Premarital Sex Is Not a Sin?

Cognomen

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acts420 said:
Besides those I cited, many others including the Orthodox rabbi Shmuley Boteach agree with them.  As if I even need to cite another (and as if you won't just deny its existence anyway).... Boteach is the author of The Kosher Sutra, HarperOne Press, 2009. He says, "Many people are surprised to learn that the Torah does not prohibit premarital sex. I challenge you to find any passage in the Jewish scriptures that forbids a man from having consensual sexual relations with any woman he could legally marry. It's just not there! (..) This is not to suggest that Judaism approves of pre-marital sex or promiscuity. (..) Jewish law prohibits an unmarried, unrelated man and woman from (even) being alone long enough to have sexual relations. But these laws come from the Talmud and the Shulchan Aruch (custom, tradition), not from the Torah."
Please refer back to a snippet of advice (albeit, taken from its context):

NicholasMyra said:
Forget the Rabbis.
Citing Jewish "authorities" on Jewish Law is ridiculously weak support for your argument.  We don't follow Rabbinic Jewish Law, and we certainly don't appeal to their interpretations; we have our own authorities to turn to.  They disagree with you.

Also, while I don't think you were implying that the Church mistakenly borrowed its teachings from the Talmud, it seems notable that the Talmud and Christian authorities both came to the same conclusions regarding pre-marital sex.  Perhaps your interpretation and understanding on the matter is off.

Perhaps the author of "The Kosher Sutra" is a "major scholarly and philological" resource, but that seems a stretch.
 

xariskai

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acts420 said:
Saying the 6 works of scholarship I cited (in response to his 3) are not "equally authoritative" is just a cop out.  
I'm not sure by what stretch of the imagination we are to suppose acts420 has cited "6 works of scholarship." He cited a single three-paragraph-long internet article and referred to the author of it as a "researcher." How exactly might this three paragraph internet source qualify as "a work of major scholarship"?  In what manner is the writer a "researcher" as acts420 has labeled him? We were never told. Does he have a degree?

Kittel by contrast is a ten volume resource dedicated to philiological historiography. The same can be said for Colin Brown's multi-volume work, and the compendium of contemporary Pauine scholarship. The authors chosen to write the articles in these resources are instantly and internationally recognizable to anyone who has done even a modicum of research in related fields.

The three paragraph article acts420 referred to mentioned (ambiguously) three books, HOWEVER the author was very ambiguous in his citation, e.g. he "listed" the Jewish Encyclopedia yet didn't specify whether the Jewish Encyclopedia agreed with some point -or any point!- that he actually made -he just listed the Jewish Encyclopedia -a bare naked reference to the whole darned encyclopedia -he didn't even bother to tell us what article to look for in that vast encyclopedia, and he failed to provide page numbers for any of the books he listed OR in what specific connection to the various points he made the books were being cited.

I also looked up S. Erlandsson, "Zanah," in G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringren, eds., Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament in vol. IV, p. 99ff. which explores variations of the root zny/win Heb, Aramaic dialects (Jewish Aramaic, Samaritan, Syriac, Mandean), as well as Arabic (zana) and Ethiopic, Akkadian, etc.:

Erlandsson said:
"The ptcp. xonah or ishshah zonah designates a woman who has sexual intercourse with somebody with whom she does not have a formal covenant relationship. Any sexual relationship of a woman outside the marriage bond or without a formal union is termed fornication. When there is already a formal union and the sexual association is formed outside of that union, sanah becomes synonymous with ni'eph, commit adultery (ni'eph being thus a narrower term than zanah... The laws regulate sexual behavior precisely. When sexual intercourse is initiated before a marriage contract has been sealed and neither of the parties is already married, the man must marry the woman and ay not divorce her (Dt 22:28f.) If a woman has a formal partner, i.e is betrothed or married, but nevertheless of her own free will has intercourse with another man, she must suffer capital punishment (Dt. 22:22-27). If a man has a sexual relationship with the wife of another man, he likewise must suffer capital punishment... All sexual intercourse is to be set within a formal relationship. If this view is applied to the relationship between Israel and Yahweh, it follows that all worship of God must take place within the formal relationship of the covenant, in accordance with the covenant precepts (mishpatim debharim) of Yahweh... When Num 25:1 states that Israel committed fornication with (zanah 'el) the daughters of Moab, it is because zanah here refers to apostasy from the covenant expressed in the form of intercourse with Moabite women..." S. Erlandsson, "Zanah," in G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringren, eds., Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, vol. IV, pp. 99ff.
Aside from the fact that we have seen no cause to suppose the internet author of three paragraphs is of the caliber of TDOT or the other truly major resources cited above we should also pause to remind ourselves that acts420 has cited an author (who probably is NOT a philologist or specialist in these areas as the other resources certainly are) who is referring at best only to the OT. As such it has absolutely nothing to do with and presents no challenge whatsoever to what the resources cited above say about what the New Testament intends to convey about the topic.

I may post excerpts in a bit, but in the meantime I presently see no good reason not to suggest we have seen no firm evidence whatsoever of any kind of genuinely significant challenge to the overwhelming scholarly consensus affirming the Bible does come out against fornication; for my own part I suggest dismissing acts420 with a *yawn* (not that we should suppose that his idiosyncratic campaign for the Truth is likely to disappear). I remain fully unimpressed for any case to the contrary of the major works cited until or unless someone provides something that is an actual dedicated work of scholarship with at a bare minimum an actual page reference.
 

