Evangelical Casual Sex
Sex between unmarried people is the sin of fornication. Sex with a married person is the sin adultery. The biblical norm is that all sexual activity is reserved for the married state. Let me relate three stories which emphasize the contemporary problem and the need for Christians to stand squarely upon the teachings of the Bible in this matter.
Several years ago I spoke on dating, courtship and marriage at a church youth camp. At the end of my presentation a pastor’s wife made the following comment with regard to dating. “Some of say anything above the waist is permissible.” I took a deep breath. Then I directed the attention of the class to Proverbs 5:18-19. “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.” Solomon speaks here of the marriage relationship. Sexual activity such as heavy petting and fondling is out of bounds for the unmarried. It is not permitted.
In addition, we should note husbands and wives are to find satisfaction within their marriage. Sexual gratification outside of marriage is also not permitted. This includes the use of pornography, watching nude dancing, etc. These things are huge problems even among professing Christians. The fact that a comment from a pastor’s wife evokes the discussion illustrates the point.
More recently, at the end of a sermon in which I was preaching on the necessity of sanctification I repeated a story told by Dr. John Gerstner. Dr. Gerstner was on a college campus. During the question and answer period a note was passed up through the auditorium to the platform. The note read something like this, “I am sleeping regularly with my girlfriend. I have the love of Jesus in my heart. You cannot tell me I’m not a Christian.” Dr. Gerstner responded by explaining the practice of fornication is incompatible with the Christian faith.
After I told this story I read from Galatians 5:19-21. “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Immorality is a deed of the flesh. “Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Are we to pass over these words of the Bible as though they are irrelevant?
A young college coed ran from our church building weeping after the service. I later learned, as a professing Christian, she was regularly sleeping with her boyfriend. The words of the Bible struck home. We may say such sins apply to other churches and other denominations. A closer examination will reveal we are not unlike other groups of professing Christians. And sadly, in this particular matter, the church is not much different than the world.
Before our middle daughter was married, she and her mother visited our family doctor. After the examination the doctor, a Christian man, commented, “You are a virgin.” There was a nod of assent. Our doctor then said, “I see very few of the young ladies who are virgins.” This is amazing. The Seventh Commandment says, “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14, Deuteronomy 5:18). This commandment teaches the sanctity of marriage. This is something we should all seek to preserve by vigorously teaching that all sexual activity outside of marriage is sin abhorred by God.