There are many misunderstandings about what Christianity teaches about human sexuality and sexual relationships. During the Victorian era, it was claimed that all sexual acts were sinful, unless they were specifically done for the purpose of procreation. Others have claimed that the original sin was a sexual act, represented by the eating of the forbidden fruit. All of these ideas are without biblical basis. The purpose of this page is to present the biblical Christian view of human sexuality.
The first command of God
The very first command God gave to humans was to "be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth."1 Although we do not usually think of this command in terms of its accomplishment, it is a command for males and females to engage in sexual relations to produce children. Some have taken this command as either requiring that couples must never prevent conception or that the sole purpose of sexual relations is to produce children. Neither of these interpretations are specified in scripture, and, in fact, are contradicted by other biblical passages.
Why did God create humans?
The Bible says that God created humans because He desires to enjoy His children in heaven.2 In order to accomplish this task, God has made us a partner with Him. Therefore, God designed human sexuality to produce children who were to be raised in a godly manner to seek after Him. The Bible says, "Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring."3 The institution of marriage and human sexuality was commenced in the beginning of the first pair of human beings as a temporal institution.4 A marriage covenant was designed from the beginning so that children would be raised in a godly manner by the parents.
Sexual relations - the original sin?
Genesis chapter two describes the detailed account of the creation of humans in the garden of Eden (the location of which the text places in the Mesopotamian plain). The marriage covenant is spelled out in the original narrative that describes the meeting of the first man and first woman:
And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man said, "This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:22-25)
In contrast to the claims of some, the sexual act was not the original sin, as indicated in the above passage. The Hebrew word (dâbaq), translated "cleave"5 is a verb describing the closeness that should exist between a husband and wife. This describes both physical and emotional closeness. The next phrase "they shall become one flesh" refers to the sexual relationship. To reinforce the idea that Adam and Eve were engaging in a sexual relationship the text says that they "were both naked and were not ashamed." The temptation by Satan that led to the original sin occurred in the following chapter. This sin was committed as a direct result of disobedience of the only rule God had made for Adam and Eve.
The Bible actually encourages married couples to enjoy their sexual relationships within marriage.6 The New Testament confirms that sexual relations within a marriage is not sinful. Paul says that those who marry have not sinned.7 The writer of the book of Hebrews states, "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure,"8 indicating that sexual relations within marriage are "pure" and not sinful.
Sexual responsibility in marriage
The Bible discusses the responsibility of husbands and wives in marriage. It says that husbands and wives do not authority over their own bodies, but must submit their bodies to their spouse and must not deny each other sexually:
Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)
Commands for the husband
The Christian marriage is arranged in a manner similar to that of the Christian church. Throughout the New Testament, the husband is commanded to love his wife. The manner and extent of devotion is given as "just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her," "husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies," and "must love his wife as he loves himself."10 In other passages, husbands are commanded to "love your wives and do not be harsh with them"11 and "be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect."12
Commands for the wife
Wives are commanded to submit to their husbands. Submission is not a popular word among women these days. However, the biblical command to submit is not without qualification. Submission is to be done "as the church submits to Christ" and "as is fitting in the Lord."13 The Bible also says that the wife should respect her husband.10 Peter says that wives ought to submit to their husbands so that they "may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives."14 This was one of the main factors why I chose Carole as my wife.
Commands for both
Peter ends his discussion of the responsibilities of husbands and wives with the following instruction for both:
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. (1 Peter 3:8)
The original law of divorce was instituted by Moses:
"When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house (Deuteronomy 24:1)
Although the law of divorce seems to be rather broad, it had a rather limited context. The Hebrew word (‛ervâh), translated "indecency" usually referred to some sort of intentional indecent exposure on the part of the wife.15
Elsewhere, the Old Testament indicates that God hates divorce:
"For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with wrong," says the LORD of hosts. "So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously." (Malachi 2:16)
In the New Testament, the Pharisees, the ruling religious class, tried to trap Jesus on the question of divorce. Jesus countered with "What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."16 When they pressed Him regarding the law of Moses, Jesus said:
Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. (Matthew 19:8)
In this passage and elsewhere, Jesus indicated that those who divorced and married another person were committing adultery. This rule applied to both husbands17 and wives18 and those whom they marry.19 Likewise, Paul forbade divorce - even when the spouse was a non-believer.20
Exceptions to remarriage
Obviously, the death of the spouse allows one to remarry.21 Jesus said that there was one other exception that allowed remarriage, which was marital unfaithfulness.17-19 Paul indicated that abandonment was also a cause for divorce and remarriage.22 Although the issue of spousal abuse is not directly addressed in the Bible, some have interpreted these kinds of acts to be equivalent to abandonment.
