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I must admit that some of the recent threads have brought sadness for the morality of our friends.

Bill & FHL04,

Since you are discussing the morality of your MB friends, would it be fair to assume that you two abstained from sex until you were married?

AGG


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LH,

If you're speaking of Christianity, then there really isn't a lot of room for confusion, at least in my reading of Scripture.

As to any other non-Christ centered religion, really, ultimately, what difference does it make for you as a believer? 1 John 4, and 2nd Thess both talk about examining the source of a belief. If the source is based on a lie or deception, then you're to put it as far away from your as possible.

If you're asking how those who claim to be Christians justify (and I mean, truly justify, backed up with Scripture) the behavior, then that is something I would be interested to see as well.

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Picking apart the "way" he asked the question is OK. We have done that to other posters. Communication is valuable. But it's a separate issue, and we can still focus on the discussion he's trying to have.

Although he used the broad term "religious" in his post, his subject line used the work "Christianity". (So LH thinks he was asking for Christian viewpoints.) This was a bit confusing, and opened the thread up for controversy. And TheBigGuy pointed out further that LH seemed to want to lead the opinions toward Evangelical Christian perspectives, which is usually prettttttty conservative.

Now... on to my opinions... I do struggle with this topic, and it does help me to see it discussed on this forum. Not argued, theorized, or preached... but to watch and read what others are experiencing.

Currently, I feel that sex outside of marriage is OK for me in my life, although I am cautious about it, I don't rush into bed with every date, and have to feel a certain amount of commitment or potential ... or safety... to do so. I can see myself WAITING until I'm married again - I think it would be best if I did - but I would have to find someone with the same commitment, and we would have to help each other.

As far as FWB, the only thing close to this I have experienced is 3 times:
1 - a long-distance friendship ... we met for 1 intimate weekend. Nothing grew romantically from it. And it didn't ruin our friendship. We are still friends 3 years later. Because of different things in our lives (schedules, locations, other R's), we haven't met again, but it's not out of the question.
2 - Another long-distance friendship... that developed into more... we met and it was a DISASTER. LOL ... it nearly ended our friendship, but we overcame it and respected each other despite.
3 - My 2 and 1/2 year BF... we tried to continue having SF after breaking up. I was just wanting FWB, he was still in love. So that wasnt working.

My mindset about sex: Of course I had hoped my husband would be my one and only sex-partner. We had sex before we got married, but it was when we were pretty sure we were going to get married. After my divorce, I was faced with the horror that if I ever wanted to have sex again, then I would have to have sex again with someone else. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/eek.gif" alt="" /> Learning and discovering about EN's, and other M's and R's taught me some things about myself, and about things I had been missing in SF, so I became curious. I was also getting into my 30's and became very <ahem> needy LOL... so I explored this need.

After my divorce, I was really hoping to NOT have many sex partners before getting married again. I know it's not right to negotiate with God about "how many" is acceptable. It's hard to imagine that number being "0". But that's where I am. As much faith and trust in God as I have, and I'm learning to have. I'm working on a lot in my life... or I should say... God's working on a lot in my life.

LH, someone else raised the question I was wondering. But I was going to ask in a different way. Negotiating with God on what's acceptable. I think you've mentioned that pre-marital sex is OK if you're going to marry each other. Have you said that? And why is that? It's OK if that's where you are... I'm negotiating a "number"... which I'm comfortable with right now....

hugs,
Faith1

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If you're asking how those who claim to be Christians justify (and I mean, truly justify, backed up with Scripture) the behavior, then that is something I would be interested to see as well.

I don't justify the behavior. I suppose I could do the mental gymnastics if I wanted, but why should I? Sin is sin is sin. How many of "those who claim to be Christians" justify the sin of gluttony at each and every Church Pot Luck? I don't see many 300 pound pastors being called to task because they took 4 meatballs instead of 2.

Ask any waiter or waitress who has had to serve the "Sunday Night Church Crowd" if dealing with them has made them want to be Christians. If they don't have to justify their behavior, then neither do I.

(edited to add:)

But for the record, I suppose I can't help but throw in a little scriptural backing...

Figuratively, I eat the meat that has been served to idols. It's not a problem for me. And, I don't do it in such a way that it causes my brother to sin.

Last edited by TheBigGuy; 09/20/05 09:26 AM.

~Big Guy

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The perennial question LH, and one people are often wont to go to war over rather than discuss. How dare "you" tell me (or imply) what to do...yada yada yada. Well of course is fine to do so, we all do, all the time in our lives, how can we not make "jugements" and talk about them, is silly to rail against it...methinks those who engage in pre-marital sex feel touchy about the subject cause they know somewhere deep down it is irresponsible....

I have no problem telling people who have poor eating habits, or poor exercise habits, or poor driving skills, or poor anything... what I have observed, they can agree/disagree/ignore/discuss whatever, but taking offense is a reflection on their behavior not mine. Provided easily discerned rules of civility, protocol, and respect for privacy are followed. What a dumb world it would be if none of us voiced our concerns for others conduct/choices... if we are not challenged by our peers, even (and especially) on moral/behavior issues, how can we possibly grow into healthy human beings?

