The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Pre-marital sex


good points about David and Solomon.

i don’t get from the tone that Jesus was judging her, merely pointing out that he knew her. it may be that she felt some embarrassment at her personal details being known so well, but Scripture is silent on this, in fact…she just keeps talking to him.
He doesn’t say anything to her about “sinning no more” like He does to the adulteress. He just tells her He is the One hoped for.



your intentions are probably good (most people really believe that porneia means “fornication”), and you have probably had this answered above (i haven’t looked through all the posts yet; just your first response), but if you search strong’s concordance for “fornication”, (porneia; entry 4202) you will find that the authorized version (king james version) renders the word “fornication”, while the original definition is harlotry, or prostitution, and figuratively "idolatry. you will also see this: “:–” which means the KJV’s translation of the word. if you carefully read through your verses, you will find that in context “fornication” usually speaks of the church engaging in idolatrous practices.

hope this helps.


My take on this is fairly simple.

You are quite correct when you say that the bible doesn’t forbid a lot of sexual activity. However Paul does lay down a much harsher rule 1Cor10:23. To paraphrase “Everything is allowed, but not everything is a good move.”

The way I see it is that when Jesus said he came to fulfill, not to abolish, the law what he meant was that we were to move on from obedience to thinking sensibly. That means using the brain, not the bit lower down.

It’s like this: When I was very young my dad made a law, I wasn’t allowed to touch anything that used mains electricity. Then, later on, when I understood electricity, I moved on to a lot of more complex rules about how to do things safely. Now I’m posting this while taking a break from desigining the control software for a 145kV switch.

To my mind there is only one rule, the new commandment, “Love one another”. Then, derived from that are lots of rules about not stealing (because people don’t like having their stuff nicked), not killing (because people like being alive) and so on.

Then we take this down to finer and finer scales, finally saying, “No sex before marriage, marriage is what you have when you fill in these forms and say those words.”

I make a decision between the moral absolute (don’t hurt anyone, love them instead) and the practical rule (no sex before marriage).

Now, as you correctly point out the practical rules vary between societies and periods, but they are all supposed to be practical implementations (more or less) of the absolutes.

So far so good, but what do we actually do about it?

Go back to my dad’s rule. At the topmost level he wanted me not to be hurt. Go down one to the specifics, and the real rule was “don’t get yourself electrocuted”, down one more level and he’s telling me that I can’t work on mains wiring until I’ve learned to do it safely.

We’ve got the same situation with sex. Don’t hurt the Nice Young Lady or any of her friends and relatives. Practically that means not leaving her in a state where she’d be devastated if you went AWOL, either because you chose to, or because you got hit by a truck leaving her alone and in the family way. Don’t give her mother a blue fit by doing something she thinks is wrong. Don’t make her friends think that she’s a person of negotiable virtue.

Now practically that means don’t do it. At least it does in the world we inhabit.

It’s perfectly possible to construct a world in which the rules could be completely different. SF writers do it all the time, read Day of the Triffids for a classical example of a society where polygamy is the only moral choice.

Hope that helps.


Excellent illustration. One to remember.


Thanks, Wormwood. Very sensible. I think maybe you’ve hit it. :slight_smile:


100% agreement with Wormwoods post - except I still don’t know anything about electricity.


The question remains, what scripturally distinguishes marital from premarital sex? A piece of paper?

Does not having the paper damn one to hell?

Also, what defines pre-marital sex. Any of these practices:

Auto-erotic masturbation?
Mutual masturbation?
Oral sex?
Phone & cybersex?

How legalistic do you want to be? Do you obey this:

Greet one another with a holy kiss.(2 Cor.13:12)
Greet one another with a holy kiss. (Rom.16:16)
Greet you one another with an holy kiss. (1 Cor.16:20)
Greet all the brothers with an holy kiss. (1 Thess.5:26)
Greet you one another with a kiss of charity (1 Pet.5:14)

“…Protestants do however, approve of masturbation unlike Roman Catholics, due to the lack of a Biblical injunction against the act. Mainstream[47][48][49] and conservative[50] Protestants agree masturbation is not a sin, although there are various restrictions, such as making sure it does not lead to use of pornography or looking lustfully at people or mutual masturbation or addiction to the act. It must also not be undertaken in a spirit of defiance against God.[51]” … ristianity

“Why Some Evangelicals Are Trying to Stop Obsessing Over Pre-Marital Sex”

"For Evans, the problem with purity is not the ideal of abstinence per se, but rather how it has been packaged and sold to evangelical youth. “So much of the evangelical purity culture focuses on identity,” said Evans, “as if having sex with someone changes your very identity forever, making you unwanted and disgusting.”

