A. Years ago, if a Christian never married, his or her spiritual brethren might consider it mildly unfortunate, but they usually remained polite enough to stay out of the person’s personal life. Now, however, “celebrating singleness” has become so trendy that many Christian writers and preachers are advocating staying single. Whether someone marries or not is that person’s private business, but false teaching is potentially damaging and ought to be exposed.
On August 29, 2017, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) issued the Nashville Statement. You can read it on their site here or in this PDF version. The initial signatories include many prominent leaders from Christian Conservatism/American Evangelicalism. According to its preamble, it was written “in the hope of serving Christ’s church and witnessing publicly to the good purposes of God for human sexuality revealed in Christian Scripture.” Thus, CBMW wrote the statement not just to the Christian community who would, hopefully, understand it in the context of the Gospel and, in fact, all Scripture. It was also written to the public at large, which we must assume is not well-versed in Scripture and internal Christian jargon.
Before I take on this subject, I want to explain why I am writing about it. I don't want to be mistaken for moralizing, being a legalist, or laying guilt on anyone. I am not trying to sic the law on anyone or be judgmental. I am writing this article because I am concerned that the secular humanist society we live in and which dominates the media and education is beginning to have more of an influence on Christians than Scripture. In fact, this reasoning is behind much of what I write. But, in this area of life particularly, the effect of our secular humanist culture, the failure of parents and the church to pass on a truly biblical world view, and the neglect of Christians to studiously examine the Bible for themselves are resulting in Christians becoming ignorant of the standard of behavior that becomes a Christian. Or, if they are aware of this standard, they fall for the relativist argument that it is old fashioned and no longer applies to Christians today. And so we have people—usually young people but not always—who think that petting, casual sex, friends with benefits, and even living together unmarried are acceptable behaviors for Christians. They are not, and I want to explain why.
We live in a world that considers itself in a state of moral flux. That is, right and wrong are thought of as not concrete but change as society develops. In such a society, it is common for even Christians to wonder whether sex outside of marriage is okay.
A. Before studying into this question in depth, I assumed I knew the answer. So I surprised myself with what I found. I also found that the correct understanding of this passage is important because it serves as a lesson for us today. I will go through the common explanations of this passage, show from the Bible which is correct, and then discuss what we can learn from this lesson.
CAUTION: THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE MIGHT BE DETRIMENTAL TO YOUR FREE TIME, YOUR GOLF SCORE, AND, FOR SOME, EVEN YOUR CAREER GOALS.
Parents, what is the most important thing you can do for your children? Provide for them financially? give them a stable environment? schedule quality time with them?
Reading parenting books and magazines might lead you to believe that at least some of the above are the most important things you can do for your children. But I have it on good authority that the number one thing you can do for your children is something else altogether. My authority is the Bible.
A. This question arises because most people assume that Adam and Eve had only three children: Cain, Abel, and Seth. Therefore, some people think that Cain must have found his wife from among some other family of humans. But the Bible says that all people come from Adam and Eve (see Genesis 3:20). Although the Bible specifically names Cain, Abel, and Seth as Adam and Eve’s children, it says that they had other children. In Genesis 5:4, we read, “And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters.” Some have assumed that this verse means that Adam had the other sons and daughters after Seth, but there is nothing in the wording of this verse that implies this. In other words, Adam and Eve had many other children throughout their long married life, both before and after the birth of Seth (Adam lived 930 years and God had commanded Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply”—Genesis 1:28). For the sake of not competing for grazing, hunting, and tillable land, they would have spread over a large area. It is to these members of his family that Cain went and found a wife. Of course, this also applied to Seth.