True Love Doesn’t Wait. Really!

Call to Arms

We believe that the Church is in a crisis.

There are thousands of godly young men and women who want to get married, who are ready to get married, and who, in fact, should already be married. Indeed, they should have been married long ago. But despite many years spent “waiting”, they remain unmarried. Their families, their friends, and their church have all prepared them for marriage. They have been prepared for early marriage, even, for early, fruitful marriage … and they are not married.

There is no persecution, no law, no physical infirmities preventing them from being married. But they are not married. And, not being married, they are failing to serve Christ and the Church in all of the purposes for marriage: to avoid fornication, to raise up a Godly seed, to be a living metaphor of the faith itself.

This is not a ‘panic’, it is a crisis. We have from among the very best and brightest of our Christian young people, from the finest families, the best taught men and women who are already well past the flower of their age, and they are not married. That is beyond a crisis, it is a catastrophe.

In response to part of this crisis—the part where these unmarried young people were or are engaging in rampant fornication—there is a movement amongst the evangelical, conservative churches called ‘True Love Waits.’ You are probably familiar with it, maybe even have participated in it: You have some speaker come; you sign a card; and you wear a ring. You promise to ‘wait’ for marriage before you engage in sexual intercourse.

On it’s face, the overt message of the ‘True Love Waits’ movement is that the Godly young man or woman does not have sexual relations outside of marriage. And that is true enough. Good message.

But that is not, unfortunately, the title of the movement. I suppose that, among other things the title: ‘The Godly Young Man or Woman Does Not Have Sexual Relations Outside of Marriage’ was just not catchy enough. But as a result, we have a problem with a title. And, quite frankly, not just with the title, but with the messages that, sometimes subtly and sometimes overtly, accompany the title. What do we hear, what does our modern youth hear, when someone says, ‘True Love Waits’?

by-a-pool-1.jpg!BlogWell, first of all they hear the words ‘true love’. Now, quite frankly, Christians all believe in ‘true love’. But they don’t believe, or shouldn’t, in the kind of ‘true love’ that this phrase implies. The ‘true love’ of the phrase, and, quite frankly, of much of the ‘true love waits’ literature, has much more in common with the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ than anything we find in Scripture. The ‘true love’ of Scripture is a love that has God as its focus, no matter what its object. The true love of Scripture is an obedient love, which does hard things in difficult circumstances. The true love of Scripture loves the otherwise unlovable, because having been unlovable it was loved. The true love of Scripture is a relationship and an action, not a feeling.

The ‘true love’ of the popular movement, on the other hand, is a feeling. It has a human as its focus, and a whelm of emotions as its driving force. Biblically speaking it is not love but lust. It might, in the end, be a good lust[1]; we are not Catholics to deny such a thing. But it is not love, and definitely not ‘true love’.

Next we have the word ‘waits’. The theory of the word is ‘does not have sexual intercourse outside of marriage’. This we all agree with. This Scripture teaches.[2]

But the word ‘waits’ in the title implies something else. It implies a certain, if even possibly brief, ‘not now’…. that there is to be an eventual end to the waiting. That, while they are waiting now, they will soon be able to stop waiting and rejoice with their husband or wife.

But what they give by implication they take away by method. While it may sound very spiritual, the idea of getting a wife or husband by a mere avoiding of fornication is neither practical nor Scriptural. In order for true love to have successfully ‘waited’, true love needs to stop waiting at some point. Our young people are not going to be married by a mere ‘waiting’. No one has ever been married by such a method, and no one ever could be.

And Scripture, far from praising waiting in this matter, condemns it. Scripture does not prescribe ‘waiting’ as an antidote to fornication, it prescribes marriage.[3]

We have designed this site to help these young people, their families, and their church. This site is designed to discuss what the Scriptures teach regarding the path to marriage, how we have failed to follow it, and what we must now do about it. Because we firmly believe that ‘True Love Doesn’t Wait’Rather, ‘True Love’ marries.

 

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Note: The issues we raise on this website we also cover in two published books, both of which are available both in electronic (free) and print versions:

what are you doingWhat are you Doing? A conversation about dating and courtship

e-version

print

 

covenantThe Covenant of Betrothal: Affirming the sufficiency of Scripture over the path to marriage

e-version

print

 

Footnotes:

[1] There is an unfortunate disconnect between the Greek and the English concerning the word ‘lust’. The Greek word indicates a ‘strong desire’, and is even used by Christ for his ‘strong desire’ to eat the passover with his disciples (Luke 22:15). So let me be very clear: I am saying that it is very appropriate to have strong emotions toward your husband and wife; emotions that include sexual desire. But this is not the Biblical ‘love’ that we are called to in I Corinthians 13, it is not the ‘true love’ of God  or, rather, is but a pale, if important, shadow of that love.
Sexual desire of a man for a woman is a good thing, but it is not the good thing.

[2] Acts 15:20, 29, Acts 21:5, Romans 1:29, I Corinthians 5:1, I Corinthians 6:18, I Corinthians 7:2-5, I Corinthians 7:8-9, Proverbs 5:15-23

[3] I Corinthians 7:2-5, I Corinthians 7:8-9, Proverbs 5:15-23

 

 

119 comments

  1. J. A. says:

    I am just wondering, if your only purpose for marriage is to have lots of sex and to raise “godly” children, what about the couple that does not do anything to prevent it and cannot have children? Is their marriage not blessed?

