Does the Bible Allow for Premarital Sex and Prostitution?

There are a lot of discussions in various online Christian forums, articles and blogs where some Christians are proposing that the traditional Christian view that sexual relations are strictly reserved for a man and woman in the covenant of marriage is not supported by the Bible.

Specifically, these people assert that the Bible only condemns adultery and engaging in sex with cult prostitutes.  They propose that this means that all other forms of consensual sex between a man and woman whether they are married or not is not a sin before God.  They even state that sex with prostitutes is acceptable before God as long as those prostitutes are not cult prostitutes.

What follows are some excerpts from a few emails I have recently received from a man who takes this position.

The Bible Only Condemns Adultery and Cult Prostitution?

 “Regarding premarital sex.  I have probably searched this the most because I feel there are just so many different arguments concerning it and it can leave many confused.  I still do not see, even a yearly animal sacrifice for people engaging in sex before marriage.  Now before I continue, I strongly believe God wants sex in marriage because that’s His ideal, and it avoids complications, like a child not having a father one day, since marriage ensures that child will have a father for instance.

And also, I do not promote the idea of casual sex at all, because that leads to addiction, possible abortion and health risks, not to mention spiritual degradation because of those things too, such as addiction.

But nowhere do I see that premarital sex is a sin. 

I suppose that Hebrews 13:4 could also be used when it says the marriage bed is to be kept pure.  And I see you used the word “whoremonger” to refer to premarital sex in one of your topics.  However, the original word for whoremonger meant “male prostitute”, not premarital sex.  It just seems that these verses are discussing marriage related issues concerning adultery, not premarital sex.

Yes, if a man steals a father’s right, then it’s wrong, but only if he doesn’t pay the dowry – that is theft.  And the consequence to me it seems is that the two must marry.  And in most of the cases, I see that God commands marriage after premarital sex has taken place, again, because it is the ideal, and it guards against many problems.  But say you have a widow or a woman who is no longer a virgin, who supports herself etc and she consents to sex with a man.  I do not see any punishment attached here but only to stern warnings against it because it leads to sin possibly (addiction, abortion, defrauding).  And in this case, I’m talking about the two people who are in love and are progressing to marriage, in other words, they are not casually having sex, but they don’t yet have the means to get married (finances, work contracts, etc that hold them back a bit).  I do not find this being wrong, it’s just not ideal.

On the subject of prostitution, I do genuinely believe that there is a big difference between cult prostitution and normal prostitution, and that Paul and many others guard against only the former, because the former is regarded as sin because of the idolatry and possible adultery that is attached.

And normal prostitution with a married woman is also strictly a sin, because of adultery.  But, if the woman is living alone, she is single, she supports herself, and men have sex with her, I do not see this being condemned as sin.  And Solomon also did not sentence the two prostitutes to death who went to him with the issue of the child.  I don’t remember any instances where Sampson was punished, even I don’t remember any sacrifice made for sleeping with a prostitute.  And Tamar was called righteous for disguising herself as a prostitute to bear a child, be it out of wedlock.  Now again, I’m not advocating for prostitution, especially not in this day and age where women can support themselves healthily.  And there is too much risk in visiting a prostitute.

But what I am concerned with, is calling something a sin when it is not, and vice-versa.  Under this, I do want to also ask concerning casual sex: say for instance, two people who are single, they are supporting themselves, meet to have consensual sex as a means of release and they separate or rarely see each other… Thus, they are not addicted, they practice it safely and they know they are not getting any diseases.  Is this then a sin, even though very very unwise?  The same can be asked of a man who uses a prostitute every now and then.  And said prostitute may be desolate, putting bread on the table because she can’t otherwise.

Another note on the cult prostitution.  I have not just looked at the usual facts such as Strabo’s claims, and I have not just looked at word translations, but historical context as well, as context often defines a word.  What is interesting to note is that in Corinth, though there were no longer official Aphrodite prostitutes in Paul’s time, the prostitutes there were still considered “unofficial temple prostitutes to Aphrodite”.  Rome was also known for its own versions of idolatrous prostitutes and also taxed those institutions (they were regulated).

If you can show me from the Scriptures where I am wrong on this, I am open to it.  I just don’t see where I am wrong based on my studies both of the Bible, the words of the original language and the historical context in which they were written.

Ben”

A Faulty Interpretation of Hebrews 13:4

In Hebrews 13:4 the Bible states “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge”.  The word “whoremongers” in the KJV is a translation of the Greek word Pornos.

This is Strong’s Lexicon Definition of Pornos:

1) a man who prostitutes his body to another’ s lust for hire

2) a male prostitute

3) a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator

Part of Speech: noun masculine

Relation: from pernemi (to sell)

In the KJV this word is translated as ‘whoremonger’ five times and then as ‘fornicator’ another five times.

Those Christians online and elsewhere that take Ben’s position emphasize the first two parts of the definition referring to male prostitutes and also the root of the word which comes from pernemi which means “to sell”.

They use this to make their case that Pornos strictly refers to male prostitutes and has nothing to do with people having sex outside of marriage.  Some will even explain the third part of Strong’s definition as referring strictly to adultery. They go further in stating that pornos during the time the Bible was written referred more specifically to temple prostitutes and not prostitutes in general.

And there we have their case made from Hebrews 13:4 – that God was only condemning people having sex with cult prostitutes and married persons committing adultery.

The Case Against the “Cult Prostitutes Only” Interpretation of Hebrews 13:4

But there is a flaw, a single thread that can be pulled from their interpretation that causes their interpretation to fall completely apart.  While it is important for us to understand the historical context of words as they were used in the Greek language when the New Testament was written, we must also understand that the New Testament expands upon Greek words and uses them in spiritual ways that they had not been used before.

