The High Cost of Free Love

Last week at a Melbourne university I found myself in the middle of something called Sex It Up 08. I could have been forgiven for thinking I was in the middle of a red light district. A large public student union room had been turned into what looked like a brothel, complete with beds, sex objects and sleazy posters.

Later in the day walking around the campus, a visiting friend commented, why are there hookers here? He had just seen several scantily clad and provocatively dressed females walking by. I had to tell him that these were not in fact tarts, but alas, students dressing up for their Sex It Up activities.

It seems this was all part of an annual event that takes place at Monash University. Undoubtedly most other Australian universities have similar events. The posters advertising the three day event told of the activities students could enjoy. They included a “sex position display and competition”; an interview with a stripper; a “pole diva’s display”; a sex toy demonstration; a fetish party; and many other wholesome activities.

Of real interest is the fact that one of the major sponsors for all this was Sexyland, which happens to be a porn shop chain in Australia. All of which leads to some obvious questions: Why in the world should a university be in bed with the porn industry? Why is this case of sexual exhibitionism and debauchery even necessary at a university? Do parents even know that their sons and daughters are being exposed to such sleaze, complete with porn industry assistance? Are our tax dollars being spent on all this stuff?

No wonder our kids are turning out so bad when they leave home and head off to university. Any values and beliefs they may have been raised with at home are quickly assaulted when entering university. Of course it is not just the rampant disregard for sexual norms and values. The heavy doses of secularism, atheism, relativism, nihilism and postmodernism which so often characterise Western higher education all have their corrosive influence on our young people.

It is one thing to have radical and controversial indoctrination taking place in the classrooms. But to have these clearly amoral and immoral extras thrown in as well make it hard for any young person who wants to stay on the straight and narrow. But critics will simply laugh off such concerns. What is wrong with a bit of harmless sex they will ask.

Well, most promiscuous sex is not harmless. Certainly most casual sex is not consequence –free. There are very real consequences to the sexual free-for-all that the West has devolved into. Janice Shaw Crouse recently penned a piece on this issue, and lays out what is at stake. Every young person, she argues, needs to know three truths about casual sex.

The first is that casual sex “impairs the ability to establish a lasting emotional bond. When natural human emotional responses are repeatedly denied, the person is hardened and the capacity to bond is weakened. Dr. Donald Joy published groundbreaking research in the early 80s and has updated it periodically in the intervening years. He chronicles the ways that intimacy produces bonding. His research indicates that human beings respond to sexual intercourse by bonding, and they are driven to make that bond permanent and exclusive.”

The second is that “casual sex leaves young people alone and lonely. Counselors tell us that sexually active girls are three times more likely to be depressed than their abstinent peers. Among the boys, sexually active ones are depressed twice as often. Sexually active teens are more likely than their abstinent counterparts to attempt suicide (girls 15 percent to five percent and boys six percent to one percent). But the most telling fact is that the majority of teenagers, 72 percent of the girls and 55 percent of the boys, acknowledge regret over early sexual activity and wish that they had waited longer to have sex. So much for the cultural mantra that ‘sex is no big deal!’”

The third is that “the so-called ‘sexual revolution’ has produced dramatic increases in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Sadly, 65 percent of STDs appear in young people under age 25, and fully 20 percent of all AIDS cases are among college-aged young people. In the U.S., over 15 million new cases of STDs appear annually, a number that is triple what it was six years ago. Having three or more sexual partners in a lifetime increases a woman’s odds of cervical cancer by 15 times.”

She continues, “Sexual intercourse can be an intense and pleasurable experience, but it is more – much more. Sexual intimacy triggers the strongest and deepest, most exhilarating passions in life. Its purpose is to bond a man and a woman into ‘one flesh’ in the deepest intimacy that human beings can share. Further, sex is designed to both create life and build a strong relationship to protect and provide for that life.”

Free sex always comes with a price. She concludes, “It is impossible to ignore or dictate to nature. Young people need to choose carefully. Sex can never be free; choices always have consequences. We cannot expect young people to act responsibly when adults – whose thinking is sometimes clouded by their rationalization of their own hurtful and toxic sexual experimentation – are irresponsible by not providing the best possible information to encourage self-discipline and self-control, which are the surest keys to young peoples’ long-term well-being.”