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    • Von says:

      Well, J.A., you can stop wondering! While having ‘lot’s of sex’ and raising Godly children are important purposes in marriage (See Proverbs 5, I Cor 7, The Song of Solomon, Psalm 127, and 128), they are far from the only purposes in marriage. These others include the dominion mandate (Genesis 1,2), representing Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5) among others.

      And even in the limited confines of your question, the couple that cannot have children can still have lot’s of sex, no :)

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      • Eric says:

        After reading your home page carefully, I cannot escape the growing suspicion in the pit of my stomach that if C. S. Lewis were alive, he might first slap you across the cheek, but then certainly eviscerate your pseudo-Godly theories, bit by cherry-picked, Pharisaical, out of context, twisted, misinterpreted bit. I find your teachings to be among the most loveless and dangerous words I have heard in a long time. You would throw young women to wolves and then doubtless blame them for the outcome.

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        • Von says:

          Wow, Eric, tell us how you really feel :)

          You are welcome to go through what we teach on this site and compare it to Scripture. Then come on and show us.

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        • Jeff says:

          What does C.S. Lewis have to do with it?

          In any case, he was the one who said this, writing as a demon to a fellow demon:

          …humans who have not the gift of continence can be deterred from seeking marriage as a solution because they do not find themselves ‘in love’, and, thanks to us, the idea of marrying with any other motive seems to them low and cynical. Yes, they think that. They regard the intention of loyalty to a partnership for mutual help, for the preservation of chastity, and for the transmission of life, as something lower than a storm of emotion.
          -from The Screwtape Letters

          Lewis also said this, among other things, in his discussion on marriage in Mere Christianity:

          But, as I said before, “the most dangerous thing you can do is to take any one impulse of our own nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs.” Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing.

          There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go.

          So, I’m not sure where you think he’d disagree with us or why that matters (unless Scripture also disagrees with us)…

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  2. “The true love of Scripture is a relationship and an action, not a feeling.”

    Why would I pursue a relationship if I don’t love someone? It is both the feeling and the relationship.

    Courtship is the wisest and most comfortable way if it is done properly. The man goes to the girl’s father and so on.

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    • Von says:

      I think you are merely begging the question. A man might, and indeed many men have, enter into the covenant of marriage for all the reasons that Scripture lists as being benefits of marriage; including sexual pleasure, a helpmeet, Godly offspring, etc. These things are not contingent on Romeo and Juliet type feelings arising before the covenant is instituted.

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      • I agree that Romeo’s and Juliet’s love was totally inappropriate. I very strongly dislike that story!

        Sorry; I didn’t word that in the best way. I’m not saying it’s necessary for those feelings to be there before the covenant. But Biblical love is both an action and a feeling.

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    • Chris Nystrom says:

      If the feeling is not present is it less of a marriage from God’s perspective?

      If you do not feel like a Christian does that mean you are not one?

      If you feel like it one day, and the next day you do not does your situation change?

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  3. Rob says:

    Vaughn,

    I’ve followed this site for quite a long time in order to make sure I have the proper impression before commenting. Reading through several dozen of your posts has given me a very good grasp of what you believe. Suffice to say, we disagree on much…

    First, it is troubling to me that you put words in God’s mouth by making marriage a command; even going so far as saying singleness is a sin (and it doesn’t matter on whose behalf you are claiming that). The lack of such a command alone should be sufficient to drive true believers from this site and teachings. But because I fear that many Christians will unfortunately overlook this fact, I will delve into a point or two.

    I have gathered that your most significant reason for marriage is to “avoid fornication”. This is my impression I have gotten from your writings and what I feel has been most emphasized. If there are other points you consider equally important, we will work through those as well. I would like to pose a question regarding the legitimacy of this reasoning. I’m not saying that marriage does not help in this area. It does. But I am against using it as an excuse to claim that God commands people to marry.

    Sadly in this era we live in, it is common to find boys of a younger and younger age who start watching porn. If you believe, as I do, that porn is adultery (it’s lust, lusting in your heart = adultery), and since adultery is a synonym for fornication, you have a very creepy conundrum. If marriage is the “cure” for “fornication”, are you going to say that a 13 year old boy should get married? Or 14, 15, etc… I’m asking for an honest answer to this. How would you handle a 15 year old boy’s addiction to porn?

    Additionally, I would appreciate it if you could round up a list of verses that command marriage. It would be easier to reference here than sorting through posts.

    Best,

    Rob

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    • Von says:

      Rob,

      When you disagree with me or Jeff, it would be most helpful if you would quote us. For example when you say we ‘make marriage a command’ you are either making something up or misunderstanding. We do not make marriage ‘a command’. We try to be careful (we may not always succeed) to point out exactly where we believe marriage is commanded, and where it is merely an obedience to the expression of God’s will in the Scripture.
      So, for point one, we point to I Corinthians Seven in regard to how marriage is commanded for those who have a problem with fornication. For those who aren’t struggling with fornication (or who don’t look likely to, ie those who have the gift of celibacy) they are still allowed to marriage and the will of God, as expressed in several places of Scripture, is very much toward marriage.
      Does God express His will merely in ‘commands’? Scripture does not speak in that manner.
      I will work on a post in further answer to your questions, however. But it will take a while.

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    • Jeff says:

      By the way, Rob, I do want to say that we appreciate you taking the time to read our material and to think about these matters from a Biblical perspective. Sometimes we get so quick on answering objections that we forget to thank those who take the time and interest to read and discuss. So…thanks!