The Greek Word Ekklesia in its common usage referred to a called-out assembly of citizens of a local town. But Christ and his Apostles greatly expanded the meaning of Ekklesia and used it to refer to the Church collectively as well as to local bodies of believers.

The Greek word Moichao in its common usage referred to having unlawful sex with another man’s wife.  However, in Mark 10:11 Christ used Moichao not to refer a man having unlawful sex with another man’s wife, but rather he used it to a refer to man divorcing his wife for unjust reasons.  The people who heard him say this would have been astounded at his expanded definition of Moichao.

In the same way Greek word Pornos in its common usage may have referred to male prostitutes but the Bible uses this word to refer to a person engaging in any form of sexual immorality and not strictly male prostitution or cult prostitution.

In I Corinthians 5:1 the Bible states:

“It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife”.

The situation being described is most likely referring to a man having sex not with his actual mother, but rather with another of his father’s wives similar to what Reuben did with his father’s wife Bilhah who was not his biological mother in Genesis 35:22.

Now I will need you to “follow the bouncing ball” so to speak. The English word “fornication” in 1 Corinthians 5:1 is a translation of the Greek word Porneia.

Below is the Strong’s Lexicon Definition of Porneia:

1) illicit sexual intercourse

1a) adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.

1b) sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18

1c) sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mark 10:11,Mark 10:12

2) metaphorically the worship of idols

2a) of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols

The root of Porneia comes from Porneuo,

Below is the Strong’s Lexicon Definition of Porneuo:

1) to prostitute one’ s body to the lust of another

2) to give one’ s self to unlawful sexual intercourse

2a) to commit fornication

3) metaphorically to be given to idolatry, to worship idols

3a) to permit one’ s self to be drawn away by another into idolatry

Part of Speech: verb

And the root of Porneuo is Porne.

Below is the Strong’s Lexicon Definition of Porne:

1) a woman who sells her body for sexual uses

1a) a prostitute, a harlot, one who yields herself to defilement for the sake of gain

1b) any woman indulging in unlawful sexual intercourse, whether for gain or for lust

2) metaphorically an idolatress

2a) of “Babylon,” i.e. Rome, the chief seat of idolatry

Part of Speech: noun feminine

Porne is the feminine equivalent of the masculine noun Pornos.

Porneia and Porneuo all have at their root acts related to female prostitution and yet even Strong’s Lexicon is forced to give a much more expanded definition of Porne (female prostitutes) than it did for Pornos (male prostitutes).

So, what have we shown so far? The Bible uses a word that at its root refers to female prostitution to refer to a man having sex with his father’s wife which has nothing to whatsoever to do with prostitution.  The only thing incest and prostitution have in common is that they are both forms of sexual immorality.

But then later in this same passage condemning the incestuous actions of this man with his father’s wife Paul writes the following in verses 9-13:

“9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”

Guess what Greek Word the Apostle Paul connects to the incestuous actions of this man with his father’s wife? It is Pornos.  So, in one passage Paul connects Porneia which at its root is Porne, a reference to female prostitutes, with Pornos which at its root referred to Male prostitutes to a man having sex with his father’s wife, an action that has nothing to do with prostitution.

This means we can rightly say that the Bible uses Porneia to refer to all forms of sexual immorality, and it also uses pornos to refer to people who commit sexual immorality, not just male prostitutes.

This pulls the thread on the entire argument of those who say the Bible is only condemning cult prostitution.

So, when the Bible uses the words pornos and porne it is far more inclusive than just male and female prostitutes.   It uses pornos to refer to all people who commit sexually immoral acts and it uses porne to refer to women who commit sexually immoral acts.  Only in the most specific of contexts does porne refer only to a female prostitute as it is used to refer to Rahab the harlot in James 2:25 where it states “Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot [Greek Porne] justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?”.

This means it is possible that 1 Corinthians 6:15-18 refers not just to prostitutes (harlots) but also to loose and whorish women who have sex outside of marriage from a position of lust rather than just for money:

“15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.“

But having said all that, the Bible’s condemnation of porneia would absolutely include a condemnation of all forms of prostitution, not just cult prostitution which is asserted by Ben and other Christians online and elsewhere.

Marriage is the Answer to Avoiding Fornication

If sex outside of marriage is not a sin, and if porneia only referred to engaging in sex with cult prostitutes the following passage of the Bible would make no sense:

“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication [Greek Porneia], let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

1 Corinthians 7:2 (KJV)

If having sex with one’s girl friend or with prostitutes is ok as long as those prostitutes are not temple prostitutes for false gods then marriage would not be the only answer to avoiding fornication. But this is the answer the Bible gives us.

A Woman’s Body is Not Hers to Give

Ben’s Statement

“Yes, if a man steals a father’s right, then it’s wrong, but only if he doesn’t pay the dowry – that is theft.  And the consequence to me it seems is that the two must marry.  And in most of the cases, I see that God commands marriage after premarital sex has taken place, again, because it is the ideal, and it guards against many problems.”

Let’s look at the Scripture passage Ben alludes to:

“16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”

Exodus 22:16-17 (KJV)

So yes, it is clear that that a man enticing another man’s daughter into having sex was indeed a property crime and restitution had to be made to the father.  The restitution was that the man had to marry the virgin he seduced into having sex and also pay her father the bride price which was about half a year’s wages for the average man.

However, there is a big detail in this that is being overlooked.  The father could refuse to give his daughter to the man who seduced his daughter while still collecting the bride price as a penalty.  Why did God not require the father to give his daughter in marriage to the man that seduced her? Because she was his to give.

Both the daughter and the man who seduced her engaged in an act of theft against the father.  She gave something that was not hers to give and he took something that was not his to take.  And theft is a violation of the 8th commandment found in Exodus 20:15 which states “Thou shalt not steal”.  Therefore, a man enticing a man’s virgin daughter into having premarital sex is a sin against God based on the fact that is an act of theft against her father.

