Free access to scriptures religious leaders try to censor
Many of our teens have engaged in sex before marriage. So we need to remind them what Judeo Christians value say about sex outside marriage.
There is much debate amongst Christians as to whether or not sex between two people who have never been married constitutes a form of fornication. The Bible itself is silent on the issue of consensual, premarital sex between an engaged couple.
The Anglican Bishop and writer John Shelby Spong believes that the New Testament is not against sex before marriage
In the 1170s, “it was common practice for ordinary couples to co-habit before marriage and for cousins to marry one another”. Sex before marriage only became equated with sinfulness with the passing of the Marriage Act 1753.
Earlier, in 1987, Spong’s Newark Diocese had commissioned a report that concluded that the “Episcopal Church should recognize and bless committed non-marital sexual relationships between homosexuals, young adults, the divorced and widowed…” The report aimed “to ignite a new debate on sexual ethics among leaders of the nation’s 3 million Episcopalians in the hope that they will amend church doctrine to embrace all believers…
In his book Forbidden Fruit: Sex & Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers, Mark Regnerus notes that “Evangelical Christian teens are more likely to have lost their virginity earlier than mainline Protestants. They start having sex on average at age 16.3 and are more likely than other religious groups to have had three or more sexual partners by age 17.”
Alternatively, the Wisconsin Synod takes the view that a Christian couple could engage in sex before marriage but for the fact it would be an act of defiance against civil and religious norms in society.
In the United States, pastors of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod undertook a survey on premarital sex amongst their congregations in 2010. “These Lutheran pastors reported that over 57 percent of the couples they now marry are living together prior to the wedding, and that the rate of cohabitation in their congregations is increasing.”
If they are still confused, let us take an example from the exemplary life of infallible Pope Alexander IV.
Of Alexander’s many mistresses the one for whom passion lasted longest was a certain Vannozza (Giovanna) dei Cattani, born in 1442, and wife of three successive husbands. The connection began in 1470, and she bore him four children whom he openly acknowledged as his own: Giovanni, afterwards duke of Gandia (born 1474), Cesare (born 1476), Lucrezia (born 1480), and Goffredo or Giuffre (born 1481 or 1482).
So if we see people having sex outside marriage, let us remind them what religions teach. Then we should motivate them to model exemplary life of our religious leaders and their own brothers and sisters in faith.