PeterTheAleut

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acts420 said:
Saying the 6 works of scholarship I cited (in response to his 3) are not "equally authoritative" is just a cop out.
Let's take a look at what you actually did post.

acts420 said:
The problem with defining "porneia," hereafter "sexual immorality," by using cultural norms is that cultural norms change. For instance, at one point in time many orthodox believed it was "sexual immorality" for clergy to have sex with their wives.  Did that make it actually immoral?  I would say no; those orthdox were wrong.
Okay, some vague reference to how cultural norms change. While the fact that cultural norms differ from place to place and from time to time in the same place (change) is pretty obvious, how does this argument address the textual arguments xariskai submitted in the OP? I would suggest that your argument from changing cultural norms is actually irrelevant to his point at best, a red herring at worst.

acts420 said:
Jews will openly admit that the Old Testament never prohbits pre-wedding sex. They will honestly admit they rely only on cultural traditions for any rules against it.  Jewish researcher Ariel Scheib says, "The Bible never explicitly states a woman and man may not have sexual intercourse prior to marriage; therefore, no sanction was imposed for premarital sex, but it was considered a violation of custom (tradition)..."
Who's Ariel Scheib, and why should we hold his word authoritative as a counter to anything xariskai posted?

acts420 said:
He cites as his sources Eisenberg, Ronald L. The JPS Guide to Jewish Traditions. PA: Jewish Publication Society, 2004; Kolatch, Alfred J. The Jewish Book of Why/The Second Jewish Book of Why. NY: Jonathan David Publishers, 1989; Wigoder, Geoffrey , Ed. The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia. NY: Facts on File, 1992.
Okay, so Ariel Scheib endorsed these authors by citing them.
1. You posted nothing that tells us what these authors thought. Quoting actual works of these authors would do much to bolster your arguments, but you didn't do that.
2. You expect us to deem these authors as authoritative based on Scheib's eminence as an author, but you don't even tell us why we should believe Scheib a credible witness to their authority.

acts420 said:
I prefer to define "sexual immorality" by what the Holy Scriptures have called sexual immorality, and by what the early Fathers called sexual immorality.  Premarital sex in the confines of courtship is never punished nor called immoral or sinful in Scripture.
Argument from silence. The Scriptures never condemned slavery as immoral or sinful, unless it was Jews enslaving fellow Jews, and it would seem from reading St. Paul that he at least accepted the institution of slavery. Yet I'd be willing to bet that you see the institution of slavery as evil. If I'm correct, why would you do so?

acts420 said:
nor, as far as I've been able to tell, in the early holy Fathers.
How much can you tell us from the Holy Fathers?


acts420 said:
The plainly obvious fact is that Scripture clearly condemns many sexual acts ranging from obvious ones like adultery and bestiality to sex during menstruation.  It never condemns sex before marriage as a sin, no one is ever punished in Scripture for it, and the "authorities" that say porneia includes premarital sex rely on cultural traditions that also say being alone with a single woman is porneia.
You can't actually address the substance of the texts xariskai quoted, so you merely dismiss them as relying on cultural traditions that assert other "absurdities". Do you realize just how academically lazy that is?

acts420 said:
That doesn't mean virginity and sex in marriage are not highly honored in Scripture.  Of course they are.  The Way the Father instills values in His children is what is different between the Pharisaical approach and the Word's approach.
Now you're just spouting your opinion. But what gives your opinion any weight, especially when you show no effort to actually engage the counterarguments?

acts420 said:
Saying the 6 works of scholarship I cited (in response to his 3) are not "equally authoritative" is just a cop out.
But, as xariskai pointed out, you didn't cite any works of scholarship, not a single one. Merely mentioning them in a list without quoting their works or giving us any background information as to their credibility does not make a citation. Additionally, 6 works of scholarship merely listed without any quotes does not beat 3 works well quoted and credited--in this game, it's quality that counts, not quantity, and the quality of your references leaves a lot to be desired. So let me correct your words a bit: refusing to tell us why the 6 works of scholarship you listed have any relevance to this discussion and expecting us to deem them "equally authoritative" on your own authority alone is the real cop out.
 

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Dear akimori makoto,  Christ is among us!

You're right that this should be in the other thread.  I don't want to misdirect this thread.  The other one is supposed to be opened back up for discussion today according to the moderator who temporarily closed it.  Hopefully it will open, and then I'll respond to you in more detail there.   If they don't open it back up for whatever reason, my joy, I'll send you a private message with more details.  Thank you.

I will say in short, and somewhat related to this thread, that the cultural traditions that must be relied on to include sex before marriage in the definition of porneia often disallowed any physical interaction between couples at all.  That can be very problematic.  There are people that like to kiss one another and people that don't.  Studies have even show that enjoyment of the kissing (feel, taste, everything) can be evidence good genetic matches.  Regardless of the science, common sense tells me a physical and emotional marriage that is the spiritual icon of Christ and the Church should involve a couple that enjoys the kisses and taste of one another.  Perhaps kissing isn't important to some.  They should feel free ignore my advice. However, kissing is something that very many people who desire marriage find personally important.  They should not feel bad about that desire God gave them, regardless of cultural rules against it that Pharisees instituted thousands of years ago .

