Do Christian wives have to submit to requests for anal sex by their husbands?

In Ephesians 5:24 the Bible commands that wives are to submit to their husbands in “everything”.  Does “everything” include anal sex? Or does this fall under the exception clause to all earthly submission that “We ought to obey God rather than men.”(Acts 5:29)?

Beyond submission – what if the woman wants anal sex? Is it ok for a Christian couple to engage in anal sex?

Some Christians would give a quick response of “No way – anal sex is sodomy and sodomy is condemned in the Bible!”

However the word “sodomy” never occurs in the Bible.  That is a word made up in the English language.  Most people today when they hear the word sodomy think of one of two things – homosexual acts especially between two or more men or anal sex.  But the definition of sodomy in English is broader than this and includes oral sex or anal sex even between a man and woman.

This is the definition of “sodomy”:

“anal or oral copulation with a member of the same or opposite sex;”

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sodomy

The Roots of “Sodomy”

Now while “Sodomy” is never used in the Bible the roots for this English word can be seen in the story of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis chapter 19. Previously Abraham’s nephew Lot had moved with his family to the city of Sodom and Abraham had received angels from God that told him God would destroy Sodom for its wickedness.  Abraham asked for God to spare Lot and his family so the angels went there to get them.

The men of Sodom surrounded Lot’s house and demanded that he would send out the two angels so they could have sex with them.

So Biblically speaking what would “Sodomy” be? If we look at Genesis 19 it is when one man forcibly has anal sex with another man.

What about the word “sodomite”?

The word “sodomite” is used in these passages of the King James translation of the Bible:

“There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.”

Deuteronomy 23:17(KJV)

“And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord cast out before the children of Israel.”

1 Kings 14:24 (KJV)

“And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.”

1 Kings 15:12 (KJV)

“And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land.”

1 Kings 22:46 (KJV)

“And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the grove.”

2 Kings 23:7 (KJV)

I love the KJV and I quote from it regularly as it is often has the most literal English renderings of phrases from the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. However from time to time even the KJV translators would take liberties with certain phrases and this unfortunately is one of those cases.  The word that they are translating as “sodomite” is a translation of the Hebrew word “Qadesh” which literally means “male temple prostitute” and it has absolutely no connection to the Hebrew word for Sodom which is “Sedom”.  The original meaning of “Sedom” is unknown but eventually it came to mean “burning” in reference to God’s fiery judgment on the city of Sodom.

A “Qadesh” was man who sold himself for sex and the money used to pay him would go to the pagan temple with which he was associated. Often these were not just prostitutes but they were in fact male sex slaves. Would it be true that often times these men did engage in homosexual sex acts with other men? Absolutely. But they could also engage in sex acts with wealthy women as well so in the truest sense their activities were bisexual in nature.

The point about the word “Qadesh” (which was wrongly translated as “sodomite” in the KJV) is that it does not refer specifically to anal sex, but instead it refers to male temple prostitutes.

Now the argument I have just made is one that many advocates of homosexuality make to discount Biblical prohibitions against homosexuality.  But just because the Hebrew words behind Sodom and Sodomite do not specifically refer to homosexual acts this does not mean the Bible does not clearly condemn homosexual acts.  Make no mistake that it does.

God condemns homosexual acts between men in the book of Leviticus:

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

Leviticus 18:22 (KJV)

God condemns homosexual acts between men and women in Paul’s letter to the Romans:

“26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”

Romans 1:26-27 (KJV)

But here is my point about the words Sodomy, Sodom and Sodomite.

Sodomy is never found in the Bible and even if the roots of this English word refers to the wickedness of Sodom it does not refer simply to anal sex. Instead it would refer to men forcibly having anal sex with other men – in other words one man raping another man. In a broader sense Sodomy might refer to all types of wickedness that were practice in Sodom including homosexuality, whoremongering, prostitution and rape.

The word Sodom refers to the name of a Biblical city and has nothing specifically to do with sexual sins.

The word Sodomite is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word for male temple prostitute and while these prostitutes may have engaged in anal sex they also engaged in many other sex acts including normal sexual intercourse.

So if someone wants to say anal sex is condemned because the Bible condemns sodomites they would be incorrect in that connection. The Bible in these cases is condemning the rape of men and men being prostitutes.

So is anal sex ok for Christian married couples to engage in?

Up to this point you might think I am arguing that anal sex is ok because I have just shown that the Bible’s condemnation of sodomites is not a specific prohibition against anal sex but rather a prohibition against raping men and men being prostitutes.

But this is not the case.  I believe there is a Biblical case to be made against Christian couples engaging in anal sex whether it is because the woman wants to, the man wants to or they both want to. But we cannot build that case on the Bible’s condemnation of the acts of Sodom or the use of the word “sodomites” in the KJV.

Also I just want to say that anyone who knows me and has read my writings knows that I try to be very careful not to add to the law of God. We should not add rules for things as many Christians do just because we find these things to be “icky”.

For instance I am one of the few Bible believing Christian bloggers online that takes the position that the use of porn is not always sinful and can in fact be helpful to Christian men and women in many ways if used correctly. Even though there is no specific passage of Scripture that condemns the production of nude images or the use of porn (contrary to those who try and use Matthew 5:28 to condemn it) many Christians see “Thou shalt not use porn” as the 11th commandment.

So I am sensitive to the fact that when I say I believe anal sex is wrong I could be accused of doing exactly the same thing that I say Christian opponents of porn are doing.

So with all that being said as an introduction to the topic of anal sex let me now show you why I believe the Scripture condemn anal sex as a practice even between a husband and wife within the bounds of marriage.

Where does the Bible condemn anal sex?

If you want to find a passage that says “thou shalt not have anal sex” there is no such passage.

But you won’t find Scripture passages for some of these things either:

You won’t find a Bible verse that says “thou shalt not punch thy wife and beat her to a bloody pulp whenever you get angry with her”.

You won’t find a Bible verse that says “thou shalt not punch thy children and beat them to a bloody pulp whenever you get angry with them.”

You won’t find a Bible verse that says “thou shalt not break the speed limit while driving.”

I could go on but you get my point.  There are many things where we do not have a passage of Scripture that speaks to that specific activity yet we know that God did not just “forget” about it.  Some of these wicked activities are condemned by broader condemnations and by broader Biblical principles.

We know we should not break the speed limit not because of some specific Bible command against it but because of the broader teaching of passages like this one from I Peter 2:

“13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.”

I Peter 2:13-14 (KJV)

So we need to follow the speed limit as it is an ordinance of man and speed limits do not step outside the authority that God has given local government nor does a speed limit require us to go against the laws of God.

The Bible does give the right and responsibility for parents to use corporal punishment on their children:

“Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”

Proverbs 13:24 (KJV)

But it does not allow the abuse of children – our discipline is to be not supposed to be some sort of revenge but it is for our child’s good.  We discipline our children out of love for them and looking out for their wellbeing:

“6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”

Hebrews 12:6-8 (KJV)

When it comes to wives and discipline God shows that he disciplined his wife Israel and later disobedient churches in Revelation:

“And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.”

Amos 4:6 (KJV)

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

But while husbands are called to discipline their wives – they are also called to love their wives as their own bodies by protecting them and caring for their needs:

“28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”

Ephesians 5:28-29 (KJV)

When a man beats his wife as abusive husbands do this is by definition an act of hatred against his wife and it is clearly condemn by the principles set forth in Ephesians 5:28-29 (KJV)

In other posts I have argued that if a man physically abuses his wife she is allowed to be freed from him just as a slave was to be freed from their master if they were physically abused by their master as seen here in Exodus:

“26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake. 27 And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.”

Exodus 21:26-27 (KJV)

The right not to be physically abused by those in authority over us is a basic human right that God gives to all human beings from the lowest social casts to highest social casts. No child, no wife, no human being is called by God to endure physical abuse simply because the person is in authority.

Some say a wife should just take physical abuse based on passages like this:

“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

Matthew 5:39 (KJV)

But this is talking about persecution for the sake of the Gospel. This is not talking about a wife enduring bloody beatings from her husband because he comes home angry and wants a punching bag. It also does not forbid Christians from fleeing persecution even for the Gospel when they can:

“Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”

John 8:59 (KJV)

“32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: 33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.”

II Corinthians 11:32-33 (KJV)

My point in all this is that just because the Bible does not specifically talk about things like physically abusing your wife or children or breaking the speed limit does not mean it does not condemn these activities. In the same way I believe that while the Bible does not specifically mention anal sex there are Biblical principles that would in fact condemn anal sex.

What Biblical principles condemn anal sex?

Some Christians make an argument against anal sex based on the health risks it presents.  Some of these health risks are laid out in this article from WebMD:

“The anus lacks the natural lubrication the vagina has. Penetration can tear the tissue inside the anus, allowing bacteria and viruses to enter the bloodstream. This can result in the spread of sexually transmitted infections including HIV. Studies have suggested that anal exposure to HIV poses 30 times more risk for the receptive partner than vaginal exposure. Exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV) may also lead to the development of anal warts and anal cancer. Using lubricants can help some, but doesn’t completely prevent tearing.