Even so, the father is only God’s steward of his daughter to prepare for her future her husband.

God Does Not Allow A Man to Take a Woman Except as Her Rightful Husband

Ben’s Statement:

“But say you have a widow or a woman who is no longer a virgin, who supports herself etc and she consents to sex with a man.”

God does not allow a woman, even one without a father, to have sex with a man that has not become her husband.  Even in the extreme case of a man taking a woman as a prisoner of war, he had to become her husband to have sex with her (Deuteronomy 21:13).

Tamar Was Not Righteous for Playing the Harlot

Ben’s Statement:

“Tamar was called righteous for disguising herself as a prostitute to bear a child, be it out of wedlock.”

In Genesis chapter 38, Tamar was not called righteous for prostituting herself with her father-in-law, but rather she was called “more righteous” than Judah because his sin of not giving her his son as husband put her in a position to be tempted to act sinfully in order to produce an heir.  Both Judah and Tamar sinned and this is shown in Genesis 38:26 when it states of Judah “And he knew her again no more” a clear reference to an act of repentance on his part.

Conclusion

Not every action of Biblical characters was right before God.  Samson’s laying with prostitutes was sinful as was Judah’s seeking of a prostitute and his daughter-in-law playing the prostitute.   Some like Ben argue that if a they don’t see a condemnation right alongside a Biblical character’s action that this means their actions were righteous before God.

But this is not the case at all. God told men to seek sex within the covenant of marriage and not to go after strange women in Proverbs 5.  In Proverbs 5:22 God calls men having sex with strange women who are not their wives’ a sin that can destroy a man’s life. Hebrews 13:4 tells us that that only sexual relations that God considers honorable and pure is that which occurs in the marriage bed.  And Christ told us in Matthew 19:4-6 that God “made them male and female” and he made the male and female to come together as “one flesh” in marriage.

The whoremongering that God says he will judge in Hebrews 13:4 refers to all sexually immoral behavior, not just male prostitution.  This is proven beyond doubt when the Apostle Paul uses the same word to refer the incestuous actions of a man with his father’s wife in 1 Corinthians 5.

Sexual purity is not simply “God’s ideal” while he accepts that people will have sex before marriage or with prostitutes.   Sexual purity is God’s rule for which he makes absolutely NO exceptions.  And the reason our sexual purity is so important to God is because it represents the faithfulness of God’s people to himself.

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

2 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV)

 

 

Do Christian Values Cause Sexual Harassment?

With the revelations of famous men acting badly toward women and the rise of the MeToo# movement we are having a national conversation about the causes of sexual harassment.  Some have made a startling accusation that it is the “toxic” system of Christian values which is at the root of this evil behavior. The sad part is many Christians in America have been so indoctrinated by feminism that they would not even recognize that Christian values are being attacked.

In an article he wrote for Inc.com entitled Yes, We Can Defeat Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. Here Are 6 Powerful Ways to Do It Marcel Schwantes says the fight against sexual harassment is “about deconstructing false values embedded in toxic systemic thinking”:

“Both men and women of good conscience are fearlessly acknowledging the elephant in the room — the disturbing, age-old trend of men in power taking advantage of their status to prey on women (and other men) working below them.

Therefore, the fight is just as much about deconstructing false values embedded in toxic systemic thinking, and the thinking of sick minds. In the BBC article, Eden King exposes a root cause of sexual harassment: “A belief that women are inferior to men, the belief that men should have power over women,” and, she adds, a belief that “men should be aggressors and women should be gatekeepers.” The process of shifting mindsets doesn’t start in training rooms. King says it should begin in the earliest days of childhood education and development.”

Do Christians believe in “toxic” and “false” values that lead to sexual harassment?

Eden King lists these 4 values that she believes are false and Marcel Schwantes calls “toxic” ways of thinking that actually lead to the sexual harassment of women:

  1. “A belief that women are inferior to men”
  2. “the belief that men should have power over women”
  3. “men should be aggressors”
  4. “women should be gatekeepers”

So let’s now examine each of these beliefs as to their whether they are true or false and whether they lead to sexual harassment or actually would help to prevent it.

“A belief that women are inferior to men”

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

I Peter 3:7 (KJV)

Women are equal to men in their humanity as we all have the blood of Adam (both men and women).  But women are not equal to men in strength and many other attributes. Women were designed to be weaker than men so that they would need men as mankind needs God.  Believing women are inferior to men does not mean we do not honor women.  But as the Scriptures tell us we give honor to women as the weaker vessels God designed them to be.

So, this first supposed “false value” is not false based on the Word of God.  This means this value that has been held by civilizations even without the Bible for thousands of years is actually a TRUE value and a righteous value. Accepting this truth has not lead most men to prey on women, but rather it leads men to protect women.

“the belief that men should have power over women”

“3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God…

10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.”

I Corinthians 11:3 & 10 (KJV)

The Bible tells that God’s order in this world is God the father is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of man and man is the head of woman and that woman should have a sign of authority or a sign that there is a power over her head which is man.

Again, this second supposed “false value” is not false based on the Word of God.  This means this value that has been held by civilizations even without the Bible for thousands of years is actually a TRUE value and a righteous value. Accepting this truth has not lead most men to prey on women, but rather it leads men to desire to lead women.

“men should be aggressors”

“Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight”

Psalm 144:1 (KJV)

“10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, 11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; 12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.”

Deuteronomy 21:10-14 (KJV)

This third supposed “false value” is not false based on the Word of God.  The Bible tells us that God has made men aggressive by nature.  Man’s aggressive nature when it is used for sinful purposes can cause great destruction and evil.  But when man channels his aggressive nature toward godly purposes this helps him to accomplish great things – including taking a wife.