Anyways re this topic. Since it is about behavior, it is a moral issue, and I certainly am concerned about the moral behavior of my fellow wo/man, why wouldn't I (or Lh, or anyone) be? ....puzzled look.... Clearly there are 2 schools of thought, one saying sex is just something you do, has no consequences other than pragmatic ones (std, pregnancy, being stalked, feelings hurt, addiction, etc.)...akin to eating has no problems unless you eat too much, the wrong food, or spoiled food...but eating itself is a good thing, and you should do so regularly. Those who view sex this way concoct all sorts of rationales to refute the other school of thought which says sex is not food, you don't "need" sex (in the sense of air, food, water etc.), but that it is a moral (aka a behavioral) issue...that there are principles which apply to healthy sexual activity, and that these principles have consequences when violated, undesireable consequences... and that how someone conducts their sexual life says something about their character, and thinking processes which is useful to discern. That is why promiscuous people prefer that not be known, or get angry when described as such and trot out other "Labels" such as friends with benefits to describe their promiscuous behaviour. I am not sure why they do this, if they have no problem with their sexual behavior why do they care how anyone else sees it? We often "hear" people say, hi my name is john, this is my wife marry the love of my life, who I have been loyal and faithful to these many years... vs hi my name is john/mary and I will sleep with anyone (including you) if I feel like it? hmmmmmm?

This is a black and white issue, there are only two (well 3 if we include a decision to be celibate on purpose...as opposed to lack of opportunity) sexual "conditions"... one is either sexually mongamous, or sexually non-monogamous.... the lable for the latter is promiscuous, whether it is one person or 100 people, even no people if you are still open to the idea of sex whenever it suits you, is not about performance it is about intent, it is a moral issue...moral issues are always about intent....actions are simply the manifestation of intent.

Those who promote/defend/condone premarital sex are promoting a moral stance, and it is appropriate to discuss/refute it in moral terms. However, the more legalistic the argument the less effective it will be. For any behaviour (which requires us to act against instinctual urges) to have staying power, there must be good solid reasons behind the moral rules, and those reasons regularly talked about/promoted. The problem with sexual behavior and Christianity LH, is that it typically comes across as "rules" to follow cause you have faith. That isn't enuf even for Christians (obviously since we have as much trouble with pre-marital sex as everyone else), much less non-Christians, who will blow right past the behviour issues, and dismiss it as a relgious issue they don't believe in (and rightly so, the problem isn't the sex, the problem is their lack of discernment/reclacitrance re the nature of our existence). That is why I don't discuss this topic much in moral terms, there is no need too, non-monogamous sex is wrong (ie unhealthy psychologically) for so many reasons there is no need to invoke God (but then that is why we have these rules, cause in fact it is not good for us to look at sex as just a scratch needing itching, so find a buddy to scratch it).

Ok, preliminaries out of the way, won't go down the why non-monogamous sex is a poor behvioural choice path, since that isn't the thread, but felt a need to address the other issues which immediately arose. It is good you did this LH, there are many confused people (judgeing by the regular posts about this issue) seeking reason to not choose pre-marital sex in a world that promotes it everywhere you turn, including here of all places. Is good to say friends with benefits et al. is an ignorant, dangerous, unhealthy...and indeed immoral choice...one worthy of avoiding...especially if one considers themself a Christian.

LH...From the Religious peeps out there, I’d love to hear your views on dating, sex, and the whole FWB proposition. If you are Religious and living and choosing one of these lifestyles, I’d also love to hear what your views are on that. I fully realize and appreciate that we all fall short in the glory of God, so with that understanding, let’s not make this a thread of persecution but rather one of fellowship, each learning from the other.

Knight...I am one of those peeps (Christian), and being single for sometime now, in the dating pool, needed to figure this out too, and did so (not without a lot of effort though, complicated subject). Like most things, the initial struggle is to define the "labels", and issues, discern the principles, then mix all that together to hopefully arrive at the right guidlines for making everyday choices.

Dating... do we date to mate, or date for fun and games (does not mean sex necessarily) and learn about ourselves (in the romantic sense)?

