Sex before marriage

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cheezerrox
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Sex before marriage

#1

Post by cheezerrox » Fri May 11, 2012 6:30 pm

So, I know this could go in the moral and ethical affairs board, but I'm looking for the Biblical view on this. I've seen a bunch of different opinions on the board about this, but most of the time these opinions are based more on reasoning rather than Scripture. Now, that makes a decent amount of sense, as Scripture isn't particularly explicit about this issue, as it wasn't really a problem in those times. But I find it interesting that people can look at the same passages and see them saying different things, so I wanted to start a discussion/debate seeing what the most intellectually honest position is.

Now, the one side argues that any sex outside of marriage is wrong, whether it be casual sex or between people who are engaged.

The other side I've heard most often is that sex before marriage is not sin as long as it's within the Biblically accepted standards of relationships (both believers, consensual, committed, long-term, etc.). Some say that sexual compatibility is important for relationships, and that to avoid the whole area of the relationship until the marriage commitment can create issues. Others say that for people who plan on getting married but are simply waiting for practical reasons (ie, finishing college), then there's no sin as it's the same commitment anyway and it's not simple "fornication."

The passages in question are normally Hebrews 13:4, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and the four rules given to the Gentile believers in Acts 15. Also, Deuteronomy 22:13-21 is used, but I believe this is in error, as this is about a girl who claims to be a virgin being given to a man and being found a liar.

To be even more specific, the question also revolves around the Greek word "porneria." It's the word often translated as "fornication" in the NASB and some other translations, and is variously translated as "sexual immorality," "harlotry," "whoremongering" and other things depending on the translation. The word itself literally means "harlotry" according to my knowledge (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), but is used to describe a number of different sexual sins. It's used in Matthew 19:9 where Jesus uses it clearly to talk about adultery. Paul uses it in 1 Corinthians 5:1 to refer to a sexual relationship between a man and his father's wife.

I cannot seem to come to a conclusion on this issue. I don't want any answer that simply makes sense, or one that sounds right, I want one that's Biblical. So, let's talk. What do you guys think?

Edit: What do you guys think of this article?

http://patriot.net/~bmcgin/pearl-porneia.html
Last edited by cheezerrox on Sat May 12, 2012 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The prophet is a man who feels fiercely. G-d has thrust a burden upon his soul, and he is bowed and stunned at man's fierce greed. Frightful is the agony of man; no human voice can convey its full terror. Prophecy is the voice that G-d has lent to the silent agony, a voice to the plundered poor, to the profaned riches of the world. It is a form of living, a crossing point of G-d and man."
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Re: Sex before marriage

#2

Post by Reactionary » Sat May 12, 2012 4:18 am

cheezerrox wrote:So, I know this could go in the moral and ethical affairs board, but I'm looking for the Biblical view on this. I've seen a bunch of different opinions on the board about this, but most of the time these opinions are based more on reasoning rather than Scripture.
Hi Cheezerox. I don't think we should underestimate the power of reason - after all, the scriptural teachings and reason should be compatible. One of the reasons that convinced me that Christianity is true is the fact that the Christian lifestyle has turned out to be the healthiest mentally, physically and spiritually, even after 2,000 years. In other words, when I realize why a certain scriptural law is in power, and that it was made for my own good, of course it's much easier for me to follow it, as I do it with motivation.
cheezerrox wrote:Now, the one side argues that any sex outside of marriage is wrong, whether it be casual sex or between people who are engaged.
I think an error that this side makes is equalizing any sex outside of marriage as "sexual immorality" or "fornication", regardless of the intention and conditions. In another thread, another member equated premarital sex with rape. So quite obviously, this approach is flawed. Not everything is black and white, as the proverb says.
cheezerrox wrote:The other side I've heard most often is that sex before marriage is not sin as long as it's within the Biblically accepted standards of relationships (both believers, consensual, committed, long-term, etc.). Some say that sexual compatibility is important for relationships, and that to avoid the whole area of the relationship until the marriage commitment can create issues. Others say that for people who plan on getting married but are simply waiting for practical reasons (ie, finishing college), then there's no sin as it's the same commitment anyway and it's not simple "fornication."
Of course it's not simple "fornication". It shouldn't be a problem to see the difference between "casual" sex (as a method of relieving sexual tension), and an act of making love between two people who respect each other. It just doesn't fit the picture IMO, that God would condemn such an act in the same way He condemns "casual" sex. Besides, there is a controversy regarding translation, as you wrote yourself below:
cheezerrox wrote:To be even more specifical, the question also revolves around the Greek word "porneria." It's the word often translated as "fornication" in the NASB and some other translations, and is variously translated as "sexual immorality," "harlotry," "whoremongering" and other things depending on the translation. The word itself literally means "harlotry" according to my knowledge (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), but is used to describe a number of different sexual sins. It's used in Matthew 19:9 where Jesus uses it clearly to talk about adultery. Paul uses it in 1 Corinthians 5:1 to refer to a sexual relationship between a man and his father's wife.
This is the issue that I often see. Many Christians with whom I've discussed it, a priori denounce all types of premarital sex as "fornication" without even analyzing where it came from and how. In my language, for instance, the word "fornication" is most closely translated as "blud" - the word "fornicator" from Hebrews 13:4 is translated as "bludnik" in my Bible, and "blud" is usually used to describe crimes related to sexuality, but sometimes, and I emphasize the word "sometimes", to describe premarital sex. So apparently there is controversy whichever language we look at.
http://sh.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blud
cheezerrox wrote:The passages in question are normally Hebrews 13:4, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and the four rules given to the Gentile believers in Acts 15. Also, Deuteronomy 22.13-21 is used, but I believe this is in error, as this is about a girl who claims to be a virgin being given to a man and being found a liar.
Well, these passages don't tell us much about the issue that we're discussing. The second and the third passage condemn "fornication", and regarding the purity of a marriage bed, I'd say it refers primarily to a fidelity of marriage vows, i.e. a condemnation of adultery. Other Bible commentators seem to agree with me: http://bible.cc/hebrews/13-4.htm