“…Evangelical marriages don’t always last, and high-profile evangelical figures are not immune to sex scandals or marital infidelity.” … ex/276185/

“These data show clearly that abstinence-only education as a state policy is ineffective in preventing teenage pregnancy and may actually be contributing to the high teenage pregnancy rates in the U.S.”

“Condemning premarital sex and promoting abstinence are not working. Lasting, loving relationships are made through intimacy” … e-marriage

“Many of our religions preach no sex before marriage, but I’ve always thought that rule was kind of out-of-date.” … e-god-sex/

"Sex before marriage isn’t much of a worry if you live in a society where people get married shortly after they become sexually mature. Unfortunately, the West isn’t such a society. Take a look at how things have changed.

"…One approach, often adopted by conservative Christians, is to get married early. You want sex? Fair enough—just get married first. But an early marriage driven by a desire for sex can make for a poorly grounded marriage. A Barna study validated earlier studies when it concluded, “divorce rates are higher among people who are members of conservative Protestant faiths,” and “divorce rates were lower for people who described themselves as atheist or agnostic.”

“Sex-driven marriage isn’t the best approach, and neither is abstinence-only sex education. More knowledge leads to less risky sexual behavior. Not teaching safe sex or discouraging teens from the HPV vaccine is like banning fire extinguishers because otherwise everyone will set things on fire.” … rital-sex/

"However, a minority of theologians have argued in more recent times that premarital sex may not be immoral in some limited circumstances. An example is John Witte, who argues that the Bible itself is silent on the issue of consensual, premarital sex between an engaged couple.[16] In other words, Witte claims that the Bible excludes premarital sex from its list of unlawful sexual relations (Leviticus 18) though Leviticus 18 is not the only such list, nor does Leviticus 18 claim to be exhaustive being devoted largely to forms of incest.

"Some of the debate arises from the question of which theological approach is being applied. A deontological view of sex interprets porneia, aselgeia and akatharsia in terms of whether the couple are married or non-married. What makes sex moral or immoral is the context of marriage. By contrast, a teleological view interprets porneia, aselgeia and akatharsia in terms of the quality of the relationship (how well it reflects God’s glory and Christian notions of a committed, virtuous relationship.)[17]

"The debate also turns on the definition of the two Greek words moicheia (μοιχεία, adultery) and porneia (el:πορνεία, with meaning of prostitution, from which the word pornography is derived). The first word is restricted to contexts involving sexual betrayal of a spouse; however, the second word is used as a generic term for illegitimate sexual activity, although many scholars hold that the Septuagint uses “porneia” to refer specifically to male temple prostitution. Elsewhere in First Corinthians, incest, homosexual intercourse (according to some interpretations)[18] and prostitution are all explicitly forbidden by name.

"Paul is preaching about activities based on sexual prohibitions laid out in Leviticus in the context of achieving holiness. One theory therefore suggests that it is these behaviours, and only these, that are intended by Paul’s prohibition in chapter seven.[19] … arital_sex

Even conservative traditional sites state:

“There is no specific prohibition in the Bible against sex between an unmarried man and unmarried woman.” … talsex.htm


Origen, I asked you this in another thread and you didn’t respond there so I’ll ask you here: What is your view?


It seems that thread was deleted before i got around to answering.

I have an open mind to learn more. I don’t feel that i’ve studied the topic sufficiently to form an opinion.

Here’s what i’ve been reading this week:

Pre-Marital Sex is it wrong

Christians who believe that premarital sex is not condemned by the Bible and is okay: Why? … ex_is_not/

Sex Before Marriage … _marriage/

Is premarital sex common among Christians? Why? … tians_why/

Majority Of Evangelicals Have Premarital Sex Like Normals … ke-normals

Premarital Sex – Maybe It’s Not So Bad … ot-so-bad/


4 Reasons to Have Premarital Sex with Your Evangelical College Sweetheart … l-college/

When MTV Called Me about Christian Alternatives to Abstinence … bstinence/

The Piety That Lies Between: A Progressive Christian Perspective
thepietythatliesbetween.blogspot … l-sex.html

Too Hot to Handle: The Christian View of Premarital Sex [Part 2] … -of_7.html

Premarital Sex: Is It A Sin Or Not? … sin-or-not


Is It Time for Christians to Celebrate Pre-Marital Sex? … xpzgOFR.99


I zorched the last thread, Origen, because it was completely inappropriate to this forum. I’m actually not going to let you continue it here instead, even though this thread is on more or less the same topic (though a good deal less explicit). It would never have been permitted to get to the level of the previous thread (which as I said, I zorched). Discussing specific sexual acts and whether or not they are permissible in this or that situation is completely out of the scope of this forum.