However, all of that "compatibility stuff" isn't why I've taken to discussing this issue here.  I'm actually not seeking to justify compatability testing.  I do personally think a couple should feel free to test whether or not they enjoy each other passionately to whatever degree they decide is best (with advice from the Spirit, the Word, and their parents and spiritual father's).  Originally I began discussing this topic at the forum to request the earliest possible references in the early holy Fathers regarding premarital sex from knowledgeable posters.  That is, I was doing research.  I also wanted to discuss this topic as iron sharpens iron so to speak.  

Again, I will respond more about my personal situation in the other thread or in a Private Message.

In Christ,
Acts420.com

akimori makoto said:
Acts, I don't mean this to sound callous, as I actually am quite in your corner as I say it ...

Relying on the Apostle Paul, I contend that your ex should not have refused her body to you, for her body did not belong to her, but to you (as yours did to her). The scriptures are already explicitly on your side in respect of your negative experience with your ex. Why do you feel the need to justify pre-marital sexual "compatability testing" when the real issue is the mutual duty of spouses to share their bodies with each other?

This probably belongs in the other thread but I just happened to be here as the thought occurred to me ...
 

acts420

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Dear Cognomen, Christ is Risen! 

You seem to be implying I should all but ignore the fact that the very many textual authorities in Hebrew that openly admit the Torah never prohibited premarital sex.  No thanks.  Most orthodox Christians I know encourage education and knowledge, and I tend to agree with them.  I don't follow Rabbinic law either.  However, I can read.  And I've read the Old Testament and noticed it never prohibits or punishes sex before marriage.  So I decided to look into whether Jews have noticed this too.  They did, a long time ago.

"Our own" authorities don't disagree with me.  The early Holy Fathers and Apostolic traditions, as far as I can tell, also never prohibit or punish sex before marriage.  And if some priests say it is always a sin, others say the matter is one of personal conscience. 

In Christ,
Acts420.com

Cognomen said:
acts420 said:
Besides those I cited, many others including the Orthodox rabbi Shmuley Boteach agree with them.   As if I even need to cite another (and as if you won't just deny its existence anyway).... Boteach is the author of The Kosher Sutra, HarperOne Press, 2009. He says, "Many people are surprised to learn that the Torah does not prohibit premarital sex. I challenge you to find any passage in the Jewish scriptures that forbids a man from having consensual sexual relations with any woman he could legally marry. It's just not there! (..) This is not to suggest that Judaism approves of pre-marital sex or promiscuity. (..) Jewish law prohibits an unmarried, unrelated man and woman from (even) being alone long enough to have sexual relations. But these laws come from the Talmud and the Shulchan Aruch (custom, tradition), not from the Torah."
Please refer back to a snippet of advice (albeit, taken from its context):

NicholasMyra said:
Forget the Rabbis.
Citing Jewish "authorities" on Jewish Law is ridiculously weak support for your argument.  We don't follow Rabbinic Jewish Law, and we certainly don't appeal to their interpretations; we have our own authorities to turn to.  They disagree with you.

Also, while I don't think you were implying that the Church mistakenly borrowed its teachings from the Talmud, it seems notable that the Talmud and Christian authorities both came to the same conclusions regarding pre-marital sex.  Perhaps your interpretation and understanding on the matter is off.

Perhaps the author of "The Kosher Sutra" is a "major scholarly and philological" resource, but that seems a stretch.
 

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Dear xariskai, Christ is risen!

Thank you for your comments.  You wrote, "I'm not sure by what stretch of the imagination we are to suppose acts420 has cited "6 works of scholarship." He cited a single three-paragraph-long internet article and referred to the author of it as a "researcher." How exactly might this three paragraph internet source qualify as "a work of major scholarship"?  In what manner is the writer a "researcher" as acts420 has labeled him? We were never told. Does he have a degree?"

The way to verify sources cited in academic discussions is to acquire the works cited and read them.

"Kittel by contrast is a ten volume resource dedicated to philiological historiography."

I read all of what the original post in this thread cited.  Very little of it has anything to do with premarital sex.  Once or twice it is implied that some Rabbis thought all extramarital sex was illicit.  However, my point is that some also thought being alone with a single woman was illicit.  

Scripture and the holy fathers should be our primary authorities, not Kittel.  We should feel free to conslut Kittel and other authorities.  I think that is good.  However, we must take a balanced approach.  You seem to be encouraging me to accept the cited references to Kittel, which are very vague and for the most part absent of direct references to sex before marriage, and toss away the evdience in Scripture (where it is never punished or prohbited while other acts are very clearly punished and prohbitied) and the evidence of many Jewish textual authorities (which I've cited).  That's not a very balanced approach by any means.

You said, "I also looked up S. Erlandsson, "Zanah," in G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringren, eds., Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament in vol. IV, p. 99ff.." and cite him as saying, essentially, that all sexual activity had to occur in a formal covenantial relationship or else it was porneia.  

