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#1 Old 08-25-2005, 11:27 PM
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So does the 'Word of God' really say that having sex before you're married is bad?



I got bored about a week ago and did some research and it seems to me that the Torah does not infact say that having sex before you're married is wrong. The word used in the Torah that has been translated to fornication, was porneia, which refers to prostitution and idolitary. It does not refer to two people who are in love with each other having sex. If you read it in context it seems that what was being talked about was people going to the temples like the temple of Venus and having sex with the women there, which was probably part of their worship or whatever to Venus.



It also seems to me that if God did send Jesus to set the world free, that he would not have created sexual beings and then tried to bind them up with guilt because they had sexual desires. How is being locked and controlled by guilt being free?



I also don't know any teenagers, even the ones I thought were conservative Christians, that don't play around. So it seems to me that expecting teenagers or anyone really to not play around and have sex is a silly and unrealistic thing to want.



Now if God knows everything about everyone, then he would know that we're very sexual creatures, and perhaps in his original word, the Torah, he did not infact require people to suppress their natural desires. Perhaps he understood that (being the Creator and all) and said that it was okay as long as the two people loved each other.



So what do you guys think?



PS: I don't claim to be Christian myself, just incase anyone was wondering.
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#2 Old 08-25-2005, 11:45 PM
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#3 Old 08-26-2005, 04:39 AM
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When I was a Christian I took sexual abstinence seriously, because that was the way I understood the Christian tradition. So I know such a thing is possible.



Among some groups of early Christians, chastity was considered a way of getting back to the innocence of Adam and Eve in the garden, and for women, chastity allowed them to be free of the burdens of motherhood. In a sense, this was the first women's liberation movement.



I think many modern Christians want to be the same as everyone else, unlike the early Christians, who were very different from their Roman neighbors.
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#4 Old 08-26-2005, 05:46 AM
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Many believers from different religions don't have sex before they are married, so I don't think you can really say it's unrealistic.

I think it seems harder for those who don't believe and don't see the point behind it, but for religious people it's often just the way it is.
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#5 Old 08-26-2005, 07:32 AM
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When I was a Christian I took sexual abstinence seriously, because that was the way I understood the Christian tradition. So I know such a thing is possible.



Same here. Having been to several Promise Keepers meetings I can tell you that pornography and lust are the sins most christian men struggled with whereas fornication and adultery were common but not in the majority.



And yes, I would say the New Testament makes it pretty clear that sex outside of "marriage" is a sin.



The Torah that was referred to in the OP is simply the first five books of the Bible whereas Christians would look towards the New Testament books for most of their moral guidelines, just as an FYI.
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#6 Old 08-26-2005, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Satyagraha View Post

So does the 'Word of God' really say that having sex before you're married is bad?



I got bored about a week ago and did some research and it seems to me that the Torah does not infact say that having sex before you're married is wrong. The word used in the Torah that has been translated to fornication, was porneia, which refers to prostitution and idolitary. It does not refer to two people who are in love with each other having sex. If you read it in context it seems that what was being talked about was people going to the temples like the temple of Venus and having sex with the women there, which was probably part of their worship or whatever to Venus.



It also seems to me that if God did send Jesus to set the world free, that he would not have created sexual beings and then tried to bind them up with guilt because they had sexual desires. How is being locked and controlled by guilt being free?



I also don't know any teenagers, even the ones I thought were conservative Christians, that don't play around. So it seems to me that expecting teenagers or anyone really to not play around and have sex is a silly and unrealistic thing to want.



Now if God knows everything about everyone, then he would know that we're very sexual creatures, and perhaps in his original word, the Torah, he did not infact require people to suppress their natural desires. Perhaps he understood that (being the Creator and all) and said that it was okay as long as the two people loved each other.



So what do you guys think?



PS: I don't claim to be Christian myself, just incase anyone was wondering.





It's too early for me to debate, but I just wanted to disagree with the above bolded statement. I'm a Christian teenager, but I certainly don't "play around" and I'm a virgin. All my friends are, too. So, it's not really true or fair to say that "teenagers will"...at least, not all of them. I also know plenty of teenagers in my grade who call themselves Christians, I see them at church, and then it's obvious that they're sleeping with the entire football team.



So now you know one teenager that doesn't play around.



That's all I had to say; I got a new digital camera and I'm so happy! All my friends want cell phones...yuck...I wanted a digital camera.
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#7 Old 08-26-2005, 08:58 AM
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Satyagraha, like kpickell, I'm a bit skeptical of looking just at the Torah (Genesis through Deuteronomy) as the whole of the "Word of God" that Christians claim to follow. You'd have to look at the entirety of the scriptures that Christians claim.



