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The Condom Gospel (Sex Education for Christians!)

This is awful…

Found at Christian Nightmares.



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James Williams

posted December 30, 2010 at 9:12 am


I have no problem with what she said. Can you be specific with your issues with it?

Her point is that many young folks are buying into the message that condoms offer protection from the consequences of sex outside of marriage, and in fact, they only offer partial protection. It’s a valid message.



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    Ben

    posted December 30, 2010 at 9:19 am


    I’m curious as to what was “awful” about this as well.



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    Nick

    posted December 30, 2010 at 9:19 am


    I agree!



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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted December 30, 2010 at 9:34 am


    Hey James… I think her talk is manipulative, far-fetched, and based on a multitude of “assumptions” that she offers no proof for… But the worst part of this video is that she bases the premise of her talk on an idea that is unfounded: Nobody thinks or believes or even suggests that a condom will protect you from anything other than STDs. (And you know what? They actually do that MOST of the time). And while she makes decent points in certain instances, you can’t ignore the fact that lots of people have sex outside of marriage that aren’t hurt emotionally, spiritually, etc. Besides, anytime you’re in a relationship, you run the risk of being hurt in lots of different areas of life… condom or not… her talk is full of fear and gross exaggerations…

    Just my opinion… :)



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      James Williams

      posted December 30, 2010 at 9:42 am


      I think this is one of this agree-to-disagree things. My observations make me believe that when a person has sex with someone they aren’t married to, the emotional effects are just as strong as the potential physical ones.



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        Matthew Paul Turner

        posted December 30, 2010 at 9:51 am


        I agree with your statement in most instances… but using a condom to make that point is pretty silly, wouldn’t you agree?



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          Marni

          posted December 30, 2010 at 11:42 am


          It depends on your point of view here. I honestly think her example is very visual and able to reach kids, and adults, on a level that has not been approached before – and I find it to be valuable. For while on the surface many people walk around having sex before marriage “seem” fine – and even talking with them, getting to know them deeply and such, it doesn’t even dawn on you (or them) that anything is really “wrong”; deep down, there is something very wrong. These kind of hurts don’t necessarily hurt where it can been seen by us or even the person hurt for a very long time – if ever. But the hurt is there, and it does affect people whether it is recognized or not.

          I am learning about this very thing in working with people at a counseling level being a ministry leader of a Christian-based recovery group, and as a student of Christian Counseling. Every sin affects our lives – even though it may never appear to us it does.

          So no, I do not find that using the condom to make a point is silly at all. I find it to be insightful and impacting in a very non-aggressive manner.



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          Matthew Paul Turner

          posted December 30, 2010 at 11:55 am


          Well, I would never want my child taught about sexuality in this manner.



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          Marni

          posted December 30, 2010 at 12:19 pm


          Then don’t teach it to them. :) As their father, you have that right; that choice.

          I’m not one to make declarations of judgement. Would I personally use this as a means to discuss this with our son one day? Perhaps…but perhaps not. Every child, every person, is different in how things are received. This approach has a means to really address something to a lot of people (kids and adults alike) – however, not every child and adult will really grasp the concept; so other avenues will need to be used.

          I just know if this had been a method used to approach some of the people I am coming across in my experience in life, this would have worked for them knowing their personality, how they learn and how they communicate. It is just unfortunate not many people, even parents, don’t take the time to really learn their kids personalities, learning and communication styles. This is where a lot gets lost in translations concerning these very sensitive discussion topics. :) This avenue has purpose – but for you, and your children, it may not be the best fit; and that is cool. :) You and your wife know your children best, next to God – not anyone else. And it sounds like you really know your kids – and that is awesome. :)



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        TheBoyWonder

        posted December 31, 2010 at 11:57 am


        Well, yes, sex is a highly emotional thing. The safe thing
        to do is wait til there is a tangible and strong commitment (i.e.
        marriage or a long term mutual commitment) between the two of you.
        The thing about marriage is that it suggests lifetime partnership,
        which is good for sex because you don’t have to worry as much about
        your partner finding a new partner or becoming dissatisfied with
        you. It’s a security thing. Yes we are tied emotionally, but I
        promise you if you kiss someone, you have that same sort of
        emotional bond with a person, just certainly not as strong. The
        same can be said of cuddling, too. But these emotional bonds are
        good to have, even if they are eventually broken. Love is all about
        putting yourself out there to be hurt, and mutual love is choosing
        to accept each other in vulnerability. To love and have lost is
        better than to have never loved. The same can be said for sex in
        certain situations. To claim that “emotional effects” are proof of
        the harm of sex is valid, but I don’t think God intended us to live
        life with excessive walls built up around us to prevent
        vulnerability. Sometimes, the extreme vulnerability of sex is a
        good thing.



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      Mike

      posted December 30, 2010 at 10:04 am


      I get what you are saying, but I think you are wrong in making an assumption that “you can’t ignore the fact that lots of people have sex outside of marriage that aren’t hurt emotionally, SPIRITUALLY, etc.”

      I can’t speak to the state of someone’s emotions, or social status, or any of the other things included in “etc.” but if sex outside marriage is a sin, then it will hurt a person spiritually 100% of the time.



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        Matthew Paul Turner

        posted December 30, 2010 at 10:11 am


        Hey Mike… can you prove that sex outside of marriage is sin according to scripture? I don’t think you can. It’s not there. We Christians have long stretched scripture about “sexual immorality” to promote the “sex is only for marriage” message.



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          April L.

          posted December 30, 2010 at 10:14 am


          If you believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis, you’re left with God being down with some brother-sister love. Can’t say I’m really on board if that’s God’s plan. :)



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          James Williams

          posted December 30, 2010 at 10:35 am


          I strongly disagree. The word definition of the word fornication is the same in the Greek, Hebrew, and English. It means sex outside of marriage.



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          Matthew Paul Turner

          posted December 30, 2010 at 10:46 am


          Where are you getting that definition? In the Greek,
          fornication comes from the “porneia,” which means “strong sexual
          offense.” It includes incest, rape, etc…



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          Cole

          posted December 30, 2010 at 10:35 am


          I think that “adultery” and “fornication” are condemned in
          lots of places in scripture. I know those are big crazy
          christian/religious words but those are the words used in the
          Bible. That kind of excludes sexual activity outside of marriage.
          What exactly “marriage” might be is a different matter all
          together. I’m not going to argue about whether what the Bible says
          about these subjects is right, wrong, or outdated. But I think it’s
          a stretch to say that the Bible isn’t pretty clear on what it says
          about this subject.



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          Daniel Bergey

          posted December 30, 2010 at 10:36 am


          This is a good question.



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          Jen

          posted December 30, 2010 at 10:47 am


          Lust is adultery. The bible is very clear. Paul describes marriage as the way to avoid the sin of sex before marriage. Sure, there are lots of sin, but isn’t it better to try to help people with some sin, rather than tell them there is no sin and people can do whatever they please? We are all idolaters and that is the basis of all sin in my opinion. No one worships only God, all of the time. It seems this blog’s purpose is to consistently find what is wrong with Christians and not really offer any solid, clear evidence of how you think true disciples of Christ can glorify God. Are you using the gifts God has given you to glorify Him, or are you tearing down the church one passive, critical comment at a time? Wasn’t your last post about how you hate criticism? I hope that you are not as limited in reality as you are on this blog. I exhort you to share something encouraging and uplifting.



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          Jake

          posted December 30, 2010 at 10:48 am


          MPT – I was always taught that sex outside of marriage is a sin. I’m in my early 20’s, not married and can admit that I have had sex outside of marriage. I don’t mean to be coy but could you elaborate more for me how it is not mentioned in scripture?

          By the way I really enjoy reading your blog.



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          Matthew Paul Turner

          posted December 30, 2010 at 11:02 am


          Nowhere in scripture is it mentioned that sex outside of marriage is sin. We sometimes use “adultery” as proof, but that’s horrible theology. “Adultery” has less to do with sex than it does with ownership, as in a man owning his wife… a man who had sex with another man’s wife was guilty of the crime of taking what did not belong to him. When Jesus mentioned “lust,” he was simply pointing out that if you have “lust”-the desire to have sex with another man’s wife–you’ve already committed adultery or “taken” the man’s wife. Consider this… 4 of the ten commandments deal with man’s relationship with God… the others deal with man’s relationship with man… stealing, false witness, coveting… it was about creating order and social codes… and sadly, at the time, a wife was a man’s property, so adultery was a sin not because of the sex but because one had sex with a woman that didn’t belong to him…

          We’ve taken “thou shalt not commit adultery” and turned it into something that it wasn’t meant to be…



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          James Williams

          posted December 30, 2010 at 10:56 am


          If the idea of sex outside marriage being sin is recent, cultural, or exclusive to Christians, then why was it a scandal when Mary was pregnant while being unmarried?



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          Matthew Paul Turner

          posted December 30, 2010 at 11:04 am


          Mary was betrothed… she wasn’t single. It was well-known that she intended to take Joseph as a husband…



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          Mike

          posted December 30, 2010 at 11:04 am


          Haha…touche and well played sir. I cannot prove to you that ALL sex outside of marriage is a sin according to any particular Scriptural quote.
          Also, you are correct in your interpretation of porneia. It does not encompass “everything” that can take place outside of marriage.
          I would say, however, that I’d rather argue toward purity than toward the slippery slope of “how much can I get away with before it’s sin.”
          I expected you to drop the bomb (you are, after all, my favorite “devil’s advocate”) which is why I said “I think you are wrong” (opinion) and “if sex outside marriage is a sin” (opinion).
          I appreciate how you open up the dialogue and encourage discussion of accepted “Christianity”.



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          Matthew Paul Turner

          posted December 30, 2010 at 11:16 am


          My point of posting the video and debating this topic is not to promote “how much one can get away with…” It’s about the messages that we as Christians promote regarding sex and how we use scripture incorrectly to support these ideas. We’re always talking about “presenting truth,” and that begins with being honest about what scripture says and what it does not say… thank you for your kindness in debating… and you’re right… I think it’s good to discuss these kinds of topics… :)



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          Jon

          posted December 30, 2010 at 11:07 am


          Theologian Walter Wink wrote an in-depth (yet accessible)
          essay on Biblical views of sexuality:
          http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-walter-wink
          Although he’s specifically addressing the issue of homosexuality,
          his conclusions speak to this conversation: “The crux of the
          matter, it seems to me, is simply that the Bible has no sexual
          ethic. There is no Biblical sex ethic. Instead, it exhibits a
          variety of sexual mores, some of which changed over the thousand
          year span of biblical history. Mores are unreflective customs
          accepted by a given community. Many of the practices that the Bible
          prohibits, we allow, and many that it allows, we prohibit. The
          Bible knows only a love ethic, which is constantly being brought to
          bear on whatever sexual mores are dominant in any given country, or
          culture, or period. The very notion of a ‘sex ethic’ reflects the
          materialism and splitness of modern life, in which we increasingly
          define our identity sexually. Sexuality cannot be separated off
          from the rest of life. No sex act is “ethical” in and of itself,
          without reference to the rest of a person’s life, the patterns of
          the culture, the special circumstances faced, and the will of God.
          What we have are simply sexual mores, which change, sometimes with
          startling rapidity, creating bewildering dilemmas.”