I couldn't help but notice he had no Scripture to cite for that statement (though he cited Scripture regarding adultery, etc.).  The question then becomes, where has he acquired his belief?  Not Scripture, that's for sure, and if from cultural tradition then again it was illicit in the culture at times to even be alone with a single woman

If a scholar or even ten, citing no Scripture at all, saying premarital sex was considered illicit amounts to "overwhelming scholarly consensus affirming the Bible does come out against fornication" then I think you're just believing what you want to believe.  No offense intended.  Other scholars openly admit that the Torah never prohibits nor punishes sex before marriage.  And you don't even need a scholar to tell you that.  Go read the Old Testament yourself.  Look for any place where sex before marriage is punished or prohibited by the Word of God.  He gave us Scripture, eyes, and ears for a reason.

In Christ,
Acts420.com
 

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Dear PeterTheAleut, Christ is Risen!

Regarding slavery, the Apostle Paul very clearly condemned "manstealers" in the New Testament.

Regarding the Holy Fathers, my joy, I don't know what you're asking me.  "How much can you tell me?"  Do you want me to tell you everything I know about the Holy Fathers?  I haven't seen any place where an early Father clearly condemns sex before marriage as a sin either. Have you?

You wrote, "You can't actually address the substance of the texts xariskai quoted, so you merely dismiss them as relying on cultural traditions that assert other "absurdities". Do you realize just how academically lazy that is?"  

As I said, I read all of that the original poster in this thread cited.  Very little of it has anything to do with premarital sex.  And you're accusing me of academic laziness?  Once or twice it is implied that some Rabbis thought all extramarital sex was illicit.  The original post could've been 95% shorter (and 95% more on topic) by citing those just those points made.  In any event, I've responded, citing authorities in the Jewish Law also, that some Rabbis also thought being alone with a single woman was illicit.  Cultural traditions do not define right and wrong for me, and they shouldn't.  The Word of God does, and should.

You wrote, "6 works of scholarship merely listed without any quotes does not beat 3 works well quoted and credited--in this game, it's quality that counts, not quantity.."

Well, the "well quoted" works mostly had nothing to do with premarital sex at all.  It seemed like a cut and paste "carpet bomb" to me, to be perfectly honest.  In any event, I've responded to the relevant points that were made.   Scripture does not prohibit premarital sex nor ever associate it with "porneia."  Cultural traditions that did associate it with porneia have been cited.  However, what he forgot to cite is the fact that even being alone with a single woman with culturally illicit at times.

If we're going to rely on Jewish cultural traditions to define what God has said is right and wrong, then we should do it consistently.

In Christ,
Acts420.com
 

Cognomen

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acts420 said:
You seem to be implying I should all but ignore the fact that the very many textual authorities in Hebrew that openly admit the Torah never prohibited premarital sex.
I think ignore might be a tad strong, but the gist of my implication is right.

Most orthodox Christians I know encourage education and knowledge, and I tend to agree with them.  I don't follow Rabbinic law either.  However, I can read.
You act as if you're the only one with that ability.  While education and knowledge (and literacy) is admirable and frequently helpful, it does not necessarily ensure accurate or thorough understanding of Church teachings. 

And I've read the Old Testament and noticed it never prohibits or punishes sex before marriage.  So I decided to look into whether Jews have noticed this too.  They did, a long time ago.
That may very well be, but the Holy Scriptures are not the Qur'an.  They do not, nor claim to, contain every prescription for moral or "ideal" behavior.

"Our own" authorities don't disagree with me.
Yes they do, unless you can prove otherwise.
 
The early Holy Fathers and Apostolic traditions, as far as I can tell, also never prohibit or punish sex before marriage.  And if some priests say it is always a sin, others say the matter is one of personal conscience.
 
This is partly where I believe you go wrong. Can you identify when the teaching of the Holy Fathers and Apostolic traditions changed in this regard?  What do you attribute that claimed change to?  If you can't do that, then you should assume that it is, in fact, an Apostolic tradition, which seems overwhelmingly consistent.  Apostolic groups such as the Oriental Orthodox, Church of the East, and later, the Roman Catholics, broke away some time ago.  Yet their teaching on this remains the same.

Your position is a difficult one to prove. Without some form of positive evidence that pre-marital sex was acceptable, and then that the teaching changed, based on misguided interpretations (also nearly impossible to prove), you merely appeal to the lack of written evidence supporting an established tradition present throughout all of the "Apostolic" communities.

I'm afraid I must now exit this thread, as I have very little to contribute in the way of scholarly works or philological understandings. 
There is another thread for this topic of discussion.   

 

PeterTheAleut

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acts420 said:
Dear PeterTheAleut, Christ is Risen!

Regarding slavery, the Apostle Paul very clearly condemned "manstealers" in the New Testament.
But that's not the same as owning slaves. BTW, can you tell us chapter and verse where St. Paul says this? Otherwise, I can only conclude that you made this stuff up.

Are you not familiar with St. Paul's Epistle to Philemon, where he sends the slave Onesimus back to Philemon, his master, after the slave ran away to join St. Paul in his journeys? This is probably the strongest evidence that St. Paul at least accepted the institution of slavery.

acts420 said:
Regarding the Holy Fathers, my joy, I don't know what you're asking me.  "How much can you tell me?"  Do you want me to tell you everything I know about the Holy Fathers?  I haven't seen any place where an early Father clearly condemns sex before marriage as a sin either. Have you?
How much have you read of the Fathers? Searching the Fathers for evidence that they said something only to give up after a certain finite time of failure does not qualify you to say that they never said it (i.e., forbade premarital sex). It only means that you haven't seen anything in what you have read and that you possibly may not have read enough. I wouldn't draw any logical conclusions from the silence you've seen.

acts420 said:
You wrote, "You can't actually address the substance of the texts xariskai quoted, so you merely dismiss them as relying on cultural traditions that assert other "absurdities". Do you realize just how academically lazy that is?"  