While certain Jewish patriarchs and kings had multiple wives and concubines--thereby not falling under the "sleeping only with one spouse" standard set forth today--it's important to note that all ancient cultures to my knowlege viewed women as property, so having more than one was a sign of wealth. Sticking only to your spouse(s) for sexual matters was valued, though, as can clearly be seen in Song of Songs.



As far as New Testament references that clearly condemn sexual behavior outside of marriage, Hebrews 13:4 does a nice job of that. Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (NIV)



Also, Christian theology teaches that marriage is supposed to be a picture of God's love for Israel and/or the Church. Adultery is often compared to idolotry, as idolotry is "cheating on God". II Corinthians 11:2 talks about the Church being presented as a 'pure virgin' to Christ in the end. Now, obviously people are not pure and virginal, but that's why there's also a theology of grace and redemption so the Church can be considered a pure virgin again.



Anyway, what I was trying to say is that Christians do reasonably infer from their scriptures that they ought not have sex outside of marriage.



And, now you know two Christians who aren't "playing around", as you put it. I didn't engage in any kind sexual intercourse when I was a teenager, and at a single 22, I still don't. Granted, I was pretty sheltered growing up, but your assertion was that it was unrealistic for anyone in any situation to refrain from sexual contact.

Q: How many poets does it take to change a light bulb? A: 1001...one to change the bulb, 1000 to say it's already been done.
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#8 Old 08-26-2005, 09:48 AM
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As far as New Testament references that clearly condemn sexual behavior outside of marriage, Hebrews 13:4 does a nice job of that. Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (NIV)



When I read that passage, it sounds to me like it is talking about a man and wife sleeping only with each other and refraining from going outside their marriage for sex. In most passages dealing with sexual immorality and adultery in the Bible, I can clearly see that sex OUTSIDE of marriage is condemned, but not that sex BEFORE marriage is condemned. That's just the way I've always looked at it, I guess.



It seems that a lot of the rules about sex in the Christian church are based off of tradition rather than scripture. Or at least the stigma that sex has gotten in the church. It's amazing to look at Biblical figures that are otherwise greatly revered, who just happened to have hundreds of concubines. I can't help but think that if a church leader were to engage in that type of behavior today, nobody would listen to a word they said!



BTW, Skylark - I want to say that I fully respect your decision to abstain from sex. I think it can be a very wise decision for many reasons, not just religious ones.
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#9 Old 08-26-2005, 10:20 AM
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Here is another web-site you may like to look at:



http://www.libchrist.com/bible/premaritalsex.html
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#10 Old 08-26-2005, 10:22 AM
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When I read that passage, it sounds to me like it is talking about a man and wife sleeping only with each other and refraining from going outside their marriage for sex. In most passages dealing with sexual immorality and adultery in the Bible, I can clearly see that sex OUTSIDE of marriage is condemned, but not that sex BEFORE marriage is condemned. That's just the way I've always looked at it, I guess.





isn't sex before marriage sex outside of marriage?
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#11 Old 08-26-2005, 11:08 AM
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You have to ask yourself the question, just what is "marriage" anyway. Is it some kind of found thing, observed and described as it is found, or is it a relatively arbitrary thing, given a name, and assigned what it should be, by the human ability to arrange and contruct ideas? Was it created by nature, or is it a human-made art form, subject to differnet forms in different times and different places?
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#12 Old 08-26-2005, 11:09 AM
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>>--it's important to note that all ancient cultures to my knowlege viewed women as property, so having more than one was a sign of wealth. >>



this is simply not the case. We have even seen (although this is quite rare) the erruption of matriarchical cultures on occasion, and a greater number of roughly gender-egalitarian paleolithic cultures. You're right, though, that there is a tendency for patriarchy to develop along with neolithic patterns of organization (expressed in terms of property relations insofar as those relations are present).



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#13 Old 08-26-2005, 11:18 AM
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Saying people can't limit their sexual urges before marriage seems to be an assertation that people can't control their sexual actions.



I don't think that is the case.
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#14 Old 08-26-2005, 11:32 AM
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but should they?

why?



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#15 Old 08-26-2005, 12:19 PM
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And if a male and a female form a life-long cohabitation relationship, and have sex with only each other -- are they married? Or is something else necessary to happen, before you can conclude they are married. And if so, what. Without answering all these questions first, then you don't know whether what it is that you asking when you ask, "can they have sex before it." First you have to clarify what marriage is, and isn't.