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          Jen

          posted December 30, 2010 at 11:53 am


          Lust is adultery, whether or not the woman/man is married it doesn’t matter, because she/he will/could be someone’s husband/wife in the future and thus has given that which was meant to be the husbands/wife’s to another. I don’t think that I am the one twisting theology. I’d love to have sex with whoever I want to and not call it sin, pretend that it(the sin) doesn’t bring hurt and disease. Paul is clear that if you want to have sex, you should get married. But, that of course is not the only reason to get married. Your argument would open up the debate that a man who cheats on his wife with an unmarried woman, has not committed adultery because he didn’t take another man’s wife.



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          Matthew Paul Turner

          posted December 30, 2010 at 11:54 am


          Not true. Not biblically. You cannot prove that whatsoever… you’re making an assumption. Sorry.



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          Matthew Paul Turner

          posted December 30, 2010 at 12:02 pm


          Regarding your last sentence…

          “Your argument would open up the debate that a man who cheats on his wife with an unmarried woman, has not committed adultery because he didn’t take another man’s wife.”

          In Biblical times, chances would be good that the husband would have added her as a wife…



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          DT

          posted December 30, 2010 at 12:02 pm


          I Cor 5:1-2 NASB
          “It is actually reported that there is immorality[fornication/porneia] among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.”

          mpt: “In the Greek, fornication comes from the “porneia,” which means “strong sexual offense.” It includes incest, rape, etc…”

          @mpt: Your definition of porneia doesn’t work when applied to I Cor 5. True, the sin being spoken of is incest; however, Paul classes incest in a totally different league much like what you suggest: “such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles,” indicating much lesser sexual activity can also be understood as porneia. Your category of “strong sexual offense,” then, is but one component of porneia.



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          Matthew Paul Turner

          posted December 30, 2010 at 12:09 pm


          Most Jews at the time thought the Gentiles were filthy sinful people who always had sex…

          Paul mentions the Gentiles because he’s saying that… “MY GOSH PEOPLE… EVEN THE GENTILES DON’T DO INCEST!! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!”

          Maybe I’m not following you… but I think the definition of porneia (not MY definition…) works just fine.



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          DT

          posted December 30, 2010 at 12:06 pm


          I find it interesting people can narrow down what “porneia” means to exclude sex before marriage but when it comes to “arsenokoites” well we just can’t know what it means.



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          Matthew Paul Turner

          posted December 30, 2010 at 12:13 pm


          If you have proof to suggest otherwise, then bring it… I’m not trying to “narrow” a definition… it’s a definition… it’s factual… if I’m incorrect, then challenge that… let’s not make this personal or passive aggressive…



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          DT

          posted December 30, 2010 at 2:48 pm


          @mpt: I sort of thought that would come across personal. Not that I meant it in that way.
          I asked the same question before, was pre-marital sex wrong? And came to the conclusion first that it wasn’t, and then finally, that it was.
          As you are aware, the Biblical writers make some _assumptions_ as their audience that mean certain things aren’t spelled out just like we might expect. For example, I often ask myself on different issues, what would the Bible have to say, how would the Scriptures have to read, in order for all Christians to agree that homosexuality was sin, pre-marital sex was sin, and say perhaps that creation was in 6 literal days.
          But the fact is that we are left with the Bible we’ve got. Seemingly explicit Scriptures are found not to apply so neatly as they first appear, and likewise, seemingly vague Scriptures are found to be of much more import than we initially give them credit for. And, of course, there’s 2000 years of church history to account for.



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          Chris Hyde

          posted December 31, 2010 at 11:52 am


          @mpt: Your arguments here in this thread are awesome. I’m a pastor and I’ve never heard these arguments before (of course, I’ve been “schooled” in highly conservative theology). I really appreciate these insights and love the fact that you are calling us to look at Scripture in more authentic ways!



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          John

          posted January 3, 2011 at 5:42 pm


          mpt..I don’t get you…can you answer some of these
          questions so I can know your stance… 1. Is marriage created by
          God? 2. Is marriage between one man and one woman? 3. Do you
          believe Apostle Paul is God’s messenger to the Gentiles and we
          should heed his message? If you answer yes to the last question
          then tell me what do you think Apostle Paul is saying here: 1 Cor.
          7:8 & 9: But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it
          is good for them if they remain even as I. But if they do not have
          self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to
          burn with passion. I can be reaching here, but for my first 2
          questions…if marriage is created by God and it’s meant between
          one man and one woman, then by God’s perfect will we should not
          have sex before marriage because we will be committing adultery
          with someone’s future mate. Plus…why would you want to have sex
          before marriage…because you lust for that person…serious if I
          want to screw some chick its because she hot and I want her, hence
          I’m lusting. Jesus said if we lust then we committed adultery in
          our hearts…ouch…we sinned…because adultery is sin….key word
          is lust. I doubt any dude had sex and didn’t lust…if he didn’t
          then um…that’s a sin.



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      Jen

      posted December 30, 2010 at 11:42 am


      This is in my opinion a dangerous comment. How do you know that sex doesn’t hurt everyone emotionally/spiritually etc.? People generally are not 100% honest about whether or not their behavior has/is hurting them. Why is her talk manipulative or far fetched? You don’t know how sex will effect you until you have sex. The only way to be protected from that is to abstain. So, why not wait until you are in the best possible situation with a committed partner that isn’t afraid to say in front of God and humanity that they take you as their one and only? Of course you have a choice, she isn’t saying you don’t have a choice, but what would be the best/safest choice?



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        TheBoyWonder

        posted December 31, 2010 at 12:20 pm


        She is not denying the existence of a choice, but she is telling you exactly what choice is always the “right” choice. And she is using false analogy to do it, as explained above. Condoms don’t claim to protect you from emotional/social/spiritual consequences. She’s not approaching this from an objective viewpoint as you suggest, looking at the facts to determine the smartest option. She’s simply taking the Christian fundamentalist route of deploring the whole act of sex before marriage without considering any real world data. And I agree it’s best to marry your sex partner, but life is inevitably too complicated to apply an unmovable sexual-ethical principle.



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      jody

      posted January 5, 2011 at 2:14 pm


      I would also like to add that no health care provider dresses in all that stuff just to examine a patient. Even “down there.” That is absurd.



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      Becky

      posted January 16, 2011 at 2:44 pm


      I would like to echo everything MPT said above. I work in sexual health, and I have never heard a client suggest that they were expecting a condom to protect them from anything other than pregnancy or STDs. And as MPT states, and as abstinence-only proponents fail to discuss, is that many, many unmarried people enjoy healthy (physically, emotionally, etc) sexual relationships.

      Also, what I don’t hear the True Love Waits folks talk about is what happens when people DO abstain. They often regret not having had more sexual experiences. Some women I have worked with have had to really grieve that they’ve never been intimate with anyone else. It’s one reason they become interested in open marriages and are tempted to cheat on a partner.

      Regarding abstinence or not, there is a much more nuanced discussion that needs to be had.



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Ben of BenandJacq

posted December 30, 2010 at 9:17 am


Awful in what way? Honest question. I thought that it was pretty honest.



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April L.

posted December 30, 2010 at 9:23 am


I don’t think anyone is expecting a condom to protect them emotionally. That’s not really what they’re advertised for. It’s like saying, “See this book? You can’t cut a grapefruit with it,” and ripping out a page to “prove” your point. I’m not saying she doesn’t have a point at all, but to say condoms are ineffective because they don’t protect you emotionally/morally/spiritually is dishonest.

Not to mention the emphasis on condoms protecting from STDs “a little…some.” It’s absolutely true that condoms are not 100% effective at preventing STDs. But they’re certainly more effective than having unprotected sex (and I would be willing to bet, more than she’s letting on). And when these kids hear from their trusted leaders that condoms aren’t really that effective, and then they flunk out of True Love Waits and have sex anyway (because statistically, most of them will), they figure, “Why use a condom–it’s not *really* going to protect me, and it feels better without it.”

I don’t know what the answer is. I know abstinence education in this context isn’t working. (Although I believe it’s much more effective when done in the context of family.) But I also don’t feel great about just tossing out condoms like confetti to young people, saying, “Have at it.” What I do know is this: True Love Waits never taught me to honor God. It taught me that you don’t want to get an STD, or get pregnant. And you sure as hell don’t want to have to tell your husband on your wedding night that you didn’t save yourself for him. (That was a fun guilt trip that followed me into my mid-twenties. Thankfully it didn’t go the way they said it would.) But it didn’t teach me to love God enough that I *wanted* to obey him. And that, I believe, is the biggest reason True Love Waits doesn’t work.



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    James Williams

    posted December 30, 2010 at 9:35 am


    April, you may think that nobody expects condoms to protect them emotionally, but in fact, many clueless young people do. They don’t think in those terms, of course. But if they use the condoms and feel “safe” while having sex outside of the boundaries that were set up by God for our protection. It’s a false kind of “safe”, though.



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      Matthew Paul Turner

      posted December 30, 2010 at 9:38 am


      James, do you have any proof whatsoever to your claim about “clueless young people”?



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        James Williams

        posted December 30, 2010 at 9:39 am


        No, just years of experience and observation. My “proof” is very anecdotal, but it’s a pretty large sample size.



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          Matthew Paul Turner

          posted December 30, 2010 at 9:43 am


          But that’s speculative. And too… many Christians are hurt by sex outside of marriage because we’ve been predisposed to do so by the teachings about sex in church… that’s not to say that people aren’t hurt… but I know many people (again, speculative in the context of this debate) that have had sex and are quite healthy mentally, spiritually, etc…



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          Katie

          posted December 31, 2010 at 5:18 pm


          As a 19 year old, I can attest to the fact that many young people use a condom and think that they are having ‘safe sex.’ Physically, it sure is safe sex. But I have also seen the emotional affects it has had on friends and acquaintances. One of my best friends was told by a guy that he was infertile, so they had a lot of unprotected sex assuming they were safe from getting pregnant, and my friend assuming that she wasn’t gonna get hurt. I’ll never forget the day she told me she thought she was pregnant and how much emotional pain she was in. Her life has been a downward spiral ever since, even though she wasn’t actually pregnant. For a time, she completely fell away from God. That may be an extreme case, but its a true one.

          I also recently heard my 19 year old classmate talk about how she gave four years of her life to a guy and finally slept with him only to have him break up with her. She was pretty emotionally upset over it, even a few months later.

          As an adult you don’t necessarily know what ‘young people’ actually believe, especially about things like sex. And yes, that does apply to the woman in this video as well. But at least she is trying to do something proactive.



