Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Hidden Cost of Free Sex

Note: This post continues the teaching series on the marriage covenant. The first post in this series can be found here:

http://parablesblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/marriage-covenant-introduction.html

It is recommended that the teachings in this series be read together to encourage understanding.

The Hidden Cost of Free Sex
Joseph Herrin (10-07-09)















(Click on picture for larger image)

It is one thing to know that Yahweh forbids sexual intercourse outside of marriage, it is quite another thing to understand why. Perhaps you have never pondered this topic. Seeing that men and women have a strong attraction to physical union with one another, and observing that society at large is ever prone to promiscuity, one might well ask, “What harm is there in engaging in free sex?”

Without a doubt, men and women should obey God whether they understand the reason for a command, or not. Even as a small child should heed the command of their parent to not put their hand on the stove, so too should mankind obey God regardless of whether they perceive the reason for the command.

It is natural for a child to learn the reason behind many of the commands as they mature. They perceive the thought behind the admonition to not play in the street, and to not talk to strangers, etc..

I am persuaded that our Father would also have His sons and daughters to come to a place of understanding the purpose behind the command to not commit fornication, or adultery.

Those who consider the reason for God’s prohibition against fornication and adultery may at first think that they are given to protect them from the scourge of sexually transmitted diseases. There is real reason for concern here. The incidence of STDs is staggering. In America the percentage of men and women infected with an STD reveals the rampant promiscuity in the land. The following statistics are provided by the Centers for Disease Control.

An estimated 2,291,000 non-institutionalized U.S. civilians ages 14-39 are infected with Chlamydia .

Approximately 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV (Human Papiloma Virus), and another 6.2 million people become newly infected each year. At least 50% of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives.
Nationwide, at least 45 million people ages 12 and older, or one out of five adolescents and adults, have had genital HSV (Herpes) infection.

CDC estimates that more than 700,000 persons in the U.S. get new gonorrheal infections each year.

Each year in the United States, it is estimated that more than 1 million women experience an episode of acute PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease). More than 100,000 women become infertile each year as a result of PID, and a large proportion of the ectopic pregnancies occurring every year are due to the consequences of PID.

In the United States, health officials reported over 36,000 cases of syphilis in 2006.

Trichomoniasis is the most common curable STD in young, sexually active women. An estimated 7.4 million new cases occur each year in women and men.
[Source: http://www.cdc.gov/std/healthcomm/fact_sheets.htm]

This information reveals that ‘free sex’ is not free of consequences. A study of this topic reveals that the negative health effects of becoming infected with various STDs include: genital lesions, blisters, bumps, pustules, cankers, rashes, swelling, discomfort, pain, etc.; vaginal and penile discharge; sterility; increased infant mortality; blindness; dementia; arthritis and other inflammatory diseases; susceptibility to secondary infections; cancer; and even death. This is not an exhaustive list, but merely a sampling of the detrimental effects of STDs.

Many STDs are not curable. Some require lifelong treatment, and the risk is always present of passing the infection to every other person with whom an individual is sexually intimate. The incidence of certain STDs is so high that in some population groups half the population are infected. The website Herpes Online, provides the following information.

It is overwhelming the number of people that do not realize just how strong the genital herpes statistics are. Genital herpes is a very common virus that is affecting a large number of the adult population these days.

In a recent study to gather genital herpes statistics, a nationally representative study showed that genital herpes infection is very common in the United States. Nationwide, 45 million people ages 12 and older, or one out of five (possibly as many as 1 in 4) of the total adolescent and adult population, are infected with HSV-2.

When taking genital herpes statistics into account, look around you at any given time and recognize based on the genital herpes statistics just how many people are likely to have the virus.

HSV-2 infection is more common in women (approximately one out of four women) than in men (almost one out of five). This is according to the same genital herpes statistics research. This may be due to male-to-female transmission being more efficient than female-to-male transmission.

HSV-2 infection has also been found to be more common in blacks (45.9%) than in whites (17.6%)...