Is the question: is it alright to have sex before you live together? If you haven't yet vowed not to have sex with anyone else, should you not have sex at all, before you make such a vow? Or are you not married until a religious authority pronounces you married? or is it a state authority? Or does it need to be both? And if I am one religion, why should I recognize any pronouncement by someone whose authority extends only to members of some other religion. For example, if I have no respect at all for the Catholic Church, then if being married means being pronounced married by a Catholic authority, why should I consider such a person to be married? Why shouldn't I assume they are no different than someone who hasn't had this pronouncement made, about them, by a Catholic authority? If I am Jewish -- and unmarried, and I don't want to commit adultery, then I wouldn't have sex with someone who was married by a Jewish authority, since I would respect their pronouncement, but having no respect for the pronouncements of catholics, who I don't consider authorities, it would be perfectly moral for me to have sex with someone who was married by a catholic authority, since they simply wouldn't be married, as I don't recognize the authority of catholic s to marry people.
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#16 Old 08-26-2005, 12:53 PM
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For example, if I have no respect at all for the Catholic Church, then if being married means being pronounced married by a Catholic authority, why should I consider such a person to be married? Why shouldn't I assume they are no different than someone who hasn't had this pronouncement made, about them, by a Catholic authority? If I am Jewish -- and unmarried, and I don't want to commit adultery, then I wouldn't have sex with someone who was married by a Jewish authority, since I would respect their pronouncement, but having no respect for the pronouncements of catholics, who I don't consider authorities, it would be perfectly moral for me to have sex with someone who was married by a catholic authority, since they simply wouldn't be married, as I don't recognize the authority of catholic s to marry people.





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#17 Old 08-26-2005, 01:09 PM
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The question of "what is marriage" should be spawned off to another topic. I'd just point out that the status of Tycho Brahe's common-law marriage to a woman considerably below his class was one of the political hot potatoes that led to his exile from Denmark.
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#18 Old 08-26-2005, 01:11 PM
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I think that in any sexual relationship, both parties should be prepared to deal with pregnancy.



Marriage, as an institution, does have benefits when it comes to raising children.
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#19 Old 08-26-2005, 02:20 PM
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kjs "The question of "what is marriage" should be spawned off to another topic."



But then, how can you debate whether sex is "outside of marriage," or not, without first having the same understanding of what constitutes marriage? If you spawn the question off to another topic, no-one should debate within this topic, until a consensus is reached, re just what marriage is. At presebtm no such consensus appears to have been reached.
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#20 Old 08-26-2005, 03:06 PM
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isn't sex before marriage sex outside of marriage?



okay, let me rephrase that. When I said "sex outside of marriage" I am talking about a couple who is already married, having sex with people other than each other.
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#21 Old 08-26-2005, 03:58 PM
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kjs "The question of "what is marriage" should be spawned off to another topic."



But then, how can you debate whether sex is "outside of marriage," or not, without first having the same understanding of what constitutes marriage? If you spawn the question off to another topic, no-one should debate within this topic, until a consensus is reached, re just what marriage is. At presebtm no such consensus appears to have been reached.



Well, since this topic is specifically about Christianity, a broad definition is that Christian marriage is a sacrament performed by a priest, minister or religious community. I would also argue that there is a consensus within Christian communities that ideally one should not have sex except with your husband or wife (rending most of your questions moot). However even the Puritans seemed to recognize that there was a fair quantity of pre-marital sex going on given how many first births came within 6 months of the wedding.
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#22 Old 08-26-2005, 05:28 PM
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I copied this from a website. These aren't my own words. The whole article is found at http://www.allaboutworldview.org/premarital-sex.htm



"The Bible refers to premarital sex as fornication. That's a word we don't hear much these days, so what does it mean? Fornication is sexual intercourse between people who are not married to each other. The only distinction the Bible makes between premarital sex and adultery is that adultery involves married persons while fornication involves those who are unmarried. Premarital sex is just as much of a sin as adultery and all other forms of sexual immorality. They all involve having sexual relations with someone you are not married to.



The Bible explains, "The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body" (1 Corinthians 6:13). Verse 18 of this chapter goes on to say, "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body." Galatians 5:19 speaks the same, "The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity" Ephesians 5:3 says it most plainly, "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people." From these verses, we see that the Bible promotes complete and total abstinence from premarital sex."





"Yes, sex is pleasurable, but in God's view, the primary purpose of sex is not recreation, but rather re-creation. In other words, sex is for reproduction. God does not limit sex to married couples to rob pleasure from those who are unmarried. Rather, God commands against premarital sex in order to protect unmarried people from unwanted pregnancies, from children born to parents who do not want them, and to protect children from parents who are not prepared for them."
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#23 Old 08-26-2005, 05:29 PM
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Shouldn't we also be defining what sex is?