cheezerrox wrote:I cannot seem to come to a conclusion on this issue. I don't want any answer that simply makes sense, or one that sounds right, I want one that's Biblical. So, let's talk. What do you guys think?
I think we should, as always, look at the historical context of the verses we interpret. If all forms of sex outside marriage were indeed labelled the same, it would be the only counter-intuitive Biblical law that still applies today, in my opinion. Regarding history... Societies change. At the times when the NT was written, there were hardly any couples that had reasons to wait for marriage. These days you have to finish education and get a job to support your family, which could take until the age of 30, or even more. What if you meet the love of your life at the age of 18? To spend twelve years of your youth abstaining, in the company of the lady that you find physically attractive (among many other things, of course) would be very demanding. Perhaps even torturing. And I don't think it was meant to be that way.

Finally, there are no selfish desires involved, no lust for the flesh itself, nobody's hurt emotionally or physically (on the contrary), it doesn't "ruin relationships" as some present it, so my verdict is that an act of making love between a loving couple fails to qualify as "fornication". Feel free to judge my position, but that's the way I believe things to be.

However, you explicitly stated that you wanted a Biblical answer, so this should be the one that describes the issue in the closest manner - 1 Corinthians 7:1-2. I see it as a suggestion to follow the best practice, and marriage is undoubtedly the best condition to nurture a sexual relationship. "To avoid fornication" or "because of immoralities", as it's usually translated, doesn't mean that any sort of premarital sex is necessarily fornication, but rather that humans are prone to temptations and it may be dangerous if they let their physical desires govern them. The entire paragraph is about sex as a result of physical desires. But again, as I said, a desire to make love doesn't necessarily have to be solely physical. Apparently it was at the time when the book was written.
cheezerrox wrote:Edit: What do you guys think of this article?

http://patriot.net/~bmcgin/pearl-porneia.html
I'm sorry, but I couldn't open the link.
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." Matthew 7:6