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          April L.

          posted December 31, 2010 at 11:14 pm


          @Katie, no one is arguing that young people don’t think condom = safe sex. The argument is that condoms aren’t *meant* to protect you emotionally. If you believe a condom is going to protect your emotions, than you have bigger problems. And as an adult who has actually *been* a young person, why yes, I do have an idea of how the teenage mind works. As a young person who has not yet experienced adulthood and looked back on her teenage years, you might consider the possibility that we do have an idea of what we’re talking about.



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      April L.

      posted December 30, 2010 at 9:48 am


      I was a clueless young person, and I never thought a condom was there for my emotional protection. I’m not *advocating* condoms. I’m advocating facts. No, nothing is 100% safe. Hey–even abstinence didn’t work for Mary. :) But the truth is, whether we like it or not, condoms do protect against pregnancy and STDs. Not 100% of the time, not without fail. But they do provide protection. So rather than trying to make them appear unsafe, why aren’t the youth groups and the TLW groups teaching their kids to love God? Instead, we’re lying to them. We’re lying about what sex can do to you emotionally (because it doesn’t affect every person the same), we’re lying about having the greatest sex ever when we’re married (because it’s not always the case), and we’re lying about how God sees sin. We don’t have entire ministries devoted to preventing gossip, but I’ve sure seen some hearts ripped apart by that one. When adult leaders place such a huge emphasis on sex, it tells kids that God places a huge emphasis on sex. Honestly, all I remember from youth group is don’t have sex, and they can’t keep you from praying and reading your bible in public school. True Love Waits isn’t teaching the love of (or for) God. They’re teaching morality, plain and simple.



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        Matthew Paul Turner

        posted December 30, 2010 at 9:53 am


        **like**



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        Jesse W

        posted December 30, 2010 at 10:34 am


        Well put. Bootstrap “spirituality” kills. I have never been farther from Jesus than when I’ve thought I was a good boy.

        Why do we teach it to kids? Because rules are easy and discipling is hard work. Just a guess.



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        Mandie

        posted December 30, 2010 at 12:28 pm


        internet high five to April L.



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        Chris Hyde

        posted December 31, 2010 at 11:46 am


        **LOVE**



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        davepettengill

        posted January 3, 2011 at 1:33 pm


        I am the minister of youth and young adults at my church and I was just recently asked if I would be doing the True Love Waits series soon. When I replied that it wasn’t really in the plans to do anytime soon I received a look like I just kicked a puppy. Like it was a horrible travesty to God that I would even think about not doing that series. Understand I tend to be more conservative in my faith and I do talk about purity in our youth ministry but to devote long periods of time to the topic I will not do. Honestly because I feel the reason most parents want it to be talked about it is so there kids don’t get pregnant or get someone pregnant or get an std and most teens want to talk about sex because they want to hear “how far is too far?” I think the whole “come forward if you are going to save yourself for marriage” puts a big Scarlet A on those teens that have already had pre-marital sex and glorifies those teens that come forward. I am for waiting till you get married to have sex, but I also think we need to focus more on God’s grace, how this is a gift for God and how we should live our whole lives to glorify God.



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          davepettengill

          posted January 3, 2011 at 1:35 pm


          sorry should have said gift from God not for God :)



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      sbuxjosh

      posted December 30, 2010 at 10:23 am


      James, I agree that young people can sometimes be lured into a false sense of security through peer pressure, advertising ect..
      Personally though I don’t know of a single person who has ever said; “OMG, I’m soo pissed. I thought I could protect myself emotionally with condoms and I still got hurt.” It’s really bad form to generalize young people like that.

      I do however take issue with your assumption that sex inside of marriage is somehow safe. To me, thats even worse than any false sense of security people might have with condoms because Christians (like the lady in this video) are advertising that marriage will protect you emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Yet, considering the failure rate of marriage in general and especially the higher failure rate of marriages among conservative Christians.(from Barna Research Group)
      I think God’s ‘boundaries’ may be in need of a product recall. That or conservatives (like the lady in the video) need to stop the false advertising.



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        LRA

        posted December 30, 2010 at 2:07 pm


        Couldn’t agree more. I would hope that kids would wait until they are 17 or 18 to try sex within the confines of a committed boyfriend/girlfriend situation, but what adults do with their bodies in or out of marriage is not the business of the Sexual Morality Police (TM).

        In fact, I think it is MORE unhealthy not to engage in sex as an adult because our bodies have evolved to have regular sex, just like eating and sleeping. Having sex affects our serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin levels in ways that keep our brains sated with these well-being chemicals. To imply that having regular sex is somehow emotionally damaging is just plain wrong. Of course, sex, like eating, is an appetitive need tied to our neurological reward system, and so it can be misused to a point of causing a person pain, but that is the exception and not the general rule.

        That being said, it doesn’t really matter if a person is married or not when it comes to having sex. It only matters that the person is “safe” about it physically and understands that any bond with another person that is strengthened by sex can come to an end (married or not) and that good coping skills can help one deal with it. In other words, it isn’t the sex that’s the problem, it’s actually the potential loss of a bond (sex or not) that matters for emotional suffering.



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Blake J.

posted December 30, 2010 at 9:24 am


Is that Jane Lynch?



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Lindsey

posted December 30, 2010 at 9:34 am


I didn’t think it was so bad….



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James

posted December 30, 2010 at 9:35 am


I agree with the comments so far. Her presentation is definitely mockable (I’ve never seen a talk of this type that isn’t), but I don’t think it’s because of the message itself. Maybe the STD stuff and the visuals are a little over-the-top and scare-tacticky, but overall I’d say it is a valid, heartfelt, and not-too-twisted-or-weird message.



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Bob Chapman

posted December 30, 2010 at 9:49 am


She is about 15-20 years behind her message. Back in the 1990s the message was use a condom for “safer” sex, not “safe” sex (at least in places that were honest in trying to combat HIV infection). For one example, read the Introduction on this site:

http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/insite?page=kb-07-02-02

Here is another, Planned Parenthood’s website:

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/stds-hiv-safer-sex/safer-sex-4263.htm

I hope this video wanted to go after the misconception that using a condom is “safe” sex instead of “safer” sex. If so, she missed the obvious, clear, straightforward thing to say. After all, if Planned Parenthood is saying safer, not safe, what does that tell you?

Another point to remember that condoms are not something only used in fornication (to revive an old word). Condoms are used by married couples. In some cases condom use is for family planning. In some cases condom use is to reduce the risk of spreading disease between partners. (Yes, this happens in marriage, too.)

Then, this lesson is not quite right. Who would puncture a condom and expect it to work for anything? So, why would you cut a latex glove? I’m sure this was an attempt to communicate on a concrete level (see http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/piaget.htm ), there is a hole in the analogy (no pun intended).



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Kerry-Anne

posted December 30, 2010 at 9:57 am


BAD delivery; weak justification and patronising – just like the standard school guidance video.
I think the girl assisting is hiding her face from sheer embarrassment.



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April L.

posted December 30, 2010 at 9:57 am


Another thought, and then I’ll stop taking over the comment section. :) Call me crazy, but I think part of the problem is our Western culture. Not because it’s all evil and going to hell in a handbasket. But because we’ve created this thing called adolescence. In biblical times (and for some time after), people got married around the time their hormones started going all bonkers. It makes sense, if God designed us, that he would give us sexual desires at the time when it is appropriate to use them. But now we have created this new creature–the teenager. They act a certain way, because society expects them to act a certain way. Even in this country, 50-70 years ago, most people in their early twenties were married with kids. But now most people are pushing marriage back to their 30s. I don’t think the human brain has changed that much–I just think we’re very much shaped by our society. I think a society that expects young people to ignore their God-given sexual desires for 10+ years is setting them up for failure.



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    James Williams

    posted December 30, 2010 at 10:39 am


    Although I’m not on board with some of your earlier comments, I think this is a very valid, if unpopular, point. Our bodies seem to be designed to reproduce at an age when we are telling kids not to do so. That’s a cultural thing, and it’s fairly recent.



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      Steven

      posted December 30, 2010 at 11:37 am


      @James Williams Cultural? Recent? Where do you get your facts? How old was Mary when she was betrothed to Joseph? In many cultures young women (13+) are betrothed to men and having babies for them (especially in the middle east). It is a fairly new development (sociologically speaking)for women to have children as late as they do.



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      April L.

      posted December 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm


      You bring up a good point about reproduction. Late teens/early twenties is the optimal reproductive age for women. Fertility for women starts to decline around age 27. I don’t know what it is for men, but I struggle with infertility, so I read up on this stuff a lot. Just goes back to design. Even if you believed in evolution, with no help from God, it just makes sense to encourage reproduction at the optimal age. But it can’t work with the sort of adolescent mindset we’ve created.



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    Jay Adams

    posted December 31, 2010 at 4:41 pm


    Kudos, kudos. For more, you might read almost anything by John Taylor Gatto. I learned from him that “adolescence”–the concept and the term itself–was invented out of thin air in the 20th century.

    On another front:

    “…people got married around the time their hormones started going all bonkers…”

    You could also make the argument that a large part of the sexual problem stems from the church / state entanglement around the marriage ceremony / license itself. The state’s hanging around for economic reasons–getting to decide who “deserves” a tax break by virtue of marital status is a pretty nifty bargaining chip. The church (I’m afraid) hangs on for even less noble motives–the sheer exhilarating power rush that comes from getting to decide who’s “really” married. Who’s old enough, theologically correct enough, Southern Baptist enough, differently-gendered enough…

    CS Lewis always insisted that we should have two marriage ceremonies: one for church people, governed by the church, and one for those outside. I think he was pretty wise in that regard.

    Question: If two reasonably intelligent, mature, responsible seventeen-year-olds at your church announced that they’d decided to be married, and moved in together, completely shunning the church/state ceremony and license…would you consider them married? If so, why? If not, why not?



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      April L.

      posted December 31, 2010 at 11:21 pm


      Well, I’m not a typical Christian–kind of floating between belief and doubt right now and trying to make sense of it all, so maybe I’m not the best person to answer this. But, as for what I think (and this is just my speculation, admittedly), a sexual relationship + cohabitation = marriage in God’s sight. I fully admit I could be completely wrong about this. I do know that what the state has to say about it has no bearing on what God considers marriage. A piece of paper doesn’t make you married–a commitment and a sexual union does. Now, whether this commitment needs to be made in front of others, I don’t know. It’s hard for me to imagine 17-year-olds in our society being prepared for that kind of commitment. But then again, my best friend and her husband were married at 18, and they have an awesome marriage. So yes, I’d say that with the right people, that could work. I just don’t quite know how God factors into it.



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        36review

        posted December 31, 2010 at 11:44 pm


        I’m pretty sure all of us are “floating between belief and
        doubt,” and I tend to run screaming from anyone who insists they
        never have doubts. One of the best points on the value of public
        marriage I’ve come across maintains that its function is to use the
        witnesses to hold the couple accountable for the promise they make
        before God. Of course, if that’s the intended purpose, it would
        require churches to actually get involved as marriages fall apart,
        instead of just watching it break and then shunning whichever
        partner went into the breakup with fewer church member
        friends.



