Some churches don't realize what damage they're inflicting on people with their sanctimonious hypocrisy, and they don't realize the damage they're inflicting on God's image.
We have friends who are having to deal with the matter of sexuality in their churches, and the outcome is usually pitiful. If a woman has been married once, their church forbids them to marry again. Condemned to a life in solitude. By whose authority?
It's true that St. Paul recommends for women who leave their husbands, not to get married again (1 Cor.7:11), but what if the husband leaves her or doesn't accept the teachings of Christ? And what about some of the other recommendations Paul makes, that are so blatantly ignored by church people? Like "Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth" or his reminder of Jesus' admonition not to judge others (1 Cor.10:24, Mt.7:1, Rom.2:1-3)? If we stubbornly want to stick to every recommendation Paul every made, women are going to have to cover their heads while praying, as well: Don't forget your hat when you go to church! Otherwise,shave your heads! That's what Paul also says (1 Cor. 11:5,6)! So, why is everybody so picky about making sure that other people keep all the things Paul said about sex, but ignore all the other things at the same time? It's so easy to make sex the culprit for everything and the epitome of sin in order to divert from the real problems of the church.
If a woman expresses any type of sexual desire, she's being frowned upon and told she needs to get rid of her demons. Where's all this hogwash coming from? No. It's not from the Bible!
If those ultra-pious, holier-than-thou-and-everyone-else, too-scared-to-be- touched Christians would pause long enough in their hellfire and brimstone platitudes to really read their Bibles, they would find a truly different God indeed. A God Who, instead of being accused of being opposed to sexuality, in fact not only created it, but also made it clear and plain over and over again, that He intended mankind to use it as well.
What was the first commandment He ever gave to man? "Be fruitful and multiply!" (Genesis 1:28). And He didn't only tell Adam and Eve, before they sinned (and that sin didn't have anything to do with sex as much as with pseudo-intellectual head-stuffing), but He repeated it to Noah and his sons, to Abraham, to Jacob.
I challenge any anti-sex pulpit preacher (before he's going to get caught in public with another male prositute) to have a look at the language God uses in the description of His relation to His church, for instance, in the 16th chapter of Ezekiel! Doesn't sound like the prudish God to me there, that they're trying to sell their congregations in order to exert power and control over them!
Let's have a look at the real sin, shall we? The word "Lust" that's being used in the New Testament (for the Old Testament doesn't bear any resemblence to todays religious anti-sex bigotry in Christianity, with God telling one of His prophets to marry a whore, another to walk around naked, allowing His kings and leaders to have multiple wives, etc. Read the Song of Solomon, if you don't believe me, or the book of Ruth of Esther!) comes from the Greek word for "desire, longing." Now, that's traditionally, automatically being slanted to give it a sexual connotation. But sexual desire is not the only sin or desire that's giving God a hard time. It's probably the least of all evils that men - especially supposedly pious men - let loose on mankind. As one theologian so aptly put it, there's total strictness when it comes to "thou shalt not commit adultery," but we have found ways around the commandment "thou shalt not kill" in manifold ways. Just look at the cheap excuses George W. is giving for his holocaust in Iraq! And if you let him, he'll march into Iran like Hitler into Poland! It seems that some people's lust is for power! Another much greater evil than sex seems to be greed and avarice! Others fall prey to the need to deceive themselves as others, simply because they don't care much about the truth. Fear lets us live out of the pursuit of safety and caring for that outer shell of ours, neglecting our souls, failing to trust God for all things. Yet others constantly avoid confronting life's dark sides, they can't take things seriously, because they're addicted to fun & pleasure, or palin too lazy to deal with things. And how about that pride (as in attention junkies and popularity hunters), self-righteousness, that need, that untamed addiction to always put yourself above other people? "Oh, no, I'm not like those filthy, sinning unbelievers! (I'm getting my job done in the dark!")
One can plainly see that "the flesh" consists of far more than that one part that made to be the culprit by the prudish party. What was it the Mothers of Invention sang? "What's the ugliest part of your body?... I think it's your mind!" (See Romans 8:7).
It wasn't the sinners, the adulterers, the publicans, wine-bibbers and harlots who sold Jesus out to the Romans to be nailed on the cross, but the self-righteous, hypocritical religious authorities of His day, just as the same Pharisaical types crucify their own flocks to this very day in order to be able to fleece them!
If you really want to know where all that sickening prudery is coming from, read this compilation of resources on the subject of Christianity and Sex. The "Sex is sin" mantra is another political master stroke of the Devil, right next to the "theory" of Evolution, only that it's a bit older yet.
There was nothing wrong with Adam and Eve's nakedness until after they had eaten of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (they had already known good), which evidently changed their perception drastically.
It's not sex that is the result of sin, it's your warped perception of things! Your sickening, self-righteous extensions of your own holier-than-thou egos which you try to sell to your flocks as "God," just so you can enslave them, exert control over them and have them come back every Sunday to make sure they won't lose their Salvation - withholding from them the truth that they can't ever lose their Salvation in the first place! Thus giving them eternal insecurity, instead of peace and trust!
The sad thing about it is that you're making the rest of the world - those who are too smart to swallow your lies -sick of a God Who would be so cruel to equip mankind with sexual organs, only to forbid them to ever use them. It doesn't compute with intelligent people. That's why Christianity is about to meet its demise. At least that hollow, tainted shell you dare to call by His name is, and Jesus isn't going to come and pick you up before it's going to happen, either!
The rest of the world has dug long ago that what you're trying to sell them is baloney! They listen to their bodies! They look at nature - including their bodies - and see that it is "good," not evil, as you try to have them believe! It may not be "very good" as in the beginning, before the knowledge of evil warped our minds, but it's still, basically "good," and no worries, He's going to fix it again and make it "very good" in time.
I'm not saying that the major token of our manlihood has never gotten us in trouble. But I daresay it would even be half as important to all of us, and only a fraction as dangerous, if you religious, pious and prudish ignorants of the true God hadn't made it such a big no-no to begin with!
And it's by far not the greatest evil around. Not nearly as bad as what your politicians are pulling off every night on the news. Not nearly as bad as the stench of all that hyprocrisy! When are you going to give the world a break? Probably never, voluntarily.
I reckon the price is just too high. Giving up all that power and pride. It's humbling to bare yourself before another, and get down to the nitty-gritty of what God commanded us to do in Genesis 1:28. Probably too humbling for some. But don't legislate self-righteousness! You're causing way more damage than you're aware of!
"Christ is become of no effect unto you whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace" (Galatians 4:7).