Ongoing genital herpes statistics research since the late 1970s, indicate the number of Americans with genital herpes infection has increased 30%. The largest increase is currently occurring in young white teens. HSV-2 infection is now five times more common in 12- to 19-year-old whites, and it is twice as common in young adults ages 20 to 29 than it was 20 years ago.
[Source: http://www.herpesonline.org/articles/herpes_statistics.html]

Genital herpes is caused by the transmission of a virus from one individual to another via sexual intercourse. The statistics above reveal the extent of sexual promiscuity in society. To have such a large portion of the population infected there must be frequent sexual activity among a large number of sexual partners.

Some STDs are bacterial, the most common being chlamydia. The peril of many infections is that they remain without obvious symptoms in a great many individuals. It is estimated that over half of the women infected with chlamydia do not know they have it. Yet, left untreated, it can lead to serious consequences. One fact that I became aware of as I began this study is that both gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause arthritis.

About 15,000 men develop reactive arthritis due to chlamydia infection each year in the U.S., and about 5,000 are permanently affected by it. It can occur in both sexes, though is more common in men.
[Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlamydia_infection]

An article titled Venereal Arthritis shares the following information:

Venereal Arthritis

When a young person has chronic, unexplained pain in a joint, this might be the last thing a doctor would suspect. But there are sexually transmitted diseases that, left untreated, can cause arthritis.

By Laurie Udesky
CONSUMER HEALTH INTERACTIVE

Joshua Heller wasn't worried when he noticed a painless knot below his right ankle in February 1994. A couple of months later, he felt a dull ache in his right foot, but the 26-year-old chef continued working his usual long hours at his family's seaside restaurant. In his spare time, he played racquetball and coached two local sports teams.

By summer, periodic shooting pains in his instep forced him to restrict his activity and stay off his feet. In September, an odd array of symptoms -- pins and needles, shooting pain, and constant aching -- left him with a constant limp.

That's when Heller (not his real name) first reported the problem to a doctor, who diagnosed it as tendinitis and put a cast on his right foot and ankle. Two weeks later his left foot began to hurt. The doctor shrugged it off, saying the new symptom resulted from favoring that leg. But the left foot swelled and the pain grew. After that, Heller saw three orthopedists -- experts in bones, muscles, and tendons. They tried surgery to remove fluid in his right foot and more casting. Nothing worked.

Nearly two years after he first noticed the lump below his ankle, Heller was in unbearable pain, and no doctor could tell him precisely what was wrong. "Both feet were so bad that I almost couldn't walk anymore," recalls Heller, who is now 34.

Finally, he saw a rheumatologist who discovered that he had an uncommon form of arthritis caused by a sexually transmitted disease (STD), typically gonorrhea or, as in Heller's case, chlamydia. This condition, often called venereal arthritis, is practically unknown to the general public, and its diagnosis eludes many doctors.

But the sexually transmitted diseases that can lead to venereal arthritis are on the rise in the United States. After decades of declining rates, the number of reported cases of gonorrhea began increasing, but now appears to have reached a plateau at an estimated 355,991 cases in 2007. What's more, reported cases of chlamydia have doubled since 1997, and in 2007 more than 1.1 million chlamydial infections were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The disease is alarmingly common among teens and young adults. In a study of more than 3,000 inner-city teenage girls published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, 29.1 percent tested positive for chlamydia.

Chlamydia: An often silent disease

Equally troubling is that chlamydia sometimes causes few outward symptoms, especially in women, so people may have no idea they have it until the disease is in an advanced stage. Even if they do, they may not realize that the bacteria, if unchecked, can spread to the joints. Once it does, it can cause excruciating pain and, in some cases, permanent joint damage and deformity.
[Source: http://www.ahealthyme.com/topic/arthvenereal]

Reading the words above, I am reminded of the words of the apostle Paul to the Christians in Corinth.

I Corinthians 11:27-30
Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord... For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep.

The apostle Paul declares that among the saints at Corinth were a number who were partaking of the body and blood of Christ in an unworthy manner. We should not think that Paul was merely speaking of people acting as gluttons and drunkards while participating in their love feasts, although this was occurring. The wider understanding of the apostle’s words is that those who had become partakers of the life of Christ, symbolized in the bread and the wine, were living in an ungodly manner. Consequently, many were sick and some had even died.