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24 Replies to “The High Cost of Free Love”

  1. Sex, like high explosives, or uranium cores embedded within a concrete shield, is a powerful and often unstable force, which when harnessed, girded about and contained within the steel hoops of laws that protect the God-given institution of marriage, has two functions: one is that of bonding both partners. It is the glue the binds husband and wife together. And the other is for creatively producing children. This can be the cause for much blessing, in that it results in children, families, community and nation, but which, when allowed to roam wherever and in whatever form it wants, outside the safe bounds of marriage, outside of this framework, where bonding is not possible, it takes over and rules the person to such an extent that it becomes an uncontrollable force in a person’s life. It leads to promiscuity, addictions, perversions, AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections, mental problems, shortened life span, unwanted pregnancies and abortions. To tell children that they can experiment with sex is the same and more devastating as telling them to play with detonators in the false belief that the bomb they are sitting on will not go off. How soon before this initiative in Monash University trickles down into schools, if it hasn‘t already?
    David Skinner, UK

  2. Bill wrote: “A large public student union room had been turned into what looked like a brothel, complete with beds, sex objects and sleazy posters.”

    I find that quite shocking. If universities allow that to go on, that is a terrible thing. I say universities, because surely they would have the power to force the union not to allow such abominable activities.

    At the university I study at, Melbourne Uni, outside the main library, some students are currently asking people to sign a petition for gay marriage.

    The Socialist alternative is chanting reasons such as “equal rights for all”. But, that is what true marriage is designed to provide children with, a mother and a father.

    While advocating same sex marriage is not the same as advocating sex on campus, it is still extremely wrong. In some ways it is more wrong as it would impact the most vulnerable members of our society, children.

    It’s one thing for someone to have same sex, it’s quite another for people to advocate a same sex couple as suitable parents for children.

    Matthew Mulvaney

  3. Bill, I heard a prostitute on radio say that she lost a sense of who she was because of the constant change of sexual partners in her life. Have you come across this type of identity crisis in your research?
    Stan Fishley

  4. Thanks Stan

    Yes, I am in fact just now reading a new book on prostitution put out by a feminist publisher, and these claims are being made there, and elsewhere. And some of this research is documented in the Sexual Integrity booklet recently released:

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  5. Bill – unless things have changed since I was at Uni, all student union activities are funded by Student Levy Fees, not tax-payer dollars. (Maybe I’m wrong now? I recall compulsory unionism to be a hotly debated topic when I was at Uni.) These fees are charged to all students, to fund all activities run by the student union ‘for the students’.

    This means that, even if you’re a Christian, or are otherwise abhorred by such events like Sex It Up … the fees you pay as a student at the beginning of every year are contributing to those events nonetheless!

    I seem to recall that during my O-Week at Monash (or some other event) that there were people going around handing out free condoms and that one of the ‘must do’ activities to do while at Uni was to have sex on campus. Welcome to the great, intellectual institution of University!

    Mathew Hamilton

  6. Mathew Hamilton, you are correct in saying that student union fees go to fund student union activities. When VSU was introduced the government gave a one off payment of tax payer dollars to student unions. Now, I believe the Student Union at Melbourne Uni receives annually a million or two in funding from the Universtiy (presumably paid from student university fees) on top of any student union fees they collect. I don’t know whether other Universities are propping up the student unions or not.

    I believe that to this very day, money that I have spent on university fees is not only being wasted by the student unions, but spent on things I find revolting.

    I voted last year and will again this year at the student elections for the union (any student can vote, regardless of union membership or the lack thereof at my uni at least). Needless to say, the people I want to control the union don’t win the election, but I at least demonstrate that I want change by my vote. I vote for the group that pushed hard for VSU for years and years (I think you should be able to guess which political group that is).

    The great tragedy at the moment is that we need God more and more, but as a nation we are turning further and further away from him.

    We need to pray to God for his guidance on how to proceed. There are so many people out there who are lost and need help.

    Matthew Mulvaney

  7. Bill,

    Young people today have a more relaxed view of sexuality than those of your generation (and I am of similar vintage to you). Those students who dressed as tarts would probably think it little different from dressing up as pirates, but the latter would not mean they are about to unleash mayhem on the high seas.

    Your segue from comment on behaviour that you found distasteful to a diatribe against casual sex in general is illogical. How do you know that any of those students engage in casual sex? Most young people these days are certainly sexually active, but many would be involved in monogamous relationships.

