Sex before marriage is bad….REALLY???

really

by Kenneth Justice

~Growing up in Evangelical circles there was one thing I heard all  my life;

–) Sex before marriage – BAD

–) Sex after marriage – Good

Not only do Christian parents, teachers, priests, and pastors tell us that sex before marriage is bad……they also say; ‘Sex before marriage is….a SIN” Of course, statistically we know that the percentage of people who are virgins when they marry is very low.

We also know…statistically….many people enjoy sex before marriage. But of course….just because we ‘enjoy’ something doesn’t always mean it is ‘good’ for us.

Question a Priest or Minister on the subject and they will hurl a bunch of bible verses at you to ‘prove’ that sex before and outside of marriage is a damnable behavior.

But, ‘questions‘ are what The Culture Monk is all about!

So…..does the bible say sex before and outside of marriage is a sin???

Not necessarily…..

Actually, what the bible does say about sex…..at times is very weird.

Here is a short run down;

The bible says,

–) It is okay if  a man rapes a virgin! All he has to do is pay the father 50 shekels of silver…and he’s off the hook! (Deut 21)

–) It is okay for a raped woman to marry her rapist…it is actually biblical! (Deut 21)

–) It is okay for a father to sell his daughter into slavery! (Exodus 21:7)

–) It is okay for a man to marry multiple wives! (Exodus 21:10)

Now those are just a few of the bizarre ‘biblical’ views of sex and marriage….

Quote those verses to a conservative Priest or Pastor and they will feel backed up against a wall and respond, “Well…..those were just cultural things that God allowed back then…..God really doesn’t want those to happen”

Yet, those same conservative Priests and Pastors are the people who rail against the cultural practices of our modern world!

Let me go on the record; I am against rape. I believe rapists should be locked away and the key thrown into a bottomless pit……I guess I disagree with the bible on this one……

So where does this leave us?

–) I believe it is important that for those of us who are religious…..that we are careful to not hurl bible verses at people who have differing views.

–) I believe it is important to be realistic; sex before marriage is a normal part of life in Western Cultures…..instead of making our children feel guilty…why not be more open with our children about sex? This isn’t to say that I’m encouraging young people to have sex before marriage; but it does mean that I’m not going to live in a bubble and pretend that it is the ‘end of the world’ if they are going to hook up.

–) I believe it is important for those of us who are religious, to not get caught up in worshiping particular bible verses that we love, and ignoring bible verses that we don’t love

–) Finally, for those of us who are religious, I believe we need to be more honest about the bible……there are a lot of things in the bible that we need to condemn; like rape, and forced slavery, and genocide……perhaps we have been reading those verses in the bible in the wrong context and we need to take a fresh new look at those troubling portions of scripture.

How can we expect to be taken seriously  if we pretend that genocide, rape, slavery…and other horrendous behaviors that the bible appears to condone…..are okay???

Do you have the courage to admit genocide in the bible is wrong?

Of course…..there is one thing the bible doesn’t mention and I take it as a serious offense that the writers left it out; coffee!

I think I’ll have a cup right now.

Kenneth



Categories: Religion, sex

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

405 replies

    • for your courage in admitting things in the bible are wrong..
      ((((((((hugs)))))
      And for taking a stand….
      thank you.

    • Great read. I am in an interracial relationship and have a child, but am not married and we’re still together….Personally, I feel like the fantasy biblical world is just that….fantasy….I have a hard time believing in anything written by man..

    • Unfortunately people today are retarded and take for granted history. They are naive and think that people always were married in the traditions we accept as common fair today. First, a government issued marriage was never biblically mandated before God to be considered married. All throughout the bible covenants are sealed with blood. Read up on Isaac and his marriage. He took his lady friend into his mother’s tent and had intercourse with her. At that point he was married to her. Why? Because a. they both intended to have a life long relationship and b. sealed that covenant by shedding blood through intercourse. That’s it. Bam! Make your intent known before God and consummate. Forget about our western retreats who stand up in church in point their finger at you. Satan is the accuser of brethren and they’re ignorant. In the eyes of abba our papa your married and those children are legitimate. You don’t need Obama to tell you that. ;)

    • “First, a government issued marriage was never biblically mandated before God to be considered married. ”

      very true. A point that many people don’t realize.

    • Nice, to question the word is good! To use a free mind is better! Keep it up. Truth will always prevail…

    • i like this you made some really good point!!

    • Good morning Kenneth just read your article Sex before marriage is bad….REALLY???… Please try to understand the reality is that we are living in a different time then Deu. 21. This was a time that many were having to fight and kill to stay alive. There were no policemen etc. keeping the peace. Chapter 21 was about a time after a battle. In verse 11 is talking about a woman that has been left behind after the battle.

      I too am against rape or any injustice, As you know Jesus told us to love our enemies and pray for those who abuse us. He lived this. I can’t say I have come to that level of love, but that is true love in it’s fullest.

      As for sex before marriage, as you stated in our society today it is common but single mothers and rampant disease are also. Again I will not judge, but only will love those who are in or have been in sexual relationship outside of marriage. I have done this, and it has caused heartache for myself and the woman when we broke up.

      God has know from the beginning of His creation that people would come to an age were we could read and hear about the ages passed. He knew His Son Jesus would come to earth and teach us what He wants us to do & live, and He wants all humanity to have the choose to either listen and follow the love that Jesus taught or not.

    • Greetings Bro.. Kenneth, I just had to say… that this post “sex before marriage” was absolutely awesome…. I haven’t touched on that topic yet other than being in reference to another one of those sins people tend to “zoom-in” on… However; I have a lot of to say when to those of them who tend to use the bible as some sort of sword of mass destruction. Make no mistake, as for myself… I Love God’s written word (the Holy Bible).. I learn from it daily… but no sooner than someone speaks the words to me “the bible says” my entire persona takes a turn to the not so pleasant side of me… I quickly respond; the fact is, that the bible say’s a whole lot… In fact a single verse can speak several different messages… but the thing about that is… when the bible said it to me; it said what it needed to say to me at the moment in which it said it to me and it was at the perfect time, the perfect way, and even the perfect day…. If we would just let the word do the work could you imagine how much time that would give us to be living in the bliss of obedience to the basics… “Loving like we were all commanded to….. Geez… I thought I just dropped by to say hello and thank you… lol.. Blessings be unto you my brother… and Stay Encouraged!

    • Thanks for the kind comments :-)

    • I really appreciate these thoughts.

    • You know, I never thought to look this up in the Bible, I just always knew that sex before marriage was sinful. Thanks for questioning and giving me new perspective to parent with.

  1. Very true. Not even having sex before marriage but even “cohabitating” before marriage the church frowns upon. Had just finished pre cana classes last weekend and had to take some scan-tron test called “focus” since i finished my sections early it had a section for people who “cohabitate” or live together before marriage. One of the statements was do you agree with why the church frowns upon such an act.

  2. You are going to get into a lot of trouble wid da religion people today. You spelt Bible with a small b and in spite of posing legitimate and reasonable questions you have committed blasphemy(which they also spell with a capital B). You have been a Bad Boy.

    • Carl,

      I just finished reading some comments to my post yesterday,

      One person called me ‘heretical’

      another person said my blog is all about ‘attacking christianity’

      What i find interesting is that i rarely actually say what MY opinion is on a subject…..

      I merely ask questions…..

      This is what concerns me with Christians in America (of which I am one oddly enough)

      If I ASK questions about Christianity….I am now guilty of ‘attacking’ the religion…

      I can’t figure it out….

      And these churches wonder why young people are leaving the church in droves!

    • I don’t think it’s the asking questions that offends people… I think it is the fact that you ‘imply’ the bible has flaws and you agree with the people who question it’s validity. :o/ Sex outside of marriage is wrong. That’s what the bible says. It does not say that people will not enjoy it! What sin ISN’T enjoyable? Really?? That’s WHY we sin, right? Pleasure.
      And yes, God allowed some crazy things in the old testament. Somethings that are far from pretty. Things that we can’t really wrap our mind around! But honestly, that’s kind of irrelevant. We don’t get to use that as an excuse to live a certain way now, because of how it was then. God is GOD. He can do what he wants! He doesn’t owe us an explanation. And when we come to those passages in scripture that are hard for us to explain or that we simply don’t think add up to ‘how’ God should act, we must remember that we don’t get a say! Really. It’s that simple. If we disagree? God trumps, every time!

      Don’t get me wrong, asking questions is CRUCIAL to growing in the Christian faith! And some of your questions were GOOD! We were never meant to not ‘struggle’ with the Word of God. But it seems like you usually come out leaning towards a negative connotation on what Evangelical Christians teach and believe. And yes, I’m sorry, but there are those of us that are going to be offended by that. :( Like I said, not because you question… but because you imply an answer that goes against the Word of God.

      Oh and all those things that you said the Bible ‘condoned’? Come on. If you have read the bible in it’s entirety, surely you know better. You’re misrepresenting, big time. The Bible is an account of what happened. It certainly does not say these things were (or ARE) ‘OK’! What about the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery? (John 8:1-11) He condemned the ‘religious’ people for their actions and thoughts and showed her love and compassion. Of course rape is wrong. God never said it wasn’t.
      I think, truth be told, you just like getting a rouse out of people. I am an arguer too, so I understand this temptation to dig into controversial things.
      But for your own sake, I ask you to be very, VERY careful… we are responsible for the things we say… and when it comes to ‘our’ interpretation of God’s WORD, that’s dangerous ground to tread.
      Jus saying.
      Not trying to be mean and I’m not angry. I just felt that as a Follower of Christ, I had to let you know that your post saddened me.

      You seem to like the word ‘religious’… if you consider yourself a religious person, I think there is much of the Bible that you have missed. Because if there’s one thing Jesus wasn’t, it’s religious. In fact, the only times we read of Him getting angry, was at religious people. Maybe that is where you’re getting hung up. If Christianity is just your religion, than I can see how the Bible would frustrate you.

      And I don’t care what the world thinks… I want them to come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ and His love for them! But it is not my job to make the Bible ‘acceptable’ to them.
      “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” ~ 1 Corinthians 1:18

    • I agree with you Marcia and commend you for standing up for what you beleive. Its a pity that people quote the scriptures out of context. A scripture taken out of context is a pretext. Probably the greatest failure is that we read the Bible with twenty-first century Western glasses. The Bible is an eastern book written between 1500 BC and 100 AD. To properly understand the Bible we must turn off our twenty-first century Western mind-set and enter the world of ancient Middle-East.

      Why is this ancient book is relevant today? Because it deals with people’s hearts. The mankind has not changed much at a deeper level. When people ignore the fundamental truths of the Bible, the society will head towards its own destruction which is clearly mentioned in the Bible. Just because pre-marital sex is so common and enjoyable, does not make it right for a believer to practice it. For non-believers, its their choice. Believers have the same right as non-believers to practice what they believe without being ridiculed, mocked and frowned upon.

      Instant glorification is the mantra of our society today. By promoting pre-marital sex, what people are teaching their kids is that sex outside marriage is perfectly ok. And then we wonder why people are not faithful in marriage relationships.Then we see the emotional (and financial) destruction and pain people endure through marriage break-ups and divorces. Children are the prime victims of divorce. We don’t want to face that fact.

      I want my children to enjoy sex under marriage. We talk about sex openly with our kids and we want them to learn the consequences of pre-marital and casual sex. We try to teach them to have integrity and take a stand, and not to judge others. We also teach them that when they take a stand that they will be hated, ridiculed, mocked, labelled as ‘weirdos’ and persecuted. But what people are really mocking is not us but the scriptures. “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrew 4:12).

    • Thank you for your support and encouragement.

    • “Probably the greatest failure is that we read the Bible with twenty-first century Western glasses. The Bible is an eastern book written between 1500 BC and 100 AD.”

      Then the bible is not relevant at all in today’s world and today’s society and should not ever be taken seriously and revered, let alone be a standard and example in which to live by. End of story, case closed. God I long for the day that insidious filter on mankind’s understanding of God is eradicated and forgotten from existence…

    • I buy your argument, Marcia

    • Very well said Marcia. I am glad I saw your replay :). I was 19 when I was lead to the Holy Bible by a book called Dinner with a Perfect Stranger. I come from a Islamic background (my country ‘Kosovo’ is 90% Muslim) my family (except my dad he’s agnostic), most of my relatives and friends are all Muslim. Before I started to read the Bible I was a mess. I search God in Mosques listing to Hoxha with his teachings. But still it didn’t feel right, it didn’t touch my heart. I had so many questions for God, I just could not find them in there and I fell in despair… I start to gamble at very young age, drink a lot almost every night. I lost faith and for a short time I even didn’t believe that God exists. My soul was in distress. But as God said: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” -Jeremiah 29:13 And so it did happened. Christ touched my heart, I found most of my answers about God by Christ teachings and that little book that lead me to the Holy Bible. I still read other spiritual books, but nothing is close. None can explain Love, Peace, Truth, Kindness etc… as good as the Holy Bible. The Holy Bible changed my life profoundly. And as you said Christianity has little to do with religion. TRUST me I know what religion is! I have direct knowing about it not only conceptual knowledge as many do and then they think they know religion. Truly to know something you have to have direct knowledge about it. Christianity is all about spirituality. You just have to see the big picture that Christ showed us through his word and doings. Thank you Marcia, God Bless you.

    • Wow. What an awesome testimony of God’s grace in your life! Thanks for sharing.

    • It’s never to late Taulant. I’m glad an Albanian talks like this about God and Bible. God bless you!

    • Thank you Becky. One day I believe many other Albanians will humble them selves and see The Truth.

    • thanks for this encouraging words of yours.

    • Great reply Marcia! You’re right on.

    • Thank you. Appreciate the encouragement and support!

    • Bravo Marcia Boland. God Bless you. That was very well stated. I went back and read the scriptures that was quoted here because out of his context I thought I must be missing something. I am very proud of you for standing up for your beliefs in Christ and the Bible. I only pray that one day I can be as knowledgeable and as strong in my faith. I hope God blesses you and you have a wonderful day.

    • Thank you for taking the time to respond, Dwayne. I try not to ‘argue’ biblical things, but I DO believe there are times we need to just say it like it is. Especially if it appears that people are leading others astray. There is much in the bible that is unclear and we must ‘wrestle’ through… but sexual purity is not one of them. When you start reading scripture, it is pretty clear that God intended for us to be faithful to our spouse by way of saving ourselves for them. That’s not to say we are not redeemable if we mess up in that area. But falling into sin is completely different that ‘living’ in sin and attempting to justify it.
      Anyways, ;) I am confident if you are in the WORD, that you are growing in your knowledge and faith daily! God will reward your desire for truth. Thanks again for the encouragement!

    • Those are rules for evangelical Christians, which not everyone is.
      Of course everyone is free to follow whichever religion/irreligion/nonreligion/philosophy/whatever they like, the offensiveness comes in when they try to push it on everybody else.

    • You are right, God’s rules are not mandatory for all people of the earth to follow. You are not bound by God’s Word unless you claim to be a Christian. However, if you DO claim to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (which is the definition of ‘Christian’) then yes, You are expected to live in a way that lines up with His commands – which are laid out in His Word. That is not an ‘evangelical’ thing, it has no denomination boundaries. It is for EVERYONE who claims they are a Child of God. You don’t have to like that and you don’t have to agree with it. But that doesn’t change what is.
      But I agree, that there are MANY people that ‘claim’ to be Christians and desire to ‘push’ Christianity on others. And that is very offensive. I am sorry if you have had that experience. :( It is not right and it does not honor God.
      However, it was my impression that this post was written by someone who claimed to have a relationship with God. And sometimes THOSE people need to be a little offended by being confronted about their luke warmness. You don’t get to live in the middle. You are either for God or against Him. You are absolutely free to choose. But if you’re going to Choose HIM, you choose ALL of Him or NONE. :( That’s hard for a lot of people to swallow. But like I said in my initial response, it is not my job to make the Bible attractive to people. It IS offensive to those who do not live by it and see it as their source of life.

    • ” it is not my job to make the Bible attractive to people”

      Marcia, the problem is that what you’ve been inferring over-and-over in your comments is that “marcia’s interpretation of the various bible verses’ is the unequivocal “RIGHT” interpretation and that any who disagree with your interpretation are unequivocally wrong.

      I tend to ignore Christians like yourself who have ‘open and shut’ attitudes; you do a disservice to Christ because instead of dialoguing with others, you approach the conversation with an attitude that you are ‘right beyond the shadow of a doubt’ and anyone who disagrees with you ‘is totally wrong’……

      I’ve ignored most of your comments because I don’t like to debate bible verses; but go back and reread all your comments and its clear that you’ve constantly written with an attitude of superiority when it comes to your opinion on the various bible verses you’ve mentioned…

      where is the humility in your voice? I’m not seeing any.

      reread my post and notice the phrases I used;

      My article: “I believe it is important that for those of us who are religious…..that we are careful to not hurl bible verses at people who have differing views”

      —-> thus I was inferring that we who are Christians should be GENTLE in our approach and not have an attitude that ‘we know it all’

      My article: “I believe it is important to be realistic; sex before marriage is a normal part of life in Western Cultures…..instead of making our children feel guilty…why not be more open with our children about sex? This isn’t to say that I’m encouraging young people to have sex before marriage; but it does mean that I’m not going to live in a bubble and pretend that it is the ‘end of the world’ if they are going to hook up”

      ——> I clearly said I was NOT ENCOURAGING young people to have sex before marriage

      My article “I believe we need to be more honest about the bible……there are a lot of things in the bible that we need to condemn; like rape, and forced slavery, and genocide……perhaps we have been reading those verses in the bible in the wrong context and we need to take a fresh new look at those troubling portions of scripture”

      ——-> I merely inferred that perhaps certain Christians (such as YOURSELF?) are taking the verses out of context…I never denied the inerrancy of scripture and merely opened up the dialogue rather to consider the possibility that genocide, forced slavery, and other issues in the bible need to be reevaluate from the traditional evangelical points of view.

      Read any of my articles on this blog and you’ll see that I’m constantly writing about demonstrating grace towards others; That is what jesus did;

      —) there he is saving the adulterous woman whom the religious people wanted to stone
      —) there he is loving the leprous people whom the religious people wouldn’t touch
      —) there he is talking to the Samaritan woman whom the religious people wouldn’t talk to
      —) there he is hanging out at parties with sinners and loving them and dialoguing with them

      Christians who think they read the bible perfectly and who don’t approach it with humility come off sounding like you…..as they though they are a know-it-all.

    • I am very sorry that you thought I came off sounding as a know it all… I certainly am not. There are MANY things in scripture that I do not fully understand and I am humbled continually as God brings new truths to light through His holy Spirit. But frankly, most of your posts that I read, make people that don’t want to commit to Christ, and desire to live by a ‘feel good’ kind of Christianity, are the ones that are encouraged by your words and applaud you. So yes, I’m sorry, but that concerns me. I am very open about MANY things, but if you allow yourself to believe that there are no black and whites in scripture then you create for yourself a very shallow faith that costs you nothing. And Jesus was very clear – following Him would cost EVERYTHING. It is not my desire to anger you, that’s why I stopped following your blog – because I knew we would probably butt heads alot and I didn’t see any point in that. But I felt that if people were going to comment on a post I had already made, than I owed it to them to acknowledge that…
      But I will finish with this comment and leave you alone.
      Grace is a WONDERFUL thing. I agree whole heartedly that the world needs SO much more of it… many Christians don’t give near enough of it. But there are also those that wink at sin and figure it’s no big deal, that’s what God’s grace is for. And they are just as grossly wrong as the former. As for using scripture out of context, I am sorry that you feel that way, but I am quite confident I have not misrepresented what God was saying in the verses I have posted. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”
      I am sorry if I came off harsh, it was NEVER my intent. At no point throughout this thread have I felt angry or vindictive. I simply felt compelled to defend a God that I love and the truth of His Word.
      I pray that at some point you will be able to see where I was coming from.

    • By those standards, Christians should sell everything they have, give the money to the poor and follow Jesus.
      I don’t see that happening, lol.

    • Notice that 2 Timothy 3:16 does not say “All Scripture is inerrant.”

      Notice that 2 Timothy 3:16 does not say “All Scripture is literal.”

      Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the Bible is inerrant. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the Bible must be read literally. In fact, 2 Corinthians 3:6 says, “the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.”

      If some groups of Christians want to believe that the Bible is inerrant, and is to be read literally, that is their right. But they should understand that this is their own human belief. It is not taught by the Word of God.

    • Yes, in fact, it DOES say that the Bible is inerrant. 2 Timothy says “ALL scripture is GOD Breathed”.
      2 Peter 1:21 also makes the same claim.
      ” For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

      God wrote it, ordained every single word of it, through human hands. So either the bible is inerrant, or God is flawed. It IS your (and everyone’s) freedom to believe as you wish. But you can’t take both. If the Bible is not all truth, than God is not all truth. And if that is the case, then why on earth does He deserve our worship?
      I know I told the writer of this post that I would stop responding to comments so he wouldn’t feel like he was being attacked. But I just couldn’t be silent on this one. No, the bible is not always ‘literal’, I will agree. And it takes searching the scriptures and the working of the Holy Spirit for our eyes to be open to deeper truths hidden within it at times. But for the life of me I can’t even imagine why anyone would even want to be a ‘Christian’ if the foundation of our faith is suppose to be the Bible and we can’t count on it’s validity.

    • It says “God-breathed.” It does not say “literal,” nor does it say “inerrant.”

      “God-breathed” is not a synonym for “literal” or for “inerrant.” In fact, the very mention of “breath” makes it clear that there is something deeper conveyed by this verse. If we read it literally, it makes no sense: the Bible is not literally “breath.” It is filled with the spirit of God, which is the spiritual meaning of breath.

      “Literal” and “inerrant” are human terms, not Biblical ones. They are human attempts to grasp a far greater reality: the reality that the Word of God is inspired by God (a more contemporary translation of “God-breathed”).

      God is capable of much more than our human-derived ideas of literalism and inerrantism.

      Even the greatest human literature has deeper meanings that speak of the human mind, heart, and soul. Most of what happens in Shakespeare’s plays never actually happened in any literal sense. Yet many generations of people have seen something of the human soul in his plays.

      The Word of God is far greater than the greatest human literature. And like the greatest human literature, it does not require literal, historical accuracy in order to convey deeper, divine truth.

      2 Corinthians 3:5-6: “Our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.”

      You are welcome to believe that “God-breathed” means the same as “literal” or “inerrant.” I would simply ask that you recognize that this is a human idea, not one that is taught by the Bible. If it helps you to trust the Bible, that’s great!

      However, divine truth is infinitely greater than what appears on the (literal) surface to our finite, human eyes. God is not concerned with literal “inerrancy.” God is concerned to touch us with divine truth flowing through the letter.