Reading the same epistle to the Corinthian church we find that there were a number who were fornicating, and even having sex with temple prostitutes. Without a doubt, some of these Christians were sick, and some had died. Sin has consequences, though many people very often do not make any connection to their sin and the consequences in their body.

How many Christians today, upon receiving a diagnosis of sickness in their body would begin rebuking the devil, praying for healing, or standing upon some Scriptural verse to claim their healing? Few take the time to discern the reason for the sickness. Oftentimes, sickness is the result of past, or present, sin.

James 5:14-16
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.

There is a great amount of sickness among the body of Christ today. There is also much sin in the body that has not been repented of, nor confessed. Knowing that those in the church have practiced fornication and adultery to practically the same degree as those outside, it should be no surprise that much of the sickness among Christians is the result of rampant sexual transgression. How many are experiencing sickness in their bodies while not understanding its link to sins in their life?

Let me say here that not all sickness is the result of sin. Christ declared that sickness was caused by many reasons. At times an individual has sinned leading to sickness. At other times their parents have sinned. Sometimes a sickness is due to demonic oppression. At other times a person is sick that the glory of God might be revealed in their healing. There are many causes of sickness. Without question, one of the leading causes of all types of illness and disease is sin.

This is one reason why it is so important that Christians abstain from sin, and if they have sinned, that they repent of the sin and seek Yahweh’s forgiveness. Yahweh has caused there to be consequences of sin in the lives of people.

We have only been looking at one aspect of these consequences thus far. There are many other dire consequences of violating Yahweh’s commands to abstain for fornication and adultery. There are negative mental consequences that occur in the lives of those who are sexually promiscuous.

The blood stream serves as a source for transmitting sexual disease, and the previous post in this series revealed that “the soul is in the blood.” Each STD stands as a parable of something evil, impure, and unclean in the soul of another person that has been transmitted during the act of sexual intercourse.

Do you think that only physical things are passed between two people who are sexually intimate? Far from it. There are many soulish things that are passed as well. Everything that is in one person’s blood is given access to the body of the other person through sexual contact. Because “the soul is in the blood,” there is not only a union of two bodies, but a union of two souls during sexual intercourse.

The body is designed to be a temple. The temple of all men and women are filled with many things, some clean, and some unclean. One cannot enter a polluted temple and worship there without coming away with the stain of the pollution. When men and women enter into sexual union, joining two temples together, it is in an act of intimate worship. There are things transferred both physically and via the souls of the two who are joined.

Yahweh never intended sexual intercourse to be an open and communal activity. From the beginning, sexual union was to be only within the context of marriage. When sex is kept inside of marriage the entryway for sexually transmitted diseases is shut. The temple remains pure. Both the body and the soul of the man and woman are isolated from the many unclean and injurious influences found in the bodies of those who are acting promiscuously.

Hebrews 13:4
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

People of God, the judgment of God begins in this lifetime, not in the next. Many are even now suffering the effects of God’s judgment because they treated as unholy that which Yahweh declared to be holy.

Beyond the physical damage to the body wrought by unbridled sexual lust, there are other detrimental effects. Many men and women who have been sexually promiscuous prior to marriage find that they have difficulty being intimate with their spouse. A husband may find that he lacks a strong attachment to the soul of a wife who has given herself to other men. Likewise, a man that has engaged in fornication will often find it difficult to enter into a full union of soul with his wife, leaving her dissatisfied with the lack of intimacy between them. The souls of those who are sexually promiscuous become divided and dispersed even as water is poured out in the streets.

Proverbs 5:15-18
Drink water from your own cistern, and fresh water from your own well. Should your springs be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be yours alone, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth.

For those who care to pursue the matter, there are spiritual parables that can be gleaned from a study of sexually transmitted diseases. The effects of the various viruses and bacteria upon the body would prove insightful as one looks at the same consequences of unfaithfulness upon the body of Christ, or even the body of the individual.

For example, some STDs cause men to become impotent and women to become sterile. The fruitfulness of the man and woman’s life is therefore diminished. This is true spiritually as well as physically.

In all STDs there is the risk of the person infected passing along something harmful to others with whom they are intimate. This too is a spiritual parable. If we do not guard our lives, and walk in righteousness, the impurity in our life will affect all others with whom we communicate and interact.

