Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sex in the Cit(ies)

A recent study released today by the Guttmacher Institute, a New York City based think-tank that studies sexual and reproductive issues reveals that 95% of American adults have had premarital sex. What is interesting about the study is that there is a significant amount of interests and resources poured into abstinence-based programs for young people (12-29 years of age), and yet very few of our resources are invested in encouraging adults to consider abstinence as a viable option for sex and sexuality. According to the study, if the majority of adults have already had sex, what is the point of pouring millions of dollars into abstinence training. Lawrence Finer, the study's author, thinks it would be more effective to provide people with the skills and information they need once they become sexually active. In other words, the study concedes that sexual intercourse before marriage is morally acceptable and the primary issue is making sure that people have safe, disease free sex.

The numbers in this study seem a bit exaggerated, but one thing is clear: sexual promiscuity is rampant both inside and outside the church and abstinence-based education, while a noble attempt to promote chastity and purity, isn't working in sex-crazed, sex-saturated, sex-seducing America.


At 10:43 AM , Blogger Meredith said...

A good friend of mine is slowly falling away from his faith, and he says that premarital sex is okay -- even from a Christian biblical view. He says that because the Bible never addresses sexual immorality as being "sex before marriage," he assumes that sexual immorality is having multiple partners, adultery, orgies, homosexuality, etc. I don't know how to respond to his argument. What would you say?

At 1:21 PM , Blogger Aaron said...


I think I would approach this from the perspective that sex is a "one flesh" issue. When God announces Adam and Eve husband and wife (Genesis 2:24-25) He speaks of the union as a "one flesh" relationship, and the consumation of that relationship (4:1) brings it into a fuller reality.

Fornication, in Scripture, always deals with sexual immorality outside the confines of marriage. This is crystal clear and your friend's denial is really nothing more than a weak attempt to justify sexual misconduct and sexual expression outside of the boundaries established by God.

Another issue is the fact that sexual sin is a sin "against his own body" (1Cor 6:18-19). There is an intimacy to our sexuality that closely mirrors the intimacy we are designed to have with God (try to think about intimacy beyond the act of sexual intercourse itself). Sex is intended to convey intimacy and that intimacy is to be expressed in a proper context. I think this is why Paul sees sexual sin as a sin against our own flesh because their is a union in sex that is meant only within the context of husband and wife.

Later in 1Corinthians when Paul is giving instruction about marriage, he says that it is better, as it relates to the Kingdom of God, for the single and widowed to remain unmarried (7:8). However, he also recognizes how difficult it is for sexual beings to harness their sexual desires (7:9). This is why he says in 7:1, quoting a letter written to him by the Corinthians, "It is good for a man not to have sexual realtions with a woman." He then specifically address sexual immorality (which is parallel to fornication). "But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband" (7:2).

I would submit to you that if Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, did not intend for sex to be confined to the marriage bed alone, why didn't he simply state that individuals should simply remain sexually active only in a committed relationship? The implication of this text is that Paul sees the appropriate, God-honoring channel for sexual activity to be that which takes place between a husband and a wife.

Hope this is helpful.


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