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  4. Rob says:

    Vaughn,

    Here is where you make the claim that marriage is a command:

    Von: “For the overwhelming majority of unmarried people *someone* is in sin”.
    Rob: That’s the quote I’m looking to see reversed.
    Von: I stand by that statement. It accords well with what the church has historically taught, and what the Scriptures show. Feel free to disagree.
    I could add all of the usual caveats “I believe” and “As I read Scripture” etc.

    This was in a comment on Eight Steps II. In order to claim something is sin, you must have a law or decree that can be broken. God’s will is different for everyone, so we cannot say “God’s will is for everyone to marry”. Additionally, we don’t read that in the bible either.

    Best,

    Rob

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    • Von says:

      Yes, I did make that statement. I didn’t follow it up with your logic, however. So to point out the part where I would disagree (with your logic, not my statement) this is not true:

      In order to claim something is sin, you must have a law or decree that can be broken.

      Feel free to attempt to justify this claim from Scripture while we work on our post in response to your original statement (taking this one in mind).

      In addition you fail to quote me again when you say:

      “God’s will is for everyone to marry”

      Ironic that you would make such a misquote when you literally quote me, correctly, earlier in the same comment. Again, feel free to quote me, but I’m relatively sure I didn’t say that.

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  5. Rob says:

    You are right in not agreeing with “God’s will is for all to marry”. I was making an assertion to ensure we are on the same page. I was heading that off, not quoting you. If you do believe this, please verify it and give scriptural backup.

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  6. Rob says:

    Also, in order to claim something is sin, you must have some sort of command, law, or similar statement from God. Else it is just an opinion turned false axiom. It’s deeply egregious to God when a person he created tells another person they’re sinning when God himself never called their actions (or lack thereof) a sin.

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    • Jeff says:

      Rob, this may well all be true, but God *does* call undue delay of marriage sin in His Word (1 Corinthians 7:7-9; Genesis 38:26). And God *has* commanded marriage for the great majority of people. (See Matthew 19:10-12; 1 Corinthians 7:2,9.)

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    • Chris Nystrom says:

      “Also, in order to claim something is sin, you must have some sort of command, law, or similar statement from God.”

      How about the greatest commandment? Matthew 22:38 “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’”

      Anything less than this is sin. Anything.

      It is like that story about the person who asked “What is it that I have to give up to follow Jesus?” and I wise person answered “What will you not give up for him? That is what you have to give up.”

      Literally anything that we can focus on other than God can be a sin.

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    • Chris Nystrom says:

      Once one understand this, then it is a simple matter to demonstrate that marriage is looked upon with favor by God. That is sufficient for those who love God. As Christians we are not looking for loopholes on how we can get out of doing what God wants us to do so we can do our own will. We want to please him.

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  7. Jon says:

    Jeff,
    You said “God *does* call undue delay of marriage sin in His Word” The problem is in defining what exactly “undue delay” is. Obviously, this is going to vary wildly between believers as people mature at varying rates. So, unless you can provide a quantitative amount of delay that is unbiblical, with explicit Scriptural support; then you cannot say that someone is in sin for not marrying.

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    • Jeff says:

      Jon, I did say that. A number of much wiser men throughout Church history have also said it.

      I agree with you, which is why we do not try to define it in that way. (Although, I’m not sure about it varying “wildly”.) We are not looking to point out this sin to individual people. That is not our place (generally speaking). But, it is our place as believers to point out this common sin in families in the Church today. Individuals can determine for themselves how or if it applies. There is no need to “provide a quantitative amount of delay that is unbiblical”. The Bible describes this qualitatively in numerous places, and I think most people today are smart enough (if they will admit it to themselves) to put a number to it.

      Marriage has been “unduly delayed” if fornication is committed/has become an issue (this is most clearly stated in 1 Corinthians 7.)
      Marriage has been unduly delayed if one (especially without the rare gift of celibacy) has passed the “flower of their youth” (which, again, we are smart enough to put an age range to this).
      Marriage has been unduly delayed if a lawful marriage is prevented in some way.
      Marriage has also been unduly delayed if one is in need of/desirous of marriage, and every reasonable effort *has not been* put into effect, especially by those in authority over them.

      All four of these are plainly demonstrable from Scripture. I would also add that marriage is unduly delayed when we have quasi-covenant (not firm) “sexual” relationships. This one I’m not sure would be as straightforward to demonstrate (though I do believe the principles are there).

      Also, I would be careful about that “explicit Scriptural support” bit. Where is that explicitly found in Scripture?

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    • Chris Nystrom says:

      “The problem is in defining what exactly “undue delay” is”

      No, the problem is why we would want to delay if undue delay is a problem. Are there any verses that warn against undue haste?

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  8. Von says:

    A note as this comment thread continues:

    It seems there are a variety of statements slipping in ‘under the radar’ of both sides. They are the statements stating ‘You can’t call something a sin unless X'; and where ‘X’ is never supported from Scripture.

    Reminding everyone that ‘X’ is therefore not proven, and discussion really should focus on proving X before moving on to its application. Is it true that ‘We can’t call something a sin unless it goes directly against a command of God’? It would seem that, to avoid self contradictorion, that ‘We can’t’ needs to be shown in a command of God for this not to be self contradictory. (Assuming that the poster means ‘It is a sin to call something a sin unless…”

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  9. Von says:

    Rob wrote:

    If you believe, as I do, that porn is adultery (it’s lust, lusting in your heart = adultery), and since adultery is a synonym for fornication,

    Another overall point, these definitions need clearly up:

    Fornication (Greek: Porninea) is the overall term for all sexual sin. This would then include Sodomy, adultery, incest, beastialty, and what we, in the US, typically call ‘fornication’ (ie sexual contact between two unmarried people).

