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Premarital Sex & The Bible


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So, needless to say, one of the best parts of my now "heathen" lifestyle is that I no longer feel any guilt for sexual feelings. When my wife and I were dating, we "struggled" big time. I can remember always having nights where we'd "go too far" and then have to feel terrible guilt for the next few days while asking God for forgiveness. For most of our dating relationship we never did actual intercourse, but would do things as far as oral sex and the like (sorry if I'm being too descriptive). However, once we were engaged, we did actually have full blown sex about half way through the engagement, which continued the cycle of guilt.

 

Looking back on this now, I have since done extended research on how sex is viewed in the Bible. Perhaps the biggest thing I've noticed is the Song of Solomon: they have sex during the betrothal. Basically, in ancient Jewish culture, "premarital sex" as we know it today rarely existed - prostitution was the most common kind. Most people married very young, so it never really became a problem. How Jewish betrothal worked, however, is that when a man basically purchases his wife (...I know...), both families agree to a contract. From that point on they were considered "husband and wife", even though they had yet to have an actual ceremony or consummation of the marriage. If at any point the betrothed couple has sex, their marriage is then considered consummated - it is never sinful.

 

So basically this means that most of the strict sexual limitations produced by the American church today comes from culturally structured traditions. Going strictly by the Bible, if I have sex with a girl, all I have to do is agree to take her as a wife. If I don't want to, then I just have to pay her father for her. This law is found in the Pentateuch, mainly because once a girl's virginity is lost she loses a lot of value to the father. It would be like killing and eating a man's cow - as long as I pay the father then I'm in the clear (Sorry for not citing the specific verses... I'm feeling a tad lazy).

 

And basically, since no Christian father I know would ask someone who slept with his daughter for payment, then, by act of omission, premarital sex in most cases cannot be labeled a sin in an absolute sense. Any verse you see that talks about fornication, sexual immorality, etc., is always referring to sleeping with another man's wife (property).

 

My guilt wasn't even founded on the Bible. Another check mark against the farce of modern Christianity.

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I'm thinking Christianity has a problem with sex for the exact same reason that Christianity has a problem with science. Sex is real. Scientific observation is real. When teens start growing up and dabble in either sex or science they tend to drift away from Christianity. Imaginary relationships with imaginary friends can't compete with real intimacy with a real person.

 

 

MM

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So basically this means that most of the strict sexual limitations produced by the American church today comes from culturally structured traditions. Going strictly by the Bible, if I have sex with a girl, all I have to do is agree to take her as a wife. If I don't want to, then I just have to pay her father for her. This law is found in the Pentateuch, mainly because once a girl's virginity is lost she loses a lot of value to the father. It would be like killing and eating a man's cow - as long as I pay the father then I'm in the clear (Sorry for not citing the specific verses... I'm feeling a tad lazy).

 

And basically, since no Christian father I know would ask someone who slept with his daughter for payment, then, by act of omission, premarital sex in most cases cannot be labeled a sin in an absolute sense. Any verse you see that talks about fornication, sexual immorality, etc., is always referring to sleeping with another man's wife (property).

 

My guilt wasn't even founded on the Bible. Another check mark against the farce of modern Christianity.

You also have to consider that the "bride price" was mentioned within the laws for "God's people," the Hebrews. The entire concept has as much relevance today as the prohibition against eating shrimp or wearing a shirt made out of a cotton/polyester blend. These laws have absolutely no bearing on those who were gentiles and were saved; even Paul told some of the other apostles to knock it the hell off when they tried to make the gentiles follow the Hebrew laws after they were saved, something which went against the very reason that Jesus supposedly came to us in the first place.

 

Good luck telling Christians any of this, since they've had it drummed into their heads that this is part of God's law, even though it is impossible to find even a single verse in the Bible to support it.

 

Just remember: Sex is bad, but eating shrimp is okay, the requirement to build a parapet around the roof of your house was just meant for the people of the time, but you must must MUST pay the tithe.

