turned to something the Archbishop of Canterbury has just said in his presidential address to Synod. He said it is “…absurd and impossible to ignore an overwhelming change in social attitudes. We must accept that there is a revolution in the area of sexuality.”

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