      I do not expect you to change your beliefs. They are clearly quite dear to you. However, for others who wish to be able to believe the Bible without confusion from the literalism that has in recent centuries crept into various Christian views of the Bible, you will find a deeper view in this article:

      Can We Really Believe the Bible? Some Thoughts for Those who Wish they Could

    • My sentiments exactly.

      In reply to your comment above, Marcia says “I simply felt compelled to defend a God that I love and the truth of His Word”, and in reply to fennario, “…if you DO claim to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (which is the definition of ‘Christian’) then yes, You are expected to live in a way that lines up with His commands – which are laid out in His Word.” Again, in both cases, the implication is that her interpretation of His word is the only valid one. I find this completely offensive.

      She also seems to forget that Christ didn’t write any of the bible himself, so all representations of His word have already been filtered through the minds of others, which rather begs the question. Unless it’s a case of God’s-mouth-to-her-ear, how can she possibly know that she’s got it right?

      I no longer go to church because these days, it seems to be a gathering of closed minds, but I did have a comprehensive religious upbringing (Anglican boarding school) and my parents were most Christian people i know – by act and deed rather than lip service. Christianity to me means tolerance, humility – and love in the widest sense of the word, not love tempered by self-righteous patronage for those with opposing opinions on biblical interpretation.

      And as for telling Dwayne that God would reward him – isn’t this just a tiny bit presumptuous on her part?

    • Helen,

      Thanks, we are on the same page :-) those two quotes you listed were exactly the two that made me think it was time to come back to this article and comment again…..

    • The Bible can be, and IS bent to many peoples’ agendas. Look at all the people who cite Leviticus re: homosexuality and ignore the fact that Leviticus also forbids wearing blended fabrics. If these people were truly following the Bible, the women couldn’t wear bras since nylon spandex, poly cotton, etc., would be verboten.

      Then there is another school of thought that says the New Testament negates the old Testament laws, and Jesus does speak about marriage, divorce, fornication, etc. He also states that second marriages after divorce are adultery. (Mark 10: 11, 12) Still, a lot of the people who complain most loudly about others having sex out of wedlock think nothing of divorcing and marrying for a second and third time. Nor would I deny them the right to do so, I just find the hypocrisy absurd.

      The Bible is full of information that’s open to interpretation (“Mistranslated, it really means…”, “It was appropriate in those times, but…” etc.) as well as contradictory information. But the overarching message of Jesus seems to be about compassion, not judging others, and not being a hypocrite. I don’t claim to speak for Culture Monk, but I suspect that’s where he’s coming from. I certainly wouldn’t argue the “no true Scotsman” angle. ;)

    • I think a major problem with christianity is how it is spread…it gives no room for people to be themselves…they have to somehow change their entire culture to try to fit themselves into tiny crevices set apart for them in this holy book. It is what I call spiritual imperialism; either you believe in the book or perish in eternal damnation. That is the reason I don’t like the book…it forces a foreign culture on people who already have their rich rewarding way of life. Personally, I don’t think their is any religion that has a monopoly of truth or morality. Most religions preach about peace, and love and unity of man-kind. It is time to spot all these wars and arguments about who the true messenger is and thing about the MESSAGE!! I can guarantee you that if you look at the core of budhism, Islam, Christianity, native spiritual systems, u will find the same message of peace, love & unity.

    • Thank you for taking the time to agree with me as Sisters in Christ!

    • I didn’t think what you said sounded like a ” know it all “, in fact you stated the Truth of God’s Word humbly and graciously. The difference between you and the writer of this blog is that he has a religion and you have a relationship with Jesus,Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

    • Thanks for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully about this Marcia! I couldn’t agree more, on all counts. I’m grateful to have ya as a sister in Christ who is courageous, articulate and lovingly engages people in discussions on Scripture….keep speaking the truth in love!

    • Thank you, Friend! Appreciate the support. It is encouraging to know that I am not alone in my stand!

    • So much respect for you! Thank you for sharing, Marcia!

    • Marcia thank you.. and i want to mention -as Christian Orthodox- that God’s orders are made to protect us..and of course are not compulsory…for example the sex before mariage…with this order tries to teach us the continence…and the grace of God that people takes if they obey..we should not be selective to the orders of God…if we love God noone and nothing (fashion,modern world) would stop us from doing His will….

    • Absolutely. God never sets rules in place without intending them for our benefit and protection. But like any child, we always have the option to disobey and deal with the consequences.

      1 Corinthians 10:23
      New Living Translation (NLT)
      23 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.

      I do, however think that we can love God and still mess up or miss His will. But those times should be the exception, and ALWAYS followed by repentance/ acknowledgement of our sin and turning away from it. Christians are not above temptation. I know in my weakness, I have often failed Him in many ways… but He is SO faithful to pour out His grace and redemption! :)

      Thanks for taking the time to share/respond. It is always a joy to discuss spiritual things!

    • Thank you, Tessa. It is such a blessing to see all these responses and know that I have brothers and sisters all over the country/world that are willing to take a stand for the Word of God.
      It is never my desire to get into ‘arguments’ about Christianity… I don’t think that really brings any glory to God. But there are definitely times when people need to be reminded that if they ‘claim’ to be in the Light, then they must live by it and bear it’s fruit. I pray that I am able to do that in a way that is loving but without compromising truth.
      Appreciate your response and support!

    • I like your answer Marcia, Also the Bible says ‘A man shall leave his mother and father and cleave only to his wife.” You cannot cleave to more than one person. Also no sex before marriage protected people from disease, and women from being left taking care of children by themselves since there was not much a woman could do to make money. Also this helps bonding, and be less likely to part.

    • Absolutely. I agree with all of that! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • polygamous societies have existed for millennium, long before the bible even came into being…and they functioned..and in some places they still do…so, I can tell you that you can cleave to more than one person. Marriage does not protect you from those diseases that you are referring to….only the man n wife can protect each other if they decide the will remain faithful. At the end of the day, its not whether u abstain or engage in sex before marriage, its about two people knowing where they stand in each other.

    • Well stated Marcia. I think that often things in the Old Testament are read but not pondered and understood. For example, “it is okay if a man rapes a virgin! All he has to do is pay the father 50 shekels of silver…and he’s off the hook! (Deut 21) “It is okay for a raped woman to marry her rapist…it is actually biblical!” (Deut 21).

      The truth is the rapist wasn’t off the hook. Deuteronomy 22 “Then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.” In the day the rapist was forced to care for the woman and her offspring for the rest of his or her life. Today the rapist gets a couple of years in jail and no further responsibility. Society is left to pick up the tab and the pieces. In many ways I can see that the Old Testament way was a better deterrent and perhaps better punishment. A life sentence rather than a three year sentence.

      Some other things that were mentioned should be taken in the context of what Jesus said centuries later about divorce, “He said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way…’” It’s that the Lord condoned somethings, it’s just that He adapted the Law to avoid having to cleanse the earth again.

    • I wanted to comment too, but there were sooo many comments already :) Hard to find the bottom… Marcia? I think it was just too much at once. stevepage made a very straightforward comment. I’m not judging as much as presenting how I see it. Culturemonk? I think your blog is awesome all in all. I absolutely love it when I have to think :) Will follow now…

    • Great. Just great. So the rapist gets a life sentence, and so does the woman too, who all this time has had no voice, no say in the matter. No choice in being forcibly raped, no choice in her father making her marry the man who has put her through unthinkable trauma and no choice in getting away from him for the whole rest of her life. How is this acceptable in any field of thought? HOW???? I am so thankful for today’s feminists in today’s society. They think of her, that poor insignificant woman, and fight for justice for her and protect her from biblical literalists who have enslaved and brainwashed women into accepting the unacceptable for centuries.

    • You missed the point completely.

      And you also missed the fact that no Christian advocates what was in a law that was given only to ancient Israel.

      You are a fanatic and that’s never a good thing.

    • MOST BALANCED AND LIFE-GIVING REPLY!!!! Thanks Marcia!

    • Just what is a “life-giving” reply and is there concrete evidence of this phenomenon?

    • thank you Marcia. u spoke my mind. the mis-interpretation of the Bible in the write up was so unbelievable.

      TO THE AUTHOR OF WRITE UP
      a lot of people that disagree with the Bible and bring up tatoo,mixing of materials,slavery etc have neber actually read the Bible,at least not with the help of the Holy Spirit. They just parrot something they heard someone else say in mockery. Someone else that also made some assumptions and misinterpretations

      anyone that reads the teachings of Christ can never believe some of the nonsense people claim Christianity supports.

      The old testament is a record of history. The new testament tells us how to live.

      Anyone that wants to claim the Bible is this or that. Should look at the history of their own nation .

      America supported slavery and treated people like sub humans because of skin difference.

      America kills unborn children in the name of “pro choice”

      America went to Vietnam and Iraq for selfish reasons.

      should we now condemn the whole nation and everyone on it.

      whether culture has accepted pre-marital sex or not does not make it right.

      in another 30 years the age of consent could drop to 11. Discussions are already happening in some countries that 16 is too high and kids are “more mature” than when that limit was set.

      Within the next 3o years a generation will come that sees nothing wrong with incest and will call us crazy for ever thinking so. Doubt it? HBO show Game of Thrones is already making it look normal and preparing people for it.Soon more shows will pop up with incestous but loving couples. Will it be right even if society says so?

      Just cos something is popular does not make it right.

      i believe sex should be ONLY in marriage between man and wife. That way :
      no comparisons
      no jealousy
      no suspicison
      no flashbacks when in the moment
      no regrets
      it is unique cos u have never given it to anyone else
      no need to go test yourself cos its only one person

      sooo many reasons. and those are just logical reasons, aside soul ties etc

    • Oh and all those things that you said the Bible ‘condoned’? Come on. If you have read the bible in it’s entirety, surely you know better. You’re misrepresenting, big time.

      Maybe that’s the point. Bible thumpers filled with judgment misquote the bible All. The. Time. to prop up their practice of scorn and exclusion over love and inclusion.

    • andrealyeska,

      thank you :0)

    • I agree with the correction you make to the blog Marcia Boland Photography; CM i think you do a good job with facing issues, but if you make such statements and justify them with picking out a few verses, your intent being to suggest to the person reading that this is what was allowed by God, I don’t know what to say.

      If you are a student of the bible, which I assumed, you would know that the acts which were committed as you cited had big repercussions, some even affecting US today. Come on, if you say you are asking questions, don’t answer and give suggestive intentions to the lest knowledgeable readers. W

    • Vwoods,

      What specifically have I said that is “wrong”?

    • I hate this part of having to go back and read the entire post again:) Will definitely respond after I get some rest…:))

    • ;)

      If u decide to re-read it, start w/ this thought; I wrote the article as a means of calling for greater grace to be demonstrated toward others :-)

    • I found it and I totally am in agreement with the grace, trust me, if it wasn’t for grace I’d be dead by now. But to suggest as you did in the verses you quoted, that it is fine to indulge in sex before marriage is irresponsible. Not b/c we do something makes it right. Almost as if are we just making up the rules as we go along now? That’s an immoral society and points to anarchy.
      It’s fine asking questions and theorizing, but humans are bent to be pushed by suggestions and i think you know that very well my friend.
      I won’t go into the betrayals, diseases, loss of morals, diseases, kids outside of wedlock etc. that has morphed into an epidemic as a result.
      Sorry for getting off like that, I’ve had to deal with a lot of sorry cases. Cheers.

    • Good thoughts,

      So where did I suggest that it is fine to indulge in sex before marriage?

      The verses I quoted were used to merely point out that the bible is very complex when it comes to the subject of sexuality and other serious issues…….and that many people reduce complex biblical issues into ‘small’ little boxes in which they then propagate their own persona convictions and beliefs

    • KJ it’s words and we know you do the manipulation bit; it’s a writing style and it is the powers of suggestion for eg: you write:
      “So…..does the bible say sex before and outside of marriage is a sin???

      Not necessarily…..” what exactly does”not necessarily” means? Anyone needing a little push will take that as yes.

      Wait until you have a kid and use those words and see how fast they run to do what their mom told them not to:))

    • Vwoods,

      1) well I stand by what I wrote; ‘necessarily’ is a perfect adjective since there is no specific verse in the entire bible that says “Sex before marriage is a sin”.

      —) There are verses that say its a sin for a brother to see his sister naked
      —) There are verses that say its a sin if men cut the sides of their hair
      —) There are verses that say its a sin if you don’t wash your hands before you eat
      —) There are verses that say its a sin if you eat pork

      But there is no verse that says, “its a sin if you have sex before marriage”

      You say the ‘the power of suggestion’, once again what my article is suggesting is that Christians throughout the western world have gone overboard on being judgmental and condemning people. Its a fact. Its why the Christian Church is shrinking in the United States, not growing. Children raised in the church see the hypocrisy of their parents who say, “Sex before marriage is a sin” yet those same parents watch movies filled with utter violence that the apostles would be ashamed of.

      2) who said I don’t have children?

      In all things I believe as a Christian I am called to demonstrate Grace. Hell fire and condemnation is what Jesus used against the religious hypocrites; he did not use hell fire and brimstone toward the people, toward the people getting drunk, toward the people having sex outside marriage……go back and read the bible and see that in dozens and dozens of interactions with the religious teachers (our modern day equivalent would be pastors and priests) Jesus constantly condemned the religious teachers…….but he demonstrated grace toward the laity. This is why Paul says that those who are leaders in the church, “Are held to a higher standard” they will be MORE accountable for their actions than the laity.

    • I don’t really think this blog board can accommodate this back and forth. you can take it offline if you so desire, doesn’t really matter to me if you choose to, but you have a stance, i respect that not agree though.

      Kids? good for you:))

    • I totally agree with ya, I don’t use this blog to argue theology at all….besides, I rarely meet anyone who is willing to read any theology to the point of having a discussion about it :-) I appreciate your thoughts though.

    • great. i think my email is on my blog somewhere:)) but don’t feel pressured to drop by if you are happy with your train of thought:)). Keep pressing.

    • what happen to the post? it’s gone.. I just visited the blog.

    • Wowee…Totally agree with you, Marcia. You’re awesome, and I like your photography. :)
      I find it funny when unsaved believers try to understand and come up with conclusions from a book that they don’t even believe.

      1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

      The following commentary is from Adam Clarke’s commentary. The words in quotations are Greek words, I can’t seem to put in the actual word. So, I’ll just leave it the way WordPress corrected it.

      But the natural man] “qucikov,” The animal man-the man who is in a mere state of nature, and lives under the influence of his animal passions; for the word “quch,” which we often translate soul, means the lower and sensitive part of man, in opposition to “nouv,” the understanding or rational part. The Latins use anima to signify these lower passions; and animus to signify the higher. The person in question is not only one who either has had no spiritual teaching, or has not profited by it; but one who lives for the present world, having no respect to spiritual or eternal things. This “qucikov,” or animal man, is opposed to the “pneumatikov,” or spiritual man: and, as this latter is one who is under the influence of the Spirit of God, so the former is one who is without that influence.

      The apostle did speak of those high and sublime spiritual things to these animal men; but he explained them to those which were spiritual. He uses this word in this sense, 1Co 3:1; 9:11; and particularly in verse 15 of the present chapter: He that is spiritual judgeth all things. {1Co 2:15}

      But the natural man-The apostle appears to give this-as a reason why he explained those deep spiritual things to spiritual men; because the animal man-the man who is in a state of nature, without the regenerating grace of the Spirit of God, receiveth not the things of the Spirit-neither apprehends nor comprehends them: he has no relish for them; he considers it the highest wisdom to live for this world. Therefore these spiritual things are foolishness to him; for while he is in his animal state he cannot see their excellency, because they are spiritually discerned, and he has no spiritual mind.

    • Hi Kenneth,

      Good piece. I’m more into answers than questions. But asking questions is good, too–especially if you’re looking for answers.

      I have discovered that the basic beliefs of most Christians are not actually taught in the Bible. In fact, some of them (such as “faith alone saves”) are specifically denied in the Bible (see James 2:24). Most “basic” Christian beliefs (such as a “Trinity of Persons”) were originated by some Christian or group of Christians who thought they understood what the Bible was talking about . . . but really didn’t understand it.

      This discovery surprised me at first. I thought that “Christian” beliefs would be taught somewhere in the Bible. But most of them just . . . aren’t. For example, the Bible doesn’t say sex before marriage is bad . . . at least, not for men. The idea that sex before marriage is a sin for everyone is a more modern interpretation.

      Also, the Bible never says it must be taken literally. That idea was never widely accepted among Christians until after the Protestant Reformation, 1,500 years after Christianity began.

      Still, the people who believe in these “basic Christian beliefs” think they are in the Bible. So if you disagree with them, they think you’re attacking the Bible. You’re not. You’re disagreeing with their beliefs.

      About sex before marriage, I generally think it’s not such a good idea. But I’m realistic that many, if not most people will do it anyway–and I don’t think this means they’ll burn in hell. The reason I think sex before marriage is not such a good idea has little to do with it being a “sin.” It has to do with how human psychology and biology work. If you jump into bed with someone too soon, you’ll tend to be driven by biology rather than by psychology. And biology is not very effective at keeping human relationships together.

      I wrote about this in one of my more popular blog posts:

      Beyonce and Jay-Z Reveal the Secret: How to Start a Lasting Marriage

      Anyway, keep on questioning! Like sex too early in a relationship, answers that come too early tend to be superficial, and not very sound for the long term. Better to get some experience and cast the net wide in order to find answers that are broadly based and actually make sense.

    • I may be a “fanatic” Stevie, but my fanaticism is harmless. Don’t forget the object of your fanaticism has caused millions upon millions of people’s suffering in the past and present and all in unimaginable ways. The worst that my fanaticism has done is maybe kept a show running longer than it would have otherwise. One of the best detective shows created, Cold Case. And careful with your backhanded insults from now on. You are less of a Christian by letting me get to you.

  3. Spot-on. If we see the Bible as a series of stories, not necessarily precepts, perhaps it wouldn’t be so confusing? Some of my Christian friends just fall back on “what Jesus said.” Of course, my understanding is that he hung out with prostitutes and hated the marketplace. Details like that also seem to get lost in the fog of self-righteousness. Keep asking questions. You have a brain, God-given or not, and questioning is one of the best ways to use it ;)

  4. In response to the title alone… Says WHO???
    And I love your little coffee note at the end of your posts.
    I’ve always wondered why religious people get all put out when they are questioned on the subject (like this one) and don’t answer it. Interestingly, I am currently listening to a song than says “…sex with you is incredible…” Pretty funny.

  5. kenneth,

    I’m a Christian, and i don’t feel attacked at all. and let me say this: Christians need a swift kick in the ass more than most because of the extreme level of hypocrisy that its come to. I love God! I don’t go to church though– because of church folk. Honestly, some of the worst experience of my deeply religious life have happened in the church. Culture monks, like yourself, speaking out against contradiction is really the only way the church as a whole will understand how we are viewed. If certain Christains can’t see that, then those are the folks your talking to.

    keep going, Kenneth.
    Domica is listening

    p.s. typing on my phone; excuse grammer mistakes!

    • Domica….

      I think you represent a lot of people….men and women who are Christian but don’t attend church because of the multiplicity of problems that exist in the church…..

      I only wish church leaders, pastors, priests, etc would realize they are turning more people away from church then they are attracting

    • I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
      – Mahatma Gandhi

    • Absolutely…theres 2 big of a disjuncture exists btwn christ n christians.

  6. If by bad you mean good. Just kidding. Big ups to abstinence!!!

  7. well I do seem to enjoy reading your posts with my morning coffee…you get the cogwheels of my mind moving… First the compilation of the Bible especially the New Testament was a combination of selections from scrolls and oral traditions that were populist or political. (The church is an arm of the government in that is one of a set of controls they use to control a population.) Many scriptures were dropped from the Bible for example find me the Gospel of Mary Magdalene in any existing Bible, Second point the Bible was written by man and because of that was influenced by the ideals of the men who wrote it. There are many contradictions in the Bible… “Go forth and multiply” or in other words hump like bunnies… and then several references to remaining chaste. Don’t have sex… so which is it…? Neither… Sex is an instinctual drive and a powerful one, early religious leaders realized that they had to put some controls on peoples behaviour or people would give in to all their sexual urges and while sex is in general healthy it also has a very unhealthy dark side to it it’s that dark side of sexual nature that needed to be curbed… In part due to religions decline we are seeing that dark side of sexual nature rear its ugly head more frequently in society…Pornography was once a thing for dirty old men and arrived in discrete packaging and was watched in secret, now not only is it socially acceptable to watch but also to make with everyone and their grandmother posting pornographic videos of themselves. The Bible gives people definite boundaries and without boundaries we will indulge those cravings that ought not be given into. As for living out of wedlock this was actually a common practice in the time of Christ and before, The reason the church is against living together out of wedlock I believe has more to do with revenue stream and virtual monopoly on the business of marriage. For the record I am a minister’s son, but you will never find me stepping into a church because of the hypocrisies that exist within the walls… I do not deny the existence of a God, or Christ, or Allah…(I think that the Gods of all the major religions are actually the same God and we are the ones that screwed it up… the doctrines and message of all the major religions are too similar for it not to be the same God in my mind… basically what I am saying is Man has and always will manipulate the word of God for their own purpose…

    • “he Bible gives people definite boundaries and without boundaries we will indulge those cravings that ought not be given into”

      very good point….where things get sticky is when one denomination argues with another about what is a good boundary and what is a wrong one…..

      I have a Baptist acquaintance who believes it is a sin to drink cough medicine…because there is alcohol in it! He is a Vietnam war vet and his radical Baptist beliefs have led him to condemning all of his siblings….(he’s condemned me too but i’m not his sibling)….after he told his siblings repeatedly that they were all going to hell they finally got sick of hearing him preach at them and they just stopped talking to him……he hasn’t seen his siblings in nearly 7 years…..

      its so sad the way Christians (and other religions) try to force their religion down people’s throats and wreak so much havoc and misery in people’s lives.

    • Cults are known for brainwashing and alienating/isolating their members from friends and family.

    • it’s easier to see in black and white than the many spectrums of grey and people tend to do what is easiest…

    • I can only say: ‘You’re so right!’ I believe there is an existence out there who people want to give a name by naming it God or Allah or any other name. I think the right name for it is ‘Love’. That’s the only thing that’s important in life, love. Love each other and yourself…

  8. Very interesting post! I agree that you have to be careful not to hurl Bible verses to others because there is a verse that can support or not support any topic you want to be supported or not supported. A while back on FB someone brought up a few Bible verses about being gay and then I went and found some that seemed to support it. It’s all about interpretation. I have my doubts about the Bible being completely truthful in the way my God seems to be. I never felt like my God was that mean and vengeful and therefore this throws the validity of the whole Bible into question for me. I hate it for women back in the day that could have a rapist pay off their father for taking their virginity. Wow. Father supported prostitution!