*Das_nut imagines a quite Clintonian thread.
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#24 Old 08-26-2005, 05:30 PM
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Of course, if you plan to never get married, and indeed never do, than any kind of sex you have is not premarital sex? Does that make it acceptable. Perhaps the question should be "is sex OUTSIDE of marriage" bad. If marriage is merely, as kjs claims, simply having your relationship recognized consequent to it being involved in "a sacrement performed by a priest" -- then that is saying that certain things in life should not be undertaken unless it is first involved in a sacrement performed by a priest. If we should cohabit and have sex with someone, unless we first get the relationship blessed by a priest, perhaps we should not be allowed to to into a business, unless we get the business similary blessed by a priest. Personally, I would rather have it the details of the business relationship looked over by a lawyer, rather than by a priest -- and be free to engage in it, even if the lawyer thinks it is not a good idea. What about buying a house. Do we need to have buying a house and getting a mortgage "blessed by a priest" before we can move in. And what if we can't find a priest on time? Should we lose out on a good deal , and have the seller sell the house to someone else -- because we can't find a priest on time. Maybe with sex it is the same thing. If Susy is read to involve herself with me, should I say -- stop, wait -- let me find a priest first? Wouldn't that spoil the mood? Maybe by time I find a priest, Susy will have changed her mind. This isn't something I can wait an awful long time on! Usually, I feel like I must have Susy right now. If I stop to call a priest, and then she changes her mind -- I will be so disappointed.
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#25 Old 08-26-2005, 05:32 PM
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dasnut "Shouldn't we also be defining what sex is?"



Yes, in a great deal of descriptive detail. Seriously, yes. Some people may think it only means sexual intercourse. Others may include something that the Puritans did, to teenagers before marrying them up, but didn't seem to think was sex -- bundling.
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#26 Old 08-26-2005, 05:38 PM
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In my opinion, there is sense to having a sexual and cohabitation relationship evaluated by a number of tribal elders, even to the point of requiring their permission before embarking on such a relationship. With the the elders being people who are educated and knowledgable about relationships, very likely people who have been married themselves for many years, and know what it is about. But a priest -- this makes no sense to me. This sounds like it is about the rule of authority and rank, class, rather than the rule of knowledge and experience. I'm very much someone who is for the latter, and against the former.



If sex outside of marriage means outside of permission by a priest -- I am for extramarital sex. If sex outside of marriage means outside of review and consideration and conversation with experienced and loving elders -- now I can see some sense to wanting to avoid sex outside of marriage. Like I said: it all depends on what you mean by marriage.
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#27 Old 08-26-2005, 05:53 PM
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but should they?

why?



ebola



I can't say what anyone should and should not do but the why of it...taking sex lightly and not having any retraint with it can hurt you and the people around you.



Anyway, I'd go into it more but I have to go asap.
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#28 Old 08-27-2005, 12:07 AM
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My whole point was that the word that got translated in to fornication was the Greek word porneia, which is ancient times refered to prostitution and idolitary, it didn't have anything to do with fornication.



I think that in the boundaries of love that sex is fine, I myself prefer to only have it with someone that I'm in love with anyway.



Also back then people got married much younger so they had a release for all their sexual desires instead of being locked up in guilt about sexual desires being evil blah blah blah.
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#29 Old 08-27-2005, 12:10 AM
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I should point out that now it does refer to fornication, but the research I've done says that in ancient times it was used only when talking about prostitution and idolitary.
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#30 Old 08-27-2005, 07:34 AM
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I think that's an excellent point satya and was waiting for someone to get back to it. What if our ideas about premarital sex stem simply from a wrongly translated word?



Also I was going to bring up the marital age issue. In those times it was common for people of adolescent age to be married. It is only really in the past century (correct me if I'm wrong) that people have waited--on purpose--past their teens, and only in the past fifteen or twenty years that people have started waiting into their thirties. Thinking of it in a strictly animalistic sense, men peak sexually in their teens. Is there a reason for this? Are we really supposed to simply postpone these very human desires until our thirties?



Personally I think it's confusing territory. Should a person put off sex until marriage? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....that's a hard one. What if the person you decide to marry is terrible at it and then you are stuck with that person. While sex isn't the most important part of the relationship, it is AN important part of a relationship. It should be enjoyable to both parties. And on a personal level, I think every human being should get to...at least once in his/her life, experience absolutely mind-blowing sex. But that's just me.



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