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How to Stay Christian in College - June 11th 2012, 02:00 AM

I'm in the middle of reading How to Stay Christian in College by J Budziszewski, a Christian apologist and professor at the University of Texas.

I won't bore you with my frustrations at the book in its entirety. I will quote instead his statements about sex:

Quote:
First, That means that [love's] adult expression is not sex but the binding promises of marriage

Second, sex outside of marriage doesn't help you understand sex... it makes your understanding of sex worse.

Third, having sex with another person tells you nothing about whether the two are compatible, and living together tells you nothing about whether a marriage between you would work.

Fourth, sex outside of marriage isn't romantic... it's the opposite.

Fifth, sex outside of marriage doesn't hold relationship together; it contributes to their decay.

Sixth, sex outside of marriage isn't a sign of commitment.

Seventh, the desire of sex is not a need but a want.

Eighth, ... sex outside of marriage doesn't bring lasting pleasure-- rather it murders pleasure.

Ninth, it isn't marriage that's boring-- it's promiscuity[that is boring].
(emphasis mine)

I'm curious as to what people think, especially you Christians out there.
   
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Re: How to Stay Christian in College - June 11th 2012, 02:56 AM

To each his own? I don't agree with everything the author has said because I honestly don't believe that you need to be married to have a comitted relationship. I think there are a lot more important things that make for a comitted relationship than a piece of paper.

That being said; I do believe that sex is a very important and I am not someone who wants to jump into having sex. I want to know that I am in a comitted relationship before I comitt to something like that. But, does that mean I want to wait till marriage? I am not 100% sure.

"Sixth, sex outside of marriage isn't a sign of commitment."

I found this quote interesting (although I could probably tear apart a lot of the quotes you used) because marriage doesn't necessarily show a sign of committment either. There are a number of people who get married because it is expected of them etc.

So, instead of rambling and repeating myself, I am just going to say that I don't agree with what this person says but I suppose there are christians out there who do believe that sex before marriage ruins the sacredness of marriage of all that. And, that is why I say to each his own.


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Re: How to Stay Christian in College - June 11th 2012, 03:17 AM

I am a Christian, and I think it's stupid bull.

I have a stricter view on sex than some people; I believe if you're going to have sex, it needs to be in a long term committed relationship. I don't have a set amount of time that has to pass before it's okay to have sex, because it depends on the couple and where they are in the relationship. But I do believe that sex is special, and you should be sure you love someone before you do it.

That being said, the whole "living together tells you nothing" is bull. For a lot of people, living together is the relationship's big test. For some couples, cohabitation can make or break the relationship. If you find out you can't live together after you're married, you're screwed.

And no, sex outside marriage sure as hell does not decay a relationship, by any means. Sex with the one you love is an act of love and pleasure; you don't have to have a piece of paper and a ring on your finger to make it okay. My boyfriend and I are sexually active, and we have a very healthy and loving relationship that I wouldn't trade for anything.

All the religious stuff surrounding sex and marriage just doesn't make sense to me. I could seriously go on and on here, but I don't have the time or patience at this point in time.


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Re: How to Stay Christian in College - June 11th 2012, 05:02 AM

I'm Mormon (and therefore Christian) and I don't see the point of that list at all.

We believe that sex is reserved for the sanctity of marriage, and to break the law of chastity has huge repercussions within the Church. The only reason I need in order to wait for marriage is my faith. I could not care less about that list and it has no impact on my decisions.

Though I'm pretty sure that whole point about living together not telling you anything about how a marriage would work out is pretty bogus.

The way I see it, the Lord has asked me to wait until marriage so I will. Does that suck sometimes? Yeah. But I'm firm enough in my faith to know that I will be blessed for doing so.

Why should I let words that are not of the Lord influence me? [regarding items of faith, etc. I don't want anyone twisting my words into something crazy like "so if a doctor tells you you have cancer but the Lord doesn't, you won't start chemo?" I feel like that always happens in religion debates...]


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Re: How to Stay Christian in College - June 11th 2012, 05:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cather View Post
I'm Mormon (and therefore Christian) and I don't see the point of that list at all.