The post is off topic. We let off-topic posts stay sometimes, as long as they aren’t a problem. Sometimes we don’t let them stay. Considering the way the last topic went I’m not optimistic about this one, and I’m honestly not sure what to do with it. [tag]JasonPratt[/tag], what do you think? I WILL however tell you that if you continue to list and discuss explicit sexual practices (which are NOT in the scope of this forum by anyone’s standards) this thread will NOT continue.



IMO the “sexual” practices (if they can even be called that, e.g. cuddling) that i mentioned are extremely mild compared to other things other threads have referred to & what is mentioned below. Do you really wish to ban the mere mention of cuddling from these forums?

If i understand you correctly, you are saying it is okay to speak of homosexuality, but not “specific sexual acts” that homosexuals engage in, though it is well known what sex act(s) homosexuals engage in. And it is okay to refer to fornication & pre marital sex but not the “specific sexual acts” that such involves, even though they are well known.

Also is it okay to refer to pedophilia (as per the thread title below, which has not been “zorched”), but not the “specific sexual acts” involved with such? And is it okay to refer to incest and bestiality but not the “specific sexual acts” involved in such, or the “specific sexual acts” of oral sex and masturbation? Perhaps some clarification will help board members understand what is allowed or not allowed to be freely discussed here.

This thread was posted in the “Tom Talbott” forums:

“same-sex relationships”

This thread was posted in the “Articles” forum:

“Opinions on this article please?”

This thread was posted in the “General Theology” forum:

“Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage”

This thread was posted in the “Biblical Theology” forum:

“Sodom’s Sin and Restoration”

These threads were posted in the “Christian Living” forum:

“Pre-Marital Sex is it wrong”


“Was the Apostle Paul Gay?”

“Intrusive/Impure Thoughts”

“Pre-marital sex”

These threads were posted in the “Potentially Controversial/Sensitive Topics” forum:

“e.g. politics, homosexuality, abortion, & Islamism. None of these are core to EU, & there are a range of views on each of them.”

“Pussy Riot”

“Removing the stigma on those effected by pedophilia”

“What would Jesus do?”

“the left’s push to normalize transgenderism”

“Hypocrisy in the Church over gay marriage”


Don’t get all snarky at me, Origen. I don’t get paid for this job and Jason actually contributes to the funding of this forum. We cannot police everything, let along long-silent threads. If inappropriate threads have been allowed to remain, it’s because no one in authority has seen them. I’m waiting to hear from him because I’m not sure (as I said) what to do with this. In the meantime I don’t want a repeat of your former thread with the inappropriate discussions I read there including someone (you?) actually asking Paidion specific and very personal and inappropriate questions regarding his own sexual habits. That was why it was deleted and not because of cuddling as you well know. What you do with your girl or boyfriends or which you prefer if not both is frankly none of our business and is a topic on which I treasure my ignorance. This is a forum regarding evangelical universalism, not sexual practices.


Frankly, I am dismayed that this topic and the entire thread was approved by the forum administrators. I admit I have only read a few of the comments but enough to be of the opinion that the whole discussion is unprofitable.

Alida, my darling departed wife, used to quote Phil. 4: 8 to our children. Whatever things are true, whatever are honest, whatever are just, whatever are pure, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on those things.

No doubt she would have told me to refrain from reading the posts on this topic.


Cindy, I think you’re being ridiculously hard on Origen. He’s asking whether or not certain things are sins. Thoughtful people want to know these things. To take a “don’t ask questions, they offend my puritan sensibilities” approach to inquiring minds only turns people off from religion.


Qaz, this topic is going to be offensive to many people, including myself. I don’t see it as appropriate to the forum, but as I said, I will wait to see how Jason feels about it. Meantime, you and Origen can discuss it in private between the two of you as much as you please.


There we go - an excellent solution!


That wasn’t me that asked about anyone’s sexual practices & i can’t control what others post in threads i create, nor should i be held responsible for their actions. I’d suggest, rather than “zorching”[deleting] an entire thread that is legitimate, to “zorch” (or edit) the offending posts within it, and/or discipline the offenders. In fact you did edit at least one post in the thread before deciding to “zorch” it completely. Of course i understand that, due to time restraints, moderators may not have the time to clean up threads by editing & deleting individual posts & therefore locking or deleting an entire thread is the action taken.

No, i wasn’t aware of that. And no one in this thread has done so. So what’s the issue here?

Yet dozens of other topics, which are not evangelical universalism related, are continually discussed here. Everything from joke threads to movie threads & many others.

