Hey there. You’ve been told (as I was) that sexual restrictions were “from its immediate inception” the core of ‘Christianity’.- so naturally you’re suspicious. A model of reality has been created for you.
So go find the evidence of sexual restrictions in early Christianity?- when not tied into a larger ‘Judaizing’ or panic/reaction to the accusations of child-killing orgies. The 1 John letter is a disappointment — nothing about human intimacies—when it’s an intro to Jesus for Gentiles. Look through Justin Martyr, on and on.
In the Epistle to Diognetus, here is Christianity being presented circa 127 A.D.:
For the Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity. The course of conduct which they follow has not been devised by any speculation or deliberation of inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates of any merely human doctrines. But, inhabiting Greek as well as barbarian cities, according as the lot of each of them has determined, and following the customs of the natives in respect to clothing, food, and the rest of their ordinary conduct, they display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life.
“It is not as though sexuality was a major theme or preoccupation of the early Christian movement,” William Loader says. “Rather people simply carried on engaging in relationships in which sexuality also played a role and did so at best according to the respected traditions of their culture.” (Sexuality & The Jesus Tradition.)
The sexual reading of Romans 1, for example, was a 4th century invention, when the Enoch stuff had been forgotten. And the shift maps with the tightening of a reproductive agenda by a dying Roman empire, desperate for more bodies to fight its endless wars.
As Foucault notes, “the so-called Christian morality is nothing more than a piece of pagan ethics inserted into Christianity.” Or David Wheeler-Reed in Regulating Sex in the Roman Empire, “our society isn’t built on the Judeo-Christian ethics of the Bible but on the imperial decrees of Rome.”