Thanks! Well, it sort of does. Paul describes that we should keep our bodies pure, as a temple to the Holy Spirit. I believe this. Buuuut...
He specifically says this with regards to not "becoming one flesh" (i.e. making the beast with two backs) with sacred prostitutes from the famous Temple of Venus in Corinth.
Here's the operable passage (I Cor.6:12-20) in the New American Standard version:
Originally Posted by Paul
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
The bolded "immorality" above is the Greek word porneia
, prostitution literally (as is the original meaning of the Latin fornix
, but used by the New Testament writers to encompass all sexual sins included in the Mosaic Law. Notice Paul's specific objection is related to physically joining the temple of the Holy spirit (the body) to a body committed to serving the Temple of Venus, a big draw in Corinth. Such sacred pagan prositutes were called kedeshah
in the Old Testament and regular prostitutes were called zonah
. So, while Paul is specifically addressing a practice of the Corinthians, the application is that all sexual sin, temple prostitution being one, that is forbidden by the Mosaic law is still to be avoided due to it's negative physical results, even though they are no longer under the ceremonial aspects of the Mosaic Law.
Why do so many christian leaders say no sex before marriage?
There were many strains of pagan Greek philosophy that emphasized sexual denial of one sort or another and during the periods of Greek and Roman rule of Judea, we know that some of these ideas were adopted by Jewish fringe groups, like most of the Essenes. These practices come from a philosophical Greek anti-woman angle, rather than an anti-sex angle ; women aren't made directly by the gods/God, are not complete humans, etc. The Jewish apologist Philo, who wrote for a Greek audience, plays up the Essenes, since they had absorbed and Judaicized these Greek beliefs. Again, these were fringe beliefs among the Jews and were not part of first century Christianity. This ideas were brought into the church as Greco-
Roman Gentile converts began to outnumber the Jews in the church about mid-2nd century (150 AD or so).
I've read Leviticus, I've read the Gospels. I see that many refer to different interpretations of porneia. Is there really an ok or that the Word actually allows by not mentioning a person, lawfully and allowably divorced to have sex with another person of the opposite sex?
Which passage specifically are you wondering about? What people always forget/ignore when reading scripture, is that Hebrew society in Israel and later in Judah in the time of Jesus, was a polygynous society. "Polygynous" means that men are allowed to have multiple wives and concubines, simultaneously. There is absolutely never any expectation, or even a suggestion, by Moses or Jesus that men should be monogamous. Paul gives instruction in the pastoral epistles that elders/bishops and deacons should each be a "one woman man." Note that this is a restriction on the leadership, not the rank and file.
The majority of opinions I've read seem to point to only sex within marriage is ok.
Do you have a chapter and verse where I can find that passage?
No, you don't, because it doesn't exist.
I fully understand the reasons (disease, early relational issues masked by having sex, etc) to wait until marriage. I believe God is always right.
Again, people are very interested in obscuring the Hebrew context of the Bible. Not just the Hebrew context, but the context of the whole, much more natural world of the Biblical era. Firstly, all women were married off at the start of adulthood (puberty), regardless of the culture; Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, etc). Males were also married at the same age (Jews) or a bit later (Romans) or much later (Greeks). All of these groups value virginity and female chastity within marriage; nobody wants to be a cuckold. Thus we see that premarital seduction of a virgin leads to a shotgun marriage in some, perhaps most cases (Exodus 22:16-18), at the discretion of the girl's father. But, there is no statement that sex before marriage is a sin and there is no punishment other than just compensation.
However, once a Hebrew woman has been divorced or widowed, she was no longer under her husband's sexual ownership and was a free agent, with the exception of Levirate marriage requirements when applicable. Thus you see Elijah, at God's direction, cohabiting in a small cabin with a young widow and her child for many months. Now, being a free agent, was not that great a deal, since physical protection was necessary and life was tough for most single women. However, it has been estimated that almost 1/3 of adult women at any given time in that era were widows, yet to remarry.
I'm just having share time actually proving to myself, and I mean real thing, to the most researched proof that a righteously single mature adult in a loving relationship is not allowed to share sex with the opposite sex.
Love? As in romance? I hate to break it to you, but romantic love (AKA courting, AKA courtly love, AKA courts of romance) has little or nothing to do marriage in the Bible, since the concept of romantic love originated in the high middle ages.