SofS2.16Sex and money are two of the most cited reasons for divorce in America. Neither one ranks highly on what most of our churches are talking about. We can talk doctrine all day, all the while marriages fall apart and people are being used and abused in ways we can’t even begin to imagine.

There is a disconnect here that needs to be bridged. The world does not shy away from casting a vision for what sex and sexuality are all about while the church remains silent. The church doesn’t remain silent because the Bible is silent on the matter…no, the Bible has much to say on this topic…churches remain silent because we have let our comfortability level dictate our teaching. And people are dying for it.

So let’s spend some time discussing these issues and sharing resources that churches can use to better inform Christians on what sex and sexuality are all about from a biblical perspective. As always, I look forward to the conversation!

15 Responses

  1. “…what sex and sexuality are all about from a biblical perspective.”

    Ok, here’s what the bible has to say about it.

    Deut 22:20-21
    “But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin, 21 then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father’s house; thus you shall purge the evil from among you.”

    In summary, if a girl has sex before marriage she is labeled a harlot (or prostitute, “**ore”, “sl*t”). If she marries and her new husband thinks she’s a virgin and he finds out that she’s not, the men of her city shall throw stones at her until she dies.

    Deut 22:28-29
    “If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.”

    In summary, if a man rapes a girl then he shall pay off her father and then marry the girl and she will be his forever.

    And that’s sex from a biblical perspective. Sounds delightful.

  2. Those would be from the Old Testament law, which most believers regard as no longer in effect, having been replaced by the grace of Jesus Christ.

    When the law was in effect, it served as a guardian or mentor for a new nation of recently-freed, undisciplined slaves making their way to a land they could inhabit as their own. God knew that they needed discipline and isolation from the savage peoples around them, some of practiced things like infant sacrifice to idol gods.

    I believe the primary purpose of the law to have been preventive rather than punitive. By attaching extreme consequences for actions that would move the nation from holiness to chaos, God’s intention seems to have been to prevent them rather than establish extreme punishments that would actually have to be carried out.

    For instance, in Leviticus 18:21, God said, “Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.”

    Hundreds of years later, through the prophet Jeremiah (32:35), He says: “They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molek, though I never commanded—nor did it enter my mind—that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin.”

    Now either God forgot or lied about what He commanded — or He was saying that it never entered His mind to command this and that they would actually disobey His command, even though He had spoken it. In other words, His intention for it was preventive rather than punitive.

    His intention and desire were for sex to be a gift and blessing that sealed a commitment between man and wife. Everything else given as a command was to be a “no” to sex that dishonored His intention for it.

    Does that make sense?

      1. Once more — with feeling — to impose a consequence that would prevent such a thing from occurring. To prevent spur-of-the-moment rape.

        We’re talking about a frontier society here, surrounded by savage not-quite-civilizations. You can’t just superimpose the civilization made possible by in part by 2,000 years of Christian influence onto a society 2,000 years before Christ came, then judge its laws by today’s.

        Jay9920, I’d guess from your posts that you wish to believe God to be nonexistent, cruel by definition, or scripture to be bunk, or some combination of these. Fair enough. We all believe what we want to believe. How much of a chance does anyone have of persuading you to believe what you do not want to believe?

        1. Why would that prevent rape from occurring? Your God’s law actually would have encouraged rape tremendously. If a man wants to have a virgin girl all he has to do is rape her and she is his forever! He has to pay her father 50 shekels but that might be worth the price for him. It’s not like he’s going to be punished by being imprisoned or executed.

          I just created a simple modification of the law. Tell me if you think it’s better: If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, then the man who lay with her shall be executed.

          God has a law that requires the execution of anyone who curses their parents but if someone rapes a virgin girl they simply have to pay a fine to her father AND they get to marry her?

          The modification to the law that I just made discourages rape. The law that God created encourages rape. Which law is better?

          No, I don’t wish to believe any of that. You claim that we all believe what we want to believe but I’d like it if you wouldn’t speak for me and instead just speak for yourself and other theists who really do simply believe what you all want to believe. I believe things that I am compelled to believe based on logic and evidence. You do too in just about every other case except religion. I believe that the sky is blue because of evidence that it is. I don’t choose to believe this. I am compelled to whether I like it or not. I’m sure you’re the same way. People only have to choose to believe things when the evidence or logical nature of these things are insufficient enough for a sincere belief.

          I am compelled to believe that the god of the bible cannot possibly be real because his reported nature of being loving, just, and merciful directly contradicts his reported actions such as requiring a woman to marry her rapist.