The tissue inside the anus is not as well protected as the skin outside the anus. Our external tissue has layers of dead cells that serve as a protective barrier against infection. The tissue inside the anus does not have this natural protection, which leaves it vulnerable to tearing and the spread of infection.

The anus was designed to hold in feces. The anus is surrounded with a ring-like muscle, called the anal sphincter, which tightens after we defecate. When the muscle is tight, anal penetration can be painful and difficult. Repetitive anal sex may lead to weakening of the anal sphincter, making it difficult to hold in feces until you can get to the toilet. However, Kegel exercises to strengthen the sphincter may help prevent this problem or correct it.

The anus is full of bacteria. Even if both partners do not have a sexually-transmitted infection or disease, bacteria normally in the anus can potentially infect the giving partner. Practicing vaginal sex after anal sex can also lead to vaginal and urinary tract infections.”

http://www.webmd.com/sex/anal-sex-health-concerns

So the argument of some Christians is that because of these health risks Christians should not engage in this activity as our bodies are called the temple of God and we are to care for them and not abuse them.

The Bible speaks of our bodies belonging to God:

“19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

I Corinthians 6:19-20 (KJV)

Some might respond to the health risks of anal sex like a recent commenter on my blog who goes by the name of Jonadab-the-Rechabite:

“Your argument that anal sex is dangerous I think is also overstated. It is an activity less dangerous than motorcycle riding, and like motorcycle riding there are prudent measures that can mitigate the risks and make the activity safer and enjoyable. Is it a sin for a husband to want his wife to ride on the back of his motorcycle? The other ditch is to ignore those risks altogether, refusing prudent measures, this is loveless concern on the part of the husband. The same risks could be said about consuming pork. Pork could be dangerous if not properly cooked, it makes many people uncomfortable to eat an unclean animal and has been associated with health risks like heart disease.”

So should we not do things only because they are risky? Of course not.  If a husband asks his wife to do something and she does not want to do it simply because it has any kind of risk is she ok refusing? No – I don’t think risk alone gives a wife the right to refuse.

In fact I don’t think risk alone should stop a couple from doing something together like anal sex simply because of the risk.  What if a couple wants to go skydiving? That certainly is risky? So I agree with Jonadab that simply because something is risky that does not make that activity wrong.

The argument I make against anal sex goes beyond the risk factor – it goes to the heart of the issue which is design.

Anal sex violates God’s design of the body

I talk about design on this blog all the time. I marvel at the beautiful and distinctive ways in which God made men and women for their distinctive roles in his creation.

Design is why most women could never be a fire fighter and why few women could ever pass the vigorous tests of being a Navy seal. It is why men typically excel over women at heavy labor jobs and why men are less prone to physical injury than women.

Design is why most women can so naturally care for the needs of an infant and intuitively know what that child needs where most men would struggle in this area.

Design is why most women need to feel beautiful and why most men could care less about their outward appearance.

Design is why most men love vigorous competitions of all kinds while most women simplify love to talk and share their feelings with their friends.

So this then begs the question – “Is anal sex a natural use of the anus?”

“26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”

Romans 1:26-27 (KJV)

God is very much concerned that we use our bodies in the way he designed them to be used.  He did not design the male body for sex with another male body and he did not design the female body for sex with another female body.  When men have sex with men they are going against the natural design of their bodies and when women have sex with women they are going against the natural design of their bodies. But when a man has sex with a woman – he and this woman are now using their bodies in ways that God designed them to be used.

But even when a man has sexual relations with a woman I do not believe that anyone can make an argument from a medical and biological perspective that God designed the anus for penetration during sexual relations.  Everything about the anus shows us that it is designed as an “exit only” orifice of the body. Unlike the much tougher linings of the mouth and the vagina the anus has a very thin lining that is easily torn and can bleed and become infected.

Over long lengths of time regular anal sex can stretch the anal sphincter and lead to an inability to hold one’s feces.

The pain of anal sex

Anal sex is naturally painful – even with lubrication because the anus was NOT meant for penetration.

Now just because something is painful does not mean it is necessarily a bad thing to do that thing.

When a person lifts weights or does any type of strenuous exercise (or hard labor) often their muscles ache because the muscles are torn and stretched by that exercise. When the muscles heal from this tearing they become stronger.

When a mother gives birth it is certainly painful.

“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

Genesis 3:16 (KJV)

Notice the key word in Genesis 3:16 which is “multiply”. Even before sin God did not design child birth to a painless process any more than he designed people exercising (and thus tearing and stretching their muscles) to be a painless exercise.

No one would argue that the pain from exercise, hard labor or child birth means these activities are wrong to do.

But then there is another type of pain.  This type of pain is a pain that acts as warning to us.

Many of us when we were children experienced one type of this “warning pain” when our parents spanked us:

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

Hebrews 12:11 (KJV)

The pain of our parents spanking us warned us that what we were doing was wrong and that we needed to not do that thing we were doing anymore.

Besides our parents spanking us though – we have another natural type of “warning pain” that God gives us.  As small children we may have touched something that was hot only to have it burn our fingers.  This served to warn us that our skin is not made for touching things with high temperatures.

In same way people often experience internal pains which tells them something is wrong. Often times a person’s life can be saved when they are sensitive to pain and report it to a doctor so they can help them.

It is this warning type of pain that a person experiences when they allow their anus to be penetrated. The pain we experience as human beings when our anus is penetrated cannot be compared to the pain a person experiences when they exercise, do hard labor, when a woman loses her virginity or when a woman has a baby.  These types of pains are not meant as warnings but they serve as part of God’s natural design.

But when we touch a hot stove with our hand or when a woman feels pain when her anus is penetrated these are warning pains that God gave us to tell us that our skin was not designed for extreme heat and that our anus was not designed for penetration.

The argument for anal sex from existence of dual purpose body parts

Now that we have addressed the issue of the design of the anus not be fitting for penetration for intercourse both from a functional perspective as well as from a pain perspective we will lastly address the argument that anal sex is ok because it may serve a dual purpose as other body parts do.

Jonadab-the-Rechabite said this about God’s design of our bodies:

“God has designed many parts of the body with a primary function and many secondary as well. For instance, the mouth is used for many functions such as eating speaking, breathing etc. If I said that the mouth was designed for eating so you should not kiss with it, you would probably disagree. It is fallacious to say the anus was designed to eliminate waste so it can serve no other function. The very same argument of teleology or design was used by fundamentalists against oral sex just a couple of decades ago. We are not free to add to the law or assume the exhaustive purposes of God when He has not revealed such.”

Yes some body parts have duel purposes – agreed. We can use our mouth to eat, to breathe, to kiss and to give sexual pleasure to our spouses. We can use our hands to hold things, to work, to paint, to play sports and to give our partners sexual pleasure.

A man’s penis used both to urinate and to give himself and his wife sexual pleasure.  A woman’s vagina is used both to give her husband and herself sexual pleasure as well as bear children.

I might agree with Jonadab that the anus could have been designed with a dual purpose as a secondary way of giving a husband sexual pleasure from his wife as her mouth does IF these things were true of anal sex:

  1. The lining of the anus was as thick and tough as the skin in the mouth or the vagina.
  2. The anus had a natural expansion mechanism for things to enter it as the vagina and mouth do.
  3. The anus did not give off warning pains when it is penetrated each time.
  4. The practice of regular anal sex over many months or years did not have a strong possibility of causing issues with feces not be able to be held and other health injuries.

But the fact is none the things I just mentioned are true of anal sex and therefore there is no way that we can conclude that the anus is a dual purpose body part on a woman that is meant for sexual pleasure in the same way her mouth and hands can be.

Some have tried to argue(and still do today) as Jonadab has pointed out that oral sex or hand jobs or any sex outside of vaginal intercourse is sinful and wrong.  They argue that God designed sex between a man and woman to only consist of vaginal intercourse.

But there is a huge difference between these other types of sex and anal sex. A woman’s hand does not burn and hurt simply because she rubs her husband’s penis with it.  A woman’s mouth does not hurt just from the fact that her husband places his penis in it. Now could a woman’s hand or mouth begin to get sore from prolonged sexual relations? Sure.  But so could her vagina.

But my point is that the intial contact with these areas of the body and moderate use of them during sex does not normally or naturally cause pain in the way that anal sex will cause pain whether from prolonged use or moderate use.

There is no warning pain from any of these other types of sex besides anal sex. In fact we can find allusions to these other types of sexual activity in the Song of Solomon. So trying to compare anal sex to oral sex or other types of manual sex is a comparison of apples to oranges.

A woman may experience pain during vaginal sex for reasons other than prolonged sexual intercourse.  But God did not design vaginal sex to be painful. If a woman were to go to the doctor and explain that she is having painful vaginal intercourse the doctor will tell her that is not normal and they need to look into reasons why that is happening. But if that same woman were to tell the doctor she has painful anal intercourse the doctor is going to say – “well that is because the anus is not designed for sex”.  Now yes you can find ways to reduce that pain but the fact is it is completely normal for anal sex to be painful because it is warning from your body that you are not supposed to be doing that!

Conclusion

The fact is that regular and prolonged penetration of the vagina, oral sex or other manual types of sex when practiced in a committed marriage relationship present absolutely no health problems and do not cause warning pains because these practices are using our bodies in ways in which God designed them to be used.