Accepting this truth that men are aggressors or initiators in life is not something that should cause men to harass women or otherwise act badly toward them.  Instead this truth that men are aggressors should lead men to channel their aggression into their work so they can be successful in their business endeavors to be able to provide a home for a future wife. It should also cause them to aggressively seek out a godly woman who wants to fulfill her God given purpose as a wife and mother.

“women should be gatekeepers”

“20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:

21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.

22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”

Deuteronomy 22:20-22 (KJV)

Finally, this fourth supposed “false value” is not false based on the Word of God.  The Bible tells us that God has in fact assigned the role of gatekeeper to women regarding their sexual purity. In the Scriptures if a woman lost her virginity before marriage it could relegate her to a life of celibacy and if she hid the loss of her virginity it could cost her life.

While we are no longer under the civil penalties of the Old Testament law – the moral law remains.  God has given women a serious and lifelong task to protect their bodies and keep them only for their future or current husbands.  Her husband is the only one that she may and in fact must allow through the gate to access the pleasures of her body.

Accepting this truth that women are tasked by God to be gatekeepers of their sexual purity does not excuse men from acting badly toward woman. But this is why God created woman’s sexual nature to be so different than man’s. Men are designed by God to be primarily physically driven toward sex and only secondarily relationally driven.  Because of this a man can very easily have sex with a woman regardless of their relational status.  But God in his perfect design of woman for man created her with a relational    sexual nature that causes her to only desire to give herself to one man and one man only – her husband.  She is literally built with a self-protection mechanism that protects her for her man.

Conclusion

I could not agree more with Marcel Schwantes that returning to values would help to greatly reduce sexual harassment in the workplace.  However, I completely disagree with him as to what values we need to return to.  The values he and Eden King calls “false” and places as the root of the evils of sexual harassment are in fact the values that could greatly reduce the sexual harassment of women if we as a society returned them.

The “values” Schwantes and King believe we should return to do not find their basis in the Word of God, but rather in Second Wave Feminism and the Sexual Revolution which brought us these destructive changes to society:

  1. Women leaving their gatekeeper role and engaging in extramarital sex
  2. Women seeking higher education while delaying marriage
  3. Women putting off having children even after marriage
  4. Women having financial independence from men
  5. Women rebelling against their subordinate role in marriage and society

The truth is, it is not Biblical values that have lead us to the sexual harassment crisis our culture finds itself in today, but rather it is the values of Second Wave Feminism and the Sexual Revolution which are the true root of the problem.

Why Christian men should NOT be ashamed of “locker-room talk”

Both Christian and non-Christian men need to stop apologizing for their masculine nature and specifically their masculine sexuality.  Men need to stop bowing down to Church leaders and feminists who have joined in an un-holy alliance against masculinity as God designed it.

Before I get into what the Scriptures say and don’t say about this subject of “locker-room talk” by men let’s first look at a couple of incidents that made national headlines in the last few months.

Donald Trump’s “locker-room talk”

The phrase “locker-room talk” made national headlines when a tape of Donald Trump was leaked where he engaged in sexual talk about women.  Donald Trump spoke of married women who he had sex with and grabbing women by their genitals. Later he made it clear he was just joking about these things.

Should Christians defend Donald Trump’s locker room talk? No way!

By Biblical standards it would be absolutely wrong for a Christian to engage in adulterous behavior with married women or randomly grab women by their genitals.

“So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.”

Proverbs 6:29 (KJV)

Christian men should neither joke nor brag about such things or engage in such behaviors.

Should we as Christians take a stand against and discourage our sons from ever speaking even jokingly of sexually assaulting women? Of course, we should.

Should we as Christians take a stand against and discourage our sons from ever joking about trying to convince a woman to have sex with them outside of marriage (whether she is married or not)?  Of course, we should.

Clearly Donald’s Trump’s “locker-room talk” included joking about adultery and sexual assault.

But as many men could tell you there are plenty of types “locker-room talk” between men that do not include joking about committing fornication, adultery or sexual assault.

Another type of “locker-room talk”

Contrary to the assertions of raving feminists and others who see most men as potential rapists there are a lot of men that engage in types of locker-room talk that never includes talk about getting women to commit adultery against their husbands or groping women.

Below I have put together a sample of how some men might actually talk when they are away from women.

Just an additional warning for those reading this – I am going to be very real here in showing how men actually talk when they are away from parents, women and the general public.

These are examples of “locker-room talk” that do not include statements about fornication, adultery or sexual assault:

Teenage Boy #1 “What do you think about Mary and Jane?”

Teenage Boy #2 “Well I would rate Mary as 8 with 10 being best.  Jane is a probably a 6.”

Teenage Boy #1 “Why do you rate Mary higher than Jane?”

Teenage Boy #2 “I like bigger boobs.  Mary’s boobs are just bigger.”

Teenage Boy #1 “I think Mary’s butt is too big though.  I just can’t get past that. Jane has a smaller, yet still full butt.”

Teenage Boy #2 “So how would rate them Mary and Jane?”

Teenage Boy #1 “I would give Mary a 5.  She is just too big for me. I would give Jane a 7.  She has a really nice butt but her breasts are still a little too small to give her a higher rating.”

Teenage Boy #2 “What about Sarah? She has some sexy legs, doesn’t she? If I were rating her on legs alone I will give her a 10! But unfortunately, she has flat chest and a flat butt so I have to give her a 4”.

Teenage Boy #1 “I agree with your rating of a 4 for Sarah – fantastic legs but not much else going for her.”

