Friday, September 21, 2012
So, last night I gave a sampling of fun little stories that can be found within the Bible that centered around sex. And I pointed out some of the rules in regards to sex. So what does all this mean? Why bring up sex within this Book?
First, with what a prominent topic it is, it must be of some importance... at least worth mentioning on this little blog. But also because sex is a very primal, very strong, very real urge we all deal with in our lives. Most sin is caused either by sex or because of love (or often times, both).
There are many questions people wonder/speculate/debate when it comes to sex and religion. I don't have the answers, but am more than willing to ask the questions...
Is sex before marriage a sin?
Hebrews 13:4 - Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
So, going by this verse, it would seem that yes - it is a sin. However, this was the only fairly clear verse I could find. And, it is often argued that God told Adam and Eve, who were unwed, to go forth and multiply. God would not order His people to go sin.
I'm uncertain what I believe in terms of this. I think that the marriage itself is not necessarily important, but that you should only sleep with the man you marry (or intend to marry). But, this goes against what the above verse states. Either way, I know only that I only sinned once or twice in regards to this... (or maybe once or twice more than that...)
Is same-sex relations a sin?
Leviticus 18:22 - You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.
Well, alrighty then. I guess that about sums it up. There are a few verses within the Bible which do address homosexuality and that it is not right. However, my own personal view is that there are worse sins a person could be committing. I have no issue with any man or woman who is homosexual... to each their own, as it were.
Is cheating on your spouse a sin?
Well now, this depends on a couple things - are you the husband or wife, and who are you sleeping with?
Matthew 5:27-28 - “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Luke 16:18 - “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.
Deuteronomy 22:22 - “If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel.
Ok, I'll take this as a yes...
The three verses here each touch on a different aspect of adultery. The one from Deuteronomy specifies that you do not sleep with a married woman, or you'll both die. However, it doesn't mention anything about a woman lying with a married man...
The verse from Matthew states that even lusting after a woman in your mind is considered adultery. And, the one from Luke states that even getting a divorce, then marrying someone else, is committing adultery. It's even adultery if you marry a divorced person.
Is having more than one spouse a sin?
Abraham, Isaac, Caleb, David, Jacob, Solomon, Ezra, Gideon... and the list goes on and on and on. These men had one thing in common - they all had multiple wives. This was quite commonplace in the Bible. And, it seems, not a sin in the eyes of God. However, as is seen with David, you cannot take another man's wife... you can have 40 of your own, but you can't have one whom already belongs to a man.
I think it is important to note that women did not have multiple husbands. I will behave and not mention the fact that most women wouldn't want to have to deal with more than one man...
So what does this all mean?
Hell if I know.
Quite seriously, sex is another place where we pick and choose what we're going to consider sin, and what we won't. According to the Bible, men can sleep with any unmarried woman they choose, and can marry as many as he wants. He's also allowed concubines. He can rape a virgin if he's willing to marry her. But, he cannot sleep with another man, and cannot have sex with a woman before marriage (concubines don't count - they're slaves and as such, required to take care of their master's needs). Oh, and he can't have sex with animals.
Women on the other hand cannot have sex before marriage, don't get a whole lot of choice in who she marries (it seems daddy often decided this one), can be killed if she's raped in a city and doesn't yell loud enough for help, will be killed if she sleeps with another man other than her husband, etc.
Of course, we don't listen to most of these. We (in general) do not allow multiple wives. We look down on the man with mistresses (and well, concubines aren't really allowed). Rape is illegal, and the woman generally is not punished at all, sex before marriage is still usually considered a sin but 99% of the time this consideration is ignored, gay marriage - well, everyone has their own stance on that, and depending on what state you live in, bestiality may or may not be considered a crime.
So again I wonder... what really is a sin in regards to sex? Are the rules and habits from the Bible out-dated and no longer relevant in today's society?