However regular penetration of the anus will over time cause stretching and damage to the anus and the ability for one to hold in their feces. It also causes warning pains to the woman telling her that God did not design her anus to be used for sexual penetration by her husband.

It is for these reasons that Christian couples should reject anal sex as part of their sex life – God did not design the anus as a dual purpose body part for sexual pleasure. Instead this body part was designed for one purpose and one purpose alone – the release of gas from the body and the release of waste from the body.  That is it.

And as to the question that is the title of this article “Do Christian wives have to submit to requests for anal sex by their husbands?”

While it is true that a woman’s body belongs to her husband it is equally true that he does not have a right to sinfully abuse her body that God has given him. So it is for this reason I believe the answer is NO a wife does not have to submit to this type of sinful request based on the Biblical principle that “We ought to obey God rather than men.”(Acts 5:29).

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42 thoughts on “Do Christian wives have to submit to requests for anal sex by their husbands?

  1. If I understand your argument correctly, the question of whether or not anal sex is a sin hinges on the interpretation of the English phrase “natural use”. Your contention is that you find the anus not naturally used or designed for sexual pleasure and therefore a sin to use it for such for all people for all time in all circumstances.

    I find that a sweeping generalization and overstatement that would bind the conscience of millions of Christians and even the condemnation of pleasurable acts that involve the anus that do not involve coitus.

    With all due respect, I posit that you made several errors in logic in arriving at your conclusion. One such error was made in support of contrary to natural use is your statement that, “The practice of regular anal sex over many months or years did not have a strong possibility of causing issues with feces not be able to be held and other health injuries.” That does not preclude the once in a blue moon frequency and is an argument against overuse not any and all use. It also does not address the probability of such occurrences. Is it 1 in 10 that will suffer incontinence or 1 in 100,000? When making arguments from general revelation probabilities matter. Another leap is your statement “The anus did not give off warning pains when it is penetrated each time.” Does it? I am no expert, but from my understanding penetration pain can be avoided and the significant number of nerve endings in the anus can be stimulated to pleasure. Another statement in support that you made was on the lining of the rectum not being as thick as the vagina, is an interesting factoid, but it is the wrong question to the subject at hand. The right question, it seems to me, is it sufficient or thick enough. Is thickness the the only determinate factor? What about tensile strength etc. You repeat the same fallacy with the properties of expansion. Obviously a human child is not going to pass through the anus so it is not necessary for the continuation of the human race to expand for child birth. The proper question is can it expand sufficiently.

    You have rightly swatted away many of the fallacious contentions of others, but if you are to codify some activity a sin for all people and for all time your statement should be firmly grounded on solid exegesis and bulletproof logic. I am not persuaded that the “natural use” argument comes remotely close to those requirements. In my opinion, it is best to leave the issue in the realm of wisdom and liberty according to 1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” and 1 Corinthians 10:29 “…for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?”

  2. This might be slightly off-topic but it’s something I’ve been pondering while reading this and the previous two posts. We will agree that a wife does not have the right to refuse to engage in an activity (like motorcycle riding) just because it is ‘risky’, but would you make the argument that a husband who knows his wife’s feelings on the subject and forces her to do it anyway is in sin? Ironically, the motorcycle example is exactly what happened to my parents back when they were newlyweds. My dad had a motorcycle and my mom hated it (she was a nurse and worked a lot of trauma cases, a lot of which involved motorcycles so she undoubtedly had a skewed perspective). She hated it so much that she didn’t even like my dad riding it even though he never asked her to join. She did her best to submit to him and never told him he wasn’t allowed to ride it. My dad knew how she felt though and, rather than forcing her to ride with him to overcome her fears, sold it and bought a car instead. I think had he acted otherwise, that would not have been living with her in an understanding way as the Bible commands, but I also don’t think that wives can just use the “i’m scared’ card to manipulate situations (as my mom was definitely not doing and had a habit of not doing…which undoubtedly influenced my dad’s behavior).

    This could definitely apply to anal sex, but I’d be interested to hear your thoughts in general.

  3. No offense, AnnaMS, but why is it that almost any time the subject of submission and obedience breeched there is always the argument of “Well what if he forces her when she doesn’t want to?” Is this really a big problem with Christians? I cant think of any of my friends who have forced their wives into doing something they didn’t want. They may have badgered until their wives gave up on fighting back, but that is much different from forcing someone. I would go out on a limb and bet that 99% of Christian men, being aware that their wife did not want to do a particular activity, would not force (ie: command) her to do it anyway. Maybe its a big problem with non-believers, but I just do no see Christian men taking this route, whether it be something sexual, riding a motorcycle or going to see a movie. I wont say it NEVER happens, but the way its brought up in discussions like this one would think that its the standard MO for a Christian man – to simply tell his wife “I don’t care if you don’t want to play this Xbox with me or not, now pick up that controller and start healing my tank!” (little bit of gamer humor, there).

    What is your thought process that leads you to go to the “forced sex slave” scenario? I ask in all honesty because I am honestly curious.

  4. Jonadab,

    Your Statement:

    “If I understand your argument correctly, the question of whether or not anal sex is a sin hinges on the interpretation of the English phrase “natural use”. Your contention is that you find the anus not naturally used or designed for sexual pleasure and therefore a sin to use it for such for all people for all time in all circumstances.”

    You are understanding my argument correctly – I am basing my argument against anal sex on the “natural use” principle taught in Scripture.

    Your Statement:

    “That does not preclude the once in a blue moon frequency and is an argument against overuse not any and all use. It also does not address the probability of such occurrences. Is it 1 in 10 that will suffer incontinence or 1 in 100,000? When making arguments from general revelation probabilities matter.”

    Just because infrequent or occasional oral sex may not lead to these types of problems does not invalidate my point that the anus was not designed for sexual intercourse. Doe life-long and regular vaginal intercourse between a husband and his wife increase the risk of causing incontinence of the bladder or the bowel? No and the reason is because the vagina is designed to be able to take repeated and regular sexual penetration by the penis.
    Again I am not basing my argument on risk alone. I basing my argument on the fact that the risk is just one part of a larger indication of the misuse of that body part.

    Your Statement:

    “Another leap is your statement “The anus did not give off warning pains when it is penetrated each time.” Does it? I am no expert, but from my understanding penetration pain can be avoided and the significant number of nerve endings in the anus can be stimulated to pleasure.”

    Penetration pain can be avoid by applying numbing gels or other methods before anal sex. But what are people doing when they do that? They going around God’s warning device so they can experience pleasure. I am saying the warning is there for a reason and we should not ignore it.

    Your Statement:

    “Another statement in support that you made was on the lining of the rectum not being as thick as the vagina, is an interesting factoid, but it is the wrong question to the subject at hand. The right question, it seems to me, is it sufficient or thick enough. Is thickness the the only determinate factor? What about tensile strength etc.”

    I agree that the lining of the anus does not have to be as thick as the vagina or the mouth to accommodate sexual penetration. However you only need to look at many medical websites to find out that if doctors are being honest they will tell you the strength of the lining in the anus is not strong enough. This is why it tears. This is why bleeds. And these are not rare occurrences but regular occurrences for people who have anal sex. Again this is just another indication in the larger argument that the anus was not designed for sexual penetration.

    Your Statement:

    “You repeat the same fallacy with the properties of expansion. Obviously a human child is not going to pass through the anus so it is not necessary for the continuation of the human race to expand for child birth. The proper question is can it expand sufficiently.”

    The anus would not have to open to the same degree that a vagina is capable of for having a child. I never made that argument. But the anus does not naturally expand AT ALL like the vagina does. Under normal circumstances when sex is done properly and the woman is properly excited for sex God has designed the vagina to not only lubricate itself for sexual penetration but also it expands. The anus has neither the properties of natural lubrication or expansion.

    Even in the case of oral sex – the mouth is very elastic, the skin is tough and saliva acts as a natural lubricant for sexual activity. The anus shares none of these properties and is a naturally HOSTILE environment to sexual activity.

    Another point I really did not touch on was the disease and infection factor of anal sex. It is interesting that a husband and wife can go from performing oral sex on the other’s genitals to kissing to vaginal intercourse and rotate between all these activities and there is no danger of infection under normal circumstances.

    However the same cannot be said for anal sex under normal circumstances.

    So it is not just one of these factors that makes what I believe to be a “bullet proof” case against the Christians engaging in anal sex. It is the combination of all these factors that makes the case.

  5. Snapper, I don’t think I have a particular thought process. I definitely wasn’t trying to imply that most Christian men were like this. Without knowing what goes on behind closed doors, I can safely say that I am unaware of any instances where Christian men I know would act this way. I was seeking BGR’s, or really any commenter’s opinion on a concept in general while knowing that it’s not likely to be a huge issue.

    Also, I’m not at all opposed to the idea of a husband forcing something that his wife doesn’t want when it comes to a lot of things in life (picking a church, choosing to do family devotions, etc.) although I do think it is better if they can come to an agreement together instead. My main point was about issues where the wife had a genuine fear of something. A personal example for me would be that my husband would never think of forcing me to go skydiving as he knows I have a fear of heights. But there’s nowhere in the Bible that would say I don’t need to submit to his request should he ask me too. So then it would be an issue of whether or not his request would be a sin on his part.

