Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good Christian, bad sex

In which I disagree with a godless sex maniac concerning the subject of bad sex. Athol writes:
When you are born and growing up, your sexuality is a blank slate in terms of your beliefs and socialization, but your physical body is designed to enjoy having sex. So your basic default orientation is going to be that sex is a positive and desirable experience. Unless you have some sort of physical fault that makes sex painful or unpleasant, you're going to like having sex. If you're inexperienced at sex, it won't be crazy wonderful good sex, but you will like it and feel good about it.

So if you don't like sex, if you think it's nasty, dirty, disgusting, wrong, bestial, sinful, degrading or frightening, it's because you have be taught to think that way about sex. And to overcome your own body's design to find sex the most enjoyable experience possible for a human, that training either needs to be systematic purposeful education to crush sexuality, or as physical sexual abuse as a child. And with deep regret, I have to say that parts of the church specialize in both.
Speaking as someone who would appear to have a bit more experience in this area than Athol, I can testify that while this makes sense in theory, it simply is not empirically true. There are 30 year-old virgins raised in the Church who turn out to be near nymphomaniacs once they get married and are able to finally unleash a decade of pent-up desire, and there are also atheist women raised entirely without religion in a culture of sex positivity who are more sexually repressed than the average Catholic nun.

In fact, the younger a woman starts having sex, which is negatively correlated with church attendance and the sort of active parental involvement required to have been taught that sex is dirty and degrading, the more likely she is to have some sort of strong sexual inhibitions. Show me a woman who began having sex at twelve or thirteen, and most of the time, I'll show you a woman who has a far more problematic attitude towards sex than most women in cultures that practice female circumcision. The self-loathing slut who derives her sense of self-affirmation through casual sex is fairly likely to turn off on sex altogether once she hops off the carousel into the soft, undemanding security of a marital relationship with a delta or gamma.

No disrespect to Athol here, but if I recall his biography correctly, he genuinely wouldn't have any reason to know what he's talking about here. This is not to say that one can't be taught by others that sex is "nasty, dirty, disgusting, wrong, bestial, sinful, degrading or frightening", only that it is more often the unforgiving school of actual sexual experience that provides such lessons. Also, one's personality plays a significant role in such matters. Those who are self-conscious almost never enjoy sex as much as those who are not, or as those who have the ability to set their self-consciousness aside in intimate situations. Also, as should be readily apparent, instinctively negative people are always worse in bed; "no" is the unsexiest word in the English language, unless one counts "idontlikethat" as a single word.

One reliable indicator of a woman's attitude towards sex is the way she reacts towards having her picture taken. If she hates cameras being aimed at her and can't avoid being uncomfortably self-conscious for thirty seconds with her clothes on, there is a high probability that she will be even more uptight in the bedroom as well. Such women are too self-centered and too self-conscious to understand that sex doesn't entirely revolve around what they happen to like, or as is much more often the case, don't like.

As for the Christian aspect, there is a reason the apostle Paul instructed men and women not to sexually reject their husbands and wives. Such rejection not only poisons the marital relationship, but it also tends to have a negative effect on the person's relationship with God.

"The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."

In other words, if you take the Biblical instruction seriously, your attitude towards every aspect of marital sex that your partner desires should be to simply smile, relax, and do it, so long as it does not scare the children and horses or violate the local ordinances. The Devil is a deceiver and if Paul is correct, then you can safely conclude that he wants you to be as uptight, vanilla, and sexually repressed as you can be, as this will have negative marital and spiritual ramifications. And who knows, you might even come to like it in time.

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

It doesn't really matter what Paul instructed. He could have been Ruth fricking Westheimer. Christianity inculcates sexual inhibition and shame.

Anonymous said...

-- although I have to admit your last paragraph is rather "enlightened," for a Christian. Probably not doctrinal, no matter what sect you happen to be. Get out the horse whips and dog collars! I'm reminded of Wilde: the only way to rid yourself of temptation is to yield to it. That seems to be your interpretation of what Paul had to say. I have to admit, I like it. Probably not orthodoxy.

Anonymous said...

"One reliable indicator of a woman's attitude towards sex is her attitude towards having her picture taken. If she hates cameras being aimed at her and can't avoid being uncomfortably self-conscious for thirty seconds with her clothes on, there is a high probability that she will be uptight and vanilla in the bedroom as well.

Thus making some form of camera an essential screening prop for game/mate hunting.

Vox said...

Christianity inculcates sexual inhibition and shame.

Perhaps, on occasion, but not anywhere nearly as much as pagan overindulgence does. You are confusing discipline and self-control with inhibition.

And there is no shame in marital sex. You are ignoring contingency, which is always a mistake.

Toz said...

Re: the first three Anonymous comments.

I find this attitude (the idea that Christianity thinks sex is bad) way too common among atheists. Sure, as kids you're taught that PREMARITAL sex is bad. Pretty much every sermon, book, bible study since is very much sex-positive.

Vox nailed this. Athol is adding causation to something that doesn't even have correlation.

Praetorian said...

“The first two facts which a healthy boy or girl feels about sex are these: first that it is beautiful and then that it is dangerous.”

--G. K. Chesterton

I'd say "wonderful" rather than "beautiful" but that seems about right to me.

Bhetti said...

Vox, the way you address what Athol has raised is completely inadequate. I read him as decrying the sections of Christianity that do have an unhealthy attitude to sex, probably most guilty here in particular is the Catholic church. You can't pretend they don't exist. I don't see him saying there is no room for healthy sexual expression in a Christian framework. In no way did I read him tarring all Christianity and Christians with the same unhealthy brush, and certainly I don't think he in any way implied casual sex or sex at a young age or an 'atheist model' delivered a healthy expression of sexuality. The very existence of his website and its frame as monogamous marriage in this day and age is evidence of that.

Vox said...

Then you misread it. Athol wasn't even addressing the Church, let alone the Roman Catholic Church, until AFTER he made this point:

"[T]o overcome your own body's design to find sex the most enjoyable experience possible for a human, that training either needs to be systematic purposeful education to crush sexuality, or as physical sexual abuse as a child."

The statement simply isn't true. It is demonstrably false, since there are many, many women who dislike sex, or dislike anything but the most vanilla sex, and find it tremendously burdensome in a relationship who never received any "systematic purposeful education to crush sexuality" or suffered "physical sexual abuse as a child".

