On Intimacy within Marriage

Following an essay I submitted just the other day, this is the last of four doctrines which the Christian faith teaches which must be true—or I renounce my faith and walk away from the Church.  I do this because I demand that my faith be true and not invention.  Here is number four.If what the Bible teaches about intimacy and marriage be so difficult to understand, though simple folk over the centuries assumed they were capable of divining its meaning—if Scripture be so esoteric that it require a Ph.D. from an Ivy League school to tell us what it really means—if words mean not what they say—if what the Bible says be so culturally-bound to the time in which it was written that its prescriptions need not determine our morals—in short, if the Bible teach not that intimacy be reserved between one man and one woman in holy matrimony, or its teachings on the subject be confused, incomplete, outdated, infantile, or just plain wrong—

Or, if the Church be wrong for two thousand years about what her own Book teaches concerning something so fundamental as intimacy and marriage—for her understanding of these subjects has been unanimous well into the previous decadent century in which modern man descended into his present barbarous state, and which decadence has affected some churches—and the Book is indeed her Book (Hollywood, notwithstanding) as it was her people who wrote it under God’s inspiration for her direction, and she who copied, carried, and taught it to her people for two millennia—if, I say, this divine institution set up by Christ himself be so completely mistaken about what her own Book teaches on a subject so fundamental to human flourishing, such that what she taught yesterday as moral can only be deemed today immoral, then I cannot see how I could trust her on anything else she has taught over the last two thousand years and I renounce my faith and gladly walk away from such a plainly human and untrustworthy institution and refuse to waste any more time with such an ancient, obscure, arcane, and cryptic book which, though fit for antiquarians, is beneath the dignity of all lovers of truth.

Problems occur when people assume that since some churches erroneously supported slavery in the past, then churches must be wrong for not supporting the new sexual “morality” popular today.  As for slavery, the New Testament condemns slavers (1 Timothy 1:10; Revelation 18:13), and the Apostle Paul preferred liberation (1 Corinthians 7:21; the whole of his letter to Philemon).  But the Church existed in a world in which slavery as an institution was ubiquitous.   If she could not end slavery she might at least convert slaves and masters with the gospel and thereby leaven the institution and perhaps one day end it—which eventually happened throughout Christendom.  BUT SHE NEVER TOOK A SIMILAR POSITION ON SEXUAL SIN.  Slaves and masters may be Christians—unrepentant fornicators, adulterers, prostitutes, and sodomites could not!  And sexual sin was just as prevalent as servitude in the ancient world.  Pagan temples were the restaurants of that world, but Christians were not to frequent them because of their associations with idolatry and sexual immorality, regardless how that might affect their business associations or other relationships with pagans.  In short, the apostles did not equivocate on sexual sin and neither can we.

In short, if the Bible be not clear that intimacy belong only in marriage between one man and one woman, it isn’t clear on anything else.  And if we can disregard its teachings concerning this subject, or simply reinterpret it to suit our appetites, then we can disregard it on anything else.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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