We believe that sex is reserved for the sanctity of marriage, and to break the law of chastity has huge repercussions within the Church. The only reason I need in order to wait for marriage is my faith. I could not care less about that list and it has no impact on my decisions.

Though I'm pretty sure that whole point about living together not telling you anything about how a marriage would work out is pretty bogus.

The way I see it, the Lord has asked me to wait until marriage so I will. Does that suck sometimes? Yeah. But I'm firm enough in my faith to know that I will be blessed for doing so.

Why should I let words that are not of the Lord influence me? [regarding items of faith, etc. I don't want anyone twisting my words into something crazy like "so if a doctor tells you you have cancer but the Lord doesn't, you won't start chemo?" I feel like that always happens in religion debates...]
We are not of the same denomination of Christianity but I completely agree with what you said: my views exactly.


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Re: How to Stay Christian in College - June 11th 2012, 07:59 AM

I don't agree with most of what he says. Yeah, I've been brought up a Baptist Christian, and had an adult Baptism, but am questioning my faith at the moment. But I don't think that makes my opinions less valid so I'll say them anyway.

I'm not sure whether or not I agree with sex outside marriage or not, in a religious context. I take part in it, but then I'm not sure of a lot of things that I do in a religious context, like being bisexual, ect. ect.

Quote:
First, That means that [love's] adult expression is not sex but the binding promises of marriage
Disagree. Both can be expressions of love.

Quote:
Second, sex outside of marriage doesn't help you understand sex... it makes your understanding of sex worse.
I don't understand where he's coming from on this one. I understand sex more now than I did during sex ed, and I'm not married yet...

Quote:
Third, having sex with another person tells you nothing about whether the two are compatible, and living together tells you nothing about whether a marriage between you would work.
I completely disagree. I don't even understand how this can even be contemplated. If you can't live together unmarried, then how on earth could you live together married? You don't need a legal document to promise to stay with the person, either, so to a lot of people cohabitation means as much as marriage. It just doesn't have the legal benefits.

Quote:
Fourth, sex outside of marriage isn't romantic... it's the opposite.
I know this is false, at least in my case. Sex is very romantic. Just like a candlelit dinner is romantic. It's just part of bonding.

Quote:
Fifth, sex outside of marriage doesn't hold relationship together; it contributes to their decay.
Agree and disagree. It can lead to decay and it can make things much more complicated. But, not always, and marriages fail all the time anyway, leaving behind much worse repercussions.

Quote:
Sixth, sex outside of marriage isn't a sign of commitment.
I don't see why sex would ever be a sign of commitment. It's an act of passion and love. Even in marriage, the actual sex isn't the commitment.

Quote:
Seventh, the desire of sex is not a need but a want.
And? Marriage is a want, not a need. Lots of things are wants not needs and the Bible isn't against all of them.

Quote:
Eighth, ... sex outside of marriage doesn't bring lasting pleasure-- rather it murders pleasure.
I don't even understand this. Does he mean the length of the relationship? Lots of relationships last despite having sex outside of marriage. Murder is rather a strong word.

Quote:
Ninth, it isn't marriage that's boring-- it's promiscuity[that is boring].
Regardless if this is true or not, not everyone who has sex outside marriage is promiscuous, so it's a moot point.

Well, that was fun. I think he was just trying to make reasons for the Bible to be right. I think, and people may disagree with me, but I think that it's a faith, therefore you're faithful. You don't need a load of bogus reasons, you don't need to be scared into it with threats, if you believe it, that's what you do. Because you already believe in the God, why would you need extra reasons to do what he says?


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Re: How to Stay Christian in College - June 11th 2012, 09:29 AM

Not a Christian, disagree with all of it, but think it can be good advice to certain people. To each their own. I have sex outside of marriage, my relationship is four years going strong, and I plan on continuing to have sex with this person outside of marriage. However, I think waiting is a great decision to make, and he has the right to his strict opinions because that is what worked for him and he thinks that advice will help others in college. So...whatever? I'm not listening to it.