  6. AnnaMS,

    Your Statement:

    “We will agree that a wife does not have the right to refuse to engage in an activity (like motorcycle riding) just because it is ‘risky’, but would you make the argument that a husband who knows his wife’s feelings on the subject and forces her to do it anyway is in sin?”

    I really think it all depends on a husband’s motivation and I think it depends on what you mean by “force”. I do not advocate for men to use physical force with their wives except under extreme circumstances. I had a friend of mine whose wife suffers from mental illness and she got upset during a heated argument and went and took a whole bottle of pain pills in front of him. The husband grabbed his wife and forced his hand into her mouth with her biting on his hand as he did it so that he could pull the pills out of her mouth before she could swallow them. But in this case the physical force he used was for her own good and it was not him acting in anger or spite.

    But under normal circumstances no I do not believe that God would have us as husbands to physically force our wives into doing various actives whether it is motor cycle riding or sex. Some times I think it is appropriate for a husband to use non-physical force to pressure or persuade his wife.

    For instance if a husband chooses the church for his family and his wife refuses to go but instead decides to go to another church she likes should he force her into the car? Of course not. But could he take the car keys for the other car so she could not easily attend the other church? Sure. If he did not take the car keys could he take away other privileges like her credit cards or even lock her out of the bank until she complies? Certainly he could.

    But then we come to things like motor cycle riding and skydiving. What loving purpose would it serve for a husband to force his wife participate in these things with him? I don’t think in these cases it would be necessary.

    Even when it comes to the area of the sexual submission of the wife I don’t think a husband should physically force his wife to do anything sexual either. However I do believe that many Christian woman while being submissive to their husbands in areas of finance, what the children are taught and where the family goes to church are often utterly lacking in the area of sexual submission. Many Christian wives pat themselves on the back and kid themselves that they are sexually submissive to their husbands simply because they spread their legs when he asks for sex. The sexual submission of a wife to her husband is SO MUCH more than that.

    A wife does not have her body fully submitted to her husband until she can honestly look in the mirror at her body and fully accept the premise that her body and by extension her beauty belongs to her husband. That means unless what he is asking for is a clear violation of God’s law like wife swapping, threesomes, orgies, anal sex or things like this she is willing to do whatever he asks for. If he asks her to wear certain lingerie she wears it. If he asks to have sex in the living room or the shower instead of the bed then she submits to his request(obviously there would be no one in the living room…LOL). If he asks for oral sex, a hand job, boob sex there is no hesitation – she does it.

    Now I realize that what I have just described is advanced sexual submission for many women and we as husbands should be patient with our wives in these areas. As I have been saying in some emails to Christian couples who have written me on the subject of sexual submission – “Our spiritual life is a marathon, not a sprint.” But we should see growth. I do believe and I recommend to men that they use certain correlation methods if their wives are restrictive toward them in the sexual arena so that she understands that long term this is not acceptable.

  7. I think we see ‘forcing’ as different here. When I think of force I think of a command – “You WILL do this thing.”, but even that isn’t really force. Forcing someone to do something is really putting them into a position where failure to comply would result in an extremely negative result, such as being hurt or hurting/damaging someone or something of great importance. Personally I don’t think the majority of Christian men would even use a commanding voice to try to intimidate their wives into doing something. Despite what some people might have us think, I believe that most Christian husbands take their wives feelings into account more often than not, and sometimes maybe a little too much.

    Either way, thanks for the info, just wanted to satisfy my curiosity.

  8. SnapperTrx,

    I see what you are saying and for the most part I agree with you. I think in most cases we can as husbands approach our wives in gentle ways about doing various things. But I must say that I do know of many Christian husbands(including but certainly not limited to myself) where we do sometimes have to take an authoritative tone with our wife. The most common occurrence is when a wife speaks continues nagging a husband about something or not letting it go and you have to tell your wife “I have heard you, but the discussion is OVER”. If I have had a dime for how many times my Dad said that to my mom, I have said that to my wife and I have heard other friends say that to their wives I would have a lot of dimes.

    But I agree with you in the sense that Christian husbands don’t usually do things like “woman get down on your knees and give me oral sex!” or “woman get on this motor cycle now”.

    Also I agree with you that most Christian husbands take their wives feelings into account but I also agree it can sometimes be to a fault.

  9. BGR, I wasn’t thinking of physical force when I said ‘force’ (although it could certainly be included in that), and was more what Snapper was saying, but either way, I think we agree here. I definitely agree with you about a wife’s sexual submission. I think my husband would have sinned had he required me to perform oral sex on our wedding night knowing how I felt about it, but it’s also true that that is precisely why he didn’t do that! So I agree with what you’re saying, but I also agree with you and Snapper that this often isn’t an issue for Christian men.

  10. “If you want to find a passage that says “thou shalt not have anal sex” there is no such passage.”

    Look how many pages you had to write after that to come up with a logical reason why anal sex is wrong. That should have clued you in that you were off track.

    As Paul said in Romans, the Old Testament explicitly tells us what is sin; anything not listed is not sin. Ergo, per your own admission anal sex (man and wife) cannot possibly be sin. To further buttress that, as the New Testament says, the marriage bed is undefiled. Nothing sexual that happens between a man and wife is sin (except possibly sex during menstration?).

    Lastly you stake its wrongness on the fact that pain and harm are involved. Funny thing about that, many women get off on pain in sex. A single or irregular act of anal sex won’t cause damage: its a matter of degree. The same is true for vaginal sex; too much of it can cause harm as well.

  11. Husband,

    Using your logic abortion isn’t a sin either since it’s not clearly stated in the bible. Same with embryonic stem cell research. Many men get off on threesomes doesn’t give any credibility to that urge

  12. So it is not just one of these factors that makes what I believe to be a “bullet proof” case against the Christians engaging in oral sex. It is the combination of all these factors that makes the case.

    —> I think you meant to say anal sex where you wrote oral sex

    I am a little uncomfortable with being an apologist for anal sex, (I am not a practitioner), rather I am attempting to be an apologist for principles of Biblical ethics and jurisdictional liberty. I belong to a confessional church, that uses the Westminster Confession of faith to keep us on the rails. It gives a good guide to some boundaries where it says:

    The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.

    We have agreed, I think, that a prohibition of anal sex is not expressly laid down in scripture. That means that we are discussing if there exists a good and necessary consequence of deduction from scripture that forbids anal sex. Your contention is that Romans 1:26&27 provides the basis for a good and necessary deduction, I disagree and that is the point of conflict. You have buttressed your position by appealing to differences between the anus and vagina specifically properties of elasticity, lucubration, possible discomfort and the possibility of disease.

    Let’s first look at Romans 1:26&27 to explore if provides the basis for a good and necessary deduction.

    Romans 1:26-27 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (bold mine)

    The immediate context of “dishonorable passions is homosexuality. V26 is a reference to women who do not have sex with men, but replaced them with other women. v27 is explicitly men with men. The shameless acts is simply men with men; there is no reference to the use of the anus, and I am positive Paul would have been just as offended if all two men were doing was holding hands and french kissing. The immediate context gives no support to the contention that the use of anus for pleasure is against nature, unnatural or not a natural use. What is against nature is homosexuality not because of the use of any body part, because it is male-male or female-female and not male-female.

    The reasoning then, to label anal sex a sin is solely based on “natural law” or the laws of expediency. The use of these is a tricky undertaking. Compare these two statements. “If God had meant the anus to be used for sex, he would have provided it to self-lubricate – its unnatural” and “If God had meant for man to fly, he would have given him wings and feathers – its unnatural”. The observation and conclusion are so similar that it would lead one to conclude that they are either both valid or both non-sequitur. I do not mean to imply that we should avoid natural law in our ethics, just that we should double down on humility and be cautious on our dogmatism. We often get natural law wrong, and that should give us pause.

    The New Testament contains at least two uses of natural law: 1 Cor 1:14 which tells us that nature finds long hair on men a disgrace and long hair on women to her glory. I do not where nature tells me this, but the apostle reveals that nature does reveal it. The other appeal to natural law is from the teaching of Jesus found in Matt 5:45 where the Lord points out that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. His conclusion for ethics is love your enemies. I dare say that we might observe the rain and never come to His conclusion. Natural law is a tricky business; that’s why I need the special revelation of scripture to inform me of the meaning of general revelation, including natural law.

    So the argument seems to rest on comparisons of the vagina to the anus. There is no disagreement that the vagina is designed to receive the penis in order to reproduce. The differences in physical construction are also not questioned. Neither is the question that increased risks of anal sex necessitate increased care and preparation. The question at hand then concerns if the differences constitute so great a concern to label anal sex a sin.

    One of the problems in assessing the concern is using the correct data. The medical community in its warnings does not sample for monogamous married heterosexual anal sex apart from homosexual and heterosexual orgies. I suspect that if the right samples were used, the risks of anal sex in a Biblical marriage would be much lower than reported. I also observe that the medical community is risk adverse. For instance dermatologists are constantly advising to avoid the sun. Thus the data is not reliable enough to assess, except to provide an upper limit on the probability of the risks.

    There are other principles from scripture that should also be considered, like christian liberty, limits of authority and the marriage bed as holy.