Turns out that (IMO, and won't say IMO again, so don't anyone take me to task for speaking strongly, it is what I do), this is a 2 parter. I think those Christians who view each date as immediately exclusive until you marry or breakup, are too legalistic, and misunderstand God's intent re mating. However, dating with no intent to mate is also wrong, it celebrates using people to meet your needs, without any honorable intent on your part. So what to do? You certainly talk and make friends with many people, and "date" so to speak in group situations, volunteerism, work (obviously), sporting teams, hobby activities, whatever....until such time someone is interesting enuf to date one on one, in a clearly romantic interaction, not 2 buddies just going out for company...this is a discernment issue, cause obviously, such circumstances are allways (or quickly will become) pursuit/chase scenarios...That means you should consider every date a potential mate, and NOT date anyone you wouldn't marry, or date anyone if you have no intent to marry...find other things to do, this is a dead end street for growth, is deceptive, manipulative, selfish and of no value. However, I do think there is a season of multiple dating as you seek a mate (basically getting past that iniitial knowing/dumping period), but it becomes problematic if you are dating any one person for very long, you should have moved on from them, or be unilaterally reducing your options to just one, until that resolves itself...otherwise you are doublminded, and that condition prevents proper discernment. Some Christians (especially women) seem to subscribe to the FedEx model....oh, I will just wait around until God sends me the "one", well maybe, but more likely He will provide opportunity, and you have to work at it...we have freewill and can reject (by being dumb) God's choices for us...or pick the wrong choice...the key here is proaction...you need to be open, and have clear committment in these matters, as well as understanding of good dating behaviour...that, and praying for discernment should serve you well. There is Scripture about these matters which supports the notion of dating to mate...and it makes secular sense as well, for the reasons I stated...being a professional dater limits developimg deep friendship, which is how you find your mate. The Bible does not seem to promote dating as a recreational activity, it is a serious business relating to mating.

sex...

Well, need to define...clearly pre-marital intercourse is out, any Christian with a modicum of intelligence won't argue that point... and basically the reason is about lust (carnal desire to feel good using someone for yourself)....You cannot have honest sexual intercourse with someone you won't become one with...it is how (one of the ways) you become one, and why protecting ones (and your partner pre-maritally) virtue is so important. Lust destroys the ability to discern, and construct a healthy relationship, a Christian should steer well clear of anyone who is willing to violate that boundary, they are far to likely to make a poor mate (including you are a poor mate if seek intercourse as well). However, those Christians who try to legislate the rest of the physical panthenon pre-maritally run into an immediate problem...where the heck are the boundaries? That is a discussion for another day, but I think a strong case can be made for adding oral sex, direct gential contact, or being together naked to the marital boundary.....as to hugging, kissing, massageing, hand-holding, I think those areas are dependent on the people and where they are in the relationship....keeping in mind that they need to protect themselves from the slippery slope, the appearance of evil, and lustful thinking (hard to define)..but anyways, should not be much physical contact without strong intent pursue marriage, and can only kiss etc. on one prospect at a time (the whole when what is relationship exclusive thingy plays in here). Physical interactions are important, and IMO essential to the healthy development and discernment of someone as a mate.... I think the Bible is ok with this, God pretty much addresses intercourse and lust, so if we steer clear of those areas, I think we are free to be physical, as well as share other things, such as our deep thoughts, or make common cause, or pray togther etc. It is all about communication and knowing someone..the issues are intent, and manipulation...if we seek even to just hold hands with someone, but have no sense of their well being, our honorable intent, etc.. then we are wrong, we just want selfish gratification from them.

FWB...

Is just sameo sameo, new name, same game, oh we aren't really promiscous, we just need sex and are serviceing each other cause we are friends. There is a name for offering sexual services in return for something...is called prostitution, regardless of "currency", trading sex is no different than trading money, or friendship...you cannot be friends and have sex, humans are about pursuit and capture, and whole bunch of deeply hardwired psychological consequences. It is a moral issue, and I would never ever consider a woman for marriage who had that kind of history (unless she clearly saw the error of her ways, repented, and I percieved she was now one who would not choose such immoral behavior again). There are no sucha thing as no consequences, how you behave sexually is one of the defining issues re character, loose people will have to select from other loose people, they will be denied moral individuals....is not that one doesn't err, but that one chooses to continue to err. The notion one can have non-commited sex as some kind of therapy is breathtakingly ignorant....and any Christian who doesn't realize this is temptation in all it's evil is really....lost...and hopefully any Christians who happen to know this will intervene most vigorously with the fallen individual and try to get them out of harms way.

The other difficult area for everyone (including Christians) is the I am in love, this is the one I want to marry, so naturally I want to have sex with them...is the slippery slope, is the rationalization satan will visit on us to tempt into immoral behaviour...the boundary is absolute, you do not violate it, if you do, it is inappropriate behaviour for both, wrong thinking...the initiator and the acquieser, this is probably the most common "sin" of Christian relationships, and I think it is cause we have a dearth of good role models, or an understanding of the benefits of waiting (which are substabtial, and real). However, though this sin is a detriment to the eventual marriage, it can be overcome and dealt with...the point is to avoid it if at all possible.

Thems my thoughts LH... I lurk some (not posting anymore), is interesting to see what others think about dating, and lots of fodder for my "book" about these matters...but I felt convicted to post on a Christian thread to encourage my Bretheren to make good choices, and thereby increase the likelihood of their success. These are the principles I practice in my life, and they work well folks, very well, makes dating a lot less angst ridden when one knows who they are, what they seek, and the reasons why. Congrats on your marriage LH, may God bless you with many years of mutual nurturing. I have lots more of this kind of reasoning, if you are interested and have an email, let me know, will send it to you.

edited to clarify some comments in the fwb section

Last edited by knight50; 09/21/05 12:33 AM.

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(((CeeCee)))

“””passion can and does carry away, even with the best of intentions.”””

