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Religion & Philosophy Discuss Unmarried sexual relations at the General Discussion; Here, I think, is an interesting question: From a Christian standpoint-- not from a contemporary societal standpoint, but from a ...

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Old 11-14-2018, 04:39 PM
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Default Unmarried sexual relations

Here, I think, is an interesting question:

From a Christian standpoint--not from a contemporary societal standpoint, but from a purely Christian standpoint--is it always immoral to have sexual relations outside of marriage?

Most people, I believe, will reflexively answer "yes."

But is that actually the case?

True, Paul does condemn "fornication," as many English versions have it.

Two thoughts come to mind, however:

First, unmarried sex, in the first century--long before any reliable methods of birth control were formulated--often led to unwanted pregnancies. And the father often abandoned the mother, thereby causing serious problems.

Moreover, the word "fornication" is a translation of the Greek word porneia (from which we get pornography). It is generally defined, by the lexicons, as sexual immorality (which begs the question: What, exactly, does this include; and what does it exclude?).

And it is closely associated with "reveling" and "carousing"--what we would nowadays refer to as partying.

But it is very difficult to imagine that a couple--perhaps even a longtime couple--is "partying" when they express love in a physical manner.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-14-2018, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: Unmarried sexual relations

I do not judge others unless I was part of a group deciding whether to have a baby or wedding shower etc. my vote would be not in the sanctuary but we could bring gifts to the home or community building. also if on the board of a Christian school an attendee found to have had unmarried sex (boy or girl) would be sent material to the home but not attend on campus.
set an example that there are consequences to actions.
I'd be very uncomfortable thinking about having unmarried sex myself.
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Unmarried sexual relations

"From a Christian standpoint"...
"From A Christian standpoint"....

various "Christians" will give you various answers, from complete encouragement getting your grove on, to loss of salvation and burning in hell.
But seems to me from a BIBLICAL stand point your watered down version of the word "fornication" doesn't fly.

I kind of hate to post a list of raw biblical verses since your question seems have a personal note to it. But in general ...since you've asked... the short answer from a biblical Christian perspective is that any and all sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage is sin.
no ifs, ands, buts, caveats, special cases or exceptions.
Even "true looove".

There are some things in scripture that are "gray" areas but this really isn't one of them.

I didn't make the standards, i'm just repeating them BTW. God made us and he made the standards. We go against them at our own risk and at his disappointment.

The real question the apostles, Prophets and Jesus ask is, are we going to be ruled by "the flesh" or by "the spirit"?

And My question is, If people are in a "long term" relationship and having sex and they are not married Why don't they just GET married?
I know one of my great uncles was doing what you describe and didn't want to get married becasue it'd mess up both of their retirement cashflow. as well as complicate the inheritance of family.
So to put it bluntly MONEY and SEX trumped doing it God's way.
as it often does... from corrupt TV preachers right down the line to us in pews.

Seems to me God might help us do better if we ask.
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Old 11-15-2018, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: Unmarried sexual relations

Not sure when I'll be back so just for reference
here are some of many verses that mention the word "fornication".
Jesus-
Matthew 5:32
But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commits adultery.

Jesus-
Matthew 15:19
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

Jesus-
Matthew 19:9
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery: and whoso marries her which is put away commits adultery.

Jesus-
Mark 7:21
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,...

Jesus and Jewish crowd-
John 8:41
You do the deeds of your father.
Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.


the Apostles and elders of the 1st church of Jerusalem-Peter Paul John etc
Acts 15:20
But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

the Apostles and elders of the 1st church of Jerusalem-Peter Paul John etc
Acts 15:29
That you abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if you keep yourselves, you shall do well. Fare well.

the Apostles and elders of the 1st church of Jerusalem _Peter Paul John etc
Acts 21:25
As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

Apostles Paul
Romans 1:29
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,..

Apostles Paul
1 Corinthians 5:1
It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife...

Apostles Paul
1 Corinthians 6:18
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body.


Apostles Paul
1 Corinthians 7:2
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

From "A" Christian standpoint it seems very clear
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Old 11-16-2018, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Unmarried sexual relations

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
"From a Christian standpoint"...
"From A Christian standpoint"....

[It] seems to me from a BIBLICAL stand point your watered down version of the word "fornication" doesn't fly.
I am merely referring to what the various lexicons say about the meaning (and implications) of porneia.

I really do not think that these lexicons are "watered down" in their translations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
I kind of hate to post a list of raw biblical verses since your question seems have a personal note to it.
Actually, that is not the case.

I am happily married--with the emphasis upon the modifier "happily."

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
I didn't make the standards, i'm just repeating them BTW.
I am not at all certain that porneia refers to all nonmarital sexual relations (which, by the way, is not to be confused with moichea--which refers to adultery only).

Even if it did, however, we would be left with the burning question: Does it apply today--in an age of reliable contraception, which can obviate the birth of unwanted children?