It was mentioned that some STDs even lead to debilitating effects such as arthritis. This renders the body immobile. So too does the body of Christ, and the individual, become hindered in their “walk with Christ” when they have pursued a course of sensuality and sin.

These are but a few obvious examples of parables, and undoubtedly those with understanding of the biological and anatomical processes involved would be able to glean even more detailed spiritual insights. Yahweh has designed the physical creation to show forth spiritual truth.

We have not yet touched on the root of this matter. Why does Yahweh not desire for men and women to be promiscuous? Certainly, it is to spare them the negative consequences spoken of here. However, there is a deeper issue at the heart of all. Yahweh caused there to be consequences for sexual infidelity because it is a transgression of His own character and nature. The spiritual reasons for men and women to not commit fornication and adultery will be examined in the next post.

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: http://www.parablesblog.blogspot.com

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I totally 'hear' what you are saying in this article. However, there are a lot of broken people out there, that simply 'know not what they do'. They need help and support. Not to mention, how many people have been sexually abused, only to come to Christ at a later date. If they have an STD, it is because we live in a fallen world, not because they wanted to be molested/raped or lead astray while they were still yet sinners.
Dee

Joseph Herrin said...

Dear Dee,

It is true that some people receive STDs by molestation or abuse. It is probably more common to receive an STD while in utero through the mother's blood stream, than it is through molestation. There are also some who receive STDs through blood transfusions, medical procedures, and needle sharing.

However, the great majority of infections are via consensual sex. This article is speaking only to those who are engaging in consensual sex outside of marriage.

You mentioned that "there are a lot of broken people out there, that simply ;know not what they do.'" Despite our natural inclinations to be sympathetic for the failings of others, we must agree with God on a definition of what is sin.

I think it is inaccurate to declare that most people do not know that sexual intercourse outside of marriage is wrong. God has given mankind a consciousness of sin. We read Christ's words that the Spirit has been sent "to convict the world of sin, and righteousness and judgment."

Many choose to violate their conscience in pursuit of their own will and pleasure. They are not innocents who don't know what they are doing. They are sinners who are transgressing against the will of God.

If we take a purely sympathetic approach to all sin, then we will end up exactly where we are today in the church. All things are tolerated. Sin is rampant, and there is no holiness observed among the people of God. The marriage bed is defiled.

Yahweh is calling His people to "be holy as I am holy." This entire teaching is directed at restoring the sanctity of the marriage covenant. Too many people have already made excuses for willful transgression.

There is forgiveness and restoration when their is repentance and confession. But before restoration there must be agreement with God.

newine said...

Another implication (parable?) in what you outline here seems to be that certain church bodies that have been promiscuous in the past may exhibit the continuing presence of "viruses" (i.e., impure, improper ideas) and/or their effects.

The route to remedy is as clear in these cases as it is in that of an individual: acknowledge past sin, repent (change past practices) and ask G-d for forgiveness.

Alas, many formerly robust, Christ-centered church bodies and even entire denominations have done just the opposite, entrenching themselves further into apostasy and pursuing vain efforts at self-justification.

Mueller said...

Herpes especially for female. Youshould really be aware of that apart from HIV

Sexyladyme26 said...

This article says it all,this is reality and this is definitely true! Nowadays people are engaging to pre-marital sex and multiple partners as the young generation now a days are liberated in the sense of sexual intercourse which lead them in having an STD.To cut this they should practice to be loyal to their partners and obey Gods policy.

Joseph Herrin said...

To SexyLadyMe26,

Your Blogger name, and the profile image of you in a bikini speak far louder that your words of agreement with this article. By describing yourself as a "sexy lady" and drawing attention to your flesh in your photo, you are manifesting an attitude that is quite contrary to the instructions Christ's apostles gave to women in the church who aspire to godliness.

I Timothy 2:9
Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly...

There is nothing modest or discreet about the name you have chosen or the image you post of yourself. Why not describe yourself as "holy daughter of God," or something that is praiseworthy in His sight?

It appears hypocritical for you to proclaim that men and women should be faithful to one another in their relationships while posting a provocative image of yourself that tempts men, even those who are married, to lust after the flesh. Your words and actions do not agree with one another.