I can relate to that. I too carried that desire but fell short of the glory. But have been washed clean through confession.


(((GnomeDePlume)))

“””One of the reasons is a growing sense that my perspectives are irrelevant to what people are willing to hear.”””

First off, Gnome, your perspectives are refreshing and carry a much needed message amidst the chaos. I can also relate to your frustration but encourage you to keep carrying your message.

”””Rather, I believe that Biblical morality is a set of life principles which God laid out for us for our own good. This does not appear to be a popular viewpoint. Christianity - at least in North American culture - seems to be treated largely as a smorgasbord of ideas, some of which are helpful and some of which are outmoded. We pick out what matches our taste - what we think will make us feel good - and we leave the rest. Then we claim that we have experienced what God intended for us.”””

Can I have an Amen? Wonderful stuff there Gnome.

”””To me, "falling short" is not really the issue. It is sad when we do so, since there are consequences that we cannot fully escape, whether those consequences are to our own lives or to God's glory.”””

And by the way, for other’s reading, WE ALL FALL SHORT. We all sin.

“””What is really sad, in my opinion, is when we decide it's perfectly fine down here on the ground, and we reject God's plan for our lives in favor of our own blind improvisation.”””

Again, well said. I, myself, have done many things in my life that fell way short. I’ve been down. Heck, I’ve been darn near out. Yet, my Father was there patiently waiting for me to turn from my sins, anxious to provide His forgiveness and love. I further believe that the earthly sins we commit and life we choose affect us in heaven. I have no doubt that since I’ve accepted Christ and asked for forgiveness of my sins that I am forgiven and will have a seat in heaven. But I also don’t believe that’s good enough. Therefore, in many areas where I’ve fallen short I have strived to help others in those areas and thus store my treasures in heaven rather than on earth.

”””But I believe the Bible is quite clear about the matter of sex outside of marriage, and it leaves no room for such behavior.”””

I agree.

(((Crystal Singer)))

“””Ummm... no... You said:”””

Ummm… No… Actually, the very 1st word in the title of this post is CHRISTIANITY. I did that for a reason which I’ve expanded on greatly in this post.

”””If I am a devout Buddhist or Hindu, I am Religious. That does not make me a "North American Evangelical Christian" by a longshot.”””

This post reminds me of a couple of things. First that Jesus said we’d be persecuted for our views. I’m also reminded of the little girl in Columbine who if I remember correctly was asked “Do you believe in Jesus Christ” and when she exclaimed “Yes”, she was shot. What I truly don’t understand is why so many people rise up against Christianity or me. I haven’t tried to force my opinion on anyone. I believe I’ve been respectful of others. I tried to start a thread targeted at a certain audience and for some reason it threatened others. Why? Exclusionary threads are started on these boards every day. So why this one. If you are not a Christian, what in my words threatens you so greatly that you feel the need to stand in opposition?

“””The fact is I am none of the above, and therefore I should ?? be excluded from this thread?? Not normally the way we conduct business at MB...”””

Again, my threads have always been open to anyone. If you look through my long history you will see that. You will also see that I have a long history of posting from the Christian perspective. There was thread on these boards a while back about Witchcraft, does that oppose my points of view, YES, did I crash it, NO. It seems so many are so fast to demand tolerance for their issue and yet show absolute intolerance for Christianity.

”””I have a problem with this particular paragraph, because the implication is that people of faith are the only people who have been through he!! on earth, had their lives thrown into pieces, etc...”””

I don’t believe that minimizes anyone else’s struggles what so ever. I understand and have compassion for all people. But again, this thread was addressed to Christians to talk about a couple of serious issues facing them such as having sex with other partners while still married and engaging in FWB relationships. If I had addressed the post to people who have lived through the destruction of Pornography or Abuse or Addiction, would you take offense? I would hope not, but it still is limiting who my target audience was.

“””I'm always, here and at home, more troubled by the judging that seems to go on by people who should be living by the Word of God - which was pretty clear when He said "Judge not, lest ye be judged" and was then repeated by His Son in different words later on: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."””

I can almost relate to that, let me explain how. I do have a problem with some holier than thou dude or chic jumping on me for all my sins while at the same time pretending their crap doesn’t stink when in fact it reeks. I do not like that type of hypocrisy. BUT and that’s a big BUTT, I don’t feel that’s what I’m doing. In my first post I said “I fully realize and appreciate that we all fall short in the glory of God”, in this context I am part of we. I sin. I sin. I sin. I sin. I do hope you took a moment to read the scriptures I posted that call us Christians to have a voice.

(((AGG)))

“””Since you are discussing the morality of your MB friends, would it be fair to assume that you two abstained from sex until you were married?”””

First off, no it would not be fair to [censored]-U-ME anything of the sort. Again, I started this thread to talk about 3 particular scenario’s:

1. Having sex with someone while you are married and no divorce has been filed.
2. Having sex with someone during the divorce process.
3. FWB relationships.