    And while you probably believe that sex should be exclusively reserved for marriage, it is simply not the way life is. Furthermore, the sex life of others is no ones business but the participants (unless infidelity is involved). Why do some Christians insist on being so judgmental? Did not Christ say: Let he who is without sin ….?

    The Bible is replete with stories of polygamy, concubines, incest, promiscuity, infidelity, and the treatment of women as chattels, as if it were accepted behaviour. It seems somewhat hypocritical of you to proclaim the Bible as a guide to living while disapproving of behaviour that is extolled there.

    Steve Angelino, WA

  8. In answer to the question (brothel/universities) my answer is yes at least partially. But the damage to young people, (especially young women) is much more as the move to the outside world of the community and the plan for their lives unfold. Many have their lives tainted by casual sex encounters sometimes leading to STDs and abortions. But the real damage is the world views and left leaning values they take in to their professional careers. One I know of spent eight years at university and she now has difficulty in relating to her family and ordinary people. Her values are not the values of the greater community and she has become more and more isolated socially. Those who follow the teaching profession often carry university lifestiles and left leaning world views in to their classrooms leaving their students confused and at odds with the beliefs of their families. The problems of our young people tend to be linked to our education systems and the unstable influences eminating from them.
    Peter Rice

  9. Thanks Steve

    But with all due respect, sometimes you out do yourself in making completely outrageous statements, and I am left seriously wondering if this is due to sheer ignorance or sheer deception, or if you are just being a troll. I wish I knew.

    Your last paragraph is an incredible example of this. Will you please provide chapter and verse for every instance of the Bible extolling (your word) infidelity, or incest, or promiscuity, etc.

    This is all primary school stuff, so I am baffled as to why you are even going down this path. There are plenty of things which are described in the Bible. But description of course is not the same as approval. The Bible describes rape, murder and idolatry for example. Does that mean the Bible approves of and extols those things?

    Really Steve, you must give up your reliance on theological airheads such as Dawkins, Hitchens and Co for your info on what is in the Bible. In fact, better yet, why don’t you actually read the Bible first before making such wild howlers? You do the atheist cause no good by these incredibly silly remarks. You simply confirm that atheist arguments tend to be all bluster and reckless accusations, devoid of fact and rationality.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  10. Steve writes “Furthermore, the sex life of others is no ones business but the participants”

    Well, this seems to be at odds with what J.D. Unwin wrote about decades ago (Google him). The prevailing and accepted views on sexuality are deeply connected to the health of the society that adopts them, be they restrictive or permissive. As this society marches further and further away from heterosexual marriage for life as the accepted ideal, we (and/or future generations) are guaranteed to pay for this folly. If dozens of civilizations before us have made the same mistake, Steve, and paid the price every single time, how are we going to avoid it? Would you be happy if someone forced you on a test flight of an aircraft that has crashed every time before on 80+ occasions?

    As for your ignorant assertions about what the Bible advocates, let me answer but one – the “treatment of women as chattels”. Christianity is literally immersed in stories that confirm the equal status of women, from the Old Testament to the New. Ever read about Esther? Ruth? Tamar? Note also, Eve was taken from Adam’s rib, not to be behind or in front or below or above, but beside. The very first Chapter of the New Testament includes 5 women in the genealogy of Jesus (including Rahab, a prostitute), something quite unusual in that culture. Jesus broke conventions by speaking to the woman at the well (John 4) The resurrection of Jesus has women being the first witnesses (something unthinkable if the story was invented or altered) Paul’s letter to the Romans closes with greetings and thanks to a number of women, and Phoebe (clearly a woman of great influence and/or standing given her substantial ability to help) is called sister and generally accepted as the deliverer of this important letter (now part of the New Testament) etc. etc. etc.

    Steve – this was pretty much off the top of my head – I have barely scratched the surface to answer just one of your assertions. Where’s your credibility? Really, you need to do some research, mate. As Bill wrote, chapter and verse please.

    Mark Rabich

  11. Bill,

    Chapter and verse of some examples as requested. No doubt you’ll make excuses for all of these.

    Gen 4:19 And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.

    Gen 19:8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

    Gen 19:34-36 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.

    Gen 30:9 When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife. And Zilpah Leah’s maid bare Jacob a son.

    An incestuous relationship between Tamar and Judah, her father-in-law, produces Phares, an alleged ancestor of Jesus:
    Gen 38:18 And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.