As I said, I read all of that the original poster in this thread cited.  Very little of it has anything to do with premarital sex.  And you're accusing me of academic laziness?
Yes, I am. Even conceding that what xariskai posted is academically lazy (which I'm not), it doesn't automatically follow that you're not engaging in the same academic laziness. You're preaching to us, an audience the overwhelming majority of whom believe that premarital sex is sinful, your particular doctrine that premarital sex is not sinful. This therefore puts the burden of proof squarely on you to convince us that you're right. So far, the way you have chosen to try to convince us has indeed been academically lazy.

acts420 said:
Once or twice it is implied that some Rabbis thought all extramarital sex was illicit.  The original post could've been 95% shorter (and 95% more on topic) by citing those just those points made.
Let xariskai argue the points he wants to argue. Rather than dismiss them out of hand, you need to address them directly. Prove his interpretation of Scripture and history wrong.

acts420 said:
In any event, I've responded, citing authorities in the Jewish Law also, that some Rabbis also thought being alone with a single woman was illicit.
No, you've only told us that certain named rabbis thought being alone with a single woman was illicit. You've never quoted these authorities to prove your point from their own words. Do you expect us to believe what you say about these rabbis from your authority alone? You need to quote them. Merely giving us a list of books and telling us to read them on our own time is the most intellectually lazy of cop outs in that you're shifting onto us the burden of proving you wrong. If you're too lazy to quote those excerpts from these "authoritative" writings that are pertinent to your point, don't expect us to do your footwork for you.

acts420 said:
Cultural traditions do not define right and wrong for me, and they shouldn't.  The Word of God does, and should.
But you've done nothing to show from sources more authoritative than yourself how, specifically, cultural traditions have changed. BTW, it seems to me that you're not really letting the Word of God define right and wrong for you; rather, it appears as if you are defining what's right and finding support in the fact that the Word of God doesn't appear to contradict you.

acts420 said:
You wrote, "6 works of scholarship merely listed without any quotes does not beat 3 works well quoted and credited--in this game, it's quality that counts, not quantity.."

Well, the "well quoted" works mostly had nothing to do with premarital sex at all.  It seemed like a cut and paste "carpet bomb" to me, to be perfectly honest.
What you've posted in response looks even worse, then, to be perfectly honest.

acts420 said:
In any event, I've responded to the relevant points that were made.   Scripture does not prohibit premarital sex nor ever associate it with "porneia."  Cultural traditions that did associate it with porneia have been cited.
No, they have not. With what little actual support you have given, one could easily conclude that you just made this "cultural traditions" stuff up.

acts420 said:
However, what he forgot to cite is the fact that even being alone with a single woman with culturally illicit at times.

If we're going to rely on Jewish cultural traditions to define what God has said is right and wrong, then we should do it consistently.
A more convincing argument from you might help.
 

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Dear Father, Christ is Risen!

95% of the "academic points" listed in the original post of that thread had absolutely nothing to do with premarital sex.  It seems to have been a carpet bomb cut and paste job from some online textbook.  The relevant 5% of the original post (the part that could be seen to perhaps refer to sex before marriage) noted cultural traditions that claimed all extra marital sex was illicit.  However, the same cultural traditions have said being alone with a single woman was illicit and many other things through history.

My response was a lot more than "no, Scripture doesn't say that," to be honest, my joy.  I cited sources of my own.  They are shorter because they are not carpet bomb cut and paste jobs.  People can look them up if they want. 

I'd rather just allow people to go to that thread and have a read if they're interested instead of mis-characterizing its contents here.

In Christ,
Acts420.com


Fr. George said:
Has "acts420" actually addressed any of the academic points in the OP of the following thread...

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37085.0.html

... with anything more than, "No, the scripture doesn't say that," anywhere?

(And the username should be changed; Acts 4:20 doesn't say, "And we cannot help speaking about whatever justifies my past and/or feelings.")
 

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Dear yeshuaisiam, Christ is Risen!

The Torah never prohibits premartial sex.  I challenge you to find one passage in all of the Old Testament that does.  And before you do so, I would ask that you read the last five pages or so of discussion since I've recently responded (for probably the fifth time in this thread) to the main one or two passages people try to twist.  You can also do a "control F" (search) through this article I've written and any passage you think of is most likely explained:  http://www.unc.edu/~jasondm/sex.html

Jewish researcher Ariel Scheib says, "The Bible never explicitly states a woman and man may not have sexual intercourse prior to marriage; therefore, no sanction was imposed for premarital sex, but it was considered a violation of custom (tradition)..." He cites as his sources Eisenberg, Ronald L. The JPS Guide to Jewish Traditions. PA: Jewish Publication Society, 2004; Kolatch, Alfred J. The Jewish Book of Why/The Second Jewish Book of Why. NY: Jonathan David Publishers, 1989; Wigoder, Geoffrey , Ed. The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia. NY: Facts on File, 1992.