    Putting it all together, the arguments from scripture, the deductions, the natural law expediencies the case that anal sex is a sin is underwhelming, certainly not bullet-proof. I could shoot some bullets and point out some inconsistencies and arbitrariness in the conclusion, but it is unnecessary because the case is insufficient. The default position of Christian liberty stands against what has been presented.

    Feel free to make other arguments from scripture, I did not mean to prejudice the discussion to limit it to one and only one portion of scripture.

  13. Jonadab,

    Your Statement:

    “I think you meant to say anal sex where you wrote oral sex”

    Thanks I fixed that and changed that anal sex in my comment – I also fixed your italics issue in your comment.

    Your Statement:

    “You have buttressed your position by appealing to differences between the anus and vagina specifically properties of elasticity, lucubration, possible discomfort and the possibility of disease.”

    While your statement accurately describes most of my argument against anal sex it leaves off one important part. While I do make a lot of comparisons of the anus to the vagina I am not making the argument that the anus would have to have the exact properties of the vagina.

    What I am arguing is that if the anus were designed by God as an alternate way of giving and receiving sexual pleasure as other parts of the body are he would not have given it properties that make it a hostile environment for sexual penetration both to the recipient (because of pain and possible internal damage it might cause as well as cross contamination from disease) and to the person performing the act (disease factor).

    Consider how God designed the mouth and tongue as perfect alternative body parts that can be used to give sexual pleasure. It could be argued that the mouth and the tongue are in fact not just alternate body parts in God’s design for sex but they are in fact designed to be part of the primary body parts used in the process of sexual relations between a man and a woman. Just imagine sex where there is no kissing of each other’s mouths or bodies and how dull that would be!

    Your Statement:

    “The immediate context of “dishonorable passions is homosexuality. V26 is a reference to women who do not have sex with men, but replaced them with other women. v27 is explicitly men with men. The shameless acts is simply men with men; there is no reference to the use of the anus, and I am positive Paul would have been just as offended if all two men were doing was holding hands and french kissing. The immediate context gives no support to the contention that the use of anus for pleasure is against nature, unnatural or not a natural use. What is against nature is homosexuality not because of the use of any body part, because it is male-male or female-female and not male-female.”

    I agree with you that the immediate context of Romans 1:26-27 is speaking of God’s prohibition against homosexuality. But Paul is using a higher principle – that of the principle of the “natural use” of the body as God designed it to be used and then applying that to the issue of homosexuality. This does not restrict “natural use” then to just the issue of homosexuality. Heterosexual couples can also misuse their bodies.

    For instance at the risk of making my readers throw up are you aware that some couples(both heterosexual and homosexual) get off on defecating into each other’s mouths? Would anyone argue that this is a “natural use” of the body that God intended?

    Now nowhere in the Scriptures does the Bible tell husbands and wives that they cannot defecate into each other’s mouths in the same way that nowhere in the Scriptures does it say a husband and wife cannot engage in anal sex. But I would argue that for similar reasons of this violating the natural use and design of the body that both these activities are sinful for Christians to engage in.

    Your Statement:

    “So the argument seems to rest on comparisons of the vagina to the anus. There is no disagreement that the vagina is designed to receive the penis in order to reproduce.”

    I know what you are saying here but I want to remind my readers of my position on the design of the vagina. I have talked about this in other posts and I discussed it at length in my post https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/02/10/the-7-reasons-why-god-made-sex/.

    A woman’s vagina and really the ability for a man and woman to have vaginal intercourse was not designed by God for the primary purpose of reproduction with the added benefit of it being pleasurable for a man and a woman(contrary to what some church authorities have taught in past centuries).
    God could have made humans reproduce in many other ways. He could have made us like fish where the woman lays eggs and the man fertilizes those eggs.

    So I would argue and I have argued in posts and various comments that the Church had it all backwards about the vagina and sex in general. God did not make the vagina primarily for having children with the added bonus of vaginal intercourse (the way he designed conception to occur) being pleasurable for the man and woman.

    “Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:” –Genesis 49:5 (KJV)

    “Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” – Proverbs 5:19 (KJV)

    “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” – I Corinthians 11:9 (KJV)

    No my friends – God designed a woman’s vagina for the same reason he designed the rest of her body, to give her husband a lifetime of pleasure with the added bonus of her being able to give birth to children through her vagina. A woman’s vagina was designed for daily and rigorous sexual relations with her husband – this is its primary purpose and design.

    And yes as I have previously pointed out – God in his love for women also designed them to be able to receive sexual pleasure through their clitoris and vagina as they give their body to their husband for his sexual pleasure.

    Your Statement:

    “Putting it all together, the arguments from scripture, the deductions, the natural law expediencies the case that anal sex is a sin is underwhelming, certainly not bullet-proof.”

    I appreciate your appeal to Christian liberty and I am often with you on that in many other cases. I also appreciate the respectful disagreements we have had. But I think on this issue we have both presented our cases and will have to agree to disagree. Let the reader examine both our arguments and then seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this matter.

  14. Thank you for fixing my italics. Unfortunately WP does not allow a preview of formatting in the comments.

    Your statement

    Now nowhere in the Scriptures does the Bible tell husbands and wives that they cannot defecate into each other’s mouths in the same way that nowhere in the Scriptures does it say a husband and wife cannot engage in anal sex.

    This is an example of an unfit comparison. The principle of whatever is commanded the opposite is forbidden and whatever is forbidden the opposite is commanded applies in our life of sanctification. In this instance what is commanded is to bury feces outside of the camp. Deut. 23:12-13. That principle in the OT has given rise to modern applications that involve indoor pluming and city waste treatment. Both technologies exercise the principle of removing the feces from the camp or living space and burying it or decomposing it. In some countries where God’s law is not practiced the people do not bury their feces and they pay a price for the lack of sanitation. I do not believe that there is a fitting parallel to sex. When it comes to sex what is forbidden, homosexuality, the opposite is commanded heterosexuality and what is forbidden is adultery and fornication the opposite commanded is a robust sex life in covenant marriage.

    You also wrote:

    God designed a woman’s vagina for the same reason he designed the rest of her body, to give her husband a lifetime of pleasure…

    Is not her anus part of the rest of her body? Why should just it be excluded!

  15. Yes, indeed people need to avoid harmful extremes. Can people govern their religious fervor with reason and thus avoid irrational fanaticism? Sadly, many folks seem not able to use their God-given reasoning ability constructively when it comes to interpreting the Bible.

    There are many bloggers out there claiming to be Christian who cherry pick a few chapters and verse and then take these out of context to legitimate whatever they wish to do. There are even some who claim to be Christian that use the Bible to rationalize or justify their pro-abortion positions.

    What a confusing mess!

    For health reasons, anal sex ought to be shunned. And, the question ought to be: Why does a husband and/or wife desire this?

    In the US, I dare say part of the desire for this on the part of men may be that circumcision has robbed them of thousands of nerve endings in their penis, and they are seeking more intense sensations via anal sex. Why not condemn infant male circumcision and the harm it does rather than leave the door open for anal sex? Do not believe the US pediatricians about the need for or “benefits” of circumcision. (Circumcision is not about hygiene or health or cleanliness. In the US, circumcision is a big money maker for doctors and interns.) The pediatricians in Europe laugh at their US counterparts for this nonsense.

  16. larryzb,

    Oh no buddy! We agree on so much and we even agree on anal sex being wrong – but I had no idea you were anti-circumcision. That has been a huge battle in my extended family – when my nephew and his wife decided not to circumcise their son it caused a great strife in the family.

    I sense I will be writing an article on circumcision sooner rather than later.

  17. Dear BGR,

    Such articles on circumcision have already been written by various bloggers in recent years. I have written on this topic a few times. If you wish, you can visit my blog and use the search box to find these.

    Why do parents not consider their son’s right to bodily integrity when the doctors try to push this circum
    cision nonsense on them? (I applaud the courage of your nephew and his wife.)

    Just bear in mind that circumcision is the exception in the world, not the rule. The US is the only industrial country to routinely circumcise infant males for non-religious reasons. When you write your article, please look into the history of circumcision in the US beginning in the late 1800s.

  18. Suppose husband and wife both desire anal sex (nothing being forced on wife, mutual desire)? Perhaps 2-3x/year, taking precautions to avoid damage?

    This seems like a bit of gray area. If a woman does not want anal sex, her husband should accept that. If she agrees to it, she should have that freedom. Either way, in this situation the woman, as the receiving partner, takes the risk of harm, not the man. So it should be her choice.

  19. @Jonadab

    ”Is not her anus part of the rest of her body? Why should just it be excluded!”

    So are the skin and many other parts of the body. Suppose a person gets off on slicing off flesh with a knife? Should it be excluded?

    You think its good to harm a person just for the sake of pleasure?

  20. @infowarrior1

    “You think its good to harm a person just for the sake of pleasure?”

    If you have read what I have posted in this and BGR’s previous post you know that your statement is outrageously inappropriate. But I will provided you a response anyway in hopes that it will stimulate our hearts and minds to love God more deeply.

    Harm can happen in many ways and for many actions, both committed and omitted. Love toward one another seeks to keep others from harm. For clarity’s sake, I am using harm as an injury inflicted or an action that causes someone/something to be less valuable.

