Since you are questioning my motives, no even judging them to be insincere, I suppose I have little choice but to explain them to you as clearly and directly as I can. I feel so strongly about this topic that I would be willing to renounce sex and marriage, if I could, in order to prove to you that I'm not trying to justify anything about myself nor my behaviors. I am motivated by a desire to equip myself and my church to shine Christ's light for the lost to see. You and I have an honest disagreement about a topic the result of which, I believe, is creating a lot of damage in the church and, through her, society at large. I believe it even damages the lost when they casually glance at the church for the light of Christ. This is damage to and from the church is especially evident in the churches and various popular Christian denominations where I live (the U.S.A.).
Today at the evangelical Christian website thegospelcoalition.org I came across a blog post where the pastor said premarital "passionate kissing" is a sin. That's right. "No passionate kissing before marriage." This is a common teaching where I live. Many youths follow it and tell their friends about it. Actually, many less follow it than say they follow it, but I digress.
You would be able to read my comment on the gospelcoalition's website except my former pastors deleted it and banned my ip address from their website because I committed the sin of saying premarital sex is not prohibited in Scripture. ( http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/02/13/when-pastors-give-the-sex-talk/ ). However, the Holy Scriptures never say kissing is a sin either. Do they? (they don't) This type of "lets make up sins because our parents did," Pharisaical, legalistic mentality can and does destroy people and marriages just like promiscuity can destroy. That is why neither Scripture nor the Holy Apostles give legalistic laws against premarital sex (and they do for most every other act you call sexually immoral, including even rare acts).
I grew up under the teachings of pastors like those at the gospelcoalition.org, in fact one former pastor helps to organize it. I was taught by this mainstream American church that it was a grave sin against God Almighty to ever kiss, treat, look at, or even *think about* a female other than exactly how I would look at a sister... until marriage. And so I did that. Because I could not judge sexual compatibility, I married a woman who I had only talked about sex with. My pastor said a sex talk or two was allowed during engagement as long as I didn't think about or lust in my heart for any specific sexual acts with my fiance. So I had a sex talk while trying to not think about sex too much.
With the talk, I wanted to make sure not to marry a woman who thought sex was for procreation only. I also did not want to marry a woman who hated oral sex if I could help it. So sue me. Those were two qualities I definitely did *not* want in a wife. I also strongly desired a woman who enjoyed "french kissing" (I knew some did not). That wasn't a deal breaker, but it was important to me. I'm a free man, aren't I? Don't judge me; those were things I knew in my heart I would enjoy *GREATLY* with my wife in holy matrimony. Whether I'm shallow is a discussion we can have another day, but I talked to her about many other things in life, ok? Therefore, I asked my fiance about all of those subjects.
She lied to me to get my marriage. She thought sex was dirty except for procreation, but said she thought it was for pleasure and procreation. She hated oral sex, but she said she loved it. She said she enjoyed french kissing. The thought of french kissing made her want to vomit and gag. She lied to me about all of those things in order for me to marry her and give her children. I sensed the deceit and effects on our honeymoon night. I asked her a few times about it during the marriage. She continued to lie about her deed for four years until the day she walked out on me because we were so sexually incompatible. She admitted tearfully all the lies, which I had known in my heart of hearts was the case for the large majority of our marriage by way of my experiences and discussions with her. (by the way, she was a habitual liar about many things, large and small, important and completely meaningless, all throughout our marriage on almost a daily basis)
I love her, so don't take this the wrong way. Women sort of like her were punished with death in Deuteronomy 22:19-21. Please read that passage * carefully* and *prayerfully*. The girls there are killed for deceiving their fiance into marriage (using virginity), *not* for having sex before marriage. The passage, as any Rabbi will tell you, does not punish honest girls who told their man early in the relationship about their loss. Those girls were never punished in any way, shape, or form under the Law. They were only punished if they hid the fact from him until they got "caught" on their wedding night.
I bring up the death penalty only to show that there are women who will mislead intentionally in order to gain marriage. On my honeymoon night, I discovered a sexual incompatibility that would've been plainly obvious to me not only if I would have had sex. No. Our massive differences in what brings us pleasure were so plainly obvious that even if I would've only passionately kissed her once while dating I would've seen a huge red flag.
Around the time she left me, I also began realizing the salvation doctrines I had been taught at my "gospel" and "baptist" churches were not biblical. I read Scripture, history, and prayed, and by the grace of the Annointed One, my doctrine regarding salvation became very "modern orthodox" even though I knew very little about the modern orthodox church. It became very modern orthodox in so many ways, just not this particular one.
"Just don't ask questions. Just believe what we say," I keep hearing on this board. I've heard such things for years.
You have to understand that while I was discovering that salvation begins with repentance, a change of mind, and not with the "prayer of faith for forgiveness" my pastor was telling me, I also was discovering that what they taught me about kissing was nowhere in Scripture. While I was discovering that Scripture and the early Fathers provide many steps in our progression of salvation, I was also discovering that nowhere in Scripture is premarital sex ever forbidden or punished. I discovered that Jesus made wine and that we partake in his Blood, not that he made grape juice and we drink a sip of it four times a year. I also discovered Jewish Rabbis that openly admit that Scripture does not forbid sex before marriage. The Rabbis openly rely on cultural traditions (not God's Word by their own admission) to prohibit premarital sex.
Then I discovered the modern orthodox church. So, knowing that, maybe you can be a little more understanding about why I'm asking exactly where the holy Scriptures and the early holy Fathers taught this doctrine that sex before marriage is a sin. Because frankly, I honestly don't see it taught in either place. And I generally have good reading comprehension skills and have read quite a bit of both Scripture and the early Fathers.
I don't believe you are representing the true Light of Christ when you say premarital sex is sinful. You are warping that light with regards to an extremely important point that has to do with the formation of the icon of Christ and the Church. Neither the Scriptures nor the Holy Apostles were legalistic about premarital sex, but instead advice and "nudging" towards marriage was the Way. This is the case for a very good reason. You, my joy, need to spend some time and prayer thinking about what that reason may be.