"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." Romans 1:20

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Re: Sex before marriage

#3

Post by cheezerrox » Sat May 12, 2012 8:58 pm

Reactionary wrote:Hi Cheezerox. I don't think we should underestimate the power of reason - after all, the scriptural teachings and reason should be compatible. One of the reasons that convinced me that Christianity is true is the fact that the Christian lifestyle has turned out to be the healthiest mentally, physically and spiritually, even after 2,000 years. In other words, when I realize why a certain scriptural law is in power, and that it was made for my own good, of course it's much easier for me to follow it, as I do it with motivation.
Hello, Reactionary, nice to meet you. I've seen many of your posts on here and I'd like to say I have a lot of respect for you. I appreciate your in depth response to this thread.
Also, I would agree with you 100%. My wording may have been off, I didn't mean to undermine the importance or reliability of reason, I simply meant that many things can make sense to us, even as believers, although they may be contrary to God and His Word, so I wanted to stress my caution to be completely faithful to Scripture.
Of course it's not simple "fornication". It shouldn't be a problem to see the difference between "casual" sex (as a method of relieving sexual tension), and an act of making love between two people who respect each other. It just doesn't fit the picture IMO, that God would condemn such an act in the same way He condemns "casual" sex. Besides, there is a controversy regarding translation, as you wrote yourself below:
I must say I agree with you, on your whole position. I am very much leaning to that understanding, as it honestly seems to fit the Scriptures, reason, and my knowledge of God and His Will (however finite and small it may be). I am just very wary and cautious about this as I don't want to teach or practice anything that I'm not totally sure about. I figure being too careful is not a bad thing.
This is the issue that I often see. Many Christians with whom I've discussed it, a priori denounce all types of premarital sex as "fornication" without even analyzing where it came from and how. In my language, for instance, the word "fornication" is most closely translated as "blud" - the word "fornicator" from Hebrews 13:4 is translated as "bludnik" in my Bible, and "blud" is usually used to describe crimes related to sexuality, but sometimes, and I emphasize the word "sometimes", to describe premarital sex. So apparently there is controversy whichever language we look at.
http://sh.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blud
(my apologies for the typo of "specifical," lol. Edited that)
Yes, that's interesting that there's confusion regardless of the specific language. I also agree that it seems a little intellectually dishonest (or just plain not thought out) to just claim that fornication is included in porneria no matter the context or anything. As I showed in the first post, the word was used to mean MANY different sexual sins, yet strangley never specifically premarital sex. Even adultery could be meant, and there was even another word for that. Speaking of which, concerning the next part of your post;
Well, these passages don't tell us much about the issue that we're discussing. The second and the third passage condemn "fornication", and regarding the purity of a marriage bed, I'd say it refers primarily to a fidelity of marriage vows, i.e. a condemnation of adultery. Other Bible commentators seem to agree with me: http://bible.cc/hebrews/13-4.htm
It's very interesting that you brought up the fact that porneria in the context of the purity of the marriage bed refers to adultery, as this reminds me of its use in Matthew 19:9 where the author used it to clearly refer to adultery. Still, there's a bit of confusion on why it would say "sexually immoral AND adulterers God will judge," though. What do you think of that?
I think we should, as always, look at the historical context of the verses we interpret. If all forms of sex outside marriage were indeed labelled the same, it would be the only counter-intuitive Biblical law that still applies today, in my opinion. Regarding history... Societies change. At the times when the NT was written, there were hardly any couples that had reasons to wait for marriage. These days you have to finish education and get a job to support your family, which could take until the age of 30, or even more. What if you meet the love of your life at the age of 18? To spend twelve years of your youth abstaining, in the company of the lady that you find physically attractive (among many other things, of course) would be very demanding. Perhaps even torturing. And I don't think it was meant to be that way.
Again, I must agree. It just doesn't seem to make sense to just say "wait until marriage" no matter what the circumstances. It would seem to create more problems than it solved. I agree that many many youths do not wait long enough to progress to that kind of level in a relationship, speaking as an American youth. But as we said earlier, there's a difference between sexual immorality and premarital sex of any kind. It would seem to create a barrier between the two people, and would simply be forced sexual repression and frustration. Especially in an age where the age of marriage, as you mentioned, is much higher, and contraception is safe and available.
An argument I see used a lot is that "sex isn't simply recreational, it's procreational." This is very much in error, I believe. Obviously, a purpose (a big purpose) of sex is for having children, I don't think anybody would deny that. But to imply that simple recreational sex is in someway "wrong" or not Biblical is flat out wrong. Paul said that a man and wife should meet each other's sexual needs. It's not just about creating life, it's about the union of the two into one flesh. It's not simply recreational, no, but to imply that without it's procreational purpose it's somehow not meeting it's prescribed purpose or meeting God's requirements is just not Scripturally or logically based.
Finally, there are no selfish desires involved, no lust for the flesh itself, nobody's hurt emotionally or physically (on the contrary), it doesn't "ruin relationships" as some present it, so my verdict is that an act of making love between a loving couple fails to qualify as "fornication". Feel free to judge my position, but that's the way I believe things to be.
No, my friend, I must say I agree with your position. I do believe we may have God's Truth regarding this.
However, you explicitly stated that you wanted a Biblical answer, so this should be the one that describes the issue in the closest manner - 1 Corinthians 7:1-2. I see it as a suggestion to follow the best practice, and marriage is undoubtedly the best condition to nurture a sexual relationship. "To avoid fornication" or "because of immoralities", as it's usually translated, doesn't mean that any sort of premarital sex is necessarily fornication, but rather that humans are prone to temptations and it may be dangerous if they let their physical desires govern them. The entire paragraph is about sex as a result of physical desires. But again, as I said, a desire to make love doesn't necessarily have to be solely physical. Apparently it was at the time when the book was written.
I would, again, agree. I would say that Scripture makes clear that we are meant for monogamy, and that sex outside of a real, serious, longterm commitment is wrong, but I also agree that this passage is speaking of explicity premarital sex, or even really hinting at it. I would have to say it says nothing contrary to what we have so far found to be most convincing.
I'm sorry, but I couldn't open the link.
Hm. I'll try and post it again.