    The term ‘adultery’ is typically used in a more limited fashion, and includes only sexual contact with someone else’s wife. So a young man watching porn may be committing adultery if the woman involved is married, or ‘simple’ fornication. Not to excuse it at all, but to clarify the definitions.

    The use of the Hebrew term ‘adultery’ in the ten commandments, however, is usually taken, like the Greek word ‘porninea’ to include all sexual sins; the definition and punishment of which is handled in the ‘case laws’.

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  10. Rob says:

    Vaughn,

    To your second to latest comment. If you are telling us (calling it [1] ) that we have to prove where God says “if it’s not in my book, don’t claim it is” there’s a huge problem. You seem to be insinuating that we can’t say “you can’t call it sin if the Bible doesn’t call it sin” because of [1]. This would also mean that we would be wrong in saying “you can’t call it command if God doesn’t call it a command”. Now you’ve just approved every manner of unbiblical “doctrine” because you can call whatever you want a command. If I’m wrong in assuming you’re saying this (and I dearly hope that I am), good. If I’m right, please own up to it.

    To your latest post, if you are claiming that fornication = sexual, physical sin alone, then no single Christian I know would have a problem with “fornication”. You think way too lowly of people. I have self control. Other people have self control. Guys don’t go around humping everyone they see as soon as an urge strikes. So if this is your definition, the “command” to get married to avoid fornication is the weakest argument you could make, as it would only be effective if someone was unable to avoid sleeping around. Which is a ridiculous assumption. And ironically what the “true love waits” community specializes in.

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    • Von says:

      To your latest post, if you are claiming that fornication = sexual, physical sin alone,

      Wow. Where on earth do you get me as saying that? I said, and I say, that ‘fornication’ (Greek porninea) is *all manner* of sexual sins. They are all included within this Greek general term. All of them.

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    • Von says:

      If I’m wrong in assuming you’re saying this (and I dearly hope that I am), good. If I’m right, please own up to it.

      Quite frankly, I have no idea what you just said. I especially don’t know what you mean by [1].

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    • Von says:

      But I will try to clarify my meaning, if that helps. What I am saying is, of someone comes along and says, “You can’t call something a sin unless a duck flies overhead” then we really do need to do a Scriptural search on the relationship between ducks and sins.

      So in the posts above I saw you say saying, “You can’t call something a sin unless it goes against one of God’s commands.” I challenge you to support that from Scripture. Sin has typically been defined as doing something against the will of God which is shown, in Scripture, in several different ways, including an individual’s conscience.

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  11. Rob says:

    Vaughn,

    My mistake. I mistook your intentional distinction between “fornication” and adultery to mean that you thought fornication was more specific. This actually reminded me to ask you another question: why should we make a distinction between cheating on a spouse, and lusting after someone as a single individual? Is God up in heaven saying, “I see his thoughts going through his head now, but he’s single so he gets a pass”?

    Also, I apologize for making my argument too complex for you. I’ll try to make it simpler so you can understand it. If you claim it is invalid for us to say “you can’t call X sin because it isn’t explicitly stated in the bible (it doesn’t violate any command written in the Bible)”, then you would also have to say that the following argument is invalid: “you can’t call X a command because it isn’t written in the Bible”. These two are the same. So then if you understand what I’m saying this far, you’ll see that you’ve opened up the door to a lot of false doctrines. I could say “you can’t call wearing skirts a command because it isn’t in the Bible”, and you could come back by saying “the bible doesn’t say we can’t call something a command just because it isn’t specifically mentioned”. You are giving up the authority of the Bible, to get away with calling marriage a command, so that you can call singleness a sin.

    “Sin has typically been defined as doing something against the will of God which is shown, in Scripture, in several different ways, including an individual’s conscience.” If God’s will is for all to be married, I would expect him to either say “my will for all to marry”, or “all must marry”. We don’t see that. I have the same Bible as you do, and not once have I ever come across verses like that. I DO like you part on the conscience. It’s true, breaking our conscience can be the same as breaking God’s will. And if that’s leading you to marriage, you should definitely get married. But do not call something God’s will or God’s command when God himself doesn’t.

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    • Von says:

      why should we make a distinction between cheating on a spouse, and lusting after someone as a single individual?

      Because God does.

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    • Von says:

      If you claim it is invalid for us to say “you can’t call X sin because it isn’t explicitly stated in the bible (it doesn’t violate any command written in the Bible)”

      Where do I say that? Again the whole copy paste thing really comes in helpful. What I said was this:

      So in the posts above I saw you say saying, “You can’t call something a sin unless it goes against one of God’s commands.” I challenge you to support that from Scripture. Sin has typically been defined as doing something against the will of God which is shown, in Scripture, in several different ways, including an individual’s conscience.

      IOW I was pointing out the contradiction of your own position. You wish to say that one cannot claim something is a sin unless it violates a specific command in Scripture. In other words you are saying, “It is a sin to say something is a sin unless it goes against a Scriptural command”. But by that logic you now need to justify that statement, with a Scriptural command, since you claim something is a sin.