Obviously, the morality has crept in there and overall views have expanded. Again, it seems that when a Christian wishes to discuss things, there entire life is brought into the equation. As I stated earlier, I am a repentant sinner. Did FHL04 and I have sex while we were committed to one another before we got married, HE!! YES. Is that a sin HE!! YES. Did I confess and repent, you can bet your bottom dollar I did. Do I continue to live in that sin, no I don’t. And quite frankly, had a person of faith called me to the matte on it, I would have been grateful. I struggled with the decision that I made to indulge in the pleasures of the flesh.

I don’t think I can say it much better than Gnome when he said “But when we fall down, God offers a hand to help us up again, and there is once again opportunity for God's love and mercy to be manifested. What is really sad, in my opinion, is when we decide it's perfectly fine down here on the ground, and we reject God's plan for our lives in favor of our own blind improvisation.”

Go through and look at my posts AGG. I’ve always stood for something since the day I registered here and I did fall down in that way and many more.

(((Jaye Mathisen)))

“””If you're asking how those who claim to be Christians justify (and I mean, truly justify, backed up with Scripture) the behavior, then that is something I would be interested to see as well.”””

Yes, it is interesting. Jaye, I’ve lived a life of sin. I’ve lived at times while professing faith while I was being anything but faithful. And from that experience I can tell you there is a huge difference between an unrepentant sinner and a repentant one.

(((Faith1)))

“””After my divorce, I was really hoping to NOT have many sex partners before getting married again. I know it's not right to negotiate with God about "how many" is acceptable. It's hard to imagine that number being "0". But that's where I am. As much faith and trust in God as I have, and I'm learning to have. I'm working on a lot in my life... or I should say... God's working on a lot in my life.”””

Very interesting and Good on ya, mate…..

”””LH, someone else raised the question I was wondering. But I was going to ask in a different way. Negotiating with God on what's acceptable. I think you've mentioned that pre-marital sex is OK if you're going to marry each other. Have you said that? And why is that? It's OK if that's where you are... I'm negotiating a "number"... which I'm comfortable with right now....”””

Faith, right here is where we get into a huge theological debate….lol… First off, I don’t think I’ve ever said that I believe pre-marital sex is not sin, because I do. I also believe is wise to Question God, maybe negotiate is to stern a term. Many of the greats in the bible did question God, even Job who was called by God as a Good man, questioned God.

Faith, this is a discussion that I’d love to continue with you but it’s probably best not done with the confines and distractions of this thread. If you choose to continue, the 1st question I’ll ask you is to define Heaven. Once you’ve defined that, I believe then you live your life accordingly.


Hugz, Thoughtz, & Prayerz

Bill
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PS.... Thank you for all who have shared your views.... I do hope that a discussion rather than qualification will result.

Ohhhh and A Big Guy, I see that I only copied the posts from the 2nd page before you posted but missed what you said on the 1st page.... I'll try to come back to it when I have some more time....

God Bless


Hugz, Thoughtz, & Prayerz

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Wow Knight, great post! That must have taken forever.
I could respond to so much, but I lack the time right now. The only thing I felt I wanted to voice a disagreement with is this:

"The other difficult area for everyone (including Christians) is the I am in love, this is the one I want to marry, so naturally I want to have sex with them...is the slippery slope, is the rationalization satan will visit on us to tempt into immoral behaviour...the boundary is absolute, you do not violate it, if you do, something is wrong with both of you...the initiator and the acquieser, this is probably the most common "sin" of Christian relationships, and I think it is cause we have a dearth of good role models, or an understanding of the benefits of waiting (which are substabtial, and real). However, thought this sin is a detriment to the eventual marriage, it can be overcome and dealth with...the point is to avoid it if at all possible."


My XWH and I were virgins when we got married. We were one of few couples out of our youth group/church friends who actually were able to "cross the finish-line intact" so to speak. We believed strongly in waiting till marirage and we did. But you know what? Something was wrong with HIM! He broke every promise and vow he ever made me and abandoned his family for my "friend" 6 years later.

Furthermore, I used to lay in bed at night at 20 years old and cry and pray, "God, is this a cruel joke? We waited when it was SO HARD and we desired it SO much and now that we are married, my desire plummeted and went to pretty much nothing after having a baby. WHY? This is what we waited for? What kind of reward or blessing is this?" And later, "This blessing of marriage, this gift that we worked so hard to save ourselves for is ruining our marriage."

Something else, I longed to experience PASSIONATE sex, not planned, not expected. I only ever thought this to myself, always rebuked myself for it and never came even close to acting on it. I didn't want it with anyone else, just wanted it in general, wanted to experience it, but figured I never would. In my experience, that was the negative to waiting. It was never that spontaneous, passionate sex.

So given what felt to me like a truly negative experience of waiting, I can't say I had the same motivation the second time around.

Do I feel that it means something is wrong with me or mu husband? NO! I think it means we are humans and less than perfect Christians. We all have weaknesses. That would be like something is "wrong" with a person who commits ant other sin "in" or "out" of a relationship.

