Several articles and editorials have been written explaining why homosexuals cannot be admitted to membership. One of these I wrote myself, the title: “Homosexuality Can Be Healed.” All I can say in defense of myself for writing it is that it was based on information I thought was authentic, but which later was disproved by further studies. If I were to write another article on the subject now, I would probably entitle it, “We’re ALL God’s Children.”
by Carl J. Welz, C.S.B.
Advice on Sex
From the September 1971 issue of The Christian Science Journal
Giving human advice on sex from the standpoint of Christian Science is like steering between Scylla and Charybdis. If we encourage sexual relationships at all, we appear to be approving of pleasure in matter. But if we say that sex is evil, we appear to be agreeing that we are all conceived in sin — a doctrine Christian Science refutes.
Perhaps we wish we could work out a complete set of rules — a code of conduct. But there would always be the situation the compilers of the code hadn’t thought of. What’s more, there would be the danger of the reverse effect — the rules suggesting things to do that the boys and girls hadn’t thought of.
Then there is the hypocrisy problem. Rules tend to turn attention away from inward motives to outward acts. Christ Jesus made quite a point of this. He denounced those who went through the motions of prayer with no prayer in their hearts. He ridiculed those who made a show of giving alms with no charity in their hearts. And of sexual behavior he said: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” 1
The Bible has given us some broad rules for sex. They add up to no sex except in marriage. Considering Jesus’ denunciations of lust, we can infer that his statement on adultery in the heart could apply to lust at any time, in or out of marriage. But his blessing on the marriage state implies that sex and lust are not necessarily synonymous.
So if advice on sex is to be helpful, it would have to be advice that would include guidelines for self-government under God’s law, as well as inspiration to trust God and His law. The advice would enable a boy or girl to realize his or her protection from serious sex experiences until after marriage, and it would aid them in recognizing lust during the marriage experience and overcoming it.
To be truly effective, such advice needs to be based upon divine Truth and to be logical and credible. God is divine Truth, and man is God’s reflection or idea. In the Manual of The Mother Church Mary Baker Eddy gives “A Rule for Motives and Acts.” This rule applies to all the motives and acts of men and women, whatever their ages. One of its statements is, ‘”In Science, divine Love alone governs man.”2 Real help comes to the person seeking guidance on sex matters when he can see himself “in Science,” his every motive and act governed by divine Love.
One who is genuinely striving to live as governed by “divine Love alone” can impart to others something of the joy of depending on God’s law. And when someone really feels the joy of being cared for by Love’s law, he finds no difficulty in trusting this law for his happiness. It is the function of Christian Science — another name for God’s law — to interpret to human consciousness the absolute, spiritual facts of Life and Love, of man whose only Life and Love is God, good. Good advice inspires others to turn to Christian Science for an understanding of themselves, of Life, and of Love.
To do this, the logic of one’s explanations has to be clear. Mere platitudes are not enough. One who labels sex as evil because it involves physical sensation, for example, will need to explain why smelling the flowers or watching a sunset or listening to a symphony or tasting an apple pie or feeling the sea wind is not evil. Perhaps we may find a difference between sex and lust just as we find a difference between eating and gluttony.
And many will insist today that just as there is more than physical sensation to the enjoyment of life’s beauties and harmonies, so there is more to the sex experience. It can be largely an expression of unselfed, ministering love. From the standpoint of Christian Science, we might insist that unselfed, ministering love — if it is that — includes a real desire to plan one’s life and that of his loved one so that both will continue to dwell in the all-powerful love and care of God’s law.
The credibility problem arises if we attempt to give our advice the authority of God’s law when it is largely our human opinion. When we quote the Bible or Mrs. Eddy’s writings to prove what we are saying, only to have someone else quote from the same sources to prove a very different point of view, we may find the one who needs the help thinking he came to the wrong place for counsel. St. Paul, in the Bible, gives quite a bit of advice on marriage. But when he gets away from what he can clearly interpret as divine law, he says, “I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment.” 3 If we follow this example, our humility will not only inspire confidence but will open our own hearts to the true source of wisdom, and we will say just the right thing.
Surely there are standards of conduct that are right for those who seek to trust and prove God’s law in their lives. But right standards for sexual behavior do not appear out of our personal, human experiences or backgrounds. In her article “Wedlock,” Mrs. Eddy says: “If the premise of mortal existence is wrong, any conclusion drawn therefrom is not absolutely right. Wisdom in human action begins with what is nearest right under the circumstances, and thence achieves the absolute.” 4
As we all turn away from mortal existence to spiritual reality, we will find the standards we need for ourselves and others. They will be honest, wholesome, practical, credible. And the advice we give will be good.