  9. We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people. I am thankful for a perfect Creator and an eternal heavenly destiny.

  10. I agree with you, youth need to know. I wrote a similar article on my blog, here is the link>>> http://lifegiva2.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/its-either-in-the-name-of-love-or-fun/

  11. “In my Father’s [Maxell] House there are many mansions” – from my Coffee-Lovers Translation Bible. (I have to admit a weakness here — I prefer Folger’s Brand.) LOL! Good coffee reading post this morning, Kenneth.

  12. The bible was written many many many moons ago and then many more. Times were different. It was a different society. The Old Testament should not reflect how we should live our life today. I seriously doubt that any father would take 50 pieces of whatever to have his daughter raped.

    However, the main focus should be on the New Testament and documented teachings of Christ.

    I’ve always thought the Bible portrayed two very simple things, the OLD and then the NEW. Kinda like “this is how it was, but let’s move on with the times and this is how it is now.”

    I would like to hope that my son saves himself for at least someone who he truly loves, at the very least. I know I wished I did. However, I know it would be VERY hard to remain a virgin until the right person comes along to marry because people are getting married alot older now. Not at 14 or even as young as 12 like in the bible days.

    I actually used to know a Christian man about 15 years ago, who was still a virgin at 29 and let me tell you, he was scarier than any promiscuous man I knew. He had alot of pent up sexual urges and he was very, hmmm…how do I put it…he was very pushy. I never did actually sleep with him because when we got even close to that he just got very weird.

    • kinda makes you think of “the 40-year-old virgin” right? lol no wonder they all thought he was a serial killer haha; i think some can wait and that’s fine; others not so much. there just shouldn’t be the pressure to have it or not to have it. i totally agree with you on the old versus new stuff. i hardly paid attention to the old testament because of that. i trusted the new much more.

    • The Old Testament was meant to be read in the original Hebrew (called the Tanakh), along with the Commentaries, Torah, etc. It’s a lifelong study. The OT becomes nonsensical on its own and poorly translated.

  13. As for your main topic here, I didn’t even kiss my husband until our wedding day and I think it’s great! If you’re looking for a committed relationship and not just a one night stand, then my personal belief is that a couple should wait.

    Here’s my reasoning: There is so much focus around sex in a relationship, that it leaves very little time to actually become friends with that person. It’s the friendship that will keep the marriage together, not the sex. If the foundation of a marriage is built upon sex, what will happen as looks fade and age takes it’s course?

    Marriage needs a strong foundation. Therefore, building a friendship (in my opinion) should be a couple’s top priority. My husband and I first loved each other for who we are, not for how we perform.

    • Before someone asks – I should also add, as most people in the modern world, I had my share of sexually founded relationships prior to meeting my husband. Those relationships are what taught me this lesson. Again, this is just my opinion. After all, that’s what Culture Monk is all about. Thanks for the post!

  14. Here I thought I was alone in feeling like this! Thanks for posting it made my day. :)

  15. The Bible doesn’t say sex before marriage is wrong in a sentence. On the other hand if you look at scripture as a whole (something both sides of discussions like these needs to do) then you seem to get that sex is for marriage – the real question is what is the meaning and point of sex? What is the purpose? Is it to be in the context of marriage or is it a stand alone thing? That’s a lot bigger thing than hurling bible verses – in either direction.

    • Justin,

      even your sentence ‘look at scripture as a whole’ is wrought with problems since Roman Catholics and Protestants do not agree on what books are supposed to be included in the canon…..

      biblical discussions are always tricky

    • Haha well that’s true enough although not so much with this subject. There is nothing in either “version” that would change what I said above. Really I guess the first question might be “do what the scriptures (as we have them today – to be technical) say matter?” If someone answers no because they were written long ago and don’t matter now etc, then really that’s kind of it.

      What frustrates me is that many of the people who say yes end up using only the parts that they like. If the answer is yes then when we take any question to the scripture (including sex) we have to look more holistically instead of just cherry picking the scriptures that agree with what we already think. That’s intellectually dishonest. When you just pick the scriptures that make your point, or manipulate what they say to make your point, then you can use them for anything – and they have been used for just about anything.

      Biblical discussions are tricky. So are moral ones even without the bible. What I love about this post is that it could force us to look at the bigger picture as a whole – even within scripture that many of us would point to.

    • good point

  16. 1. Back in OT times, a woman’s respectability was tied up in her ability to marry, have children, and keep a household. Women who couldn’t prove their virginity were pretty much doomed to remain forever in their father’s house. So by forcing rapists to marry their victims (not the other way around), these women had a chance to reclaim their lost honor. The rapist, in turn, was forced to accept responsibility for his actions by providing food, shelter, and children for his victim for the rest of his life. He was not ever allowed to divorce the woman. And that’s only if she were not betrothed to someone else when he raped her. In that case, he *did* pay with his life.

    2. 50 shekels of silver was no paltry sum back then. It was more than a year’s wages. I think if we made today’s rapists similarly pay out the nose to their victims, they might be slightly more inclined to keep it in their pants. Oh, and he had to pay this amount *and* marry her (as stated in Deut. 22, not 21).

    3. Selling children into slavery was a pretty common practice in the OT for parents who couldn’t pay their debts any other way, and it wasn’t just limited to one’s daughters. But it wasn’t a life-long gig. Every seven years, the Jews held a Year of Jubilee in which all debts were forgiven and slaves set free. At that time, the master had to decide whether to (a) marry the servant girl himself, (b) give her in marriage to his son, or (c) allow another Hebrew man to ask for her hand. If the master ever struck a slave hard enough to knock out an eye or a tooth, he was required to let the slave go free right then, male or female.

    4. So a man was allowed to marry more than one woman. They still weren’t allowed to have sex outside of marriage. Just sayin’.

  17. Great post again! Kenneth, I only use Bible verses on those that throw the first spiritual punch! LOL’s. My motto is: “Don’t start none won’t be none.” So far it works for me. :)

  18. Great post Kenneth! I can keep going on reading all the comments, but I don’t. I have got other things to do, but I did respond to two… ;)

  19. Did they even have coffee back then in that area of the world? Probably not. It would have been banned, too. It’s to good not to be a sin, lol.

  20. oh culture monk – we’ve finally run into a disagreement – im sorry friend but coffee is NOT the nectar of humanity. tsk tsk. :) j/k. anyway – no but really – another great post. i suppose i love the fact you question things because im a journalist and it’s my job to question so it’s good that you do also. how can one really come to his or her own conclusions if he or she doesn’t ask questions? i think it’s about letting a person (regardless of age) decide for themselves if and when to have sex. teens/young adults need to be empowered with knowledge of how having sex can change their lives (stds, pregnancy, emotional changes, etc.) but they need to make the decision for themselves without the guilt. teens don’t tend to respond so well to guilt or to “because i said so” all that much. i think it was mentioned in the comments – the thing about sex in the Bible is that it’s another control factor. it was a way to get people to procreate the species but also to control them in other ways. it would be good for the church to realize that those antiquated thoughts need updated to fit today’s society’s needs.

  21. smiles…enjoy your coffee… i think the bible speaks very open about sex and doesn’t avoid difficult themes… when it comes to sex before marriage… i once heard a spot on sermon about this topic. sex is powerful stuff, the preacher compared it with a fire – in the right environment and handled with wisdom and care, it warms and does good.. handled in the wrong way, it can quickly get out of control, burns everything down that comes in its way and leaves nothing but ash… so – i think sex and care always should go hand in hand…and a good place for this is marriage..

  22. Hello Kitten! I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. You can read more here if you’re interested in participating: http://spinkykitten.com/2013/05/17/so-i-am-versatile/

  23. Claiming a book written thousands of years ago doesn’t 100% apply to our modern culture and values? For shame!

    But seriously, nice post. Questions are important, and you bring up some great ones.

  24. The one thing to keep in mind though is that it didn’t apply to their culture either. The sex culture of the near east was by far crazier than ours. Same with the Corinthians for example. The key I think is this. Especially with the OT. The Ten Commandments are the law. Most of the rest of it is case law. So what we have to do is look at the law and ask, how does that apply in our case. But that’s tricky if you aren’t committed to the law because if everyone just justifies everything then there is no law. (And yes I’m aware that sex outside of marriage is not in the Ten Commandments). I guess my point is that the scripture as a whole applies – the question is how. Secondly, we need to be careful not to assume things about their culture just because it was a long time ago.

    Love this conversation – wish we had more bigger conversations and less small ones.

  25. Absolutely loved this post, I had a big grin on my face. I love how you stir everyone just by asking questions. Questions need to be asked, people need to think about what they are taught and evaluate the information. Christianity has some amazing points on a whole, but there is much that needs to be addressed if the new generation is going to embrace the more subtle teachings …

  26. I heard not so long ago of a Muslim girl who was obliged to marry her rapist to save her family’s honour – much of the stuff in the Old Testament still goes on today in Islam, since the Quran has a lot in common with the OT. We Christians tend to forget that the First Commandment is the one from which all the others flow. If we truly love God, we act in love.

    • no, catterel..
      we must learn from the story of Adam and Eve.,
      if we just act in love, satan will probably deceive us and lead us to the wrong path.,
      we have to love someone based on our love to God..

    • I didn’t say “Just act in love”! I was quoting Jesus – The supreme commandment is love the Lord thy God with all thy heart … and … love thy neighbour …. Of course, a lot depends on how you define love. The loving actions toward others are a consequence of our love of God.

  27. A couple of points I might add. It is difficult to compare the culture of ancient Israel to modern America. Sex before marriage was never forbidden, but there are two things to be taken into account. Engagement was as binding as marriage; it required a divorce to break it. There was no restriction on whether the couple engage in sex before the actual marriage, and perhaps that was why a divorce was required for that situation.
    As to rape, the rapist was required to marry his victim and he forfeited the right to divorce because he had begun the marriage by rape. It was a permanent legally binding marriage and I suspect it was a legal provision to prevent rape. I am with you, that is not a law we want in our culture, but I think in the ancient world it would be an effective rape preventive. It was expensive to be married. Polygamy was allowed, sometimes required, but only the wealthier men could afford it. The only way out of the marriage for the rapist was if the father of the victim forbade it – it was patriarchal – for any reason, say if the rapist was a more than usually repulsive man or if his daughter hated the idea.
    Fathers, in a tight financial bind, could sell their daughters into slavery, but it was more like an indentured servanthood with a maximum sentence of six years. The slaves had some rights, and if they were sexually used the owner was required to marry them.
    All in all, in such a savagely patriarchal society, the laws of Moses tended to protect women. But they are not laws I would want our culture to adopt across the board. It would be better to study the intent of the laws – to protect the weak from the abuse of the strong – and adopt that same intent in our laws in a different context.
    I do agree that the sexual moral standards taught by fundamentalist churches tend to be cultural rather than biblical. And I am pretty sure you are entirely right about coffee. You didn’t mention coffee ice cream as being the pinnacle of ice cream perfection but perhaps that was tacit in your remarks. And why isn’t there a coffee pie? There is a coffee flavored syrup that is pretty good that is manufactured in Rhode Island for use in milk or on ice cream. I would encourage you to expand your coffee horizons. Unfortunately I am too old now to tolerate more than a cup or two per day – and I attribute that part of aging directly to the Fall.

    • Carol,

      good points….

      Over the years I’ve accumulated so many seminary level commentaries on the first five books of the Old Testament that i’ve had to let some of them go…..

      one of the things that bothers me is that while conservative commentators are so quick to defend Old Testament Mosaic Law in the context of the culture back then….

      these same conservative commentators then do a double-axle-back-flip and say that
      our 21st century culture MUST conform to the biblical model…..

    • I agree. I think, though of course I can’t read minds or hearts, that the double back flip is fear. The alternative to legalism seems to be moral relativism, and depending on your personality one or the other seems to be hell, so people opt for the opposite of whatever they fear most. I personally do not think we have to choose between the two. I am impressed that the Bible – as far as I make it out – avoids/condemns both alternatives. But fear paralyzes the brain, as it seems to have done with so much conservative theology. Liberals have their own sort of fears but that is a different story.

    • great comment! I agree that the better approach is to try to divine the intent behind those ancient laws by inspecting their culture and those civilizations surrounding the Hebrews, but history is a very inaccurate process, with much guesswork. Since the average hebrew did not write down their daily lives and views on daily matters, we don’t have much to go on.

  28. peoples business is not OUR business, Our only right is to voice our opinion, not to enforce it. :)

  29. Teriffic post, sir! A superb argument that appears to have ‘poked the sleeping bear’, a metaphor not intended to imply that any of those commenting resemble a bear, though…
    It was well written, witty and hard hitting, I really enjoyed this and may be back to comment further (after a coffee). Keep smiling and keep writing, pal. Kind regards, Baldy :)

  30. I’m sorry but the only thing I can say is that if sex before marriage is bad, they’re doing it wrong.

  31. courageous writing, really impressive way of questioning religious dogmatic beliefs.

  32. I LOVE this! I am a Christian, but I am very upset by the way “bible beaters” toss around verses that they think back up their own opinions, and ignore the ones that make them look bad. Personally, I view the bible as a tool, not an instruction manual. The Old Testament is full of those odd verses you mention, and they are only referenced when the support people’s own personal agenda. I’d love for you to read my post that is quite related to this topic and hear what you think. I am on the same page! http://halfanaturalist.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/call-me-a-heretic/

  33. True. true!!! Your blog is amazing. Take a look at mine. don’t forget to follow. Hah :)

  34. Sometimes I even confused with the Holy Book in my religion, which I haven’t finished to read. But always I try to go back to my own perception of what life is all about and hardly to say that I DISAGREE with many “Holy Sentences” in that Holy Book. Such as: A man allowed to marry 4 women. Does it even fit for the sake of a woman’s life nowadays?

    • just try to finished and completed your read my dear friend.,
      there are many clauses to allow man to marry more than one women..

    • Hahahaha thank you for your suggestion.
      Well, still about a man is allowed to marry more than one women, I am completely disagree with that. :)

  35. What I think is that sometimes we judge based on our principles, for we can’t even dream to know on what principles God judges. We may refer to specific aspects of the bible and judge people – HARD – on the subject, but there are also some aspects that we bypass because “well that doesn’t really apply to me”. While God’s word is highly relevant, so is His judgement, not ours, so we can’t be mad at people who are not holier than thou because some of us may appear to be, because even before we were “holier than thou” we had our shady pasts which we know God has forgiven us for, likewise He will forgive forever and ever and ever.

  36. I think sometimes people forget that the Bible is not God–not everything written in the Bible automatically has God’s approval. Some parts are just stating things that happened. Life is really messy (understatement). Lots of people died in WWII fighting for and against the Nazi’s. Probably some of them thought God was on their side and maybe He was. Job is a great book of the Bible because it points out that we don’t anything about God, really–or we shouldn’t think we know EVERYTHING about him because we read the Bible. The book has been debated forever–proving our little brains have more than we can handle with just the things mentioned in the Bible. I WOULDN’T be able to handle coffee being outlawed.

    My experience with kids is that they really want two parents who are married and in love. As far as I can tell, we still haven’t figured out what to do about all the kids still waiting to be adopted, all of the kids in poverty living with single parents and all of the “unwanted” pregnancies. We can blame religion when it advises against premarital sex for making us feel guilty or upset, but we can blame ourselves for making decisions based on what feels good or for following modern culture because it’s easy or not wanting to protect kids from rampant sexual disease on college campuses because, well, what’s the point in fighting an up hill battle? We can blame ourselves when we notice that our kids don’t appreciate divorce. We should be open with our kids about how hypocritical we can be and how little we understand about God and his take on sex.

    No one can deny that sex is fun, but i think we should reconsider the notion that all fun must be had exactly when we want it no matter the consequences.

    Great post, though–I like debating these things every so often!

  37. i think we must learn from the story of Adam and Eve.,
    the lovers, who sent down to the earth.,
    neglects of God’s order, they became nude..

    i think we must learn from the story of people of Lot.,
    the dissidents, who consciously practiced immorality.,
    against the bound of the God., they became destroyed

    i think we must learn from the story of Joseph.,
    the devout, who refused to had forbidden sex.,.,
    fear of sinning against God., he prefer to became jailed..

    i think we must learn from the story of Mary.,
    a virgin, who proud to maintained her purity.,
    firm of God’s command, she became a mother of children who can be trusted.,

    ps: my english is bad

  38. i am Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror, King of The Mountain, Grandson of Adam and Eve, heirs to the heaven..
    i only had sex after married, as God ordered to me, to my mother, to my father, all of people, before and after me..
    i only had sex after married, after there is a bond between us, a bond that called family, a bond that build society, a bond that made fraternity, between grandsons of Adam and Eve..
    i only had sex after married, after there is oath between us, to love each other, to keep each other, in this world up to the heaven..
    i only had sex after married, after there are witnesses, witnesses of our happiness, witnesses that distinguished the right from the wrong, witnesses of the truth of The God..
    i only had sex after married, after there is a ring, gold or silver, not realy important, no need shinny, really..
    i only had sex after married, after there is someone ask “will you marry me?” and then the answer “yes, i will marry you”, and then “i love you” and then “i love you too”

    peace..

    ps: translated from google

  39. Excellent post! Like your thinking on this one!

  40. You point out some obviously horrible things that happened in the Bible. It’s important to recognize the difference between what the authors of the Old Testament describe, and what they prescribe.

  41. Hi Culturemonk,

    A thought provoking, questioning blog…
    I’m also a Christian – South African in locality, who loves questions…

    We were just discussing this topic this last week in our small group.
    We talked about how with Christians everything should be about the blood, about intimacy and relationship.

    Is it?
    Should it be?

    My concern about sex before marriage is … your first sexual encounter breaks the hymen and the relationship/encounter is sealed by blood.
    If it is not intimate (of value or worth) are you not then just sacrificng/losing a part of yourself?

    For me, casual ‘sex’ results in us dragging many sexual skeletons around with us. These colour any future sexual encounters we engage in…. they colour our final marital/lifetime sexual life…

    Is this healthy?

    Is this desirable?

    I suppose we should define “sex” to really go anywhere?

    I guess this calls for a coffee…

  42. A truly interested person would not just take verses out of context. Christians do not literally follow the Old Testament, because we are saved from the old law unless it was carried over into the New Testament. We live by grace and faith and by the leading of the Holy Spirit. God set up the family to operate as a covenant, and when it is done right, it works. The divorce rate proves that sex/intimacy before marriage causes you to compare mates, put sex above commitment, and allow sex to override friendship and companionship. I grew up in the 1960’s and it was easy to fall away and believe the media and music world that helped corrupt the young. By coming back to my Savior and learning & understanding more, I have matured and see the fallacies of the culture’s mindset. To excuse it and say we can’t go back is untrue. Every individual can make his or her own decisions. I know many young couples that are marrying as virgins, one today! Is that old-fashioned or do they know and understand something you may not?

  43. thanks for writing this out, i agree wholeheartedly. you can’t have cultural relativism both ways, if God made exceptions for ancient near-East, why can’t he make exceptions today? if God is unchanging, his ancient laws should still be valid, not just the Mosaic laws that the early christian church decided to adopt (homosexuality is bad) or forget about (wearing mixed fabrics is bad).

  44. I am a Christian. I believe firmly in all the Scriptures says and I do not believe that culture over rides Scripture. I do understand what you are saying and I believe that it is worthy of a good discussion but first I must offer you a small of correction. (I do believe that accuracy is important.)

    The portion of Scripture you are referring to is not found in Deuteronomy 21 but in Deuteronomy 22.

    Let me take what you said one piece at a time.
    Rape. Scripture is 100% against locking up rapist. The Scripture always says to kill them. That is the only remedy the Scripture gives. Read Dueteronomy 22:25-27.
    The point that is being made in verses 28-29 of the same chapter that you refer to in your early argument is simple. There is no proof of rape. They could have been two teens in love and they went out to hide in the woods. It becomes his word against hers. As a result of this a shot gun wedding is planned and there you have it. The Scripture is very clear that you can not put someone to death on only the testimony of one witness. The context of the entire chapter and many others is that if it is rape kill the guy if it is adultery kill them both (anyone who was cheated on understands that feeling) and if it is just pre marital sex have them get married.

    Slavery. The Scriptures never come out and approve slavery all it does is provide guidelines so that people are treated well. There was already slavery in existence when this was written and even today it has yet to end. My wifes mother was a slave much of her life. Very sad. Remember the times women were chattel. What is clearly being stated here is that she has value you cant just buy her and sleep with her and then throw her away. The Scripture was stating she has rights and the guy was not allowed to trample those. I realize in our day and age it is disgusting to think in those terms (It was Christians who made that happen by the way most of the abolitionist were Christian.) but in that time that was a huge leap forward towards seeing humans as humans and not chattel.

    Polygamist are never condemned in Scripture. In fact according to Scripture the only folks limited to one wife would be those who are leaders within the body of faith. I understand that many do not like nor want polygamy (I understand why as well) but I do not believe it is always bad. Think about the days when women had no rights. If they had no husband they had no way to support themselves. They needed someone who could do that. It was a good thing for them since they needed someone to help them. In our current society we find that odd. A women is able to do as she pleases (how it should be) but as we all know this was not always the case. Scripture here is protecting the women that is not loved so that she is not treated unfairly.

    Now as to sex before marriage. Yes the Scripture does teach that it is wrong. Though it never teaches that it does not feel good. I am sure (most of the time) it does. Someone does not have to agree with the Scripture but it is very clear. Again culture does not trump Scripture but Scripture (for a Christian) trumps culture.

    I have left off the discussion on Genocide. I think that is a worthy discussion and if you ever get into it I think I may join you but as for now I think I have said enough. Thanks for the post it is a good discussion.

    • “Polygamist are never condemned in Scripture.”

      And He (Jesus) answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” Polygamists may not have been condemned but it was never condoned.

      Great post BTW.

  45. Feeling good because your post made me think more critically on what I believe and hold dear to be true and only guide (THE BIBLE) for mankind to reach their Maker (THE GOD OF THE BIBLE).

    Feeling bad because your valuing and mine valuing of the Bible don’t match. But it’s ok for now.

    Many have commented from both negative and positive sides as far as my comprehension is concerned ( I am not born-English speaker, it’s my second or third language).

    But one concern of mine for your thought provoking discussion is: ‘Let not your gold be counted as garbage.’

    By that I mean things that you believe and hold true must not be taken lightly or else you have no value of claiming them to be so though you justify it with thousands of philosophical and theological and scientifical reasons.

    All the best for upcoming posts!

  46. Dogma or doctrine,perhaps in a text translated so many times over centuries there’s bound to be misrepresentation and ego flitted in along the way.
    I always found it odd how people who live with love in there hearts unconditionally,speak kind words,are a benefit to others and believe in the sanctity of life are damned to hell because they aren’t Christian.. Call me silly but that seems rather Un-Christian.. So be it.