Several specific sexual relationships are forbidden in the Bible. Among these are homosexuality,23 bestiality (sex with animals),24 and incest (sexual relations with close family members, including your mother, sister, niece, aunt, daughter-in-law, and sister-in-law),25 fornication (sexual relations outside of marriage)26 and adultery (sexual relations with another person's spouse),27 and rape (forced sex).28 To emphasize the seriousness of these kinds of offenses, the penalty was death.29 Although not specifically mentioned in the Bible, it is clear that pornography is not to be viewed by Christians.
Christians are to avoid all forms of sexual sin, since the Christian's body is the indwelt by the Holy Spirit.30 Paul says that the body is meant for the Lord and not for sexual immorality.31 Since Christians are redeemed (bought back with a price - which was the sacrifice of Jesus Christ) we no longer "own" our bodies, since they have been purchased by God.32 Not only are Christians to avoid sexual sins, but we are to avoid those who claim to be Christians, yet practice such things.33 The Bible says that those who are sexually immoral are separated from God and will not share in God's inheritance upon death.34
Married or single? Which is better?
It is not the will of God that all Christians be married. Paul explained that a person who marries will have divided loyalty between his spouse and the Lord.35 A Christian is much better able to serve the Lord when single then when married. However, a Christian should not remain single if that gift has not been given to him.36 Jesus said that those who have been given the gift of being able to remain single should do so for the sake of the gospel.37
God invented sex and commanded it to the first males and females He created. However, sexual relations were intended to be enjoyed within the bounds of marriage. Marriage was intended to be for a lifetime and divorce was allowed only under limited, specific circumstances. Within marriage, both husbands and wives are to provide for their partner's sexual needs and not withhold themselves from the other, in order to reduce temptation. The institution of marriage was designed by God as an analogy between God and the Church, where God (the husband) cares for and loves the Church (the wife).
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25)
- Is it Okay for Christians to Engage in Premarital Sex Before Marriage?
- Is Living Together Before Marriage a Good Idea?
- Husband Addicted to Porn? How to Cut His Access
- Why Sex With Robots is Always Wrong: The Impending Demise of the Human Species
- Pornography and the Bible: Can Christians View Porn?
- Is it Okay for a Christian to Marry a Non Christian?
- Rebuttal to Why the Christian Right is Wrong About Homosexuality
- Smoking and Alcohol: It's Just Another Lifestyle: What Health Risks?
- Genetics and Homosexuality: Are People Born Gay?
- David E. Malick, "The Condemnation of Homosexuality in Romans 1:26-27," Bibliotheca Sacra 150: 599 (1993): 327-340.
- David E. Malick, "The Condemnation of Homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6:9," Bibliotheca Sacra 150: 600 (1993): 479-492.
- Gordon J Wenham, "The Old Testament Attitude to Homosexuality," Expository Times 102 (1991): 259-363.