    One specific form of harm that I have been concerned with is harming one’s conscience and liberty. This often happens when one attempts to make ethical absolutes based on presuppositions that reflect a personal prejudice. I think of fundamentalists who call out that dancing, going to movies and strong drink are all sinful. Where I find that some forms of dance for some people may be a sin, I would do harm to label all dancing as a sin. I may even find that most of the content of modern movies does not help me to love God more, I err when I condemn all movies as sin not just because I am incorrect, but because I accuse my brother and harm his conscience and perhaps his reputation.

    An example where I have come close to sinning against liberty in calling out sin. I have indicated that for most Christians, sending their children to government schools is a sin, but I am careful to modify the statement with the word most. I would harm the parents who have no other choice if I just said “sending your children to government schools is a sin.” And yet the logic still applies. 1) We are commanded to raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Government schools do not teach children to love and fear God, but to think in worldly patterns and to disobey His law. 2) Mark 9:42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. Therefore in the majority of cases in America, sending christian children to government schools is stumbling our children and sin.

    I must still guard the liberty of others and the unique situations they face. Some are court ordered to send their children to a certain public school or lose visitation, which is also harmful threat. So just declaring public schools a sin is a needless and frankly lazy declaration that can harm others who are not in my situation.

    The same goes for anal sex. Declaring it a sin harms the conscience and liberty of many others who find it painless, enjoyable and take precautions to mitigate health risks. Further some may enjoy the insertion of a finger, or the stimulation of the outer area of the sphincter without penetration and those activities would equally be forbidden; using the anus for a purpose that its design as a waste removal port did not intend. Calling something a sin that reflects the totality of giving of one’s whole self to the other is troublesome to me. I find the reasoning to be more the result of eisegesis than exegesis, and not the consequence of a good and necessary deduction. In fact I find the logic neither good nor necessary, but that is just my estimation.

    The burden of proof against liberty and conscience is a very high wall, climb it with caution. It just might be that calling something sin, maybe the real act of sin.

  21. “It just might be that calling something sin, maybe the real act of sin.”

    Jonadab… in reading Romans 14, if you believe you have freedom to do something that other people believe is a sin, it is your duty to “keep it to yourself,” and to “not try to persuade them to accept it like you do.” It would still be sin for them. That applies here with this topic, and I’m talking with my husband’s opinion on this that he brought up, not trying to rebuke you or anything, just let you be aware that when it comes to issues like that concerning other’s freedoms.

  22. @ Stephanie

    I have been speaking against the statement that anal is sin, ie for everyone in all circumstances.

    Concerning what you wrote when you said that ” it is your duty to “keep it to yourself”. Is it also the duty of others to keep their claim that something is a sin to themselves? Should they also “not try to persuade others to accept it ” (their claim) as it may be a sin against others? Remember how we got here, I did not introduce the topic of anal sex, but argued against labeling it a sin (see BGR “Does a Christian wife have to submit to a sinful request from her husband?”), nor did I write a piece on how anal sex is wonderful and every couple should give it a whirl, in fact I stated one is free to avoid it. I rebutted the contention that it is sin and supported the very scripture you referenced, the principle of Romans 14:3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats . (bold mine) and Romans 14:14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. I am attempting to integrate Romans 14:23 in our thinking But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. I have been rebutting what I believe to be spurious statements that will cause doubts in Christian couples about holiness of the marriage bed and produce doubts and not faith. Are you really suggesting that I should just keep it to myself?

  23. “It just might be that calling something sin, maybe the real act of sin.”

    Why not then complete moral relativism? Are there not any moral absolutes?

    We see yet again folks using Scripture to rationalize whatever they want. No wonder some people see religion as being dangerous.

  24. @Larryzb

    God’s Word is the moral absolute; there has been no cause to suggest that I am advocating ethical relativism, or the rationalizing of that which is contrary to the law of God. What is being discussed is the application of God’s Word to people in situations. The issue at hand, as I have been arguing, is not the rationalizing of sin, but the rationalizing a prohibition against a liberty. So yes, adding to God’s Word and calling a liberty a sin is indeed a sin. As is bearing a false witness.

    BGR and I disagree on whether the argument against the nature of a thing is sufficiently clear and reasoned to bear the burden of proof of sin and overcome the high threshold of Christian liberty.

  25. Jonadab, Stephanie, Larryzb

    I fully admitted from the beginning of this post that there is no passage of Scripture that says “thou shalt not have anal sex” but in the same vein there is no passage of Scripture that tells us specifically “thou shalt not break the speed limit” and “thou shalt not have abortions”. Jonadab and I disagreed about what “natural use” means in Romans 1.

    It is true that Biblically speaking there are things that are sinful for everyone to do, and then there are things that are sinful for us to do if we do not have full faith and clear conscience that we can do that thing:

    “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” – Romans 14:23 (KJV)

    So yes some things are a matter of liberty and conscience as Jonadab has rightly pointed out and other things are sin for everyone and are not a matter of liberty. Jonadab believes anal sex falls into the former category of liberty, I believe it falls into the latter of category of sin for all. It is an honest disagreement.

    Stephanie’s husband brought up the previous verse in Romans 14:

    “Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.” – Romans 14:22 (KJV)

    I don’t believe that verse means we cannot as believers have discussions about our differences in belief – especially as to what we believe is sin for all verses sin for some based on our understanding of the Scriptures. If that were the case then Paul would have been wrong for telling people it was ok to eat meat that had been sacrificed to idols. But what he was saying is that it is not wrong to share with your brother or sister why you think something is ok to do, but at the same time you cannot force him to do something against his conscience where he believes he would be directly sinning against God.

    Now that principle is easy to understand when it comes to spiritual equals, but it is more difficult when it when it comes to relationships like that of a husband and wife. There are Christian feminists who play the card all the time about their “conscience” to ridiculous point of saying their husband can’t tell them where they will go to church or how they will discipline their kids or even tell them that they must have sex with him.

    But while the feminists abuse the “conscious” principle so too some Christian husbands can abuse this as well. I think we should take it very seriously if we as a husband are going to force our wife to do something against what she truly believes is wrong before God. Sometimes we must – sometimes she may simply be wrong and cannot see the error of her way. But it should not be a light decision for us as a husband.

    It is for this reason that even if a husband were to hold that anal sex was a liberty issue as Jonadab does, that I do not believe this is an issue that a husband should force his wife to override her conscious on. If he can gently convince her and not force the issue, then fine. Otherwise he should not.

    There are only rare instances where I would ever back up my daughter refusing to submit to her husband in any area – but this is one where I would back her. Should she do as Deep Strength suggested in the last post and offer other sexual alternatives? Of course. Should she refuse in a respectful and gentle manner? Absolutely.

    But key to this discussion of anal sex is – does a wife have the right to refuse? if it were a matter of liberty as Jonadab believes it is then I would say no she does not have the right. But if it is a matter of it being a sin for all then I would say she has a right to refuse.

  26. Just to be clear, I do not believe a wife has the authority to refuse a sexual request that is not clearly a sin, but neither dies the husband have the right to force her. Both factors are important; I have provided many of the factors that a husband and wife should consider, particularly the husband as he is the head of the wife. He is to love and sanctify her, even in bed, if in any activity he cannot do that he should avoid it. The more liberty we are granted , the more responsibility we bear. IMO – the liberty to enjoy anal sex brings with it a responsibility toward God for the care of his wife that is not to be taken lightly.

  27. “Are you really suggesting that I should just keep it to myself?”

    Jonadab… God’s Word clearly tells you to keep it to yourself. Either you submit to God’s Word, or you don’t on this issue. I’m not looking down or condemning anyone who believes it’s not sin, I just pointed out that the dangers are real and that couples need to be aware of them.

    As for Lori calling it sin and teaching younger women that it is a sin, I suggested that you to take it up with her and her husband. Those verses in Romans 14 do apply to “persuading” someone through argument or discussing it – that we’re just not supposed to do it. I wouldn’t try to persuade her and her husband to see it differently if they feel that strongly – where would it go? And she is more in a position of authority, being almost 60 years old, a Titus 2 blogger, so her position on it is probably going to be more black and white, cut and dry, and highly unlikely to be easily changed. Honestly with that age group, you will get a lot of that kind of opinion with anal sex. It’s up to the one with the stronger faith to accept all this and move on. Again, if you really want to argue the case for anal sex, if you really want that to be the hill you die on, why not take it up with her and her husband and try to convince them not to look down on people who believe it’s within their freedom? I don’t think it will work, but if it bothers you that much, why not try?

    I think the whole point of that passage in Romans 14 is for the weaker in faith – so that *their* consciences won’t be condemned, not the ones you’re arguing for that believe it’s not a sin. The stronger in faith should be able to handle the weaker ones occasionally judging them and looking down on them. That’s what being stronger in faith means, it’s means being spiritually mature, being able to keep your freedoms to yourself and not getting defensive and feeling like you have to convince weaker minded people to agree with you, because it’s highly unlikely to happen. Being strong in faith implies you’ll have the wisdom and foresight to understand that and live with them peaceably even though they are lacking in spiritual maturity.

