Sermons

Summary: Celibacy 1) is good, 2) it can be tempting, 3) it is wrong for married people, and 4) it is a gift from God.

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In all the events overshadowing last week, perhaps you missed an interesting report. A new study for the federal Justice Department says Canada should get rid of its law banning polygamy, and change other legislation to help women and children living in such multiple-spouse relationships.

The research paper is part of a controversial $150,000 polygamy project, launched a year ago and paid for by the Justice Department and Status of Women Canada. The paper by three law professors at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., argues that Sec. 293 of the Criminal Code banning polygamy serves no useful purpose and in any case is rarely prosecuted. Instead, they argue, Canadian laws should be changed to better accommodate the problems of women in polygamous marriages, providing them clearer spousal support and inheritance rights.

The Justice Department project was prompted in part by an RCMP investigation into the religious community of Bountiful in Creston, B.C., where polygamy is practised openly.

Although the Bountiful case raises immediate issues, Canada is also faced with a rising tide of immigration from Africa and the Middle East, where polygamy is legally and religiously sanctioned. Immigration officers can refuse entry to individuals practising polygamy.

The Events that Paul faced in Corrinth were also one of sexual immorality. Written from Ephesus during the Apostle Paul’s third missionary journey from 53-57 AD, 1 Corinthians 7 commences the second part or division of this Epistle, or, “the discussion of those points which had been submitted to the apostle in a letter from the church at Corinth, for his instruction and advice. A strategic commercial center, Corinth was one of the largest cities in the Roman world and one of the most corrupt (Acts 18:1). Full of false teachers, immature believers and people of all kind of ideas, the Christians in Corinth got into a lot of difficult situations considering Marriage.

If you recall from the discussion on the end of 1 Cor. 7: Some Gnostics argued that since the material world was evil, the spiritual individual should avoid it. Many now seem to claim a secret knowledge likewise, and proclaim the uselessness of marriage and have abandoned or redefined the concept.

With the Greeks in Corrinth prostitution was an essential part of the Greek Like. William Barklay noted Demosthenes has laid it down as the common and accepted rule of life: He said: “We have courtesans for the sake of pleasure; we have concubines for the sake of daily cohabitation; we have wives for the purpose of having children legitimately’ and having a faithful guardian for all our household affairs”.

The Jews revered neither women nor marriage. The Synagogue prayer book stated that the man offer the daily prayer: “I thank Thee, O Lord, that Thou hast not made me a Gentile dog nor a woman”.

An active and vocal feminist movement had also developed. Some wives competed with their husbands in business and even in feats of physical strength. Many were not interested in being housewives and mothers, and by the end of the first century childless marriages were common. Both men and women were determined to live their own lives, regardless of marriage vows or commitments.


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