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ANGLICANISM AND THE CHALLENGES OF SEXUAL ABERRATIONS- THE RESPONSE OF THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA

  • Project Research
  • 1-5 Chapters
  • Abstract : Available
  • Table of Content: Available
  • Reference Style: APA
  • Recommended for : Student Researchers
  • NGN 3000

Background to the Study

Religion has always been the main motivator of morality from the inception of the human society. In fulfilling this task, however, there have always been areas of tension and friction, as human beings though receptive to moral values and religious tenets, do not totally keep to the demands of religion. Groups and individuals at times tend to unduly revise and re-appraise beliefs and values in the process of readjusting and re-aligning religious demands to what they interpret as current circumstances and realities of life. Heresies result from such efforts which create tension in the religious community and subsequently in the wider society. There is no doubt that our modern society is going through a revolution in the area of sexual morality. For instance, the use of the word “sexy” is freely and widely applied to individuals, clothes, cars and other materials in an undue emphasis of masculine and feminine physique and attributes, designed to promote uninhibited sexual freedom as though it must be achieved through unbridled permissiveness. If one is referred to as being “sexy", it is obviously understood to be a compliment, an achievement meant to evoke pride and a sense of fulfillment. In our society, there is much liberal attitude towards aspects of sexual morality like virginity, premarital sex, pornography, abortion, prostitution, homosexuality, etc. than it used to be in the past. This change in attitude has been largely effected by society’s steady progress in the communication, academic, economic and religious areas of human 2 life. The changes in attitude also evolved from the over-bearing influence of Western culture on the rest of the world, Nigeria inclusive. These changes have been part of the broader changes in the moral ideas and perspective of the modern world, changes which did not happen suddenly, but gradually through profound changes in the cultural, religious and philosophical outlook of the nature and purpose of human life. With the rise of sexual aberrations, traditional African sexual morality has been rudely crossed by other influences of the modern times. Sexual ethics have become more a matter of personal choice rather than adherence to the stipulation of religious or traditional morality. Some sexual behaviour that once carried heavy negative moral connotation are now viewed as normal or positive by an increasing segment of the population. Among these are masturbation, pre-marital sex and homosexuality. The Christian religion has always contended that the sexual act has to be confined to a marriage between a man and a woman in a heterosexual relationship. This belief which was inherited from Judaism and also strongly affirmed by Jesus formed the Christian bedrock of sexual morality, which Christianity strives to uphold in all generations, but not without the wears and tears which the agency of moral rectitude has to bear in a fast-changing world of moral relativism. 3 The most testing moral issues facing the Anglican Church in modern times are those connected with sexual ethics, especially in the area of homosexuality. Christianity has traditionally over the years, put issues of sexual immorality very high in the hierarchy of sins, so whenever there is disagreement or attempt to revise or redefine the morals by any denomination as it is currently the case by some sections of the Anglican Church, it strains the unity of the Church to its limits, with obvious consequences. In our modern society people, both Christians and non-Christians alike are increasingly being exposed to the lure of non-religious and anti-religious ideas that are characteristic of the wider secular world. Consequently, many people continue being religious, and take part in religious activities, but apparently would like God to keep away from the day-to-day choices they make about their lives, especially their sexuality. Questions relating to the acceptance of homosexuality and other sexual aberrations like bisexualism and trans-sexualism have generally played down on biblical testimony and highlighted rights issues, along with debates about biology versus experience, and on the need for pastoral care for every Church member. The current practice of the acceptance of homosexuals as priests and even bishops in the Anglican Communion has caused a deep rift in the Church, and the Church of Nigeria has played a prominent role in upholding the supremacy of the scriptural teachings on sexual morality and the Church’s tradition, as opposed to the 4 revisionist tendency of those who are more favourably disposed to working with the changing modern understandings of human biology and society. In as much as this brave new sexual morality is not limited to Anglicanism or to the Church of Nigeria, this study is an attempt to x-ray the implications in the Anglican Communion. The researcher’s interest was aroused to undertake this work because of the deep negative impact and the ridicule that the division in the Anglican Communion has brought to Christendom, and the possible ripple effect it might have on other Christian denominations.




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