  47. It is my nature to question everything, always. I think I will quite enjoy your writing!

  48. I have the courage to admit it: I like coffee.

  49. Ken,
    I wish we had gone to school together. It would have been interesting to exchange viewpoints. But I suppose I would not have been educated enough to create a discussion (I was far more ignorant in my youth). Which is what all this is: a discussion. To question is not an attack but a reaffirmation of faith via intelligent discourse. Should one not ask questions to understand the will of God? I cannot assume that what I understand of one text is the same as someone else. I can be in a room with 20 people who have read the same but it does not mean we all come to the same conclusion so why not ask a question?

    And as for sex, I believe it is another level of understanding. It is an expression of joy and unity. It is respectable that one should want to arrive to the altar chaste but it would definitely not be my place to say that it is right or wrong, which can be said of the inverse.

    Living someone else’s life is inane and really none of my business. And I would expect the same to be thought of my life and decisions.

    Whatever floats your proverbial boat.

    Good post.

  50. Hey man, I wanted to encourage you, had a quick read through it and it’s great to see you questioning it. Keep asking questions and better yet, finding the accurate answers for yourself. (Emphasising ‘Accurate’)

    There is nothing that sharpens your faith or conviction more than having a question answered when God reveals it to you, because it directs you to the truth.

    Cheers
    James

  51. Thanks for liking my post. As an agnostic I really don’t have a lot to say about religion, I like to say I brought up my son “indifferent” but I do like the way you are trying to bring the Bible up to date.

  52. this is the first post of yours im readin
    and im wonderin wat u up to…

    buh…
    in my shadowy perspective,
    i see a mustard seed of my likeness fall into this blog.

    hush

    lemme read ur oda posts…

    thanks for likin my post tho.
    we kinda treadin same line

  53. Hi Ken,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I like what you’re doing here. You have a mind, use it- that’s great ;-) seems like you’ve stirred up a hornets nest. Good for you. I’m an atheist, I just don’t BELIEVE, if or when anyone shows me some real proof, then I will change my mind. I’m sure you can imagine just how many of these same discussions I’ve had with my friends. Thanks for asking the questions. :-)

  54. Finally someone said it! Well put! And don’t you just love how pretty much anyone can find a bible quote to support just about anything? I did a paper on some churches negative views on homosexuality in a theology class I had to take in university. I was able to find just as many quotes that supported it as those that condemned it!

  55. You have a lot to learn. I don’t mean that in a negative way. I recommend a really great book “The Five Books of Moses” by Everett Fox.

    Second point: Once I saw this offbeat French movie. It was about kids coming of age in a small village. This boy that loved the girl next door but could not manage to get his life together, said to his mother in exasperation
    Boy: “If Maria is such a great find, why are most of her friends married and she’s not married?”
    Mother: “Well you know, Maria was always a good girl.”
    The meaning of what the mother said was that most of the marriages had been “shotgun” weddings. You fooled around and if pregnancy happened that was the end of your single life. Very practical, never forget to use your God given common sense.

    Third point: It’s not the tricky quotes one can pull out of their sleeve from the bible that win or lose the battle. It’s the straightforward unambiguous ones. Do you really love your neighbor? Can you really and truly forgive? How could Jesus say that his burden is light and easily borne? Understanding and building a personal relationship with God cannot be taken away by false religious training just as it can not be installed.

  56. Have you read “A Year Of Biblical Womanhood” by Rachel Held Evans? She makes a lot of similar points about how everyone, consciously or not, will pick and choose what they consider “cultural” and what they consider “scriptural/immutable” in the Bible. I rarely attend church for a lot of the reasons you discuss in your blog, but now I would like to find one that I can take the baby to without having to worry about him getting too much preaching at, and not enough love of, people in the world.

  57. Part of The Bible is that it covers a lot of history. The social problems, and degenerative state (compared to a liberated, sublime, more Christian contemporary world) of the ancient Jewish world and how spiritual people can face them is part of the progression of the books. You mentioned a story about a man buying a right to rape, which I don’t recall having read but don’t mention one I do recall from my own Bible reading about 3 men who slaughter an entire town because of deciding that the townspeople are totally evil because a woman was raped there and the townsfolk are indifferent – so her brothers or other ‘men who care and are on her side’ rampage and destroy the entire town because it was a cesspool of evil (lack of spiritual morality in the community).

    Anyway, I don’t have the same background as you. I was not really taught that sex outside of marriage is so evil….but I did learn the teaching that having one lover throughout the adult life who is a permanent partner is the Christian ideal. There are cultures where women and men really do often have only one sex partner for life. There are cultures where the women are pressured to behave that way even more than the men, but those are also societies in which men are ostracised for spousal abandonment – I mean, usually the wife will be financially dependent for the rest of her life and some guy just boffing her and not living up to his duty to her is very wrong. In many other cultures there is a lot more middle ground and there are ways to deal with it, but between pregnancies, emotional attachments and mortgages, there are reasons for even the best of people to be careful about having sex: whether married or not. It can be good, but like driving and child rearing, it requires awareness and great care to deal with it well and properly.

    Huge comment considering I came here in gratitude that you read my blog post yesterday entitled @FamousPerson.

    Sin, actually just means either an error or an intentional wrong doing. People seem to have lost perspective about that so badly that in my own life, I first relearned it in a way I could absorb when I was literally about 38 years old.

  58. You really didn’t expect Culture Monk, to find the word coffee in the Bible did you, that is a modern name like Dinosaurs which was first used in the 1800 before this they were known as Dragons and you can read about them in some of the books of the Bible but not by this name, we know they were called this by folklore but their description is spot on .

    Anything that was not water or wine in Scripture, was called a strong drink even herbal tea as a sweet drink is mentioned but not by name, this is the same with other things in the Bible, they are not known by our modern names for them.

    As for evil customs and atrocities in Scripture, many are mentioned but God spoke against them not for them, his people were becoming polluted by the customs of Pagan Nations and if He hadn’t put a stop to all the abominations that were practiced by them, you may not have been here today Culture Monk. Your great, great ++++ Grandfather could have been burnt alive as a baby in worship to a Pagan sun god or perhaps some other equally barbaric act , children like woman as you said had very little value, even animals were used to meet their perversions.

    Because of God’s great Love for Mankind, at great personal cost He sent Jesus His Son to save us and set us free from the slavery of sin’s bondage and yes He also liberated Woman, I don’t mean that they are now free to take over a Man’s role, Men are always to be in Loving Authority. It would benefit you greatly Culture Monk to take some time out and read in the Bible how Men are to treat Woman, it may surprise you to know just how much value a Woman has to God, we are to be cherished and put first.

    For Men to use Woman just for sexual gratification shows they are still in the dark ages, this is why God gives guidelines against fornication, by the way Culture Monk, have you married every woman you have had sex with? ……Yes of course we can ignore God’s guidelines, many did and do and so now we have, rapes, murder including Abortions, Homosexuality, aids and venereal diseases not to mention Adultery, Divorce, Sodomy and Child molesting etc

    When you come on my Blog Culture Monk and leave a Like or a comment, I will share on your Blog, so if you don’t want the Truth, don’t visit me, your free to remain in your ignorance, it’s your choice as it is to accept and post my comments, perhaps like some others you will delete them or ignore them, even with no confirmation I’m in error, how do I know I have God’s Truth because I asked for His wisdom believing He would give it to me and He did. Jesus tells us His Truth will be rejected and we will be even hated by some,

    If you had Cancer Culture Monk and a Doctor gave you a cure for it but you ignored him and died, would you blame the Doctor, this is what many are doing with God’s free gift of Eternal Life found in Jesus Christ.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

  59. Sex before marriage…what is it?No definitions…No comprehend.
    Kissing can be errotic. Holding hands can be a turn on .Caressing the breast can be comforting and neutral.Can these intimate activities be considered sex and if so they should not be allowed before marriage?

  60. I went to a Catholic school for 8yrs & am agnostic. I feel that sex before marriage is very important. Otherwise, you might marry the wrong person for the wrong reasons, like for lust. You may want to have sex so bad that you are blinded by lust. Then after the marriage & the hormones cool down, you realize that he or she is not the right person for you. I think people get blinded by lust so easily, its better to get to know the person well & their values before becoming a couple, i.e. having sex. Then down the road get married if things are working out.

  61. A very level-headed and thoughtful insight for a topic that often dissolves into argument and chaos. Thanks. ANd thanks for coming by to like my last post. Cheers.

  62. Your religious rant didn’t mention Jesus Christ. All those scripture were for a people that didn’t have a savior.
    Jesus said “do not think i have come to abolish the law,or the prophets, I have come to fulfill the law.”
    This questioning of the scripture is answered in the scripture.
    You quote scripture for a people lost in sin. The culture demanded virgins for marriage. The rapist was punished by being made to marry the woman and provide for her.
    You talk of sexual education ? a chaste society wouldn’t need it.
    You seem to advocate sexuality defined by culture and religion defined by the bible. The two are not separate entities. I realize promiscuity abounds and it permeates our culture.
    But to define scripture as unrighteous or contradictory to Christian belief, is a leap i cant make.
    Genocide, might keep Christians from being exterminated.
    Forced marriage to a rapist might keep a woman from being stoned. culture has changed.
    Right and wrong never change. Sin is always wrong. The sin of promiscuity is seen in failed marriages, single mothers and fatherless children.
    We have a savior that pays our sin debt. But that’s not permission to design a culture around lust.
    I personally have never questioned the bible. People who post a few scripture, then question the authority of those scripture i do question.

  63. This is a fascinating discussion, and I can’t resist leaving my tuppenceworth. Marcis Boland says:

    “And yes, God allowed some crazy things in the old testament. Somethings that are far from pretty. Things that we can’t really wrap our mind around! But honestly, that’s kind of irrelevant. We don’t get to use that as an excuse to live a certain way now, because of how it was then. God is GOD. He can do what he wants! He doesn’t owe us an explanation. And when we come to those passages in scripture that are hard for us to explain or that we simply don’t think add up to ‘how’ God should act, we must remember that we don’t get a say! Really. It’s that simple. If we disagree? God trumps, every time!”

    If you untangle this, she’s acrually propounding a contradiction. If God is God and can do what he wants, then He has, in His time, come down on both sides of the argument, and by choosing which side she considers to be the “right” one, then she is treading what she warns later is dangerous ground – imposing “‘our’ interpretation of God’s WORD”.

    Which, unless someone somewhere has a direct His-mouth-to-my-ear connection with the Almighty, is all that any of us can do, I’d have thought, so who’s to say whose interpretation is the right one?

  64. Loved it. I’m always disappointed to see certain folk in the religious community condemning homosexuality in their mixed fiber shirts. Leviticus burn.

  65. I do think that sex before marriage is bad..but only perhaps if at least , one of the participants is a first timer…. ( no experience ) ssssssssss…lol

  66. The best teachers are great at teaching you how to ask better questions. Being called a heretic is a great compliment IMO.

  67. LOL. Cofee again. The point is to ask these healthy questions and quit hurling these verses at people. We were not there when it happened! None of us here was born so we do not know why these verses were culturally appropriate!

  68. Loved this. I am an atheist but have read the bible all my life. I must admit I can’t make much sense of it; especially how it applies to our modern society. Also, some of the same priests who condemn sex before marriage, are the very ones that have abused young boys….What! In the name of religion?

  69. maybe so, but not nearly as bad as sex after marriage. thanks for reading my blog.

  70. Marriage is an institution. Need I say more?

    Sex is natural and mother nature has never lied to me!

  71. This is such a wonderful post! I always admire someone who can look at the bible, with critical thinking skills going, and pointing out the things that are wrong with it. Bravo, Kenneth! I look forward to your next post.

  72. I am neither religious or Christian and still loved this piece. Great points and said with wonderful lightheartedness and acceptance. Lovely.

  73. Thanks CultureMonk for liking my blog.

    You have very interesting piece here. Some comments.

    (1) Biblical verses. These verses have to be interpreted in the context. We don’t know how lenient these rules were during the time of Moses. We don’t know how “barbaric” the cultures surrounding Israel that time. In fact, the polygamy (marrying many times) as well as the divorce law by Moses were “allowed” because of the **hardness of their hearts** (read new testament verses). Thus, it was really a developmental stage of religion towards that of today.

    (2) Sex *before* marriage is very old. Very old culture indeed. Sex *within* marriage is new! It’s just about 2000 years old. Sex within marriage keeps many problems away (STDs, and other complications in life and law).

    (3) Indeed, perhaps we should keep an open heart when we read the Bible. We must also read them in the proper context just as we read many other books. Let’s not choose which verses we want/love and put them against the other verses within the same book. Perhaps we should read the Bible as a whole and interpret every verse in the context of the whole and the entire message.

    (4) Yes, genocide in the Bible is wrong especially in the context of today’s understanding of good. But during the barbaric times? Would you agree that there is injustice when we judge someone in 1AD using the laws in 2013AD? Should we apply our morality of today in judging whether the human acts 6,000 years ago is moral or not?

    • Geek,

      “Should we apply our morality of today in judging whether the human acts 6,000 years ago is moral or not?”

      we should demonstrate grace :0)

      When I read about polygamy in the O.T. (which I suspect we both believe was/is NOT part of god’s plan) I see a god who demonstrated grace to his people. He let it slide…even though it wasn’t part of his plan.

      That is my point with sex before marriage. I neither condone it, nor do I throw stones at people who do it…..I demonstrate grace toward the people who have sex before marriage and the people who do not.

      I don’t know what god is working on in an individuals’ life, perhaps God is ‘letting slide’ their issue of sex before marriage because he is more concerned about other issues in their life.

    • I like your answer, Culturemonk — grace, and therefore mercy. While we do not condone the acts, we must never be judgmental of the people. Grace does not mean we don’t point out possible mistakes in life that may affect their future, especially those who matter most. Thus, yes, the existence of sin and evil is grace in action. Thanks for the thought!

  74. Monk, you have a lot to say and have spend a considerable amount of time saying it. I wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog and liking a recent post. I do appreciate the time you invested. Take care, Bill

  75. Sex is natural and in most cultures part of life. To much is made of it. To many rituals and to many fairy stories. It is how we procreate. Imagine if it were not fun, or it was painful. We probably would go extinct. Just wise preparations and have someone you love and they love you is the main ingredients. God gave us a simple recipe and we have added to many condiments to the brew. You cut to the chase and I appreciate that.

  76. Interesting points! It is worth noting that the beginning of the Old Testament says a lot of wierd stuff, such as God being only one of many gods & claiming that He is powerful enough to protect His people from the others. To me this suggests that the religion evolved from rather pagan beginnings & most of the Old Testament should be viewed as such. It’s an interesting anecdotal history of the roots of Christianity, but it’s only the New Testament that is fully Christian.

    Well, that’s the view of this hard-line agnostic, so it might not be the most perspicacious of comments!

  77. I appreciate your recent like on my blog. The title of this one caught my interest. You’ve raised questions that a lot of people probably have.

    But I’m genuinely curious: How much of the Bible have you actually read? How carefully have you really tried to understand it?

    Because, you quoted Deut 21, as the reference for the business about “rape,” and of course, it’s not there. The passage you are referring to (I think) is in Deut 22. If you read it, you’ll see something that you didn’t mention in your post.

    What is says is that man is supposed to pay 50 shekels, the girl’s father AND THEN MARRY HER. It adds that he can never divorce her. You think rapists should be dropped down a hole and left forever – fine. But in ancient Israel, a raped woman became an object of abuse for any man who wanted her. She became no better than a cheap whore. No man in that culture would ever marry her, and she would have no means of supporting herself. If her rapist were removed from society, the woman would still suffer for a lifetime. So, by making the man marry her, the command PROTECTS the future of the woman who was violated. This passage doesn’t endorse rape; it protects rape victims in ancient Israel.

    We don’t live in ancient Israel. We don’t have to resort to the same *means* to protect rape victims — but we should still follow the *principle* of the law, which is to honor and protect people who have been hurt that way. In other words, the idea behind the law is still good, and we should still follow the principle of it. We don’t simply throw it out because we can’t bother to take the time to figure out that the principle here is actually very good, and still applicable.

    I also wonder about all the verses concerning sex outside of marriage that you did not mention in the post. The Greek Word is “porneia” usually translated “sexual immorality”.
    Here are a few verses which state it is wrong: Col 3:5-7; Eph 5:1-15; 1 Corinthians 6:13-20; 1 Corinthians 7:1-2 & 8-9. In Mark 7:20-23, Jesus said that sexual immorality is evil, and defiles a person. There are a lot more verses like all of these. Why didn’t you mention these things?

    It is certainly true that we do not apply the Old Testament literally today. There are reasons for that, and some of the reasons are complex. That’s one reason some people dedicate their lives to understanding the bible properly, and teaching it to others. I’ve given you an example above, of how we can apply those sorts of verses.

    Well, if you’re still reading, this has gotten too long. Cheers!

  78. everyone is crapping out verses and trying to say what God knows or has spoken…i am just going to say aint ya glad He was the One who died for us and knows the real reasons we needed a written Word to remind us that He created, corrected,controlled, condemned,covenanted,cradled, commanded, cherished and Christened us with His own Son and now communes and comforts us through His Holy Spirit and will one day soon collect us? some questions are only to be answered by the Author of the Book, not a fellow reader, who has his own interpretation….i dare you to ask Him and watch out because He doesn’t do anything half way, first hand experience with that one….thanks for reading some of my work too

  79. Hah! Well put. Those that follow the bible word for word scare me. Thanks for liking my post “The Bridge” AND for this blog.

  80. When you come down to it — coffee is the only thing about the Abrahamic religions that makes any sense.

    If nudity is a sin, did all those Catholic priests keep their clothes on when violating children? For that matter—did their perfect God create so disgusting a product it must be kept covered at all times?

  81. No shortage of nuts in America, it seems. But you’ve scored Pastor Tom, I always enjoy his ravings … well done!

  82. Wouldn’t it be nice if they just stuck to saying sex is Bad if we haven’t learned what love means yet? But hell whoops sorry, but heck we’re not supposed to talk about feelings they come from the devil too right? Just goes to show you all those other biblical quotes on so far off do everything according to the law and without feeling in the world of work for it. Since Winston Churchill is dead I will repeat for you in support of your perspective what he said, never give up, never give up, never never never give up.
    Sounds like you got your head on straight to me you go,
    Alex

  83. Before there was the Bible, there was sex. And I’m sure a lot of it was good for both partners without the feeling of any wrongdoing. Genocide? Was the total destruction of the now Dead Sea cities (including the children– products of their environment) or Jericho really necessary? My now being more of a freeform, non-sectarian believer and listener to other religions, I often wonder how much of the Bible has been edited through the centuries to evolve to the current control of the Christian population. Christ, looking down on all the Christian sects today, must be shaking his head at what has become of his original teachings. Have a wonderful day.

  84. I think it’s age what matter the most. Rape and sex outside the marriage so wrong and unfair.

  85. Recently, you indicated your like on my post entitled “Context is King.” Ironically, you’ve left out a good bit of context in the questions you raise here. May I help answer your questions with 2 guiding principles if interpretation… besides what good answers Pastor Tom has given you above.

    1. A faithful student of the Old Testament would realize a Hebrew interpreted The Law (Genesis-Deuteronomy) and History through the moral paradigm presented in “The Writings” or what we call, “The Wisdom Books” (Esther, Ruth, Job, Proverbs, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Song if Solomon). These books present a “traditional” view of fidelity, purity, marriage, divorce, warnings against extramarital sexual encounters. The Laws you have cited were “if” cases. In other words, just like today, laws are in place for what is supposed to be the exception to the norm… for justice and the protection of offended parties. If you read the rest if the contexts, you will find that great pains are taken to insure the fair and equal treatment of the woman, which no other religion at that time seemed to bother with. The matter of “slavery” was not the kind you think of today. It was an endentured servant situation, which after completion, the servant to choose to become a “bond servant” due to his employer or “master” having been so good.

    2. Your questions do not take Christ’s interpretation of the Law into account. Not only did Jesus interpret the Law “traditionally” on matters of marriage and fidelity and morality, but he also revealed the spirit of the Law when he condemned lust and all things that come out of the heart, like: fornication (sex outside of marriage), adultery, etc. To deny Christ’s teachings is to become antithetical to Christianity altogether.

    So, yes, sex outside of marriage is forbidden by Christianity, since God’s design is that sex should happen within the marriage of one man and one woman… just as in the Garden of Eden. Christ affirmed this, as recorded in the gospels.

  86. Those bible verses are from the Old Testament when the law of Moses was in action. Then Jesus Christ came to the Earth and gave the world his higher law. Which is basically to love God and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That knocks out rape as being not okay with God and all the other ‘weird’ things that were okay (due to ignorance) 4,000 years ago!

    • I think millions of Jews would disagree.
      I’ve never encountered any Jews who would be OK with paying off the victims father and marrying the victim.
      You can’t approach scripture, ANY scripture, as a literalist. This literalism and fundamentalism is what’s causing so many problems today.
      The measure of any religion is whether it makes it’s followers more compassionate, less judgemental, stronger, less hypocritical…IOW, whether it makes them better people.

  87. Or, you could adopt Jesus’ point of view that OT laws are less than what God wants – they are tempered by what he could actually expect from human beings.

  88. THanks for stopping by and liking my blog. I’m one of those pastors who doesn’t go in for all the moral finger pointing. I prefer to take Jesus position with the woman caught in adultery that he/she who is without sin should cast the first stone. Bravo for your courage.

  89. Well said !

    I’m a very spiritual person (and was brought up Church of England with a Mother who forced me to go to Sunday School & Church until I rebelled at the age of 14+).

    I have a problem with Churches and some Church-going folk, not religion. I believe Faith and Spirituality are great Havens for Mankind and strong guides to a long and happy life.. I welcome all Religions (as long as you don’t ram it down my throat).

    It’s not Religion that creates terrorism and war. It’s Hate, Greed, Prejudice, Hypocrisy, Narowmindedness and Jealousy that are the forerunners to crimes against Humanity and the Environment. These are all negative Emotions.

    If we all spent more time on promoting Positive Emotions and Awareness, the world would be a better place.

  90. Regarding your article, “Sex before marriage is bad”, I have this opinion about it. There is a very practical reason why this can and might and usually is bad for human beings. Here me out, read the whole note before you respond, please. This isn’t about religion or religious people. It is about practicality.

    By not having sex before marriage, you can, weed out these types of people, con men , rapists, players, people who “use” people, and all sorts of possibly-criminal types. How. (Well, I’m not saying that people who have sex before marriage are that.