Also, Reactionary, one thing that was pointed to me before was the fact that Mary was explicitly said to be engaged and yet a virgin, and it seemed expected in the story of Jesus' conception. What would you say about this?
"The prophet is a man who feels fiercely. G-d has thrust a burden upon his soul, and he is bowed and stunned at man's fierce greed. Frightful is the agony of man; no human voice can convey its full terror. Prophecy is the voice that G-d has lent to the silent agony, a voice to the plundered poor, to the profaned riches of the world. It is a form of living, a crossing point of G-d and man."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel

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Re: Sex before marriage

#4

Post by cheezerrox » Sat May 12, 2012 9:05 pm

Here's the link again. Let me know if it works, everyone.

http://patriot.net/~bmcgin/pearl-porneia.html
"The prophet is a man who feels fiercely. G-d has thrust a burden upon his soul, and he is bowed and stunned at man's fierce greed. Frightful is the agony of man; no human voice can convey its full terror. Prophecy is the voice that G-d has lent to the silent agony, a voice to the plundered poor, to the profaned riches of the world. It is a form of living, a crossing point of G-d and man."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel

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Re: Sex before marriage

#5

Post by Reactionary » Tue May 15, 2012 1:33 pm

Hi Cheezerox,
I'm a little late with responding - I'm a little surprised though, how nobody else has responded in the meantime. If somebody can contribute to our discussion, I hereby invite them to do so.
cheezerrox wrote:
This is the issue that I often see. Many Christians with whom I've discussed it, a priori denounce all types of premarital sex as "fornication" without even analyzing where it came from and how. In my language, for instance, the word "fornication" is most closely translated as "blud" - the word "fornicator" from Hebrews 13:4 is translated as "bludnik" in my Bible, and "blud" is usually used to describe crimes related to sexuality, but sometimes, and I emphasize the word "sometimes", to describe premarital sex. So apparently there is controversy whichever language we look at.
http://sh.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blud
(my apologies for the typo of "specifical," lol. Edited that)
Yes, that's interesting that there's confusion regardless of the specific language. I also agree that it seems a little intellectually dishonest (or just plain not thought out) to just claim that fornication is included in porneria no matter the context or anything. As I showed in the first post, the word was used to mean MANY different sexual sins, yet strangley never specifically premarital sex. Even adultery could be meant, and there was even another word for that.
I agree. Very often I couldn't even initiate a discussion about premarital sex with some fellow Christians, because they would a priori denounce it as fornication, claiming that the Bible says so. But are we sure that it does? It certainly does no harm to analyze what it really says. And to do so requires to know the original words and the meaning they had at the time when they were written. It's far from easy to translate texts from 2,000+ years ago, which we see when we consider how many translations of the Bible there are, and sometimes it's necessary to read a sentence from several translations to fully understand the meaning. An example could be Matthew 19:9, which you brought up below:
cheezerrox wrote:It's very interesting that you brought up the fact that porneria in the context of the purity of the marriage bed refers to adultery, as this reminds me of its use in Matthew 19:9 where the author used it to clearly refer to adultery. Still, there's a bit of confusion on why it would say "sexually immoral AND adulterers God will judge," though. What do you think of that?
Let's look at the different translations: http://bible.cc/matthew/19-9.htm
NIV says "marital unfaithfulness";
NLT: "unless his wife has been unfaithful";
ESV: "sexual immorality";
KJB: "fornication";
Also, "lewdness" and "whoredom" are mentioned as well. So, which is right? I'd say that the verse refers to adultery, that makes most sense IMO.
To paraphrase the verse, it's only allowed to divorce your wife if she cheated on you.
cheezerrox wrote:It just doesn't seem to make sense to just say "wait until marriage" no matter what the circumstances. It would seem to create more problems than it solved. I agree that many many youths do not wait long enough to progress to that kind of level in a relationship, speaking as an American youth. But as we said earlier, there's a difference between sexual immorality and premarital sex of any kind. It would seem to create a barrier between the two people, and would simply be forced sexual repression and frustration. Especially in an age where the age of marriage, as you mentioned, is much higher, and contraception is safe and available.
We agree on that. I think it's a narrow-minded look at things - although I'm certainly not a chronological snob, the fact is that these days we live in radically different conditions than our ancestors, and we can't run away from that. Young people rush into relationships because we were taught that we can get anything we want quickly. Internet and cellphones have made it able to exchange huge amounts of information in a short time. So the brain gets used to working quickly, and it kinda makes it desensitized. When we're used to various stimuli, we feel weird and bored when we're "idle", so we look for stimuli elsewhere. I fight the phenomenon by not using my cellphone whenever I'm outside (in fact I use an old one, without Internet access), and I need to spend at least a few hours per day alone. Especially since I'm an introvert, constantly being "on alert" tires me.

But back on topic - sexual repression can hinder a person seriously. Especially if one doesn't relieve it by him/herself when it reaches the boiling point. There are different people, I realize that, some have a lower sex drive and don't understand what it feels like. I wrote about it recently in another thread - I suggest that you check it out: http://discussions.godandscience.org/vi ... 15#p120660