Many others, including the Orthodox rabbi Shmuley Boteach, agree. Boteach is the author of The Kosher Sutra, HarperOne Press, 2009 and Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy. New York: Broadway Books/Random House, 1999. He says, "Many people are surprised to learn that the Torah does not prohibit premarital sex. I challenge you to find any passage in the Jewish scriptures that forbids a man from having consensual sexual relations with any woman he could legally marry. It's just not there! (..) This is not to suggest that Judaism approves of pre-marital sex or promiscuity. (..) Jewish law prohibits an unmarried, unrelated man and woman from (even) being alone long enough to have sexual relations. But these laws come from the Talmud and the Shulchan Aruch (custom, tradition), not from the Torah."

You're certainly correct that Jewish traditions condemned it as wrong.  However, the same condemned being alone with a single woman and many, many other things we allow today.  If you define "porneia" by those cultural traditions you should just go all the way and say it is a sin to be alone with a single woman.  Maybe you could even become a pharisee; the book of Acts tells us there was a party of Christians that called themselves pharisees in the early church (Acts 15).

In any event, the Old Testament never condemns sex before marriage as a sin and the New Testament doesn't either.  Christ told many to "stop sinning" and "go and sin no more."  The woman at the well who was living with a man was never told any such thing.  The closest the New Testament comes to "condemning" sex before marriage is when Paul (while saying he is giving advice and not commandments) seems to advise sexually active singles (those who cannot control themselves) that they "should get married."  Then he switches to giving "commands" to married people.  (1 cor 7:10)  Perhaps we should take a few minutes to prayerfully consider why the Holy Apostle took this approach and also consider that it is consistent with the rest of Scripture.

Likewise early Christian writings never prohibit sex before marriage.  I've asked many times on this board for citations.  That is why I started this topic.  So far I've gotten one quote from hundreds of years after the Apostles where Father Chrysostom seems, like Paul, to be giving advice and not strict commandments (in that case about raising children).  

My joy, the "eastern orthodox church" does not condemn sex before marriage, at least not the one I'm going to.  It teaches the Word, stays out of controversial matters for the most part, and discusses them one on one.  The priest tells me that his opinion should be the second or third one I consider behind the Spirit, the Word, or any other trusted spiritual advisers.

Your eastern orthodox church may condemn sex before marriage.  Mine does not.  And if most do, that proves nothing.  There have been points in history where the orthodox christians in any given area condemned sex between a priest and his wife.  Neither the facts that they were orthodox nor that many around them would've propped up their false teachings made them necessarily correct.

Lastly, the fact that you're citing Baptists and other Protestant teachings to prop up your Christian beliefs speaks volumes.  These are men that have prohibted dancing, card games, alcohol, rock music, and a host of other things God has never condemned.  Also, you're ignoring the fact that in every group of Christians you mentioned there are many Christians and pastors that agree with me on this topic, in all faiths.  You're list of "virtually all Christians" that disagree with me looks impressive at first glance, but it isn't very accurate in the real world.

In Christ,
Jason
Acts420.com

yeshuaisiam said:
acts420 said:
yeshuaisiam said:
I don't know why I'm just scratching my head on this one.

Obviously in Jewish & Christian tradition pre marital sex/adultery has always been considered sinful no matter which way we contrive, bend, or twist it.  Not really seeing a debate here...
Many Jewish traditions were considered dangerous, if not downright evil, by Christ and the Apostles.  Legalistic traditions are a symptom of humanity though, not just of Judaism.  Many dangerous Christian traditions over the years have developed too, outside of Apostolic tradition.
But the Jewish tradition of "Thou Shalt not commit adultery" was not considered dangerous.  Unless you can otherwise quote me where our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ or an apostle gave us distinct permission to commit adultery.

But if you would like to add, Jews, Muslims, and Christians all condemn pre marital sex....

So if you don't know already it has been condemned in:

The Torah
The Talmud
Early Christian writings
The Koran (Muslims both Sunni and Shiites)

With that said, I can personally attest (where I've witnessed the condemnation) to the following Christian religions who say it is wrong.
Eastern Orthodox
Roman Catholic   (EO & Roman Catholics make up for 1.5 billion people on this planet and Muslims about another 1.5 billion)
Anabaptists (Amish, Mennonites, Hutterites)
Lutherans
Baptists
Methodists
Pentecostals
Jehovah's Witness
Presbyterians

There is no argument here.   The apostles never condemned the commandment against adultery.  In fact they said "if you can't control yourself get married".  

(*note* the reason I included Muslims was because they claim to be a religion of the God of Abraham  ***** ALSO acts420 - is your nickname suggesting to do acts at 4:20pm which is the time drug addicts or "pharmacia" smoke weed?)
 

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Dear akimor makoto, Christ is Risen!

For fear of repeating myself over and over and hogging space, I'm going to point you to my response to biro below where I describe how compatability testing is not the main issue for me nor the main reason I'm discussing this here.  It is a side issue though, and the relevant responses to you should be in about the 3rd through 5th paragraphs.  The post should be directly below this one.

In Christ,
Jason
Acts420.com

akimori makoto said:
Acts, I don't mean this to sound callous, as I actually am quite in your corner as I say it ...

Relying on the Apostle Paul, I contend that your ex should not have refused her body to you, for her body did not belong to her, but to you (as yours did to her). The scriptures are already explicitly on your side in respect of your negative experience with your ex. Why do you feel the need to justify pre-marital sexual "compatability testing" when the real issue is the mutual duty of spouses to share their bodies with each other?

