What is ‘sex’ when you’re not married, anyway?

Going back a bit in time to October 2008…Sex, etc., has become  relevant topic for discussion again (is it ever irrelevant?).

“Is it OK to smooch?”  One of my first 11 reasons for delaying the K-I-S-S was because of my hypothesis that all sexual / sensual physical contact outside of marriage could be considered immoral or porneia (the biblical Greek word for “sexual immorality”).  Now I just made a slight modification in my statement (if you’ll remember the first one).  I’ve added two adjectives that I define thusly: Sexual = purpose of arousal to sex; sensual = in a way that excites the senses.  We’re not talking about greetings here.

We would likely judge any “office” affection, for example, between a married man and a married woman – who are not married to each other – to be wrong.  No?  But, we chafe at calling the same activity among unmarried folks as wrong.  Why is that?

We have allowed our thinking about PDA to wander away from simple ethical and biblical moorings and we have begun to make distinctions like what I just wrote.  What in the Bible validates that thinking?  Where in the Scriptures do we see that affection by two marrieds (but not to each other) is wrong but the same affection by two unmarrieds is not?

Is it true that affection by two marrieds (but not to each other) is sin but by two unmarrieds is Christian freedom?  Wow!  How do we come to that?  C’mon, somebody help me with this one.  We can stand in appropriate judgment over the former but not the latter?

Before we even get into a discussion of “sex” I wonder at these questions.  We can talk about relational rules all day long without discussing its foundation.  I’m concerned about taking that step.  So, I’ll return to “sex” after a while – I’m curious is any reader will help me with a justification for calling unmarried PDA and married (but not to each other) PDA different morally though the activity would be the same.

NOTE: It was a very interesting discovery for me as I was surfing the net, to find a series of articles on Focus on the Family’s webzine, Boundless, that was speaking to these very issues of this thread.  I would encourage you to look at them: Biblical Dating.  (You’ll notice even from the title a certain perspective; you’ll realize that we’re not the only group considering these issues.)