Teenage Boy #2 “Now Andrea – you have to admit she has the perfect body.  She has boobs – not too big and not too small.  She has a perfectly sculpted butt and legs to die for. The problem is the face.  Her nose is huge and her eyes just don’t look right. She is the very definition of a “butterface”.  I guess I would have to rate her as a 7 although I could never see marrying her because for me a woman has to have a pretty face”.

Teenage Boy #1 “I would give Andrea a 10! I could overlook the face for that perfect of a body! And you did not even talk about her hair.  Come on from the back she has the most beautiful long hair you would ever see. Speaking of Andrea.  Yesterday she had the perfect blouse on. She came over near me in class to talk to one of her girlfriends and as she bent down on the desk to talk to her I got a glimpse of her cleavage. Holy cow did that make my day!”

Conversations like the one I have just described have occurred in various forms using different language among men both young and old, single and married all over the world since the beginning of creation.

So really, we have two types of locker-room talk that men engage in. One is limited to rating women’s sexual attractiveness by rating their various physical features.  The other goes beyond simply rating women’s sexual attractiveness and goes into joking about getting women to engage in sex outside of marriage or sexual assault.

The Harvard Soccer Team Scouting Report Scandal

“In what appears to have been a yearly team tradition, a member of Harvard’s 2012 men’s soccer team produced a document that, in sexually explicit terms, individually assessed and evaluated freshmen recruits from the 2012 women’s soccer team based on their perceived physical attractiveness and sexual appeal.

The author and his teammates referred to the nine-page document as a “scouting report,” and the author circulated the document over the group’s email list on July 31, 2012.

In lewd terms, the author of the report individually evaluated each female recruit, assigning them numerical scores and writing paragraph-long assessments of the women. The document also included photographs of each woman, most of which, the author wrote, were culled from Facebook or the Internet.

The author of the “report” often included sexually explicit descriptions of the women. He wrote of one woman that “she looks like the kind of girl who both likes to dominate, and likes to be dominated…

The document and the entire email list the team used that season were, until recently, publicly available and searchable through Google Groups, an email list-serv service offered through Google.”

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2016/10/25/harvard-mens-soccer-2012-report/

Harvard’s response was quick and strong:

“The men’s soccer team had performed impressively this season. Harvard was ranked first in the Ivy League, and fifteenth nationwide, within striking distance of both the league tournament and the national N.C.A.A. tournament. There was a strong sense on campus that they had winning left to do. However, after learning that the scouting report was not a unique artifact but part of a tradition that has continued for years, and that members of the team had been less than transparent in their initial interviews, the university decided to cancel the rest of the men’s soccer season.”

This was part of the reaction of the women’s soccer team at Harvard:

“In all, we do not pity ourselves, nor do we ache most because of the personal nature of this attack. More than anything, we are frustrated that this is a reality that all women have faced in the past and will continue to face throughout their lives. We feel hopeless because men who are supposed to be our brothers degrade us like this. We are appalled that female athletes who are told to feel empowered and proud of their abilities are so regularly reduced to a physical appearance. We are distraught that mothers having daughters almost a half century after getting equal rights have to worry about men’s entitlement to bodies that aren’t theirs…”

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2016/10/29/oped-soccer-report/

Here are some more other reactions to the scandal:

“Yet the soccer-team revelations are a sobering reminder that sexist behavior can’t easily be stamped out through rules, regulations, and imposed consequences alone. The problem with “locker-room talk,” whether it takes the form of Trump boasting about groping women or college students ranking the appeal of their peers, is that sexist speech normalizes sexist behavior. In the case of Harvard’s soccer team, what’s extraordinary is that the talk can’t be dismissed as casual or made in passing: it was co-authored, edited, and preserved as an official group record. While we might be resigned to encountering objectifying speech or behavior at a bar or a beer-soaked spring-break party, it’s sobering to see it codified in the form of a shared Google document. In effect, the scouting report became a set of instructions used, year after year, to dehumanize women.”

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-dehumanizing-sexism-of-the-harvard-mens-soccer-teams-scouting-report

“The nine-page report full of numeric ratings, photos, and evaluations is shocking in its mix of explicitness, thoroughness, and matter-of-factness. But it’s not surprising. The objectification of women combined with a male sense of entitlement is the kind of thinking that, taken a step further, leads to so many sexual assaults on so many college campuses…”

https://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2016/11/15/starts-with-locker-room-talk-and-then-gets-worse/H05PWvytDLaGmrP3kXr8mN/story.html

So, in summary the men’s soccer team at Harvard kept a list of how the men’s team ranked various members of the women’s soccer team. This was a tradition dating back several years.  The women’s bodies were ranked in detail according to their various physical attributes, assigned code names and what would be their best potential sexual positions.

Harvard’s response was quick and merciless. They suspended the entire team and canceled the remainder of their season.

Was the Harvard Scouting Report Scandal an attack on women or an attack on men?

Let me first say that I agree that at the very least the Harvard men’s soccer team acted stupidly by placing such a document on a such a public venue as Google groups.  But even though they acted stupidly in this regard – no evidence has been presented that shows these team members ever meant for the collection of their sexual thoughts about these women to become public.

But let’s say they had not put the document on Google groups where it could easily be found. What if they had kept the document a closely guarded secret of the team? Would that have made any difference? I believe the answer is YES.

I am by no means saying that every word in this document made by the team was right by Biblical standards.

But the concept of young men ranking women by their sexual attractiveness is NOT an immoral practice or a violation of Biblical principles.

It is also not a crime or an immoral act for young men to privately discuss amongst themselves various physical attributes they like about women whether they know them personally or do not know them personally.

Here is the real truth about this situation that happened at Harvard.  Make no mistake the outrage here was not about a soccer team sexually ranking their female counterparts on the women’s soccer team.  This incident was simply used as a vehicle with which to allow women to vent their hatred for male sexuality.