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Re: How to Stay Christian in College - June 11th 2012, 10:57 AM

Quote:
Third, having sex with another person tells you nothing about whether the two are compatible, and living together tells you nothing about whether a marriage between you would work.
I'm not particularly religious and don't agree with most of this list anyway, but I don't understand this. I think couples shouldn't get married unless they've lived together first. What is the reasoning behind his statement?? Why does he believe it tells you nothing about whether your marriage would work??


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Re: How to Stay Christian in College - June 11th 2012, 03:02 PM

1. I wouldn't say marriage is the expression of love, but rather your actions of love expressing it to your spouse. That is, there are people married and the husband will beat the wife. So, then, just because he married her, means he expressed his love? I do believe, however, if you love someone, you should marry them because according the the Bible, "Love never fails." Thus, if you love someone, there SHOULD be a lasting commitment, though, I confess, this doesn't necessarily have to be marriage.

2. If this is talking about a practical standpoint, I disagree. However, now that I am married, I wish I had waited for my wife, and I wish she waited for me. Even if the sex was terrible at first.

3. I agree, but disagree. I believe living together can be a close representation of how things will be, but, my wife and I before we were married practically lived together, and, before I was a Christian, I lived with one of my exes. I will say that marriage IS different from just "living" with someone, and it makes things more difficult, especially when we fight. But, I would say living with someone would give you an idea of if you are compatible.

4. Sex inside marriage isn't necessarily romantic, either. The apostle Paul said if anyone struggles with lust, they should marry. And that he and his wife should come together for a time to fight temptation. So, according to Paul, sex was used to fight temptation. Soooooooooooooo romantic.

5. I don't see how this would be any different than in marriage, other than once the "lust" phase is gone, you are forced to stay with your partner, to a degree, if you're married. You can't just up and find a new partner (well, technically, I guess, you could).

6. Well, according to number 1, sex inside of marriage isn't the commitment, either.

7. I disagree, for a lot of people it is a need, but for others it is a want. It all comes down to the person. However, I don't believe this is a reason to be promiscuous.

8. I don't understand how this would be different from inside of marriage. The only difference I can see is that before I was married, sex was somewhat objectified in people to me. Yet, it still somewhat is. My love should go beyond sex. Again, why exactly does sex have to be your seal of love? I thought marriage was? He seems to contradict himself.

9. I would say that both get boring. That's why it has to be about more than just sex. But, to a degree, I agree with this. Promiscuity shows that you are bored.


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Re: How to Stay Christian in College - June 11th 2012, 06:44 PM

I'll tackle them one at a time, as a Catholic with liberal leanings and the occasional lapse:

Quote:
First, That means that [love's] adult expression is not sex but the binding promises of marriage
I'd say it's a matter of opinion whether marriage promises are "binding" or not, but in any event I wouldn't say marriage is an expression of love so much as commitment. Affection, compassion and intimacy are expressions of love. Marriage isn't a source of love so much as an affirmation of it.

Quote:
Second, sex outside of marriage doesn't help you understand sex... it makes your understanding of sex worse.
Depending on how "sex outside marriage" is meant, I think there may be some merit to this (unlike the last one). If your experience of love and intimacy via sex is purely through a string of one-night-stands or a variety of hookups, with or without the influence of mind-altering substances, then I think it's fair to say your understanding of sex, love and intimacy is going to be pretty distorted. If, on the other hand, your experience of love and intimacy via sex is within a committed relationship or a series of such relationships, then that is comparable with such experiences within marriage. And to complete the set, if it means adultery then that's definitely a bad move...

Quote:
Third, having sex with another person tells you nothing about whether the two are compatible, and living together tells you nothing about whether a marriage between you would work.
First one yes (compatibility is down to much more than the erogenous zones...), second one not so much. It's not critical - my parents did not live together before marriage and they've lasted over 30 years and counting - but it can give a good guide as to how well people mesh together (and whether they can stand each other in close proximity for much of the time). My brother and his wife lived together for a few years before getting married, and for them it was a very useful experience. It all comes down to the individual.