 

Christianity: Picking and choosing which parts of God's word to follow since the first century A.D.

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When I was first coming out of my christian matrix one 2 books that opened my eyes were "Divine Sex: Liberating sex from Religious tradition" by Philo Thelos and The poisoning of Eros by Raymond Lawrence. Divine sex ws written by a baptist minister that saw what a sham all the sex negativity of the church was. Poisoning of eros is the history of the church from Jesus to the sexual revolution. It really makes clear where the sex negativity came from. These last 4 years have been the happiest of my life. :)

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So basically this means that most of the strict sexual limitations produced by the American church today comes from culturally structured traditions.

Ironically I just posted about this in the Ex-Christian Life forum, about how at least one research psychologist has concluded that the religious strictures on sex and the encouragement of procreation and often discouragement or prohibition on birth control promotes having more children earlier, and the strict rules compensate for this reproductive strategy by protecting your mate from being poached by rivals.

 

Which explains the terror that conservatives / religious people live in concerning any relaxing of the rules. It also explains why conservative / fundie religious people tend to be less educated. You lack energy and money and time for an education if you marry young. Conversely if you take the time and trouble to educate yourself, a life of premarital abstention is that much more difficult, and between that and the college environment you are more apt to have sex partner(s) long before you settle down and marry.

 

You made an excellent point about the opposite situation in primitive Hebrew culture, where couples are basically married and having babies as soon as they are physically able to do so; in that situation there is no hand-wringing angst about denying your sexual impulses as there's no waiting around. I actually remember reading about this when I was a hormone-tormented fundie teenager and thinking that was one hell of a great system :-)

 

--Bob

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I partly agree but I don't see western secular sexual ethics as that much better than conservative Christian ethics. Both are naive about the depth of human experiences around sexuality. Western secular views of sex are as entertainment/sprot or a game, rather than a form of intimacy.

 

I sort of appreciate Taoism and Buddhism for different reasons more than the general Christian ethics towards sexuality. which focuses too much on shame and views sex more as a mechanistic performance. At the same time, the secular western sexual ethic leaves people open to manipulation and exploitation. Taoism has a place for both sexuality and celibacy, and Buddhism, in general, doesn't elevate sexuality, married heterosexuality or otherwise- I view both as antidotes to the extremes of western religion and secularism.

 

Hopefully in time people here will be able to come to a balanced view, and realize that conservative Christian ethics are not "evil", that they do serve a function of their own.

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Western secular views of sex are as entertainment/sport or a game, rather than a form of intimacy.

There is a tendency in that direction, to be sure. I would say that in the West, most everything is too much about doing and not enough about being, so even relationships in general are more about playing games than about actual intimacy. In dealing with that in my current partner. In all honesty she doesn't even know what to do with actual intimacy, other than hold it at arm's length. And it's not the first time I've seen it. It's a sad commentary on where we've arrived here in the supposedly enlightened "first world". We've arrived at a place where people value their "space" more than the privilege of creatively sharing that space with loving partners, children and siblings.

 

I once had a vision of family life that I thought was rather compelling but the problem is it takes Other People™ to make it work. I used to look down on people who were little more than roomies who happen to share an address and call that intimacy, but now I realize how easy it is to fall into that, in spite of yourself.

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So, needless to say, one of the best parts of my now "heathen" lifestyle is that I no longer feel any guilt for sexual feelings.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

...is the Song of Solomon: they have sex during the betrothal.

...So basically this means that most of the strict sexual limitations produced by the American church today comes from culturally structured traditions.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My guilt wasn't even founded on the Bible. Another check mark against the farce of modern Christianity.

Hey, ChurchSucks. Great points (although many years too late for me! LOL!) I was the classic goody-two-shoes and I ruined many magic moments, if you get my meaning blush.png . I actually do regret that part of my past. Life is meant for more than adhering to an extremely strict code of sexual conduct that denies who we are as (sexual) individuals. Christianity has taken a lot from me (or, should I say, I sacrificed much to the flames of Christianity) and this is just one more thing. Dammit! huh.png

 

Thanks for the thoughts!

