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Ethics & Religion
Column #2,051
December 3, 2020
The Biblical Sexual Standard
By Mike McManus

The Supreme Court only legalized same-sex marriage in a 2015 decision.

Sexuality is a theme of the Bible from the first chapters of Genesis. First God created Adam, and said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

He caused Adam to fall asleep, took a rib from his side and made a woman. When Adam woke he said, "This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called "woman' for she was taken out of man."

"For this reason, a man will leave father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and wife were both naked, but they felt no shame," we read in Genesis 2:25.

God perceived marriage as permanent. "What God has joined together, let not man put asunder," states Matthew 19:6.

However, in Genesis 19 we learn about Sodom where the men called out, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out so we can have sex with them." Abraham's nephew, Lot, replied, "Don't do this wicked thing. I have two daughters who never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you. And you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."

Men of Sodom were called "sodomites," and were spurned by heterosexual men. Unbelievably, Lot went so far as to offer his own daughters to homosexuals to deter them. However, we also read that the Lord "rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah." (Genesis 19:24)

Scripture is clear in I Corinthians 6: "Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders ...will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the service of our God."

Each of us has a simple obligation to God: "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."

We read in 2 Peter (2:6) that God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and burned them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly."

Leviticus 20:13 offers a stern warning: "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."

Today's modern culture scorns such Biblical standards. Indeed, the percentage of Americans who call themselves "Christian," has fallen in recent years. In 2019, 65% of Americans described themselves as Christian - down 12% from 2009.

The development of "the Pill," which can block pregnancy for couples having sexual relations - has weakened the commitment of Christians to such Biblical standards as chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within it.

Christian ethics has become convoluted as a result. Some denominations, such as the Episcopal Church now marry same-sex couples. However, hundreds of thousands of Episcopalians - including this columnist - have left the denomination as a result to form the Anglican Church of North America.

We affirm the Biblical standards of the Old and New Testaments which are quoted in this column.

Other denominations such as Roman Catholics and Baptists have maintained traditional Biblical standards and seen their numbers grow.

Sadly, however, the number of marriages between men and women is shrinking. More young people are simply cohabiting - ignoring Biblical calls to chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within it. About 40% of American children born today are to unmarried parents. This is tragic for them. Few will ever marry and those who do are more apt to divorce than to have a lasting marriage.

What can be done? Return to Biblical norms.

Some Pharisees came to Jesus and asked him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" Jesus replied, "Haven't you read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, `For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man hold together." (Matthew 19:4-6).

That's good enough for me!

_________________________

Copyright (c) 2020 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. To read past columns, go to www.ethicsandreligion.com. Hit Search for any topic.

 

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