This probably belongs in the other thread but I just happened to be here as the thought occurred to me ...
 

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Dear biro, Christ is Risen!

I don't call you 'my joy' to be fake.  I call you my joy because you're a member of the Body of Christ.  "Even in joy their may be grief." (Proverbs 14:13)  We disagree about this topic, but that doesn't mean we have to hate each other.  I also use that phrase because it reminds of how holy St. Seraphim of Sarov thought about and addressed people.  He is one of my heros, and I respect his example and teachings.   I also am not pretending to be converting.  I may not have been baptized yet, but I've already converted in heart.  I would be baptized tomorrow if the priest suggested it.  However, my church baptizes at winter Pascha.

I've never been here under another name.  I didn't say I'm here because I had a bad sex life in a fraudulent, annullable marriage.  I'm certainly not looking for crocodile tears, nor am I shedding any.  I shared how I came to the realization that the Word has never called sex before marriage is a sin, and that my motivation here is to be equipped and equip the church since we're all priests.  I meant to simply tell you the truth about my story so that you wouldn't think my motives are just to troll.  Obviously it didn't work.

I referred to "compatibility stuff," but my personal story is not why I've taken to discussing this issue here.   Certainly my experience led me to study whether or not a couple should feel free to test each other passionately to whatever degree they decide is best (with advice from the Spirit, the Word, and their parents and spiritual father's) before marriage.  However, originally I began discussing this topic at this forum to simply request the earliest possible references in the early holy Fathers regarding premarital sex from any knowledgeable posters.  That is, I was doing research, asking for others' insights into the holy Fathers as I read.  I also wanted to discuss this topic as iron sharpens iron so to speak. (Proverbs 27:17)

The cultural traditions (not holy tradition as far as I can tell) that must be relied on to say sex before marriage is sin have historically often disallowed any passionate physical interaction between couples at all.  And indeed at least where I'm from, many pastors who say sex before marriage is a sin still follow the logic to its end.  So they also teach that anything passionate, even passionate kissing, is a sin before marriage.  This Pharisaical approach can cause a lot of problems in the Body and the world.  There are people that like to kiss one another and people that don't, my joy.  Scientific studies have even show that mutual enjoyment of the other's kissing (feel, taste, everything) is evidence of a healthy genetic match, and couples that dislike the taste and feel of the others' passionate kisses tend not to be good genetic matches.  

However, regardless of the science, even common sense tells me a physical and emotional marriage that is the spiritual icon of Christ and the Church should involve a couple that enjoys the kisses of one another.  The couple in that beautiful "Song of Solomon" certainly kisses a lot, passionately, before their wedding.  They even share a bed.   Now perhaps kissing isn't important to everyone, and that's fine.  They should feel free abstain. However, kissing is something that very many people who desire marriage find personally important regarding the desire God has given them.  They should not feel bad about that desire God gave them, regardless of cultural rules against it that Pharisees instituted thousands of years ago and that modern Pharisaical Christians pile on shoulders today.
 
I don't disagree with any doctrines of the orthodox church.  Some members of the orthodox church sometimes teach that premarital sex is always immoral, others that premarital passionate kissing is immoral.  All of that invention is what I disagree with.  Some other orthodox churches and pastors don't teach that stuff, and so I don't disagree with them.  My own priest, for instance, would only speak about sex before marriage if you asked him, and it would be a very personal conversation.  He is very well read.  He understands that the Scriptures have very little if anything to say about the topic and that many in the church have become like the Pharisees in regards to many issues.  Even if he did conclude it was wrong for you personally, he would have made it clear long before that your first opinion should be the Spirit, and he should perhaps be your third opinion as you rely on the Spirit and the Word since everyone has their own Life they must live before God, individually, with a clean conscience.

Remember that I'm not saying premarital sex is never sinful.  I'm saying it is a personal decision between a couple.  God has honored virginity and sex in marriage.  However, at the same time God has never prohibited premarital sex during courtship.  There is a reason he told the adulteress "go and sin no more" yet did not say anything close to that to the woman at the well who was living with a man.  God has honored abstinence from alcohol in Levi and John the Forerunner.  Yet similarly, God has never prohibited the enjoyement of alcohol in moderation.   Don't take that the wrong way.  I'm certainly not saying sex should be enjoyed like alcohol.  I'm not saying sex before marriage is spiritually, emotionally, or physically wise.  Not all that is permissible is beneficial.  However, the approach that just blankets all of mankind with "it is a sin" is not the approach the Father has taken.  There are good reasons (such as compatability probing) we can guess at.  However, such is just guessing, and we don't even need to guess.  The fact that the approach I'm advocating is the Father's approach through the Word should be more than enough reason for us to follow it.  

In Christ,
Jason
Acts420.com



biro said:
This is the same self-serving story he had when he was here under another name. And it's still drivel.

No crocodile tears here. You had a bad sex life? Not the Church's fault.

I also believe him addressing us here as 'my joy' and his claim to be converting is more a confirmation of his fake tone than anything. Why the same hackneyed patterns? Why does he call us that when he clearly strenuously disagrees with the doctrine of the Orthodox Church?

Because, as in his first role here, he isn't only concerned about sex before marriage at all. Again, it is a setup. His point is to undermine the authority of the Orthodox Church itself. It's a premanufactured framework for his real goal. Once again, he has tried to steer us into his own debate site. Where I'm sure he'll be as fair as he has here.

