Will There Be Sex in Heaven? Part 2 1

We first wrote about the possibility of sex in Heaven in 2015 and built an argument primarily from the Bible, and today we’re revisiting the topic by looking at the works of a few brilliant thinkers and artists.

As we noted previously, one of the key verses relating to sex in Heaven is Matthew 22:23-33. Here, some Jewish leaders who don’t believe in an afterlife (the Sadducees) attempted to trip up Jesus by asking him about a hypothetical woman who was married to seven men: whose wife would she be in Heaven? Jesus responds:

You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

Go to our previous post to learn more about what the Bible reveals on the topic of sex in Heaven (spoiler: some interesting clues, but not much definitive).

For today, let’s begin with this passage from the 20th-century’s preeminent literary critic Northrop Frye, who writes about these Matthew verses in his book “Words with Power”:

[w]hile many would feel that the inference was obvious that angels are asexual — “barren angels,” as Donne would call them — the inference is not inevitable.

Northrop Frye, “Words with Power”, Chapter 6

Just because angels are not “given in marriage” does not mean they are asexual.

In “Paradise Lost” John Milton gives us two striking perspectives on angelic sexuality. First, in Book V we read about Eve preparing a meal and serving it to Adam and the visiting angel Raphael.

… Mean while at table
Eve Ministered naked, and their flowing cups
With pleasant liquours crowned: O innocence
Deserving Paradise! if ever, then,
Then had the sons of God excuse to have been
Enamoured at that sight; but in those hearts
Love unlibidinous reigned, nor jealousy
Was understood, the injured lover’s hell.

John Milton, “Paradise Lost”, Book V

Milton writes that the angel Raphael, and indeed all sons of God, were attracted to Eve’s (pre-fall) innocent, naked beauty and service — though without lust or jealousy. (See “The Peak of Eve’s Sexuality in Paradise Lost” for more discussion of this passage.)

Second, in Book VIII Adam and Raphael hold a long discourse on love and sexuality; near the end, Adam asks Raphael directly how angels express their love for one another. This quote begins with Adam, and then Raphael responds.

To love, thou blamest me not; for Love, thou sayest,
Leads up to Heaven, is both the way and guide;
Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask:
Love not the heavenly Spirits, and how their love
Express they? by looks only? or do they mix
Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?

To whom the Angel, with a smile that glowed
Celestial rosy red, Love’s proper hue,
Answered. Let it suffice thee that thou knowest
Us happy, and without love no happiness.
Whatever pure thou in the body enjoyest,
(And pure thou wert created) we enjoy
In eminence; and obstacle find none
Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclusive bars;
Easier than air with air, if Spirits embrace,
Total they mix, union of pure with pure
Desiring, nor restrained conveyance need,
As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul.

Raphael blushes and says whatever pure thou in the body enjoyest, we enjoy in eminence — and goes on to explain that, even better, angelic embrace is unhindered by the obstacles of flesh and bone.

Influenced perhaps by Milton’s vision, William Blake writes about Heavenly sex in “Jerusalem. The Emanation of the Giant Albion/Plate 69”.

Will There Be Sex in Heaven? Part 2 2
Click to enlarge. William Blake, “Jerusalem. The Emanation of the Giant Albion/Plate 69.”

Embraces are comminglings from the Head even to the Feet,
And not a pompous High Priest entering by a Secret Place.

William Blake, “Jerusalem. The Emanation of the Giant Albion/Plate 69.”

Like Milton’s Raphael, Blake writes that Heavenly embraces are total meldings of separate individuals into a single blended whole — taking one flesh to the next level, because in Heaven even souls and spirits can be united without bodies getting in the way.

That second line of Blake contains some brilliant imagery, comparing the annual entrance of the Hebrew high priest into the Temple’s veiled Holy of Holies with the limited nature of earthly sexual union. God’s glorious presence was in the Holy of Holies, and the high priest alone was commanded/permitted to enter it once per year to commune with God and make atonement for the sins of the people. Jesus Christ, as our great high priest, has eliminated the veil and invited us all into direct communion with God.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. […] Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:14, 16

Blake’s metaphor is this: in the same way that our communion with God will be perfected in Heaven, our sexual unions will be perfected in Heaven; Heavenly embraces will be far superior to a penis (“pompous high priest”) entering a vagina (“secret place”).

Finally, consider this passage from C.S. Lewis in his book “Miracles”.

The letter and spirit of scripture, and of all Christianity, forbid us to suppose that life in the New Creation will be a sexual life; and this reduces our imagination to the withering alternatives either of bodies which are hardly recognisable as human bodies at all or else of a perpetual fast. As regards the fast, I think our present outlook might be like that of a small boy who, on being told that the sexual act was the highest bodily pleasure, should immediately ask whether you ate chocolates at the same time. On receiving the answer “No,” he might regard absence of chocolates as the chief characteristic of sexuality. In vain would you tell him that the reason why lovers in their carnal raptures don’t bother about chocolates is that they have something better to think of. The boy knows chocolate: he does not know the positive thing which excludes it. We are in the same position. We know the sexual life; we do not know, except in glimpses, the other thing which, in Heaven, will leave no room for it. Hence where fullness awaits us we anticipate fasting. In denying that sexual life, as we now understand it, makes any part of the final beatitude, it is not of course necessary to suppose that the distinction of sexes will disappear. What is no longer needed for biological purposes may be expected to survive for splendour. Sexuality is the instrument both of virginity and of conjugal virtue; neither men nor women will be asked to throw away the weapon they have used victoriously. It is the beaten and the fugitives who throw away their swords. The conquerors sheathe theirs and retain them.”

