Nadia Bolz-Weber, pastor and author of the book Shameless: A Sexual Reformation, discusses issues concerning the church and sexual ethics in an interview with Out in Jersey. She formerly pastored Denver’s House for All Sinners and Saints and is an ordained Lutheran. Bolz-Weber is well known and regarded in progressive Christianity. Her sermons regularly confront traditional Christian values and beliefs.
According to Bolz-Weber, there is no need to shame any person who consumes porn if the latter is “ethically sourced.” The pastor-author said that pleasure is complex for humans as one could either fall on or fall off any side of the spectrum. Human beings, she pointed out, either indulge in excess, leading to obesity or follow diets where a majority of foods are eliminated. Both these kinds of restriction or indulgence equally harm the body.
Bolz-Weber clearly understands the exploitative nature of the porn industry. She is also aware of the rampant drug problem along with a number of shady practices. In her statement, she means porn where no person is physically hurt or manipulated.
All kinds of sex acts can be done by consenting adults. Thus there is nothing wrong with recording the said act and distributing that particular record. The content of the last point had conservatives up in arms. As per conservative thinking, evidence exists linking sexual health and pornography consumption.
Joshua Sharp of the Baptist Standard responded to Bolz-Weber’s opinion saying pornography, ethically sourced or not, is the antithesis to spiritual vitality, relationships, and individual sexual health. Which is specifically mentioned in Corinthians where the faithful are urged to run away from sexual immorality. Other than sex, every other sin is done outside the body. The Bible teaches the reader the body represents the temple of Holy Spirit which God has given to humans.
It means God is present in the body and it must be glorified. Sexual sin, including the consumption of pornography, is thus destructive not only to the consumer but also to the body of Christ. Sharp said Bolz-Weber’s attempts “to legitimize porn flies in the face of biblical teaching threatens the health of the church. There is nothing ‘ethical’ about pornography.”