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    davepettengill

    posted January 3, 2011 at 1:40 pm


    Very good point April…this idea of teenager has created some pretty monsterous results. The thoughts of “oh they are just teenagers” has led to some pretty low expectations. I am not even talking about sexual decisions here I am talking about someone who is 17,18, or 19 not even being able to wake themselves up for school, cook a meal, remember their homework, help around the house, etc…It is time to raise the standards of what we expect of teens and what they can accomplish!



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Jessica

posted December 30, 2010 at 9:57 am


I think her argument is pretty good, as far as condom’s not protecting you spiritually, socially, emotionally, etc. It’s a message I appreciate.



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Rocco Capra

posted December 30, 2010 at 10:08 am


If you think sex outside of marriage has issues, wait till you get married.

I hate that there is this assumption that sex after marriage is always fulfilling and perfect. It is not! There are times (more then I wish) that it is unfulfilled and sometimes disappointing (for husband and wife). Marriage does not make sex better.

What we need is more teaching on how to have sex, how to please our partner, and enjoy it in a marriage.

In my years of being a Christian there has too often been a mindset of “sex = bad”, yes even in a marriage, unless of course you are popping out babies like a factory.



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    April L.

    posted December 30, 2010 at 10:17 am


    Yes–this. My husband and I have a great sex life. But that doesn’t mean it’s always mind-blowingly amazing. And that’s one of the lies of the abstinence movement. That if you save yourself for marriage, you and your spouse will have crazy hot monkey sex every night, and it will never get boring, and neither of you will ever be too tired, and, and, and… I’ve realized recently how un-prudish the bible really is, especially in comparison to us. There is some really graphic stuff in there sexually, and if you believe that’s God’s word, and he’s okay with talking about it…



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Bob Chapman

posted December 30, 2010 at 10:14 am


One more thing. Back when I took driver’s education in high school, it was common to show movies of gory wrecks to try to educate you to drive responsibly. Who needs Slasher Movies when they show this to you in school:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rzr7CHX_0b0

I was shown movies like this just before going to lunch when in 10th grade. I hear rumors some of these movies are still being shown.

There is also plenty of evidence that these movies didn’t work. Not one bit. If anything, they encouraged teenaged males to say, “that won’t happen to me.”

Other approaches work better.



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Jason

posted December 30, 2010 at 10:30 am


I think the overall message is right on. God does not want anyone having sex outside of marriage. Not sure the delivery was best. The rat poison deal. Not sure about that, my dog ate a bunch once and turned out fine. In fact it is a ingredient in acid [the drug]. Also presenting a Christian message without scripture? Fail there.



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John

posted December 30, 2010 at 10:33 am


We are so sex-tuned.

Stay blessed…john



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Christine

posted December 30, 2010 at 10:44 am


Don’t know if anyone mentioned this or not in response to
comments about the emotional trauma of premarital sex but I would
most certainly agree that there are a lot of people who have
premarital sex and have little emotional consequence. Maybe some
regret but not long term. But this seems more likely due to their
lack of God’s authority over their lives. We Christians (those that
surrender their worldly way of life for His grace) are convicted by
the Spirit when we sin. Those that aren’t followers don’t have the
Holy Spirit and are not convicted. So overall, the condom talk may
be a good jumping off point for a church youth group to then expand
upon in more biblical and relational terms but not one to try to
“impose” on the uncommitted… they won’t get it and would seem
ridiculous.



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JenDOC

posted December 30, 2010 at 10:44 am


The only “sin” the church is concerned about is sex. How about we start looking at the systematic sin from church leaders who are too ashamed of their own sexuality that they pass on the false message that sex is wrong due to their own misunderstandings and guilt.
When will the church be honest about sex? That’s the real sin here.
And I find it so sad that many of us are still buying into what this woman is saying. Our eyes need to be desperately opened.



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    James Williams

    posted December 30, 2010 at 10:46 am


    I don’t church you interact with, but in my experience, preaching about sin includes many other topics than sex.



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      James Williams

      posted December 30, 2010 at 10:46 am


      Correction:
      I don’t know which church you….etc.



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        JenDOC

        posted December 30, 2010 at 11:06 am


        Growing up conservative Christian meant that this was the focus of most conversations and sermons. Especially being female, we were told how terrible it is on our soul to have sex prior to marriage.
        I’m so tired of the shame of others given to the youth at churches.



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James Williams

posted December 30, 2010 at 10:44 am


Matthew, I saw your tweet which said that this topic unexpectedly hit a nerve. I think that’s an obvious thing to think when a post generates a large number of comments, but it isn’t necessarily the case. I think this one simply has a lot of comments because a lot of people have opinions on it. Other topics, like church signs, aren’t really something we think of day-to-day, but sex is a topic we all have viewpoints about. And we’re all sure we’re right, despite the fact that most of us will see those views evolve over time.

If this had truly hit a nerve, I think you’d see a lot of name-calling, insults, high emotions, etc. The comments so far seem to simply reflect the fact that there are plenty of different opinions out there, and to this point, they’re being respectfully presented by everyone.



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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted December 30, 2010 at 10:51 am


    James, I just meant that people were passionate about it… that’s all…



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    Matthew Lyon

    posted December 30, 2010 at 1:06 pm


    james, i think this post hit your nerve. and i’ve read a lot of defensive comments from you. you are allowed to be defensive. i’m being defensive too. i’ve read the word “sex” a lot. and it seems to alludes to either fornication, penetration, or at least some sort of orgasm, somehow.

    what i fail to notice, in my hurried scanning, from you or others, is the word “relationship”. sex, biblically always, in ever case, ever, whether legit or not, is a marriage. why? because “marriage” is just a word used to describe a person knowledge of another in a way most in the world (and hopefully no one) knows that person. when you have sex, you are not the uptight person you are on the sidewalk or with rusted friends. you “know” your them… biblically.
    Marriage is often coupled with a public rite of commitment to allow the community of said couple to hold those two (would-be) lovers to their pledge to keep this secret understanding -emotional, physical, spiritual, etc as highly valued as their own. In the bible, there is no “out side of marriage” language, only the reproach for divorce and adultery. one can get married how ever they want, but take it seriously. don’t flake!.

    no one really talks about the not flaking. divorce in this nation is horrendous. domestic abuse still exists, porno is rampant and “christians” have this poor reputation for seeing the logs in thier eyes and seeking counseling (the get all caught up dogmatic apologetics they forget to love their neighbor).

    sex is first and foremost an reflection of health and self-responsibility, which is a fail thing in this country. we seek forgiveness, but with no behavioral change, dog returning to vomit

    sex is not love. people do not want sex, they want love. this video is not loving. it removes sex, saying “you are weak and frail and undiscerning, run away, you can not make rational choices for your own health” and does not replace it with any vision or goal of blessed romance, or even good hot sex with your partner, on the kitchen table, who, three weeks from now, when you bust the car, burn the food, forget to do the laundry for a week, or whatever you can think of, will not threaten you with separation or departure.

    sex within marriage is good, is biblical, because it re-enforces a sense of bonded commitment, which is love. and being felt loved, believing in commitment is the end goal of any and all christian practice. sex is a goodly and godly thing to do.

    James, as agressive as this sounds, relax. but only relax to introvert. tell me about what fears and failure nerve this post is strumming within you. or at least know for yourself why this brings you to the point where you HAVE to post. i’m here posting because I am afraid of marriage. my parents weren’t “happily married” and there was a LOT of unhealthy conflict as a result of it. along side of this, was a strong push to resist Sex, in a way that did not address the fact that the precursor to sex was sexual arousal, which is a very physical and full body experience. but then, most parents feel awkward about sex.
    having had sex (out side of “marriage, by the way) i can say that all the emotional trauma one gathered in the home, at camp, in school and in between, is brought to the fore.

    what if, instead of saying “don’t have sex”, which is a lot like telling an apple “don’t fall from the tree” we, as bible preaching christian, sat them down and said

    guys/gals, sex is, well, effing AWESOME. one day, you are going to get to have it with someone far better than you can image, so don’t try (it only messes with you). Let’s start getting ready by seeking to understand the other person in our relationships, develop our ability to read body language and social cues. let’s learn how to listen, thoughtfully and how to respond. let’s talk about conflict resolutions and love of enemy. let’s figure out what you do when someone you care about hurts your feeling or mis-undertands you. where do you turn for support and responsible introspection.

    that’s a sex ed video i’d love to watch, one where you take the condom OFF the banana and make it vulnerable and shy and naked. imagine what that would do to teens?

    and so, in final reflects, this post is HUGE. and, this post totally hit a nerve in me. can you tell….



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Summer

posted December 30, 2010 at 10:48 am


DUDE! What is with all the panty bunching! Good lord! Just sayin..



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Sierra

posted December 30, 2010 at 10:59 am


I thought that what she said was really great. I do know girls and guys personally qwho have deep regrets about having pre-marital sex. My best friend is married to the 3rd guy she had sex with, has a baby with him. However, she still has a hard time letting go of the guy she slept with in 10th grade. She still remembers and has a hard time letting go of the emoptional tie she had with him. So, I do agree with what she said. Just my opinion.



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Mike

posted December 30, 2010 at 11:26 am


So, do you think that the best approach as Christians is to abandon teaching all sex outside marriage as sin and rather teach the wisdom of waiting?



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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted December 30, 2010 at 11:31 am


    You mean like true love waits? :)



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      Mike

      posted December 30, 2010 at 11:35 am


      Haha. Jerk :)



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        Matthew Paul Turner

        posted December 30, 2010 at 11:47 am


        You know, the Hebrew word for “jerk” is “schmuck,” which means penis…

        :)



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          Mike

          posted December 30, 2010 at 11:59 am


          so you’re saying calling someone a jerk is really just a more acceptable way of calling them a dick?



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          Matthew Paul Turner

          posted December 30, 2010 at 12:00 pm


          :) A circumcised one… since it’s Hebrew and all…



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          Mike

          posted December 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm


          of course



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      Mike

      posted December 30, 2010 at 11:57 am


      Ok, I mean like Paul’s answer in 1 Corinthians 6 to the Corinthians who said “Everything is permissible for me”. He says, “But not everything is beneficial.” Obviously in Corinthian terms the issue here is of sex with prostitutes. But he later says the same thing in reference to food sacrificed to idols. And then elaborates in verse 24 that no one should seek their own good but that of others and further in verse 31 that whatever you do, it should be to the glory of God. So while I can’t say the Bible says that sex outside marriage is always a sin, I might say that it is also not beneficial, could be from a selfish place (I said could), and would certainly question how God is glorified in it.



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        Dianna

        posted December 31, 2010 at 10:31 am


        These same things can definitely be said of sex within marriage, and to restrict it simply to sex outside of marriage is unnecessary and damaging in of itself. (I’ll elaborate on this in a further comment).