I had a friend when I was a teenager who was caught having sex with her boyfriend. She was a Christian (not just a church-goer). She was put through such he11 by her parents and the church, I mean it was bad. One day, she said tearfully and ashamedly to me, "What is wrong with me? I would never steal anything or any other terrible sin like that, so why could I be so horrible as to do this?" I wanted to cry for her as I saw the shame and confusion in her eyes, and at that young age, I had no answer for her. But it was then that i realized in a REAL way that sex is no more a sin than any other sin, and that it is DEAD WRONG for the church to treat people the way it often does because the feel they can judge that person as being less of A Christian or less of a person because they can make them and everyone else believe that their sin is worse than their own.


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I agree FHL, and planned to edit that part, I did not mean wrong as in hopelessly flawed, just wrong thinking it is ok. Re your first comment, the argument being virgins is somehow a gaurantee of success puzzles me when it is brought up. That of course is not the point at all....everyday people who never smoked, drank, exercise regularly, lead eminently healthy lives drop dead. Understanding why one chooses virginity is more important than actually being a virgin, that is why it is a character issue...making mistakes is human, not learning from them is troublesome. I am unfamiliar with your details, but clearly in your selection of a H you made some substantial errors... seems you choose better the 2nd time. The point being practicing good dating/mating behavior enhances the likelihood of success, it doesn't gaurantee it....further, those who are obsessive or legalistic about this matter are no more likely to be a good choice than someone who is less disciplined and predisposed to be promiscuous. Both have character/personality issues, which suggest greater difficulty in being a worthy marital partner. (worthniess meaning ability to enter, nurture, and maintain a healthy relationship that successful marriage requires). Being both celibate is not going to do anything to protect a marriage from other issues which may be "fatal"...it just means in that regard one has make a healthy premarital choice. Also FHL, in our youth, an adherence to a "standard" can be about expectations, peer pressure etc. and conceal (so to speak) other serious problems as we elevate virginity to sainthood (it isn't, lots of virgins around who make lousy marital partners). The bigger problem is youth and inexperience in the complexities of healthy mate selection. The failure rate fpor young (under 21 or some such) is over 80%, is almost a gaurantee they will fail, and or, experience serious problems.

I had already figured you and LH were not celibate, it was implied in his framing of the posted question, and I suspect it is one of the reasons he asked it. That does not negate (as he posted later) his (and your) position on this subject... I came very close to failure, and the experience prompted me to work out the exact underlying principles at work. I realized a legalistic adherence was not sufficient motivation, I needed to know why also, and how to set the boundaries in a realistic, behaviourally healthy way. I am so glad I did not fail (and have to add that to my blemished record as a sinner, enuf allready), but even more glad I figured out why, and how to set the boundaries...doing so has made me as safe as one can be on the slippery slope, and yet still able to benefit from the discernment one gains through the physical part of a relationship (which is different, and as valuable, as the other parts...communication, spiritual, recreational, hopes dreams goals etc.). There is absolutely no benefit to promiscuous sex, even if you marry the person.... so why do it? And there are enormous benefits to pre-marital abstinence, so why not choose that? Seems like a no-brainer to me... but those hormones are powerful, and so it is worth figuring out BEFORE those passions in the arms of your beloved overtake reason.

I agree with your statement about your young friend, what she needed is guidance in the why's, not told normal feelings and desires are wrong... and as a sin, routine sexual impropriety is no worse than many other sins, just another area to be tempted in, and fail...but the natural consequences are pretty bad themselves, and sufficient to motivate one to caution. When I am addressing this issue to young people, I do not do so (except incidentally) as a moral issue, but as to the reasons why it is a poor choice...that gives them the tools to choose wisely, and morally.

Last edited by knight50; 09/20/05 03:07 PM.

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Bill,

I have read your posts here for years, and I know that you mean well <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />. I always enjoy reading your posts, and typically agree with you, as we share similar outlooks on marriage and relationships.

And it is because of how much good you have brought to these boards that I want to take the time to give you my outlook on this controversy.

Perhaps your initial post was not well phrased by you, and perhaps you didn't really mean to say that you were saddened by the morality of your MB friends, because, let's face it, one can only be saddened by a perceived low morality of their friends, not a high one. Can you see how that can be very hurtful to anyone who perceives themselves to be on the receiving end of that comment?

You say that you addressed your thread primarily to the Christians on this site, but I am sure you know that there are many others on this board who have no interest in Christianity, and do not want to be judged for not subscribing to your beliefs. Like you said, this is a marriage building forum, not a religion discussion board. Starting a thread about religion, especially one where a certain religion is clearly promoted, is quite unpleasant for the rest of us.

Preaching about morality is a very slippery slope, especially when the person preaching has themselves shown morality inconsistent with their preachings:

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Did FHL04 and I have sex while we were committed to one another before we got married, HE!! YES. Is that a sin HE!! YES.

So you chose to ignore the very morality that you preach when it came to your own choices, but then you come back here and tell others that their morality saddens you? Doesn't that seem a bit hypocritical?

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Did I confess and repent, you can bet your bottom dollar I did.

