Christian Cyclopedia

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(Lat. castitas, from castus, “pure, chaste, continent, holy”). Adherence to religious or moral standards in matters pertaining to sex; often abstention from sexual intercourse.

Theologically, chastity is regulated sexual activity based on Gn 1:27; 2:18–25 which precludes arbitrary refusal of sex acts (1 Co 7:2; 1 Ti 4:3; Heb 13:4) or autonomous use (Mt 5:28; Ro 1:24–32; 6:15–20; 1 Th 4:3–8). In marriage chastity integrates sex with the whole personal and spiritual relationship bet. marriage partners (1 Co 7:39; Eph 5:25–33) and outside marriage requires abstention from use of powers of propagation and all forms of fornication (Ro 1:24–32; 1 Co 6:15–20). Transgressions of the laws of chastity occur in thought or desire (Mt 5:28), word (Eph 5:3, 12), and deed (1 Co 6:15).

In opposition to dualistic conceptions, Christian ethics regards natural sexual desires as good and their use in marriage a virtue (1 Co 7; Heb 13:4). ln non-Christian cults sexual relations are often considered taboo and forbidden at certain times or to certain people.

In Christian ethics abstinence* may be practiced for certain purposes (Mt 19:12; 1 Co 7).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

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