Kissing…again

Well, some have been unofficially stirred by the aforenamed blog post. I think that’s good. Here’s what I’m looking for – proof. I gave 11 reasons why I think K-I-S-S-I-N-G is a bad idea, maybe even sinful. But, to some such a statement or even suggestion is preposterous. Maybe.

I don’t think the burden of proof is on me…but, I suppose I’m willing to believe that it is. So, I’ll start expanding on my reasons. First, though, partner with me: look at the 11 reasons that I previously gave, choose one, and subject it to biblical scrutiny. If it fails, it fails. If it doesn’t fail, then you have a decision to make.

Realize one thing even as I do, our culture is what we know. Just because it is ours doesn’t make it right. I am suggesting that our culture may be very wrong in the case of premarital, non-engaged, hetero/homo-sexual kissing. I wonder what would be so bad if I’m right?

8 thoughts on “Kissing…again

  • Gabe’s Reason:
    #2 It is committing sexual sin: “porneia” (Greek New Testament word) = any sexual immorality at all; I think that means acting like a married person before it is time.

    My Response:
    I am not sure if it is correct to add ‘kissing,’ into the category of ‘sexual immorality.’ When the word is used in the NT, it is often associated with engaging in prostitution, to illicit sexual intercourse… I am confused at how you can argue that kissing is the same thing as sexual immorality when the Gospel writers and Paul use the word in the context of sexual intercourse.

    Your comment about ‘Kissing’ as an act only for married people isn’t biblical either. The consummation of a marriage isn’t kissing, but sexual intercourse. When Adam and Eve married, they 1) left their father and mother, 2)cleaved to one another, and 3) united themselves together. Their union together wasn’t through kissing, but through sexual intercourse, the physical union of becoming one. Kissing isn’t an act that unites a person in the context of marriage, only sex has that power.

    So to say that if you kiss someone before you a married is an act only for marriage is wrong. The Bible only forbids sexual intercourse before marriage because of the uniting power within that act alone. If kissing had that same uniting power that sex does, then by your logic, any physical activity (holding hands, a hug, etc) would have to be included as well, but that is ridiculous to say that if you are holding hands with your girlfriend or boyfriend you are acting like a married person before it is time. Scripture doesn’t command the forbidding of kissing before marriage, only sex and to imply that it is wrong goes beyond what Scripture says.

    I don’t think you can deduce from the command ‘no sex before marriage,’ to also mean no kissing. The Bible simply doesn’t allow that. Not to mention the fact that throughout most of Paul’s benedictions he says for the church to greet each with a kiss. If kissing is under the umbrella of sexually immorality as you suggest, then Paul would be contradicting himself (Stop having porneia, but greet each other with a kiss). I don’t think the early church read kissing into porneia, nor did Paul.

    From what I have gathered from these 11 rules, it seems like you are trying to bind the conscience of single men and woman to a set of rules that the Bible doesn’t. It reminds me of how the Pharisees attached an extra 30 odd rules to the Sabbath so to make it harder on the Jew (Gentile) to keep, as if it wasn’t already hard enough. Jesus condemned such practice because it wasn’t Scriptural.

    Nowhere in the Bible does God say that kissing is an act of marriage or sexual immorality. Just because our culture and the church for that matter has a low view of sex, doesn’t mean we start implying that all physical activity (PDA) between the opposite sex is prohibited before marriage in order to create a higher more biblical view of sex and marriage. The Bible already has an extremely high view and beautiful picture of sex that is more freeing within the context it was designed for.

    It appears to me that you are trying to defend the Bible against the abuse of the culture’s sexual activity, by creating demands that aren’t explicit or implied in Scripture in order to regain or recapture a more Biblical view of sex, marriage, and relationships. This approach, I believe leads to legalism and binds people’s conscience to a set of rules, rather than the person of Christ. It places the focus back on the individual and their performance, rather than on the person of Jesus X.

    I guess I am confused at your motivation for developing these rules. I understand your passion for purity amongst the singles and dating relationships, but to include kissing as an act that is impure I believe goes beyond what Scripture teaches. I haven’t read anywhere in the Bible that even remotely suggests that kissing in an impure act or something that is to be prohibited before marriage or that you are stealing from the future, or that you are not respecting the other person, etc.

    I guess I would argue that the proof is in fact on you to come up with solid biblical evidence to back your rules up. I look forward to the continuation of this discussion because it has invoked within me to think seriously about such practices…

    Johnathan Keenan

  • It seems to me that this issue falls under Romans 14. I think it is clear from the Bible that fornication is sinful. However, kissing before marriage seems to fall under Rom. 14 and is a gray area.

    It’s like R rated movies. If some can see R rated movies and it does not cause them to stumble then I think Scripture allows for that freedom. If another Christian is weak and pre-marital kissing, eating food sacrificed to idols, eating meat and so forth would cause that person to stumble then he or she should not do it; however, they should not put their “Bible plus” rules on other believers.

    “Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind, (Rom. 14:5) so for those who can drink alcohol, eat meat, pre-marital kiss, watch an R rated move etc.–they should have the freedom to do so. This is not antinomian by any means, but your “slippery slope” apologetic against pre-marital kissing is not convincing taking into consideration other Scripture.

  • To defend Gabe’s position, I don’t think you can say that just because someone suggests guidelines for God-honoring behavior, that it should automatically lead to the dreaded label of legalist (in the same way liberals attempt to shut people up by calling them homophobic). I know your intent wasn’t as underhanded in that way, but the term legalism gets thrown around a lot when any sort of obedience/behavior-related discussion takes place.

