Christian BoyLove Forum #66973
Perhaps the passage over which most ink is spilt in the gay debate is 1 Corinthians 6, where Paul warns:
'Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.'
Because it is looked at for the homosexual reference, we tend to forget the rest of the passage. The chapter sees Paul's focus shifting from the issue of the church explicitly challenging sexual misconduct to a wider discussion of the singular significance of sex for Christians. And his conclusions are hardline: sex should be restricted to the marriage bed – i.e. in the context of a permanent covenant relationship from which there is no divorce, as he goes on to declare as Jesus' command in chapter 7. Along the way he argues that having sex with a prostitute – let alone a casual or even serious girlfriend – creates the same 'one flesh' that is described as the outcome of marriage in Genesis 2 and repeated as the basis for Jesus' teaching about marriage and divorce in Mark 10 and parallels.
In this context it becomes inconceivable to endorse man-boy sexual activity as a Christian option. Such a sexual relationship will inevitably not be permanent – the man will probably cease to be attracted to the boy as he becomes a man, and the boy likewise is more likely to focus on girls and marriage, in which there is clearly no space for his AF. It is also unreasonable to expect a boy to commit to a permanent relationship with the man.
The example of David and Jonathan is a red herring. On the whole it is likely that it was never a sexual relationship: the belief that 'love' implies and legitimates 'sex' is a 20th century meme that is a self-serving justification for fornication. But even if it was, given that David is not presented as a paragon of virtue but rather 'warts and all', his amazing relationship with Jonathan doesn't give us a pattern to follow. It happened – and they then went off and had wives and children of their own.
Indeed the pollution of the David and Jonathan relationship with a sexual component is inherently damaging to the possibility of the deep friendships that we all need in this world. I nearly lost a new friend because he'd suspected that the proposed meal and film at my home was a gay date: he had the chutzpah to check, and on discovering the misunderstanding, we developed a good friendship until he departed the area. I suspect another person drew a similar conclusion, cancelling an evening that he had previously committed to.
So no – the bible does not offer a legitimation of man boy sexual relationships. It is worth noting that as early as the 2nd century Justin Martyr is making fun of the Graeco-Roman gods, not least for their pederasty, while the reality that the church is the source of changes to the law of the Roman Empire on the legitimacy of homosexual practice is beyond serious dispute. So there is no serious basis for claiming Christianity as endorsing what we so earnestly desire – but can't have...