There are some important parallels here. For instance, does the so-called "woman's covering" of I Corinthians 16 apply to all Christian women nowadays? Or was it based merely upon the customs of the time and place in question?

And what of the foot washing of John 13? Was it merely a means of showing humility and/or hospitality? (As to the latter, the "shoes" worn in the first century were merely sandals; and others' feet would indeed be dirty, and in need of washing.)

Some people think that the exact act is still required today. (The so-called "Foot-Washing Baptists" leap to mind.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
The real question the apostles, Prophets and Jesus ask is, are we going to be ruled by "the flesh" or by "the spirit"?
Unlike some, I see lovemaking as an altruistic act--not as a selfish act.

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Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
And My question is, If people are in a "long term" relationship and having sex and they are not married Why don't they just GET married?
That is not always practical.

For instance, what if both are in college--something that first-century people did not need to be concerned about--and they may face several more years there--especially if they plan to do post-graduate work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
I know one of my great uncles was doing what you describe and didn't want to get married becasue it'd mess up both of their retirement cashflow. as well as complicate the inheritance of family.
Seems reasonable to me.

Let me just add this, please: I do not believe in the realistic existence of taboos--which is to say, prohibitions against something (anything) without some practical reason to back them up.

And it sounds to me as if you base your view on your belief in taboos.
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Old 11-16-2018, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Unmarried sexual relations

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjohns View Post
I am merely referring to what the various lexicons say about the meaning (and implications) of porneia.
I really do not think that these lexicons are "watered down" in their translations.
here are 2 things that would seem to clear any questions up concerning what porneia. referred to.
1. the CONTEXT in which it's used over and over again by the Jesus and the leaders of the Church in practically every verse quoted above makes strikingly clear that the the term means, at base, sexual acts with a person one's not married to.
even the lexicons definition of "sexual immorality", at base, would mean sexual acts with someone your not married too.
People may want to play loose with the term in a ..."what the definition of is is".... kind of way but a base it's not mysterious.
Some are like more ready to EXCLUDE more "sexual acts from the definition than include them. And you seem to looking for pragmatic reasons why one should not do various sexual acts.
But mthe 2nd thing to consider... from a Christian Perspective... is when you combine the long list of verses quoted above with Jesus's statement that to even look at women with lust is sinful. It seems clear that Christians should ere on the side including more items in the definition rather than looking for excuses not to include them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pjohns View Post
Actually, that is not the case.
I am happily married--with the emphasis upon the modifier "happily."
outstanding, you are sincerely blessed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pjohns View Post
I am not at all certain that porneia refers to all nonmarital sexual relations (which, by the way, is not to be confused with moichea--which refers to adultery only).
after the list of verse above, your not sure?
what sexual relations outside of marriage do you think is ok?
do you have any biblical examples of sexual relations outside of marriage that were promoted by Jesus and the early church leaders?
Seems , as a Christian, we'd at least have SOME example of a godly Christian person having sex outside of marriage as example if we're going to honestly present this idea as "Christian".

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Originally Posted by pjohns View Post
Even if it did, however, we would be left with the burning question: Does it apply today--in an age of reliable contraception, which can obviate the birth of unwanted children?
I'm not sure what unwanted children have to do with the subject.
seems you're making and assumption that prohibition is ONLY for that reason.
if you're going to be a stickler for the definition of words from the biblical lexicon it seems to me you'd have some word or phrases to refer to this.
porneia does not refer to not having unwanted children.
It refers to immoral sexual acts... of various kinds.
Not the results.
and doesn't carry any caveats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjohns View Post
There are some important parallels here. For instance, does the so-called "woman's covering" of I Corinthians 16 apply to all Christian women nowadays? Or was it based merely upon the customs of the time and place in question?
And what of the foot washing of John 13? Was it merely a means of showing humility and/or hospitality? (As to the latter, the "shoes" worn in the first century were merely sandals; and others' feet would indeed be dirty, and in need of washing.)
Some people think that the exact act is still required today. (The so-called "Foot-Washing Baptists" leap to mind.)
I don't think these things are parallel.
Head coverings and foot washing are mention, maybe 3-4 times in the new testament.

While fornication is mentioned and condemned from Genesis to Revelations.
foot washing and head covering come across far more like spiritual customs and tokens rather than foundational moral commands.

In contrast to those, adultery and fornication are nearly always used in the same breath. Those 2 are far more parallel in concept and use. That being the case I'm not sure why we'd want to assume that the prohibition for adultery is somehow still in full effect but with fornication we can make modern well reasoned exceptions for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjohns View Post
Unlike some, I see lovemaking as an altruistic act--not as a selfish act.
Both And,
Either Or.

