I know it's not Wednesday (sorry!), but I had to ask this. Do you think that if you have sex before marriage that you're choosing sex (aka flesh, the world) over Christ? Do you think premarital sex will send folks to hell or somehow diminish our salvation since we're disobeying the Bible? I've been trained in evangelism, so part of me knows once you're saved, you're saved. But the rebuttal against premarital sex is always that God will stop blessing you if you deliberately disobey The Bible.
I think the teaching that God will “stop blessing you” if you do X is deeply, deeply problematic. We have this great, omniscient, omnipotent being, and my disobedience is going to make it super angry? That’s not a loving God; that’s a dictator.
I propose in my book that the context of the relationship and the attitudes in approach are much more concerning to God than whether or not we do the ding-ding before the ring-ring. Are we being respectful of the our partner? Are we obtaining consent? Are we valuing their pleasure as much as our own? Are we acting in a gracious, loving, and forgiving manner toward the other person? Are we shaming others for their experiences or are we recognizing that these experiences are human?
My entire philosophy toward sexual ethics is about making sure we apply the “love your neighbor” teaching to our sexual lives, not just our service projects and church sponsored activities. Loving your neighbor needs to be such an important thing to us as Christians that it permeates all other aspects of our lives - that it would become unthinkable to proceed in a sexual situation without consent, without respect, without value, without discussing things with our partner.
It is no longer about disobedience and punishment. It’s about love. It’s about care. It’s about selflessness.