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    sharideth

    posted December 30, 2010 at 1:03 pm


    there is nothing about this comment thread i didn’t like.



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jstainer

posted December 30, 2010 at 11:41 am


Thought this was a pretty tame presentation on issues related to sex – I’ve read your comments mpt (ar at least some of the earlier ones in the comments section) and don’t agree with them at all.

Like many others here my interaction with youth and sexuality is very anecdotal, but incredibly powerful. Just sit with young men and women as they relate the devastation they have run into both short term – and certainly long term – both emotionally and physically and then you can appreciate that people are trying everything possible to communicate the reality of sex in today’s world to young people.



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Chris

posted December 30, 2010 at 11:48 am


Everyone is making some great points/arguments so far. However I see this issue a little differently. We, as parents, have allowed “the church” and society to teach our children. We as Godly women and men have pick back up this mantel of leadership and teachers in our own home. If we take this role on and our child is introduced to something we feel is not scripturally correct then we use it as a teaching moment.

I was raised in a fairly conservative church. And my parents never spoke to me about sex or God for that matter. I made many pledges to not have sex till marriage and didn’t follow through with one of them. I have seen the devastation (at least in a kids eye) that sex can cause. And the devastation that I could cause because of this sex. So with all that said I find it hard to believe that sex outside of marriage is ok.

On a side note I thought Jessica’s comment about age and marriage age was an interesting thought. I don’t neccesarly agree but it is worth some thought if for no other reason then understanding an issue in our society.



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Sarah

posted December 30, 2010 at 12:06 pm


This video is awful. I agree a lot of the reasons Christians have baggage around premarital sex is because of the insane amount of attention and shaming around sex in general. Her take home message was basically everyone will think you are a whore and so will your future husband. I rarely think of former partners 10 years into my marriage. Why in the world do Christians act like somehow premarital sex turns you into a sex fiend who can’t stop thinking about old lovers? If you are happily married you don’t pine away for others. And let’s assume premarital sex is wrong for a moment, what about grace and forgiveness? Is sex so powerful that even Jesus cant save your moral and intellectual being?
I am more afraid of church sex talks than anything planned parenthood or the public school can come up with. I refuse to raise my kids with the kind of sexual shame well meaning Christians tried to educate me with. I would have put myself at less risk as a young woman and probably would have been pickier about my partners.
Honestly she would have had me if she had talked about getting bed bugs, now that is truly frightening!



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Mike

posted December 30, 2010 at 12:48 pm


I can’t stop commenting, which is ironic considering how I criticize the focus on sex in the following:

I think that Christians do so much to harm healthy sexuality because of our insanely intense and frankly disturbing focus on condemning so many aspects of it. People are afraid to confess sexual sin, they feel locked into a shame that is overwhelming, and they can never find true healing because they are not free to question, to discuss openly.

I think we would do better to focus on what we stand for, rather than what we stand against. Love. Grace. Healing. The focus should be on how can I actively seek to glorify God in my daily life, not how can I make sure I don’t break a rule.



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sharideth

posted December 30, 2010 at 1:05 pm


video = bad. sex = good.



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Christine

posted December 30, 2010 at 1:47 pm


whoa. that’s a lot of comments.

maybe it’s because I was raised in the church and in Christian schools so I’m used to “translating” what pastors and preachers say into sane and reasonable statements (selective hearing?) but when I first saw this, I didn’t think it was awful, either. I suppose I translated it as such:

This talk is based on the presupposition that most kids are receiving a message – if they are getting a sex talk at all – that is solely physical. Condoms are hailed as “the good” in the abyss of “bad” things that can happen to kids when they start having sex (pregnancy, STDs). Sue Sylvester here is standing up and using the condom as a starting point, pointing out to the kids that sex is more than just physical because we are more than just physical. She’s telling them not to kid ourselves with the 2-dimensional world of “safer sex” or “unsafe sex” and acknowledge that there is a lot more to it than just STDs and babies. There is emotional, mental, spiritual, and social aspects to sex – and you have to consider them all, not just whether or not you use a condom.

In a way, she’s expanding the value of sex, by pointing out the small part condoms play in the larger issue.

Scare tactics? I dunno. They were all laughing. If they’re anything like me, they get the point. And perhaps there’s a certain comfort from the message of condoms that this woman is fighting against – personally I was never tempted to use condoms to have happy-go-lucky carefree premarital sex but maybe her audience lives in a culture where that message IS the norm.

She does look like Sue Sylvester though, eh?



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Sarah Mae

posted December 30, 2010 at 4:26 pm


I think she does a great job, but you and I have such different backgrounds that are perspectives are sure to be quite different!

“you can’t ignore the fact that lots of people have sex outside of marriage that aren’t hurt emotionally, spiritually, etc”

Someone is always hurt. Definitely spiritually, usually also emotionally (I can at least speak for women here). I don’t even think we realize the damage that is done when we use our bodies out of the context of a truly intimate relationship that God created. Just like any sin, we are affected…our sexuality is not immune, even if we don’t see it.

I also want to say that just because someone waits for sexual intimacy (on all levels) that they will have some amazing sex life. I am saying they are most likely a step ahead of the rest of us.



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Sarah Mae

posted December 30, 2010 at 4:34 pm


“can you prove that sex outside of marriage is sin according to scripture?”

I have a better question for you MPT, why was it created? What is the purpose?



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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted December 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm


    Procreation and pleasure?

    Now why is that a better question? :)

    And again… please know that I’m not suggesting that I think society should be a free-for-all sex party… I’m just saying that the lines that we Christians draw around sexuality are not as biblically black & white as we often claim them to be…



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      Sarah Mae

      posted December 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm


      I think it’s a better question because it gets to the root of the issue…the “why” instead of the “why not.”

      Also, I think the creation of sex has more depth than just “procreation and pleasure.” I’ll have to elaborate in a post maybe? :)

      Great great great discussion here! By the way, I was that woman. My job before babes was as the sexual integrity manager (what a name, eh) at my local pregnancy clinic. I was a counselor and an abstinence presenter in public high schools. :)



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LRA

posted December 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm


I was just thinking…

Why is it that people are so concerned with what people are doing with their bodies sexually, but we aren’t sitting here getting all upset/defensive/worried/insightful/philosophical about gluttony???

Think about this for a minute… how many people die every year of diabetes and heart disease because of over eating compared with dying of STD’s?

(Hint: Heart disease is number 1 and diabetes is number 7. STDs don’t even make the top 15! http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm )

Why aren’t we morally outraged at the amount of money that goes toward the treatment of these disorders while we are ever so concerned that our girls might be deflowered and only a little concerned (because boys will be boys) about the sexual behavior of boys?

Why are we discussing the supposed emotional damage that we inflict on ourselves for having sex (and I say supposed because sex never caused me any damage), but not concerned with the damage that dying slowly from diabetes or congestive heart failure causes?

If our bodies are our temples, then shouldn’t we be out crusading against crappy eating habits over and above the “dangers” of sex?

Hmmmm….



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    LRA

    posted December 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm


    One more point: Why is there legislation in place about people’s sexual practices and not for people’s eating habits? Why?



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      April L.

      posted December 31, 2010 at 3:49 pm


      I’ve often honestly wondered why the religious right isn’t trying to outlaw divorce. Honestly–if you need to keep gay people from getting married in order to uphold the sanctity of marriage, then why aren’t you rallying to raise support for a no-divorce proposition? Not that I’m advocating that at all, but sheesh, at least it would be consistent.

      Also, LRA, I think if I knew you in real life, we’d have to be friends. :)



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        LRA

        posted January 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm


        Aw! Thank you! :D :D :D



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ChadJ

posted December 30, 2010 at 5:16 pm


Matthew, just curious as to what you make of 1 Corinthians 7, and its admonishment that it is “better to marry, than to burn?” Can you elaborate on that? Thanks!



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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted December 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm


    I’m guessing there was an outbreak of gonorrhea among the church of Corinth.

    I could be wrong.

    :)



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      ChadJ

      posted December 30, 2010 at 5:49 pm


      Haha! ;-) That’s a nice eisegesis.

      Here’s some of that chapter at length (from the ESV):

      1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”
      2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.
      3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.
      4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
      5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
      6 Now as a concession, not a command, I say this.
      7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.
      8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.
      9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

      Curious to read the comments.



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        Sarah Mae

        posted December 30, 2010 at 5:54 pm


        In the whole of scripture, it seems pretty obvious to me that sexual union and intimacy are created for a husband and a wife (a picture of Jesus and His bride).

        However,

        I love that MPT challenges me!



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          LRA

          posted December 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm


          Well, how intimate is it for King Solomon or King David to have like 100 wives and 300 concubines (I’m not sure the exact numbers off the top of my head)?

          Or to be less extreme, how intimate is it for Jacob to be married to both Rachel and Leah?

          Are these marriages somehow less Biblical?



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          ChadJ

          posted December 30, 2010 at 6:26 pm


          Interestingly, I find no further mention of multiple marriages recorded in Scripture after the days of Solomon. It doesn’t seem that even the wicked kings practiced polygamy. The theologians have a phrase–“God’s permissive will”–that covers this: He permitted, but didn’t condone. Remember what happened with David’s concubines? How Absalom, pardoned my language, <i



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          ChadJ

          posted December 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm


          Interestingly, I find no further mention of multiple marriages recorded in Scripture after the days of Solomon. It doesn’t seem that even the wicked kings practiced polygamy. The theologians have a phrase–“God’s permissive will”–that covers this: He permitted, but didn’t condone. Remember what happened with David’s concubines? How Absalom, pardon my language, banged them all in the sight of Israel? I think this, perhaps, was a pretty strong statement from God on what He thought of the state of affairs (all of this was predicted back when David sinned with Bathsheba, and God sent Nathan).



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          Matthew Paul Turner

          posted December 30, 2010 at 6:41 pm


          Actually Chad,

          Absalom banging David’s wives wasn’t simply something God “permitted” to happen… according to scripture, God mandated it to happen. It was a part of David’s punishment for sleeping with Bathsheba. And it was declared by God through the prophet Nathan.



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          ChadJ

          posted December 30, 2010 at 7:16 pm


          mpt:

          Sorry for the double post there, and that I wasn’t clearer: I meant that God permitted the multiplying of wives, and then had Absalom do the nasty with them to send a statement. Please note that I did reference the prophecy of Nathan there above.



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Sarah Mae

posted December 30, 2010 at 5:32 pm


LRA – I think the reason is that sexuality is deeply embedded in our core, everything from our gender to how we express intimacy. Gluttony, not so much.

That’s my off the top of my head thought. :)



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    LRA

    posted December 30, 2010 at 6:11 pm


    Eating is something we (hopefully) do three times a day. Jesus broke bread with his disciples/apostles and told them to eat it as a remembrance of his body. There are multiple, multiple purity verses on keeping kosher in the Bible. Gluttony is addressed in the Proverbs:

    Proverbs 23:20-21 “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”

    Proverbs 28:7 “He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.”