Bottom line though, to my knowledge, there are no motivations that God in the scriptures gives that makes it a-ok for Christians to "make love" outside of marriage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjohns View Post
That is not always practical.
For instance, what if both are in college--something that first-century people did not need to be concerned about--and they may face several more years there--especially if they plan to do post-graduate work?
where does Jesus say that what Christians do is to always be practical? In the worldly sense.
Christians are to be holy. loving God with all our mind souls spirit and bodies.
A living sacrifice.
not so much living sacrifice... if it's just humanly practical to get along in the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjohns View Post
Let me just add this, please: I do not believe in the realistic existence of taboos--which is to say, prohibitions against something (anything) without some practical reason to back them up.
to me God is real and he said it.
that's practical enough for me.
He's our father, he created us and doesn't have to explain every detail for us to trust that he has a better idea than we do about all matters he speaks on directly.
the reality of God is the "practical reason".
From a christian perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjohns View Post
And it sounds to me as if you base your view on your belief in taboos.
If God made the taboo then, OK, yes. No question.
Just like God said trust in Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
He said it, I trust his word is correct on that point AND all others... including the taboos.

I'm curious, as a Christian, for what practical reasons do you trust in Jesus Christ to save you or a hold a belief in heaven etc.?
And does God have to give you a reason for everything he prohibits or commands?
And how many reasons does it take? Risk and Benefits analysis can be read differently by different people.
Someone could justify stealing based on the fact that they can likely get away with it and no harm is done to some rich fat cat who will never miss it.
practically speaking
Someone could justify murder based on the fact that they can likely get away with it and the person fully deserved it for horrible crimes.
practically speaking
Someone could justify Lying based on the fact that they can likely get away with it and no harm's done and in someway makes the world a better place.
practically speaking.

If pragmatism should be "a Christian's" TRUE guide then it's up to each individual to decide what the BEST outcomes are and pursue that course. since "taboos"... even when voiced by Jesus Christ... should be dismissed or ignored "today" if they are aren't pragmatically justified by our godlike knowledge, modern circumstances and personal assessments.
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Unmarried sexual relations

PJ,
Have you ever read 'Pilgrims Progress'?
I have to say you sound a bit like some the characters there.
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Old 11-17-2018, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: Unmarried sexual relations

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
here are 2 things that would seem to clear any questions up concerning what porneia. referred to.
1. the CONTEXT in which it's used over and over again by the Jesus and the leaders of the Church in practically every verse quoted above makes strikingly clear that the the term means, at base, sexual acts with a person one's not married to.
even the lexicons definition of "sexual immorality", at base, would mean sexual acts with someone your not married too.
People may want to play loose with the term in a ..."what the definition of is is".... kind of way but a base it's not mysterious.
Some are like more ready to EXCLUDE more "sexual acts from the definition than include them. And you seem to looking for pragmatic reasons why one should not do various sexual acts.
But mthe 2nd thing to consider... from a Christian Perspective... is when you combine the long list of verses quoted above with Jesus's statement that to even look at women with lust is sinful. It seems clear that Christians should ere on the side including more items in the definition rather than looking for excuses not to include them.
There is too much here for me to respond to it all.

Let me just say that this is why I brought up the foot washing of the first century: It was practical for then, but has no relevance to twenty-first-century America. (I understand that you do not like the word "practical"--or "pragmatic," as you put it.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
outstanding, you are sincerely blessed.
Thank you.

And I thoroughly agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
what sexual relations outside of marriage do you think is ok?
I would have no moral (or ethical) problem with such relations between a longtime boyfriend and girlfriend; which is not to be confused (at all!) with a one-night stand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
do you have any biblical examples of sexual relations outside of marriage that were promoted by Jesus and the early church leaders?
Of course not.

In the first century--with no reliable form of contraception (other than complete abstinence)--sexual relations outside of marriage were, indeed, immoral.

No argument there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
I'm not sure what unwanted children have to do with the subject.
seems you're making and assumption that prohibition is ONLY for that reason.
As stated previously, I simply do not believe in taboos--of any sort. (There must be a practical reason for God's prohibiting something--or else He simply would not do it, it seems to me.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
I don't think these things are parallel.
Head coverings and foot washing are mention, maybe 3-4 times in the new testament.

While fornication is mentioned and condemned from Genesis to Revelations.
foot washing and head covering come across far more like spiritual customs and tokens rather than foundational moral commands.
Unmarried sexual relations--as mentioned previously--were likely to result unwanted pregnancies, in both Old Testament and New Testament times. So they were considered immoral (and understandably so).

But I am not sure that I would categorize the "women's covering" of I Corinthians 16 as a mere "token"--given the fact that Paul appeals to "the angels" to make his point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
In contrast to those, adultery and fornication are nearly always used in the same breath. Those 2 are far more parallel in concept and use. That being the case I'm not sure why we'd want to assume that the prohibition for adultery is somehow still in full effect but with fornication we can make modern well reasoned exceptions for.
Adultery involves a third party--one who is very likely to be hurt if the adultery is discovered. (Even if it is not, the erstwhile bond between husband and wife will have been broken.)