Examining key words from the detractors of Harvard Men’s Soccer Team

“reality”

Both women and men know this is the reality of how male nature operates.  While some men may not vocalize their thoughts and many even condemn themselves for having such thoughts both sides acknowledge this as a reality.

“frustrated”

It is not uncommon for detractors of the male nature to be frustrated by the fact that they cannot change man’s design.

“entitlement”

This word was used in the context of men feeling they were entitled to these women’s bodies. Now as I have shown countless times on the blog from a Biblical perspective a husband is in fact “entitled” to his wife’s body.  But that is not what we are discussing here. We are referring to young men who are not married to these women feeling entitled to these women’s bodies.

The problem with this “entitlement” attack against these young men is that there is no language that has been revealed so far that indicates such a thing. Rather this word would apply more to the detractors of men for ranking women by their sexual attractiveness.  You see there are many in our culture today that feel they have a right to control the thoughts and feelings of others.  The truth is they do not.  And only when men willingly give up power over their own thoughts as so many have for the past century can others take power over the thoughts of men.

“sexist”

Webster’s online dictionary defines “sexism” as:

“1   :  prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially :  discrimination against women

2    :  behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex”

The fact is that it is no more “sexist” for men to privately discuss amongst themselves the physical attributes of women around them and rank their sexual appeal than it is for women to privately talk amongst themselves about their feelings on any given subject.  In other words, telling men not to talk sexually is the equivalent of telling women not to talk emotionally with one another.  Yet our culture fully condemns the former while uplifting the latter.

 “dehumanize”

When people refer to men “dehumanizing women” or “objectifying women” they are saying the same thing. They are implying that when a man finds a woman sexually attractive and speaks of her body and its various parts that he has reduced her to an inanimate object to be used and discarded as we would any other inanimate object.

But what these attackers of masculinity miss is that it does not dehumanize a person to view them for their “function” rather than their “person”. We do this all the time in many areas of life without realizing it.

When both men and women get together to assemble their fantasy football teams they are not looking at these football players for their personhood, but rather for their sports function.  What are each player’s strengths and weaknesses as it pertains to football?  That is all that matters in this scenario.

When a military commander puts together a special operations team he is not looking at the personhood of these men but rather their military function.  Each man has unique abilities and functions that when put together serves their intended overall function.

There are countless other examples where we look at people all the time for the potential functional ability in any given scenario yet we do not look down at these other types of objectification.

So, it is ok to make a fantasy list of real football players and rank them based on their potential football ability yet it is seen as morally repugnant for men to make a list of women at their school and rank their bodies based on their sexual appeal and fantasize about their sexual ability?  Do we not see the inconsistency here?

The fact is it does NOT dehumanize a person to see them for their function – whether it be their potential athletic ability, singing ability, fighting ability (as in military members) or women for their sexual appeal and potential ability to bring sexual pleasure to a man.

Yes men naturally see women as objects to be enjoyed for their sexual pleasure. However it is precisely because the vast majority of men ALSO see women as persons that they do not  just grab women and try to have sex with them. Rapists only see women as objects of sexual pleasure and not also as persons and this is the huge difference.

“assault”

The last word I want to discuss from the detractors of male sexuality is the word “assault”.  The implication is that if men feel free to sexually rank women that this would lead men to sexually assault women.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  The same logic is used by those who attack men for looking at and enjoying pornography.  One of the attacks against porn use by men has been something like this “men who sexually assaulted women all report looking at some type of porn first”.  We are then lead to believe that one lead to the other.

But this is akin to saying “all rapists and molesters ate food.  Therefore, eating food causing people to become rapists”.  The point is this line of logic is utterly ridiculous.

If a man sexually assaults or rapes a woman it was because it was always in his heart to do this . It was only a matter of the right opportunity arising and him getting up the nerve to act on his evil desires.   Watching porn did not cause him to do it and neither did sexually ranking women cause him to do it.  It was there all the time.

The reality is that the vast majority of men who watch porn or sexually rank women never assault a woman and don’t even entertain fantasies of assaulting women.  They entertain fantasies of consensual sex – not rape.

What if the Harvard women’s soccer team had done something like this?

Imagine if the women’s soccer team had assigned each one of its members to research the personalities and various characteristics of each of the male soccer players and they made a similar list from a female perspective?

I am sure it would be have been far less sexual and more personality oriented.  This because of the difference of how women operate from men.  Women for the most part are relational and men are physical. I don’t doubt that on some level even if it was never documented that some of the women’s soccer team members did talk about various men on the men’s soccer team as to which ones they found attractive and why.

But I doubt even if the women had ranked the men’s team even in a more feminine(so more personality and less sexual way) nothing would have happened.  If the list was made public everyone would have had a good laugh and nothing would have happened.

The Christian response to “locker-room talk”

Karen Prior writing for Christianity today wrote the following comment in her article entitled “Call Out Locker Room Talk for the Sin That It Is”:

“Now the current debate over “locker room talk,” I’m happy to report, highlights our decreasing acceptance of the old, broken morality that “boys will be boys.” …

Not long ago, my husband, a public high school teacher and coach, was in a car with two of his students. One spotted a female jogger up ahead and made a couple of lascivious comments. To the boy’s surprise, my husband responded by pulling up alongside the jogger, lowering the passenger side window where the student was sitting, and saying to him, “I’d like you to meet my wife.”

It’s a funny story. But it’s funny only because of how it ended. That “locker room talk” turned into a teachable moment for a man-in-the-making: make that two men-in the making, because after driving away, the second boy, seated wide-eyed in the back seat the entire time, asked my husband if he was going to “beat up” the other boy for what he said. Instead, my husband sternly but lovingly lectured both students, first about respecting women and then about resolving conflicts peacefully. What my husband did in that moment is what all good men must rise up and do when locker room talk enters the conversation.”

http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2016/october/call-out-locker-room-talk-for-sin-it-is.html

The opinion of this Christian writer would probably be very common amongst most Christians.  “Locker-room talk” in all its forms whether it be comments like Donald Trump’s or even seemingly less comments about a woman’s behind are equally sinful their opinion.

