June 10, 2014

Are you Bible-y enough for the Bible club?
How much Bible is too much?

Obviously, the answer to that question for me is "Any". In the world of Evangelicism right now, however, there's considerable questioning for the Bible-only approach that they've espoused in light of recent statistics showing a terrifying trend.

You see, a survey was released saying that 80% of young evangelicals are having premarital sex.

Yes, you read that right.

8 out of 10 evangelical young people are getting down in ho-town.

Soul Device recently posted a piece talking about how this could, strictly speaking, be argued as okay from a biblical point of view. There are simply no scriptural references to premarital sex, which is accurate. Many sexual acts are mentioned, but not premarital. Even in the Virgin Birth, where some folks mistakenly assume that Joseph sought to put Mary away privately so she wouldn't be stoned for having sex, that's a misconception. Joseph assumed Mary HAD had sex, and that she had become pregnant. Since he hadn't had sex with her, and they were betrothed, if he had put her away publicly, she would have been stoned for adultery--not premarital sex.

So there are no such arguments in the Bible for the idea that premarital sex is wrong.

Soul Device argues that this is a flaw in the design of Bible-Only thinking--a form of biblical literalism--for a variety of reasons. The blog points out three specifically:

  1. The whole idea of Bible-only actually isn't biblical.
  2. Many Christians ignore things that the Bible specifically enumerates.
  3. Many subjects are not addressed directly and explicitly in the Bible.
According to Soul Device, this means that Bible-only thinking is inadequate to live a truly moral Christian life:
What I am saying is that Evangelicals are not necessarily being inconsistent with their movement’s principles when they exhibit such mistaken thinking or do not act according to traditional Christian morality. Once extra-biblical factors come to play / cease to come into play (and they always do) in one’s Bible interpretation, virtually any conclusion can be reached. That makes any Christian group that asserts a strict “Bible-Only” approach more than merely deficient – it makes it dangerous.
Love how the blog writer tosses in the dire warning at the end. OH NOEZ, NOT THE SEX.

But really. I think we can all agree that biblical literalism in any form is a problem. Taking the Bible literally doesn't leave room for cultural shifts and changing attitudes, or new discoveries. In a world where we are constantly being subjugated to the will of a Christian majority, biblical literalism really sucks. It's being used as the basis to deny basic human rights to large categories of people, while at the same time, being interpreted in a way that takes away control of one's body from women across the nation (despite the fact that the Bible isn't really pro-life, as the Ordeal of the Bitter Waters shows).

Sexuality is a complex, intricate and ever evolving issue. Despite the fact that it's one of our most basic instincts, it's constantly changing. Relying on only a millennia-old document to guide you through it is naive, at best.

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