In the other case, there is no third party.

And if the arguments in favor of something are "well reasoned," it is very difficult for me to see just how it might be summarily dismissed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
Bottom line though, to my knowledge, there are no motivations that God in the scriptures gives that makes it a-ok for Christians to "make love" outside of marriage.
I do find it rather odd that you place the term make love in quotation marks.

And if all scriptural prohibitions are based entirely upon practical reasons--and I can think of none that are not--then the existence, today, of reliable birth-control methods, nullifies any proscription against unmarried sexual relations, in first-century times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
where does Jesus say that what Christians do is to always be practical?
That is a corruption of what I said. (Whether the corruption is intentional or unintentional, it is still a corruption of it.)

What I said--and meant--is that there is always a practical reason for any prohibitions issued by God. (I simply do not believe that He would issue prohibitions arbitrarily--and without any good end in mind.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
to me God is real and he said it.
that's practical enough for me.
This reminds me of the fundamentalist mantra: "God said it; I believe it; that settles it"...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
If God made the taboo then, OK, yes. No question.
I do not believe that God has ever made any taboos (defined, roughly, as arbitrary prohibitions--with no practical reason to back them up).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr wonder View Post
I'm curious, as a Christian, for what practical reasons do you trust in Jesus Christ to save you or a hold a belief in heaven etc.?
I do not believe in blind faith. (The operative word is the adjective "blind.")

For instance, when I place my key in the ignition and turn it, I have faith that the car will start.

But this faith is not based upon nothingness.

There are actually only two sources of knowledge: The rational and the empirical.

The former is based upon reason, whereas the latter is based upon experience or observation.

If I knew anything about auto mechanics, I could give a rational reason as to why the car will start under these circumstances.

Since I do not, however, I can give only an empirical reason as to why this is.

My chief reason for believing that Jesus is the promised Messiah--the Christ, in Greek--is the fact that he evidently arose and removed the boulder from his tomb. (The principal competitor to this view--the theory that several others removed the boulder, as one person would have needed super-human strength to do so--requires one to buy into a conspiracy theory. And I have never been much congenial to these.)
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Old 11-17-2018, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: Unmarried sexual relations

Well PJ...

it seems we disagree. and i'm not sure you see my points, or if you're just intentionally dodging them.
I've tried to addressed your comments directly, from a christian standpoint.


But I have no problems with the words or practice of the practical or pragmatism.
Seems to me they just should be subject to the will of God. Or they can be worked in the service of ANY goal declared to be noble ... or not.
there are NO morals in "the practical" and trying to guess God's "real" intent without clear direction and instead based on sin leaning human reason is presumptuous and dangerous.

But I think your reason for faith is great. Amen. he is risen indeed.
And BASED on that it seems to me that if Jesus says something is a prohibition and does not mention the reasons for it I can reliably take it on his word that he's correct.
Rather than try to divine that the REAL practical reason for it is XYZ.

When Moses showed the captive Jews in Egypt the signs they followed him.
but only as far they considered they had "good reason". After that they complained and moan. And often were severely corrected.
After a string of miracles they get to the promise land and are told to get ready for battle to claim it.
but practically speaking they could not see HOW it could be done based on the apparent strength of the enemies.

So rather than saying God said it that settles it lets go in and take the land. They, with their reason, and personal practical assessment decided that they would not.
and were force to wander in the wilderness until they died because of their lack of faith and dependence on their own reason.

And even in the wilderness Moses's leadership was challenged by some folks who reasoned that God had no need for Moses to be the only leader. They reasoned that God could use them as well. But God had already said otherwise so tragedy hit that whole family of people that thought God would do other than what had already been stated.

more examples could be given but the point is your practical assessment of the REAL or MAIN reason why God has IN FACT made the prohibition against premarital sex and therefore exceptions YOU think are wise and "ethical" should be allowed or promoted comes across as not such a good idea.

my last thought here,
Your reason is interesting, but in scripture God talks about the marriage bed and sex NOT just as a baby making process, but also as a symbol of an intimate bound and relationship that should be UNBROKEN. And Symbol of God's inmate, enduring and singular relationship with Israel and the Church.

Your POV seems somewhat superficial and does not seem to consider any deeper meanings that God places upon sexual relations. Or any Spiritual ramifications
Seems to me that being in "the modern world" has not only given us birth control, but also a more cavalier view of sexual relationships than the scripture portrays.

all the best to you
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Old 11-17-2018, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Unmarried sexual relations

some last bit of Scriptures to consider

1 Corinthians 6:9-17 & 7:1-9

...Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion....
__________________
Hope is the dream of the waking man.
Aristotle

For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.
Job 14:6-8
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