You know, I never understood how someone can choose to do something that they believed to be wrong, but then explain it away with a simple "we are all sinners, I have repented and have been forgiven" excuse. Seems a little too simple, doesn't it? I would be impressed with someone who at least practiced what they preached, but when they don't, their credibility goes way down in my eyes. At least Check behaves consistently with his stated morals, for which I respect him.

I think that this discussion started off on a very wrong foot the minute an entire group of us were incinuated to be lacking in morality by someone who probably should know better.

Sorry if this is harsh, Bill <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />.

AGG


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AGG, you have the patience of Job and are very wise - and kind. I would do well to try to be more like you.

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re the notion denigrateing the messenger negates the message is not only pointless (why bother having a discussion at all, if one is not going to discuss...ya know?), but intellectually dishonest...whatever bill, or any other Christians have done or not is not relevant to what they should do. If hypocrisy is going to be defined as human imperfection, then we might as well all zip our lips and take no moral positions whatsoever (since I know no perfect people, how about you agg, know any?), just let anarchy, do whatever feels good rule. The whole point agg is to aspire to being better than we are...and we can't do that without talking about it, making judgements about it, and confronting people about it. There was a time in america when wrestling with issues, and questions, and truth was considered not only laudable, but essential behaviour in an adult...wonder whatever happened to that...oh yeah, political correctness, my goodness careful lest someone feel bad. The very fact this thread makes people (apparently) uncomfortable is the very evidence such is necessary, and indeed it is... I can not think of a single thing more important to discern than how we should behave, our survival depends on how successfully we discern and act on that knowledge. This isn't a game agg, this is life, and if you don't get it right, you don't want to pay the price...having ones feathers ruffled a bit is hardly cause for distress...but then Christians are used to having our feathers ruffled, baiting and demeaning Christians is considered sport to many...however LH is baiting no one, he is taking a position on a issue which can be called "moral" so refute it...if you can...but refuting by diminishing the speaker is ignorant... proves nothing. Keep in mind no one is making law here, no one has the power to make anyone feel, or do anything...if you feel bad, it is your own responsibility to figure out why...maybe one's conscience is trying to get your attention.

btw agg if you have some questions/interest in sin, repentance, forgiveness etc, then pose a question. You will not find a Christian who will defend hypocrisy, and God has made it clear He does not "approve" either. I don't know if bill is a hypocrit or not, between him and God, but even hypocrits can know the truth, and speak it...but I agree, the less ones behaviour conforms to what they teach, the less effective they will be as a witness...however, that is another issue alltogether, and would involve confronting bill and fhl on their behaviour not on their message.


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If hypocrisy is going to be defined as human imperfection,

That is not how hypocrisy is defined, though. Hypocrisy is not about human imperfection, it's about not practicing what you preach:

1 : a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion

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we might as well all zip our lips and take no moral positions whatsoever

That would have been my suggestion to Bill, yes.

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I know no perfect people, how about you agg, know any?

Er, no, which is why I don't post saying that I am saddened by others' morals, political outlooks, or other things that are highly personal.

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The whole point agg is to aspire to being better than we are.

No problem there. The problem is when we claim to be better than others, especially when that is highly dubious.

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btw agg if you have some questions/interest in sin, repentance, forgiveness etc, then pose a question.

I don't have a question. I said I find it hard to understand the concept of such an easy forgiveness, but to each their own. I prefer to have my own set of standards and live by them, not do what I want and then expect to be so easily forgiven. Anyway, I already agreed with Bill that this is a marriage builders forum, not a theological one.

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that is another issue alltogether, and would involve confronting bill and fhl on their behaviour not on their message.

Their message is totally undermined by their behavior, IMO.

AGG

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agg.. Quote:
that is another issue alltogether, and would involve confronting bill and fhl on their behaviour not on their message.



Their message is totally undermined by their behavior, IMO.


knight...I am just a country boy, but Ima scratching my head on that one....so for example, I ride about the countryside in my jalopey at 90mph (or whatever) no seatbelt on...and I make mention you all should wear seatbelts, much better choice....you are what..not gonna listen to good advice cause I am not follering it...I am a little concerned agg, do you have difficulty seperateing information from the means it is disseminated? If so, you are an advertisers dream, or for that matter the dream of anyone with manipulative designs..true? Not a diss, just an observation from what you wrote, assuming you actually believe what you said. So let me ask you a straight out question.

Are you able to distinguish the message from the messenger? If not, I can understand your difficulty, and perhaps you should consider how you intake information does not serve you well.


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If we have to be perfect to give advice, none of us should have bothered trying to raise our kids properly.


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I ride about the countryside in my jalopey at 90mph (or whatever) no seatbelt on...and I make mention you all should wear seatbelts, much better choice....you are what..not gonna listen to good advice cause I am not follering it

I would certainly be curious about why you are not following your own good advice, true.

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I am a little concerned agg, do you have difficulty seperateing information from the means it is disseminated?

No need to feel concerned for me (nor for Bill to feel saddened for me <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" />), I am fine.

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If so, you are an advertisers dream, or for that matter the dream of anyone with manipulative designs..true?

Personally, that is exactly how I view those who so blindly follow others' preachings, but you see where I am going with this, right?