Judge, shmudge: facts are facts, and you don't need to be Hercule Poirot to figure out that this has been one long snort behind his sleeve at our expense.

I just hope he doesn't take up selling used cars.
 

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acts420 said:
Dear Father, Christ is Risen!

95% of the "academic points" listed in the original post of that thread had absolutely nothing to do with premarital sex.  It seems to have been a carpet bomb cut and paste job from some online textbook.  The relevant 5% of the original post (the part that could be seen to perhaps refer to sex before marriage) noted cultural traditions that claimed all extra marital sex was illicit.  However, the same cultural traditions have said being alone with a single woman was illicit and many other things through history.

My response was a lot more than "no, Scripture doesn't say that," to be honest, my joy.  I cited sources of my own.  They are shorter because they are not carpet bomb cut and paste jobs.
Correction: They're shorter because they don't say anything. As I said there, you could at least quote what those authors say to show how the texts you list support your point of view, but you never did that. All you did was say (my paraphrase), "Here is a list of six authorities who support my point of view. You can look them up if you want."

acts420 said:
People can look them up if they want.
As I said on the other thread, we're not going to fulfill your responsibility to prove your point if you're too lazy to do so.

acts420 said:
I'd rather just allow people to go to that thread and have a read if they're interested instead of mis-characterizing its contents here.
As you're doing?
 

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acts420 said:
Dear Father, Christ is Risen!

95% of the "academic points" listed in the original post of that thread had absolutely nothing to do with premarital sex.  It seems to have been a carpet bomb cut and paste job from some online textbook.  The relevant 5% of the original post (the part that could be seen to perhaps refer to sex before marriage) noted cultural traditions that claimed all extra marital sex was illicit.  However, the same cultural traditions have said being alone with a single woman was illicit and many other things through history.
In light of what I said in my previous post, here's my challenge to you:
1. Quote those authorities who assert that the cultural traditions that prohibited premarital sex also said that being alone with a single woman is immoral. I want to know that you're not just making this stuff up.
2. Define in detail these "many other things through history".
 

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acts420 said:
Certainly my experience led me to study whether or not a couple should feel free to test each other passionately to whatever degree they decide is best (with advice from the Spirit, the Word, and their parents and spiritual father's) before marriage.
Have fun asking a girl's dad for that permission.  :eek:
 

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Can I just ask how come the classic (and BTW, patristic) example of Adam & Eve does not come into play?  There was no copulation before Eve existed (obviously) and their union was a perfect one, as she literally came OUT of Adam.  No sex before marriage (i.e.  perfect union, by God). 

As for the philological arguments, that's going to take some research. 
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
acts420 said:
Dear Father, Christ is Risen!

95% of the "academic points" listed in the original post of that thread had absolutely nothing to do with premarital sex.  It seems to have been a carpet bomb cut and paste job from some online textbook.  The relevant 5% of the original post (the part that could be seen to perhaps refer to sex before marriage) noted cultural traditions that claimed all extra marital sex was illicit.  However, the same cultural traditions have said being alone with a single woman was illicit and many other things through history.
In light of what I said in my previous post, here's my challenge to you:
1. Quote those authorities who assert that the cultural traditions that prohibited premarital sex also said that being alone with a single woman is immoral. I want to know that you're not just making this stuff up.
2. Define in detail these "many other things through history".
Acts420--These questions are most reasonable. Here we are on page 19 of the thread and I think it is time for you to produce the answers to PtA's questions. Please do so by Saturday this week. I am locking this thread until then so that you are not distracted by other posts. Thanks, Second Chance
 

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This thread has been moved & locked, so that it can coincide with the lock on the premarital sex topic started here.  As both of these topics are talking about the same subject (exactly), and in both threads we have Acts420 not providing the necessary proofs, as has been requested, they will remain locked until Saturday, per Second Chance's moderation, at which time we fully expect Acts420 to provide the proofs that have been requested.  Please consult Second Chance's official ruling for any further questions.  I will only add the list of requests in THIS thread below, as well as Second Chance's mod request. 

Second Chance said:
PeterTheAleut said:
acts420 said:
Dear Father, Christ is Risen!

95% of the "academic points" listed in the original post of that thread had absolutely nothing to do with premarital sex.  It seems to have been a carpet bomb cut and paste job from some online textbook.  The relevant 5% of the original post (the part that could be seen to perhaps refer to sex before marriage) noted cultural traditions that claimed all extra marital sex was illicit.  However, the same cultural traditions have said being alone with a single woman was illicit and many other things through history.
In light of what I said in my previous post, here's my challenge to you:
1. Quote those authorities who assert that the cultural traditions that prohibited premarital sex also said that being alone with a single woman is immoral. I want to know that you're not just making this stuff up.
2. Define in detail these "many other things through history".
Acts420--These questions are most reasonable. Here we are on page 19 of the thread and I think it is time for you to produce the answers to PtA's questions. Please do so by Saturday this week. I am locking this thread until then so that you are not distracted by other posts. Thanks, Second Chance
My personal moderator request is for you to list at least 5 fathers of the church that support your positions below, as well as at least 5 biblical sources.  Arguing from silence is not an argument, for both the fathers as well as the scriptures. 
 
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