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Sex: Sin or God’s Gift?

COMMENT:

I grew up in a small strict Protestant church. I was taught that sex was a sin— period; and if you did it you were going to hell— period. Our Lady told us that most people go to hell for sins of the flesh. So there you have it. The only other sin of the flesh that I can think of is gluttony. It could be forgiven if you were doing it to have children but you still had to repent. Every time they talked about the unforgivable sin, I knew what they were talking about.

RESPONSE:

You were taught wrong. It is true that there are a few sects that label all sex as sinful; this mentality afflicted Martin Luther who at one point argued that even consensual sex between married spouses was venial sin. Catholics struggled with something of this mentality in the heresy of Jansenism. Let me correct you. God is the author of human sexuality and all that God creates is good. Human sin can corrupt or misdirect a good, but God is never the direct author of evil. Sex between spouses, the marital act, is a holy thing that consummates the marriage and makes possible the creation of new human beings into which God infuses immortal souls. Lust is always a sin but the yearning and intimacy of holy passion makes possible marital fidelity and the family. It is because of the high place given this sacramental act or great mystery that the misuse of sex through abuse, contraception, homosexuality, pedophilia and adultery is so very wrong.

Sex is not the unforgivable sin. Indeed, condemnation of the marital act as sinful might be regarded as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit— just as serious as those who accused Jesus of healing and working miracles through the intervention of demons. It is this blasphemy that is unforgivable for one cannot both embrace and reject the powerful mercy of God. Of course, while there is mortal life, there is hope; at death our state before the Lord becomes fixed.

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