- Homosexuality: Issues and Articles
- And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (Genesis 1:27-28)
- In the parable of the banquet Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.' But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.' Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.' Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.' The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.' 'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.' Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.'" (Luke 14:16-23)
- You ask, "Why?" It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. (Malachi 2:14-15)
- Marriage is temporal (not eternal), since it was only intended for physical
life as explained by Jesus:
"At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven." (Matthew 22:30)
Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection. (Luke 20:34-36)
- דּבק dâbaq (Strong's H1692)
Brown-Driver-Briggs' Hebrew Definitions:
- to cling, stick, stay close, cleave, keep close, stick to, stick
with, follow closely, join to, overtake, catch
- to cling, cleave to
- to stay with
- (Pual) to be joined together
- to cause to cleave to
- to pursue closely
- to overtake
- (Hophal) to be made to cleave
- to cling, stick, stay close, cleave, keep close, stick to, stick with, follow closely, join to, overtake, catch
- Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love. (Proverbs 5:18-19)
- But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. (1 Corinthians 7:28)
- Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (Hebrews 13:4)
- But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except
for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone
who marries the divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:32)
I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery." (Matthew 19:9)
He answered, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. (Mark 10:11)
So then if, while her husband is living, she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man. (Romans 7:3)
So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. (Revelation 2:22)
- Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself... However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:25-28, 33)
- Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. (Colossians 3:19)
- Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. (1 Peter 3:7)
- Now as the
church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in
everything. (Ephesians 5:24)
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. (Colossians 3:18)
- Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. (1 Peter 3:1-2)
‛ervâh (Strong's H6172)
Brown-Driver-Briggs' Hebrew Definitions:
- nakedness, nudity, shame, pudenda
- pudenda (implying shameful exposure)
- nakedness of a thing, indecency, improper behavior
- exposed, undefended (figuratively)
- nakedness, nudity, shame, pudenda
- ..."'FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'? "Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." (Matthew 19:5-6)
- I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except
for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits
adultery." (Matthew 19:9)
And He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; (Mark 10:11)
- But I tell you that anyone who
divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become
an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.
and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery." (Mark 10:12)
- But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:32)
- To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, let her not send her husband away. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. (1 Corinthians 7:10-14)
- For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man. (Romans 7:2-3)
- Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. (1 Corinthians 7:15)
- Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the
kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor
idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders (1
Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them." Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. (Genesis 19:4-7)
While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, "Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him." The owner of the house went outside and said to them, "No, my friends, don't be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don't do this disgraceful thing. (Judges 19:22-23)
In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7)
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. (Romans 1:24-27)
- "Anyone who has sexual relations with an
animal must be put to death. (Exodus 22:19)
"Cursed is the man who has sexual relations with any animal." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!" (Deuteronomy 27:21)
- "'No one is to approach any close relative to have
sexual relations. I am the LORD. Do not dishonor
your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your
mother; do not have relations with her. Do not
have sexual relations with your father's wife; that would dishonor your
father. Do not have sexual relations with your
sister, either your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether
she was born in the same home or elsewhere. Do not
have sexual relations with your son's daughter or your daughter's
daughter; that would dishonor you. Do not have
sexual relations with the daughter of your father's wife, born to your
father; she is your sister. Do not have sexual
relations with your father's sister; she is your father's close relative.
Do not have sexual relations with your mother's
sister, because she is your mother's close relative. Do not dishonor your father's brother by approaching his wife to
have sexual relations; she is your aunt. Do not
have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son's wife;
do not have relations with her. Do not have
sexual relations with your brother's wife; that would dishonor your
brother. Do not have sexual relations with both a
woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son's
daughter or her daughter's daughter; they are her close relatives. That is
wickedness. Do not take your wife's sister as a
rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.'"
"Cursed is the man who sleeps with his sister, the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!" Cursed is the man who sleeps with his mother-in-law." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!" (Deuteronomy 27:22-23)
- "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders,
adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. (Matthew 15:19)
"For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, (Mark 7:21)
"You are doing the deeds of your father." They said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God." (John 8:41)
but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. (Acts 15:20)
that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell." (Acts 15:29)
"But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we wrote, having decided that they should abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication." (Acts 21:25)
Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, (1 Corinthians 6:9)
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4)
- "You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14)
"You shall not commit adultery. (Deuteronomy 5:18)
"You shall not covet your neighbor's wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor's house or land, his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." (Deuteronomy 5:21)
"'Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor's wife and defile yourself with her. (Leviticus 18:20)
But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself. (Proverbs 6:32)
- But if out in the country a man happens to meet a girl pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. (Deuteronomy 22:25)
- "'If a man commits adultery with another man's wife--with the wife of his neighbor--both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death. If a man sleeps with his father's wife, he has dishonored his father. Both the man and the woman must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. If a man sleeps with his daughter-in-law, both of them must be put to death. What they have done is a perversion; their blood will be on their own heads. If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. If a man marries both a woman and her mother, it is wicked. Both he and they must be burned in the fire, so that no wickedness will be among you. If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he must be put to death, and you must kill the animal. If a woman approaches an animal to have sexual relations with it, kill both the woman and the animal. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. If a man marries his sister, the daughter of either his father or his mother, and they have sexual relations, it is a disgrace. They must be cut off before the eyes of their people. He has dishonored his sister and will be held responsible. If a man lies with a woman during her monthly period and has sexual relations with her, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them must be cut off from their people. Do not have sexual relations with the sister of either your mother or your father, for that would dishonor a close relative; both of you would be held responsible. If a man sleeps with his aunt, he has dishonored his uncle. They will be held responsible; they will die childless. If a man marries his brother's wife, it is an act of impurity; he has dishonored his brother. They will be childless.'" (Leviticus 20:10-21)
- Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
- "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"--but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. (1 Corinthians 6:13)
- Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)
- I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people-- not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. (1 Corinthians 5:9-11)
- The acts of the sinful nature are
obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and
witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition,
dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn
you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the
kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. (Ephesians 5:1-5)
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. (Colossians 3:5-6)
It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7)
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (Hebrews 13:4)
He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." (Revelation 21:7-8)
"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." (Revelation 22:14-16)
- Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away. I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs--how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife-- and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world--how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:27-35)
- If anyone thinks he is acting improperly toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if she is getting along in years and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin--this man also does the right thing. So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does even better. A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is--and I think that I too have the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 7:36-40)
- "For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it." (Matthew 19:12)
We are what we think.
