Sexual morality isn’t something that’s really taught, per se, it’s something we pick up by osmosis and observation over time. That’s a shame, because there are some really interesting points in the Bible that are contradicted by what “everybody knows” (which just happens to be wrong).
Can a person have sex outside the bounds of marriage? Is it a sin if they do?
- If a virgin woman has sex, the act of having sex is her wedding. She’s now married and has not committed any sin (sex is the act of marriage whether she consents or not (Genesis 2:24; Exodus 22:16-17; Deuteronomy 22:28-29).
- If a virgin woman who is engaged has sex with her fiance prior to the wedding date, she and her husband are not married, but they violated their wedding agreement with premarital sex. The man has sinned by violating his word (Numbers 30:2)
- If a non-virgin woman consents to being married and has sex with a man she’s eligible to marry, the act of having sex is her wedding. She’s now married and has not committed any sin (her consent is required- 1st Corinthians 7:39; sex is the act of marriage- Genesis 2:24)
- If a non-virgin woman has sex with a man she’s eligible to marry but has not consented to marry, she is not married and neither is she in sin (falls under the man’s authority to have sex with any woman he’s eligible to marry because he’s authorized to initiate marriage and sex is the act of marriage).
- If a married woman has sex with any man other than her husband, she’s committed adultery (Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 18:20)
- A man, married or not, has the authority to initiate marriage and that authority isn’t limited to a single wife. Because of that, the man can have sex with any woman he is eligible to marry and it is not a sin (Genesis 2:24).
- If a man has sex with another man’s wife or fiancee, he commits adultery (Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 18:20; Deuteronomy 22:23-24).
There you have it. The whole thing about “sex only in marriage” isn’t true. Now, having said that, we live in a land overrun with adulterous sluts. Yes, they know they’re sluts, but they don’t know they are committing adultery because they don’t know they’re married. The reason is they were taught “Sex doesn’t make you married. You have to have a wedding ceremony.”
Homosexuality: Leviticus 18:22 says that if a man lies with a man as with a woman, it’s an abomination. Leviticus 20:13 says the penalty for doing so is death. However, there is not one word in all of Scripture about women having sex with women. So-called “lesbian” sex is like masturbation- it isn’t mentioned anywhere. Well, almost anywhere.
One of the points at which polygyny is regulated in the Law is Leviticus 18:17-18. Look at what we find here:
17You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and of her daughter, nor shall you take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness; they are blood relatives. It is lewdness.
18 You shall not marry a woman in addition to her sister to be a rival while she is alive, to uncover her nakedness.
These two verses come at the tail end of the statutes on INCEST. Think about it. A man is forbidden to take as a wife any close relative, so the man can’t be committing incest with the women, so it’s the women committing incest. How would that happen? The presumption is the husband will have them in bed together and there will be sexual contact between the women, something that isn’t prohibited. It is for this reason that a mother-daughter, a grandmother-granddaughter or a pair of sisters are forbidden as wives, because they are blood relatives and such presumed sexual contact would be incest.
Take away point? The Bible presumes there will be sexual contact between the women in a polygynous marriage. And God is OK with that.
But, most people don’t know that and some people claim (a lot of them, actually) that because the Law said men with men is prohibited, that it also means that women with women is prohibited. That isn’t true and we know it’s not true because in Leviticus 18:22-23, God forbid:
- Men with Men
- Men with Animals
- Women with Animals.
- ***** Women with Women isn’t here *****
Notice that women with women is missing and the fact that in the same passage and in the same context God specifically forbid women with animals. The same thing happened again over in Leviticus 20 where the death penalty was given for these three violations, but again women with women was not mentioned and that is significant.
The reason it’s significant is Romans 4:15 and Romans 5:13 essentially say “Where there is no law prohibiting something, there can be no violation and with no violation there is no sin.” That means if God didn’t decide to prohibit something it isn’t a sin for everybody. And just to keep the playing field level, Deuteronomy 4:2 forbids adding to the Law or subtracting from it. In other words, the Law cannot be changed. That command was repeated at Deuteronomy 12:32 just in case anyone missed it.
Speaking of homosexuality and bestiality, there is one thing that married couples commonly do that’s in the same category along with incest and adultery too: Leviticus 18:19 forbids sex with the wife while she’s menstruating. No finger painting allowed.
There you have it. Lots more sexual opportunities for men and unmarried non-virgin women than traditional Christian sexual morality presumes. And if you bang your wife while she’s on her period, that’s right up there with incest, bestiality and adultery. On the other hand, whatever women might do together isn’t a problem. At all.
Since this stuff isn’t really taught, I have prepared a handy-dandy chart that explains the ins and outs of Biblical Sexual Morality. I call it the “Big Picture” because it’s kind of big. Printed out it’s 32×54 inches. Save it to your computer and use something like the Windows Live Photo Viewer so you can zoom in and out easily.