    Proverbs 23:2 “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.”

    Yet, how many obese Christians are there in this country? How many of them are out shouting about how sex defiles one’s body? Are they not also defiling their bodies, according to scripture?

    I just think that too many religious people have puritanical hang ups about people (and by people, it is often women who are criticized the most) having sex. It seems silly compared to the very real damage these people are doing to themselves by being gluttonous. Just sayin’.



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Mike

posted December 30, 2010 at 6:05 pm


The evangelical/fundamentalist message of “no sex till your married because Jesus will meet all your needs” is complete garbage. I find it amusing that back in my evangelical/fundamentalist Christian days, 99% of the people who were discouraging pre-marital sex were had sex before marriage!!!! Also, what happens if you never get married? Non-married people are sexual beings as well. I’m not married and I have had sex. And you know what? The times I’ve had sex are experiences I’m glad I had and I don’t feel guilty about it. Evangelical/fundamentalist Christianity, along with Roman Catholicism, is sexually repressive and I’m glad I got the hell out of it.



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Sarah Mae

posted December 30, 2010 at 6:16 pm


LRA – I don’t think those examples are what is good, they are what happened. People do awful things, but can still love God. We are just a mess.



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    LRA

    posted December 30, 2010 at 7:14 pm


    However, there are specific laws in place regarding polygamy. From Exodus:

    21:10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive,
    21:11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;
    21:12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;
    21:13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.
    21:14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.
    21:15 If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated:
    21:16 Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn:
    21:17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.

    If polygamy was wrong in the OT, then why didn’t the Laws say that it was an abomination (a word used to describe homosexuality and the wearing of wool and silk together)?

    Furthermore, Jesus said in Matthew 5:17,

    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

    So, what are we to conclude, but that polygamy was an accepted marriage practice in the Bible?



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      ChadJ

      posted December 30, 2010 at 8:00 pm


      I wouldn’t necessarily say accepted, but rather permitted. God made provision for it in His law–just as He did with Moses regarding divorce–as a concession to human nature. God’s heart is well-stated by Jesus in Matthew 19:1-9: “1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.
      2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
      3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?”
      4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,
      5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
      6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
      7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?”
      8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
      9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”



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        April L.

        posted December 30, 2010 at 8:19 pm


        But He’s God. He’s the one that made the law. If He didn’t want people having multiple wives, He could have made a law banning polygamy. If you really look at some of the minutiae in the Mosaic law, it seems strange to think that wearing mixed fibers was high on God’s priority list, but He let polygamy slide just to make a concession to human nature. The argument you’re making is your own speculation, and can’t really be backed up scripturally. I mean, I suppose you could in theory be right–that God allowed things like polygamy as a concession to human nature. But the bible doesn’t say that. It just doesn’t. It does say that *Moses* allowed the Israelites to divorce their wives because of the hardness of their hearts.



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        LRA

        posted December 30, 2010 at 8:37 pm


        And? This does not disprove polygamy in the Bible. It is a statement about divorce.

        I might add,

        “evangelicals and non-evangelical born again Christians are combined into an aggregate class of born again adults, their divorce figure is statistically identical to that of non-born again adults: 32% versus 33%, respectively.”

        http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/15-familykids/42-new-marriage-and-divorce-statistics-released

        For me personally, it doesn’t matter what the Bible says about sexuality or marriage. I left Christianity behind for good about 5 years ago. My larger point is that you Christians seem to be just fine with gluttony. Y’all are just fine with divorce. Y’all reject slavery (even tho the Bible seems to think it is fine). So, what do you care about what the Bible says about adultery or pre-marital sex or marriage? The bottom line is that your situational ethics have evolved as an austere set of regulations that rejects sex outside of marriage regardless of what the Bible says about it. Perhaps this is MPT’s point.

        The “true love waits” movement is ridiculous. It doesn’t address the fact that kids have sex anyway. Everyone I knew as a teenager had sex by the time they were 19. EVERY ONE Christian or no. Some of my Christian friends are happily married, some are divorced. The same is true for my non-Christian friends. Having pre-marital sex seems to make no difference for my happily married friends, Christian or not.



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Christy

posted December 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm


I find the Scriptures are very clear about the issue of adultery. Look at Matt 5: 27-28 (Young’s Literal Translation)- 27`Ye heard that it was said to the ancients: Thou shalt not commit adultery; 28but I — I say to you, that every one who is looking on a woman to desire her, did already commit adultery with her in his heart.

And I’m pretty sure that the Bible includes polygamy to show a negative example, not to imply that it is a legitimate lifestyle option- just my opinion, but every example of polygamy in the Scriptures show negative consequences of that choice.

And yes, while obviously Cain, Abel, and siblings would have had to marry a sibling, that was before the fall of man, before creation was cursed. Not a valid reason to disbelieve Genesis, or to say that Scripture approves of marrying one’s sister.



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    April L.

    posted December 30, 2010 at 8:21 pm


    Weren’t Cain and Abel born after the fall?



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      LRA

      posted December 30, 2010 at 8:42 pm


      Why, yes. Yes they were. See Gen 3:16.



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noelle

posted December 30, 2010 at 8:02 pm


Hmmmm. I once had the, ya know, fornication isn’t really a sin argument used on me. I didn’t much care, though I was impressed and bemused he’d done so much research. That was before I’d known about how atheists know their Bible so well. I don’t use the Bible to make life decisions. I’m a reason and logic gal. I know some like to use it as a guide, or um Bible as it were.

Were there not enough fingers on the glove to mention the condom’s use as a contraceptive? With spermicide and used correctly, it does a good job. Married people use them too. Inexpensive. No prescription needed. Add the pill/shot/ring/etc and you’re increasing the effectiveness even more.



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Matthew Lyon

posted December 30, 2010 at 8:48 pm


i’m curious, of those posting, who has had sex? what percent of you are not virgins but wish you were, what percent are virgins and wish you weren’t? and of those married, how has your view of sex changed?

just wondering if there are any correlation between sola scriptura and virginity.



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    Jenn

    posted December 30, 2010 at 10:36 pm


    I was wondering when this would come up – while I could say it’s really no one’s business but your own – given that there needs to be transparency as a whole on the discussion of sex – pre or in marriage etc within the church, I will answer your question.

    First – I believe that we should not be condemning options for making sex safer as mentioned before – the whole whether we should or shouldn’t business and who that may or may not hurt and all that is tied up within that – I will say like mpt mentioned way above there is a whole lot of gray too much for a perfect response.

    Now to the answer – I am a 28 yo single female who is not a virgin. Do I wish I was – well yes – BUT – am not due to years of incest, and sexual abuse at the hands of several men in my life – including my ex-fiance. So, in a perfect world had that not happened, I would assume I would be still a virgin with a pretty prudish opinion of sex and those who have it outside of marriage. BUT my life is not that – and after years of intense group and individual therapy I choose last year to have sex with a man I loved – and while I was hurt when the relationship ended – as is normal in most cases with relationships ending. He gave me something in the experience – that sex is nothing something to be feared – that it isn’t a weapon used by men to hurt me – that I can enjoy it and desire to be intimate with another person in that way.

    So will I have sex in future dating relationships – well that remains to be seen. I think the message that I would want to pass on to the church I grew up in is start talking about it – and as stated by other commenters – not in the sex will be perfect when you’re married part – and it will be horrible and hell burning torture if you’re not. But more in a practical discussion of the options you choose and being transparent.
    Hope that answers your question.



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    noelle

    posted December 31, 2010 at 8:13 am


    35 now. I married at what seems now to be an incredibly young 24. We started dating at 22. I only had 3 short relationships before him and there was no sex involved. He was not a virgin, but not promiscuous either. We did not wait until we were married. I didn’t feel guilty about it. The sex before marriage was more frequent, but not different. It’s still pretty good now usually. There can’t be fireworks every single time. Life gets busy. School, work, babies, work. I’m not old, but sometimes my hip hurts or I’m exhausted. I’m not tempted to cheat on him. Of all the things that are difficult about marriage for me, fidelity isn’t one of them. Being nice, staying open, those are hard.



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Wazirongo

posted December 30, 2010 at 9:53 pm


Not awful. Maybe not the way I would have done the illustration. But there is certainly nothing awful about it.



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Teresa

posted December 30, 2010 at 11:50 pm


Sex seems to get the sinners and the saints talking! Good on you, MPT!



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Mike

posted December 31, 2010 at 12:16 am


I’m not married, and I’ve had sex twice. The first time it wasn’t very good. The second time was awesome. At this point, the chances are slim that I will ever get married, but I’m still a sexual being, so occasionally I do like to get laid, but I have no desire to be promiscuous and sleep around. Also, I’m a big fan of masturbation. That is a wonderful and safe release for me. Since I left evangelical/fundamentalist Christianity, it’s been great to do that again without feeling guilty. I find it amazing that the evangelical/fundamentalist church, along with the Roman catholic church condemns such a safe act that is not hurting anyone, impregnating anyone or giving anyone an STD, yet is a safe way to relieve one’s sexual drive. You’d think these churches would encourage this as a way of avoiding pre-marital sex, but in these churches, you can’t even do this act! Again, I’m glad I got the hell out of evangelical/fundamentalist Christianity when I did.



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Dehra

posted December 31, 2010 at 2:47 am


Oh goodness. I’m jumping in on this one a little bit late (and I’m warning everyone, I’m a 19 year old college student, not even a religion major, so bear with me here. I am, however, a microbiology pre-med major, so research is my thing).

I’ve been told my WHOLE life that sex before marriage = SIN. This topic really piqued my interest after MPT mentioned that you can’t find anywhere in the Bible that explicitely says that sex before marriage is a sin. And after some research, I found out that he may or may not be right. I’ve been through the Bible, scoured the internet, concordances, etc… and I think that the Bible may, in fact, address premarital sex.

So we have the most common used word in the New Testament when talking about sexual sins. Porneia. I tried to find a non-biased definition for this word, but it was nearly impossible. The most complete definition I could find for it was here in a Greek Lexicon and most of the definitions I found included fornication anyways: http://www.studylight.org/lex/grk/view.cgi?number=4202

Included in this definition is the English word Fornication which is defined as “voluntary sexual intercourse between persons not married to each other.” I think we’d be foolish to say that (in English Bibles at least) the Bible has nothing to say on Fornication (it’s mentioned 26 times in the New Testament alone).

1CO 6:12 “Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”–but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”–but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

And 3 verses before that, Paul breaks up most of the sexual sins that Porneia is said to include into individual sins, not lumped into that one word. He covers Fornication, Sodomy, Homosexuality, and Adultery all individually among many other sins.

The NIV Bible has recently substituted “sexual immorality” for the term “Fornication” because it was deemed too archaic (meaning that adults are becoming too lazy to teach kids big words). Therefore we can reasonably substitute Fornication for sexual immorality and Porneia for fornication. I believe that MPT himself mentioned earlier that Porneia is a sin, and if he didn’t, than Paul certainly did on more than one occasion.