I'm not pretending anything doesn't exist, unlike you, I am addressing what Athol wrote and not what I imagine he meant to write. And outside the Western religious tradition, the point barely even makes any sense.

Praetorian said...

most guilty here in particular is the Catholic church

The Protestant denominations were more hostile towards human sexuality for the vast majority of their history, before the main lines flipped straight to embracing libertinism (confirming, once again, the Aristotelean principle of the median). Many of the Evangelical strains retain this heritage.

The Catholic church, at least in doctrine, has a relatively naturalistic and balanced take on sex. In some cultures, given to libertinism, this will appear to be repressive. In others, given to gnosticism, this will appear to be lascivious.

And, of course, individual groups and people within Catholicism will fall across a broad range of attitudes towards sex. But, in doctrine at least, Catholicism isn't crazy. Or at least it isn't the craziest.

Der Hahn said...

Purely antecdotal but one woman who I've talked with echoed Vox's point. She used sex to get attention from guys in her teen years, and their self-centered style left her basically hating sex until her first mature lover (not me btw) helped her figure things out.

Anonymous said...

I'm on the road to Damascus and bringing tidings of tampons and good cheer.

Russell Brand getting is divorced. “She was like, ‘F–k you. I’m going to do my own thing.’ Russell replied, ‘Fine, f–k you too,’” an insider tells the new issue of Us Weekly."

Oh Russell, what would we do without you?

R. Bradley Andrews said...

It seems that Althol has become more anti-Christianity in his "growth" than anything else. Thus he freely blames Christianity for what is a human problem, as do many of his commenters.

I noted on his blog that it is amazing he can now KNOW that no god exists, something only god could know since proving the negative is not possible.

I have noted it before, his points in his book (which I am reading through) have some truth, but he certainly does not have the entire revelation and is colored by his own experiences. We all are, so that is not surprising, but he applies wide principles to his own personal rejections.

Vox's point about the flaws of the current "sex will fix everything" culture is much more of a problem than an overly oppressive Christian one. Though it is much easier to blame some mythical Church than it is to face our own responsibilities.

Anonymous said...

noticing a lot of traffic on the site

Vox said...

It seems that Althol has become more anti-Christianity in his "growth" than anything else. Thus he freely blames Christianity for what is a human problem, as do many of his commenters.

I completely disagree. Athol is among the most Christian-friendly atheist bloggers you will find. Don't go reading things that aren't there.

Since he grew up in the Church, he has a pretty good idea about its sexual flaws. And since he grew up in the Church and wasn't a player, he doesn't have a very good idea of the sexual flaws of the non-Church communities.

If he thinks church girls have sexual issues, that may well be true, but it doesn't mean he has seen ANYTHING when those issues are compared to those of some of the irreligious young women out there.

R. Bradley Andrews said...

That is true. He is not the rabid anti-Christianity type in the atheist blogs, but it still has tones of the "I quit smoking" views of an ex-smoker that have a strong underlying current about why smoking is bad. Perhaps I am just looking for underlying patterns more.

I will have to think this over more.

Papapete said...

Athol is either ignorant of or simply ignores empiricism in his critique of religion. All that is required is a few minutes with google to find a plethora of well-regarded studies which show that the devoutly religious married couples have a more active and more satisfying sex life than the non-religious.

Leon Battista Alberti said...

Vox, I know you are not a Catholic, but have you ever heard of Theology of the Body? It's a teaching based off of many speeches and a book by Blessed Pope John Paul II titled Man and Woman He Created Them...hardly sexually repressing. Well, anal sex in a marriage is still forbidden and a man can't ejaculate outside of his wife, but I don't count that as repressive. I'm sure many of your readers will though.

Athol, like so many in the manosphere/gameosphere who are atheists (most), really are hedonists who, if raised religiously, resent having to keep their pants on until they were married. (And if they are religious, they still show selfish and child-like tendencies and weakness of faith.) That is the main "repression" they complain of. They then try to rationalize their emotional and childish choice as "logic" and "rational" and "scientific" but the bitterness, anger, resentment, selfishness and continuous temper tantrum still shows through in their writings.

I don't doubt that in the past, various people in various denominations have taught sex improperly to the young. I remember in CCD (Catholic Sunday school for those who did not go to the Catholic elem and HS) getting pissed at my teachers for showing a video about pregnancy that was very graphic and for some reason required the ugliest, fattest couple in the world to be the ones we watch as the land whale gave birth. I can still remember the images it was that seared in my brain! I felt that they had done it to scare us. I'm not sure, looking back, if I had properly assessed their motives or not because, well, I was a teenager raised in a culture that does not push us to grow up until we are 30. So maybe, just maybe, my kneejerk emotional reaction might have been wrong. Just like my "rational" choice of atheism at the age of 15 (for science!). Maybe if I had been an adult, mentally, not the bs legal definition, I might have reacted differently. Still would have puked though, she was that horrifying to see naked.

And experience can vary from parish to parish, denomination to denomination. The lumping all Christian sects into having the same teachings is false. Many of my Catholic friends have very healthy perspectives on sex. Besides, us Catholics, we used to be known for our baby making.

The more and more I read in the manosphere, while picking the juicy and useful bits (game as a tool, feminism is the worse damn thing to happen to Western Civ, women are just as broken if not slightly more so than men in the current milieu) the rest really is a reflection of a phrase I like to say: "For most people, their ideology is just an accessorization of their personality." It's far easier to rationalize our default, sinful inclinations than to seek actualization and personal growth. Rather than change for the better, they try to excuse it and use intellectual language and/or abstruse gobbledygook to obfuscate themselves and those who'd challenge them. This is why being a Christian, in the sense of following Christ, not Christendom, is so difficult for so many. It's why the Catholic Church views itself as a hospital for sinners and not a museum of saints. Saints are the rare birds who actually grew up into real adulthood. And no, many saints had sex and raised kids, they aren't all religious vocations.

Considering how much Athol focused on the chemical nature of sex, dopamine and oxytocin, substances that are addicting, I'm surprised he never asked himself if people, in a hedonist culture, may possibly be addicted to sexual excitement. Could it be that Western Civ, by and large, is just a bunch of junkies? Naaaaahh!....

Leon Battista Alberti said...

