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I am obviously not saying that hugs and kisses of affection or greeting to relatives and the like is out of bounds. In some cultures, kisses of greeting — between members of the same sex or of the opposite sex — as well as hand-holding and other forms of physical expression during normal, non-romantic social intercourse, are more common. You might even be able to talk me into the notion that brief, "non-leaning-in" hugs of greeting, sympathy, etc.between men and women who are not romantically involved are OK.We all know what we're talking about here, and these are not the things I mean to address in this column.
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I will lay out what I view to be applicable biblical principles and passages on this topic, and then I and the editors will leave it to you to follow up with blog posts, comments and discussion.
I'll start by putting my position right on the line: I believe the Bible to teach that all sexual activity outside of marriage is sin, and all romantically oriented physical activity is sexual activity. As the questions above indicate, however, many single Christians have questions about whether premarital physical activity at some level beyond kissing is OK.
We need to address the whole spectrum ("just kissing" included). First, the fact that "romantically oriented" is in italics above is important.
All of these topics will, Lord willing, be covered in future columns.
It's simply impossible for me to address all of the fantastic individual questions and comments we've received, but know that we will do our very best to incorporate as many as possible into the columns themselves and the blog discussions that follow. Quite a few of you asked questions or made comments about my statement in Biblical Dating, an Introduction that "Biblical dating assumes NO physical intimacy" outside of marriage.
Many wanted to know, did I really mean no physical intimacy? Isn't it sex outside of marriage that Scripture explicitly prohibits?
How can you say definitively that other things are wrong? Shouldn't our physical relationship "progress" as other aspects of our relationship deepen? I understand most physical stuff is wrong, but what about just kissing? With respect to pre-marital, romantically oriented kissing, we're clearly talking about an area about which reasonable believers can (and do) disagree.
by Scott Croft Before continuing with this column, please review the preamble included at the beginning of Scott's first article in this series, "Biblical Dating: An Introduction." * * * A promise is a promise.
Last time I appeared on this site, I said that I would lay out my position on biblical dating and then turn it over to all of you to determine the rest of the column's topics by your questions. As many of you will know from the Boundless blog, The Line, the last piece generated many posts and comments, from the challenging to the supportive, the general to the specific.
In addition to what all of you saw on the blog, I have received dozens of questions and comments in e-mails, which I and the folks at Boundless have culled through to see what the most pressing questions seem to be.
Judging from both frequency and "passion," the most pressing questions arising from the last piece involve physical involvement — which I'm about to cover, initiation of relationships (especially the bit about involving the woman's father), and the practical details of how one of these relationships works.