She mentions that the young man made some “lascivious comments” about the jogger (which he did not realize was the coach’s wife). I am going to take a guess at what the young man may have said.

“Look at the body on that woman. Her butt is amazing”.

Now is this a “lascivious comment” by Biblical standards?

Lasciviousness” is the old English word for what we now call “sensuality”.  It was a translation of the Greek word “Aselgeia” which literally means “out of control” or “over indulgence”.  What it was referring to was someone who had an addiction or overindulged in some type of physical pleasure and it was not restricted to sexually related pleasure.  A drunkard would be guilty of engaging in “Aselgeia”. While thinking about sex or even enjoying the view of beautiful women whether in person or in print or on a screen is not sinful it can become sinful if it becomes obsessive and the central focus of our life.  When our pursuit of any earthly pleasure causes us to neglect our relationship with God, our spouse, our children or our other responsibilities then something that was not sinful at first can become sinful.

But make no mistake – a man enjoying the physical pleasure of a plate of food at his favorite restaurant as well as that boy enjoying the sight of that beautiful jogger is not lascivious, lustful or sinful.

There is a common belief amongst Christians that if a man is sexually aroused by, has thoughts about or speaks words reflecting his arousal and thoughts about a woman he is not married to that this is sinful behavior.  Some may not call it lascivious as this writer did.  They may instead call it lustful. But the problem with such thinking is there is absolutely no Scriptural backing for such a position.  It is based on culture, opinion and peer pressure alone.

The fact is that God designed male sexuality and no he did not originally design some magical switch in men that they would only be aroused by a woman once they were married.  Some people actually believe this ridiculous theory because they cannot accept the male visual and physical arousal mechanisms as God given. It is a sin, in their view, for a person to experience or exercise any part of their sexuality before being married. This is why they preach so hard against masturbation and sexual fantasy.

Now lest someone get the wrong idea.  I teach on this blog what the Bible teaches.  The only sexual relations God honors are between a man and woman in the holy covenant of marriage as the book of Hebrews states:

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)

But young people experiencing and exercising their sexuality, rather than sexual relations, before marriage is NOT forbidden.  There is no sin in a young man or young woman experiencing sexual pleasure from a sexual dream or sexual thought about a person of the opposite sex.  It is what we do with those thoughts that become sinful.  It is when we allow our sexual arousal to turn in sexual covetousness which is what lust is. It is when we start thinking about how we can convince someone to have sex outside of marriage.

But aren’t men engaging in impure speech when they talk about sexually related things?

The most common phrase that is assigned by Christian leaders to men talking together about women in a sexual manner is the word “impure”.  These thoughts about women’s body parts or about sexual fantasies about women are said to be “impure”.

There are many articles on Christian websites that exhort men to not engage in any sexual thoughts(fantasies) or sexually explicit speech with other men so that they may remain pure.  Here are some common verses that are used to support this position.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. “

Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”

Ephesians 5:3-5 (KJV)

So here is what happens in the typical church men’s youth group or young college men’s class.

They are told that sexual talk between men that compare’s women’s bodies or talks about women’s body parts or any talk of sexual fantasies is by definition “impure”, “filthy” or “dirty” talk.  Then the speaker will ask men “Can you honestly say when you are talking about those women’s bodies that are speaking in a pure way? Is that a lovely way to speak about women? Or is it dirty and disrespectful? We all know the answer that is impure speech based on impure thoughts”.

If you have been raised in most Christian churches you will recognize this speech or a variation of it.

If you as a Christian man ever hear this speech about Christian men engaging in impure speech in connection with men talking sexually about women here are some questions you should ask the teacher or speaker when they open the room for questions or discussion.

“How do you know that talking about women’s body parts is impure speech? Where does the Bible call such speech by men impure?”

If the teacher responds with Matthew 5:28 that “Well Jesus said that if a man looks with lust on woman then he is committing adultery in his heart”.  Then you can respond with these questions for your teacher about lust.

“But what is lust? Doesn’t the Bible tell us in Romans 7:7 that lust is covetousness? And isn’t covetousness the desire to unlawfully possess something that does not belong to us? Where does the Bible teach that sexual arousal, sexual fantasy or talking about women’s bodies or body parts is lust?”

At this point your teacher’s head will be spinning because unfortunately most Christian teachers simply parrot what they have been taught in their church, college or seminary.   I understand that many of these preachers and teachers are good men with good intentions.  They only want to please God with their lives. But because of how they been indoctrinated both by their church as well as our culture they cannot see sexual talk between men as anything less than dirty or impure.

They might for good measure throw one more verse at you to try and support their faulty belief that men sexually ranking women’s bodies is dirty and impure.

“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”

Job 31:1

There is actually a website called CovenantEyes.com that bases it’s mission on this verse. They and other Christians claim that Job was saying in this verse that he made a covenant with eyes never to think sexually about a woman he was not married to.

The problem is the Scripture don’t say that. We agree that men can have wrong thoughts about women.  But we disagree on what those wrong thoughts are. So here is how you answer you teacher if he brings up Job’s covenant with his eyes not to think upon a maid:

“Sir should we not be careful of adding to God’s Word? We know that Job was saying he would not think about something about a woman.  What does the Bible tell us we should not think about regarding women? It tells us not to think about seducing virgin women to have sex with us outside of marriage right? It tells us not to engage in prostitution right? So we should not think about seeing prostitutes right? It tells us not to think about seducing our neighbor’s wife right? So how can we add something to wrong thoughts that God never adds? Are you not adding a condemnation of men  talking about women’s bodies to God’s Word?”

