The Gospel Truth

Heavenly Sex?

May 23, 2013
11 Comments

Peter Kreeft the renowned Philosophy professor at Boston College addressed this question that has puzzled many for a very long time—is there sex in Heaven?

He says there has to be sex in heaven simply because there are human beings in Heaven and God made all of us, both men and women….in his image and likeness.

That will not change in Heaven.

Whether or not we have sex or sexually distinct social roles in Heaven, he warns are different question entirely.

As he points out sexuality is like race but unlike clothes, an essential aspect of our identity, spiritual as well as physical.

Even if sex were not spiritual, there would have to be sex in Heaven because of the resurrection of the body…a body with identifiable sexual organs.

People easily forget that God invented sex as a favor to men and women…not as a punishment.

According to essayist, Henry Makow, man represents the God Principle.

Woman represents the Creation Principle… God is in love with Creation and vice-versa.

Husbands serve as the surrogates for God while in her soul, the sex act is a living metaphor for the love of God.

It took the Fall to add six and sexual aberrations to the human condition.

Kreeft states that the human body is not a mistake to be unmade or a prison cell to be freed from, but a divine work of art designed to show forth the soul as the soul is to show forth God, in splendor and glory. 

The real question is will there be sexual intercourse in Heaven.

This raises the rhetorical question, if we have sexual organs in heaven, what would we use them for?

I have often wondered why God made Adam and Eve with sexual organs if they were not to enjoy sex before the Fall.  So it seems logical that they may be used after the resurrection of the body.

One thing is for certain Heavenly sex will not be used for reproduction.

As Kreeft points out—earth is the breeding colony while Heaven is the homeland.

As Christ told the Sadducees there will be no marriage in Heaven.

Everything on earth is analogous to something in Heaven.

Heaven neither simply removes nor simply continues earthly things.

If we apply this principle to sexual intercourse, we get the conclusion that intercourse on earth is a shadow or symbol of intercourse in Heaven.

Kreeft speculates about what that could be?

It could certainly be  a sort of spiritual intercourse—and, remember, that includes sexual intercourse because sex is spiritual.

This spiritual intercourse would mean something more specific than universal charity.

He says that it might be a special communion with the sexually complementary that is something a man can have only with a woman and a woman only with a man.

Before the Fall God created woman because a man is made complete by such union.

God recognized that it was not good that the man should be alone.

And as Kreeft says God does not simply rip up His design for human fulfillment.

Kreeft also reasons that the relationship need not be confined to one in Heaven.

Monogamy is strictly for earth.

On earth, our bodies are private.

In Heaven, we share each other’s secrets without shame, and voluntarily.

In the Communion of Saints, promiscuity of spirit is a virtue.

The relationship may not extend to all persons of the opposite sex, at least not in the same way or degree.

If it did extend to all, it would treat each differently simply because each is different—sexually as well as in other ways.

I think there must be some special kindred souls in Heaven that we are designed to feel a special sexual love for.

This general love may have even developed here on earth.

Like many have a circle of friends, people could develop an unfulfilled circle of love during their earthly stay.

But this would differ from romantic love in that it would be free, not driven and it would transcend all earthly cares, responsibilities and obligations from soul to body, not from body to soul.

Nor would it feel apart from or opposed to the God-relationship, but a part of it or a consequence of His design.

A consequence of design

These love relationships would also be totally conscious and unselfish.

Kreeft calls it the ethical goodness of agape, the selfless love joined to the passion of eros.

But would it ever take the form of physical sexual intercourse?

Here Kreeft cautions us that we should not kowtow to modernity’s sexual monomania but consider it because it is an honest question about something of great significance to us now, and because we want to know all we can about Heaven.

Since there are bodies in Heaven, able to eat and be touched, like Christ’s resurrection body, there is the possibility of physical intercourse.

The great beginning

We know Heaven by earthly clues.

Earthly human sex has three levels of meaning: the subhuman, or animal; the superhuman, or divine; and the specifically human.

Animal reasons for intercourse include (i) the conscious drive for pleasure and (2) the unconscious drive to perpetuate the species.

Both would be absent in Heaven.

Dante and his Beatrice

For although there are unimaginably great pleasures in Heaven, we are not driven by them.

Remember there is no need for breeding because the species is complete.

Transhuman reasons for intercourse include (i) idolatrous love of the beloved as a substitute for God and (2) the Dante-Beatrice love of the beloved as an image of God.

As to the first, there is, of course, no idolatry in Heaven. No substitutes for God are even tempting when God Himself is present.