- 03/24/2015 02:27 AM
The Resurrection: Christianity’s Most Dangerous Idea
Originally published in Reasons to Believe’s ezine, New Reasons to Believe, vol. 2, no. 3 (2010) “Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”1 This line—from my favorite book in … Continue reading
- 03/17/2015 02:55 AM
More Deaths in the Name of God—or No Gods?
Originally published in Reasons to Believe’s ezine, New Reasons to Believe, vol. 2, no. 1 (2010) Great evil has been done in the name of Christ. This charge, a frequent objection to historic Christianity raised especially by the new atheist … Continue reading
- 03/10/2015 02:02 AM
God as the Source of Knowledge
Originally published in RTB’s ezine, New Reasons to Believe, vol. 1, no. 1 (2009) Does the Bible indicate where knowledge comes from? Since evolutionary processes can’t guarantee true beliefs naturalism as a worldview faces insurmountable problems. For its part, the … Continue reading
- 03/03/2015 02:08 AM
World Religions: The Sage and the Savior
Among the world’s great religious leaders, two became far-reaching moral instructors of humanity. Confucius (the sage) laid down the ethical foundation for much of Asian civilization. Jesus of Nazareth (the Savior) taught moral lessons that distinctly shaped the ethical nature … Continue reading
- 02/24/2015 02:31 AM
How We Got the Bible, Part 3
This week we’ll be finishing up a series on the biblical canon, a topic that has been a source of discussion, debate, and controversy since the beginning of Christianity. We’ve covered the doctrine of divine inspiration and standards for recognizing … Continue reading
- 02/18/2015 12:07 PM
How We Got the Bible, Part 2
Last week RTB editor Maureen Moser and I began a discussion of the biblical canon, including the doctrine of inspiration and the criteria for recognizing canon, particularly for the New Testament. But as we noted, the branches of Christendom view … Continue reading
- 02/10/2015 02:22 AM
How We Got the Bible, Part 1
Earlier this year, scholars announced the discovery of what might be the oldest known copy of the Gospel of Mark (see here and here). A fragment of Mark’s book was found on ancient papyrus used to create a mummy mask. … Continue reading
- 02/03/2015 02:14 AM
World Religions: The Prince and the Lord
Among the world’s great religious leaders, two came to be viewed as representing almighty God in human form. In traditional Hinduism, the god Vishnu appeared or descended into human form as Krishna. In historic Christianity, Jesus Christ entered human history … Continue reading
- 01/27/2015 02:22 AM
From the Archives: Understanding Islam in the Twenty-First Century
It’s one of the fastest growing religions in the world, it’s been around since the seventh century, and it is regularly in the news—often associated with atrocities committed by its most militant members (the Charlie Hebdo shooting and the Boko … Continue reading
- 01/20/2015 02:23 AM
An Elephant in the Resurrection Skeptic’s Room
Today, Reflections offers a guest article by Milt Chamberlain **** Skeptic Richard Carrier writes, “Many things could be said which cast doubt on the story of the Resurrection of Jesus by God…since I cannot rationally bring myself to believe this … Continue reading
Last Modified January 23, 2012