...
I remember in a pysch class we read about a mouse (too bad it wasn't a hamster) where they wired electrodes into the brain so that whenever the mouse hit a button, a stimulus would be sent to the dopamine receptor site, creating an orgasm for the little guy. Once he found the button, all it would do is hit the button over and over again. Forget food, forget sleep, forget other mice (I don't recall if others were in the cage with him), that little guy just wanted to hit that button over and over again. It was a slave, to itself.

Sex, eros, is an extension and an expression of agape. The false lie of the feminists was that sex was a separate sphere from mutually sacrificial love. Separating the two is akin to saying that what you eat does not impact your health. Food is important, but there is gluttony. Money is important, but there is greed. Love is important but there is obsession. Sex is important, but there is lust.

Consistent feature: selfish pride.

R. Bradley Andrews said...

I thought more about this and I would have to say I disagree that Althol isn't anti-Christian. I do agree he is not as nasty as many, but he still has many things throughout his writings that blame many things on a religious upbringing, which for him is basically the same as Christianity.

He is much better than many others, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a misguided world view. His world view leads him to the conclusion you take issue with, since he blames churches for pushing so many "bad things" even if he does so in a very subtle way.

It is like an ex-smoker. Some are rabidly against smoking in any way, shape or form. Others have the strong bias against it, but are much more subtle about pushing against it.

Don't know if this makes sense, but I think the animosity is present, even though it is not outwardly hostile.

I would complement him on the fact that he can relate without letting it take over him. Though his own comments indicate that the restraints of his upbringing were what turned him against it.

Discussing that issue is something for a different blog though. (The issue of whether anything should be restrained.)

Ghost said...

"Well, anal sex in a marriage is still forbidden and a man can't ejaculate outside of his wife, but I don't count that as repressive. I'm sure many of your readers will though."

Does her mouth count as "inside?" /end gutter thought

My first wife was a godless whore who banged any guy with a pulse before we met. Then, sex was gross. I only cared about her body. And the once-every-six-months rare occasion of just-this-side-of-rape would always end with, "well, I hope that holds you over for a while."

After my divorce, I figured out the 16 commandments of poon on my own, and then I met my current wife. She's only had sex with men she was married to. I can honestly say that satisfaction is the death of temptation. I've done more dirty freaky things with my wife than I could have ever dreamed.

Yeah. It's awesome.

SarahsDaughter said...

"satisfaction is the death of temptation"

Thread win! Succinct truth - (for healthy sexual beings - those addicted, obsessed, or other wise f'd up maybe not).

Orville said...

First, "Spit out the bones, and eat the fish". Athol, Vox and any number of others have things of value to contribute. I take the good parts, and reject the rest.

Secondly, this topic is just a subset of the larger issue where atheists and many Christians fail to distinguish between:

(a)Religion as a structured system of controlling others for personal gain and
(b)Biblical Christianity as first a personal relationship with Christ and secondly a personal model of thought and action that is pleasing to God as you understand it from the Bible's perspective regardless of what anyone else in or out of the "church" thinks.

So based on a biblical and not churchian/religious perspective, sex is clearly good and encouraged by God within marriage, and is actually what constitutes a marriage.

I have yet to come across any specific sexual prohibitions outside of the Mosaic law, and there were very few there.

The LP 999/Linda said...

Always insightful reading, happy new 2012 ::)

Badger said...

I think Athol and VD are talking past each other a bit. Athol's made it clear that _for him_, his religious upbringing caused him to repress his sexuality, which he regrets (despite his admonition that it is preferable to marry where both parties are virgins).

And after exiting the faith he appears to remain deeply resentful of the bogus anti-sexuality tropes he was fed and bought into when he didn't know any better. His frustration seems to be of a piece with beta bitterness.

So with that being near and dear to his heart, any reader situation that comes anywhere close to that reality is going to trigger Athol's soapbox on the issue.

I don't fault him for it at all, some people need to hear that, but on the other hand VD is right that it doesn't explain every sexually repressed person. There are plenty of sexually aware religious people, and for one example the Irish and Italian people who make up a large portion of American Catholics have as a whole shown little compunction about getting busy outside the bounds of matrimony.

There's another thing at play here, and that's self-selection. Certain churches are populated with people who are anti-sex not because the church brainwashed them in some way but because that's just the way they are (a point Vox makes in this very post). So they seek and find an environment where sex doesn't get pushed in their face.

Markku said...

Athol's made it clear that _for him_, his religious upbringing caused him to repress his sexuality

This quote is the point of contention, and the claim is universal. Not about him:

So if you don't like sex, if you think it's nasty, dirty, disgusting, wrong, bestial, sinful, degrading or frightening, it's because you have be taught to think that way about sex.

Vox's argument is that having lots of random sexual encounters has a stronger effect than what churches can do at their worst.

JP said...

I'd like to propose that its actually English (in the broadest sense) culture rather than Christianity that became sexually repressive. Many parts of Christianity across the denominational board adopted those cultural mores as its own and are slower to let them go because the line is blurred between culture and conviction.

Praetorian pointed out already that it's not core Catholicism that's repressive per se. Core Protestantism celebrated more liberty than them. Re-introducing priestly marriage went back to Luther himself, and he was certainly not anti-sex.

I'd warrant that the sexually repressive attitudes that exist today stem from the repressive views held in and spread from England the 1700's-1900's, most of all from the Victorian Era.

Like Badger started saying The repressive attitude is not something I've seen Spanish, German, Italian, French, or Greek branches Christianity, at least not this century.


One reliable indicator of a woman's attitude towards sex is the way she reacts towards having her picture taken. If she hates cameras being aimed at her and can't avoid being uncomfortably self-conscious for thirty seconds with her clothes on, there is a high probability that she will be even more uptight in the bedroom as well.

She only has to feel comfortable with one person to come loose in the bedroom, she has to feel comfortable with her appearance in front of everyone for the picture. I agree with you in principle, but in practice I'd say and always to say a woman's willingness to be free in bed comes from how much she trusts her man (not to hurt her) and how much she respects his authority (if she respects his authority and he says its ok, its ok, if she looks to another authority like her upbringing first she won't do things she thinks her parents would frown on [And that's probably pertty exadurated])

R. Bradley Andrews said...

Orville, I think Athol has some great concepts. I think the key aspect of sex rank is something that everyone should actively keep in mind. I certainly do not see it taught much in the Christian media I and my wife (more her for some things) listen to.