Regarding contraception, it's needless to say that one has to be aware that it's not 100% efficient, and therefore should be ready to take responsibility if pregnancy occurs.
cheezerrox wrote:An argument I see used a lot is that "sex isn't simply recreational, it's procreational." This is very much in error, I believe. Obviously, a purpose (a big purpose) of sex is for having children, I don't think anybody would deny that. But to imply that simple recreational sex is in someway "wrong" or not Biblical is flat out wrong. Paul said that a man and wife should meet each other's sexual needs. It's not just about creating life, it's about the union of the two into one flesh. It's not simply recreational, no, but to imply that without it's procreational purpose it's somehow not meeting it's prescribed purpose or meeting God's requirements is just not Scripturally or logically based.
My observation is that non-Catholic Christians tend to recognize the importance of healthy sexual life somewhat more. In Catholic circles I often hear that sex is only for procreation, or that it's a sin to touch your partner's sexual organs with your hands ( :shakehead: ), or to perform oral sex, or use condoms... I once heard that condoms were a work of Satan in order to depopulate the Earth. That's ridiculous, if you ask me. They claim that using condoms is a sin, but at the same time they advocate the use of "natural methods". Well, what's the difference, in God's eyes? God knows our hearts. If we don't want (more) children at the moment, He'll know that. So why fool ourselves?

In my opinion, such distortions of Scriptural teachings only gives Christianity a bad name. Many people turned atheist or agnostic because they couldn't bear with the constant pressure and restrictions. Turns out that even when you get married, they don't end, and you still can't enjoy a healthy sexual life. This can leave traumas to people. Constant guilt. Shame. Low self-esteem. Unfortunately, nobody explained to those people that it doesn't have to be so, and that Christianity is about freedom. A freedom from sin, but you don't achieve it by becoming slave to rules that go against the human nature.
cheezerrox wrote:Also, Reactionary, one thing that was pointed to me before was the fact that Mary was explicitly said to be engaged and yet a virgin, and it seemed expected in the story of Jesus' conception. What would you say about this?
Again, I think the customs of the society at the time was important - Old Covenant was then still fully in power if I'm not wrong. Mary conceived Jesus during the period of engagement, and while I don't know if intercourse was tolerated at the time, Mary and Joseph still hadn't consummated their relationship. So it makes sense why Joseph initially thought that Mary committed adultery, if he knew that he wasn't the father. Matthew 1:18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 It is also evident that unfaithfulness during the engagement period was treated as adultery.

Also, there is a good analysis of the verses here: http://bible.cc/matthew/1-18.htm
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." Matthew 7:6

"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." Romans 1:20

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Re: Sex before marriage

#6

Post by cheezerrox » Tue May 15, 2012 3:34 pm

Reactionary wrote:Hi Cheezerox,
I'm a little late with responding - I'm a little surprised though, how nobody else has responded in the meantime. If somebody can contribute to our discussion, I hereby invite them to do so.
No problem, my friend. I'm surprised as well, especially considering there's been over 50 views of this thread, apparently. I would love for more people to jump in, especially someone coming from a different point of view and with a different opinion, so we can make sure we're considering everything and being as accurate as possible. I would encourage anyone to join us.
I agree. Very often I couldn't even initiate a discussion about premarital sex with some fellow Christians, because they would a priori denounce it as fornication, claiming that the Bible says so. But are we sure that it does? It certainly does no harm to analyze what it really says. And to do so requires to know the original words and the meaning they had at the time when they were written. It's far from easy to translate texts from 2,000+ years ago, which we see when we consider how many translations of the Bible there are, and sometimes it's necessary to read a sentence from several translations to fully understand the meaning. An example could be Matthew 19:9, which you brought up below:
Yes, it's definitely a touchy subject, which makes it very difficult to discuss. People are passionate about it, and have spent years believing that it's saying one thing, and have come up with plenty of reasons why that interpretation makes sense. There's nothing wrong with that, but it makes many completely closed off to any other interpretation, regardless of its faithfulness to Scripture. Emotions get involved, egos as well, and it's not easy. I agree, close analysis hurts nothing and no one, when done honestly and accurately, and shouldn't be refused when something's in question.
Let's look at the different translations: http://bible.cc/matthew/19-9.htm
NIV says "marital unfaithfulness";
NLT: "unless his wife has been unfaithful";
ESV: "sexual immorality";
KJB: "fornication";
Also, "lewdness" and "whoredom" are mentioned as well. So, which is right? I'd say that the verse refers to adultery, that makes most sense IMO.
To paraphrase the verse, it's only allowed to divorce your wife if she cheated on you.
I would definitely agree with you on this verse. But as far as Hebrews 13:4, how do we take "the sexually immoral AND adulterers G-d will judge," when the context is speaking of the marriage bed? I would personally say that the meaning is that those who are promiscuous, and those who reject the marriage commitment yet use sex to gratify the flesh, will be judged along with those who are unfaithful in marriage, but what do you think?
We agree on that. I think it's a narrow-minded look at things - although I'm certainly not a chronological snob, the fact is that these days we live in radically different conditions than our ancestors, and we can't run away from that. Young people rush into relationships because we were taught that we can get anything we want quickly. Internet and cellphones have made it able to exchange huge amounts of information in a short time. So the brain gets used to working quickly, and it kinda makes it desensitized. When we're used to various stimuli, we feel weird and bored when we're "idle", so we look for stimuli elsewhere. I fight the phenomenon by not using my cellphone whenever I'm outside (in fact I use an old one, without Internet access), and I need to spend at least a few hours per day alone. Especially since I'm an introvert, constantly being "on alert" tires me.