      We, on the other hand, make no such claim. We claim that God communicates His will not only in Scriptural commands, but in several other ways in Scripture. And he communicates to us, personally, through our conscience. (Altho this needs to be checked against Scripture)

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    • Von says:

      I would expect him to either say “my will for all to marry”, or “all must marry”. We don’t see that.

      Interesting expectation. You are, once again, falsely quoting our beliefs, but we leave that alone for a minute and tell you how I would expect God to communicate His will. For which I have some basis, because it is how it is shown, an has been believed to be shown, in Scripture. I would expect his will to be shown through all of Scripture: commands, yes, and teaching, yes, and examples, and blessings, and cursings… and a whole variety of ways.

      So the fact that you don’t see what you are looking for is a hint that you are looking for the wrong thing. Oh, and ignoring it when you do see it, as we will show in our article, which I have about a quarter or so done.

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    • Von says:

      Is God up in heaven saying, “I see his thoughts going through his head now, but [she’s unmarried] so he gets a pass”?

      No. But the punishments are different.

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    • Chris Nystrom says:

      “If God’s will is for all to be married, I would expect him to either say “my will for all to marry”, or “all must marry”. ”

      Does God view marriage with favor? Do you want to please him? Is that not sufficient reason? Is not wanting to please God a sin?

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  12. Rob says:

    Here’s the thing. If you’re right about what we’re saying, and I’m wrong for saying it, then you have the freedom to say whatever you want and call it “the will of God” or “God’s command”. This would make you a heretic. If I’m right, then your doctrine of marriage-is-command, or whatever you would like to call it, is false. However, I am basing my statements only on that which comes out of the Bible. I’m not saying anything else. Neither will I claim God says something when he doesn’t, nor will I say he hasn’t said something he has. Surprise, the Bible actually does have things to say about adding to and taking from God’s commands. This is how I say you are in sin for adding the “command to marry”. God commands us not to add/subtract from the law. A violation of that command would be sinful.

    Deut. 4:2, “You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.”

    Prov. 30:5-6, “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.”

    Deut. 12:32, “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it”

    Think carefully before you call something a command that the Lord himself has not.

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    • Von says:

      God commands us not to add/subtract from the law. A violation of that command would be sinful.

      This is very true. And that is why, your frequent misquotes of us notwithstanding, we don’t say that it is a command that ‘everyone marry'; and why we spend a considerable amount of time footnoting what we do say. From Scripture.

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    • Von says:

      Here’s the thing. If you’re right about what we’re saying, and I’m wrong for saying it, then you have the freedom to say whatever you want and call it “the will of God” or “God’s command”. This would make you a heretic.

      By the way, this sentence makes no sense. It seems to say that if I am right, I am a heretic. An odd definition of heretic, I must say.

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      • Rob says:

        I am honestly running out of ways to simplify this for you. I’m sorry. If you’re right about me presenting an invalid argument when I say “you can’t call something a command that isn’t in the Bible”, then you allow the following statement: “you CAN call something a command that isn’t in the Bible”. This is obviously adding to God’s word and will be appropriately judged on the final day. Also, you CAN have a logically valid statement (be “right”) and still be wrong in terms of what the Bible actually says.

        We’re finally getting to where I want to be with this discussion. We’ve established, and you agree, that adding (subtracting) to (from) God’s word is sinful. We’ve established that your “command” to marry is not a general command for everyone, but only a particular set of people; hopefully we will see what that is in your forthcoming post.

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        • Von says:

          If you’re right about me presenting an invalid argument when I say “you can’t call something a command that isn’t in the Bible”

          Here again is where copy/paste comes in helpful. Try copy/pasting where I said this.

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        • Rob says:

          “A note as this comment thread continues:
          It seems there are a variety of statements slipping in ‘under the radar’ of both sides. They are the statements stating ‘You can’t call something a sin unless X'; and where ‘X’ is never supported from Scripture.
          Reminding everyone that ‘X’ is therefore not proven, and discussion really should focus on proving X before moving on to its application. Is it true that ‘We can’t call something a sin unless it goes directly against a command of God’? It would seem that, to avoid self contradictorion, that ‘We can’t’ needs to be shown in a command of God for this not to be self contradictory. (Assuming that the poster means ‘It is a sin to call something a sin unless…” ”

          That is your quote. Here is another:

          “IOW I was pointing out the contradiction of your own position. You wish to say that one cannot claim something is a sin unless it violates a specific command in Scripture. In other words you are saying, “It is a sin to say something is a sin unless it goes against a Scriptural command”. But by that logic you now need to justify that statement, with a Scriptural command, since you claim something is a sin.”

          If you honestly don’t remember what you’ve said in the past, I get it. I’ll keep quoting you verbatim. But it’s difficult to copy and past multiple large sections on my phone. I’m finding it frustrating having to spell out every single one of my posts and your comments because you don’t understand them or claim you haven’t said things. I haven’t put words in your mouth at all. When I said you called my argument invalid, I was referring to your comments that called upon a proof by contradiction, of sorts. I left it to you to make the connection.

            (Quote)

        • Von says:

          If you honestly don’t remember what you’ve said in the past, I get it. I’ll keep quoting you verbatim.

          Oh, I remember. But it seems you don’t, since you keep saying I said things I never said. I have demonstrated, and will do so again, the self-contradictory nature of your position. But you can’t misquote me as saying I said something I never said. So just quote me verbatim.

