Deuteronomy, rape, sexual violence and a deeper approach to application

In the last article we had a close look at Deuteronomy 22 but any preacher reading should have been screaming “You’ve only one part of the job.” You see, in the first article we didn’t touch too heavily on application. And yet this is so important. I have been strongly critical of a more liberal approach to Scripture that discourages the deep interaction with the text that it wants to claim. However, my own conservative evangelical constituency can miss out too if we simply look at these texts as apologetic problems and when we see them think purely in terms of “How am I going to explain that one.” Continue reading

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Why you must wait until you are married before you have sex

Two Sundays ago, I preached on the Great Commission and said that Discipleship will mean challenging people about things they don’t want to be challenged about. I said

“Teaching people to obey Christ will mean being willing to challenge and correct.  You will not always be popular. In fact, you will often be unpopular for it.  You will have to say deeply uncomfortable things to people

‘No, you cannot date a non-Christian’

‘I know you will find this hard but God calls you to stay with your husband/wife through good times and bad and not give up on your marriage.’

‘You must wait until you are married before you share a bed together.’

‘What you are doing/saying is dishonest. You need to fess up and tell the truth even if it will make life awkward for you.’

‘What you just told those three people in your small group ‘in confidence for prayer’ was in fact gossip and it has to stop.’

And we could go on.  Each time, you will be challenging people about difficult things. You will be concerned about the danger of legalism, that they just try to follow some rules. They will be overwhelmed thinking that it is impossible to change…”

I thought it would be useful to pick up on a couple of those statements and explain a bit more about why they are important to discipleship.[1] As soon as we challenge believers about things like dating, sex and relationships, we are going to be accused of “laying down the Law” and if we are challenged on those things then we are going to feel like we are being subject to Legalism.

Here I want to deal with the whole question of dating and sex. Continue reading