As to the second, the earthly beloved was a window to God, a mirror reflecting the divine beauty. That is why the lover was so smitten.

Now that the reality is present, why stare at the mirror? The impulse to adore has found its perfect object.

An eternal moment

Furthermore, even on earth this love leads not to intercourse but to infatuation. Dante neither desired nor had sex with Beatrice.

Specifically human reasons for intercourse include (1) consummating a monogamous marriage and (2) the desire to express personal love. As to the first, there is no marriage in Heaven.

But what of the second?

Kreeft thinks there will probably be millions of more adequate ways to express love than the clumsy ecstasy of fitting two bodies together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

Even the most satisfying earthly intercourse between spouses cannot perfectly express all their love.

If the possibility of intercourse in Heaven is not actualized, it is only for the same reason earthly lovers do not eat candy during intercourse: there is something much better to do.

Something better to do?

Candy is one of children’s greatest pleasures.  Since they are children they cannot conceive of a pleasure so intense that it renders candy irrelevant.

Only if you know both can you compare two things, and all those who have tasted both the delights of physical intercourse with the earthly beloved and the delights of spiritual intercourse with God testify that there is simply no comparison.

This spiritual intercourse with God is the ecstasy hinted at in all earthly intercourse, physical or spiritual.

It is the ultimate reason why sexual passion is so strong, so different from other passions, so heavy with suggestions of profound meanings that just elude our grasp.

No mere practical needs account for it.

No mere animal drive explains it. No animal falls in love, writes profound romantic poetry, or sees sex as a symbol of the ultimate meaning of life because no animal is made in the image of God.

Human sexuality is a foretaste of that self-giving, that losing and finding the self, that oneness-in-manyness that is the heart of the life and joy of the Trinity.

That is what we long for!

That is why we tremble to stand outside ourselves in the other, to give our whole selves, body and soul: because we are images of God the sexual being. We love the other sex because God loves God.

And this earthly love is so passionate because Heaven is full of passion, of energy and dynamism.

A Passionate God?

While God does not have ephemeral emotions as we do, just think about the energy  he expressed in making the world and the sacrifice he had to make in offering his only Son to save his creation from darkness—to think of this love as any less passionate than our temporary and conditioned passions is a most disastrous fantasy.

And that consuming fire of love is our destined Husband, according to His own promise.

Sex in Heaven?

Indeed, and no pale, abstract, merely mental shadow of it either.

Earthly sex is the shadow, and our lives are a process of thickening so that we can share in the substance, becoming Heavenly fire so that we can endure and rejoice in the Heavenly fire.

That sounds like he is saying that we may be in for a much bigger surprised than transpired on our respective wedding nights.

File:72-houris.jpg

A Muslim and his 72 virgins

Who knows–maybe the Muslim suicide bombers will get what they prayed for.

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Nude Beaches in Heaven? PART I

November 30, 2011
8 Comments

Now that I have gotten your attention.

I will get to the beaches later on.

What I really want to write about is different concepts of Heaven–real and only imagined.

I am at the age that every waiting room I sit in makes me think that this could be God’s Waiting Room.

I believe that throughout history most people have believed in a God.

And with that necessarily follows certain questions of eschatology…that is the meaning of life and the advent of an afterlife.

Socrates did and he believed in an afterlife as well.

History is riven with acts of the utmost cruelty and brutality.

It is also  replete with countless acts of acts of nobility and charity that underscore the duality of man.

This by necessity raises the question of reward and punishment and our understanding of Heaven and Hell.

I think most people have similar ideas on the latter but it is Heaven and what must go on there that fascinates, intrigues and maybe just fills us with a great sense of anticipation and maybe even fear.

The major drawback is that you have to die to get there.

Since no one, except Jesus has ever experienced Heaven, and then come to earth, what we really know about it is at best sketchy.

There is something Christians call the Beatific Vision — a face to face encounter with God that promises to be so overpowering the human imagination just can’t image it.

This encounter is supposed to fill us with an over-powering sense of joy that St. Paul said in Corinthians 2:9, is so spectacular that no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has the heart of man conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.

This is really saying something special since there are so many natural wonders and beauties in this life that anything  much greater would literally blow our human minds.

As a man I find all the natural wonders–from the curvaceous shape of a beautiful woman  on the beach to the rolling hills of Virginia and the sandy beaches of Maui so uplifting that I have trouble imagining anything much more emotionally satisfying.

In the Book of Revelation, the most incomprehensible and most misunderstood book in the Bible, St. John writes of celestial choirs and a great deal of heavenly pomp and circumstance that doesn’t really seem all that appealing to the average person.

