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be reserved between one man and one woman in holy matrimony, or its teachings on the subject be confused, incomplete, outdated, infantile, or just plain wrong—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.