            (Quote)

        • Jeff says:

          Rob, it seems that it needs to point out that you have missed the very fact that what you copied / pasted is not what you put in quotes as something Von supposedly said.

          Let me help you out:

          Rob’s paraphrase: “you can’t call something a command that isn’t in the Bible”
          What Von actually said: “You can’t call something a sin unless X”

          Please, I hope you see the difference here and why Von has been harping on using actual quotes of what he and others said.

            (Quote)

        • Von says:

          We’re finally getting to where I want to be with this discussion. We’ve established, and you agree, that adding (subtracting) to (from) God’s word is sinful. We’ve established that your “command” to marry is not a general command for everyone, but only a particular set of people; hopefully we will see what that is in your forthcoming post.

          We have arrived at nowhere we weren’t from the beginning of the thread. Ignoring your misquote of me (again) I have said, since the beginning that a) not all men are called to marriage (only the ‘overwhelming majority’, as you literally quoted me as saying) and b) We cannot add to or subtract from God’s Word: a position that is hopefully present in our hermeneutic.

          (Note: I did NOT say that marriage was not a general command. Our position, and that of Christ, Paul, and the reformers, is that it is indeed generally ‘commanded’ (ie it is God’s revealed will) for all mankind, *but* that there are certain rare exceptions.

            (Quote)

    • Chris Nystrom says:

      “Think carefully before you call something a command that the Lord himself has not.”

      A suggestion from God is equivalent to a command from God if you are following the Greatest Commandment of God.

        (Quote)

  13. Rob says:

    And let’s clear something up. State your beliefs. Do you believe God commands marriage?

      (Quote)

  14. Rob says:

    It is not self contradictory to say “we cannot call something a command if it doesn’t appear in the Bible” because the Bible literally tells us not to do that. God tells us not to add commands to his word. Adding a command is a violation of that command. This is sinning.

    “Well no one denies that unmarried people, or those who use contraception are people. Even those who murder their children are people. We are just arguing that they are sinning. Or, in the case of those that are unmarried, that someone is sinning. or several someones. That God calls on unmarried people to marry, and on married people to be open to children. That when we put systems in place to prevent unmarried people from sinning, we are sinning; and when we, as married people, refuse to be open to children, we are sinning.”

    This quote of yours from Eight Leaps II lumps ALL unmarried people into the set of people who are sinning. Additionally, it makes the claim that ALL unmarried people are called to marriage, not just ones who are failing the “avoid fornication” test. These are your own words. This is why we had to go into this discussion about there being a lack of command or spoken will of God for ALL to marry. You claim that you never said “God commands ALL” to marry, but you said that right here in this quote. So either you’ve changed your mind since, or you’re contradicting your own posts.

      (Quote)

    • Von says:

      It is not self contradictory to say “we cannot call something a command if it doesn’t appear in the Bible”

      Here is where copy/pasting would again come in handy. What was it I called self-contradictory? Like… quote me? Hint: It wasn’t what shows up in quotes, above. Here is what I actually said:

      Is it true that ‘We can’t call something a sin unless it goes directly against a command of God’? It would seem that, to avoid self contradiction, that ‘We can’t’ needs to be shown in a command of God for this not to be self contradictory. (Ass“It is a sin to say something is a sin unless it goes against a Scriptural command”. But by that logic you now need to justify that statement, with a Scriptural command, since you claim something is a sin.

        (Quote)

      • Rob says:

        I don’t know if you realize it or not, but you are very difficult to debate because you don’t own up to anything. I can tell you think you understand the argument I’m making, but you don’t. Are you asking me how I can justify saying “it’s a sin to call something a sin when it is not specified in the Bible”?

        Have you read those verses I used? God COMMANDS us to not add to/subtract from his word. The “we can’t” justification comes from God saying “DO NOT”. We cannot call something sin that God doesn’t call sin. We cannot call something a command that God doesn’t call a command. Why? Read the verses I posted.

          (Quote)

        • Von says:

          Well, you would find it a lot easier if you would copy paste and stop trying to make up things I never said, and don’t say. Let’s try this again. You ask me:

          Are you asking me how I can justify saying “it’s a sin to call something a sin when it is not specified in the Bible”?

          And my answer is, ‘no, I never said that.’ Indeed I never would, because it is too vague and formless, for one thing. What does ‘specified’ mean, for example? No, what I said was, how do you justify saying:

          ‘We can’t call something a sin unless it goes directly against a command of God’?

          Unless you were willing to show us the command of God that lists this. Where is the command of God that says, “Thou shalt not call something a sin unless it goes directly against a command of God!”?

          You link ‘calling something a sin’ and ‘commands of God’. As I understand you, and I could well be wrong, you think that we should only call things sins if and only if we can find direct, clear, commands of God that say ‘X is a sin’ or the equivalent. The problem with this theory is that no one in Scripture seems to hold it. Pretty much every lists other ways we can know God’s will, and that if we don’t do God’s will that is sin.

            (Quote)

    • Von says:

      This quote of yours from Eight Leaps II lumps ALL unmarried people into the set of people who are sinning.

      Only if you rip it from its context. As you yourself have pointed out, indeed as you have quoted me, my statement is ‘the overwhelming majority’. Paul uses the word ‘every’ man to refer to those who should be married and then, several verses later, points out that his ‘every’ doesn’t mean ‘each and every one’ but ‘most’. So I feel comfortable doing the same.