    Deut 21:15-16 If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn.

    David commits adultery:
    2 Sam 11:3-4 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.

    God gives the wives of King Saul to David:
    2 Sam 12:8 And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.

    God has David’s concubines raped by his son Absolom:
    2 Sam 16:21 And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father’s concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong. So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.

    1 Kings 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.

    2 Chron 11:21 And Rehoboam loved Maachah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines: (for he took eighteen wives, and threescore concubines; and begat twenty and eight sons, and threescore daughters.)

    2 Chron 13:21 But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives, and begat twenty and two sons, and sixteen daughters.

    Esther 2:4 And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.

    Isaiah 8:3 And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the Lord to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz.

    Isaiah 23:17-18 And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the Lord will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth. And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the Lord.

    Hosea 1:2 And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms.

    Steve Angelino, WA

  12. Mark,

    I’m surprised that anyone would claim the Bible “confirms the equal status of women”. The church has been a patriarchal institution since Hebrew times, and remains so today.

    Just a few examples:
    1 Cor 11:3 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.

    1 Cor 11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

    1 Tim 2:11-12 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

    Steve Angelino, WA

  13. Steve Angelino:

    Furthermore, the sex life of others is no ones business but the participants (unless infidelity is involved).

    Fine, then stop stealing money from taxpayers to reward children who have children.

    Why do some Christians insist on being so judgmental?

    Because Jesus told us to “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:24).

    Why do misotheists judge judgment to be so wrong? Why can’t they think straight? It reminds me of John Lennon’s widow suing for copyright violation for using a song that says, “Imagine no possessions”!

    Did not Christ say: Let he who is without sin ….?

    Why do some atheopaths insist on being so biblically illiterate? Jesus pointed out that under the Law, those taking part in executions were not be being guilty of the same sin as the accused. This is in line with his denunciation of hypocrites. The Law didn’t restrict judges to the sinlessly perfect, otherwise civil rule would be impossible. I discussed this in another thread here.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  14. Thanks Steve

    But I am really beginning to wonder if the atheist brigade is capable of sustained rational thought. No sooner had I made the obvious point that a Biblical description of something does not equal a Biblical endorsement of it, then our wise atheist friend produces a list of descriptions and thinks he has scored a terrific goal. If this is the best the atheist camp can come up with, then they really should put up the white flag of surrender right now. It is getting just plain embarrassing.

    The only passage that even appears to come close to endorsing immoral behaviour (Hosea) turns out to be a stinging condemnation of it. It is not fully clear from the text whether the woman was sexually promiscuous before or after the marriage, but Yahweh dramatically uses this episode to show his strong displeasure with Israel and its busted covenant relationship with Him. Israel was acting like a harlot in rejecting Yahweh, because of her idolatry, disobedience and immorality. Yahweh would judge Israel for this, and this dramatic enactment of Hosea and his marriage was the prophetic illustration of this. It is certainly no endorsement of promiscuity or immorality, but a story of divine disapproval and judgment on such wrong behaviours.

    The other passages are simply descriptions, and we are often told of Yahweh’s displeasure of such actions. Simply reading a few verses that follow on will show the divine displeasure of such activities. But atheists are both abysmally ignorant of the Scripture they criticise, and are quite happy to rip passages right out of context.

    Of course if we would do that to the Holy Writ of Dawkins or Harris, there would be hell to pay. But atheists are quite happy to take things out of context to score cheap points, even if they end up with egg all over their faces.

    Steve, your argumentation is getting weaker and sillier with each passing comment. I would think atheism is getting a bad name with so much foolishness. Please move out of atheistic comic books to something a bit more serious and sensible. With all due respect, you really are not doing the atheistic faith much good here with such uninformed and juvenile comments.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  15. Thanks again Steve

    But your understanding of the New Testament is is as atrocious as your understanding of the Old. The first two passages do nothing to detract from the elevated status of women as found in the NT. Hierarchy in relationships need not imply inequality. And the final passage has to do with teaching roles in the church, and needs to be read in context with other passages on the subject. But of course ripping a passage out of context is the best the atheist brights can come up with.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  16. C’mon Steve, I’m sure you’ve no desire to look silly (or do you?) But you actually quoted the story of David and Bathsheba as example of adultery being “extolled”? Are you for real? Would you like to take an opportunity to retract this? Don’t you realize just how ridiculous this claim is? Especially when you actually also quote from the next chapter of 2 Samuel… unbelievable! (Hint: Read Psalm 51)
    Mark Rabich

  17. Bill,

    We could argue forever about the meaning and interpretation of the Bible, but who’s opinion is “correct”? The splintering of Christianity into hundreds of sects and denominations is testimony to the futility of arguing about what the Bible actually means.

