Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Is There Sex in Heaven?

This piece of writing was discussed over dinner at the Ribeiro's home Saturday, but I did not attend that day. I was disappointed to see that no one commented on this, because it was a very interesting article.

Peter Kreeft gives seven reasons why the question of sex in Heaven is a good question, and it is mainly because they are both two great mysteries. Sex and Heaven are both things we desire, but we know very little about them. (This surprised me, because how much is there to know about sex?). Additionally, Kreeft thinks we ought to question both, since sex and Heaven are both taboo topics. We often think sex is an inappropriate, "dirty" topic, and Heaven is the opposite-it is too religious to talk about. What I really liked was when Kreeft said that we should never stop answering childish questions, and he gives an example of his daughter inquiring about her cat going to Heaven. I have found that children often ask more profound questions than adults; we should never ignore a question simply because the person asking is a minor. Another example of a silly question that is worth pondering is "did Adam and Eve fart before the fall?" I definitely laughed out loud after reading that.

Like I said earlier, I do not think there is much to know about sex. However, Kreeft says that we actually do not think about sex at all. "Dreaming, fantasizing, feeling, experimenting-yes. But honest, look-it-in-the-face thinking?--hardly ever. There is no subject int he world about which there is more heat and less light." I never thought about sex this way! It's so true; we partake in the action frequently but we do not actually think about the act itself ever. Another funny point is that we apparently don't think about it nor do we know how to do it. "It is when everyone's pipes are leaking that people buy books on plumbing." There are hundred of how-to books on the subject, so clearly we do not know much about it.

One principle Kreeft states is that sex is something you are, not something you do. The example of a nun having a sexual life was an unusual one, but it worked. Nuns cannot have sexual intercourse, but they are still indeed women. Their sex is a part of them just like age, race, and sense of humor. What Kreeft means is that we have triviliazed sex into a thing we do instead of a quality of our inner being. Sex is now a thing of external feelings rather than internal ones. If this principle is true, that sexuality is of our inner essence, then there is sex in Heaven. (This however does not mean that we will 'have' sex or if we will have sexually distinct social roles.)

A contrary principle is that sex is spiritual. "Sex is between the ears before it's between the legs" Kreeft suggests that we have sexual souls. This means that sex is not socially conditioned or environmental. It is instead hereditary; biological sexuality is innate, natural, and pervasive to every cell in the body.

"God is a sexual being, the most sexual of all beings." This should not be surprising, because if God is fully love, kindness, joy, and every thing that is good, why would He not be fully sexual? He created sex, so it is indeed good. Kreeft suggests that God is a sexual being because the triune relationship is a sexual one. I am not sure I fully understand how the trinity is a sexual...

So if there is sex in Heaven, what will be it's purpose? It will not be for baby-making or for marriage, so there must be another function. Intercourse on earth is a shadow of intercourse in Heaven, but what does that mean? This is where I get a little confused. Kreeft speculates that monogamy is for earth, not Heaven. On earth our bodies are private, but they are not in Heaven- we share each other's everything with no shame. "Promiscuity of spirit is a virtue." Since we have bodies on earth, and Jesus was ra,ised in the body, it is safe to assume we will have bodies in Heaven. Thus, we could speculate that there will be physical sexual intercourse in Heaven. Howver, Kreeft suggests that maybe if there's no intercourse in Heaven it's because there's something better to do. We cannot compare earthly sex with Heavenly sex since none of us have experienced the latter (yet?).

I found this to be very entertaining, but I'm not sold on all his ideas. I find it hard to believe we will have promiscuous sex in Heaven, and to be honest I am not sure if we will have physical sexual intercourse after we die. It seems that there would be much better, great, more fulfilling acts to experience in Heaven. If God is neither male nor female, how is the trinity a sexual relationship? If we will be neither male nor female in Heaven, how would we partake in sexual acts? I would be curious to read other pieces about this subject, since this is the first I have ever seen. A good read nonetheless.

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