    What I am saying is that , usually, those “types” , are all about control and they are all about not waiting for anything, they are about getting what they want when they want it pronto. So, say you are dating someone , one of those types, say, a player. A player wants only one thing. The player doesn’t want a real relationship, but they want what they can control. They want to take and not give. Most times, when you date a player, and then you set them straight that you do not have sex before marriage, that player will run for the hills. Yet, if you agree to sex –before marriage, with a player, that player is getting what they want and they are willing to stay with you –and thus you have a (false) relationship. You think you have someone who loves you but you have a player. And eventually, you will discover what the player is up to and by then it is too late, you have already been hurt.

    So, imagine that, a “system” or a belief ,that enables you to weed out players, and users and those who want just sex but not meaningful relationships, imagine that? If they sold a gadget like this –one that would detect players and users, probably everyone would go and buy one.

    Yet, the gadget is free. Just say “NO” to sex before marriage and most times, most times, you have a “player-detector” and you save yourself lots of hardship and worry.

    As far as the “sin” aspect, religion and the Bible do define sin. There are many and if when one needs to find out what is sin and what is not, all one needs to do is go look it up.

    Seriously, though, from a very practical point of view, sex before marriage is bad , bad for the victims, bad for those who unfortunately have hooked up with players and users. And there are many of them out there.

    Player-dectors for FREE — just say , “No”.

    • A real sociopath will play the role of an old-fashioned guy like a pro. His intended victim won’t have a clue what he’s really like until it’s too late. Witness all the “ideal” marriages that end up with the kids raped or the wife killed for insurance money.

      I’m sorry, but not putting out before marriage does nothing to prevent this. If anything, it marks a woman as naive and therefore even MORE of a target.

    • Not having sex before marriage does weed out some (lots of) sociopaths and other types who have no impulse control. Not all “sickos” can control themselves . does indeed make a difference. How? There are some (MANY) real sociopaths that do not have the impulse control of “normal” people. There are many who have never been able to control themselves, at all, and who believe that only they are “in control”. Therefore, knowing these people are out there and knowing that SOME , yes some, and many of them will not be able to hide their sickness , that alone proves that not having sex before marriage does narrow the chances of that sociopath becoming involved with you . Just because something isn’t “foolproof” that doesn’t make a method not helpful and it doesn’t mean that said method will not save lives.

      Labeling women as naive (as you wrote in your response), that does not make women naive either, nor does it make them more of a target. So I do disagree with your response on this particular topic.

    • Errrrrm…NOPE.

      Somebody with poor impulse control regarding sex is obvious. He starts bugging women for sex almost as soon as he meets them. He’s the guy at the bar that the women call “creep”, “perv”, and “squicky”.

      A dangerous sociopath can hide it. He’s charming. He makes you think he’s OK until it’s too late. That’s what makes him dangerous. He’s not looking for a one nighter or a friend with benefits, he wants an actual marriage because he’s sadistic, and it gives him an easy victim in the privacy of his home. It’s a cover that helps him appear “normal” to other people, too: look at the BTK killer or the Green River killer.

      Maybe I should have said that holding out for marriage makes a woman APPEAR naive, rather than “marks her as naive”. I suppose even the very worldly-wise can move to a new city and play the virgin. In any case, naive or not, she HAS painted a target on herself. It makes her appear to be a woman who is insulated from the real world, by her family or by religion. In other words, naive. Easy pickings, so to speak.

    • When you say “she has painted a target on herself” that’s just another way of “blaming the victim”. Targets are painted by abusers and by stalkers, not by the victims. Seems you have your mind made up about the topic so I will leave it at this. I do disagree with your take on the topic.

  91. thanks, Kenneth, for the visit. wonderful and insightful thoughts you have here.

  92. I’m with you on this one, Culture Monk, especially the coffee, jim

  93. Didn’t Lot’s daughters get him drunk and jump his bones because God told them to? LOL, the Bible is the last place I’d look if I was trying to figure out if a particular sexual act was “wrong”.

    I like the Buddhist take on it: Thy neighbor’s wife would be considered “sexual misconduct”, not a mortal sin. It may be frowned upon, but you can do some Vajrasattva practice and clean up the karma, lol. Much more realistic.

  94. The Catholics lost me when they decided that pedophilia (more than cleanliness) was nearer to godliness.

  95. My gosh how people do go on. Great job at getting a topic and watching people spin. Kudos to you even more if you read all of them. Some I just had to skim through. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts. You are a great antagonist. I also know you believe in what you say and I admire how you let everyone have their chance at it and do not fight or interject. I have to say I am not Christian…as I was brought up to be. I know “God” through personal experience. Not from anything I have read.

    As for the topic of “Sex” I think Freud probably was more right than the bible.

    But than again I know “Sex” through personal experience, not from anything I have read.

  96. I believe that marriage is a private affair between the couple and Jehovah.

    Yes there are things that we do not like in the Old Testament but we have to understand the culture back then compared to now.

    I am personally very much against pre marrage sex. look at the statistics and see how children fare with couple that change partners or single family parents, it is not pretty.

    God bless you with wisdom, love and grace.

    • You also have to understand that not everyone is a follower of that particular religion, so what’s in the Bible is irrelevant in those cases. Additionally, those who have studied the Tanakh, Torah, commentaries, etc., in the original Hebrew, are not the ones doing all the public railing against premarital sex. That’s mainly done by evangelicals with a poor understanding of an incomplete and badly translated Tanakh, i.e., the Old Testament.

      There is also separation of church and state to consider.

      Single parent families have a hard time because of economics. Services have been cut to the bone and most available jobs are low wage. A good percentage of WalMart workers, for instance, are on food stamps. Many areas don’t offer help with day care, and even if a parent can afford it, a lot of jerk employers schedule single parents with small children to work nights.

      In other words, if these greedy “job creators” paid anything approaching a living wage and had any consideration of human beings, 99% of the problems encountered by single parents would be resolved.

      Of course you are free to be against premarital sex for yourself. Just don’t try to push it on anyone else.

    • If you are posting this as a Christian artical then we must obey the Bible as is taught by the Holy Spirit.

      If you are not a Christian then you are free to live your life as you see fit but please do not belittle the Holy inspired word to make your point.

      I will respect you and appreciate it if you resepct Christ.

      Thank you.

    • If you take the time to actually read what I wrote, you’ll note that I was not belittling scripture, but rather people who have no understanding of it, yet claim to be an authority in an attempt to control other peoples behavior that is essentially none of their business.

    • Now I have become entwined damnit culture monk! Who are these “single parents” you are talking about? Mothers? And you are blaming this on Walmart? Please, get a grip. The “Bible” suggest women are the lessor, especially women who have children out of wed lock. You know who is the lessor? The “man” who holds no accountability or responsibility for his actions. It’s her problem not his always has been. She is the Scarlett and he is merely a poor man who can not control his snake against the evil temptress of the women’s “apple”. Oops my bad…sorry your snake ate my apple and now I have to raise a child on my own, work at Walmart and be on welfare, all because you can not control your snake! Not saying that’s always the case, but that is a whole other topic!

  97. I noticed you didn’t quote any of the New Testament scriptures that call out fornication as a si (I Cor. 6 for example). Hhhmm…

  98. Among all the things that the Bible says about sex and marriage, two stand out to me.
    1) Sex causes a unique bond between people, something much more than physical, and something lasting even when we ignore it and treat it as if it is temporary. God designed that bond to be the cement of our lifelong relationship with a mate.
    2) Marriage is based on our relationship with God. First there was our relationship with God (or Jesus’ relationship with the church) then there was marriage to give us a reminder of that relationship. God treats our marriage like our relationship with him. If we do marriage badly, he takes it personally. If we are not faithful to our spouse, we are also unfaithful (idolatrous) to God.

  99. I like your words – a man after my own heart. By the way – I will encourage my kids to have sex outside marriage because sex is natural, not a sin, but normal, natural and thoroughly enjoyable.

  100. Just one more thing though – there isn’t a god. So sex is not immoral, inside or outside marriage.

  101. Interesting read. I think some of those quotes serve as soap opera plot lines ;-)

  102. Hi! Thank you very much for reading my blog. Now you asked some interesting questions that I would like to shine a light on!
    “–) It is okay if a man rapes a virgin! All he has to do is pay the father 50 shekels of silver…and he’s off the hook! (Deut 21)
    –) It is okay for a raped woman to marry her rapist…it is actually biblical! (Deut 21)”
    There is nothing in Deuteronomy chapter 21 concerning this, rather it is in 22:28-29. In summery it says that if a man seizes an un-betrothed virgin and lie with her, he must pay her father 50 shekels and marry her, without the right to ever divorce her. This verse perplexes many, one needs to understand, unlike our justice system which is based on retribution upon the perpetrator, the Levitical justice system was based on restoration of the victim. Furthermore the man was forbidden from treating a woman brutally, for injuries against her had to be repaid “an eye for an eye” “lash for a lash” and “burn for a burn” against him (Exodus 21).
    The point of the practice, despite what modern ideals hold, was that the woman would have her honour restored by being married, and the man would be forced into matrimony and responsible for her wellbeing the rest of his mortal life, under the watchful eye of his in-laws. Rape and fornication was a life sentence.
    Also, prisons did not exist in Judaic law, and prisons were not in popular use until modern times. Furthermore, due to the state that prisons were in back then, prison was equivalent to a slow and painful, and cruel death.

    “–) It is okay for a father to sell his daughter into slavery! (Exodus 21:7)”
    Here is actually a sign of the grace that the Judaic slavery system had over their neighbours. Female slaves had to be treated as a wife of either the master, the master’s son, or one of the slaves. Her children (if she was married to the master or his son) would have their fair share of the inheritance, equal to that of his original wife, and if the slave bore the first born, the first born would receive the double inheritance. This level of fairness to female slaves was near unheard of in ancient times. Also, servants and slaves were a necessary part of life. Today we have electric stoves, dishwashers, vacuums, washers, dryers, but in those days those electronic “slaves” did not exist! (p.s. the Hebrew word for slave does not necessarily mean the person was unpaid either, slaves may or may not have received wages, but either way, their room, board, and medical care, were all from the master’s pocket. Many cultures counted those as debts of the slave, thus the slaves never paying off what was owed.)

    “–) It is okay for a man to marry multiple wives! (Exodus 21:10)”
    Yes, no dispute here. But he also had to afford her and not diminish any of his previous wife’s possessions and care, otherwise his first wife could sue him. Multiple wives were highly uncommon, but sometimes necessary. With wars, many young men would die, leaving many women without spouses, and until modern days, it was not uncommon for women to significantly outnumber men.

    There’s nothing in these verses that I can see as unrighteous, rather it is simply a different way of dealing with things than we do today. God had a perfect plan and granted with modern inventions such as electricity, better forensics (proving who raped who in ancient days was highly difficult), and more equal gender spreads, many of these laws can be considered unnecessary. Do I think it’s just to imprison a rapist, yes I do. However, completely avoiding marriage, should it not still be made the rapist’s responsibility to restore her dignity in some way rather than take the easy route of prison? What if the law assumed that by raping her he forcefully “married” her, therefore she would automatically “divorce” him and receive half, or more, of all that he owned? Something to think about!

    • Davie,

      “…slaves were a necessary part of life”

      This particular article of mine was not written as a theological treatise, though I’ve written academic essays on the subject…this article was not one of them…the main point of this article was about demonstrating grace towards other and having a spirit of grace when responding towards others……

      The sentence of yours that I quoted is very troubling….that you would think slaves were “necessary” indicates to me you have not read very much on the subject or that you simply havnt read any serious theological books that present the opposing side to your position…

      Unfortunately I simply don’t have the time time to get into this particular subject at any depth because I’m overloaded as it is in responding to so many other people and threads….

      I suspect by your comment that you may have never read a great book by Theologian Peter Enns titled “inspiration-incarnation : evangelicals problem with the old testament” (perhaps you’ve read it but I’m getting the vibe that you havnt….)

      What I can say is that if your willing to read Peter Enns book; which can be found at (http://www.amazon.com/Inspiration-Incarnation-Evangelicals-Problem-Testament/dp/0801027306)….he is a professor of theology who used to teach at Westminster Seminary, (and now teaches at Harvard I think)…and he gives a comprehensive in depth theological response to your particular position in regards to o.t. Interpretation.

      The simple fact of the matter is that my personal library includes 2000 commentaries and theological books, and I’ve written essays and taken notes on 10,000 books…..I’ve heard your particular position countless numbers of times and I find it entirely lacking in scope, context, and theological acumen…..

      If your willing to read Enn’s book id be much more willing to engage you more deeply because then we would be able to fast forward the conversation in that you’d understand more fully the opposing position to the one you’ve presented….(or if you’ve read it already I’d be willing to read your essays that refute his position and I would take the time to respond to that)

      If your not willing to read Enn’s book that is fine too….but I simply don’t have the time to have a lengthy back-and-forth conversation that would require me to relay all that could be relayed by you having read one simple book

      Thanks for taking the time to comment…..

      Kenneth

    • hi keneth,
      thanks for your comments, however reading through, it gives me an indication that you are reading out of context. the comments you have wrote shows how ignorant people can be when not fully understanding the context of scriptures.

  103. Adam had sex before marriage all his life.
    Eve was literally every woman. The appl of his eye? Hahaha

    Thanks for the like

    | § | SyntaxsinneR

    • Not really. The passage in Genesis 2:23, 24 uses covenant language (marriage is a covenant), “The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” These are the first wedding vows binding Adam and Eve under the covenant of marriage.

    • Ah. Then no one has to bother with obtaining a license (or a pricey divorce if it doesn’t work out). They can simply use this covenant language and be married in the eyes of God?

  104. Excellent post. The pros and cons of it are well covered and very educational. Your blog is pretty good.

    I did read through all the responses so this might have been covered, “Do you have the courage to admit genocide in the bible is wrong?”

    It wasn’t wrong in it’s historical and cultural context. We can’t use our modern sensibilities to judge every action of ancient cultures. The Lord has always changed how he has dealt with mankind, and what He expects from mankind as mankind has socially, ethically, morally and culturally evolved and matured. Mankind has not always been as educated or culturally advanced as it is today. The Lord gave the people what they could understand and what they could deal with according to how advanced they were then not how advanced we are now. He did what he could with what mankind had to work with with at the time.

    Some of the nations the the Lord told Israel to eradicate sacrificed their children by fire and the Lord did not want Israel exposed to that. Israel did not do what the Lord wanted and eventually they were doing the same thing, burning kids alive as sacrifices to Molech. In that case was “genocide” fair or unfair to the kids who were thrown in the fire? Was God being a big meanie or was He protecting innocent life?

    The point is, nothing in the Bible is ever as simple as it appears on the surface or as it appears to those who have no desire to know God, understand the Bible or to give God the benefit of the doubt.

    Here’s another thing, we are eternal beings. Those who were eradicated by Israel were justly judged by the Lord at the judgment seat just as we will be. Their eternal situation is whatever the Lord knows they deserved. Where are the Canaanites (or even Pharaohs or Babylonians) now? They are in heaven or hell as they individually deserved. If God raised up a King to punish Israel, I believe that King will be judged with that fact in mind.

    God Bless and thanks for a great blog.

  105. Thanks for the follow.

    First, you cited the Bible wrong. The first references are not located in Deut 21, rather in Deut 22. In addition, you cannot just add words to the Bible. It does not say that rape is okay. That is why there were specific punishments following it. In the previous verse, raping a virgin who is to be married is punishable by DEATH. Does that seem permissible or okay? In addition, paying 50 shekels is not the only punishment. He must then take her as his wife permanently. This means providing for her, taking care of her, and possibly even providing children. We must be careful adding and subtracting things and not reading them in overall context.

  106. I came across your blog after you liked one of my posts. Firstly, thank you for that. Secondly, wow, what a post! Very relevant and topical, and concerns many things I often wonder myself. You’ve earned yourself a follower.

  107. How refreshing to hear someone who is willing to think about the bible. We all need to consider our (inherited) world views and oyu are leading by example.

  108. is it possible that those bible passages were meant as jokes? who says god can’t have a sense of humor (even if it’s a sick one sometimes)? thanks a lot for liking my most recent post. now that i’ve got some time off from work for a change, i can finally start to get caught up on your blog. by the way, please let me know if you can recommend any good bible stories. although i’m not religious, i want to know more about the good book as a great work of literature.

  109. Sex seems our most irresistible drive, even trumping survival at times. Our Designer clearly intended that we have plenty. And a designed result of sex–children–are a large and lengthy responsibility demanding two committed adults for optimum results. That is, marriage. Those are biological basics, right?
    A Christian is thereby committed to the Christian rule set for dealing with those biological realities. Rejection of that rule set for another (or none) severs one from that community.
    Ignoring the powerful effects of these biological components seems to me self-indulgent, irresponsible and immoral because others are necessarily affected. Therefore, a rational rule set and attendant self-discipline are required of an adult. Those rules may vary some among people, but they should recognize biology and responsibility at a minimum, from what I can see.

    • True enough, if you amend that to “early Christians”. These days people can get birth control, and women are usually expected to support themselves, married or not.

  110. Very interesting questions Culture Monk…I loved your post and appreciate you asking these relevant, albeit irreverant, questions. :-) Don’t get me wrong, being a staunch Roman Catholic and a virgin, I clearly believe sex before marriage is sinful and would rather die, literally, than commit such a grave offence. Anyway, my question is this: Is sociey better because of the practice of pre-marital sex? What are the consequences of premarital sex? Do the good outweigh the bad or not?
    From experience, premarital sex leads to alot of sexual partners, the horrific spread of STDs especially HIV/AIDS, the use of contraception and even abortions. If not abortion,it creates a societal disease I call single parenthood which is linked to childhood poverty. Check the research, it looks like sex and marriage ought to go together for a healthier and wealthier family. Healthier and wealthier seems to mean better opportunities for education and development. If we want our western culture to continue to deteriorate (we are behind other cultures ex: China, Singapore in the education arena) perhaps we ought to accept the ancient ways of sexual bondage, but I am a big proponent of freedom. I vote for sex within marriage, healthier families and a stronger, more educated society.

    • “…a societal disease I call single parenthood”? Well, it’s nice knowing that everyone who is widowed or divorced with children is a “societal disease”, whether they had sex before marriage or not.

      As for being behind other countries in education, try googling “school to prison pipeline” and “no child left behind”.

      Look, Dessa, I have a solution for all of this. Everybody just stop getting married, then it won’t be “premarital sex”, it’ll just be plain old sex. It’ll save everyone a pricey divorce, too.

      Happy now?

    • Dessa Theresa,

      great thoughts…..I would mostly agree with you that sex within the context of marriage would likely lead to a more ‘stronger’ society. Psychology studies seem to indicate that the traditional nuclear family offers the best psycho-social atmosphere for children………

      The thoughts I was trying to express in my article is that whether or not sex is best kept within marriage is one thing; but because we know the majority of young adults will not be virgins when they marry; our responsibility is to demonstrate grace to them; as opposed to making them feel like they committed the ‘unpardonable sin’ or whatever term you want to put in there.

      thanks for the comments

    • I’m curious as to how this nuclear family utopia would be enforced – labor camps, perchance? Gas chambers?

    • who said anything about ‘enforcing it’ ?

      research studies are conducted all the time which find evidence that demonstrate the various effects of certain behaviors…..Thus, just because the evidence points toward children having a more balanced psycho-social experience when they come from a two-parent home; doesn’t mean we are supposed to ‘enforce’ that kind of culture…..here’s one study for instance, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131204091610.htm

    • Inferred from Dessa’s “…a societal disease I call single parenthood”. What one usually does with a “disease” is attempt to eradicate it.
      Humans being humans, the majority aren’t going to give up sex outside of marriage, so…slippery slope to enforcement.

    • Fennario,

      ok, well notice what I wrote in my comment to Dessa'; “Dessa, I would mostly agree with you…..marriage would likely lead to a more ‘stronger’ society”

      —) I would never support enforcing marriage
      —) I would never support enforcing sex only within marriage

      but there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging peer-reviewed studies which demonstrate a strong causal link between more well adjusted psycho-social behavior of children who come from two-parent (i.e. nuclear) families…….

      this is not meant to denigrate non-traditional relationships at all….. I know many single moms, single dads, and un-married couples who live together who all do a great job at parenting :-)

    • Yes, my beef wasn’t with you, it was with the fanatics and zealots. Probably should have been more clear about that.

      A stable, two parent situation would be a kind of ideal, but how common is it anymore? Marriage is no guarantee that you won’t be divorced in a few years, it doesn’t guarantee that your partner won’t develop addictions, clean out your bank account and disappear, turn abusive, molest the kids, leave you in the lurch, or give you horrible STD’s that you can’t get rid of. In most of those instances, the kids would be better off with a single parent.

      It would be better to address the causes of those things than to pretend some magic piece of paper is going to make anything any different.

  111. What fascinates me about this whole debate is how hung-up and fanatical Americans seem to be about the concept of SIN, particularly in regard to sex. This strikes me as hugely ironical in a country that cherishes the right of its citizens to carry deadly weapons; that considers the death penalty righteous (I was taught that vengeance was God’s prerogative. Romans12.19 if you want a biblical reference); where ‘Christians’ consider it their duty to kill abortionists; where money doesn’t just talk, it shouts loudly enough to drown out the rights of the rest.
    I don’t condone sin, but let’s get real here. In the modern world – which is where we live, after all – the real sins are the ones that contravene everything Christ stood for: intolerance, injustice, inequality, neglect, bigotry, sadism – and more specifically, murder, rape, violence… Consensual sex before marriage doesn’t even rate – unless you consider pleasure a sin, which it seems some do.
    I’m tempted to say to the fanatics, ‘Get a life’, but I’m pretty sure that would get me into even more trouble.

  112. Great post Kenneth. I was raised Southern Baptist and have been “recovering” all my life. For all the good there is in the Bible it is a sad commentary for humanity that the things which are most often quoted tend to have value only in a manipulative sense. I have four sons, all of whom are well versed in the pitfalls of sex outside of a committed relationship from a practical, emotional and physical perspective. That was enough for them to make responsible decisions without the use of theological threats. And when looking closely at the backgrounds of many sexual abusers, it can often be traced to a history of abuse by someone “acting” under the guise of some twisted version of religion. Spirituality brings healing and compassion. I personally feel religion only produces separation. Love and Light to you.

    • Religion is fine as long as it’s used to make yourself a better, stronger, more compassionate person, and not to a big stick to beat other people over the head with. Christianity can produce somebody like Johnny Cash who visited prisons and didn’t try to push his views on the population at large, but it can also produce sanctimonious idiots like Pat Robertson who say that snowstorms are caused by people “going to do something gay”. Lately we’ve been hearing from a lot more Pat Robertson types than Johnny Cash types. It’s become very tainted these last few decades.

    • Indeed. The thing I always want to say to people is that Jesus was not a Christian. Jesus moved among the people in need and that shared his vision of peace and hope, not in the temples with the self righteous. I feel it is a fallacy, therefore, to claim the name of Christ in a manner that does not honor his intent. Stay true to your heart my young friend.