    And you’re right, the weaker in faith aren’t supposed to look down on the others, but in reality, that happens all the time. The weaker in faith that believe you can’t celebrate Halloween usually look down on the Christians who do celebrate it, and the ones who read Harry Potter. The weaker in faith that believe they must live in an Amish lifestyle to stay undefiled, definitely look down on the people who don’t live that way, you can see it in the way they shun their believers who leave their community. The weaker in faith that believe drinking alcohol is a sin, often look down on those who do drink even occasionally. The weaker in faith that often believe women should wear long skirts 24/7 often look down on the women who wear blue jeans or shorts or skirts as being dressed “immodestly.” It makes sense that the weaker in faith would have tendencies to be a little more judgmental, a little more black and white, cut and dry, about things, a little more likely to infringe on the liberties of other Christians… if their faith is weak, they aren’t really spiritually mature. People weak in faith may have more trouble with sins like envy, bitterness, being catty. Some may honestly be envious of other’s freedoms. Carnal Christians are under the category of having a weaker faith that hasn’t matured yet.

    If you’re going to try to get all these weaker faith little groups to agree with you, it is a ridiculous battle that’s rarely won (ironically because their own weakness prevents them from seeing what you’re saying – that they shouldn’t look down on others who have the freedom). I don’t suggest spending much time on trying to convince them, and it seems like Romans 14 says not to anyway.

  28. Just another example that is controversial… my husband really desires me to wear a bikini in public – many Christians think this is wrong and immodest, but when I wear a bikini, I’m obeying my husband. Sometimes I don’t wear one if I know I’m going to be without my husband and with friends who are offended by it, to me this is following Romans 14:15-16,

    “And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. 16 Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good.”

    Should I make it my mission to argue with anyone who says that wearing bikinis are wrong (Lori has posts condemning bikinis FYI)? Should I argue with Lori? Definitely no, I keep my freedom to myself because I know it is fine and what my husband wants. But I do sometimes go out of my way to make sure that other Christians aren’t offended by my freedom.

    In keeping it to myself, Romans 14:16 says that then I won’t be criticized for doing something I believe and my husband believe is good. It’s a way to protect me from having to constantly defend my convictions or from being “criticized” and looked down upon. It is also meant to keep unity and not have so much arguing, condemnation and division in the body.

  29. @Jonadab
    ”The same goes for anal sex. Declaring it a sin harms the conscience and liberty of many others who find it painless, enjoyable and take precautions to mitigate health risks.”

    Referring to Anal sex. Of course excluding other things you mentioned

    There are many things that the bible does not specifically condemn. I believe it falls under the basic commandment as to love thy neighbour and loving one’s wife as Christ loves the church which includes avoiding harm to one’s significant other. But I doubt that given the harm that it does not only in helping to facilitate the transmission of deadly disease and the damage that is does to the lower part of the intestine which is an especially vulnerable part of the body can be considered a good thing. And trying to make it safe would involve many unnecessary expenses.

    Certainly it is more productive to use the parts that God designed for such a purpose. A husband who loves his wife would most likely not do such a thing given such circumstances.

    And yeah. My reaction was also my utter disgust at such a practice. Its just disgusting to put one’s sexual organ in a place at the same place where faeces come out.

    I certainly suspect that such a practice originated in the pornography industry which made it mainstream in practice.

  30. Stephanie,

    I think your example of wearing a bikini for your husband is a great example of the practice of following your husband but at the same time trying not to offend other brothers and sisters in Christ.

    So if I understand your stance correctly – if you were at a beach with your husband and wearing your bikini and you happened to see another Christian couple there that you knew and you knew they believed women were not supposed to wear bikinis what would your reaction be? Would you leave the beach? Or do you think that in the same way you are not look down on them for thinking they can’t wear bikinis that they should not judge your for wearing one?

  31. In a case like that, if they ask me later why I feel comfortable wearing a bikini, I have the opportunity to tell them that my husband wants me to, and that it’s submitting to him, and a blessing to him. If they never bring it up, but feel silently offended, it becomes a heart issue for them that can turn into a variety of sins if they don’t deal with it. I can’t help them with that, everyone is responsible for their own spiritual growth and dealing with their own thoughts when judging others (they’re supposed to “take every thought captive”). I can’t take their thoughts captive for them, and sometimes trying to reach out to them to explain will only make a friendship or relationship worse because they aren’t ready to deal with their own sins.

    Basically, you’re supposed to live at peace with others as much as it depends on you – so part of that peace depends on them. There’s a place where they have to come to in their own heart and own decision that I can’t help them with all the time. We should be mindful that we’re not recklessly causing others to stumble, but we aren’t supposed to take responsibility for others sins all the time either. If we did, that would be a manipulative and emotionally draining relationship where ultimately, we could never satisfy everyone all of the time.

    There’s a woman that used to be so offended by my blog that she spent several months writing posts about me, mocking our family, things I wrote about, my husband (very offensive stuff!), and our marriage. She spent so much of her time in bitterness and sinful behavior, yet believed she was merely “calling out” the sins of others in a self-righteous way. When I tried to point out what she was really doing, it only made her attacks even more outlandish and her stalking of where I would comment increased. She would go so far as to email people to try to slander my reputation as being a gossip, leading me to be banned at several sites. She sadly has created a new blog completely devoted to criticizing and tearing down “godly women,” stalking everything they say, trying to catch them in a mistake so that she can mock and exploit them for her readership. She spends all her energy and time doing this, because for her this is a spiritual stronghold and an addictive way she continually allows Satan to use her to bring other Christians down. She’s accused me before of being an “envy inciter,” but I can’t control the thoughts or emotions she has when she feels envy. She’s accused me of being a Jezebel woman, but I can’t control how she sees me to a certain degree. All I can control is how I respond to this woman.

    Not sure if you agree with any of that, I’d be interested in what you think of it 🙂

  32. Another thought on how, to a large degree, you aren’t responsible for what others choose to feel or believe about you….

    When I lost the baby weight from this last pregnancy it only took 2 weeks, but a lot went into that (eating healthy, exercising minimally throughout the pregnancy, being relaxed and chilled not over stressed, breast-feeding which burns a lot of calories, etc.) but one of my best friends was actually offended by my weight loss. She actually told me that I was shaming other women who couldn’t lose their post-baby weight that fast, and that I shouldn’t have done it or been proud of it. When we talked more about why she thought this way, she finally admitted that she had a deep-seated fear about not being able to lose the baby weight when she gets pregnant someday. Her mother always blamed her and her sister for the extra weight she couldn’t get rid of, so I think she internalized that and then felt angry or offended when seeing that it was easy for me. There was so much that went in to that conversation though – explaining how our mothers didn’t have the resources about knowing how many calories they should be eating during pregnancy (my own mother gained way too much weight, but the info just wasn’t out there like it is for our generation), how we know now that we’re not really supposed to be “eating for two.” Lots of tidbits went into trying to get her to see the difference between our mother’s time and ours.

    Around that same time, there was a serious (as opposed to sarcastic) article written by the Huffington post telling moms all the ways we shame other moms by the things we mindlessly do. Breast feeding our baby at the table with our friends for brunch is shaming the women who weren’t able to breast feed and still feel guilt over it. Wearing nice clothes and makeup – generally caring about how we look when we go out in public, is shaming the moms who choose to wear pajamas and workout clothes as being dressed shabbier than us. Making play dates and having cool crafts for the kids to do while at your house, is shaming the moms who don’t have or don’t want to spend the time doing those things. The list went on and on, but all of it centered around the myriad of ways we can make other moms feel bad about themselves by just being ourselves.

    The point is that there’s nothing wrong with dressing nice and caring about how you present yourself, or breast-feeding your baby when they need to be fed. If a woman feels inferior or envious, or offended or bad about herself, she needs to deal with those thoughts inside herself by herself (and with God). Demanding everyone dress shabby, remain fat after pregnancy, not wear makeup or jewelry so that it doesn’t offend her feelings is insanity and immaturity. Demanding that other people be responsible for your sins is spiritual immaturity and denial about your own issues inside. But I think it’s human nature… doesn’t mean we don’t need to work against it though.

  33. @ infowarrior1:

    “I certainly suspect that such a practice originated in the pornography industry which made it mainstream in practice.”

    Yes, the porn industry pushes anal sex and other morally abhorrent practices (such as so-called “threesomes”). But, one needs to question why men (and apparently some women) desire anal sex. Did the porn industry just meet an already existing consumer demand to see anal sex portrayed on screen?

    The medical establishment has normalized circumcision in the US and that is not good either. And, when the quack doctors in the late 1800s were pushing circumcision for bogus medical benefits, the Christian churches were silent. Are circumcised American men dissatisfied with vaginal intercourse and with oral sex so much that they desire anal sex for sexual fulfillment? Men who were circumcised as adults tell us that the reduction in sexual pleasure and satisfaction from the circumcision (with the consequent loss of thousands of nerve endings in the amputated foreskin, and the loss of sensitivity in the glans due to its drying out without the protection of the foreskin) was very significant. In the US, we do not question circumcision because it has become so ingrained in the culture.

  34. Stephanie,

    The key phrase I would take from what you said is this:
    “Basically, you’re supposed to live at peace with others as much as it depends on you – so part of that peace depends on them.”

    As in anything in life – the Christian life is about balance. You must submit to your husband at the same time do your best not to offend others. You must speak the the truth, but speak the truth in live. There is a time to speak, and a time to refrain.