I would add that I have only heard sex encouraged in all the teaching I can remember, though I don't recall much when I was growing up and in the Roman Catholic Church (at that time).

It is certainly taught as a healthy and enjoyable thing, within marriage, in the churches I have been in as an adult.

Vox said...

I think Athol and VD are talking past each other a bit. Athol's made it clear that _for him_, his religious upbringing caused him to repress his sexuality, which he regrets (despite his admonition that it is preferable to marry where both parties are virgins).

I don't doubt it in Athol's case. But I do very much doubt it in the larger culture, which is not exactly dominated by the Church these days.

R. Bradley Andrews said...

I also suspect that Athol's story has much more than just that suppression, though it seems he doesn't want to go into the details. (Rightly so for that blog and possibly other reasons.)

Duke of Earl said...

If I recall correctly, the pre-Christian pagans couldn't be accused of having a healthy attitude to the body and sex.

Epicureans and Stoics held opposite positions on the hedonism range, but both positions were held out of a general disdain for the flesh. Epicureans indulged because the flesh wasn't seen as important enough to care about, Stoics resisted because the flesh wasn't important enough to indulge.

Christian taught the goodness of the body and that sexual expression was good, when expressed correctly. Certainly we had our ascetics, but they were notable because they were seen as somewhat odd.

Ian Ironwood said...

Duke: you are examining the extremes of Pagan thought, and not looking at the relatively healthy rank-and-file practices of most of the Paleopagan world. The fact is, most folks lived somewhere between Epicureans and Stoics, sexually speaking.

I'm with Athol on this one, and you can blame over 20 years of academic study on the subject: Christianity, as a doctrine and a religion, is generally Anti-Sex. I also consider it subtly Anti-Woman by its denial of a female Godhead. I understand that's a minority view in the Manosphere, but I'm willing to stick by it.

That's one reason I'm no longer a Christian, and never will be again. I've been a happy, sexually-active pagan faithful to my wife for my entire marriage, with none of the extremes monotheists worry will happen if you don't have a One True God. The orgies have been elegant and very tasteful.

Seriously, I see Christianity had its day, but the culture has moved beyond the ability of its dogma to easily and usefully be employed to cover our modern life. Christianity was an agricultural religion, and we no longer live in an agricultural economy. I'll stick with my pantheon and my healthy approach to sex, thanks. I've seen enough sex-wrecked Christians in therapy to know I don't need yet another layer of dysfunction to cut through.

Duke of Earl said...

*Laughs*

2000 years of not being an "agricultural religion" knocks your "over 20 years of study" for a six. Indeed, its founding fathers ranged from fishermen to tax collectors to tent makers. Its founder was a carpenter/builder. I suppose you could call it a middle class religion if you were going to engage in such inane categorization.

As someone who's leaning libertarian I'm perfectly happy for you to not be a Christian. Your justifications are rather subjective of course and show no signs of actually dealing with Christianity as a set of propositions, but whatever.

There are about 2 billion Christians, and we seem to be happily making little Christians while the secularised world is in population decline. Who exactly has the sex problems?

As for your claims about Christianity and sex. Even if your assertions about the relationship of Christianity to sex was correct, you seem willing to give the benefit of the doubt to rank and file pagans, but not to rank and file Christians. Double standards much?

http://www.cracked.com/article_19575_5-ridiculous-sex-myths-from-history-you-probably-believe.html

Sgt Ray said...

Having been raised in a fundamentalist, evangelical Christian home, and having wanted to become a youth pastor in my teens, I can tell you unequivocally that while Christians talk a good game about sexual enjoyment WITHIN MARRIAGE, ultimately sex is full of shame.

Try being a Christian teen guy, where "impure" thoughts are sinful. Impure thoughts about a married woman are equal to adultery. Masturbation, petting, and pre-marital sex are sins.

Most damaging is sharing the same ideal as Jerry Lee Lewis, believing that marriage is the key to escaping sin and damnation. Try crawling out of the wreckage of a marriage born out of a fear of "living in sin." I got divorced and went right back into another marriage, because as long as I was married, I was "safe."

Game? What game? I couldn't interact with women without the paralyzing fear of her discovering my dark, secret, shameful desires. So I came across as a manipulative, sexless Nice Guy.

"If I'm good, then you should want me --but want me sexually-- even though I don't want any of that dirty sex stuff --unless it's consecrated by marriage --and maybe then I'll think about sex." (I hope she's buying this.)

JP said...

Sgt Ray,

Did you just use your personal experience to substantiate an unequivocal statement about a large chunk of the planets population? Really?

Bad theology plagues Christianity, to be sure. Too many pastors out there with half a brain screwing people over and leaving them with very little clue what they actually believe and even what the words they say mean. Case in point, 'fundamentalism' in Christianity means adopting a position of unqualified absolutism in ethics, while 'evangelicalism' means adopting graded absolutism.

YOU CANNOT BE Fundamentalist\Evangelical, the positions are mutually exclusive. That your church (and many others, you're far from unique) combines the terms only shows that they have no clue when it comes to the theology and philosophy of ethics in Christianity.

The root of the problem is that in most denominations Christian leadership can get away with being incompetent because the church communication medium is an 'I tell you how it is' preaching format were discussion is generally stifled and power flows from the top down.

I WAS a teenage Christian guy. But I long did understand what scripture said about sex, rather than what foolish preachers said:

Mat 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
Mat 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

You can't commit adultery with an unmarried woman. So, you never fantasize about another guy's girl. That's reasonable.

Lev 15:16 And if any man's seed of copulation go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even.
Lev 15:17 And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even.

Take a shower if you cum. That's sanitary, and not at all hard for a teenage guy to do.


Even pre-marital sex isn't sin per se, though abandoning and NOT marrying a woman you slept with is.

Bad theology and people not inclined to look into it themselves leads to the problem. Even then its certainly not a Christianity at large problem, though it is a North American one.

ROI said...

"Mat 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

The majority of the church these days takes that to be ANY woman, both married and un-married. To the majority of the church you do not get a free pass to jerk to a single playmate and the married playmates are out of bounds. They are ALL out of bounds.

I have heard it explained that the original Greek "woman" means married but I believe that the majority of the modern church does not buy that.

Markku said...

I have heard it explained that the original Greek "woman" means married

Gynē means just "woman", but unmarried adultery is a contradiction in terms.

