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gailcalled's avatar

Is it true that "all Christianity believes sex before marriage is wrong"?

Asked by gailcalled (52718 points ) December 30th, 2012

This was mentioned in the interesting question here. Is this a universal Christian doctrine? There are now so many branches of the church it is hard to know.

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34 Answers

cutiepi92's avatar

Well I can only speak personally. I don’t believe it’s wrong in all circumstances and I am a Christian. I believe infidelity is wrong and I believe it’s ok to have sex before marriage if you truly love the person and/or are in a committed relationship. I am against one night stands and casual sex.

CWOTUS's avatar

To paraphrase a former Chief Executive, “It depends on what the definition of ‘sex’ is.”

JLeslie's avatar

GQ

@cutiepi92 What about the church you belong to? If you belong to one. You are speaking as an individual, my statement on the other Q was regarding Christianity, meaning what the clergy of the church would say, not individual Christians.

@CWOTUS To me sex means penis inside of vagina. I know some have a much broader definition, but generally I think sex is what can make a baby. However, I do know some churches discourage all “sex” even masturbation, which find ridiculous. I don’t think most people think about masturbation when someone asks, “did you have sex?” I don’t even think most people are thinking about oral sex wheb they ask, “did you have sex.”

cutiepi92's avatar

Well if that is the case I think the church as a whole would always say that sex before marriage is wrong, regardless of what denomination you are. I was brought up as a Methodist, but I am a very open minded Christian and don’t always go with the hard set rules of the church. I believe the Bible is meant to be an allegory, to represent overall morals and values we should have in our lives. So since I don’t take everything in there to the extreme, my views are different than that of the church

Lightlyseared's avatar

All true Christians believe that…

ragingloli's avatar

I am sure most Christians would agree that the adultery that God committed with Mary to father Jesus was OK.

cutiepi92's avatar

@ragingloli you know, I’ve never thought about it that way…..interesting.

@Lightlyseared “true”? I think a more accurate word would maybe be “traditional”. Many have their own concepts of Christianity and no one can choose what a “true” Christian is except God don’t you think?

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
RandomGirl's avatar

As a Baptist, I define marriage as a really special (I try not to use the word sacred because people tend to gloss over at that point) union between a man and a woman, created specifically for the conception and rearing of children. Other people define it differently, and I think there’s an important distinction to to be made here.
With that said, I’ll give you my opinion: sex outside of marriage is wrong. I feel that sex is a wonderful gift given to married couples. But the misuse of this gift is no worse than the misuse of His other gifts, such as money, the environment, or our relationships with other people.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@cutiepi92 so can I take it you are unfamiliar with the “no true Scotsman” fallacy?

RareDenver's avatar

@RandomGirl “a really special {-} union between a man and a woman, created specifically for the conception and rearing of children”

What are your thoughts on childless marriages? Both intentionally so and not.

Shippy's avatar

I might be a bit off topic here, but I never believed in no sex before marriage. I had this image of horny people marrying desperate to shag. I now am starting to think this idea might hold value, because I believe no one has value for anyone any more.

RandomGirl's avatar

@raredenver: This is just my opinion. Child rearing is first and foremost, but sometimes the Lord has something different in mind for a couple. When two people have a relationship grounded in Him, they catch onto that special dream. Great things have been accomplished by people in situations like this!

wundayatta's avatar

And I would say it depends on what a “Christian” is. Clearly there are individual Christians who do not think sex before marriage is wrong. I’ll bet we can even find pastors who will teach that some sex before marriage is ok (accepting @JLeslie‘s definition of sex). So therefore, not all Christianity believes sex before marriage is wrong.

Is that what you really want to know, @gailcalled?

gailcalled's avatar

I am interested in what the doctrine of preaching of one’s particular church sect is, rather than your personal choices.

Judi's avatar

There is a growing number of progressive Christians who realize that in this age where people are waiting longer to marry it is unrealistic to hold people to a standard that collides with their base instincts.
I’m not sure where I stand. Virginity until marriage is a grand goal but calling someone “sinner” because they are human and respond to their god given hormones just seems cruel to me.

gailcalled's avatar

@Judi: Does your church take an official stance? Or leave it to indirection?

Judi's avatar

@gailcalled, I attend the United Church of Christ. They often tease ” this is the UCC. We don’t tell ANYBODY what to believe.” we also ordain gays, and don’t have a creed because we leave things up to individuals. It is a pretty intellectual denomination. I would say 70% of my church have advanced degrees. There are probably as many ideas as there are members. The only thing we all really agree on is that Jesus is the head of the church.

gailcalled's avatar

@Judi: Thank you. That is exactly the answer I am looking for. Very nicely put.

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled Did you have a problem with me using the word all on the other?

@Judi Would you say that if the clergy were asked directly about premarital sex that they would just defer to the individual and what they feel is right for them? Or, still look to the bible as guidance on the topic and say that within Christianity sex before marriage is not condoned?

