Cat -> Pigeons

Remind me again why sex before marriage isn’t allowed in Christianity, despite the fact that there’s no verses in the Bible that say that?

(note: As well as trying to be a bit provocative I’m actually genuinely curious here; it’s sort of so much a part of received wisdom and when pressed a lot of people seem to think that there’s a specific verse prohibiting it and stuff, but there’s not; just a lot of gumph about sexual immorality and the like – it all seems to be a bit tied in with the definition of marriage in Biblecal times which pretty much regarded the idea of sex and marriage as all part and parcel of the same deal, whereas today the process of dating/marriage is quite, quite different and thus the horrible hydra of cultural context raises its many heads and it all goes a bit postmodern. But anyway, I’d like to hear your thoughts)

5 Responses to “Cat -> Pigeons”

  1. nayf says:

    I’d probably go to the creation mandate for man and woman in marriage – the becoming ‘one flesh’ occurs in the context of man and woman ‘holding fast’ to one another. Paul relates this explicitly to marriage in Eph 5.

    Then there’s 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, which describes the serious consequences, it would seem, of any sexual intercourse – so ‘he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her’, recalling the Genesis passage. Sex and marriage seem inextricably linked there. Go on to 1 Cor 7 and you get a similar link between the two.

    There are plenty of other hints also – so in Song of Songs, not awakening love until it is ready is a recurring theme; you seem to know about the extended and quite all-encompassing nature of the Greek word ‘porneia’, which included premarital sex in its definition.

    Of course, you’re right when you say there’s nothing absolutely explicit in these things. I’d argue that it’s textually strong enough to argue that the overall Bible teaching is that it’s part of the ‘sexual immorality’ that Christians aren’t to indulge in. I’d also say that the command to not let ‘even a hint of sexual immorality’ be among Christians (Eph 5:3) and to ‘flee from sexual immorality’ (1 Cor 6:18) is applicable here – there are at least strong hints that premarital sex is not part of God’s plan for sex, and so I’d rather be safe than sorry, to put it crudely 🙂

    Hope that helps.

  2. Orion says:

    I have yet to be shown any bible passages that show sex before marriage isn’t allowed by christianity. Even having read the chapters listed by nayf, above. I think it’s very open to interpretation and the majority of christians choose to interpret it as ‘not allowed’. Whether sex before marriage is a good /idea/ or not, is another question.

  3. Richard McIntosh says:

    No sex before marriage can’t be proved by proof texts.

    It is a case of what the sex-act denotes. That of total commitment. for instance there is evidence that in the story of ruth that she does sleep with boaz before they get married (cover feet, is a euphamism for sex). But, the intention, and reality, is life long commitment before God.

    sorry if the answer is to short

  4. CheesyRobMan says:

    I always thought that adultery meant sex outside marriage, so sex to someone you’re not married to. Hence ‘thou shalt not commit adultery’ seems fairly clear.

  5. Sven says:

    Basically sex is really evil and sinful, as it helps to pass on the sin of adam. Sex is generally best avoided, or at least viewed as a necessary evil.