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Are you able to distinguish the message from the messenger?

Yeah. No problem. I never criticized the messenger, knight. Are you able to see that I never criticized Bill? Bill and I have been readings each others' postings here for many years, this is the first time I take issue with his post. I specifically took issue with his message, because in my view it was a flawed one.

If his message stopped at saying "I don't think people should have premarital sex, even though I did", that would have been similar to your jalopey example, and while I would have been puzzled at the inconsistency, I would have let it slide. His opinion, no harm no foul.

But Bill said "I am saddened by the morality of my friends at MB", which is condescent to many of us, and has a very judgemental and "holier than thou" tone. Given the fact that he does not follow his own professed morality, yes, I do see his message as being flawed. Not the messenger, just the message. See the difference?

AGG


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I really see religious arguments on this forum as pointless.


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I am copying this here from the FWB thread in reference to a very similar arguement AGG has posted on thisb thread.

"This is the fundamental issue I take with your and Bill's recent posting."

First of all, Bill and I are not one and the same, though I do support his intent and heart in this matter. I have only replies to things you guys have said.

"You two have stated that you engaged in behavior that you consider immoral. Check has not.

You may not agree with is choices, but at least he appears to act consistently with his (not your) beliefs. You don't."

OK, so let me get this straight. Just because someone does not think their behavior is immoral, thereby allowing them to live up to their own standards, they are automatically worthy of more respect than a person who has high standards of what he feels SHOULD be done, yet sometimes fails in trying to live up to those standards?

I am not arguing on whether Check's standards are low or high. I think it's safe to say that trying to NOT have sex for a long period of time (esp if it's indefinite) takes quite a bit more self-discipline than a more relaxed standard towards sex, whatever that may be. It is only sheer probablility that the person who has the more difficult task at hand has a greater chance of failing at that task, right?

Furthermore, if someone thinks its ok to commit adultery and lives up to their own standards - committing adultery and never feeling bad about it - is that more worthy of respect than someone who thinks it's wrong to commit
adultery and yet sadly goes against those beliefs only to then feel terrible about what they did, and seek healing, restoration and forgiveness? *Please note, I am NOT comparing Check's non-committed-sexual-relationship to adultery, it is simply an analogy in terms of a line of thinking.*

I just don't see how this line of thinking makes any logical sense.

It is good to have high standards to reach for. If you only aim as low as you think you can reach, you'll never touch the stars......

And btw, I NEVER called Check a hypocrite. I did point out that his statements/attitudes were inconsistent (or at least seem so to me), but I never typed the word hypocrite in that post you were referring to. Please don't put words in my mouth.


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Hypocrisy is not about human imperfection, it's about not practicing what you preach:

1 : a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion
If Bill was pretending to be what he was not, then he would never have admitted to his own failure to live up to the standards he professes. But he did admit to his failure, which means that he did not falsely assume an appearance of virtue.

Did he fail to practice what he preached? That's actually a more interesting question.

There's a difference between not doing what I say I do and not doing what I say I should do. In the former case I'm a liar, and in the latter case I'm a failure. Obviously, the former case constitutes hypocrisy; but does the latter? I'm inclined to think that it depends on my attitude.

If I point the finger at you and say that your behavior is immoral, while I refuse to consider or admit to the immorality of my own behavior, then yes, I believe I'd be a hypocrite. However, if I claim that we are both behaving immorally, then I do not believe that I'm being a hypocrite. My credibility is diminished, of course, but my words are nonetheless consistent with my actions.

In Bill's case, he "preaches" that there is a best way to behave. He also "preaches" forgiveness and compassion. He chose not to follow the way he believed was best, and he now admits that he chose badly. He also claims the forgiveness that he wishes for others, even as he wishes that they would not choose behavior which requires such forgiveness. From where I sit, it appears that he is practicing both sides of what he preaches.

If I preach "do as I say and not as I do" because I think it's OK for me to behave a certain way, but it's not OK for you to behave that way, then I'm being a hypocrite. However, if I preach "do as I say and not as I did" because I came to recognize the folly of my own behavior and do not want others to make the same mistake, then I am not being a hypocrite.

The bottom line is that I believe the charges of hypocrisy which have been leveled here are unfounded.

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The problem is when we claim to be better than others, especially when that is highly dubious.
OK, first of all, I don't believe I've ever seen Bill claim to be better than others. But it's a little ironic to consider this statement in light of what might well have happened if Bill had lived up to the standard he holds up. In that case, he could have been raked over the coals for being holier-than-thou instead of for being a hypocrite.

It's really a no-win situation. The mere suggestion of an absolute system of morality is enough to get people up in arms; the only politically correct stance is one which allows everyone to define their own morality. Thus we see CheckUrHeart demanding that his moral system be respected.

The deep irony here is that so many people here have been deeply wounded by the behavior of their former (or soon-to-be-former) spouses, whose moral faults they have no problem pointing out. But, by modern-day existential standards, shouldn't the admittedly divergent moral standards of those wayward spouses be respected?

Sheesh. Talk about hypocrisy!

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