          Because of things like this I believe that the chances of convincing me that I’m wrong and that I need to believe in the god of the bible are probably very small but I am open to the possibility that I am wrong on all of this. Are you open to the possibility that you might be wrong about the existence of God?

          1. I think there are other verses in Deuteronomy 22 that propose the same penalty, though in different circumstances, and when rape must be assumed or can be confirmed. Law is never perfect, though, because people aren’t perfect.

            I did say I was guessing about your belief; I don’t think I was too far off the mark and am glad for you to speak for yourself.

            I believe that God does not want us to judge each other (I draw that from Jesus’ words in Matthew 7), but that He does invite us to judge Him … we must decide whether He is as described in scripture. You’ve come to the conclusion that “the god of the bible cannot possibly be real” for a reason you state and doubtless many more.

            What I’m trying to encourage you to do is judge Him on the basis of how He is revealed through Jesus of Nazareth, not how He deals through law with nations that are savage, barely literate and struggling to survive. You have assumed that present culture and psychology apply to the people of that time. How do you know that?

            The real question is: How does He speak to people who have been exposed to grace, love and selflessness through the example of Jesus?

  3. Keith,

    Your only response to a law that encourages rape is to say that law is never perfect? What kind of a response is that?

    You want me to “judge Him on the basis of how He is revealed through Jesus of Nazareth”? What does that have to do with what we’re talking about? Jesus of Nazareth wouldn’t be born for another 1,000+ years.

    I’m not assuming anything about present culture applying to the primitive Israelites. I just don’t think that forcing a girl to marry her rapist is just. Do you?

    You haven’t answered any of my questions and are simply dodging the issue.

    Here are my questions, again. I would appreciate an answer:

    “I just created a simple modification of the law. Tell me if you think it’s better: If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, then the man who lay with her shall be executed.

    The modification to the law that I just made discourages rape. The law that God created encourages rape. Which law is better?”

    “Are you open to the possibility that you might be wrong about the existence of God?” You asked me if I’m open to the possibility of being wrong and I said yes, now it’s your turn.

    1. I actually did answer most of your questions; you just didn’t like and disagreed with the answers.

      I did miss answering the last of your questions, and the answer is no. I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in Tahiti that you or anyone else here will persuade me that God does not exist.

      My answer is pretty much the same, I imagine, as most of the people who post here. I don’t think you’re going to persuade them, either. So, why are you here, Jay9920?

      You’ve fastened on a couple of verses. You’ve imposed your single way of looking at them. You won’t admit the context of the verses or the milieu in which the events took place. You won’t discuss Jesus as a better, fuller, more representative revelation of God.

      I don’t have to play by your rules, my friend. They wouldn’t work if we were discussing a science text, or a work of great literature, or history, or anything else written that many years ago. They don’t work here.

      One of the things you have to understand about the Bible is that it is a book about faith. It doesn’t pretend to be anything else. It’s not a science text, or a book of law. It’s the account of God and us — people. Some of it is law. Some of it is history. Some of it is biography.

      Another thing you have to understand is that the Bible doesn’t have all of the answers. It has enough to give you a good idea of how to get along with the world around you in a way that benefits others. it tells you in the way God wanted to tell you, where you came from and where you are and what matters — and and where you can choose to be going with your life. Faith doesn’t really require more than that.

      But it does require, at some point, a realization that you’re not entirely self-sufficient. There are others; they matter. They were made by God; He matters. And you matter because He was willing for His Son to be here and reveal Him more fully and die because of it for people like you and me who are hard to persuade that all we need is self.

      1. What on earth are you talking about?

        My question: “I just don’t think that forcing a girl to marry her rapist is just. Do you?”

        Where’s your answer?

        My question: “The modification to the law that I just made discourages rape. The law that God created encourages rape. Which law is better?”

        Where’s your answer?

        You haven’t answered either of these questions. If you continue to maintain that you have then please provide your quote of when you answered these questions because I do not see an answer from you anywhere.

        You admit that you are not open to the possibility that you might be wrong about the existence of the god of the bible. You also admit that you choose to believe what you believe. You are therefore admittedly close minded on this issue. According to the bible you are commanded to make disciples of all nations. Tell me how you could possibly make a disciple of a person who is not open to the possibility that they might be wrong about the existence of whatever god they believe in? You would get nowhere. You expect other people to be open minded, like me and any other person that you try to convert, but you won’t open your own mind. Is it because you’re afraid of what you might be compelled to believe? Of course it is.