I have actually had this conversation with several pastors both in email and some of my friends on the phone.  They never have clear answers to these questions because they have never questioned the Christian culture they have been raised in.

But isn’t it wrong to compare women’s beauty or say one woman is not as attractive as another?

There are some people – both Christian and non-Christian who believe it is morally wrong to ever directly compare two women and say one is more attractive than the other.  But the Bible shows us this is not the case:

“Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.”

Genesis 29:17 (KJV)

We don’t know exactly what “tender eyed” meant but we know whatever it meant – it is was the opposite of “beautiful and well favoured” which is what Rachel was.

God literally told us in his word that Rachel was hot and Leah was not.

But in this area of rating beauty we as men need to practice discretion. God was not saying we should walk up to two women and say to one “You know she is so much better looking than you!”.  That is not the right time and place for a man to express such a thought.

Now if you were with your guy friends alone and you wanted to express the fact that you thought one sister was hot and the other was not there would be no sin in that. Again, so many things in the Christian life come down to time and place.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)

What was the lesson those boys could have learned?

If that coach had understood what the true meaning of lust and lascivious are in the Bible he could have had a very different conversation with those boys.  Instead of scolding that boy for his God given male sexuality he could have helped him to understand it and channel it.

The right way to handle that scenario could have gone as follows.

After the comments the boy made about how sexy the jogger was the coach still could have pulled over and introduced the woman as his wife.  Of course, the boy would blush and feel embarrassed as he did in the actual story.

Then when the other boy asked him if he was going to “beat him up” for what he said he could have said “Why would I beat him up for having the same thoughts about my wife that I did when I first met her?” He could have been honest about his male sexuality instead of hiding and condemning himself and every other man for having the same nature.  Contrary to popular belief today – the masculine sexual nature is not equivalent to the sin nature. Has man’s masculine nature been corrupted by sin just as woman’s feminine nature has been corrupted by sin? Yes.  But in its original design the masculine nature is a beautiful nature.

The coach could have then helped the boy who made the comments about his wife’s body with these words:

“It is normal for you to have these thoughts about women.  God gave you these desires.  God is the one who designed your brain to give you pleasure signals when you see a beautiful woman like my wife.  But you need to channel that God given gift and don’t misuse it. It is one thing for you to privately say to me and other guys what you find attractive in various women’s bodies.  But it would have been very different if you had yelled out the window to that jogger – “He babe you got a nice ass!” as you go barreling by in your car. That would be disrespectful behavior toward women.

Also, I want to address the whole “do I want to beat him up” question you asked. It is one thing If you know that a woman is married or in a relationship with the man you are with then you need to be careful of your words with him about her.  He may be sensitive about men complimenting his wife’s beauty.  Now if he seems to invite you to tell him what you find attractive about his wife then it may be ok but still be careful.

But there is a lesson for you if you are the man whose woman that is. How can you be angry at another man for having the EXACT same thoughts you know you had about your girlfriend or wife? It is extremely hypocritical and illogical for you to do so.  Now if that man is flirting with your girlfriend or wife or acting like he wants to seduce them that is a whole other story.  You have a right to be angry then.  But even then, we don’t settle these kinds of differences with violence.  We use our words – not our fists.

I also want you to realize that while it is ok for you to exercise your God given male sexuality by enjoying the sight of and thoughts about beautiful women and even masturbation – it is not ok to have sex outside of marriage.  You need to guard your thoughts from being just sexually pleasurable to being sexually lustful.  You need to keep yourself from being in sexually tempting positions with girls that you date where you will be tempted to have sex outside of marriage.”

Now what I have just described would have been a healthy and Biblically based conversation about male sexuality.  Instead those two boys walked away feeling condemned for being aroused by that beautiful jogger.

Conclusion

Male sexuality has been assaulted in many ways since shortly after the birth of Christian asceticism during the life of the Apostles. While Christianity today has shook off many parts of Christian asceticism remnants of it remain in our Christian culture.  Not only that but our secular cultural which has been poisoned by feminism attacks male sexuality as well.  So, in way men are getting double teamed by Church leaders as well as secular feminist leaders.

I can’t tell you how encouraging it has been to me to receive emails from Pastors, teachers and Christian men and women from all over the world whose are eyes are finally being opened to false attacks on male sexuality.

Young men are actually joining in small groups to discuss my writings on this subject of male sexuality from a Biblical perspective.

As I said earlier in this article –  I do not agree with Donald Trump’s “locker-room talk” comments.  He was joking about trying to get women to commit adultery and sexual assault and neither of these topics should be joked about by men.

But this does not make all “locker-room talk” by men sinful.  Men certainly need to practice discretion with how they engage in this talk.  The men’s soccer team at Harvard did not practice discretion when the put their “Scouting Report” on a publicly available server where someone might find it.

But if men practice the Biblical principle of “time and place”(Ecclesiastes 3:1) and speak about women’s bodies amongest themselves in way that does not joke about sinful behavior(as Donald Trump did) then there is no sin in this.  No man should ever be ashamed of such speech when it is done in the right place and right time.

And for my Christian friends who will say “whatever you say in private you should be able to say in public” there is no Biblical principle or command that backs up such a statement. In fact it is wise and godly to hold our tongue on a host of issues and speak to people privately about certain things.  And from a marriage front I would bet each and every one of these people would not want their private sexually related speech with their spouses made public.  So this argument that just because you need to reserve certain speech for controlled settings that it is wrong has no Scriptural basis whatsoever.

I do believe though that these events with Donald Trump and the “Scouting Report” incident at Harvard provide us with a great opportunity to call out the misuse of the male sexual nature but at the same time make a strong defense of the male sexual nature as God intended it to be.