On Thursday, Sept. 24, Dr. Richard McCarty spoke at Edinboro University about eschatology, the theological study of the end of time, and how in Christianity it differs vastly from religions such as Muslim and Judaism.
McCarty is an associate professor of religious studies at Mercyhurst University.
“The Babylonian Talmud says that the present world is a foretaste of paradise of the world to come, which is a place of reward for the righteous with celebrations of Sabbath, sunshine and sex,” said McCarty. He went on to state that in the Muslim afterlife there is sex, and not for reproduction, but for pleasure.
The sexual ascetics of Christianity, McCarty said, feel that sex is meant only for reproduction. The ascetics actually went as far to say that anything bringing too much pleasure might be considered a sin. McCarty said, “Augustine is the crown of all sexual ascetics.”
“Augustine said there is only one purpose for sexual activity and that is for reproduction.” Augustine said that lust is sexual desire. He also stated that if a man lusts for his wife and she gives in to participate in a sexual act, then it’s forgivable because she has prevented him from having sex elsewhere.
McCarty extensively spoke about this in order to prove his theory, in Christian eschatology, “this is going to be the seed that grows.” Augustine said in the resurrection of the dead we will either be male or female, whichever God intended, and that everyone will have aesthetically pleasing bodies. However, the lust one might have for these bodies will be gone because, according to McCarthy, sex is only for reproduction, which will no longer be necessary since everyone intended to live with God forever is already there.
“So is there sex in the resurrection of the dead? No,” McCarty said. “Does Jesus say that? No. Augustine does.” He went on to note that if your denomination says that there is no sex in the resurrection of the dead it is largely attributed to the work of Augustine.
McCarty said that many scriptures in the New Testament are simply Augustinian interpretations because the church does not have anything else to stand on.
Michael McLaughlin is a staff writer with The Spectator.