Quote:
Fourth, sex outside of marriage isn't romantic... it's the opposite.
Again, it depends on context. If we're talking about going at it like rabbits in bathroom stalls, alleyways or on the backseat of cars (to name but a few) then quite. If, however, it's done in a romantic manner in the right mindset then it could easily be classed as romantic.

Quote:
Fifth, sex outside of marriage doesn't hold relationship together; it contributes to their decay.
50-50 on this one - it's down to the individuals involved.

Quote:
Sixth, sex outside of marriage isn't a sign of commitment.
This I agree with - in the sense that sex generally isn't a sign of commitment outside of more than however long the act of coitus takes. It's a sign of intimacy, yes, but nothing more.

Quote:
Seventh, the desire of sex is not a need but a want.
This I also agree with. Sex isn't vital to our continued existence as individual lifeforms - it might have a negative effect on some of our emotions, but it isn't going to kill us in the same way that lack of food, water or oxygen will. When people talk about "needing" sex, it does come across somewhat as being in the same manner as a drug addiction.

Quote:
Eighth, ... sex outside of marriage doesn't bring lasting pleasure-- rather it murders pleasure.
I suppose it depends how you go about it really...

Quote:
Ninth, it isn't marriage that's boring-- it's promiscuity[that is boring].
I think there may be some mileage in this, insofar as having a sex life consisting purely of frequent meaningless sexual encounters with people you have no intention of, or capacity for, being in anything more lasting with would get boring as much as anything else. I would suspect the novelty value wears off after a while, and once that's gone all you're left with is the sense of being devoid of lasting intimacy.

So, agree with some things, disagree with more, and generally feel the author would have a greater effect on his target audience with a little less condescension and a little more understanding.


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Re: How to Stay Christian in College - June 12th 2012, 03:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReluctantPegasister View Post
I'm in the middle of reading How to Stay Christian in College by J Budziszewski, a Christian apologist and professor at the University of Texas.

I won't bore you with my frustrations at the book in its entirety. I will quote instead his statements about sex:



(emphasis mine)

I'm curious as to what people think, especially you Christians out there.
If someone who isn't a Christian reads a book that is aimed at Christians, they aren't going to understand why certain things are said. Reason being, Christians have different definitions of things than everyone else does. For example, your definition of "romantic" and the bible's definition of "romantic" are not the same thing....so pre-marital sex may fit your definition of romantic and yet not fit God's definition (which is what the author of this book would be going by since he is a Christian).

It's like when there was a debate here about whether or not non-Christians were capable of love. The non-Christians and Christians were arguing based on two different definitions of love...so they weren't agreeing. Christians believe that God is love, which means you can't have love without having God. And non-Christians believe various things about love...none of which have the definition of "God". So, non-Christians might be able to love based on their definition of love, yet not based on God's definition of love.
   
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Re: How to Stay Christian in College - June 12th 2012, 04:04 PM

Megan, I asked people to respond to the text, not lecture me on how I don't know what love is. If you'll notice, I said I was frustrated at the text and wanted people's takes on it, including non-Christians. Of everyone, you are the one, even of the Christians, who gave me the least helpful response.

Edit: As it happens, only two of the nine mention love or romance. You could have at least responded to those, but I guess you thought I'd like a lecture more.

FYI: this is the section on how sex outside of marriage isn't romantic:

Quote:
Women, how romantic is it to stand buck-naked in front of a man who hasn't fully committed his life to you? The only time it's romantic to be completely vulnerable to a man is when you're absolutely safe with him. He's isn't going to give you a disease, he isn't going to get you pregnant and then tell you to have an abortion, he isn't going to be sleeping with other women, he isn't going to leave you...

[Men] how romantic is it to put a woman in the position of standing buck-naked in front of a you when you haven't fully committed your life to her? How romantic is it to get her pregnant? Or give her a disease?... Aren't you really treating her like a prostitute. not a lover?
Because goodness knows men telling their wives to get abortions never happens. Men who are married never cheat. Husbands and wives never give each other STIs.