      Additionally, it makes the claim that ALL unmarried people are called to marriage, not just ones who are failing the “avoid fornication” test. These are your own words.

      Well, no, they aren’t. My words don’t say anything about ‘not just the ones’. Although, it is true, fornication is by no means the only way God calls us to marriage. Marriage is the norm, with several good and sufficient reasons. It is not good for man to be alone, after all.

        (Quote)

      • Rob says:

        Look, if you didn’t want people to think you mean “all”, then you should not have phrased it that way. This quote of yours could go either way depending on your mood to mean “all” christians in general or some group. Again, because you are so slippery when it comes to debating, I have no choice but to clarify as much as possible. And it doesn’t matter what percentage of people you claim fall under a command if you’ve added the command to the Bible. It would still be violating his command of not adding to his word.

          (Quote)

        • Von says:

          Look, if you didn’t want people to think you mean “all”, then you should not have phrased it that way

          Feel free to tell the apostle Paul that he shouldn’t have said that ‘every’ man should have his own wife, and ‘every’ woman her own husband. I didn’t use the word ‘all’, and in the context of my overall article, and series of articles, I believe we have been clear.

          it doesn’t matter what percentage of people you claim fall under a command if you’ve added the command to the Bible. It would still be violating his command of not adding to his word.

          This is incredibly true. Best thing you’ve said so far. In fact I am writing a whole post to show a) What commands the Scriptures do give to marriage and b)The other ways in Scripture we find that it is God’s will for people to marry.

            (Quote)

    • Jeff says:

      I’m going to try to say this as respectfully as I can. Do you read your own posts before you post them? Because literally, I do not get how you can quote someone and then in the very next paragraph completely misrepresent what was just quoted. This is what makes having a discussion difficult if not impossible. When you go so far as to quote someone, and then you show from your own paraphrase that you do not understand what was just quoted. Try reading what you quoted a few times over and see if you didn’t misrepresent it immediately in the next paragraph.

        (Quote)

  15. Rob says:

    I would never compare you to the Apostle Paul. Not if I were you. He was speaking from divine inspiration from God himself, you are writing an opinion blog. Additionally, please quote your Eight Steps II article where you say that marriage is commanded not for everyone, but certain people. Actually, in your entire Eight Steps series, I cannot find anything where you state this. All you have is your blanket statement.

    I very much look forward to this post…

      (Quote)

  16. Von says:

    I would never compare you to the Apostle Paul. Not if I were you. He was speaking from divine inspiration from God himself, you are writing an opinion blog.

    I wasn’t recommending it. I was recommending that you not criticize him for using the word ‘every’ to speak to who should marry… and by implication me for imitating him with some rather broad statements.

      (Quote)

  17. Von says:

    Additionally, please quote your Eight Steps II article where you say that marriage is commanded not for everyone, but certain people.

    Please quote me where I said I said this???

      (Quote)

  18. Von says:

    If you wish to know where we deal with the issue of overall exceptions to the general norm of marriage, I could suggest a few entire posts. The posts ‘Eight Leaps’ were actually not dealing with marriage, per se, but were dealing the the issue of so-called ‘birth control’ in the context of an article, to which we were responding.

    See this post, for example, where we deal with the issue:
    http://truelovedoesntwait.com/answering-objections/jesus-paul-daniel-and-real-men/

      (Quote)

  19. Leslie says:

    I ran across this debate by accident, but need to add my 2 cents. According to 1 Corinthians 7:8, it is better to remain unmarried. For those who lack self controk( which is a fruit of the Spirit) it is better to marry. Neither state is condemned, but according to Scripture, the unmarried state seems to be somewhat uplifted.

      (Quote)

    • Jeff says:

      Leslie:
      I ran across this debate by accident, but need to add my 2 cents. According to 1 Corinthians 7:8, it is better to remain unmarried.For those who lack self controk( which is a fruit of the Spirit)it is better to marry.Neither state is condemned, but according to Scripture, the unmarried state seems to be somewhat uplifted.

      A couple things.

      First, 1 Corinthians 7:8 does NOT say that it is better to remain unmarried. What it actually says is that it is “good” for them to remain unmarried.

      Second, 1 Corinthians 7 does not say anything about “those who lack self control”. Rather, what it says is “if they cannot contain, let them marry” (verse 9), which all of the old commentators agree refers to everyone without the rare gift of celibacy.

      Third, while it is true that “self control” is a fruit of the Spirit, no where in Scripture does it say that man is supposed to have control over what his particular gifts are or his basic needs or the way he was made. Scripture also contradicts the idea that we are supposed to have “self control” in resisting fornication. Rather, we are to flee from fornication. For everyone other than those rare exceptions who have been given God’s special grace, it is impossible to be righteous in this area outside of marriage.

      Fourth, Paul also never says that “it is better to marry” for those without this gift. Rather, he says, “let them marry”, which again all the old commentators agree is in the imperative form. That is, it is a command for them to marry.

      Fifth, you are right that neither state is condemned…for the one who has the gift. For the one without the gift, marriage is commanded to avoid fornication. Thus, rejecting the remedy of God *is* condemned.

      Sixth, the unmarried state indeed does *seem* to be somewhat uplifted (in this passage only, I would say, and not in Scripture as a whole). And this perception is what has lead to this passage being grossly abused and misapplied and has contributed to the thousands of delayed marriages in the Church today. The truth of the matter is that the unmarried state is not a higher or more spiritual calling than being married, and Scripture simply does not support this idea.

