Note however, that this is a limited argument given the widespread belief in "safe sex". It must be pointed out that even if the unpleasant consequences of pre-marital sex can be avoided, this does not determine whether it is right or wrong: Sex is "exciting" and is seen by some as an essential component of "a good weekend. The counsellor who wishes to avoid abortion for example must be aware of the problems associated with unwanted pregnancies, and if we are to encourage marriage then we must be sensitive to the cultural pressures of widespread cohabitation. If they are really serious about each other they ought to discover whether they are sexually compatible too. Whilst it is dangerous to believe something simply because it is the traditional view, the burden of proof is upon anyone who would challenge the consensus of several millennia. Biblical Given that there is no single text explicitly banning this activity, how do we know what the Bible says?
The order of this verse is important - leave, cleave then one flesh which is physical and spiritual union - not just sex, but not less than that. Consequences Sin always has consequences, and in this area they can be very serious. Consequences What if you get pregnant? Sexual evangelism is never taught in the Bible! When pre-marital sex is spoken of in other contexts with no holds barred and with little restraint on its practice, the alternative atmosphere of such a sub-culture can be a welcome example and a motivating factor in resisting temptation. Christians must know how to repent, and be assured that there is real forgiveness. Sex as "experiment" It is no longer sufficient for a couple to be emotionally, spiritually or intellectually compatible. These limits are widely accepted in society. Roman Catholic arguments from natural law state that it is contrary to the purpose of sex procreation, and education of resulting child. We must not be naive about this - it does happen. Meaning - It is best if sex is "meaningful" in the context of a relationship, unless it is a one-night-stand or infidelity, in which case it ought to be meaningless! Note however, that this is a limited argument given the widespread belief in "safe sex". As with all theology and ethics, the case is not built upon one single verse or argument. Forgiveness It is important to teach the doctrine of justification clearly, so that a Christian who sins in this area is aware of the offer of forgiveness. Church discipline cannot be exercised in isolation from good biblical teaching, sensitive pastoral care and the possibility of complete restoration to fellowship. Marriage Problems Research shows that couples who engage in pre-marital sex are more likely in the long-term to divorce, although there is not necessarily a direct causal link see Kahn and London, "Premarital Sex and the Risk of Divorce" in Journal of Marriage and Family Jesus was born of a virgin, but he was also a virgin himself, while remaining a completely fulfilled and perfect human being. And sex is not entertainment. While wanting to avoid the burden of asceticism which can be counter-productive , there are various ways in which dating couples can be advised to "flee fornication. Theological Theological arguments revolve around the covenant of marriage as the proper context for sexual activity and the parallel of marriage with the relationship between God and his people. Sex as "experience" It is said to be beneficial for people to accumulate as many different experiences of life as possible. We will spend most time on the Biblical arguments, since these are most often neglected in favour of the pragmatic and cultural ones in contemporary debate. Fourthly, sex before marriage must lead to marriage v. See the relevant dictionary articles for more details: Sex as "essential" It is said that there is a natural instinct or need akin to a hunger for food which we all have, and that to repress it is damaging to physical and mental health.
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