    • Hey Fen,

      Have you ever thought that you will always hear those Pat Robertson people because they will always be loud, rather than the Johnny Cashs because they humble and doing their work quietly….

    • I’m sure that’s part of it.
      But I do remember a time when you never heard people insist publicly that storms were caused by people “going to do something gay”, or that dinosaurs existed a few hundred years ago.
      I’m sure people like that existed, but nobody took that nonsense seriously.

    • It’s always been around, in fact it goes all the way back to the Biblical times where people made annoying claims or did things out of their own agenda. We have more chance of hearing more crap today due to the accessibility of media, internet and social media (especially if they’re hiding behind their keyboards anonymously). I wouldn’t be hearing about Kayne saying his job is the same as military or police officers a few hundred years ago, but heard it through social media and newspapers. Same goes for here.

  113. There are a small cadre of ‘religious’ folk who have either forgotten or entirely ignored the underlying fact that the thing about the Bible is the message, it’s why the gospels are called just that, the very word means “good news.”

    You’ve taken in a bit of my blog so perhaps you’ve surmised that I am a person of faith as opposed to organized religion.I think it’s great for those who want it, need it, or seek it. Im not one of them.

    So many contradictions in the Bible, between testaments and between gospels. The key is always being in touch with our moral compass—the good souls always do.

    • unfortunately, there are a lot of Christians who aren’t willing to have a positive dialogue on these topics and would rather sling arrows…. thanks for the comments

  114. You’re 100% right about the Old Testament. Gets creepy & disturbing, doesn’t it?! And it looks like God agrees with you, too. Because Jesus (and his disciples) made it clear that He came to REPLACE all the old laws. Basically, “the Law is dead. Long live the Christ”!! I don’t know how Christianity got so inside out & backwards, because Jesus couldn’t have made it any simpler: Believe in Him, accept the gift of redemption He offers, and love the world like you love yourself. Do that, and you’re good. Things like premarital sex (& even–dare I mention it—homosexuality) impact our experiences here on earth, but there’s no (New Testament) scriptural basis for saying it could ever impact our salvation OR God’s opinion of us! Grace is grace is grace. That’s what He offers….and He made it painfully clear that the offer was free, no strings attached. If you read the New Testament WITHOUT traditional church interpretations (twists) in your head, you’ll be amazed at what it REALLY says to us! (P.S.—thanks for liking my blog!)

    • One of the problems is that there is a resistance by many conservative Christians (and specifically conservative theologians) to consider alternative ideas regarding how we read and understand the old testament.

  115. Very Insightful. Thanks for this post… Opened my eyes a little bit more.

  116. Coming from a conservative Christian background, I find this article very interesting. The perspective I feel like you have gotten about Christians’ view on sex before marriage is a very very older conservative view. A lot of older generations in the church community are up tight about social issues like sex before marriage. In doing so, they tend to teach sex as something “bad”. When really sex was made to be a wonderful gift from God that two people share together.
    Some of the verses mentioned were from the Old Testament, which is the Old Law, where as most Christians today follow the “New Law” or “New Testament”. And yes, contrary to what your uptight preacher from down the street may tell you, The Bible that traditional Christians follow today does not say specifically anywhere about “no sex before marriage”. Granted, I agree that its probably smarter to wait until you find the right person: I still will not in any way condemn those who choose to have sex before marriage. It actually happens a lot within the younger Christian community, its just more hush-hush.
    At least this is my view and knowledge coming from growing up in the Bible-belt and in the church.

    • “A lot of older generations in the church community are up tight about social issues like sex before marriage”

      yes, a lot of people in the older generation simply don’t want to acknowledge that just because things were done one way ‘back then’ doesn’t mean that is the way we have to do them now.

    • What’s odd is that the older people today would have been young adults during the advent of the pill and the sexual revolution, lol.

  117. Sex is fine and dandy but like wine should not be viewed as candy. To please a partner is sublime and that is what is important with this rhyme.

  118. Humans have urges, it’s as simple as that. We do things we are not supposed to do, because we’re humans.
    The things we are not supposed to do is mostly dictated by the society, culture AND religion.
    As an atheist I care little for religion and what it tells people to do, but that does not mean I haven’t got my own moral standards.
    Those standards are, often, much stricter than any religious book but can be summarized in on simple sentence; don’t hurt people. That’s it, nothing more.
    I don’t kill, hurt, rape or abuse people.
    If you need a book to understand that… you need help.

    I’ve never been married and I have no intention to be.
    That would leave me sex-less in a religious context.
    For me, and a lot of other people, sex before marriage is the only sex they can or will have and lets face it, if you marry someone just for the sex, you are in for the worst time of your life. :)

  119. I need to find New Testament writings on sex and see what it says. I know there’s a lot of strange things written in the Old Testament about sex that seem quite perverted. I struggle with some of what’s written in the OT.

  120. Sex is never bad, not before, during or after marriage if the two people are willing to do it!

  121. I’d agree with ENrico – sex is a nice thing, but like all nice things it can be made nasty. Marriage to me is neither here nor there – most Aussies would be surprised to meet anyone who abstained till marriage, it’s just not common here – explains why we’re a cheerful lot, perhaps! Something I don’t understand is how a believer can pick and choose with the bible – either it is the word of god, all of it, and you have to accept it, like it or not – or it isn’t, and you can throw out any bit you like on the grounds that you don’t think god would have said that (given present cultural mores). I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but how do you get round that one?

  122. A difficult subject capably handled. Thanks.

  123. I recall a comment from you that one of your most ever read blogs was to do with sex. Having scrolled to the other side of the world to find the comment box on this one, also about sex, all I can say is “weird man”. It took so long to get down here I cannot remember my thoughts from up above. But now I am down here – a simple Thank You. God and us need you. He needs Christ Ian’s to ask questions. Just like Jesus did. Like God does. Without an off-limits list, and without regard for what will come back. You do not play the Devil’s Advocate, you are an advocate for Christ. You don’t need my support. But you have it anyway. Well done brother Ian!

  124. I’ve just found your blog, and I’m afraid I didn’t read through all the comments on this post – there were rather a lot. I read a few, though, and I would like to ask you something – what is your view on homosexuality, in this context? I mean, let’s go ahead and say the bible definitively condemns it – arguments can be made on that all day, but let’s just say it does for purposes of discussion. If the bible condones rape and slavery, which are pretty clearly wrong by modern standards, and condemns homosexuality – what then?

    For the record, of course, I’m a gay Christian. I was just pleased to come across a somewhat liberal Christian blog, and wanted to know your thoughts on the matter. Cheers!
    T

    • tyler,

      The mistake that many Christians make is that they believe it is their ‘duty’ out of some sense of ‘righteous obligation’ to spend all of their time telling others what they believe is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’……I don’t believe that was ever the intention of the biblical writers. in fact, the more deeply I study the bible the more convinced I become that the goal of the writers was to impress upon the readers our obligation to love others and demonstrate grace towards others. And at the highest of my responsibilities is to demonstrate the reality of God and God’s love toward others.

      Each of us must work out our own relationship with God and that will lead each of us to making different decisions. For some people, drinking alcohol is a stumbling block and so they should abstain….for others, drinking alcohol is not a stumbling block so they can drink it. My responsibility is to respect the choices of each person and support them, and to encourage each person to pursue their own personal relationship with God.

      With regards to homosexuality in the context of your question; the evangelical (conservative) church has erred for many years in not recognizing the fact that many people have same sex attractions. Evangelicals have too often said that homosexual attraction is nothing more than a ‘choice’. This is an absurd position they’ve taken since I know for myself that I don’t ‘choose’ to be attracted to women, it is simply something that exists within my nature, and the evidence seems rather substantial to support the same idea for those who attracted to someone of the same sex.

      Having said that, It’s not my place to have a position or opinion regarding someone’s individual behavior, whether they are homosexual or heterosexual; because their individual lifestyle and walk with God; is between them and god. For instance, some people have found that it is best for them not to engage in any sex at all like Gandhi. He was heterosexual, but after years of having sex with women he found that the best decision for his life in relation to pursuing the Truth (i.e. God) was for him to abstain from sex. Of course, he still had sexual attraction to women, and his physical self still wanted to have sex with women…..but he believed the best choice he could make with regard to his spirituality was to remain abstinent. I don’t judge Gandhi for the decision he made; and if I were alive at the time i would have supported him regardless of my own personal opinion’s :-)

  125. First, I want to thank you for liking our posts on our newest blog: http://lifeistoughbutgodalwaysmakesaway.wordpress.com

    When looking at issues like this, it’s vital to ask how God sees things and not how we personally do or how society views things. God’s word clearly states what is sexual sin and what isn’t. The only sex God approves of is between a man and a woman married to each other. Anything else, masturbation, fornication, adultery, same sex stuff, is sexual sin and not within the parameters that God created us to live and love within. When a Christian asks Jesus into his/her life, essentially he/she yields every area to God and changes those areas that are incompatible with living God’s way.

    It’s a difficult thing to be a follower of Jesus and live differently from the society around us where social mores and customs conflict with God’s. God and His way always needs to come first.

  126. Thanks for stopping by and liking my post. I believe that God can use your writings for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

  127. I disagree.

    Your reference to Deut 21 and rapes was off by a chapter. You meant Deut 22:28,29. You also didn’t check cognate verses on the topic. For example, Exo. 22:16,17 speaks to the same issue and uses the word “seduce”—consensual sex. Likewise, you didn’t mention that the rest of passage speaks of a penalty of not only 50 shekels (a dowry payment) but a marriage from which the husband could never be free under any circumstances. It’s not OK.

    Your reference to a “raped woman” in Deut 21 is hardly rape. It says, Deuteronomy 21:10, 11 “When you go out to battle against your enemies, and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take them away captive, and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her and would take her as a wife for yourself,” Your assumption of rape is a bad one; this is an offer of marriage instead of becoming a slave.

    And yes it is OK for a father to sell a daughter into slavery, but this was an alternative to starving to death. In a world without social safety nets, poverty meant starvation. One way to avoid this was to sell one’s family as a slave. It wasn’t optimal, but at least they would live—and the father could work on redeeming the family out of slavery. You’re reading modern “human trafficking” into an ancient custom, a last ditch effort, designed to preserve life.

    And yes, it was OK for a man to have multiple wives. How is that sex outside of marriage?

    Sex outside of marriage is wrong. God calls it a sin. See, for example, Colossians 3:5 “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.” and 1 Thessalonians 4:3 “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality;”

  128. I like your views. Of course we shouldn’t just swallow everything. The bible, as important as it is as God’s word, must be seen in the context of the time it/the book in question (because we probably should see it as a series of books and not just one book, seeing how far apart they were written, especially the old testament) was/were written in and then carefully be translated into our times – in all aspects.

    We were created with a brain and should use it. As Christians that is our responsibility (IMO) and we should not shy away from these difficult points in the bible and just ignore them/gloss over them/try to justify them.

    Fortunately, my church and priest (as well as other priests that I have heard) are well aware of the problems and are not afraid to say so/point them out either, most of times even during their sermon. Then again, I have yet to find someone here who just takes in and accepts everything the bible says, no matter how problematic. People around me like to think about such things and discuss them. But maybe I’m just exceptional lucky in that and most people don’t do that… (which would not only be a shame, but also dangerous).

    • contemporaryreflections,

      “Then again, I have yet to find someone here who just takes in and accepts everything the bible says, no matter how problematic”

      the numerous people who’ve commented on this thread are evidence that there are a lot of people out there who ‘takes in accept everything’ the bible says….and that is what creates the tension; because these people instead of questioning whether or not they are taking things out of context, instead merely defend bad things; like forced slavery, selling daughters into prostitution, and more.

      Enjoyed your comments thank you :-)

    • You know, it makes me wonder if that could be a cultural difference, too. Maybe Christians in Europe are less likely to just accept everything blindly the bible says than Christians in the USA? (not everybody, of course. I’m sure, you have people who think as well, just as much as we have people who don’t). Granted, I don’t have contact to all that many religious people, seeing that I just regained my faith not even a year ago, but none of the people I talked to (including priests, monks, people who work for the church, long-time Christians and returners/newcomers) ever just took the bible at face value, without stopping to think about what it says and putting things in context.
      Apart from it being dangerous and irresponsible, I highly doubt that God would want that. After all, He created us with the ability to think for ourselves and not just to accept everything blindly…

    • (I actually wanted to reply to your second comment but it wouldn’t let me :-) ) I love what you said about God creating us to think for ourselves and not accepting everything blindly. I believe you are right on with that. God wants us to love and follow Him. However, if He wanted us to follow Him without question there would be no free will. Questions and questioning is good and that is what leads us to faith.

  129. Firstly, thank you for stopping by my blog. More importantly, your blog has hit a note with many people it seems on many levels. Well done that man! And I am not being facetious, in fact I admire your courage. You have hit the nail fairly and squarely on the head. Many of societies misconstructions stem from the dim dark medieval days and latterly the Victorian times when it was almost a sin to think. Congratulations and I look forward to reading more.

  130. Thanks for checking out my blog today. I’m also glad you’re out there discussing these kinds of issues. While I don’t believe sex before marriage is healthy for any true intimate relationship, to try to persuade a non-Christian that it is wrong by cherry-picking Bible verses probably turns most of them away from Christ. Jesus himself spoke forcefully about sin, but never attacked an individual; rather, he debated them toward truth, and only in love. I appreciate you starting a conversation about this, and causing that kind of debate.

  131. Well written, culturemonk! You’re clearly asking and answering some important questions. Bravo (and thank for visiting my blog)!

  132. Kudos. Nice piece of writing. For the record: In my religious tradition premarital sex is a wrong and a sin & coffee drinking at any age is also wrong and a sin. Can you guess my affiliation? ha ha.. I am likely not as young as you. I broke the rules early on though. I found that the sex was…..well a freekin’ amazing, but the guilt of it debilitating at times and sometimes still haunting. As for the coffee…..dunno. I may dabble. :)

  133. You make some good points, although I do think that it’s time for many people to let go of a scripture that was written thousands of years ago, as it is not that relevant in the times we are living now.
    It’s a bit like using a road map from 100 years ago today, that would be funny!! It’s not to say that the roadmap was wrong a hundred years ago, it just is not accurate now.

    • Good morning Kenneth. I do understand that you are trying to bring up the point that today society is different then hundreds or even thousands of years ago. Maybe the peoples city of Sodom thousands of years ago thought times were different for them also. I know one thing that has changed the world and the lives of millions, it’s the right to read and understand what Jesus the Christ said and how He lived and taught. For myself I really pray before I teach, as I know I will be accountable for the lives that I influence with the words and teaching I teach.

    • Viniv,

      well, one of the points I also try and make is that many people read the bible through a “Western’ lens….yet the bible wasn’t written in western culture, yet much of today’s evangelical thought interprets the bible through an entirely Westernized philosophy which taints their hermeneutics and exegesis….Peter Enns has written an excellent book on the subject titled “inspiration and incarnation” …thanks for the comments :-)

  134. I have not read all the comments, but this post and the discussion about scripture and cultural influences on moderen Christianity made me think of this quote from musician Butch Hancock:

    Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you’re going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love.

    It’s those conflicting messages that are so screwed up and lead to more unhealthy behaviors than good.

  135. This post speaks powerfully to me. You have made some very good points.

    I am 47. My husband will be 51 in February. We have been married over 26 years. We both were Christians when we met…not perfect, but we were believers, and still are. Our son is 25 and our daughter is 19. Our nest is empty. Both my husband and I wanted to “get it right” when it came to living life, and especially in our parenting. We even homeschooled them. My husband was a lot more relaxed than I was, but still, he wanted to get it right, too.

    Over the past 12-13 years I have changed a lot…loosened up a lot.. apologized to both the Lord and to my children a lot. I gradually came to realize that I am just not capable of getting it right…thinking right…responding right. But it still breaks my heart (has kept me awake many many nights…and went through a number of Prozac bottles ) that I have at times have hurt my children while trying so hard to get it right, and have hurt the Lord when interpreting and sharing scripture in a way that was not right.

    I am thinking about your words:

    “How can we expect to be taken seriously if we pretend that genocide, rape, slavery…and other horrendous behaviors that the bible appears to condone…..are okay???

    Do you have the courage to admit genocide in the bible is wrong?”

    All of those things…genocide, rape, slavery really creep me out. I do not understand why they happened; why they continue to happen. It troubles me. That is one reason that I think these Bible verses are so wise:

    “19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:19-21 ESV

    Once again I am looking at this question:

    “Do you have the courage to admit genocide in the bible is wrong?” .

    My answer? Absolutely not. I cannot do that.

    Something inside just won’t let me do that. I just hope it won’t come up often and when it does (and it surely has on numerous occasions) I say pretty much the same things that i have said in this comment…………..with meekness, fear, and lots sympathy and love. More and more these days I just try to focus on the portrait of the Good Shepherd that is hanging on the wall of my heart…that was painted…each and every stroke by the Word that is hidden there.

    • I just wanted you to know that your comment really spoke to me. I am a mother of two young boys and I pray every day that i make the right decisions to lead them to Christ and not away. My mom regularly told us that she was terrible because she knew she was going to make mistakes (personally, I think she’s fantastic). As people and as parents, we all make mistakes. That’s been a fact since Adam and Eve were thrown out of The Garden. My favorite passage in the bible is philippians 2:12 which shortened says work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. I pray that God will give you peace over whatever mistakes you made because we’ve all made them. We’re all just doing the best we can until Jesus comes to take us home.

  136. My name is Busisiwe Mabuza and i am from South Africa. I want to share my life testimony with the entire people of the world. I am very grateful for the good work Priest did for me, I was HIV patient, everything went bad for me, I couldn’t do things with my friends anymore and also lost my job when boss discovered that i am HIV positive and the virus was already affecting my advertising beauty. I lost everything and all i was waiting for is death, I went searching on the internet I saw many testimonies on how different spell casters helped people in curing their deadly diseases and i also saw how many people where scammed by spell casters. I was confused on what to believe but one day, i decided to contact the email of one Priest which i saw on health care website. I emailed him and he answered me, I told him all the problem that i am passing through and requested for my information and told me that I will be free from the deadly disease. He send me herbal medicine 3 days after i contact him through DHL. I took the medication in accordance to his prescription and after 14 days i went for a test. I was surprised that i tested negative. I visited 4 different hospital for test and the result was negative. I was shocked because i never believe that i will be free from this deadly virus and today i am ready to tell the whole world how this good man helped me in case there is anyone passing through any deadly sickness. He is the only solution to any deadly sickness and i trust him so much. Anyone that needs his help should contact him through his email address: templeofpermanenthealing@hotmail.com and he will help you.

  137. Spot on. I believe the Bible as far as it is translated correctly and understood correctly by those who dictated the message…it’s been through quite a lot of hands and translations over the centuries.

    • Let me see…. You are saying that God who created the Heavens and the Earth. God who has a prefect plan for the creation that He made. Has now allowed the peoples of the world that He created to change His plan?

      The word of God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow too. The major problem is when the Word of God is read and interpreted with the mind and not allowing the Holy Spirit of God to lead us into all truth.

      I would like to ask you. Have you excepted that Jesus was the Word made flesh as said in John chapter 1? That God so loved you and me that He fulfilled His perfect plan by sending His Son into the world as He said He would, and that He fulfilled the many prophecies saying that God would send a Savior?

      Please pray and ask Jesus to come to you and help you to understand His will for your life and His Word.

      God is not dead. He is still fulfilling His perfect plan. He will till Jesus returns and sets up His Kingdom on earth as He said also.

      If you would like to see some of the studies I have put on the net. http://www.afreegift.us

    • Absolutely! I have accepted Jesus Christ as the Word made flesh. He is the only Begotten Son of the Father, who condescended to come to earth and take upon him a mortal body, that he could accomplish the Atonement for all mankind. All the prophets foretold of His coming. I know that he atoned for MY sins in the Garden of Gethsemene and on the Cross of Calvary. He died and was resurrected on the third day, and because of that, we will all be resurrected as well. He stands today on the right hand of God, and has an active role in the lives of those who call on him in faith. I also look forward to his coming again to the earth in glory. I have felt God’s influence in my life many times and know it is only through his grace that salvation is possible.
      I am only saying (earlier) that with the many translations and interpretations of the Bible, some things are not easily understood except through prayer and study and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and allowing me the opportunity to share mine! <3 Gail

  138. I would be interested to know if you have ever talked to a priest well versed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church? Or if anyone who commented above has. The church ( I’m not saying individual priests here, but doctrine itself) doesn’t frown on premarital sex or cohabitation simply because “the Bible says so,” it is much more complex and beautiful than that. In all honesty, anyone who hasn’t picked up the catechism and looked up the subject has any authority to talk about “what the church says” on any issue.

  139. Like you, too ~ Sea

  140. Kenneth has done a great job raising a very important issue every one of us has to deal with. Each of us comes from a different background and makes a choice based on that background. Personally, I’ve chosen abstinence until marriage but I respect the choices each of us makes. Have I missed out by making my choice? Yes. Has it been easy? Not always. But I’m betting that at the end of the day I’ll walk away with more than I would’ve otherwise. Am I right? I guess I’ll find out.

  141. you have misinterpreted the bible i feel. also u began with sex before marriage in the cultural sense and then watered down to religious point of view… Is it only religion which says that sex before marriage is bad?

  142. You have misinterpreted the bible, i feel. You began well with the question – is sex before marriage bad? but instead of following the cultural path you watered yourself down to the religious point of view… Is religion alone against sex before marriage?

  143. Hello,

    First just wanted to say “Thanks for visiting my blog”.

    Then,…I would really like to also have a say in this minefield of responses. What a complex issue, which seems to have drawn people into a couple of opposing sides – sex (fulfilling our desires) or God (obeying a charter of purity) or religion/church.
    You like questions, here are mine –

    Why does it polarize discussion?

    Why did God create sex in the first place?

    What are the boundaries for sex that God intends for us?

    Why does God place boundaries for sex?

    Sex is a powerful and spiritual connection between people. Just because it is pleasurable, is it appropriate to use it and abuse it to it’s fullest power?

    We live in a world sex-saturated world. Is that helping humanity?

    Why does one need counselling and help for years after being abused sexually?

    Sex is no trivial thing. There is no such thing as casual sex.

    Why do we entertain the notion that our children can wear sexually suggestive clothing and then wonder why they know more about sex than we do?

    Why do we encourage our children into boyfriend/girlfriend relationships when that comes with totally different expected modes of behavior, when very few adults can get it right?

    Do we truly understand the weight of ‘expected behavior’ in an exclusive relationship?

    Why is it OK to let singers make sexually illicit videos that play in most McDonald’s around the world?

    Why do we think that holding sexually loose morals is cool?

    Have you ever talked to a couple who did wait for marriage?

    Do we as a culture truly try to grasp the awful consequences of seeing sex just as a physical outlet?