So perhaps this thing called Adolescence has ruined us. Perhaps I should have been having sex years ago (I’m a virgin and yes, I do wear a TLW ring on my ring finger), but as culture changes and people begin marrying older does that make what I deem to be the Word of God any less true or relevant? So it’s hard. Isn’t that what we have self-control and the strength of the Holy Spirit for? If we would feed him as much as we feed our flesh I have no doubts that living sexually moral lives would prove far less of an astounding feat as we think.And I would say it’s better to walk on the side of restraint and caution than do anything that could potentially separate me from God, even if it doesn’t mean I’m condemned to hell. Isn’t this world Hell enough being separated from him?



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Senia

posted December 31, 2010 at 3:49 am


I really like the video and I’d love to show it to my teenager who doesn’t yet get that relationships are more than sex. She had sex once and believes it didn’t hurt her at all. And, I’d agree that it didn’t cause her to pine for this guy she barely met. But, it had long-term damage on how she views guys, friends, people, and relationships. She doesn’t understand that. She thinks its just who she is and its normal, but so much of her flawed understanding seems normal to her because of her experience.

The comments on this post have been excellent. Thank you all for participating in a really fun conversation. Instead of an internet hate-fest, this reads more like a dinner table conversation.

I’m single and celibate (she’s adopted) But, I’m glad I’m not a virgin. Recovering from a breakup is a lot harder when sex is involved and I wish I hadn’t gone through that, but for the sake of parenting a teenager – well, I needed that experience in order to guide her. Jesus is awesome and there is no way I could have recovered from my experiences or parent now if he weren’t with me every step of the way.

I was raised that sex is for marriage and I deeply believe that to be true. Now that I have kids, I don’t have time to recover from sex relationships and so I don’t intend to have sex again until I’m married. Of course, in this culture sex=dating, so since I don’t want sex, I often can’t date so I may never get married. (Which means sometimes I wish I had a sex buddy, but I doubt I could handle that, so c’est la vie…)

I also want the best for my daughter and that means I want her to find a husband who loves her, not a series of boyfriends she doesn’t care about. Like God, I want the best for her. But, like God, I will love and support her no matter what because the difficult times are when she needs God and me the most.

As far as the permitted debate – I so understand that! There are many things I allow as a parent, not because its good for my kid, but because its better than what they would choose: If you are going to run away from school and not take time to call me, stay in front of the school where I can find you – don’t go to the park where the dealers are at. OR If you can’t wait for a husband, at least love each other, if not, at least like each other, if not, at least use a condom, if not, then get tested…

I am so thankful for my evangelical Christian church who understands and lives out God’s grace. God is love, not rules. He wants what is best for us, but he made us who we are and he loves us exactly as we are – rule following is boring, this relationship with our creator is amazing!



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Dianna

posted December 31, 2010 at 10:53 am


Wow, what a comment thread! I’m sorry I hopped into this one late, but in the interest of finishing up a thought I started way up there, I’d like to point out the utter and complete inanity of saying that “sex within marriage is perfect because it’s within marriage.” I have friends who have problems with the idea of getting marriage because of seeing marriage not honored by their parents or their friends. Does that make their relationship somehow less legitimate and “living in sin” because it’s a major problem for them to GET married?

What of my friends who are living with their boyfriends? One of my friends doesn’t particularly want to get married, but is in a long term, monogamous relationship with her boyfriend, and it behaves very much like a marriage? Is that somehow less legitimate?

To say that marriage – a relatively new development in the way that it is used now, with a license registered with the state and all that – is somehow this white washing of sexual sin (“I can’t be raped by my husband!”) is one of the most dangerous things we can tell women (and men, but let’s face it, the purity message is mostly directed at women). I know people who have been hurt by sex inside and outside marriage. I know people who have had premarital sex with no consequence to them emotionally, etc.

I think what we as a church need to stop doing is functioning on a plane of guilt in order to get our message across, and this is ultimately what this video does: It guilts people, telling them they should feel terrible about doing something that is, by most standards, perfectly acceptable within the confines of a loving, committed by not married relationship. And that is where I have a problem.



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Sarah Mae

posted December 31, 2010 at 12:13 pm


Here is an article on the reason God *could* have permitted polygamy: http://www.gotquestions.org/polygamy.html



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Matthew Lyon

posted December 31, 2010 at 1:38 pm


is this thread still getting attention? guys, the next post is about BACON.

hmm, i just realized something, they are both really good on cast iron skillets.



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Jason Sagel

posted December 31, 2010 at 3:15 pm


Since sex before marriage isn’t explicitly spelled out in the Bible, doesn’t mean it isn’t implicit. By using that same logic, should we as Christians not believe in the trinity because it is not spelled out?



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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted December 31, 2010 at 3:46 pm


    Do you really think that’s a good analogy, Jason? Really?

    And regarding your statement: “Since sex before marriage isn’t explicitly spelled out in the Bible, doesn’t mean it isn’t implicit”

    Using the “just because it isn’t spelled out in the Bible doesn’t mean we shouldn’t believe in (fill-in-the-blank)” is bad theology and shows an unwillingness to actually engage the study of scripture outside of what you already believe to be “factual.” And truthfully, it also makes a mockery of scripture because you’re actually putting your “idea” or “assumption” above scripture, and basically saying that what scripture says really doesn’t matter unless it lines up with what you believe. Why would it hurt to actually know what the bible says and doesn’t say? And too be willing to accept what it says and what it doesn’t say rather than adding your own storyline of belief to it?

    Preachers do this all the time. And it’s nothing but a subtle fear tactic, one that rarely gets talked about in Christian circles… When scripture doesn’t fit perfectly into their own assumptions about God, they add a dose of “fear” and “what if” to their beliefs to make it seem more important or a “slippery slope” if engaged in depth… While it’s a very popular tactic, it’s also unfair and only degrades the very thing that you say you value.



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      Jason Sagel

      posted December 31, 2010 at 4:10 pm


      Woah, I didn’t mean to strike a cord. Of course what I said it not a perfect analogy, analogies are analogies because they aren’t perfect. They fall short somewhere. My main point in posting what I did is because a lot of things aren’t spelled out explicitly in scripture. Anything can be justified if you know enough scripture. It seems though you haven’t shown your hand in this specific topic. You have jumped on the popular beliefs on the evangelical community and picked it apart and used your own theology, some of which I agree, others I think is your own personal eisegesis to support your own understanding. I didn’t even tell you what I believed. You assumed because I made my analogy to provoke a response. I brought up the Trinity because it is a sacred doctrine to most Christians. I for one believe in the Trinity, but why do you believe in the Trinity? Do you believe in the Trinity? Do you think it is something all Christians need to believe?



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        Matthew Paul Turner

        posted December 31, 2010 at 4:34 pm


        1) I didn’t say that your analogy was imperfect; I suggested that it wasn’t a good analogy. Perfect and good are different.
        2) And I disagree; “anything” cannot be justified using scripture. Again, that’s just something people say when trying to undermine another person’s idea or concept or theology.
        3) I didn’t jump on anything. I posted a video of a woman using a condom to talk about her belief regarding sex. I then answered people’s questions.
        4) Which hand haven’t I shown?
        5) I didn’t assume anything. I simply responded to your first sentence which was an “idea” and asked if you really thought your second sentence–the analogy–was good? Because I don’t think it has any context to this conversation.

        (Forgive the quick response… writing this fast as I’m getting ready to leave Starbucks for home.)



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          Jason Sagel

          posted December 31, 2010 at 5:03 pm


          No apology needed,
          Semantics seems to be the contemporary arguing tool. Obviously not ‘anything’ can be justified but depending upon, which hermeneutic one chooses to use, you can argue a good amount. For example, some take Old Testament as God’s word, others just take Jesus’ words, others the entire new testament with most importance placed on Jesus’ words. Others say because of its early nature, Paul’s worlds are given more importance. Others still take the entire canonical Bible to be inspired by God.

          When I said you were jumping, I meant you were jumping against the largely conservative Christian idea of pre-marital sex being a ‘no-no’. You gave your thesis of: “no where in scripture does it say, sex before marriage is wrong’. I would say you are absolutely right. But this is where I gave my poor analogy. I still hold to thinking that it is a fair analogy. It is fair for two reasons: 1) Both sex before marriage and the Holy Trinity aren’t explicitly talked about in the entirety of scripture. 2) They are both implicit understandings of truths in the Bible. (John 1:1-4, Colossians 1:16, 1 Cor 13:13-14, etc.) Virginity was a huge deal in the Old Testament. For example, if a Jewish man took a Jewish woman’s virginity (I am not sure what happened with other cultures), he would have to pay her father the bride price, which was similar to a dowry. (I really don’t feel like going through the whole of the NT to make a case, but…) I will touch on Matthew 5. Jesus says that adultery is even when you look at a woman with lust in your heart. This was taking the OT commandment and radicalizing it to show that God cares about your thought life as well. I read your commentary on it earlier, specifically when you said that it was merely talking about Men having ownership over another man’s wife. If this were the case than why would it repeat itself by saying you shouldn’t covet your neighbor’s wife?

          Also, sure I don’t think the trinity has much context with premarital sex, but as I explained earlier, I think it is a fair analogy, one to probe and get at underlying reasonings. Is sex before marriage a sin? I, myself, am not sure. I lean towards thinking that it is. I myself find it far more helpful to strive for sexual purity, especially now that I, myself, am married.

          Also, you deflected my questions: Do you believe in the Trinity? If so why?



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          Matthew Paul Turner

          posted December 31, 2010 at 5:18 pm


          I’ll try to respond more when I can… but regarding your question “why would it repeat itself by saying you shouldn’t covet your neighbor’s wife?” The same is true for “stealing…” As in stealing vs. coveting your neighbor’s ox…

          Honestly, I think the reiteration actually helps to prove my theory. It’s like it’s spelled out…

          And two… even in the case of the “more popular understanding of Don’t Commit Adultery,” you’d still have to wonder why it’s repeated again under “covet…”

          I’ll respond more about the Holy Spirit when I can…



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Aaron

posted December 31, 2010 at 6:50 pm


I love the part at 2:26 where she asks about rat poison and
the girl holding the camera says “ugh. Isn’t that in
cigarettes?”



