Theological sources on sexual sin

Rob Banks

I was speaking to a friend I've known for years (not the friend who I referred to this forum, a different guy), and he was very resistant to my idea of sexual sin being bad (and to the idea of submitting to God and Truth at all).

I mentioned to him how a girl's physiognomy and spirit changes when she engages in casual sex (this is true for men too, although less so), but my friend insisted that casual sex is only bad for some people, but that others are able to enjoy it in moderation and not have it harm them spiritually.

Anyway, when I told him I could not explain exactly why and how casual sex changes a person's spirit for the worse but that there might be theologians and philosophers that can explain it better than I can, he asked me to send him some sources.

Does anyone know any good sources or writings by theologians about this topic? I thought someone like Thomas Aquinas might be a good source, but I'm not sure where to find his writings on the subject.

Tiger Man

You could, of course, point him to classical or ancient Doctors of the Church. But, for someone who is not theologically inclined, I would recommend going with something more recent. Cardinal Wojtyła (later Pope Saint John Paul II) wrote a book called Love and Responsibility that covers a lot of the "goods" of sexual purity/chastity and a lot of the "bads" of promiscuity and sexual sin. If you go a bit further back, you can get a copy of In Defense of Purity by Dietrich von Hildebrand. That is a lot more direct, and it covers far more of the contemporary issues we face than someone like Aquinas would.

Since you mentioned your friend is resistant to religion, I have to mention a potential secular source. Sexual Desire by Sir Roger Scruton reaches many of the same conclusions that a religious text would, but accomplishes it by way of secular reasoning. I have had some success in turning people to faith by first establishing an idea of natural law and order. Scruton's book may help in this way.

Rob Banks

↑For sure, thanks.

My friend isn't exactly the type to read an entire book, though. Maybe these sources are available online and there is a way to find relevant passages?
This is a great question. I found some really great Bible verses that can help explain why sexual sin is bad. The first verse is Hebrews 13:4 - "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous." This verse says that marriage should be undefiled. That means that we should save ourselves for marriage and stay faithful in marriage.

The next verse is 1 Corinthians 6:9,10, which says: "or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." This verse says that the sexually immoral will not inherit the kingdom of God. That means that sexual morality isn't just some small thing we maybe have to do, but it is something we NEED to do to enter the kingdom of God. That's a pretty big deal.

We all have sinned and we all aren't perfectly sexually moral. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." This verse is amazing! It says that the temptations all of us face are common to every man. Also, it says that God won't let us be tempted so much that we cannot resist. This means that we can always resist the temptation no matter how hard because God is helping us.

The last verse I want to show you is 1 John 1:9, It says: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." This verse means that we can confess our sins to God and have them forgiven. God will cleanse us of our sins as long as we ask Him too. All of us have probably committed some kind of sexually immoral act, but that doesn't stop us from getting into Heaven. We need to realize what we have done is wrong and repent, then fight the temptations and grow. May God be with you, brother!