    Justifying something with scripture isn’t something to be faulted or called a reflection of the weakness of an argument.

    And to the Romans 14 point, you can stretch that pretty far to cover quite a few things that we all know in our heart (when confronted with a holy, holy, holy God) are not honoring to Him who snatched us from death. We all know that this changing culture really skews our perspective but the Lord is unchanging.

  • and if you say the bible only forbids sexual intercourse, where DO you draw the line? The same place as most kids in JH and HS have drawn the line and pushed the line for the last XX years? That’s as much a real question as it is a rhetorical one.

  • This is a heart issue it is not let’s-draw-a-line issue (see Matt 5:28). Couples not engaging in PDA could be in grave sin by entertaining lustful (sexual) thoughts. This is why Jesus was rebuking the Pharisees–they were the outward model of obedience to the law and inside were dead tombs and hard hearted. The culture has always and is always changing. People (including JH and HS age kids) are not more sinful NOW than during the time of Christ or before Christ for that matter. I think it can be argued it was more blatantly pagan back then. The legalism vs. homophobic/”liberal” analogy is a straw man argument in this discussion.

    Neither side should draw conclusions from the text based on culture.

    Rom. 14 is not a license to sin. Suggesting that those who appeal to Rom 14 in this discussion are somehow skewing things to accept cultural norms/justify sin and somehow are Christians who do not hold up the holiness of God—that is fallacious reasoning.

  • Appeals to Romans 14 are perfectly legitimate when they are legitimate. This discussion moves forward because it isn’t yet clear to me that Romans 14 governs this issue; by insisting, for example, that PDA isn’t mentioned in the Bible so it must be free is a hard sell. I think we need to press into Scripture to see if that is a valid argument for this issue – clearly it would be easier sledding if we could conclude that way!

    Of course it is true that there are clear behavioral demarcations in the Bible (no fornication, no drunkenness, no gluttony, etc.). I appreciate the reminders that there are black and white areas! And I appreciate MMC’s reminder that ALL behavior flows from our heart (Mark 7:14ff) and even outwardly “holy” behavior could be bankrupt (see also 1 Corinthians 13:1-30). That’s right on and I’m there.

    What do we do with issues that aren’t so explicit in Scripture? Or, “how do you go about determining if something is a conscience issue?” I’ve said before that the stakes are high if in fact something is regulated but we’re calling it free. It is true, though, that if something is free and we’re calling it regulated that’s not right either.

    What I propose is that we hold to those explicit things and our own areas of faithful freedom (Romans 14:23) but we don’t stop there. We’re in a unique time and it is our responsibility to investigate matters as they come up so that they may be tagged as either free or regulated.

    It is not sufficient to accept cultural practices without examination. I don’t think anyone would say that it is.

  • You say, “What I propose is that we hold to those explicit things and our own areas of faithful freedom (Romans 14:23) but we don’t stop there.” My question is why do you want to press an issue that Scripture isn’t explicit about? If the Lord thought it necessary to address such matters as whether or not it is okay for a single man to hold hands with his single girlfriend, don’t you think he would have? Plus the original post was about premarital kissing, but now you have added PDA? How far do you plan to stretch this? I don’t think you can allow the culture to dictate how you interpret Scripture. Isn’t the basic foundation of hermeneutics, that Scripture interprets Scripture? To suggest that PDA is inappropriate before marriage is taking the Corinthian passage out of context. Paul is speaking about the oneness of marriage, which is through connectedness (don’t read PDA) by sex within the framework of marriage. How you derive no PDA before marriage is perplexing. With this line of thinking, wouldn’t all PDA be inappropriate? Where do you draw the line? I think you have to be very careful with this argument because people are built differently, who have different stories, different struggles, different needs, etc. The bible speaks into every culture, but isn’t tied down to one culture or another. To suggest that Premarital PDA is wrong I believe goes beyond the border of Scripture. This is a conscience issue, which if we believe in the Holy Spirit to do his work, will convict if there are inappropriate relations occurring… However, to suggest or imply that any physical touch outside of marriage is wrong does bind people’s consciences to a set of undefined rules that the Bible doesn’t address. Calvin once said, ‘Where Scripture has closed its Holy Mouth, I shall not open mine’ (I quote that with the upmost respect for Gabe because I do believe he is trying to be biblical). I think that is a good reminder to focus on the things that God has addressed explicitly in his word because as Moses says in Deut 32:47, “these words are your very life…’

  • Logic 101. Here’s what I learned at work:

    Information (situation) leads to inference (conclusion) which leads to assumptions which equals faulty logic.

    Situation: Some of your Christian single friends hold hands (PDA) with their significant others. You find out these couples are sexually active. (Of course this is sinful and wrong.)
    Inference: Christian singles engaging in pre-marital PDA will always commit sexually immoral acts.
    Assumption: ALL pre-marital PDA leads to sexual immorality either in thought or deed. Therefore, pre-marital PDA itself is sexually immoral.

    Sylvia says: “We’re in a unique time and it is our responsibility to investigate matters as they come up…” You are still appealing to culture. I stated our culture is not morally different than culture before us. I think the only difference that is “unique” about our time is technology which can be argued is morally neutral. The text itself (Rom. 14) needs to be dealt with and 1 Cor. 7 which does not address pre-marital PDA. Is that what Greek Scholars/commentaries say the text says? To read into the text what is not there based on cultural considerations and not considering the original context is post-modernism 101.

    The worldwide economy is teetering on collapse. There is a war in Iraq. People are losing their jobs and homes. This has been a spirited debate. Perhaps a change of topic now.

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