But back on topic - sexual repression can hinder a person seriously. Especially if one doesn't relieve it by him/herself when it reaches the boiling point. There are different people, I realize that, some have a lower sex drive and don't understand what it feels like. I wrote about it recently in another thread - I suggest that you check it out: http://discussions.godandscience.org/vi ... 15#p120660

Regarding contraception, it's needless to say that one has to be aware that it's not 100% efficient, and therefore should be ready to take responsibility if pregnancy occurs.
Yes, indeed, we really do live in different times and in different positions. I completely agree, nowadays we want what we want immediately. We're so used to instant gratification and constant movement and noise, it conditions us. Cell phones, TV, the internet, iPods, etc. And it's not that these things are BAD, it's just that they permeate our whole lives and it's proven that they change the way our brain works. It affects many areas of our lives, and relationships are sadly one of them. Kids basically see two options, and even the ones who honestly have a heart for G-d struggle with understanding this particular issue, myself included.

And that was a good post. People are definitely different when it comes to their own sexuality, and I think it's important to recognize that. Your interpretation and explanation of James 1:15 was very interesting and got me thinking.

Also, about contraception, I did not mean to make it sound as if contraception is some kind of perfect system or an excuse for being irresponsible. As you said, it's important to remember that it isn't full proof, and I believe that if someone isn't prepared to take responsibility if a pregnancy occurs, then they shouldn't be taking the relationship that seriously and to that level yet anyway. Thank you for pointing that out.
My observation is that non-Catholic Christians tend to recognize the importance of healthy sexual life somewhat more. In Catholic circles I often hear that sex is only for procreation, or that it's a sin to touch your partner's sexual organs with your hands ( :shakehead: ), or to perform oral sex, or use condoms... I once heard that condoms were a work of Satan in order to depopulate the Earth. That's ridiculous, if you ask me. They claim that using condoms is a sin, but at the same time they advocate the use of "natural methods". Well, what's the difference, in God's eyes? God knows our hearts. If we don't want (more) children at the moment, He'll know that. So why fool ourselves?

In my opinion, such distortions of Scriptural teachings only gives Christianity a bad name. Many people turned atheist or agnostic because they couldn't bear with the constant pressure and restrictions. Turns out that even when you get married, they don't end, and you still can't enjoy a healthy sexual life. This can leave traumas to people. Constant guilt. Shame. Low self-esteem. Unfortunately, nobody explained to those people that it doesn't have to be so, and that Christianity is about freedom. A freedom from sin, but you don't achieve it by becoming slave to rules that go against the human nature.
Wow, that's ridiculous, I believe, that people have those kinds of views towards sexuality. I wonder if these people ever read 1 Corinthians 7:4-5 (let alone the Song of Songs, lol). Certainly doesn't seem to be talking about procreation there. And to claim that using condoms is a sin, yet promoting "natural methods," just doesn't make sense to me in the slightest. It sounds more like superstition to me, to be honest. "Oh, well, if you don't want kids, that's fine. Just don't do it that way, G-d doesn't like that one way. He might get mad at you." It's ashame there are those kinds of attitudes in the church.
Again, I think the customs of the society at the time was important - Old Covenant was then still fully in power if I'm not wrong. Mary conceived Jesus during the period of engagement, and while I don't know if intercourse was tolerated at the time, Mary and Joseph still hadn't consummated their relationship. So it makes sense why Joseph initially thought that Mary committed adultery, if he knew that he wasn't the father. Matthew 1:18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 It is also evident that unfaithfulness during the engagement period was treated as adultery.

Also, there is a good analysis of the verses here: http://bible.cc/matthew/1-18.htm
I agree, the customs of the society are important, and that's a good point. And yes, the Old Covenant was still in power, but there isn't anything about premarital sex in the Torah. But, we have to remember, they had the Oral Torah as well; the rabbinical laws. It was on the same level as the Laws in Scriptures, and had the same authority, and premarital sex was included. The Pharisees were chastised for the overbearing laws that they added on to Torah, and for treating them with the same authority (Luke 11:46, Mark 7:8). So that would be a good reason, as premarital sex is a part of rabbinic halacha, according to my memory.
"The prophet is a man who feels fiercely. G-d has thrust a burden upon his soul, and he is bowed and stunned at man's fierce greed. Frightful is the agony of man; no human voice can convey its full terror. Prophecy is the voice that G-d has lent to the silent agony, a voice to the plundered poor, to the profaned riches of the world. It is a form of living, a crossing point of G-d and man."
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Re: Sex before marriage

#7

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed May 16, 2012 6:01 am

What two consenting adults do is between them and God, not anyone else.
They will have to answer to what and WHY it was done.
Love is love and the physical expression of love is a beautiful thing.
Lust and wanton sex is NOT love.

