Why is fornication or adultery is considered a sin in Christianity?

November 11, 2017

Why is fornication or adultery is considered a sin in Christianity?

Humanity has been created in the image and likeness of God which entails that we ought to mirror the Holy Trinity. So, we ought to love in a Trinitarian fashion. This is what is revealed to us in John 17 when our Lord Jesus is praying to God the Father and says the following: “And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them…” in other words, the love between the Father and the Son should be in us, humans. So, we ought to love like each Person in the Holy Trinity loves. In a nutshell, this is our Christian calling. This is the first point. Now, we have seen in an earlier video, discussing the sin of pornography that the love within the Trinity is selfless. Meaning it is sacrificial. That each Person pours his love into the others. He doesn’t think about himself, but thinks solely about the others. And very importantly, the 3 Persons are united in One God. And this unity ought to be mirrored in the Christian believers in their marriages through the unity of the spirit, soul and body. This understanding of true unity is the second crucial point to answering this question of adultery and fornication. But before getting there, let us explain the 4 types of love. In Greek, they are called Agape, Phileo, Storge and Eros. The 2nd and 3rd, which are Phileo and Storge are equivalent to the love one has for his parents or friends. Eros, the 4th type, is the romantic love between a husband and wife. But the main one that is of interest today is the 1st one Agape, which is the unconditional love. Unconditional love means loving without rules, without conditions. If I can use another term for this type of love, it would be a covenantal love. So, God enters a covenant with us humans where He declares that He would love us regardless of our actions. But remember, we as humans, need to mirror this love. Therefore, God would answer St. Peter in Matthew 18:22 and say that we ought to forgive up to 70 times 7, meaning to forgive always. But, we truly learn to mirror this. Trinitarian love within marriage, where each one of us enters a real covenant with his or her spouse and says that I will love you regardless of what happens. This is very crucial. In the sacrament of holy matrimony, the two persons become one flesh. They are united in this mystery and declare in front of God and the entire world that they will love each other unconditionally. They will love like God loves, mirroring the Holy Trinity.

Therefore, St. Paul would say in Hebrews: “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” As you know fornication means being sexually active before marriage and adultery means being sexually active after marriage with someone else than the spouse. Why are these considered sins? In other words, why would these actions separate someone from God? Because these actions are not full of love God’s love. Because there is no marriage, there is no covenant, no Agape or unconditional love in a sexual relationship with someone that is not a spouse. There cannot be Eros without Agape. Again, there cannot be Eros without Agape. Remember, each of the spouses declares in front of God, the spouse, and the world that he will love her unconditionally and that he will be united with her at any cost. This is essential in front of God for this earthly love to be considered real love in His eyes. The problem we face today is that each person wants to establish his or her own definition of love. And often this earthly definition is not love at all, but lust. To this St. Augustine would respond the following: “Sometimes people who commit this sin treat it lightly … and say, ―God does not mind the sins of the flesh. Well, what about what we have heard today, ―God will judge the immoral and adulterous? So, there you are pay attention, any of you afflicted with this sort of disease. Listen to what God is saying, not to what your own prejudice is saying in favor of your sins, or to your friend, perhaps, chained with the same shackles of wickedness as yourself—though in fact he is more your enemy and his own.” It is a scary thought if we could imagine that we can create our own understanding of what love is! God is love. Love is His identity. We are in no position to attempt to love with our own understanding. If you have fallen into this sin, God is calling you to repentance and confession. Be reunited with Him again.

Today, we live in a fallen world that is far from this true understanding of Trinitarian love. And if the Church’s understanding of love is true, then we would evidently see the harmful effects of this tainted love around us. Therefore, scientific research results of adolescents brought up by single parents. Single-parent families could be a consequence of the death of a parent. But, often it is a consequence of the lack of unconditional love or Agape, the lack of covenantal love. The research from Bridgewater College in Virginia, USA, says the following: “Research findings indicate that adolescents from single-parent families engage in the highest rates of problem behaviors when compared to other family structures [alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or engage in aggressive or delinquent behaviors].” The highest rates of problems discussed here are alcohol, cigarettes, or engaging in aggressive or delinquent behaviors. “In other studies, researchers examined adolescent sexual activity and teen pregnancy and found that girls who experienced an absent father by or before age five had the highest rates of early sexual activity and teen pregnancy. Similarly, Moore found that adolescents living with single parents tend to initiate sex earlier than those living with both biological parents. These findings suggest that the presence of both parents in children’s lives appears to be associated with a delay in sexual activity and less problem behavior.” These latter studies discuss the high rate of sexual activity in general with only one parent around and discusses also girls’ teen pregnancy when the father is absent by age 5 or less. Therefore, the negative results of this misunderstanding of love is indeed apparent in our societies today.

Remember, know your faith, live your faith and teach your faith.

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