And *of course* pre-marital sex is *exactly* like prostitution, where the woman gets to be satisfied by the man and vice versa, with no money changing hands. Unlike marriage, where the woman gets a rock and house.

Last edited by Daivia; June 12th 2012 at 04:48 PM.
   
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Re: How to Stay Christian in College - June 12th 2012, 06:23 PM

What I said applies to all of them. The romance one was just an example. My point was that Christians and non-Christians have different definitions of things, which is why they disagree about whether or not certain things are "romantic" or "boring" or whatever...it's because those words don't mean the same thing to everyone.

And yes people mis-use marriage too, so unfortunately yes, cheating and STDs and abortion do happen in some marriages. I think the author is talking about a committed and Godly marriage. Which yes, even Godly people mess up, but if you marry someone who is really committed, they recognize their mistakes and fix them.

For the record, I personally don't agree with the author when he says that pre-marital sex would be boring and lack pleasure...I think it would bring worldly pleasure while it lasted, but that doesn't make it any less wrong. I think the momentary pleasure wouldn't be worth the possible long-term conciquences. I think that bringing temporary pleasure to myself is worthless if it's not for a Godly purpose and done out of love. If I had sex with a guy before I knew that I could commit to him for the rest of my life, I'd be using him for my own temporary pleasure. That's not fair to him. I'd rather wait until I'm married to the guy who I know is committed to me and only me for as long as we are both alive. It's worth waiting the few extra years.

Last edited by Megan1; June 12th 2012 at 08:14 PM.
   
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Re: How to Stay Christian in College - June 12th 2012, 08:39 PM

I'm a Christian, but I definitely don't buy into this list.

Quote:
First, That means that [love's] adult expression is not sex but the binding promises of marriage
I think both can be seen as expressions of love. Sure, sex is just sex to some people. But, for others, it's a way of showing how deeply they love one another. I guess this one is really just a matter of perspective for the individual.

Quote:
Second, sex outside of marriage doesn't help you understand sex... it makes your understanding of sex worse.
Er. How can doing something make your understanding of it worse? This argument just makes no sense to me.

Quote:
Third, having sex with another person tells you nothing about whether the two are compatible, and living together tells you nothing about whether a marriage between you would work.
Actually, neither does this one. I mean, sex doesn't necessarily tell you that you're compatible, but living together?! For me, that's the quickest way to tell if you and the other person should be married. You might love each other, but if you can't stand living with them, marriage might not be in your future.

Quote:
Fourth, sex outside of marriage isn't romantic... it's the opposite.
Sex outside marriage can be romantic if the people involved make it so. That's all there is to it.

Quote:
Fifth, sex outside of marriage doesn't hold relationship together; it contributes to their decay.
Nope. The only thing that leads to the decay of a relationship is the people in the relationship. Besides, I've heard more about not having sex ruining a relationship than I have about having sex ruining it.

Quote:
Sixth, sex outside of marriage isn't a sign of commitment.

Sex inside marriage isn't a sign of commitment either. Sex just doesn't mean you're committed, especially in this day and age. This actually makes me wonder when the book was written. This one might actually make sense if it was written before sex outside marriage was a hugely common thing.

Quote:
Seventh, the desire of sex is not a need but a want.
Wrong again. Sex is a basic human need. It's how we reproduce, which is something that we're biologically programmed to look for.

Quote:
Eighth, ... sex outside of marriage doesn't bring lasting pleasure-- rather it murders pleasure.
Seriously? Sex murders pleasure? Again, that has everything to do with the individual, not the action.

Quote:
Ninth, it isn't marriage that's boring-- it's promiscuity[that is boring].
Uhm. I'm not even sure what to say to this one.


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Re: How to Stay Christian in College - June 26th 2012, 03:32 PM

that guy has no idea what is he talking about
   
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Re: How to Stay Christian in College - June 28th 2012, 12:22 AM

I think Plato would have a thing or two to say to his apparent knowledge haha
   
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Re: How to Stay Christian in College - June 30th 2012, 03:04 AM

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First, That means that [love's] adult expression is not sex but the binding promises of marriage


I disagree with this because to me, marriage is more about being committed to a particular individual. There are plenty of couples who are married, committed to one another but their affection or love for each other changes for the better or worse.