Dreadpiratk said...

Sgt Ray, did they teach nothing about Grace as well? I was a teenage boy in the church too and was taught the same things, but perhaps had more thoughtful teachers. Feeling attraction to a woman is chemical, not volitional, and therefore not a sin. And even when lust does take hold, (which requires an intentional act of will) there is Grace and forgiveness, and it's no worse than any other sin. Do so many churches really miss out on this?

The Church is huge and varied, and nearly every observation here is based on anecdotal experience and can't be applied to the church as a whole, mine included.

JP said...

ROI,

Playmates would probably cross into the catagory of porneos\fornication. The thing is you CAN want someone you can legitimately have. Applying that passage to any woman doesn't even qualify as a legitimate argument, it violates non-contradiction. Moreover Christ would have used the term fornication if he meant anyone, he didn't. Markuu said it perfectly.

It comes back to this:


"The root of the problem is that in most denominations Christian leadership can get away with being incompetent because the church communication medium is an 'I tell you how it is' preaching format were discussion is generally stifled and power flows from the top down. "

Thus we have persistent bad theology. Even then, there is plenty of grace and understanding in a decent church just as
Dreadpiratk said.

ROI said...

"unmarried adultery is a contradiction in terms."

How so, can you explain why you think this?

ROI said...

JP, by playmate I was referring to something / anyone you would fantasize over. It could be your Sunday School teacher, other married or single female in your world.

Church says that all females are off limits, some here appear to say that only married women are off limits. I am not really sure if I am understanding it all.

Markku said...

How so, can you explain why you think this?

moicheuō:

1) to commit adultery
a) to be an adulterer
b) to commit adultery with, have unlawful intercourse with another's wife
c) of the wife: to suffer adultery, be debauched
d) A Hebrew idiom, the word is used of those who at a woman's solicitation are drawn away to idolatry, i.e. to the eating of things sacrificed to idols

Contrast this with fornication, porneia, which doesn't presume marriage:

1) illicit sexual intercourse
a) adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
b) sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18
c) sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11,12
2) metaph. the worship of idols
a) of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols

All adultery is fornication, but not all fornication is adultery.

Anonymous said...

Markku nails it, for the most part, except that Mark 10:11,12 does not forbid sexual intercourse with the divorced.

One note: The Greek word porneia, translated as "fornication" in the old days, doesn't equate with the modern English usage of the word (premarital sex). In its New Testament usage, porneia (prostitution in secular Greek usage) is used as an umbrella term for all the sexual sins cataloged in the Law of Moses. Which is why modern translations use the phrase "sexual sin" instead of the old King James' "fornication."

--Caballarius

Anonymous said...

Forgot to add, lesbian sex is not forbidden by the Mosaic Law, so that would not be included in "porneia."

--Caballarius

Markku said...

I simply quoted the Blue Letter Bible entries which are mostly based on Thayer's lexicon.

But I would agree with its interpretation. Mk. 10:12 says that the sin of the divorced party if she is having sex is that of adultery, not fornication. It can only be adultery if the marriage is still in effect in God's eyes. That would make the sex illicit for the third party, too.

Markku said...

Porneia is Greek, not Hebrew, so the reference would be the New Testament.

Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

JP said...

ROI,


There's no particular reason you couldn't fantasize about a woman you can have. As has been said, Christ called adulterous thoughts sinful in and of themselves. Adultery in scripture is laying with another mans wife. You cannot commit adultery with an unmarried woman, ever. It's an absolute contradiction.

You should of course actually pursue the woman you're fantasizing about, and do what it takes to turn those fantasies into a reality. If she becomes off limits you must stop of course. I suppose if she where reasonably unattainable you really shouldn't think of her either, but this is just minutia.

The word 'Lust' is also important here. It doesn't mean 'sexual desire' in scripture. It means to set your heart on something unattainable. A married woman is unattainable, an unmarried one is attainable. You cannot lust after that which you can legitimately have.

That churches teach that you can't think about women that you can have, and that they teach that lust in scripture just means 'sexual thoughts' is both absurd and sad. I do admit it is often reality though.


Caballarius and Markku

Are we cracking open the divorcee sexual ethics can o worms here? I'm game, but that is a pretty dang big discussion most places I've seen it. I'm of the party that makes a distinction between the 'get'\proper divorce and the kick her out without formalities separation. Thus I'd be with Caballarius.


Historically Romans 1:26 has been viewed as prohibiting anal sex. Leon Battista even mentioned that earlier (in that that is the root of the Catholic ban on anal). It would be an odd place to add a new prohibition against girl on girl wouldn't it? Why would the Mosaic Law miss it then it pops up in Romans?

JP said...

I realized one of my statements looked like the opposite of my intention.

"You cannot lust after that which you can legitimately have. "

That is, it is impossible for wanting something which you can have to be lust. It is merely something you want, and never lust or sin. Wanting an unmarried woman that you can marry is never lust.

Markku said...

Historically Romans 1:26 has been viewed as prohibiting anal sex. Leon Battista even mentioned that earlier (in that that is the root of the Catholic ban on anal).

Take a look at the verses as a pair.

Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
---
"Leaving natural use" in both verses is clearly switching heterosexual for homosexual, since that is explicitly said in the latter verse.

Why would the Mosaic Law miss it then it pops up in Romans?

Because the Bible quite often describes sins and obligations with a man as the subject, and the female application is taken as obvious.

Anonymous said...

Markku said...
"Mk. 10:12 says that the sin of the divorced party if she is having sex is that of adultery, not fornication. It can only be adultery if the marriage is still in effect in God's eyes. That would make the sex illicit for the third party, too."

Adultery is defined by the Law of Moses as a man of any marital status copulating with another man's wife. The statement in Mark 10 is not about the act of sex, but clearly states it's the act of remarriage that equates with adultery. Either way, it does not apply to a divorced man, unless he specifically discards a wife and replaces her in the harem when she is innocent of sexual sin (porneia Matthew 5:32). This is a more forceful restatement of the OT commands to not cast out "the wife of thy youth," i.e. the first wife. Jesus never disputes the validity of the divorce.

Markku said...
"Porneia is Greek, not Hebrew, so the reference would be the New Testament."

I pointed out that it was a Greek word which has its own special meaning in the NT, as opposed to its secular usage at the time. The Council of Jerusalem used the term "porneia" to refer to all the sex crimes of Leviticus.