        I already knew you were close minded because you have to be in order to continue believing in something that is so easily debunked. So why am I here? To expose religion for the falsity that it is and to show anyone who visits this site the lengths that delusional people will go through to continue believing in what they want to believe in and how they will completely avoid questions that they are afraid to answer because they know that they cannot give a sufficient answer without admitting that the bible is a lie or giving an answer that makes them and their religion look utterly ridiculous. I imagine you don’t like being called delusional but it’s not meant as a personal attack, it’s just my honest assessment of the theist state of mind.

        You can’t answer these two questions, can you?

        1.) “I just don’t think that forcing a girl to marry her rapist is just. Do you?”

        2.) “The modification to the law that I just made discourages rape. The law that God created encourages rape. Which law is better?”

        Jesus has nothing to do with what we’re talking about so please stop trying to deflect from the issue.

        1. Jay9920, I’m not new at this. I know “gotcha” questions when I see them, and yours are invalid for the reasons I’ve pointed out above. They’re based on assumptions, some of which are wildly off-target, and a complete unfamiliarity with the circumstances of the law in question.

          Now, as little as I understand of that culture, the law as stated doesn’t necessarily force a girl to marry her rapist. She/her parents would be free to refuse his offer. It would force him to a position of dishonor in that society. If the action took place between people who might have married and it is what we would have called “statutory rape” with her consent, there is an honorable “out,” if the girl/her parents are willing to consent. If not, he is the one who is dishonored. That could mean he might have no ability to transact business or live in the community. Banishment.

          Your proposed law provides no modifications for circumstances, no nuance, no opportunity for redemption of honor where needed; Deuteronomy 22 does. It’s still not perfect because people aren’t perfect; that’s why Moses would have had to have judged all the individual cases until doing so wore him out and it took 70 judges to replace him.

          There is my answer. Your questions are ill-formed.

          1. What assumptions did I make?

            What are the circumstances of the law in question that would change the meaning of the text?

            How do you know that the law doesn’t force the girl to marry her rapist and that she or her parents are free to refuse marriage? “…she shall become his wife because he has violated her…”. That is not a choice. You’re the one asserting that it is a choice and you need to explain how instead of just telling me that your cultural understanding tells you that it is.

            Are you suggesting that a girl marrying her rapist is a redemption of her honor?

            You accuse me of making assumptions for simply reciting the text? You’re the one making assumptions and you need to explain exactly what you’re talking about when you try to claim that there are cultural circumstances that change the meaning of the text.

  4. Let me just encourage you to do some research. See what Jewish scholars say about the text if you do not wish to believe Christian scholars. We’re talking about law and culture that’s theirs; who would know more?

  5. You’re the one making the claim that the text doesn’t mean what it clearly means. The burden of proof is on you. I can’t find anything that changes the text from what it is.

    You accused me of making assumptions earlier and I asked you to give an example of an assumption that I made. You still haven’t provided any,

    Do you ever try to back up any of your claims? I would love to see you actually try to explain why the text doesn’t mean what it was translated into by scholars.

    1. You assumed that the victim was obligated to marry the rapist, when the text says that the rapist was obligated to marry the victim.

      In a society where women’s rights were minimal, this gave her the right to dishonor the one who dishonored her.

      As my posts above demonstrate.

      You seemed unwilling to accept any response from me, so I invited you to do your own research.

      The burden of proof is on you to prove that the obligation was the bictim’s as well as the rapist’s, which your questions assumed.

      Thank you for the conversation.

      1. Yes, the “rapist was obligated to marry the victim.” If the rapist complies with this obligation then the victim will have married the rapist. The text doesn’t give the option for the victim to refuse.

        If the author wanted to give the victim the option of not marrying the rapist then the author should have stated this because without stating this there is absolutely no foundation for claiming that the obligation required the victim’s consent.

        It’s just not in the text.

        If God created a law that stated, “The town executioner shall kill the rapist” would you claim that the rapist must first have given consent to be killed? If I claimed that this command from God clearly stated that the town executioner was obligated to kill the rapist and that neither one of them had a choice because the text never mentioned a choice would you accuse me of making an assumption and then say to me, “You assumed that the rapist was obligated to be killed, when the text says that the town executioner was obligated to kill the rapist.”?

        Your logic is absurd.

        The obligation is for the rapist and the victim to be married. Where does the text say that either of them have a choice?

Leave a Reply