    Biblical scholars themselves, at least those without a particular religionist bias, have basically given up trying to find historical verification for most of the Bible legends and characters.

    Don’t you find it the least bit odd that God could have “inspired” a book that is the subject of so much furious argument and debate about its meaning and historicity? The books that make up the “Bible” were cobbled together by human committees, selecting from amongst hundreds of candidate writings at the time. There are disputes even today among Christians about whether certain books should be included. New “translations” appear regularly, trying to paper over the uncomfortable bits, leading to even more argument and dispute. How can any of this be of God?

    Despite the mess that is biblical scholarship today, evangelicals continue to proclaim “Bible believing Christians” as the only true Christians. Every other Christian denomination thinks that they too have exclusive possession of the truth. Is it any wonder that so many people now consider that religious dogma is nothing more than foolish and subjective interpretation of the opinions of unknown writers from an era and a culture that is far removed from today’s world?

    It is quite revealing that the only way evangelicals seem able to defend their faith is by spewing forth personal insults at their critics.

    Steve Angelino, WA

  18. Good grief, this person must be an embarrassment to thinking atheists. But then, maybe not, since there is no reason under an atheistic worldview to trust the thoughts in a brain that’s really rearranged pond scum.

    And if evolution were true, then why should men and women have equal status? After all, males and females face very different selection pressure, and sexual dimorphism is rife in the animal kingdom. No wonder that the leading evolutionists at the time of Darwin believed in the inferiority of women.

    However, anti-slavery activist Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, wrote:

    The object of the following pages will be to show, in a series of biographical sketches, a history of WOMANHOOD UNDER DIVINE CULTURE, tending toward the development of that high ideal of woman which we find in modern Christian countries. [Introduction to Woman in Sacred History (1873)]

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  19. Steve,

    I must suggest that you must actually know in what context those scriptures were written. It is to my understanding that it was directed to the Corinthian church. The women of those days were actually causing quite a ruckus and commotion when they went to look for their husbands in the temples by shouting for them and so forth thus disrupting the services.

    Also women were not allowed to teach in that day because of their lack of education in spiritual matters. Now do you see that happening in most bible believing churches today? You see many women in positions of leadership and in fact recently a woman was appointed bishop in the Anglican community here in Melbourne.

    Also does not 1 Cor 11:11 say “In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman” ? Or even Ephesians 5:25 which urges husbands to love their wives as well as verse 28 which says husbands should love their wives as their own bodies and he who loves his wife loves himself.

    Steve I urge you to soften your heart a little. Because I sense what you really want to do is fight and not actually have a proper discussion.

    Jonathan Ngan

  20. Thanks Steve

    But I am afraid you are still reading from the same old atheist comic books. All the standard tired, silly complaints which are so easily answerable, for those who are really looking for answers. But one wonders if you in fact are.

    The intellectual objections in coming to faith are readily dealt with. But for many people, the rejection of Christianity is not because of intellectual concerns, but moral and volitional ones. What is the real reason for your rejection of the Christian faith? Honest answers are available for those asking honest questions, and I am quite happy to discuss them. But those who simply refuse to believe will find nothing I have to say to be of much use.

    The truth is, life is too short. People are heading for a lost eternity, and I want to help rescue those who are looking for help. But those who just like to engage in vain intellectual arguments, for whatever reason, are simply not my priority.

    You have said nothing in all your comments that has demonstrated the irrationality or lack of coherence of the Christian faith. Your real objections, it seems, must lie elsewhere. All I can do in that case is remind such people of the warning of Jesus when he said, “You will not come to me that you might have eternal life”. Or of Paul’s warning about those who are “ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”.

    Engaging in intellectual gymnastics for its own sake is really not my interest here. It is to testify to the truth claims of Jesus Christ. If people are simply looking to have their intellectual palates tickled, they might try elsewhere. Our eternal destiny is too important to trivialise and ignore in the interests of mere debating games.

