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Pre-Marital Sex and Biblical Truth

By Gary F. Zeolla

If God has not spoken to us and given us His interpretation of reality, then our belief systems would be solely based on our limited experiences and ability to interpret the world around us. As such, there would be no absolute truth; as new experiences would be attained, what we thought was truth in the past would be discarded. This is the nature of empiricism.

However, if God has spoken to us and told us what ultimate truth is, then His interpretation of reality would be the only true one. We could choose to accept or reject what He ways but it would not change the truth of what He says.

Pre-Marital Sex and Guilt

For example I am single. I have been corresponding with another Internet friend who is also a single Christian. He told me he recently engaged in pre-marital sex with a woman he was dating. As a result, he has experience much guilt.

Now, if I am to go by what is generally being taught today, I would tell him his guilt feelings are unfounded. There is nothing "wrong" with pre-marital sex. As long as she was a willing participant, and you cared about each other at the time, and, of course, used some form of "protection" then there was nothing wrong with the act. So you should shake off these unfounded guilt feelings and learn to enjoy life.

However, if God has spoken and told us pre-marital sex is wrong, then it is indeed wrong. And he is experiencing feelings of guilt because he is guilty of breaking God's Law. Moreover, as a Christian he has the Holy Spirit inside him who is convicting him of his sin.

So my counsel to him was he needed to acknowledge he had sinned before a holy God. But he needs to also remember God had provided for forgiveness of his sin through the blood of the cross. So his guilt feelings can be relieved by acknowledging his true guilt and accepting God's forgiveness. Moreover, he can look to the power of the indwelling Spirit to give him the ability to avoid this sin in the future.

Now, the above are two completely different ways of viewing sexuality based on two completely different views of truth. Which is right? Well, in regards to pre-marital sex specifically, all I will say is look around at the destruction it has caused in our society: AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, and many other sexual diseases are rampant, along with abortion, unwanted pregnancies, and the resulting emotional traumas. Plus the societal problems associated with single parent families, not to mention the traumas that engaging in pre-marital sex can cause individual participants.

Condoms and HPV

Now, I know the secular answer to the above is the almighty condom. But I recently saw a report on my local TV news about a "new" sexually transmitted disease: Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The newscast said up to 50% of the adult population is infected with it.

From the newscast it sounded like women were the ones who had the most to fear. It stated HPV can cause cervical cancer in women but for men the only thing mentioned was HPV causing boils or sores on their, well, private places. And worse of all, condoms do not protect against its transmission. So by engaging is pre-marital sex a person is taking an up to one in two chance of having sex with an infected person.

Most interestingly, the newscaster then gave suggestions, especially for women since they are most at risk, as to what they should do, such as being checked yearly for the virus. But he didn't mention the one full-proof way to avoid the virus: don't have sex outside of marriage.

Later, in a newsletter I receive, there was additional information on HPV. The newsletter is Biblical Reflections on Modern Medicine (Vol.; 9; No. 3). It quoted from a report by the Medical Institute of Sexual Health (June 1997).

The quote stated:
One in five Americans under the age of 65 is infected with an incurable viral sexually transmitted disease (STD). Twelve million Americans are newly infected with an STD each year. Three million are teenagers; about seven million are in their twenties.

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is an STD that causes cervical and other genital cancers (both male and female) as well as genital warts. Each year more women die of cervical cancer (about 5,000) than die of AIDS-related diseases. Because HPV is transmitted by direct, intimate (skin-to-skin) contact, condoms provide virtually no protection against HPV.

So, according to this report, the percentage for all Americans under the age of 65 is only 20%. But this still means there is a 1 in 5 chance the person you're having sex with is infected. And note, HPV is incurable. The report also makes the situation grime even for men. They also can contract cancer from this virus.

The editor of the newsletter, Ed Payne, M.D., then comments:
The statistics speak for themselves. The thought comes to mind that breaking God's law of chastity before, and fidelity within, marriage is as destructive physically as breaking His natural pull of gravity. The greater the violation, the greater the destruction. However, breaking His moral law has spiritual effects that are far more devastating (pp.5,6)

Further Problems

The point of the above is, if our society, or individual people, would follow God's Word rather than our own reasoning, a lot of suffering would be avoided.

Furthermore, if you are a Christian and feel you have a right to engage in pre-marital sex, that sex is really only symptomatic of a deep, serious spiritual problem. And to be honest, that spiritual problem should scare you a whole lot more than HPV. You need to get on your knees before God. Ask Him to forgive you for breaking His law and for attempting to justify your sin. And, most of all, let Him break your heart and show you what that deeper spiritual problem is that led you to distrusting Him.

Moreover, you can be infected with HPV through just one sexual contact. And since it is incurable, you will have it for life. So you just might have to remain single for life. You could even say it would be a sin against your spouse (or anyone you have sexual contact with in the future) in that you would then knowingly or unknowingly be infecting him or her.

So the results of your sin would not be limited to yourself, but just might be spread onto another. And if that person sins again and has sex with someone else, then the next person would be infected, and the next, and the next. And thus, the effects of your sin would spread from one person to another throughout our society. How much better to obey God in the first place.

Now, I am not saying any of this as someone who is standing on a soapbox proclaiming my own righteousness. Being single, I struggle with my sexual desires as much as anyone else. But I also know the extreme problems, physical, emotional, and spiritual, that can result from disobeying God's Word and giving in to those desires.

Conclusion

The problems associated with pre-marital sex are just one example of a way in which I find what the Bible teaches to be more reliable than modern-day thinking and why I consider the Biblical worldview to be true. So, for me, I regulate what I believe and how I act according to Biblical truth rather than my own desires.

If anyone is interested in subscribing to the above mentioned newsletter, the address is:
Covenant Enterprises
Box 14488
Augusta, GA 30919-0488

Pre-Marital Sex and Biblical Truth. Copyright 1999 by Gary F. Zeolla of Darkness to Light ministry (www.dtl.org).

The above article was posted on this Web site August 12, 1998.

Ethics, Spirituality, Christian Life
Pre-Marital Sex: Ethics, Spirituality, Christian Life

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