Markku said..."Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:"

So what were their women doing? Read the first 25 verses and you'll see that this is most likely a reference to Greco-Roman mythology, specifically bestiality (sex with male birds and animals, often Zeus/Jove). In short, Paul is referencing Leviticus 18:23. Besides, the word porneia doesn't seem to appear anywhere in my copy of Romans 1. Perhaps I'm overlooking it.

--Caballarius

Anonymous said...

JP said...
"The word 'Lust' is also important here. It doesn't mean 'sexual desire' in scripture. It means to set your heart on something unattainable."

Actually, what is translated as "lust" is "epithumia," a strong out of control desire. It can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on context. In the context of having a strong overwhelming desire to possess another man's wife, that's a very bad thing.

JP said...
"That churches teach that you can't think about women that you can have, and that they teach that lust in scripture just means 'sexual thoughts' is both absurd and sad."

Just so, but that's the legacy of the dualists and whackjobs like Jerome, who taught that sex with one's own wife was adultery, if the husband was "into it." Lust in the sexual context as used by Christ equating it with adultery is essentially a restatement of the commandment against coveting thy neighbor's wife. It's a lot deeper than mere attraction.

--Caballarius

Samson J. said...

Because the Bible quite often describes sins and obligations with a man as the subject, and the female application is taken as obvious.

No kidding, Markku. This idea that it's perfectly fine for young single guys to go around screwing whomever they want is the most context-devoid, woodenly literalist approach to scripture that I've seen in quite a while.

But that's not what I really want to comment on. Athol says:

your own body's design to find sex the most enjoyable experience possible for a human

Most enjoyable experience possible? Seriously? Experiences that I've had that blow sex out of the water include:

1) Real live communion with God (religious ecstasy, if you want to call it that)
2) Saving a person's life
2) Riding a motorcycle full-tilt down a country road in summer

We have got to get over this worship of sex, which is way overrated. Jesus didn't have it, you know.

Markku said...

it's the act of remarriage that equates with adultery

If the marriage is not in effect after the secular divorce, then how can remarriage be adultery? And if it is in effect, then how can sex with the divorced be legitimate?

So what were their women doing? Read the first 25 verses and you'll see that this is most likely a reference to Greco-Roman mythology, specifically bestiality (sex with male birds and animals, often Zeus/Jove).

As I already pointed out, read the next verse and you'll find the same description "changing the natural use", and that time it is explicitly said to be about men having sex with men. And the word connecting the two is "likewise".

Besides, the word porneia doesn't seem to appear anywhere in my copy of Romans 1.

No, my point in quoting it was that New Testament forbids lesbian sex, and therefore the entry indeed needed to be there since this was a Greek word.

JP said...

Marrku,

Historically the 'natural use' of women in this passage has been viewed childbearing. This is supported by the word 'nature' here having roots in growth and germination. The 'likewise' then is that both men and women will avoid having children. Giving only anal sex is one of the ways women achieved that in Roman culture, hence the view that the verse was talking about anal.


One way or another the problem lies with leaving the natural use of women. Even in verse 27, men first left the natural use of women then burned for each other. As Caballarius pointed out, it really doesn't say exactly how the women left their natural use. There are quite a few reasonable speculations, but it does not say, or even properly imply, that the problem was women\women.


"Because the Bible quite often describes sins and obligations with a man as the subject, and the female application is taken as obvious."

Where sexual matters are concerned it gives two sets of rules, one for men and one for women.

Lev 18:23 Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.

See, its said once for men and once for women. Incidentally that verse is right after:

Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Where it is given at men but without a parallel for women.

There's a fairly massive difference between men being with men and women being with women, both sociologically, physically, and psychologically. Its an egalitarian minded nonsense to lump the two different behaviors together. Men and women are different, especially in maters of sexuality.

JP said...

Caballarius,

Your definition of 'lust' is more technically accurate. Very true.

Tretullian was quite as bad. He said that marriage was 'only just' better than eternal damnation in hellfire in his quite nasty rendering of 1 Corinthians 7:9.

Thank you, now that you say it I'd have to agree that Christ was re-stating the ban on coveting your neighbors wife. That is a simpler way of describing it too.

JP said...

On Divorce,

I'll put in my peice, since the conversations a go.

"Deu 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. "

Without that bill she has no proper proof of being divorced. Sleeping with her is adultery, even if she has been kicked out.

Thanks to the Pharisaical teachings of the likes of Hilel and Akiba, women where getting kicked out without proper paperwork. Akiba for instance said you could kick her out 'if she made your meals wrong'. It meant they didn't get their share of the household and didn't have any real legal protection or right to remarry. It was a nasty practice.

Mat 5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

This is true, it's a direct reference to Deuteronomy 24. Christ would not oppose it.

Mat 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Note that, 'put away' and 'divorced' here are the same word, and they are NOT the same as 'Writing of Divorcement' above. Those that put away their wives cause adultery because they do not do it properly. This is not the womans fault, but the fault of the man that put her away, he causes her to commit adultery, the sin is on his hands. She is not an adulteress, but the man that put her away is caupible for her adultery.

However if she was in fornication, she is as dead under Mosaic law, and is not entitled to a proper writ of divorce.

If done properly, as Deuteronomy said, there is no adultery, it is when women are being kicked out unceremoniously that the problem arises.

JP said...

Sam,

"No kidding, Markku. This idea that it's perfectly fine for young single guys to go around screwing whomever they want is the most context-devoid, woodenly literalist approach to scripture that I've seen in quite a while."

Either you're referring to something else or badly misreading this conversation. No one in this entire thread has said anything remotely like the things you posted.

Markku said...

This is true, it's a direct reference to Deuteronomy 24. Christ would not oppose it.

He most assuredly would.

Mar 10:4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put [her] away.
Mar 10:5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.
Mar 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

Anonymous said...

Samson J. said...
"This idea that it's perfectly fine for young single guys to go around screwing whomever they want is the most context-devoid, woodenly literalist approach to scripture that I've seen in quite a while."

Actually, there are some limits to that in the Bible. Primarily financial in the case of raping or seducing virgins. For the most part, if you broke it you bought it.

Samson J. said...
"But that's not what I really want to comment on. Athol says:

your own body's design to find sex the most enjoyable experience possible for a human"

That's why it's so easy to keep The First Commandment: Be Fruitful and Multiply. God stacked the deck that way.

