There have been some real gems among the hundreds and hundreds of comments left on this blog in the past couple weeks. Among those that bear repeating is this one from Edward Green:
To begin to understand the Bible’s views (and they are various) on sexuality you need to get into the culture.
Sex was something that came with marriage. For women between the
ages of 14 and 18. For men probably a little later. Scripture supports
what we see in society and studies of sexual dysfunction show, that
human beings are designed to be sexually active from late teenage years
When I read the Song of Solomon I find an erotic poem describing
many different diverse acts of love, most of which happen before the
couple are married. Once you key into the imagery there is not much
that is not covered. Love is awakened? Perhaps she fell pregnant. It is
almost implicit. And so they marry.
Pre-marital sex in Scripture means pre-adult sex. It also means the
risks of pregnancy outside of the core economic and family unit. The
Gospels are clear that Mary & Joseph did not marry for love after
all (although I am sure they grew to love each other) and they story
demonstrates the stigma of pre-marital sex. But Joseph’s response was
one of grace (to put her away not shame her), and grace doubled (to
marry Mary). And yes I do hold to the Creedal statements on the Virgin
Birth. But is is the appearance of the situation that should guide our
So the ‘No Sex Before Marriage’ argument doesn’t wash. The ‘Sex is
part of the journey of two people towards life long covenant loving
commitment’ argument does. Contraception offers us more sexual freedom,
but not the freedom to be irresponsible, recreational or promiscuous.
Remember plenty of STI’s are passed on by skin contact, that is by
‘fooling around’. The ideal is one intimate sexual partner for life.