I’m quite sure i’ve seen Jason Pratt commenting, and you yourself, in several of the sex related threads i’ve listed. With AFAIK never a peep about them ever before being inappropriate (e.g., see your very own post in this thread dated Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:58 pm). Including this one, until i posted in it.

On page 1 of the following thread is mentioned the usual specific homosexual sex act. And the same act practiced by heterosexuals. So if you are looking to “clean up” the site from mentioning specific sex practices, it’s been siting there for almost 10 years with, apparently, no one objecting to references to specific sex acts. The thread was posted in the “Tom Talbott” forums:

“same-sex relationships”

BTW, the same thread has a number of references to the terms used for human genitalia. Perhaps you’ld like to “zorch” those posts as well while you’re “cleaning up” that discussion?

Also there is a forum here for topics that are not “core” to “evangelical universalism” [EU]:

“Potentially Controversial/Sensitive Topics” forum:

“e.g. politics, homosexuality, abortion, & Islamism. None of these are core to EU, & there are a range of views on each of them.”

How many topics listed there have - anything - to do with EU?

Finally, if those who engage in certain sex practices are not saved, how is it that such sex topics are totally unrelated to EU? As posted on page 1 of the aforementioned thread:


This is my last word on this subject. Refer to Heb. 13:4a “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled …” I do not have the time nor the inclination to go through each of the previous posts to see if that verse has been quoted already. The verse implies that the only Godly avenue for sex between a man and woman is to be within the bounds of marriage. That clearly excludes pre-marital sexual relations and forbids any and all liaisons with someone else who is not your spouse.

I have little respect for those who call themselves Christians who were not virgins on the night of their marriage or who fulfill their sexual desires with a person to whom they are not married. Call me a prude, call me old-fashioned, call me what you may.

The only woman I have ever “known”, in the Biblical sense of that verb, in my 77 years of life, is the one who gave me nine children and who loved so deeply and was so passionate in her love for God, our children and for me. How blessed I was.


Topic locked. I’m not going to argue with you, Origen.


I don’t recall if the previous thread was in the potentially offensive/controversial category or not. I hadn’t kept up with it at all, and now I wish I had; consequently I don’t really have any way to have an opinion on it except by second and third-hand reports. Which unfortunately I don’t feel like I understand very well. :blush:

The question of this thread is, in principle, relevant to “Christian Living”, and I don’t think it had gone off the rails back in 2013. If Cindy thought the previous thread (now deleted) had gone off the rails, I can understand her being concerned that migrating the discussion here will result in the same problems.

On one hand, the forum is not a church, thus also not a church group, and as such the ad/mods (including Cindy from the beginning) have historically been very lenient about how far threads go, even in cases where we’ve tried to lay down rules about what people should avoid doing on the forum in order to maintain some level of peaceful discussion.

On the other hand, we have generally preferred a PG-13 limit to the content (so to speak) because of the primary purpose of the forum which is to provide a more-or-less academic collection and discussion of issues pertaining to Christian universal salvation pro and/or con; and the owners and ad/mods would prefer for visitors to be able to use the site for research purposes with a minimal level of concern (probably not achievable in practice :wink: ) that we will drive away Christians, not to say non-Christians, trying to research the idea.

We are after Christian ambassadors and how we behave reflects, for better and/or for worse, on the ideas we’re (somewhat variously) trying to present. Even though this forum isn’t a church or church group.

Cindy understands this and so has been entrusted by the owners and the admins with at least moderator authority for six or seven years, and with admin authority for the past few years. Again based on very secondary reports, I am satisfied that she acted in accordance with the spirit of that mandate.

At the same time I realize (as does Cindy and the other ad/mods) that the line beyond which it’s time to stop discussing a topic or its details publicly is somewhat subjective, and of course the people actually doing the discussion probably don’t think they’ve crossed that line yet. (I say ‘probably’, because we do occasionally have forum members who think it’s their duty, or at least enjoy for their personal amusement, to see how far they can push over even fuzzy lines. I have no clear idea that this is the case here, because I wasn’t following that other thread much or at all; I’m just qualifying my observation. Not everyone respects the idea of boundaries to discussion in some areas. Other people do but disagree where the lines are and perhaps how fuzzy they are.)

Based on past experience with her typically lenient judgments, I’m supporting Cindy in this case, but I realize this is probably going to upset some people who (I will suppose) don’t think they were doing anything wrong and so who don’t think the prior thread or its posts ought to have been deleted; nor who want the public discussion it developed into shut down if migrated to other topics.

Private discussions by pm, which can be done by groups set up by participants if I recall correctly, are another matter. We don’t even have access to those private mails, and except for illegalities (if we’re requested by authorities for investigation and prosecution of lawbreaking) we have no business being involved in them.