Samson J. said...
"We have got to get over this worship of sex, which is way overrated. Jesus didn't have it, you know."

Got any scripture for that claim? I've heard it before, but there never is a Bible quote to go along with it.

--Caballarius

Anonymous said...

Markku said...
"If the marriage is not in effect after the secular divorce, then how can remarriage be adultery?"

A woman, not guilty of porneia, is caused to commit adultery by the very act of being divorced (no sex necessary) according to Jesus: 'But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.' A man only commits adultery with her by marrying her.


Markku said...
"As I already pointed out, read the next verse and you'll find the same description "changing the natural use", and that time it is explicitly said to be about men having sex with men. And the word connecting the two is "likewise"."

Men with men is explicit and it's in harmony with the OT law. There is nothing here about women with women, nor is there in the OT law. The Hebrews never considered this a problem before or since (mostly) and Jesus never mentioned it. If Paul was handing down a totally new law (which a lesbo law would be new), rather than restating the OT prohibition against acts over against nature with animals, I think he would have spelled it out with a "Thus saith the LORD your God..."

Markku said...
"No, my point in quoting it was that New Testament forbids lesbian sex, and therefore the entry indeed needed to be there since this was a Greek word."

Where? Romans 1 is not quite there for the introduction of a major new sex law.


--Caballarius

Markku said...

There is nothing here about women with women, nor is there in the OT law.

Nor with incest.

Lev 18:9 The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, [whether she be] born at home, or born abroad, [even] their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.

So, do we then conclude that it is OK for the sister to sleep with her brother? Obviously not. The Mosaic law's commandments are always written with the man as the subject, unless it is something that specifically applies only to women.

JP said...

Marrku,

Umm, is your christ the same as the God of Israel or not? We have much larger theological issues to discuss if God is vilifying his own laws.

Anyway, 10:4 is important in that it shows the distinction I'm talking about.

Mar 10:2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.
Mar 10:3 And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?
Mar 10:4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement , and to put her away.

Two distinct steps.

As for this

Mar 10:5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.

That doesn't say that it's wrong. Hard feelings is sometimes something that happens when relationships go wrong.

In Christ I see a lot of understanding of the human condition, but the way his words are sadly often taken that is striped from him.

As for

Mar 10:9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Men cannot just tear that union apart by throwing a woman out, they must follow the proper channels God laid out. This is an ordinance for the protection of women.


Nor with incest.

Lev 18:9 The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, [whether she be] born at home, or born abroad, [even] their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.

So, do we then conclude that it is OK for the sister to sleep with her brother? Obviously not. The Mosaic law's commandments are always written with the man as the subject, unless it is something that specifically applies only to women.


Take a minute to think this out ok? A sister sleeping with a brother ALWAYS Includes a brother sleeping with a sister. You can't do one thing without the other. To state it both ways would actually be redundant.

I know you can figure that out on your own, you're kind of reaching now.

Men sleeping with men NEVER includes women sleeping with women. They're two different subjects.

Markku said...

Umm, is your christ the same as the God of Israel or not?

Yes.

We have much larger theological issues to discuss if God is vilifying his own laws.

Not vilifying, but progressively perfecting. They were going to put the wives away anyway, so at least then they had some economic protection. Same thing with slavery.

Two distinct steps.

Both of which Jesus said that it was a workaround, and not the original plan. But for this time, the word is "be ye perfect".

Hard feelings is sometimes something that happens when relationships go wrong.

Hard feelings is a preposterous interpretation for "hardness of your heart". On par with the Zeitgeist movie claim that the Bible actually means that Jesus is the sun of god, because they are homonyms.

A sister sleeping with a brother ALWAYS Includes a brother sleeping with a sister. You can't do one thing without the other.

When the sister is a convert and the brother is a pagan, the brother is not under the Mosaic law.

But the application should be obvious for anyone who is not actually trying to find loopholes. Just like you should be able to figure out lesbianism, since male homosexuality is forbidden on the same principle; God created them man and woman.

JP said...

Markku,

What do you hard heartedness means in the first place? It's a term used only in this context, and its a compound of 'hard' and 'heart' (kardia). Heart refers to thoughts and feelings. Its a very good description of being embittered against someone so you can't think or feel good things for them. If we accept this term is the same as the Tanaka 'hardened heart' its not even necessarily an act of choice or volition, though it may be.

Remember that Christs idea of perfection was becoming human and knowing their infirmaries and bringing them salvation and freedom, not coming to add even more law and repealing laws given to help them...


You should really take some time to study the Law, you would do well to appreciate it and and understand its harmony. Anyway


Lev 18:26 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:

Pagans where not allowed to do any of those things either.

The Law of Moses was a national law Only a few select parts where from Israelites only and N/A to pagans. What did you think that Pagans could come in and steal all they wanted because they weren't under the law?


There are no loopholes here, taking scripture as it is and not trying to add this and that to suit ideals is all it takes to see that women with women is allowed.

All you're doing is trying to make excuses for being a pharisee, someone that adds laws and rules as they feel like it to look 'holier than thou' and suit their own prejudices. Men and women are different in terms of sex, thats how God made them. If that offends your egalitarian senses that men can't do one thing and women can do another similar thing then tough break.

As for me I'll leave scripture as it lies without taking my pen to add this and that where 'God Forgot to say it was wrong'. Too much of Christianity makes sin out of anything, then stresses over how hard it is to avoid the sins of their own invention. That's really the root of this whole thread. Pharisetical Christians make sin out of many good and acceptable things, especially when it comes to sex and marriage. Hence the merciless attitude towards divorce, the guilt laid attitude towards sexuality, and the mad scramble to re-internet the Law when it may not oppose something that a Christian assumed was wrong.

Markku said...

What do you hard heartedness means in the first place?

This:

Exd 7:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart [is] hardened, he refuseth to let the people go.

And this:

Exd 8:15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.

&

2Ch 36:13 And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel.

&

Mar 6:52 For they considered not [the miracle] of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

&

Jhn 12:40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand with [their] heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

---

In short, not a good thing.

Markku said...

(The rest of your message works under the assumption that I'm wrong, so there's no point in responding to it.)

Anonymous said...

JP Said...
"As for me I'll leave scripture as it lies without taking my pen to add this and that where 'God Forgot to say it was wrong'."