    Scripture promises that the true seeker will find God. So you might ask yourself what is really motivating you here. Are you an honest seeker, or just someone intent on playing mind games?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  21. Dear Steve,

    I take it that you think that because people can’t agree on what the Bible means, then it must be wrong, and none of the groups claiming to be right can be correct. This is illogical, Steve. If each group claims to be right, and also claims that every other group is wrong – then the logical conclusion to this is merely that all such groups are wrong except possibly one. There is no validity in arguing on this basis that NONE of them are right, and that is what your position clearly is. You see people arguing about the Bible, and you conclude that it must be wrong just by virtue of the presence of debate over its interpretation.

    But have you stopped to wonder that maybe this is such an important book that it NEEDS to be argued about? If it is the word of God, then it is essential that we debate what it means. That does not make the Bible wrong. You can’t blame people for doing this. Moreover, you can’t blame God for inspiring a book that provokes vigorous argument. If the Bible was lame enough for everybody to accept, then it wouldn’t be worth believing or following anyway.

    In light of this, I understand that you were defending your use of Biblical quotations to make your point by effectively claiming that each person has a right to interpret the Bible however they want. Fine, that’s your right. But your usage of the Bible is disturbing. For example, it is laughable for you to have suggested that the Bible even hints of condoning David’s adultery with Bathsheba, and his subsequent murder of her husband. Laughable, but also disturbing in the sense that you were willing to twist the obvious implications of the passage in question around to your own point of view. This neglects to comment on the other passages you listed, but I believe that similar comments could be made about many of them.

    Mathew Markey

  22. Dear Steve,

    Now to address another point you made, Steve. You said “It is quite revealing that the only way evangelicals seem able to defend their faith is by spewing forth personal insults at their critics.”

    Has anything I have said in my previous entry here been a “spewing forth” of “personal insults” at you? I hope the answer is no (if yes, then I guess we’ll have to discuss that separately). So given that I am an evangelical (at least by my own definition of that loaded word), and I have not insulted you, and I have defended my faith – I believe that means that you now are obliged to reconsider the accusation you have made.

    Perhaps you interpret intelligent and reasoned comments from people who debate with you as personal attacks, because you don’t have a response to their clear logic and the implications of their arguments? Is it possible that a “personal attack” can be translated by other observers as a “good point”, and that your only way to deal with the “good point” is to ignore it and then claim a “personal attack” was made? As an example, I hope my calling attention to your poor logic doesn’t strike you as a personal attack. That would be sad, because then the point I wanted to make – ie that just because people argue about the Bible doesn’t make it wrong – would be lost on you, and you may not respond to it or benefit from it.

    Mate, I need to reiterate – just because people argue about the Bible does not make it wrong, or indeed irrelevant. It is only irrelevant to those with a particular heart position with regard to God, and who don’t want to hear its message. Please don’t be one of those people.

    Mathew Markey

  23. By the way, Steve, I have another question. How do you justify the blanket statement “Biblical scholars themselves, at least those without a particular religionist bias, have basically given up trying to find historical verification for most of the Bible legends and characters.”? Possibly are you guilty of hurling elephants here? Or maybe it is quite true that certain scholars of the Bible, who have a very liberal attitude toward it, do not want to find any archaeological evidence in support of it, and this happens to line up with your own position.

    I find your statement difficult to believe, particularly when you read articles like this and this I’m not sure if the guys involved here are even Biblical scholars. And a very significant point is that the Bible characters they are talking about are not even major characters in the Bible. Maybe if you looked a bit harder, you will discover that the rest of the Bible is true as well, and there is indeed work going on out there in the world that supports it.

    Mathew Markey

  24. Hi Steve,
    I have read your comments with interrest let me just say this there was a man called Nicodemus who came to Jesus looking for answers Jesus told him he must be born again to understand the Kingdom of God, well Steve the same is still true to-day. You might ask how can I be born again? Simple pray ask God to forgive your past sins acknowledge Jesus as you personal Lord and saviour and yield your life to him. I can guarantee you Steve if you do this then your life will be amazingly changed, you will find new purpose and direction as you come into a personal relationship with the creator of the universe who loves you more than you can know at this time, but who wants to show his love and who has allready demonstrated that love by sending his Son Jesus to die for you. Guess what Steve as you do this the Bible will no longer be a book of fables or contradictions but it will become to you the very living word of God as you read it.
    David Gaskell

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