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ON REFLECTION – Morris too far left on sex issue

Ricky Jordan

ON REFLECTION – Morris too far left on sex issue

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IF I HAD DOUBTED before that these were the Last Days, on which ministers of the Word have expounded in various theses and sermons, I’m now closer to believing them. Not because of any cataclysmic event but due to a pattern of modern thinking.
The latest example of that pattern – where learned people either speak nonsense where the Holy Bible is silent or suggest new insight into biblical words and tenets as a result of mistranslation and misinterpretation of already suspect translation from the original Hebrew and Greek texts – is Reverend Charles Morris’ chilling view that nothing is wrong with premarital sex.
And as if that was not enough to raise eyebrows, Morris, a teacher and religious minister who purports to follow the example of Christ, asked the television audience on the May 8 edition of Religious Reasoning whether they would go into a store and buy shoes before trying them on!
While I’m not a priest nor a devout Christian, even as a fornicator I would not have previously seen the choosing of women as akin to selecting shoes or any form of merchandise. 
In fact, such thinking smacks of a horrible aspect of slavery and degradation and should not be entertained, far less propagated or practised by any man of colour, in particular a man of the cloth like Morris.
Is this the behaviour Rev. Morris would condone or encourage among young men, many of whom have fallen under his charge in the classroom? Is he now telling the women of Barbados, some of whom were his students at Combermere, that they are nothing but a product to be tested before being “bought” and that it’s all right to “try out” sexually whoever they intend to choose as partners?
Rev. Morris – in trying to be “real” and “practical” like many of today’s teachers, preachers and policymakers in the midst of a world gone mad – where the defining line between right and wrong is becoming more blurred each day – has gone too far left to be right.
Discussing Is Premarital Sex Right Or Wrong? Morris said while he did not condone promiscuity, he saw nothing wrong with voluntary sexual intercourse between unmarried people. 
Here, in my view, he had already removed from the picture the background of strict Jewish marital custom of which Jesus was a product, and was relating premarital sex to our accepted liberal Western customs.
In Jesus’ day, the betrothal, for about one year before the wedding, was a legal practice which could only be broken by unfaithfulness. 
In the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 1, Joseph thought Mary had committed fornication and had become pregnant and was therefore planning to lawfully “put her away”. Such an offence, at the core of which was fornication, could have led to extreme shame for the girls’ parents and, in some cases, death.
While it would not be fair to bring this elaborate system of engagement/marriage into our own customs, the act itself seems as wrong today as it did then, for biblical and practical reasons:
• If sex was created not only for the immense intimate pleasure of humankind but especially for procreation and continuation of the species, then it stands to reason that it should not merely be “tried on” or tried out.
• Paul says in 1 Corinthians: “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” Paul goes on to say that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and calls on believers to glorify God in their bodies/temples.
• Paul further admonished: “…let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband”.
• Living together before marriage to see if a couple is compatible sounds like a fair and justifiable reason for fornicating and we do it all the time, but it remains sin as shown in 1 Corinthians 6:18, Matthew 15:19-20, Mark 7:21-23, Galatians 5:19-21, Colossians 3: 5 and Ephesians 5:3-7 – all of which Rev Morris knows. 
• Hebrews 13:4 also implies that a god who holds the purity of marriage in such high esteem would not view fornication loosely.
As a member of the clergy, Morris must know how authoritative his views are. He must also be aware of the efforts of his colleagues at leading young people along the path of purity. He should have seen, as well, among colleagues and several others the rewards of “flee(ing) fornication”, as well as the consequences of doing the opposite. Ministers of the Word experience and note such things daily.
Finally, the demeaning imagery of “trying on shoes” goes against the behaviour of Christ who treated women with respect at a time when they were second-class. 
One of many examples is the account of the Samaritan woman at the well of Sychar. Jewish rabbis were not even supposed to greet such women but he conversed, offered her “living water”, and had no problem with her testifying to others about him.
He also healed a woman with an issue of blood, forgave the sins of another caught in adultery, rebuked those who criticized one who had anointed him, and gave women the news of his resurrection first. 
Morris should be summoned before an Anglican committee to explain himself. He should also pray.