    I hope that as a culture we can begin to place more value on the whole person, created in the image of a majestic, loving God. I hope that we can place more value on children as a blessing and a precious gift to be cherished and protected. I hope that discussions such as this can help challenge the sexual culture of Today and open the eyes of people to the emotional, and spiritual trauma of sex without boundaries.

  144. I think the real question is: what is marriage?

  145. This is quite possibly one of the most relevant posts you could have ever done. The messed up ideas about sex and marriage confused me so much that I wrote a book about it.

    http://amzn.com/1493697870

    I followed your blog because of your ability to be so honest. We have that in common.

  146. Wow, so well said! Too many people who consider themselves “religious” only follow the bible passages that conform to their beliefs. And stick their heads in the sand for everything else.

  147. Beautiful write…truthful, bold and insightful! Would be very happy to follow your posts :)

  148. Great post and some wonderful comments. Nothing beats a good discussion.
    Cheers
    G.

  149. Without the help of the Holy Spirit to bring the correct understanding (interpretation) it is easy to misunderstand the scripture. I won’t argue, debate or try to sell you on the truth concerning the word of God on this issue because Truth will reveal himself to you if your heart truly desires to know truth.

    Just as you made reference to being realistic about what is done in our Western cultures, they also practiced unrighteous and sinful acts in the cultures mentioned in scripture. God did not approve of it then and He doesn’t know especially when it violates scripture.

    I haven’t always been a Christ follower but I will say that all the sex I had before getting married was good. The bible never said sex outside of marriage was not good, it said that it is a sin, fornication to be exact. By the mere fact that God instituted marriage between his male and female human creation and commanded them to be fruitful and multiply implies that sex is a good thing, even to God.

    There are those who believe that sex outside marriage is “bad” because their love relationship with God highlights their obedience to His commands and then there those who are not concerned about their love relationship or obedience to God simply because they don’t believe. The real issue for me is the love factor and the obedience factor, both rooted in a person’s belief system.

    My husband and I waited to have sex until after our marriage and we did so to honor God’s commandment. Now let me add that he has since violated our marriage covenant by committing adultery, because just like many he erroneously viewed love as a feeling or emotion. Love is a choice to give of yourself sacrificially to another for their benefit.

    Until people come to this truth concerning love they will continue to violate this spiritual commandment and violate their marriage covenants because after all sex is “good” in marriage or outside of marriage.

    • ” The bible never said sex outside of marriage was not good, it said that it is a sin, fornication to be exact.”

      Hmmm…..I don’t remember ever reading that in the bible, and I’ve read it a few hundred times cover-to-cover.

      The bible does say that;
      —) A betrothed woman who has sex with someone other than the guy she is betrothed to is in sin
      —) Sleeping with a married woman is a sin (i.e. adultery)
      —) Sleeping with someone you’re directly related to is a sin

      But there is no verse that simply says ‘sex before marriage is a sin’…. sorry, but it simply doesn’t say that.

    • I am constantly gobsmacked by the breathtakingly smug, patronising arrogance of those who believe that their Truth (with a capital T) regarding God’s Word (more caps) is absolute and beyond question, and that the rest of us will only receive God’s grace when we renounce our own errant perceptions and fall into line with them.

      Yes, t. jones, I am not being polite (my apologies, Kenneth) but self-righteousness does not sit well with me, and you’ve just tipped the balance to overload. NONE of us knows God’s mind entirely, and it is not our right to judge those whose deep and sincere ponderings on the subject have led them to different conclusions, or to pre-empt God’s dispensation of grace. What happened to humility?

      And yes, love does require sacrifice, and compassion, and consideration, but it does NOT require us to sacrifice ourselves for another’s benefit, thus isnulting the gift, and the responsiblity to cherish that gift, that God gives to each one of us: our own unique and special lives.

    • Helen,

      Thank you :-) …..i’m with you

  150. Thoughts on Exodus 20:14, and the fact that it is one of God’s commandments for us? and also Matthew 5:27 onwards, as Jesus reinforced it and further spoke on the topic?

  151. Sex before marriage is like relish a rich dinner w/o payments.

  152. I’m an atheist but have quite a lot of Christian friends. I think your post is very well considered, intelligent and thought-provoking. Well said.

  153. This was an excellent piece that I think important because it went beyond the web of obfuscation that is thrown up by those who believe that sexuality is sinful, rather than a human blessing. My own belief is that NOT having sex before marriage is a terrible mistake that perhaps too many people make, because of false religious teachings. Sexual pleasure can be one of the great blessings of marriage and represents a good part of the “glue” that keeps the couples bonds strong. While some may erroneously believe that sex is so natural that its fulfillment just happens, the reality is that sex improves with practice. The other sad reality is that a couple that marries without having sex is unable to foresee that there might be issues of dysfunction between them as to their sexual needs and wants. The honeymoon is too late to discover the possibility of sexual incompatibility.

    Finally though to reference what underlies Ken’s exposition of what the Bible really says about sex I would leave readers with this thought. Jesus practiced the “Golden Rule” and one could realistically say that is it the essence of his teachings. How come some Christians focus little on that great teaching in terms of relationships within society and so much on sexuality. One would almost think that this makes God into a voyeur observing the doings of his children. That notion of God being primarily interested in people’s sex lives has always seemed to me to be an almost blasphemous way of viewing the creator. This dichotomy has been created by some in the religious establishment who are more interested in increasing their personal power (and wealth) than in upsetting the status quo by insisting that we work towards creating a world where the “Golden Rule” is primary. Such a world would be far too upsetting to the “powers that be” throughout history that have controlled peoples’ lives. By upsetting those with power people representing themselves as teachers of God, would face a greater struggle to achieve the success of their message. So in my opinion they “sell out” the “Golden Rule” and focus on sex as sin. In my opinion though, the greatest sin is to mistreat our fellow humans and not what an individual does with their sexuality.

    • “That notion of God being primarily interested in people’s sex lives has always seemed to me to be an almost blasphemous way of viewing the creator.”

      That is one of the most epic sentences I have ever read. I have thought that same thing. I don’t really see why people make God out to be a divine porn addict.

  154. Nice post. What’s interesting his how the bible doesn’t shun sex before marriage but actually points out the necessary step one must take after the act. Some believe the old laws (old testament) have been done away with, and others believe that isn’t the case because Jesus has not returned (Matthew 5:17). Far too many destroy their meaning of the bible through their own interpretation, which creates far too much debate. I do want to once again thank you for this beautiful post.

    • “What’s interesting his how the bible doesn’t shun sex before marriage but actually points out the necessary step one must take after the act”

      Errol, exactly right on that point

  155. Informative…really on a serious note…I didn’t know those things until I read it from your blog…and the coffee thing? Yahhhh I believe too so..

  156. I have not been sexually involved for over two years and I can honestly say that I get a boost of self-confidence, in addition I do not have the time, money, or extra emotional time to deal with a STD or HIV/AIDS, unplanned pregnancies, or getting disrespected.

  157. I still love that one scene from Westwing where Prez Bartlett takes on the Religious right about stoning, touching the skin of a pig, etc. etc., including selling his daughters and killing some of the people he works with! I like your writing; I’d like it best if you refer to Christian religious people when you mean them — there are others of us! Having grown up Catholic and now a buddhist of 40 years, religious does not mean Christian. I am now careful of saying right-wing fundamentalists, because my Catholic mother took umbrage when I said something disparaging about Christians — and of course, i didn’t mean her. So, fundamentalists pick and choose, but not my mother, who is a full-bloded Catholic. As a knowledgeable Catholic, she also knows a sin has to be believed to be sinful or God doesn’t see it that way — true in the Catholic religion. So my sex-before-marriage was not a sin at all (ooops, I confessed.)

    Thanks for stopping by my site.

  158. I appreciate the respectful nature of your site; honest, respectful dialog is a great thing!
    I also appreciate your questions on what the bible says about sex outside of marriage. They are great questions to consider. Truly, there are many passages that I have a hard time with even after years of reading the bible and a commitment to follow New Testament teachings as closely as possible. However, I don’t throw out the baby with the bath water just because I can’t understand God’s rationale on every subject.

    I agree questions are good. I have a few questions for your consideration.

     Because the bible mentions people doing something, is that the same as approving of the action mentioned?
     Does the bible really say it is okay for the offenses you listed to occur?

    Scripture doesn’t actually say it is okay. In context, in Deuteronomy 22:28-29 say that if a man has violated a virgin, he must pay a price to the father and also provide for the woman the rest of his life. In those days, women, were usually treated as property (against God’s standard since He created male and female in His image and thus valued them equally), and if violated, the possibility of a respectable marriage where they would be provided for in an agrarian society was small. These verses do not say rape is okay, rather it says the woman must be provided for. As reprehensible as that is in our modern Western society, daily provision through marriage was not (and is not) taken so lightly in non-western, non-modern societies.

     Is it possible that boundaries set up in the bible are actually in our best interest?

    As a parent, I told my children repeatedly not to run into the street while playing. That wasn’t because I wanted to limit their freedom or their fun, but was rather a safeguard.
    In regard to sexual relations outside marriage, in my opinion, God, who invented sex, knows how it will be best enjoyed and safely practiced.

    New statistics from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention find that three major STDs continue to spread in the U.S. In 2012, gonorrhea rose 4%, while primary and secondary syphilis rose 11%, and the increase is mainly among people under 25. Both diseases can cause infertility in women. Condoms aren’t the answer as they don’t prevent these, or many other STDs.

    Recently, I searched the internet for non-religious sites which discussed the health risks of homosexual behavior. I was shocked at what we are not hearing about in terms of the health risks, suicide rates, and such. Do a search. I encourage you.

    The boundary set in the New Testament, Hebrews 13:4 for example, is given for our protection as well as for our ultimate sexual satisfaction. Richard Niolor, PhD psychology and professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, has some interesting information on his site: http://www.psychpage.com/family/brwaitgalligher.html that gives insight into sex, marriage and cohabiting that you might find interesting. I did.

    Further, sex outside of marriage creates a lot of children (over 40% of new births) born to unwed mothers, most of which will go on to be raised in single parent homes. President Obama had something to say about that. Allow me to quote him: “We know the statistics: that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school, and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.”

    It seems to me that enjoying sex within the boundaries of marriage actually has a plethora of benefits, only a few of which I’ve mentioned.

    I will conclude with a final question based on your comment, “just because we ‘enjoy’ something doesn’t always mean it is ‘good’ for us.” In light of your comment, with which I completely agree, I must ask:
     Based on information about CDC facts about STDs, infertility issues, pain, costly treatments, kids born into and often raised in single parent homes, is sex outside of marriage good for you?

    I did not see the answer to the question you raised in your post. Again, I appreciate the post with great questions. Thank you.

  159. Gerri, thank you for bringing these excellent points to view on this post. I, too, after reading this post, went back to my Bible because I think sometimes we can take things out of contexts from the Bible and sometimes misunderstand what is being conveyed to us. I don’t believe the Bible’s interpretation in these verses, especially Deuteronomy 22:28-29, says it’s “okay” for sex out of marriage, rape, or slavery. I think it acknowledges that it happens and when it does, there are consequences and cares that must be put in place for the protection of the female involved. I don’ t tell my kids they can’t run in the street, because they’ll do it to prove they can. Instead, I tell them they can run in the street, but if they do they’re most likely to get injured, even fatally, as a consequence for putting themselves at risk.

    I believe Vince also has a good point, that we’re not looking at the rest of the scripture that goes along with these verses. It is easy to take what someone says and twist it to meet our purposes. Maybe not intentional, but it can happen.

    Also, I’m glad someone else pointed out that marriage was a convent that was sealed with the constipation of a man and a woman who then became man and wife. Today we have more lavish type of ceremonies and legalize things with the government, but back then, blood instead of ink sealed many deals in the day.

    You raise a great question and I can respect the opinion of others as I hope they respect mine. I appreciate you sharing this topic and opening this discussion for others to express their feelings, interpretations, and understandings of this subject and how to apply it to our culture today.

  160. i think sex before marriage makes it very hard for people to find unconditional, selfless love.

  161. If you’re looking for an intellectual and open-minded discussion about the Bible, you may be interested to check out strangenotions.com. I’ve read a few about the interpretation of the Bible one recently titled: “Does God Tempt People to Evil?”

    the website is run by religious Catholics and atheists with philosophy degrees. At least the ones I’ve read so far.

  162. The Bible also says in 1Corinthians7:36 a man engaged to a virgin who has strong urges to indulge in sex with her due to burning with lust and passion before their marriage, if they can’t control themselves can go on to have sex with his bride BUT must honour and marry her. This is not licence to rape but it is because in such a community nobody wants a woman like Tamar destroyed and Absalom sought revenge. The question is would you like your daughter or sister to be treated that way? The issue is not sex itself but self-control as rapists use it to exert perveted power over others to say I can have what I want when I want it whether your body is violated or not for lust it is OK. This is why serial rapists demand their right without regard or consideration for victims. They hate that conquered person with intensity after rape so move on to the next thrill of conquest to damage the next person. They don’t care about the trauma and nightmare their victims deal with for the REST OF THEIR LIVES. The exemption to touch was based on condition the rapist married that same he raped.

    • Though it seems as if God okays exemption it must be emphasized Dinah, Jacob’s daughter was not allowed to marry her rapist. Infact it led to revenge with all the men scarred through trick of circumcision. They were too wounded to fight fair battle so were killed by Levi and others. Therefore it does not necessarily guarantee sex before marriage aways lead to marriage. The motive for sex is not always marriage for one may think love is being proved but other merely wants to satisfy sensuality.

      Also, sex alone is not enough to bind a relationship. Too much importance and attention is given exclusively to sex so much other equally valid aspects of intimacy are often overlooked.

      Impression is created a great sex sustains relationship. However it can overshadow other equally relevant and valid aspects of affection, comforting loved ones during low times, empathy, understanding, active listening, helping, kindness and generosity, communication, venus and mars difference needs of couple, business and finance plus challenges of family influencing them.

  163. Kenneth the cross answers your cultural delema. Christ dies for sinners, if we continue to do that for which He already died are we not crucifying Him again and again? Repent and believe.

  164. Delightfully said. So often we try to put God in a man made (and decorated) box.

  165. I disagree, but I hope we can have an intelligent conversation about why.
    You quote Deuteronomy 21 twice. I’m not a Protestant so I can’t quote my Bible as well and indicate if there’s anywhere in the Bible that implies it, but after re-reading that chapter twice in both my Orthodox Study and New Jerusalem, there’s nothing mentioning rape.
    I won’t disagree with you, however, that there are what appear to be shocking and scandalizing things in the Bible. However, this does not mean we ought to “throw the baby out with the bath water”. Should we do away with the Old Testament because it contains a hard law? That’s Montanism. Not to mention that if you disagree with what Jesus and St. Paul say about fornification (sex outside of wedlock) and your a Montanist then you have no foundation for Christianity if you hold no validity in that (even worse than throwing out Old Testament).
    Since we are quoting Scripture, I’ll direct you to two different things:
    St Paul says I believe the most in 1st Corinthians, specifically in Chapter 6…it’s a brief read, no worries. Sexual immorality is the common translation for what I believe the actual Greek is: πορνεία (PORNEIA…where we get Porn from…also a sin and cultural dilemma.) Now you can play around with that word as much as you want and ask “what does sexual immorality actually entail” but the word is thrown around quite a bit in the Bible so this is likely not relating to some bizzare sick fetish that breaks all social norms but means, as it is, being “loose” or “sex-out-of-marriage”. And we should take careful to not confuse this even with infidelity as the Greek word for that which is used is μοιχάω (MOICHAO).
    Going back to John 8:41, let’s see how this word is also used.
    “Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornification; we have one Father””. Implication here is used to religious fidelity, but they use fornification, implying sex out of wedlock, as the example.
    I realize how it’s tricky when people look for the answer to this question of “what does the Bible really say about sex outside of marriage” because you lose a lot in translation. Besides piecing together the truth through the study of Biblical Greek (which we ought to do if we want the answer instead of find an answer that philosophically satisfies a culture) we should apply our common sense to know that Jewish culture considered sex before marriage as a taboo for pious reasons (and its reflected in old Christian villages to this day that also consider it a taboo as a passing down of tradition). The Bible and Jewish custom DOES talk about this problem, though the arduous process of translation (I’m currently taking New Testament Greek and it’s difficult to dissect a word for its etymology) unfortunately provides this wiggle room for liberal theology and progressive thoughts coming from a “sexually liberated” society.
    St. Peter, not an apostle to be taken lightly, quotes God in Levitichus in his first chapter of his first letter “I am Holy therefore be Holy” and goes on in saying how we ought conduct ourselves with self-control…being sexually promiscuous is not self-control.
    I’m not writing this because I want to prove you wrong or looking for a fight. I’m writing this because I want to share with you what I’ve found through study in Scripture, as a “scientist” if you will who has found information that is contrary to another’s theory. This is an important issue, and I ask, ironically, anyone reading this to keep an “open mind” for where we “traditionalists” are coming from…because there’s a method to our, what others call, “madness”. Read all of the Gospels in continuity as well as the letters and you’ll surprise yourself…and if you don’t understand something, it’s ok to be humble and say “i don’t know” and look for some help rather than fitting in a personal interpretation in between the gaps (and trust me, I’ve done this and was sick of hearing these kinds of answers that I’m giving you at one point in my life).
    Take care and God Bless Mr. Monk.

    • If I could tack on here, there’s a couple things to keep in mind when reading the Bible. First, the Bible is not a book, but a collection of books of various literary styles and genres. You wouldn’t walk into a library and read a poem the same way as an autobiography the same way as a novel. The style and historical context of the books is very important to read. Hence, “it’s in the Bible” in some ways can be as misleading as “I read it online.”

      Of course, we Christians say that the Bible is true. But, importantly, the verses you quoted were from the Old Testament which must always be read in light of the New Testament. The person of Jesus Christ is the interpretive key to all of revelation: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God saints from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev 5:9). I won’t get into the nitty gritty of the exegesis, but basically the idea we get from passages in the OT about slavery and rape and such is that God imposed order on what were previously lawless and unrestricted practices. The teachings of Jesus in the NT put them in their proper and final context, not “abolishing but fulfilling” (ie, the Law is not entirely wrong, but the true Law is to love God with all you’ve got and to love your neighbor as yourself. See Matthew 22:34-40.

      I could go on about sex before marriage, but maybe that should be my own post :) (Come to think of it, I like the stuff in my reply too…) Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  166. You have gotten a lot of replies/ comments about this post. It was a great post! I did enjoy it. I for one think coffee should be the first commandment and should magically appear in my cup at this very moment. Also sex, safe sex of course, should be the second, marriage or not gotta test drive that car before you buy it!. I think the fact that people can sin out their ass’s and then just say ‘oops sorry please forgive me’ is a JOKE! I say we should all live by our own moral code, and not worry about what other people are doing with their very own vaginas. :)

    • I personally despise the saying “gotta test drive the car before you buy it”…unless you literally buying a car.

      It lowers someone to the standard of whether they are good in bed or not. Test them through getting to know each other, beliefs, personality, morals, future and the love that develops between each other. I know it sounds corny but I despise that saying….it does more damage than it does benefits…

    • Im really not saying bone a new person every night til you find a good lay and then settle down. Im not saying test drive every car on the lot. But do some research, find one that meet your needs then take a drive. But come on would you really want to be with someone for the rest of your life if you have really horrible sex and there is just no intimate connection? Sex is a big part of a relationship. Its a huge part of a marriage. Every one has there views and opinions which i totally respect. I was just expressing mine.

    • Yeah, fair enough, just as I was expressing my opinion of that statement :P sorry if I came across as too forward…I just don’t like that saying.

      I do believe however that emotional intimacy and love plays a huge factor in creating an intimate connection, especially for sex.

      And you can tell if they will be good or not (or your definition of good) through getting to know them…they drop a few hints and characteristics….)

  167. I love this!

    I believe it is important that for those of us who are religious…..that we are careful to not hurl bible verses at people who have differing views.

    I always say the same thing. And this is not just about religious people. It’s applicable for people who believe in anything so strongly that they are blind to other perspectives.

  168. It’s hard to dispute that when you’ve highlighted key points from the Bible. Why are some things acceptable while others aren’t? You can’t pick and choose.

  169. I admit there are many, many things that ani lo mevin (I don’t understand) when it comes to the Old Testament, but I know that Gods judgements are always nahon (correct, right). However, we all know that Christ came to fulfill the law so we are no longer bound to the law! Our nehedar (awesome) God saw that we could not be justified by the law and although Jesus said the nothing was to be removed from the law, He gave us the answer. “THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND. THIS IS THE FIRST AND GREAT COMMANDMENT. AND THE SECOND IS LIKE UNTO IT, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF. ON THESE TWO COMMANDMENTS HANG ALL THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS.” Amen!!
    I love y’all in Christ!

  170. I didn’t read all 361 comments, but another point is that – both Biblically AND culturally – a man was allowed to discard his wife if she (or even he) was sterile. There are a lot of things that culturally are okay in the moment and pretty damn heinous in retrospect.

  171. COUNTERFEIT SIN. Paul spent most of his time correcting false teachings in the 1st century. Imagine how much more we’ve gotten wrong in 2000+ years!

    Like me before, I’m sure you’ve never seen anyone present the whole truth like this and it WILL set you FREE from FALSE GUILT.

    http://counterfeitsin.tumblr.com/post/54067457887/if-all-lust-is-a-sin-stop-looking-at-your-wife

    Please share this link and help free others.

  172. COUNTERFEIT SIN. Paul spent most of his time correcting false teachings in the 1st century. Imagine how much more we’ve gotten wrong in 2000+ years! The truth WILL set us free IF we get the whole truth. Remember a half-truth IS a whole lie- not to claim our brothers and sisters are liars, they’re just mistaken. But, actually some are liars if they refuse to examine all the teachings on this subject. I urge you to read and share this link below. It’s the most comprehensive teaching of scripture that after 40 years of attending church, I’ve never heard. Why? Rightly Jesus said I “I came to divide.”… evidently to those who seek the truth and those who are more comfortable in traditions of men. It would certainly divide any church today if someone had the guts to proclaim all of these scriptures in context.

    http://counterfeitsin.tumblr.com/post/54067457887/if-all-lust-is-a-sin-stop-looking-at-your-wife

  173. I really loved this post! I think you’re dead right about the fact that we don’t practice loads of the ‘sexual norms’ of biblical times, so maybe it’s time for Christians to be a bit more open-minded even about sex before marriage. It makes me think about the different cultural practices regarding marriage, sex, etc., in cultures around the world, and how these sometimes conflict with what is usually considered the Christian norm. I think it’s important to question, what are the essentials of Christianity as a global, multicultural, multinational religion, and what are elements of traditional Western culture that we now think of as synonymous with Christian values, but perhaps aren’t necessarily key to being a practising Christian. Anyway, I find it interesting to think about. Thanks for the thought-provoking post. I look forward to reading more!