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A visitor from Sarah Mae's blog

posted January 1, 2011 at 1:02 am


Interesting comments and food for thought. While there are
pockets of sane people here and there, I think the Church, as a
whole, swallows camels and strains on gnats (and beats dead horses,
but you know…) We don’t want to acknowledge that the way we’ve
been teaching theology (from basic discipleship to sex to gossip
and gluttony) is either non-biblical or ineffective. Changing would
admit we made a boo boo. Can’t have that happen… But back to the
question MPT posed: “can you prove that sex outside of marriage is
sin according to scripture?” Been down this road with a girlfriend
whose boyfriend, at the time, was trying to pressure her into sex
just because “sex outside of marriage isn’t sin according to
Scripture.” Seriously. She said “I want to wait.” He said, “It’s
not sin, there’s no reason too.” I’ll just say it wasn’t pretty and
there were regrets all around. Was it right and/or sin for him to
do that to her? You’re right. Nowhere does Scripture say, “Thou
shalt not have premarital sex.” Whatever side you end up on, yay or
nay, depends completely on how you view The Law and it’s
relationship to The Church. I understand that’s like taking the lid
off of Pandora’s box. You can fight about it in another post. I’ll
just throw out some thoughts and ya’ll can have at the rest. If the
Law amounts to some nice historic reading on a Saturday night, yup,
there’s probably no honest argument you can create from Scripture
that makes sex outside of marriage sin – although I think there is
strong discouragement of it in Paul’s letters If you allow the Law
to be used as a guideline and sample of principle for the church
today, you open up a whole different perspective on the subject.
One where I feel safe to say that sex outside of marriage is sin.
Even if you take the Law view, it can be argued that as long as a
man and woman are not caught, they are biblically free to have sex.
BUT! If someone finds them, they are to marry a’la Deuteronomy
22:28-30. So if Dad or Aunt Clara walk in on you, you’d better find
a ring and a white dress. On the other hand, God sees all. You’ve
been busted. Marry. In principle, the right thing to do, if you are
going to have sex, is get married. Deuteronomy 22:13-21 is pretty
brutal for women who were found not to be virgins on their marriage
bed. Stoning only took place in the OT for sin. I think that, in
and of itself, is a pretty good argument that remaining a virgin,
a.k.a. no sex, until marriage is a good thing. If you don’t like
those… in Revelation 5:9-10 it talks about those purchased with
the Lamb’s blood who were made “priests” to serve God. While I have
no idea what that’s going to look like, I know priests in the OT
were called to a “higher holiness”, if you will. I think it’s
notable in Leviticus 22 that one of the marks of higher holiness
was sexual purity in marrying a wife who was a virgin. Granted, you
can go in a bunch of directions with the whole priest thing, but I
think it’s curious, at least. While Jesus didn’t take a physical
bride when here on Earth, he is betrothed and waiting for the
marriage supper. So I don’t see him giving the example premarital
sex. Anyhow. Make of it what you will. I did find it significant
that you made the distinction between “regular unmarried sex” and
adultery and betrothed sex. So I’m curious, what say you about
Judah and Tamar? (Genesis 38) They were going to burn her when they
found she was pregnant with Judah’s child. Would you consider her
betrothed to the youngest Judah son? And that’s why the
condemnation? Or ??



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    A visitor from Sarah Mae's blog

    posted January 1, 2011 at 9:17 am


    ouch. Sorry for the lack of linebreaks. They were in the original.



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    Jason Sagel

    posted January 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm


    Ahh the joys of the Old Testament. My Judaic studies professor @ UCF would say, “Genesis, especially, is so deliciously vague.”



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Shaun Groves

posted January 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm


MTP, sex outside of marriage is not condemned explicitly it scripture because sex IS marriage: two become one flesh.

Correct?



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    April L.

    posted January 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm


    That’s kind of what I’m thinking. If a man has sex with a virgin, he has to pay her father the bride price. He has made her his bride by having sex with her. The lavish ceremony, the legal documents–that’s all Western culture.



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Ralph David Westfall

posted January 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm


Matthew Paul asked “can you prove that sex outside of
marriage is sin according to scripture?” Jesus mentioned–in a less
than approving fashion–that the Samaritan woman at the well wasn’t
married to the guy she was currently with. Can he provide a
Biblical example of the inverse of that: some situation in which
extramarital sex unquestionably happened but was not clearly
disapproved of?



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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted January 1, 2011 at 6:10 pm


    Ralph, your example doesn’t work. For 1 thing, you’re assuming that Jesus speaks of her situation in a disapproving manner. He simply told her what he knew about her life. Secondly, you have to remember that in First Century Jewish/Samaritan culture, women had little choice or decision making power in the context of marriage. Men made the choices and the women were the victims of whatever was decided. Jesus would have known this, which probably is why is showed no disapproval.



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      Ralph David Westfall

      posted January 1, 2011 at 8:12 pm


      Thank you for the feedback, Matthew Paul.

      I expected this kind of response, even though as a writer you should be able to recognize the implicit disapproval in the John 4 passage. Be that as it may, can you provide a Biblical example of some situation in which extramarital sex unquestionably occurred and the context indicated that it was morally OK?



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        Matthew Paul Turner

        posted January 1, 2011 at 8:28 pm


        Oh Ralph

        Answering your question is quite simple…

        Esther had sex outside of marriage!

        Go Queen Esther! Go Queen Esther!

        Queen Esther banged King Xerxes outside of marriage. And it’s a good thing, because she would eventually use her position to save her people.

        But yes… she even prepared for her first sexual encounter for months… and it was like a Bachelorette contest. She competed against other women to win the King’s affection and seed.

        And since she was a fantastic lay, King Xerxes chose her to be his wife.

        And while “God” isn’t mentioned in the Book of Esther, scripture heralds her as a heroine!

        Nice try though.

        And I could provide other examples. But seriously, you should read the Bible. It’s all in there.



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          Dehra

          posted January 1, 2011 at 10:40 pm


          Can you find where the Bible says explicitly that Esther slept with the King before they were married? Because I’ve read it many times and have never quite gotten that out of the reading.



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          Matthew Paul Turner

          posted January 1, 2011 at 11:02 pm


          Esther 2: 15 “Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go IN UNTO THE king”

          When a woman/man comes “In unto the” man/woman, it means sex…

          Consider 1 Kings 1:15

          “And Bathsheba went IN UNTO THE king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king….”

          Consider Genesis 6:4

          “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came IN UNTO THE daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”



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          Jason Sagel

          posted January 2, 2011 at 8:30 am


          I won’t reply with much because I don’t you to have to write a novel in response. I understand that good came out of what Esther’s actions, however good came out of numerous sinful acts in the Bible. Two examples:

          1) The story of Jacob and Esau, Jacob lied to his father to get his father’s blessing. (Gen 25) Jacob’s name is literally a Hebrew idiom for he deceives. His nation was built on a lie.

          2) The story of Rahab and the spies. (Joshua 2) She lies not once, but twice. Good comes from this and she is even blessed by God. (Perhaps not for lying, but for receiving the spies with peace)

          All I’m saying is there are numerous times where people sinned, and God used that for good. Is it possible that it happened here?

          I honestly am looking forward to your response to my earlier posts and I am excited to see what you say in response to Sarah Mae’s posts as well. Hope you have a great day.



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          Matthew Paul Turner

          posted January 2, 2011 at 9:32 am


          Esther wasn’t sinning. Because it wasn’t sin….



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          A visitor from Sarah Mae's blog

          posted January 3, 2011 at 12:58 pm


          Esther wasn’t sinning because once she went in unto the king she was then his concubine and would never marry another man because she belonged to him.



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          Ralph David Westfall

          posted January 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm


          Thank you for your thoughts on this, Matthew Paul.

          Esther had a relationship with the king that was legitimate in that culture. It did not correspond to “shacking up” in contemporary society. Try again.

          The word virgin as a word or word-stem occurs in the NIV translation 55 times. The references are overwhelmingly in a positive context. The word-stem of prostitute is mentioned 107 times, mostly in a negative context (the exceptions involve Rahab, who is a much better example for the point you’re trying to make about the role of Esther’s sexuality in saving her people). Although scoffers say that the Bible is obsessed with sexuality, the word frequencies simply reflect the fact that sex outside of marriage is major moral issue that needs to be seriously addressed.

          Being smart and creative is a good thing, but one of the potential downsides is falling in love with your own conclusions and then being unable or unwilling to admit you’re wrong. That’s one of the reasons why humility is such a great virtue. It helps people recover from this type of error.

          BTW you didn’t respond to the issue I raised about Jesus’ gentle disapproval of the household arrangements of the Samaritan woman at the well.



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Leo

posted January 1, 2011 at 11:58 pm


Excellent thread…finally a conversation about one of the many things the church should be talking about.

1. I’m no expert but I know a bad argument when I see it. Maybe the content of her message is good. But the structure of her argument is just weak and poor, and this is what drives non-christians bonkers. Many Christians don’t seem to make good use of a logical argument.

2. About the whole sex before marriage thing. Maybe we should start by defining what’s marriage. Just like so many things, our definition of marriage is very different to what marriage was in biblical times.



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Scott M.

posted January 2, 2011 at 7:47 am


Somebody please, and I’m serious here, somebody please tell me they don’t teach this crap in public schools.



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Sarah Mae

posted January 3, 2011 at 12:33 pm


MPT, to *me* it is clear throughout scripture that sex outside of marriage is sin. Marriage, one flesh, Jesus and the church (his bride), Hosea, adultery, etc. The picture of a marriage is a reflection of Christ and the church, and when we become one flesh with someone other than our spouse, it is like going after other gods (representative of it). Women (and men) were to be stoned because of sex outside of marriage.

Do you think sex outside of marriage (not necessarily defined by our western culture) is not a sin? Do you think it is completely legit – no big deal as far as God is concerned?



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    Jason Sagel

    posted January 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm


    word



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    Grace

    posted January 5, 2011 at 6:45 pm


    Women (and men) were to be stoned because of sex outside of marriage.

    Are you seriously citing this as a point in favor of the Bible’s (not at all uniform) position on sex?



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davepettengill

posted January 3, 2011 at 2:31 pm


This is a very interesting topic and I have greatly enjoyed reading about it. Personally I did not have sex before I got married but after 10 years of marriage my wife left to be with another man. I am now engaged and am getting married this summer. I have been asked numerous times by friends, “So you waited the first time you were married to have sex do you have to wait again?” To which I replied, “Yes I am choosing to wait until I get married again to have sex.” Usually the next question is, “Why? You have already had sex. You had sex for 10 years what sense does it make to not have sex now and wait again?” I have given various answers but to be honest I am not sure about my answers and honestly if it even makes Biblical sense? I would be interested in what people think about this topic…I feel it kind of relates to what we are talking about so does True Love Waits 2 exist? ;) Should it?



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Becky

posted January 16, 2011 at 2:47 pm


I would like to echo what MPT said above. I work in sexual health, and I have never heard a client suggest that they were expecting a condom to protect them from anything other than pregnancy or STDs. And as MPT states, and as abstinence-only proponents fail to discuss, is that many, many unmarried people enjoy healthy (physically, emotionally, etc) sexual relationships.

Also, what I don’t hear the True Love Waits folks talk about is what happens when people DO abstain. They often regret not having had more sexual experiences. Some women I have worked with have had to really grieve that they’ve never been intimate with anyone else. It’s one reason they become interested in open marriages and are tempted to cheat on a partner.

Regarding abstinence or not, there is a much more nuanced discussion that needs to be had.



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