With that attitude, you'll never get to be Pope!

--Caballarius

JP said...

Markku,

Did you just reply by NOT answering a simple question, then refusing to continue to answer because I disagree with you? Really?

I didn't say hardheartedness was a good thing, I said that it was not necessarily an act of volition, and that it was not in and of itself wrong. Kind of like, Be angry and sin not, anger is not wrong, but it is not good either.

Now, in both Exodus and John the hardening of the heart was not an act of volition, but one of outside force. Depending on your theory of ethics that might prove that it is not wrong right then and there.

So once again, what do you think it means. Don't quote scripture with no further comment, the odds are I've read more than you, we are at the point of discussing meaning and implication.

Now, all of my message makes a case for you being wrong, that is what discussion and debate normally entails. Either way, there where only two short paragraphs on Hardheartedness, the rest of my post is dealing with the other topic, and there is no good reason for you to avoid it.

I will just have to restate it.

Lev 18:26 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:

Pagans where not allowed to do any of those things either.

The Law of Moses was a national law Only a few select parts where from Israelites only and N/A to pagans. What did you think that Pagans could come in and steal all they wanted because they weren't under the law?


There are no loopholes here, taking scripture as it is and not trying to add this and that to suit ideals is all it takes to see that women with women is allowed.

Now, if you want to skip the lecture in the last two paragraphs that's fine. But I will say again that you are treating scripture the same way the pharisees did.

JP said...

Caballarius,

:)

Markku said...

Yes, re-reading the message, there indeed was another question in it. The rest of it was merely commentary on what would follow from me being wrong.

No, the Israelites would protect their own people. But the question is, would the sister in this case be punished? If the law only speaks to the brother, then the sister would not have broken any laws. Unless the female application is implicit. Besides, the brother is not necessarily in the country, and therefore not a sojourner.

we are at the point of discussing meaning and implication.

At that point we were discussing whether or not "hard feelings" is a reasonable interpretation for "hardness of heart". It is irrelevant to this question, whether or not God hardened the pharaoh's heart or if he did it himself. The answer to the question is "both". (If you are so Biblically literate as you claim, then I take it I don't need to quote it for such elementary things.)

What the quotes demonstrate is that hardness of heart is a state where right and wrong don't penetrate into the conscience. A "seared" conscience, as it is put in 1Ti 4:2.

Now, look at it as a train of thought instead of isolated verses.

For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. (...) What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Remember, "this percept" involved BOTH parts, the putting away and writing the bill. And of both parts, Jesus says that it wasn't so from the beginning, but merely because the Israelites were of hard heart.

Markku said...

As for the lesbian issue, you might have a point if it was me saying that it is a sin MERELY on the basis of male homosexuality being a sin. But this is not the case. Rather, it is you rejecting the most straightforward reading of the Romans verse (remember: "likewise also the men...") because you don't have it explicitly forbidden in the Old Testament.

JP said...

Lev 20:17 And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.

Yes, she would be punished. The man in this case is any man in Israel, Israelite or pagan sojourner.

If it happened OUTSIDE the community, there would be no one to enforce the law. That is true of every Mosaic Law.

We then get into the more complected question of how to follow the law in exile. The general idea of the exiles was to act as if they where at home, except where it was impossible (as it often was due to lack of tabernacle\temple\cities of refuge ect). In this case she would act as though she where in Israel, and thus the pagan brother where a sojourner, and not lie with him.

"It is irrelevant to this question, whether or not God hardened the pharaoh's heart or if he did it himself. "

So, what concept of ethics are you using? Old school fundamentalism\unqualified absolutism? It certainly isn't evangelical\qualified absolutism or Finnyism. It would be useful to know you theory of ethics for the purpose of this discussion.

"The answer to the question is "both"."

Yes, but not at the same time. He didn't harden his own heart till he got some releif in verse 8, his heart was hardened by his magicians in verse 7, and God said he would cause it starting in verse 4. Sometimes he choose to harden his heart, sometimes outside forces hardened it. Given outside forces could harden it, it is not always an act of volition.

But all of that may well be moot, because the Old Testament 'Hard Heartedness' comes from a number of different roots (even in that exodus passage two different ones are used) related to different concepts ranging from courage too greif. It's not necessarily a parallel concept. 2Ch 36:13 for instance means that Zedekiah thought he was so strong and courageous he would not turn to God. That's parallel to him rebelling against Nebuchadnezzar and not being humble with Jeremiah. He was strong in his own heart, and arrogant because of it. But that passage is not a good parallel to New Testament appearances of 'hard hearts'

And no, you don't need to quote such elementary things unless you plan to expound directly on a passage.

So, your definition of a hard heart begins and ends with not caring about right and wrong? I would disagree of course, and point out that it is never used in 1 Tim nor related to a 'seared conscious in any way'. But I don't mind playing ball with your definition anyway.

If 'hard heartedness' is a state of not caring about right and wrong, God STILL allowed divorce in that case. God did not allow any other thing just because of 'hard heartednes', no sin is allowed on account of that state. Nor is that state of mind a sin in and of itself. That definition does not change the meaning of the passage to make divorce a sin, nor does it negate the difference between kicking someone out and following the proper channels.


And finally, I've said several times that the historical view of Romans 1:26 is that it's talking about anal sex. That's the view of the early church fathers, the catholic commentators on the subject, and even later protestant commentators. Some commenters do include lesbian sex, bestiality, or other sins of Rome in that list, but lesbian sex is not the natural reading of the passage.

Remember, the passage does not read like this :

Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men burned in their lust one toward another.

It reads like this:

Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men left the natural use of the woman. (They) burned in lust for one another.

JP said...

While in reading normal English commas would exclude something from a logical sequence, in Bible translation commas are all additions, and do not naturally exclude a phrase.

You are applying the 'likewise also' to the wrong clause. In every case the problem is 'leaving the natural use of women' in the case of women that covers a variety of things, in the case of men that covers homosexuality.

Bocaj6487 said...

I am curious what you guys think about the passage where Jesus says that lust is adultery of the heart. After reading some of you interpretations of certain words in various passages, could he have been specifically talking about sexual desire toward another man's wife, and not saying that you can only have sexual desire righteously if you are married and having that desire toward your wife? In other words, biblically, could i as a single guy, rightly have sexual desire for a single girl?

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