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Hopefully in time people here will be able to come to a balanced view, and realize that conservative Christian ethics are not "evil", that they do serve a function of their own.

 

As a victim of those ethics, I'd sure like to hear how they are not in fact 'evil' as you say. I wonder how much latent belief might be influencing your opinion on this. :shrug:

 

Sex is just sex. A bodily function like eating and shitting. Sometimes it involves intimacy, which is great, but when it's put on a pedestal as something its not, it can cause all kinds of emotional problems.

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Hopefully in time people here will be able to come to a balanced view, and realize that conservative Christian ethics are not "evil", that they do serve a function of their own.

 

As a victim of those ethics, I'd sure like to hear how they are not in fact 'evil' as you say. I wonder how much latent belief might be influencing your opinion on this. Wendyshrug.gif

 

Christian sexual ethics may seem horribly repressive but in truth, almost no societies are genuinely "sex positive". Most societies have taboos about sex, often for good reason. Unlike eating or shitting, sexuality can quickly come to involve other people and entangle them in problems, so it has ethical dimensions beyond other "bodily functions". It isn't that the Christian attitudes are inherently wrong, so much as unrealistic ideals, especially given the other values that Christian communities are immersed in (esteeming marriage and family conflicts with values like higher education and self-sufficiency, since it creates pressure to delay marriage past the biological reality).

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Great topic! Had a sexual incident in childhood and was promptly told I was going to hell for it unless I confessed. This led to horrific fear of God and sexual issues. I begged God for years to heal me; researching, praying and fasting- but he never did. Now that I am deconverting I am finding the healing that I needed in an intimate relationship. The guilt was so intense that it threw me into turmoil at first but now I see it as a positive and am happier and more healthy than ever. This would be called cherishing my sin. Sexual sin is the "big ticket item" in Christian circles. You can't turn on any Christian radio program without hearing the words "porn addiction" within the first fifteen seconds! What a viscious cycle of being human, feeling guilt and shame, repenting - only to do it all over again.

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Ironically I just posted about this in the Ex-Christian Life forum, about how at least one research psychologist has concluded that the religious strictures on sex and the encouragement of procreation and often discouragement or prohibition on birth control promotes having more children earlier, and the strict rules compensate for this reproductive strategy by protecting your mate from being poached by rivals.

 

Which explains the terror that conservatives / religious people live in concerning any relaxing of the rules. It also explains why conservative / fundie religious people tend to be less educated. You lack energy and money and time for an education if you marry young. Conversely if you take the time and trouble to educate yourself, a life of premarital abstention is that much more difficult, and between that and the college environment you are more apt to have sex partner(s) long before you settle down and marry.

 

You made an excellent point about the opposite situation in primitive Hebrew culture, where couples are basically married and having babies as soon as they are physically able to do so; in that situation there is no hand-wringing angst about denying your sexual impulses as there's no waiting around. I actually remember reading about this when I was a hormone-tormented fundie teenager and thinking that was one hell of a great system :-)

 

--Bob

 

I read somewhere that sexual and physical abuse of children, animals, and the elderly is almost non existent in cultures that condone premarital sex. Since learning that I have noticed how much truth is in those studies as if you look at an institution as the Catholic church you see those priests and nuns being all celibate, then taking their sexual angst out on the kids. Even my very liberal Catholic friend believes that the sexual norms of her religion are so fucked up that in the clergy's minds it's not o.k. for two gay men in love to be married, but beating and raping kids is o.k. with them.

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Hopefully in time people here will be able to come to a balanced view, and realize that conservative Christian ethics are not "evil", that they do serve a function of their own.