Image Detail

A God of Love more than a God of Majesty?

The God that we have been taught to love is all-knowing, and more importantly all-loving.

Loving is giving of Himself and I would think as the Divine host he would focus a little more on His guests.

He could give us the grand tour as a proud and generous Host would do in earthly life.

And lets face it we would be His eternal guests since we did literally nothing to earn or warrant His beneficence.

I think He would take us around and introduce us to some of the most famous guests that have shared His love.

Then there would be reunions with friends and families and the meeting new people.

I would love to sit around the campfire or at a sidewalk Bistro and talk history with some of our former presidents and generals.

I would love to meet Bishop Fulton J. Sheen and pick is enormous brain.

I would also love to know who really killed the Kennedys, maybe Marilyn and Princess Di and if FDR  knew about the Japanese sneak attack at Pearl Harbor.

File:Clint Hill on the limousine.jpg

We haven’t heard the last yet!

I will be truly saddened if my father were not there.

He never joined the Catholic Church and quite frankly though he respected my mother’s faith, he never made any outward allegiance to any religion.

But I have to think and hope that my mother’s 15 years as an Alzheimer’s victim was applied to whatever debt he may have owed.

If Heaven is supposed to be a perfect happiness and fulfillment of our earthly lives, if some of my closest relatives and friends are not there, what will that do to my happiness?

I think that and God’s infinite mercy are the two best arguments for a quasi universal salvation.

Another writer on Heaven recently said that we would get to meet the saints.

That is a scary proposition because so many led what seemed like impeccable lives that I would have tremendous feelings of inferiority around them.

I mean what do you say to people who loved God so much that they were devoured by wild animals.

File:Dirce.jpg

A tough act to follow

St. Thomas Aquinas would be someone to spend a day with but my knowledge of Thomistic philosophy is limited but he did have a clear way of explaining things.

I would like to meet someone after my own heart–St. Thomas More, who loved God as much as anyone but was reluctant to stick out his neck–until King Henry backed him into his fatal encounter with his executioner.

His way was the only way I could have done what our martyrs have done.

I never volunteer for anything but when push comes to shove…

I would have shot my mouth off to the king and then it would have been too late.

St. Augustine is another story.

His Manichean background and the sexual sins of his early years soured him on anything to do with the human body and its sexuality.

And while he renounced this heresy, its views had already permeated his approach to sex, sin and the human body.

Sex was dirty and our bodies unclean.

He was plagued by this wretched sin of lust most of his life.

It affected the Church’s teaching on marriage and stained its  sacramental importance.

Lust plagued his life and attitudes

I know John Paul II tried to do a lot to erase that stain with his Theology of the Body but there is still a long way to go.

The confusion attendant to the Biblical account of creation just complicates our understanding of sex, nudity and marriage.

Our first parents, whether it was an allegory or an actual fact, were created in their natural state.

Since they had complementary sexual organs, it is not much of a stretch to say that they did engage in lots of love-making, just as God had intended.

But I wonder if this was just reproductive sex since child-bearing became one of the negative results of the fall of man.

I  dare not say punishment lest I sound like our esteemed president.

Boston College theologian Peter Kreft believes there will be sex in Heaven for all for whom it was an integral part of their saintly lives on earth.

His ideas on spiritual sex are provocative and engaging.

The Kiss by Rodin   (Permission by Mark Harden; http://www.artchive.com)

Kreft and spiritual sex–see below

How that would work is another of the many mysteries of the afterlife.

There were no clothes necessary because they were in a state of pristine beauty, just as God had intended.

But the serpent on the vine changed things for all eternity.

After they partook of the fruit of good and evil, they realized they were naked and sin entered the world and with it lust.

Image Detail

Paradise Lost

Lust can be defined as the innate desire to use another human being merely for the pleasure of the act or thought.

Most often the subject matter is sex.

As a result because of their shame they covered their loins.

Some theologians say theirs was a sexual sin but I have found nothing to confirm that.

But they must have been naked sometime after that because they had at least two children–Cain and Abel.

And there had to be some daughters too.

That raises the question of incest out of necessity.

Millions of married couples today are comfortable in their spouses’ company and even sometimes, the extended family without the benefits of any clothing.

Have they lost their shame?

Or are they treating their bodies more like God intended?

www.peterkreeft.com/topics/sexinheaven.htm

MAKE CERTAIN TO LOOK FOR NUDE BEACHES II NEXT WEEK


About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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