  174. Kenneth, we as Christians make lots of mistakes. We often sin. Yet a Christian tries to resist sin. If you have no will to resist sin, then you’re just a Christian in words and not in deeds. Christians resist sin, but they often fall into sin through temptation and lust. However, a person who lives in sin, having no conscience to resist it, is in a dreadful condition. I remember having no conscience of sin, but then God’s Spirit gave me a spiritual birth and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Below is a very dreadful verse. We should examine ourselves to see if we are truly in the faith. God bless. Bob
    Revelation 21
    8 But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.

  175. First, let me say that you have to understand that the Bible was written in a completely different time period. Some of the things did then (especially in the Old Testament) are not accepted today. But you also have to understand that the Bible didn’t necessarily condone it either. People are people, we have the freedom to choose, God is not going to stop us, but he will make rules for the things we do. Those rules are seen throughout the early books of the Bible.

    Now, these verses that you’ve mentioned sound bizarre because you are using them out of context, and you’re not even quoting them, you’re putting them into your own words and misrepresenting them. First of all the verse about rape is in Deuteronomy 22:28-29, not 21, and if you read the entire section, which in my Bible is titled, “Marriage Violations,” you can see that it is clearly not ok. He has to marry her because he “violated her.” He dishonored her. A woman is expected to be a virgin when she gets married so if she marries another man & he finds that she is not a virgin (because she was raped) she will get stoned to death. To prevent this, her rapist has to marry her and cannot divorce her “as long as he lives” and he pays the father for the dishonor he has brought on his daughter and his house.There is no getting off the hook & if you read the verse above, that is also talking about rape, it says that if the virgin is betrothed to be married, then the rapist is to be stoned to death because it is like adultery, or as the Bible says, a man who “attacks and murders a neighbor.” (Deut. 22: 25-27)

    Now if you read Exodus 21, verse 7 THROUGH 11, you will see that although, it sounds like it’s say that it’s ok for a man to sell his daughter into slavery, it’s really talking about giving her away for marriage because if you read further, if the woman does not please the man who bought her, she is to go back to her father, NOT to be sold to foreigners. If the man purchased her for his son, she is to be treated like a daughter. If he decides to marry another woman (notice it doesn’t say that it’s ok to), he still has to treat the first as his wife (she was his lawful wife), if he doesn’t, she is to go free.

    The problem with your post is that people will accept this misinformation and not read their Bibles. I as a Christian, I will not be waivered by words of others because they sound good and tell me it’s ok to do this or that. The Bible isn’t complicated, it becomes complicated when people put their own words into it. The Bible doesn’t have to blatantly say that sex before marriage is a sin, but what it does say is that if you have sex, it should be with the intent that you will marry that person, if not, you’re just being promiscuous, and THAT (promiscuity) is what is wrong (Deut. 22:20-21)

    • Everything was very well stated. I’m amazed at people who hate Christians because they assume the “scripture” dictated everyone’s actions and emotions back then.
      If we were to read an American law book with regards to what should be done when a man steals a turkey to feed his poverty stricken family a turkey dinner we’d see the same reaction.
      It’s people judging the people by the laws written to govern the people. The laws were always a starting place NOT the only place.
      Also the translations from Hebrew through Greek and through all the interpretations also leave us open a little for an incorrect understanding. And I try to tell people today that the people then were not much different. In fact the people then demanded laws to protect themselves and the torah WAS the lawbooks that the people demanded.
      So as they begin demanding new laws today they must realize the Torah WAS what they would have begged for as it was being constructed.

  176. I’m not going to try and force my religion on anyone, but for those who are Christians and are struggling with this debate, you can check this out, it explains the counter argument pretty well:

  177. Here’s a whole new level of study I’ve never seen anyone do before. Did you know there’s actually a difference between a PROSTITUTE and a WHORE? One of them is not considered a sin. Remember Rahab? Read on and decide for yourself.

  178. Holey moley, I’m heading over to Marcia’s blog and Following her. You go girl!

  179. Interesting post! I agree with the overall theme that we need to read scripture in its original context and realize that not all of it is applicable, or even acceptable, today. As an Evangelical I agree that there are parts of scripture that we can’t just explain away as being the unknowable nature of God’s will. I’ve heard ministers preach that the total cleansing of Canaan was actually beneficial in that things were so bad there that it would have been better that they were dead, and that makes no sense to me and reads a LOT into a situation we know little about.

    But I don’t think that you can always say that those things you mention – slavery, prostitution, rape – were ever considered “okay” in scripture. For example I think the virgin rape penalty for example isn’t an example of “wanna rape a virgin? that’ll be 50 sheks” but rather of making restitution that was neither ignoring the act nor making the punishment too severe (death). Also, he has to marry her and can never divorce her (Deuteronomy 22:25–29).

    Yes I agree that the Bible has been used to shame people more than lift them up. But I also feel that our faith calls us to be counter-cultural to a certain degree.

    Anyway good question and good conversation to have.

  180. Loved this and so agree. I love reading the bible and am always shocked at the juicy mayhem never read in church starting with Genesis and Sarah allowing Abraham to have a jump off and then when she had a baby casting them out into the dessert. I could talk and commentate about that forever.

  181. Loved this and so agree. I love reading the bible and am always shocked at the juicy mayhem never read in church starting with Genesis and Sarah allowing Abraham to have a jump off and then when she had a baby casting them out into the dessert. I could talk and commentate about that forever.

  182. Isn’t having an opinion great! No two are alike really. Mine is I love each of you and won’t throw stones. Each person is special and unique. If you were in my church I would not condemn you. I would ask the Lord to help me understand you and if needed help you in any way I can to know Jesus better.

  183. Well, I’ve got to call you on something that a lot of critics do, and do so wrongly, which is practicing and anachronistic morality that is ignorant of the culture in question.
    You equate the two types of “rape” described in the Deuteronomy passage, one results in a execution (one that is obviously forcible rape, and the other is more akin to statutory rape–consensual yet forbidden by law) and the other in a POSSIBLE wedding. So you fail to ask the question of difference, unfortunately some biblical translations do not make this difference clear that is clear in the original language.
    Similar to the Exodus passage which could, in the original language, either a hired personal servant or a bride, the distinction being that the man cannot just turn her out into the streets, but has several legal hoops to go through to release her from her service or “divorce” her.
    And you have to ask if it was merely permitted whether or not multiple wives we approved or merely permitted for a short time. Keep in mind that children are the ultimate aim for marriage, so if a man could afford it, he might have more than one wife, one who might have been married for “love” and the other for children (example: 1 Samuel, in the story of Hannah and Elkanah)
    Biblically, it is clear that the overall view of human sexuality is to be reserved for the state of marriage, one man, one woman, for life, regardless of the desires of culture.

  184. Hey Kenneth ! You’ve been bitten by the elusive flying demon/Angel of truth. Be proud of yourself guy.But don’t ,like or fall in love with on your jump shot too much,work on the other aspects of truth that are waiting to liberate you. Check out ‘Johncoyote’’s blog “Ill show you God “ …. . . . . How original is that handle,”Culture Monk” LOL

  185. Hi Kenneth, Thank you for visiting my brand new blog. I do believe that sex outside of marriage is psychologically unhealthy. The divorce rates prove that too often people who live together prior to marriage end up divorced. Could it be that cohabitation without marriage see’s us on our best behavior because we have not yet achieved the ultimate goal of marriage? Once married these couples let their hair down and stop trying. In most successful marriages the couple continues to keep respect as a main ingredient and they do not become too complacent, or too comfortable.
    As far as the Bible goes we need to read the scripture passages with an eye on understanding the heart of the matter. I enjoyed this interesting post and all the comments. I look forward to seeing more of your writing :)

  186. Excellent article. I believe that sex before marriage is really something that is up to each one of us to decide. You never know what kind of person life will throw at you and sometimes we may realize that even our own values can change when we are met with someone who’s worth changing for.

  187. 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

    It is continually spoken that being sexually immoral is not what God wants for us, that it has ramifications and ruins the concept that God created sex for – marriage

    Now there are differing ideas of what constitutes a marriage –
    1. Through a wedding, with exchange of vows and rings we are married according to today’s time
    2. That it is simply a covenant made in front of God (As Issac did)
    3. Or through consummation, that we are married, which is sex.

    People may try justify it by saying that they are simply having sex because they will be with their partner for the rest of their lives – yet break up sometime after.

    As humans we always seek loopholes to try and get what we want or justify our actions. Sometimes we need to realise that God has put things in place not to hurt us, but to enable us to flourish in Him. As Paul wrote “everything is permissible for me – but not everything is beneficial” (remember just because it’s pleasurable, and it is, doesn’t mean it’s beneficial long term)

    Context is crucial in everything. I have flinched at times because of what I’ve read in the Bible and still do, but that often that makes me look deeper into the context because surely the God I know wouldn’t be saying certain things.

    You certainly have stirred the pot though! :)

  188. Bible Class isn’t a class about the bible its telling you how to read the bible. This is very important because how a Catholic and a Baptist interpret the bible is dramatically different isn’t it? The Bible is used to polarize, hate and even persecute people but the interpretation is always human. The sad thing is that the Bible is actually an (the) occult text. It is full of hidden meaning. As Jesus often said – for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear…….

  189. A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I think that you ought to write
    more about this issue, it may not be a taboo matter but
    generally people do not speak about these subjects.

    To the next! Cheers!!

  190. I think if beliefs can’t hold up under questions and scrutiny, maybe we should rethink.

  191. I have to totally and completely disagree with you about a couple of things. A lot of what you are referring to was done without it being sinful in the Old Testament. Yes, there were people with multiple wives in the Bible, and a woman was supposed to obey her husband, but the husbands were supposed to be good to the wives. We did all kinds of things in the Old Testament days. Then we got in trouble. Then we tortured the Son Of God…on the cross…that was God’s last stand on sin and we will pay if we don’t change our ways. Period. He’s done with it. God sent a gentle soul, His own son, to preach to us and save us and what a sacrifice that was. After Jesus was sent to teach us and save us we are supposed to do what he said. Not maybe. Not an adapted version. Now, Jesus covers most of the 10 commandments in his own teaching and then the “new rules”…the New Testament. That is where we are today…

    The jist of the Gospel as I know it is: (and pardon the lack of eloquence, I’m paraphrasing)
    1. Put God first, He is responsible for your happiness and will provide for you if you accept and obey him
    2. Don’t commit adultery
    3. Don’t kill (basically)
    4. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
    5. Don’t be ashamed of Jesus or believing in Him or if you deny Him, he will deny you to the Father
    6. Believe in Jesus or you will not meet God or have life after the body dies….You must go through Jesus
    7. Don’t judge others or you will be judged
    8. What you reap you will sow
    9.. Forgive debtors and they should forgive your debt
    10.Don’t pray in public to gain attention and show off
    11. Don’t pray vain prayers to the Father..Do The Lord’s prayer
    12.Preach Jesus’s Gospel…we have a duty
    13. Don’t give charity to be seen or for notariety
    14. Noone is better than anyone else in the Lord’s eyes
    15. The body will pass , but the soul won’t and can perish
    16. Be nice to those who do wrong to you…turn the other cheek
    17. Be good to one another…do everything you do in Love and Faith
    18. Accept Mary as your own mother and God as as your Father
    19. Pray to Mary on the rosary

    There may be more I missed. No, I don’t recall Jesus talking about modesty or not drinking wine (Old Testament) or abstaining from sex…I believe he mentioned not giving into the pleasures of the flesh and, what is the word I’m looking for? Fornication… He may have mentioned sex being for procreation. If you are confused about the sex before marriage thing. ….Here is your answer…Pray……

    Don’t criticize others. Don’t judge. Pray for answers and pray for yourself. Seriously, then you will know. Now adultery is clearly wrong and it’s just hurtful to everybody…Now to me…Adultery is one that is hard. Not because of avoiding married people, but because our society accepts it (which is wrong) and because Jesus said that if you divorce somebody that you cause the person you divorce to also commit adultery. Jesus says if you lust after a married person you commit adultery.

    I have questions about how to avoid that particular sin myself and I pray about it. I mean most people are divorced. Our society is lax about sex so they think nothing of thinking about sex with a married person. And…what about if a spouse is abusive to kids and the husband or wife? Does God make an exception about divorce? I don’t know. But…he does forgive us if we may mistakes…but the key is we have to try not to repeat them…

    The answers here can’t come from any of us….talk to Jesus. Pray. That’s who can and has answered these questions.

  192. I loved this post. With over 300 comments I didn’t read through them all (although what I did rd I enjoyed that conversation too!), so I don’t know if this has been talked about or not. I personally think sex is best suited for marriage, however I believe that promiscuous sex is a sin. And I believe that there is a huge difference between premarital sex and promiscuous sex. And also one of my favorite passages in the bible is Philippians 2:12 (new king James version) “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;” What may be considered a sin to me may not be a sin to you. My great aunt, a preacher, believed bowling was a sin so it would have been sinful for her to go bowling. I do not believe that so I do bowl. (I realize that comparing sex to bowling is funny, but work out your own salvation :-) )

  193. Meh, I think morality has got zip to do with biblical literalism. I do think its probably good to discourage sex before marriage could be remotely sensible. That’s not the same as sex before marriage is bad.

    Once someone has to quote the bible they’ve lost me. I grew up Catholic, we just don’t have this tradition of literalism (despite loads of sexual guilt). We’re fancy like that :)

    I don’t think the reason I’d like my kids to hold off sex until college is anything to do with the bible and a lot to do with emotional maturity. And yet I am kind of religious in a totally non-evangelical way.

    To be honest I am a bit biased against evangelicals because I’m suspicious of converts. They always have way too much to prove. I wish the evangelicals would just stop.

  194. hey Kenneth. thanks for stopping by and checking out my work. i’m just diving into your blog and your thoughts and it’s great you have such a conversation going with the world. i’m not a coffee drinker, but i’ll have a beer and keep on reading. JT

  195. I’m with you on most of the content but I would like to point out that all those verses are from the Old Testament (old covenant/old promise/old law) The law changed with the birth of our savior in the New Testament (new covenant/new promise/ new law). Thank you Jesus that we don’t have to split a cow in half, set the pieces aside and each of them walk through the divided carcas to seal a contract. Lol.
    The subject of sex is going to be an interesting one to broach with my kids. I’m definitely going to pull for them to save themselves for someone they are fully in love with.
    Happy blogging. :)

  196. So many of our blogging buddies use the phrase, “ We are all sinners.” as if reminding us of some Theory already proven and Q>E>D‘d. Well speak for yourself all you sinners I say. I am as much a sinner as the planted orange seed that grows and ‘yields’ orange fruit is a sinner. And the same for strawberries and apple seeds ‘yielding’ fruit of their own kind are sinners. Now if an orange seed was to ‘yield’ a crop of strawberries every year or a snake is born with two heads and ‘yields’ a circus thousands of dollars, is the orange tree and the snake sinners??! Who made them that way? I didn’t make myself, I wouldn’t know how to. If you see yourselves as sinners that’s your prerogative, you sin conscious people. All I know for sure about myself is that I am a humble earthling at the whim and fancy of all creation/creators, and I gratefully appreciate everything in and about life and my unknown lifespan.. . (Note the use of the word, Yield )

  197. So…. I just had to scroll down for almost a full minute, just to get to where I could leave a reply. Now that I have gotten over my jealousy -LOL- I have to say… I like this article. I like that you look at the topics from all different angles. You don’t just state an opinion and then shove it down everyone’s throat. You present it intelligently.

    I happen to be one of those people who believe that sex should be saved for marriage. My stance isn’t religious in nature, though. At all. Whatsoever. I just happen to think that sex is a big deal. Not only is the biological purpose to create LIFE, but the emotional repercussions of having sex with someone is just… Well, it’s pretty heavy. Don’t even get me started on how, like, one in three people has an STD, so unless you want warts on your bum….. You better keep those legs closed!

    I personally preach abstinence to my kids. Aside from telling them the facts about the effectiveness of birth control (which is always, in my book, 50/50- because you can’t account for God just deciding one special night that it would be entertaining if you had a baby with the idiot in your bed- even though you’re using three different methods of birth control- count them- THREE!) and, of course, I share the above mentioned STD statistics, I share with them my personal experiences and why I deeply regret not waiting.

    It wasn’t until I met my true love, that sex became more than just a physical itch, in need of a scratch. All of a sudden, it became love making…and it was intense, and fun, and pleasurable, and spiritual and so much more. I felt as though every other sexual experience I had ever had, was a cheap imitation. It was crude, and almost dirty. I felt some shame, even, for having wasted such an amazing experience on men who were, in all honesty, nothing more than itch-scratchers… even the ones I really, REALLY liked- even the ones I THOUGHT I loved. It wasn’t until I met the love of my life, that I realized I badly wished that he had been the first. And not just the first in my bed. I wish I hadn’t so flippantly handed out all my firsts- most of the time, to men who couldn’t have cared less about it. The day I realized that I had met the man who would hold my heart forever, I desperately wished that I would have saved these precious gifts for him… And only him.

    Another thing is, even though I hate to admit it, I feel jealous when I think about the other women he has had sex with in the past. It makes my skin crawl to think of his hands on another woman’s body- past, present, or future. Or to think of his lips on another woman’s body. Ugh! Just writing about it makes me feel uncomfortable.

    I guess I could even throw in a biblical quote here- a good one- “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” It’s beautiful, isn’t it? I believe that particular quote pretty much hits the mark..especially after you actually MEET your beloved. Before that happens, it is so easy to think that having sex with someone you REALLY like, a whole lot, could be acceptable. But then, your beloved comes along… And it doesn’t feel quite so acceptable anymore. At least, to me, it didn’t.

    I put it this way when I talk to my daughters about it: (and my sons, but obviously switch ‘him’ for ‘her’…duh)

    “Picture the man of your dreams. Can you see him? Think of how it is going to be when you meet him. How in love you will be. Think of how wonderful he is and what your wedding gown will look like as you walk down the aisle on the day you bind your life to his, till death do you part.

    “Can you see all that? It’s nice, isn’t it? Now, I want you to picture him with another girl. Imagine him kissing her and hugging her. Imagine him looking at her as though SHE is the most beautiful girl in the world. And they are laughing together, and holding each other, and staying up taking all night long. He tells her, he loves her.

    “How does that make you feel? Not too good, huh? What about if you were the one with another guy, and you were doing all those things… What if the love of your life could see you? Imagine having to tell him about each and every different guy that you said ‘I love you’ to, before him. How would that feel?

    “Even though you’re just imagining someone right now, there will come a day when, the guy you’re imagining, will be a real person, standing in front of you, asking for your phone number. And the reality is, you are going to have to share your history. Maybe not all the intimate details, but definitely general numbers. And he will have to be honest and do the same for you. Only you can decide how many different guys you would be comfortable explaining to him.”

    Having said all that… If my kids were to tell me that they had sex with someone, before they were married, I wouldn’t condemn them. I wouldn’t even judge them. I would just feel sad for them, because I know there will come a day, when they meet the love of their life, that they will look back… And regret it. Well, I guess I should say, if they’re anything like me, they will regret it. I know I do.

    • Thank you so much for your comments :-) I haven’t responded to this thread in a long time (its an older post) but I read through what you said and just wanted to take a moment to say I appreciated everything you shared.

  198. P.S. Sorry for the ridiculously long post… I have mental problems…apparently. LOL

  199. Reblogged this on Is there anyone listening? and commented:
    I think this post should be read. What you think afterwards is up to you!

  200. I would like to know what the definition of fornication is then?

    1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

  201. Reblogged this on It Is What it Is. and commented:
    I would like to know what the definition of fornication is then?

    1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

  202. Let me clear up the “rape is ok” thing so everyone can be on the same page. You will like how this goes. And it’s actually a very strange twist of fate for the rapist.
    It’s NOT “Biblically OK” to rape a girl and pay just 50 shekels of silver.
    Back then women were considered property. Women were betrothed to a man and a dowry was going to be paid. The parents often expected or budgeted that. First if someone really did “rape” the daughter most people lived in such rural areas that it was either impossible to capture or impossible to know what you did that the rapist yourself. After all there was lots of places to hide bodies. ;)
    But in the “forcing” himself on the daughter, if a guy talks the daughter into giving it up to him OR if it’s a boarderline rape the father could no longer “sell” the daughter to her new husband as he was expecting a virgin.
    SO the guy who “devalued” the daughter now has two problems. The first is he’s got to cough up the money someone else would pay because effectively killed any chance anyone else would pay that.
    BUT… He’s also going to have to marry the girl because she won’t have a husband or a chance at having children. However you didn’t send the daughter away with this man, you kept an eye on him and you as her father had the right to make this mans life a living hell until he dedicates his life to treating her right and your grandkids.
    So it wasn’t just sell the girl and move on. You had some control over him through her. Just because there’s such things called “Scriptures” doesn’t mean people blindly followed it without feeling. If someone was to violent they’d have taken matters into their own hands just as anyone else would.
    often people assume those who believe in scripture have no heart because it’s not written based on it’s emotional motivations or emotional impact. But people then were not different than you.
    If we lived in a society today that required girls be a virgin before marriage many parents would demand the guy that first got with her commit the rest of his life to her because of his selfishness.
    It just makes no sense now because we don’t live in a world where virginity is so critical anymore.
    But forcing him to marry her was for her best interest as no one else would give her a full life and children, unless her husband died then his brother can step in. (yea that’s the one that’s messed up)
    PS, I had a girlfriend who after we broke up kept telling me guys always forced themselves on her, and each time she was already naked in bed with them after having invited them over for movies. then she’d feel “obligated” and called that being forced. But to have that ruin her chances at a family would make anyone just tell both to get married back then.

  203. Your reading of the Biblical references is in error. You are making a very common mistake in assuming that because a practice is reported, it is endorsed. You are looking for a proof-text for your point rather than allowing the source to speak for itself and allowing it to say what it says. If we approach the Biblical text honestly and openly, and take the time to get a comprehensive understanding of what it says, even in the texts which enumerate the Law, we come away with the picture of a God whose nature is love, kindness, justice. And he says, “Be holy, as I am holy”, expecting us to act in love, kindness and fairness. I’m not about to debate about it in detail, but compare Malachi 2, where God is holding his people (men in this case) accountable for acting unfaithfully to their wives. He withholds blessings to them because He is standing up for these young wives when their husbands, who are expected to be their protectors, will not.
    13 Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. 14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.
    15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.[d] So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.
    16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,”[e] says the Lord Almighty.
    So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.”
    This, to my reading, is not a God who slaps rapists on the wrist and sells their victims.

  204. Thanks for liking my blog post on getting comfortable with discomfort, all the best with your blog! Gemma

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