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Re: Sex before marriage

#8

Post by Dallas » Wed May 16, 2012 9:59 am

Here's why I believe God made sex strictly for marriage.

1) Diseases- As you can see nowadays, STD's and other diseases are spread through sex. If everyone would wait for their spouse, we wouldn't have this problem.

2) You don't know if you're going to be with that person in the next year or even day- Sadly, but I see a lot of females who are told "I love you" and give up their virginity to their boyfriend. To find out when she gets pregnant the boyfriend is out of sight. To go further on about this. At one point in time you can find that person very attractive, both emotionally and physically. Then, one day or over a period of time, it's not the same. Don't you think it's better to spend the rest of your life with the person you truly love?

3) It's a gift God gave us, and we turned it into sin- That may not make sense, but it's true. Sex is a pleasure, a healthy pleasure and we act as if it's not. I was listening to Mark Driscoll about sex and he gave six reasons why God created sex. Out of those six reasons, they only seemed to fall in line of marriage.

For final thoughts, God knew what he was doing when He created sex. We don't.

Link to Mark Driscoll Sermon:
http://theresurgence.com/2012/02/25/why ... reates-sex
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Re: Sex before marriage

#9

Post by jlay » Wed May 16, 2012 11:30 am

I think we are looking at the question fundementally wrong.
The term pre-marital sex implies that marriage is a legal contract or a state recognized institution. I would say that sex itself is an act of marriage. We apply all our modern trends such as dating and 'selecting' a spouse. The reality is that sex is not casual. You give something of yourself and take from another. It can not be undone. I was instructed as a youth on how to have 'safe' sex, but was never warned, not once, of the emotional tolls of playing the field. Not even from my parents. I'd say, when we have sex we are entering into marriage. Of course, very few would agree, but emotionally, physically and spiritually we are engaging with another person, whether we mean to or not. The scars are deep. For men it leads to looking at sex as a pleasure center, and objectifying women.
We can tell young people not to have sex because of risk and disease, but we would be better off to build up the sacred union. Sex is looked at in a flippant, dirty and perverted manner, and not reverently. Sex is serious and if you don't think so, ask a woman who has been sexually assaulted.
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Re: Sex before marriage

#10

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed May 16, 2012 12:10 pm

I would add that a "paper" that prove son to be married does NOT "legitimize" the sexual act before God, only a loving commitment between two adults does that.

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Re: Sex before marriage

#11

Post by cheezerrox » Wed May 16, 2012 4:39 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:What two consenting adults do is between them and God, not anyone else.
They will have to answer to what and WHY it was done.
Love is love and the physical expression of love is a beautiful thing.
Lust and wanton sex is NOT love.
I would agree, my friend.
Dallas wrote:Here's why I believe God made sex strictly for marriage.

1) Diseases- As you can see nowadays, STD's and other diseases are spread through sex. If everyone would wait for their spouse, we wouldn't have this problem.

2) You don't know if you're going to be with that person in the next year or even day- Sadly, but I see a lot of females who are told "I love you" and give up their virginity to their boyfriend. To find out when she gets pregnant the boyfriend is out of sight. To go further on about this. At one point in time you can find that person very attractive, both emotionally and physically. Then, one day or over a period of time, it's not the same. Don't you think it's better to spend the rest of your life with the person you truly love?

3) It's a gift God gave us, and we turned it into sin- That may not make sense, but it's true. Sex is a pleasure, a healthy pleasure and we act as if it's not. I was listening to Mark Driscoll about sex and he gave six reasons why God created sex. Out of those six reasons, they only seemed to fall in line of marriage.

For final thoughts, God knew what he was doing when He created sex. We don't.

Link to Mark Driscoll Sermon:
http://theresurgence.com/2012/02/25/why ... reates-sex
Point 1 is important to remember. Responsibility and safety are neglected too often.
I think your second point is a very good one too. I agree with you on this. But, this doesn't apply to all cases. What about mature relationships, where both people are committed and in it for the long haul? Where they know that even if a pregnancy occured, responsibility would be taken? And where they've been together for a significant amount of time and have made the agreement of spending their lives together?
To point 3, I'd agree. Sex is a gift from G-d, and it's only ever bad because of how we use (or abuse) it. The only problem is making the distinction of what the proper boundaries are.
I watched that video, and I must say, I like that preacher a lot. He was very well-spoken and showed true wisdom, and I agreed with him on almost everything. Thank you for sharing that. I agree, the marriage commitment is what G-d wants for us, but is waiting to get to know your partner in a physically intimate way until you're out of college, with a job, with marriage papers, etc. what G-d requires?
jlay wrote:I think we are looking at the question fundementally wrong.
The term pre-marital sex implies that marriage is a legal contract or a state recognized institution. I would say that sex itself is an act of marriage. We apply all our modern trends such as dating and 'selecting' a spouse. The reality is that sex is not casual. You give something of yourself and take from another. It can not be undone. I was instructed as a youth on how to have 'safe' sex, but was never warned, not once, of the emotional tolls of playing the field. Not even from my parents. I'd say, when we have sex we are entering into marriage. Of course, very few would agree, but emotionally, physically and spiritually we are engaging with another person, whether we mean to or not. The scars are deep. For men it leads to looking at sex as a pleasure center, and objectifying women.
We can tell young people not to have sex because of risk and disease, but we would be better off to build up the sacred union. Sex is looked at in a flippant, dirty and perverted manner, and not reverently. Sex is serious and if you don't think so, ask a woman who has been sexually assaulted.
Very good insight, jlay, I appreciate your input. I think I would agree with you on that. It describes the union of woman and man in Genesis 2 by saying the two will become one flesh. Also, I agree, and I think you put it well when you said "sex is not casual."