    I have tried since the beginning of my blog to make most of what I write a positive exposition of what I believe the Bible teaches on various subjects but I do think there are some times I must shine a light on false teaching. But there is a huge difference between stalking other people whose positions you disagree with and making your own positive expositions of what you believe. I do believe there is a place for confronting heresy and I do believe especially as Christian men we are called to called out heresy but again it is all about balance.

    I say all that to say I agree with you and your husbands application of liberty and submission and trying not to offend your brother while being faithful to what you believe is right.

  35. Stephanie,

    Your Statement:

    “The point is that there’s nothing wrong with dressing nice and caring about how you present yourself, or breast-feeding your baby when they need to be fed. If a woman feels inferior or envious, or offended or bad about herself, she needs to deal with those thoughts inside herself by herself (and with God). Demanding everyone dress shabby, remain fat after pregnancy, not wear makeup or jewelry so that it doesn’t offend her feelings is insanity and immaturity. Demanding that other people be responsible for your sins is spiritual immaturity and denial about your own issues inside. But I think it’s human nature… doesn’t mean we don’t need to work against it though.”

    Well said. Honestly I think women struggle with this more than men but I am not saying there are not men who struggle with this. Men are competitive – no question. But usually men push each other to excel by their natural competitiveness. Women in many ways are “anti-competitive”.

    What I mean by “anti-competitive” is that women don’t want to have to compete with other women whether it be in their mothering or in the performance as a wife. Let me just clarify what I mean by competition or comparison. No husband or wife wants to hear their spouse tell them they are not as good at something as someone other person and I am not saying we should ever say these things to our spouses. However often times we feel competition with someone without our spouse ever saying a word.

    For us as men, we certainly compare ourselves to other men even without our wives saying a word. And as long as the comparison did not come from our wives, but rather from ourselves we as men typically get at thrill from competition and pushing ourselves to be as good as another man. But women many times have the opposite reaction to competition – instead of getting a thrill at the challenge, they get anxious and upset.

    How many times do we hear women say “I don’t have to compete with her!” whether we are talking about how a woman cares for her home, cares for her children, care for her beauty, or cares for the other needs of her husband. They get mad at other women for excelling at various things that men value in women whether it is in having children, caring for and organizing their home, maintaining their beauty, submitting to their husbands and sexually pleasing their husbands.

    I have talked about porn a lot in passing in various articles but I have had a huge demand to dedicate a post to tackling all the objections to porn – I should be releasing it in the next few weeks hopefully. The reason I bring this up is because a major objection women have to porn is that they don’t want to be compared physically or performance wise to other women. Again we have the comparison problem women face – “I don’t want my husband to see those beautiful women in those movies because I will never have a body like that! I don’t want my husband to see those women acting excited about sex, performing oral sex or acting sexy toward men because I will never be like that!”

    I will not be backing everything about porn or its use and I know some men do not have faith that they can utilize it at all in good conscious. But even if you don’t believe a person can use porn under the right circumstances I still believe the visceral hatred women have toward it comes from the same source that caused women to be angry at you for talking about loosing weight after having a baby.

  36. SapphireYagami,

    Your Statement:

    “i thought circumcision was a sign of the Covenant with God?”

    Yet it was. It was a sign of the covenant between God and Abraham and later between God and Israel.

    “10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
    11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.” – Genesis 17:10-11 (KJV)

    However circumcision is no longer required under the New Covenant of Grace:

    “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” – Galatians 5:6 (KJV)

    So the debate about circumcision is not about whether God requires it anymore, because he clearly does not according to the Apostle Paul. The question now is whether it is still a good thing to do.

    I will be writing in more detail on my position on this subject of circumcision. I will say that I believe it is still a good practice and that God who created us would not have had men do something to their bodies that was not good for them. Opponents such as Larryzb and some of my own family members point to various health reasons why they think circumcision is bad. But as for me – if my creator thought it was not damaging to a man then I take his word for it.

  37. thanks, I did clinicals in high school and had to attend to male babies that had just got circumcised. those poor babies were crying a lot

  38. @Stephanie

    In keeping it to myself, Romans 14:16 says that then I won’t be criticized for doing something I believe and my husband believe is good. It’s a way to protect me from having to constantly defend my convictions or from being “criticized” and looked down upon. It is also meant to keep unity and not have so much arguing, condemnation and division in the body.

    When you exhorted me to keep it to myself, were you keeping your application of Romans 14 to yourself? I hope you see the arbitrariness of it. (You did not exhort BGR to keep his opinion to himself, so in effect you would have every appeal to liberty self-censored.) When a controversial claim is made, should that claim be unchallenged for the sake of peace and unity? The result would be that whoever speaks first wins, and influences the body of Christ without challange. As a Berean I take what is written and “search the scriptures, to see if these things be true” and as a disciple I take every thought captive, to do less for the sake of peace is to be taken captive for in captivity there is peace. Consider that Paul did not keep it to himself when the Judizers were telling the gentiles that being uncircumcised was sin, he went to Jerusalem and debated with Peter in a much more forceful manner that what has taken place here.

    I contend that we can disagree and have unity, when we are humble and speak the truth in love. I for my part acknowledge that BGR and myself have a disagreement, but I also feel a great sense of unity with him and count him a brother in Christ with an important ministry. Our disagreement does not rise to the level of disunity, but a healthy iron sharpening iron exercise of our own thinking and application of scripture. I do not voice my every disagreement with his writings, I only felt compelled on this topic because of the absoluteness of the assertion made. BTW- I count you as a sister in Christ with a good heart that seeks the Kingdom of Christ, in other words a co-laborer for the kingdom.

    One problem that I see in Christendom is making our application the principle. Your bikini example is an instance of just such a dogmatizing of an application. Under the principle of modesty, some have attempted to codify how a woman should dress. The irony is how proud they can be at their own modest dress and their dogmatic application. They in effect tithe their mint and cumin and leave the weightier matters of the law undone. IOW – dressing dumpy they became immodest and proud.

    Where it gets controversial is where two Biblical principles are in conflict creating an ethical dilemma. In your example modesty and submission collide and you prioritized submission. I agree that you. In my disagreement with BGR, “natural use” and Christian liberty are at odds, I deny the “natural use” is rightly applied and I prioritize safeguarding liberty. We have come to know and perhaps appreciate each other’s view and still we are not in agreement on this issue; yet we have conducted ourselves with honor and remain allies in Christ. IMO- that is a good thing and helpful to the body of Christ.

    At this time, I prioritize submission when addressing a wife and sanctification when addressing a husband. In this culture it is difficult in practice to overshoot those targets. Many are so concerned with the hypothetical or extraordinary they neglect the entire principle in practice and neglect the exercise in the ordinary.

  39. @ BGR:

    As the baby boys cry, we consider that the decision ought to be the patient’s since it is the patient that lives with the circumcision and its effects for the rest of his days. How about taking into consideration the right of the child to bodily integrity? If a young man wants to undergo a circumcision after carefully considering the pros and cons, that is his choice. But, such a choice is being forced on a million baby boys (who are incapable of giving informed consent) each year in this country.

    Since I am the one who suggested a possible link in the US between circumcision and a desire for anal sex (see my earlier comments above), I am going to suggest something else now. Yes, there are many who will brand me as a heretic or an apostate, or worse. But, personally, I recall how I was taught that the Old Testament was in oral tradition for centuries before being written down. It is also known that the ancient Hebrews were in Egypt at various times. The ancient Egyptians practiced male circumcision. There are many of us who believe that it is possible, even likely, that the ancient Hebrews picked up the practice of male circumcision in Egypt and much later justified it by asserting that male circumcision was the sign of the Old Covenant – perhaps when pubescent males questioned the need for such a practice.

    As I know that the larger issue in my above words is terribly disturbing for many readers, namely, that not necessarily all in the Bible can be taken literally, I will refrain from future comments on this blog. Thank you for allowing me to comment.

  40. Larryzb,

    Thank you for your honesty. I could get into a larger debate with you about the inerrancy of the Scriptures and go back to my early studies years ago on the construction of the Bible. But that would take me away from the main purpose of this blog which is to primarily deal with how we live from a Biblical perspective and we start with the assumption that every word of the Scriptures is the very Word of God.

    “16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” – II Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)

    Here we can have spirited discussions about what the Bible means in various passages(as Jonadab and I and others have been doing). We can even discuss as we do sometimes here what parts of the Bible still apply to us as New Testament Christians(like that we no longer have to make animal sacrifices) but we accept that even those parts which are not binding to us now in this New Testament age were still the inspired Word of God.

    But you are correct I don’t allow discussions here about whether certain parts of the Bible were inspired by God or not – it assumed that every word of the Bible is inspired in the original autographs. There are other blogs that focus more on the subject of inerrancy of the Scriptures and Bible translations issues and I would refer readers to those blogs for those discussions.

    I don’t mind if you continue to comment on here – please just refrain from using arguments which are based on questioning the inerrancy of the Bible.

    I also ask that other readers here do not engage in a debate on inerrancy with Larryzb. As far as this blog is concerned every word of the Bible is the Word of God. If you wish to email with him privately about it then be my guest.

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