Rev. Bromleigh McCleneghan, associate pastor for ministry with families at Union Church in Hinsdale, Illinois, says single Christians can have sex as long as it’s “mutually pleasurable and affirming.” McCleneghan, a married mother of three, expresses her views in her new book, Good Christian Sex: Why Chastity Isn’t the Only Option — And Other Things the Bible Says About Sex. She suggests that abstinence is not required as much as being chaste is, because chastity is about moderation.
In an editorial piece for The Washington Post, McCleneghan said, “American Christians sometimes conflate celibacy and chastity, too, which is a problem. Chastity is a virtue, related to temperance — it’s about moderating our indulgences and exercising restraint…In the official teaching of the Catholic Church and some other churches, however, chastity requires restraining oneself from indulging in sexual relationships outside of the bounds (and bonds) of marriage. That is, chastity for singles means celibacy — no sex…I’d argue that we can be chaste – faithful – in unmarried sexual relationships if we exercise restraint: if we refrain from having sex that isn’t mutually pleasurable and affirming, that doesn’t respect the autonomy and sacred worth of ourselves and our partners.”
Of course, many contest McCleneghan’s stance, citing it as dangerous and outside of biblical principles. Your thoughts?