 

As a victim of those ethics, I'd sure like to hear how they are not in fact 'evil' as you say. I wonder how much latent belief might be influencing your opinion on this. Wendyshrug.gif

 

Christian sexual ethics may seem horribly repressive but in truth, almost no societies are genuinely "sex positive". Most societies have taboos about sex, often for good reason. Unlike eating or shitting, sexuality can quickly come to involve other people and entangle them in problems, so it has ethical dimensions beyond other "bodily functions". It isn't that the Christian attitudes are inherently wrong, so much as unrealistic ideals, especially given the other values that Christian communities are immersed in (esteeming marriage and family conflicts with values like higher education and self-sufficiency, since it creates pressure to delay marriage past the biological reality).

 

I'm not seeing where you are making a case for your position, but rather are just making claims to support your personal opinion.

 

Personally, I grew up in the US with oppressive xian values. I've since lived and traveled around the world. What I've personally observed (FWIW) is a much healthier attitude about sex outside the bounds of the US.

 

When you make something taboo, you do two things, you wrack people in guilt and you cause people to abuse it (do a search on which countries spend the highest amount of time watching porn). I don't see people in places like Italy, France, Russia, etc... wracked in guilt over sex and I don't see them going nuts and just throwing caution to the wind with it either. Both of these are something you see in the US where religion has skewed people's views on a subject that should be natural.

 

I don't disagree with you that some sense of propriety should be attached to it, and in most places, probably all, it is. But what the xians do to it has a distorting effect that can be extreme in many cases, depending on how seriously the individual takes the message.

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I am not saying there should be no limits to sexual activity, all I am saying is that how modern Christianity views sex is horribly oppressive and makes for quite a few sexually frustrated people. I would say the majority of engaged Christian couples have had at least some sort of sexual contact, albeit they keep it a secret. What is so bad about sex between two consenting adults? Nothing. And there's nowhere in the Bible that condemns that, either, because the situation rarely ever was raised due to the culture. Prostitution is the only form of non-marital sex that is seen as sinful.

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I'm glad that u all grew out of your fear of sex. I also missed out on a lot of sex in my Christian days. Its so foolish that Christians

try to make the most entertaining act on Earth seem evil

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Nothing. And there's nowhere in the Bible that condemns that, either, because the situation rarely ever was raised due to the culture. Prostitution is the only form of non-marital sex that is seen as sinful.

 

Prostitution is also not a sin. Although I wished we lived in a world where all sex was free, the sad

truth is that the world has been taken over by unfair economics (which Christians are partially to blame)

and this has led society to where a man who doesn't make a lot of money has a low chance of getting a

free girl, which means he has no choice but to get a prostitute

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Another aspect about the "sin" of pre-marital sex preached from the pulpits today...

 

It's not really addressed in the Bible because kids (especially girls) got married when they hit puberty and often met their spouse on their wedding night. "Fooling around" before marriage isn't such a big issue for 12 year olds.

 

As well, when I was a youth minister preaching abstinence to my youth group, it also occurred to me that in the world today it is demanded that people abstain from an incredible strong (and natural) drive for often more than a decade after they begin to be flooded with hormones! People today often don't marry until their mid-20's or even early 30's. To tell people the Bible demands they remain pure for 10-20 hormonal years is RIDICULOUS. Certainly no one in the biblical age had to accomplish this feat.

 

On an aside...how does one get a password to the Sex and Christianity forum? I'm a new member here, and it just showed up one day (I guess I hit a certain number of posts?). But it says it is password protected...am I missing something? I e-mailed the mod last week with no answer on this mystery.

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On an aside...how does one get a password to the Sex and Christianity forum? I'm a new member here, and it just showed up one day (I guess I hit a certain number of posts?). But it says it is password protected...am I missing something? I e-mailed the mod last week with no answer on this mystery.

 

...you read my thoughts. I'm seeing a counsellor in just over an hour on this very subject. It's time I faced the music :/

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The password to the forum is not supposed to be handed out between users but a quick PM to any of the mods will get it for you (if they're busy/lazy for some reason pick another...they all know it).