Just to be clear, in case anyone may be confused, I do not mean to promote the idea that being promiscuous or having sex with anyone is okay. What I'm talking about is a couple, both Christian and committed, who've been together in a long-term relationship and both openly want to be together for life. As reactionary mentioned (as well as the video Dallas posted), people generally get married at around 30 years old nowadays. What if you meet the love of your life at 18? Now, deciding just "when" is long enough and the right time for progressing to this level, I couldn't say. That's between those two people and G-d. But is total abstinence really what's required, or what's best, in a situation like this?
"The prophet is a man who feels fiercely. G-d has thrust a burden upon his soul, and he is bowed and stunned at man's fierce greed. Frightful is the agony of man; no human voice can convey its full terror. Prophecy is the voice that G-d has lent to the silent agony, a voice to the plundered poor, to the profaned riches of the world. It is a form of living, a crossing point of G-d and man."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel

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Re: Sex before marriage

#12

Post by Dallas » Thu May 17, 2012 4:57 am

cheezerrox wrote:

Point 1 is important to remember. Responsibility and safety are neglected too often.
I think your second point is a very good one too. I agree with you on this. But, this doesn't apply to all cases. What about mature relationships, where both people are committed and in it for the long haul? Where they know that even if a pregnancy occured, responsibility would be taken? And where they've been together for a significant amount of time and have made the agreement of spending their lives together?
To point 3, I'd agree. Sex is a gift from G-d, and it's only ever bad because of how we use (or abuse) it. The only problem is making the distinction of what the proper boundaries are.
I watched that video, and I must say, I like that preacher a lot. He was very well-spoken and showed true wisdom, and I agreed with him on almost everything. Thank you for sharing that. I agree, the marriage commitment is what G-d wants for us, but is waiting to get to know your partner in a physically intimate way until you're out of college, with a job, with marriage papers, etc. what G-d requires?
I understand the "what if" question, but what's so hard getting a marriage license? Yet, we have to take to mind what is marriage to God? For example: My parents are divorced, and my dad has been "dating" my step-mom for 11 years now. Legally they're not married, but what about the way God looks at marriage? Should it be under a priest/pastor or the love between the two people? To me, it should be a public confession of love under God. That's just me though.
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Re: Sex before marriage

#13

Post by cheezerrox » Thu May 17, 2012 4:59 pm

Dallas wrote:I understand the "what if" question, but what's so hard getting a marriage license? Yet, we have to take to mind what is marriage to God? For example: My parents are divorced, and my dad has been "dating" my step-mom for 11 years now. Legally they're not married, but what about the way God looks at marriage? Should it be under a priest/pastor or the love between the two people? To me, it should be a public confession of love under God. That's just me though.
That's a good point, and I think I would agree with you. I'm simply saying that the whole message of "complete and total absitinence until the wedding day" may not be accurate, or healthy. Like I said, people get married a lot later in life nowadays, simply because our way of life is different. A couple who're 18 or 20 or something may have the same love for each other and for G-d, and the same kind of commitment to each other and to G-d, and yet have to suppress the physical part of their relationship until after they're done college, once they get whatever degree they're striving for, once they've gotten a job, started their career, planned the wedding, and so on and so forth. And I know that the physical part of a relationship definitely shouldn't be the focus, and I agree whole heartedly, but it is a part, and a legitimate, real one. As Reactionary and PaulSacramento said, in this situation it wouldn't be simple "fornication," it wouldn't be satisfying lusts or using someone. It'd be an expression of love. I just am not seeing this message of abstinence in the Word, and although I don't take sex lightly or want to belittle marriage (as I still see marriage as the goal), I think that it's not really necessary to suppress that part of a couple's relationship.
"The prophet is a man who feels fiercely. G-d has thrust a burden upon his soul, and he is bowed and stunned at man's fierce greed. Frightful is the agony of man; no human voice can convey its full terror. Prophecy is the voice that G-d has lent to the silent agony, a voice to the plundered poor, to the profaned riches of the world. It is a form of living, a crossing point of G-d and man."
- Abraham Joshua Heschel

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