C. S. Lewis, “Miracles”

Lewis obviously rejects the notion of “sexuality” in Heaven, but then proposes the presence of a superior intimacy to displace it, presumably called by another name. But what’s in a name? Call the perfect Heavenly embrace whatever you like, “sex” or something else — either way, I see no reason to think that Heaven will be lacking for intimacy.

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Sex Q&A: Christian Wife Swapping, Swinging 3

We’ve gotten enough emails on the topic that it’s worth addressing: is it ok for Christians to engage in swinging or wife swapping? (None of the emails we’ve received are suitable for quotation.) I suppose we get these emails because it’s obvious from our blog that Sexy Corte and I are pro-sex and enjoy some kinky stuff that isn’t discussed at church. I’m not sure if the folks who email us are genuinely wondering what the Bible has to say on swinging or if they’re looking for someone to help rationalize existing behavior, but I’m going to give a sincere answer.

Swinging or wife swapping is a sin called adultery, and is never acceptable to God. It doesn’t matter if you, your spouse, and the other couple all consent — God doesn’t consent. The Seventh Commandment is short and to the point:

Exodus 20:14, “You shall not commit adultery.”

Jesus raises the bar set in the Old Testament:

Matthew 5:27-28, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

A person might claim, “It’s not adultery if my spouse knows about it and approves.” However, the definition of adultery makes no such distinction, and never has throughout human history.

voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse.

The bottom line here is similar to an earlier Q&A on threesomes:

God’s will is that sex should be reserved exclusively for a husband and a wife. So, while there aren’t many limits on what you and your wife can do together, you can’t bring someone else into your sexual relationship. Neither spouse can give the other spouse permission to commit adultery — adultery isn’t just a sin against your spouse, it’s a sin against God. Permission from your spouse doesn’t make adultery acceptable to God. It is never acceptable to have sex outside of your marriage. See also: Proverbs 5, “be intoxicated always in her love”Hebrews 13:4, and Proverbs 7.

If your marriage is happy, swinging won’t strengthen it; if your marriage is unhappy, wife swapping won’t fix any of the underlying problems. We strongly exhort every married couple to keep their sex life exclusive to themselves. This is what God commands through the Bible, and worldly experience says the same thing.

See also: Are There Any Sexual Limits or Boundaries in a Christian Marriage?

Please use the contact pages for Sexy Corte and El Fury to send us your questions. We will only share your question if you give us permission, and we’ll never reveal your name or any other identifying information. You can ask questions anonymously, or use a free anonymous email server like Mailinator.

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Sex Q&A: Can Christians have Threesomes? 4

Reader “B” asks:

What are your thoughts on FFM threesomes?

My wife has expressed interest in a FFM threesome where I as the husband would only interact with my wife and she can interact with the other female. We are both Christians and are struggling with this desire. While wanting to pursue this we are also burdened with the sinful nature of it. What are your thoughts regarding this? There has been some girl/girl stuff happen in the past as part of some experimenting while we were married and I was present for it. But we are looking into the swinging lifestyle and have rules and boundaries in place and nothing has happened yet. Wanting another Christians viewpoint on this situation.

As we wrote in our post about sexual boundaries in marriage, God’s will is that sex should be reserved exclusively for a husband and a wife. So, while there aren’t many limits on what you and your wife can do together, you can’t bring someone else into your sexual relationship. Neither spouse can give the other spouse permission to commit adultery — adultery isn’t just a sin against your spouse, it’s a sin against God. Permission from your spouse doesn’t make adultery acceptable to God. It is never acceptable to have sex outside of your marriage. See also: Proverbs 5, “be intoxicated always in her love”Hebrews 13:4, and Proverbs 7.

If that’s not enough, it’s easy to Google for something like “threesome ruined my marriage” and find hundreds of horror stories. Of course, you think your marriage is differentbut everyone thinks that. 93% of Americans think they’re better-than-average drivers. If you and your spouse are currently pretty happy in your marriage, having a threesome is very likely to cause a huge amount of damage. You can read one such story in Genesis 16 and 21, about Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar.

On the other hand, if you and your spouse aren’t happy in your marriage, a threesome won’t fix things. There are a zillion reasons for marital dissatisfaction, but think about it: why would adding a third person to the dynamic strengthen your relationship with your spouse? It may temporarily distract you from the pain and frustration you’re feeling — like becoming an alcoholic — but it won’t resolve any of the problems that are actually causing dissatisfaction. If your marriage is having trouble, drinking more alcohol isn’t likely to improve things… you’ll just self-medicate yourself into oblivion. In the end, you’ll be worse off than you are now. Peruse our blog or any of the links on the sidebar for ideas on how to spice up your sex life with your spouse.

We strongly exhort every married couple to keep their sex life exclusive to themselves. This is what God commands through the Bible, and worldly experience says the same thing.

“B” replies:

Thank you for your response. We have done a lot research and we agree that it is sinful and should not be pursued. That being said, the feelings are still there for us both and that will be a struggle. Our faith was strong when we first got married and there have been bumps in the road but we are both very happy in our marriage and in life. I do struggle in my faith because of my job as a firefighter/paramedic and the stuff I have to see and deal with makes it hard to believe that there’s a God that loves us and watches over us.

It’s good that B and his wife have avoided this sin. It’s common to look at the evil, pain, and death that surround us in the world and wonder why God hasn’t prevented it — but he’s given us the ability to stand against evil by the power of the Holy Spirit. The choices we make can be holy, glorifying to God, and healing to mankind, or they can be selfish and evil. Resist temptation and make good choices! We’re grateful for people like B who put their lives on the line to protect us.

See also: Sex Q&A: Christian Wife Swapping, Swinging

Please use the contact pages for Sexy Corte and El Fury to send us your questions. We will only share your question if you give us permission, and we’ll never reveal your name or any other identifying information. You can ask questions anonymously, or use a free anonymous email server like Mailinator.

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