 

mwc

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The password to the forum is not supposed to be handed out between users but a quick PM to any of the mods will get it for you (if they're busy/lazy for some reason pick another...they all know it).

 

mwc

 

Thanks for that :)

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The Christian guilt machine is broken. Lots of Christians feel guilt being intimate with their own spouse. That is even after jumping through all the hoops of having your marriage blessed by "God" and getting your pastor's permission to have sex. That is because human emotions do not conform to the nonsense of the Bible. If you guilt guilt guilt guilt someone for their whole childhood and their developing teen years then that is what they experience as an adult.

 

God is watching you . . . right now . . . God is getting pissed off that you are feeling a natural urge to perpetuate the species . . . even though . . . God gave that urge to you.

 

Ever wonder if God were to get angry at moths or butterflies? What if one of them were to mate too often or with the wrong gender? Does God get mad at dogs when they mate wrong? The whole thing is silly nonsense but it's destructive to kids. I'm starting to think Christianity is evil.

 

 

MM

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The Christian guilt machine is broken. Lots of Christians feel guilt being intimate with their own spouse. That is even after jumping through all the hoops of having your marriage blessed by "God" and getting your pastor's permission to have sex. That is because human emotions do not conform to the nonsense of the Bible. If you guilt guilt guilt guilt someone for their whole childhood and their developing teen years then that is what they experience as an adult.

 

God is watching you . . . right now . . . God is getting pissed off that you are feeling a natural urge to perpetuate the species . . . even though . . . God gave that urge to you.

 

Ever wonder if God were to get angry at moths or butterflies? What if one of them were to mate too often or with the wrong gender? Does God get mad at dogs when they mate wrong? The whole thing is silly nonsense but it's destructive to kids. I'm starting to think Christianity is evil.

 

 

MM

 

 

YES! We were even told that there were only certain things appropriate for a married couple to do. Basically, boring in the dark missionary position sex. And if you were a woman and enjoyed it too much, then you must be kind of a slut. My husband and I never really listened, but I will say this was always in the back of my mind. Great way to mess up a good time, because sexual arousal starts in the brain, especially for women. Since starting my journey of deconversion, I have hardly any sexual hang ups anymore. It feels wonderful to just enjoy myself and not feel so damn guilty all the time.

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Ever wonder if God were to get angry at moths or butterflies? What if one of them were to mate too often or with the wrong gender? Does God get mad at dogs when they mate wrong? The whole thing is silly nonsense but it's destructive to kids. I'm starting to think Christianity is evil.

 

 

MM

 

Its starting to seem like Christianity is evil. If a man has pre-marital sex or looks at pornography, Christians feel that he should be

set on fire. But yet if a church member manipulates people out of money, cheats on his wife, is a horrible daddy, or just goes to church for the purpose of some selfish personal gain, he's all good because he prays for forgiveness. Sounds like some evil shit to me

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Sexual sin is the "big ticket item" in Christian circles. You can't turn on any Christian radio program without hearing the words "porn addiction" within the first fifteen seconds! What a viscious cycle of being human, feeling guilt and shame, repenting - only to do it all over again.

 

Exactly, this is a big part of what "broke" me. I remember discovering porn in my early teen years. On the outside I was the paragon of adolescent fundamentalism, (I practically had a halo over my head!) but on the inside I was incredibly frustrated because what evolution had hard-wired into me was "sinful" and no one ever mentioned how to deal with these new feelings. (other than suppress them, of course) As years passed, this frustration turned to bitterness because although the porn helped, it still wouldn't give me what I wanted no matter how much I indulged. The real danger is that absurd christian taboos on exploring sexuality can damage young people and render them practically incapable of relating to a real person of the opposite sex later in life. As I got older and wiser, I understood that porn has its place (mostly as a pressure release valve) but it's no substitute for a relationship and true intimacy with a real person.

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Sex is really the one thing christianity can't compete with. Every religious experience pales compared to a great orgasm. This is why it MUST BE demonized by christianity. It's too good.

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