I love that there are congregations that are more “liberal.” I like it in all faiths. Jewish people can be reformed, I know the Imam who was heading up Park51 the controversial rec center near ground zero spoke of a more moderate stance that is more akin to religion in America. I think people identify with their faith, and when they feel they need to drop the identifier it can be very troubling, but if we can just move within our own religions to a more comfortable place as individuals where we know there are others with similar ideas it feels better.

Judi's avatar

In my church they would refer it to the individual. They are more concerned with social justice and human rights than with people’s sexual choices.

JLeslie's avatar

@Judi I wonder about rabbis? I would have made the same blanket statement about Judaism. Sex isn’t permitted before marriage. Of course we know many Jewish people are fine with it, and Reformed Jewish Rabbis break a lot of rules, they don’t keep kosher, all sorts of things. I am not really sure about their view on sex.

gailcalled's avatar

@JLeslie: Did you have a problem with me using the word all on the other? Sorry, but I have no idea what you means.

If you are not “really sure about their {rabbis} view on sex.” how can you make “the same blanket statement about Judaism”? That makes no sense.

JLeslie's avatar

I would have said the same on the other Q. I wasn’t picking on Christians in other words.

Nullo's avatar

I would say that a Christian who thinks that it’s OK isn’t getting good doctrine.

@Judi Have you considered that people could start getting married younger?
You don’t do any good by deciding that some sins are ok after all. Accepting sin is among the things that are precisely what the church is not supposed to do.

Let’s take crime, a similar concept. You don’t say, “Well, it’s OK for you to rob people, you’re just responding to the pressures of your environment, and by the way we’re accidentally forgetting to lock the collection box this week,” even though it might be true. Instead you find ways to bring the person out of his criminal ways – clean him up, find him a job, arrange for a support system, that sort of thing.

RandomGirl's avatar

@Nullo: Great point! But I think it’s important to articulate a point that goes hand in hand with that: people need to think before rushing into anything. Since the main purpose of marriage is to rear children, it’s reasonable that it’s cruel when people rush headlong into marriage, have a few kids, and then quit when the going gets tough, tearing apart the kids’ world.

Judi's avatar

@Nullo , every denomination picks and chooses what parts of the Bible they are going to stress.. Seventh day Adventists stress the sabbath, Pentecostal women don’t cut they’re hair, there are post Millennialist and pre millennialists, there are baby baptizers and adult baptizers, sprinklers and dunkers. There are Christians who believe in a rapture and those who don’t. Some believe in purgatory and some don’t. Some take the creation story literally and some don’t. Most agree that Jesus said that divorce was sin but few refuse to admit those who have had multiple marriages even though Jesus addressed that but didn’t address homosexuality.
The Christian church is a big diverse family with a wide range of beliefs. At the center, is a reliance on the grace of an almighty God who loved us enough to get in skin and be vulnerable even to death. In spite of our differences, we are all part of the same body.
I respect and even understand churches that have strict rules about personal behavior. I also serve a personal God who comes to each person and loves and accepts them exactly where they are. I really don’t care if you think I’m a real Christian or not. That’s not even really any of your business. That’s between me and God and we have a pretty good understanding, at least today. I’m always growing and learning. He’s not finished with me yet.

citizenearth's avatar

It is wrong to engage in sex before marriage, plain and simple. It is up to each individual whether to accept this basic doctrine of Christianity or choose to ignore this ‘inconvenient truth.’ It is that simple.

Shippy's avatar

@Judi Now see, that is the God I know, one of grace, mercy and forgiveness.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Nullo You are begging the question by asserting that the doctrine is bad. Not all denominations agree, and all base their view on scripture. As such, it simply will not do to assert your view without evidence. Your response to @Judi merely assumes that sex before marriage is a sin. You’ll need to prove that it is before we can accept your analogy.

@RandomGirl Children were reared before marriage existed, and they continue to be reared outside of it. If that were truly the purpose of marriage, the institution would be quite redundant. You would also have to condemn all married couples who are infertile and choose not to adopt (or who simply choose not to have children). At the very least, you would have to declare their marriages deeply flawed.

@citizenearth Quite the opposite. It is waiting until marriage that is wrong, plain and simple. The inconvenient truth (for the terminally prudish) is that waiting for marriage is irresponsible. Sex is an important part of a marriage, and one cannot know they are right for another without knowing if the sex will work. Ignoring this fact is quite disrespectful to one’s prospective partner.

wundayatta's avatar

Bravo, @SavoirFaire. I completely agree with your points. So there’s no reason to repeat them. Well said!

mattbrowne's avatar

No, it’s not true. According to the German Protestant Church (EKD) it is only wrong to have sex with someone you don’t respect as a human being and/or if the feelings of someone get hurt.

There is no universal Christian doctrine about this, because there are hundreds of different denominations.

citizenearth's avatar

In the end, it is really up to everyone’s thinking and belief. A Christian is never forced to adhere to “prudish” way of traditional Christianity, as some would say.

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