Project Wittenberg

Human Sexuality:
A Theological Perspective

Contents and Introduction

A Report of the
Commission on Theology and Church Relations
of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod
as prepared by its Social Concerns Committee
September 1981

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Unless otherwise indicated, the Scripture quotations in this publication are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and used by permission.



It is necessary that the church, in its concern for the lives of human beings created by the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, should address itself to the issues of human sexuality and offer guidance to all who seek to understand our identity as sexual beings. Few characteristics so deeply stamp our selfhood as our maleness and femaleness. In fact, it is quite impossible for us to know ourselves as God's good creation without a recognition of our identity as sexual beings. Nor is it possible to perceive this identity rightly without remembering what Jesus Christ did to redeem us from the power of sin and its effect on our lives as sexual beings.

As we address the problems of human sexuality which involve questions related to the meaning of human self-giving, faithfulness in human relationships, and the relationship between men and women, we do so in the confidence that the Holy Spirit helps us to use the gift of sexuality in ways pleasing to our Creator. The Commission on Theology and Church Relations therefore presents this report on human sexuality as prepared by its Social Concerns Committee with the prayer that it will assist the church in its consideration of this important aspect of our lives. [1]

The purposes of this study will be (1) to place the order of marriage within the larger framework of human sexuality as God's creation; (2) to discuss the purposes or ends which marriage serves, as these are taught in the Scriptures and understood in the history of the church; and (3) to discuss, in the light of these purposes, certain problems or issues which must inevitably engage the attention of those who think about human sexuality. While the Commission recognizes that not all problems in the area of human sexuality are addressed in this report, it is hoped that the affirmations stated at the end of the study will provide guidance for Christians as they seek to order their lives as sexual beings in ways which will honor both God and their neighbor.


[1] The need for a study on the issues of human sexuality was expressed in a resolution placed before the 1973 convention of the Synod. Since this resolution (Res. 2-34, "To Study Issues of Human Sexuality") was not acted upon because of lack of time, it was referred to the Commission on Theology and Church Relations by the Board of Directors. In response to this referral the CTCR asked its Social Concerns Committee to study the issue of human sexuality.

Resolution 2-34 reads as follows:


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Rev. Robert E. Smith
Walther Library
Concordia Theological Seminary.

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