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Second, sex outside of marriage doesn't help you understand sex... it makes your understanding of sex worse.
It's a bit hard to evaluate this because it's a conclusion lacking the necessary argument context to understand it and relies on particular definitions. For the latter, having sex outside of marriage certainly increases you understanding of sexual intercourse because of more experience, however, the author seems to be using a different definition, one that is tied in with commitment and love. Unfortunately, that's still neither here nor there as it depends on the exact situation.

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Third, having sex with another person tells you nothing about whether the two are compatible, and living together tells you nothing about whether a marriage between you would work.


I agree to the first, although to me that is also common sense. If you have a one-night stand, it's the same as shaking someone's hand saying, "hello". What you learn has little to no bearing on future romantic endeavours. I have to disagree with the second because living with someone you love is very similar to marriage, only instead of introducing as husband/wife, it's boyfriend/girlfriend/fiance. The person would be the same before or after the marriage (presumably).

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Fourth, sex outside of marriage isn't romantic... it's the opposite.


Ironically, the context argument given actually weakens this conclusion. The argument relies on a bunch of "what-if" questions that are open-ended, yet the author has given black-and-white outcomes they deem truthful and applicable to all people. The same "what-if" questions can be applied to sex within marriage, yet I'm certain the author would give completely opposite answers. Overall, the argument is weak, flimsy and doesn't hold up, so neither does the quoted statement.

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Fifth, sex outside of marriage doesn't hold relationship together; it contributes to their decay.


This statement is a bit amusing because it's somewhat ambiguous in that there are 2 relationships: sex with the person who was married to and sex with someone else. In reality, it's a 50/50 chance for each, however, the author has given < 50% chance for the within marriage sexual partner and > 50% chance for the sex outside marriage partner. I cant see how this can be supported in any way.

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Sixth, sex outside of marriage isn't a sign of commitment.

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Eighth, ... sex outside of marriage doesn't bring lasting pleasure-- rather it murders pleasure.


This statement is premised on the assumption sex within marriage is a sign of commitment/pleasure. To me, that's a pretty weak assumption.

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Seventh, the desire of sex is not a need but a want.


From an evolutionary standpoint, which is the view I take for this, it's both. It's an overall need that underlies numerous interactions with anyone. It's a particular want with individuals whom one finds desirable.

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Ninth, it isn't marriage that's boring-- it's promiscuity[that is boring].
I can agree with this statement a bit more than the others. Promiscuity, after a while, can become boring IF the individual begins to want a longer-lasting relationship or one of the one-night stands turns into something longer-lasting.

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Originally Posted by Megan1
If someone who isn't a Christian reads a book that is aimed at Christians, they aren't going to understand why certain things are said. Reason being, Christians have different definitions of things than everyone else does.
I'll agree so far as to say there are differing sets of definitions, however, it is still very possible for a non-Christian to indeed understand from a Christian perspective by employing the specific definitions and setting their personal ones aside. You're suggesting that such a feat is not possible for any non-Christian and presumably the same would apply for a Christian reading non-Christian material.

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Originally Posted by Megan1
I think the author is talking about a committed and Godly marriage
I find it very problematic you have to assume with uncertainty what type of relationship the author is discussing in order to understand their statements. If you're not completely sure on this, then you really have no idea what any of the statements are premised on, hence, you have no idea of the overall meanings of each statement. Unfortunately, it also means you're shutting one eye intentionally, so you could never understand when or if, the author was discussing non-godly marriages in order to advance their view on committed godly marriages. This isn't due to your religious beliefs, rather it speaks to your reasoning capabilities.


I can rip you off, and steal all your cash, suckerpunch you in the face, stand back and laugh. Leave you stranded as fast as a heart-attack.
- Danko Jones (I Think Bad Thoughts)
   
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