      Finally, we have actually recently published a series of articles on this topic:

      http://truelovedoesntwait.com/answering-objections/will-the-real-eunuchs-please-stand-up/
      http://truelovedoesntwait.com/answering-objections/eunuchs-the-exception-not-the-rule/
      http://truelovedoesntwait.com/general-biblical-issues/definitions/call-a-eunuch-a-eunuch/

        (Quote)

  20. Nate says:

    I see that you have invested an impressive amount of effort into the study of this subject and the communication of your ideas over the past eight years. Let me ask you a question. Do you think it is possible for someone, early in their pursuit of a subject, to make an assumption that seems so natural and obvious that they do not consciously process it, and then consequently spend thousands of hours building and fine-tuning a system of beliefs with that unspoken assumption as its foundation, sadly not ever realizing that it may be wrong? I imagine you would say that such is possible, and in fact many of your detractors are probably guilty of doing exactly that with respect to their ideas about love and marriage.

    A person could make an unspoken assumption, never consciously questioning it any more than one questions the existence of one’s own DNA, and then spend years (in your case, eight) developing and articulating the edifice that springs naturally from that assumption–writing, publishing, and teaching his thoughts to thousands of people. What would it feel like to be presented with hard evidence that the assumption you never consciously articulated, but which holds together the tapestry of your belief system about marriage, and which you have influenced thousands of people to adopt as their own… is wrong? I think you are about to find out.

    Believe it or not, your web site, publications, and social media postings contain one simple proof that your teaching is askew–correct and good in many ways, yet fundamentally warped in one important aspect. In fact, the proof distills down to a single word. But I am getting ahead of myself.

    Before I proceed, I want to make sure I am on the right track. Perhaps I have misunderstood you. I think we agree that God said at the beginning of Creation that it is not good for man to be alone. With the help of some software tools, I took the liberty of counting 2382 occurrences of the sentence, “It is not good for man to be alone,” on your web site. That does not count the many places where you used only part of the phrase, such as making reference to the “not goodness” of remaining single. I have also seen you make the assertion that “it is not good for man to be alone” repeatedly even in fairly brief discussions with people on Facebook. It is possible that you refer to it more than any other single passage of scripture. Is it fair to say that this statement of God is the foundation, or at least the cornerstone, of your philosophy of marriage?

      (Quote)

    • Von says:

      Wow, interesting software! No wonder we got this weird blip of hits.

      The underlying assumption of this site, as I believe we have mentioned, is that Scripture is sufficient in all areas of life; and specifically in the path to marriage.

      In that light God’s statement in Genesis 2 that ‘It is not good for man to be alone’ (increase count to 2383) is important in two ways. First of all because it is foundational. As we see with Christ, we go back to ‘the beginning’. Secondly because, as a short sentence spoken directly by God, it makes a great quote :)

      However the verse does not stand in isolation. Christian nudists, I am told, make much of the verse ‘and the man and his wife were naked and not ashamed’. But when they build a doctrine out of that verse, they tend to ignore, well, pretty much the rest of Scripture. As we show on our site, however, the statement ‘it is not good for man to be alone’ (2384) is given context by the rest of Scripture: beginning with God saying “I will make a helpmeet for him’, Adam regularizing the process to the rest of mankind (for this reason…), the countless examples of Godly men marrying, the dearth of examples of Godly men not marrying, the daughter of Jepthah bewailing her virginity, the statements in Proverbs ‘he who finds a wife’ and ‘a virtous woman who can find’ (there’s a post in there somewhere); Christ pointing back to the beginning, Paul giving an entirely new context to ‘for this reason’, Paul speaking of the word being blasphemed and some turning aside unto Satan… and ending with the great and glorious marriage of the Lamb.

      That is the way hermeneutics works. Each verse is, in itself, true. But we discover the fullness of the truth in the context of the rest of Scripture.

      Next question?

        (Quote)

      • Nate says:

        Communication is always challenging, so forgive me if I stop along the way and establish some milestones. I had asked whether it fair to say that God’s statement that “it is not good for man to be alone” is the foundation, or at least the cornerstone, of your philosophy of marriage. You answered, “It is foundational.” I’ll categorize that as agreement.

        An edifice rests on, and draws strength from, its foundation. The stones in a building must be understood to be an extension of the foundation, not the other way around. If God’s statement at Creation, “It is not good for man to be alone,” is truly meant to be foundational, then it must shine its light forward and illuminate what we read in the rest of scripture. It would be a circular mistake to take our understandings of certain later scriptures about marriage and read those back into our interpretation of the foundation, thereby changing its original meaning. The evidence indicates that you have done exactly that.

        Prepare to experience cognitive dissonance. In a moment I am going to point out something so basic and revealing about your thousands of references and allusions to Genesis 2:18 that it may trigger in you an instant defensive mental instinct. You may be tempted to dismiss the evidence on the grounds that there is a very good overarching reason for your literally thousands of mistakes, or that they are not really important. After I point out the problem, I would ask you to do a serious reevaluation of your position. Asking yourself how you, having (I believe) a since desire to rightly divide the Word of God, could have brushed past such a fundamental feature of the verse so many times.

        As I said, the evidence distills down to a single word. In all of the 2384 times that you quoted Genesis 2:18 on your web site, and the doubtless thousands of times you have referenced it when conversing with people online, and the thousands of other times that you have alluded to it in smaller ways, how is it that in all of those times, you have never quoted it right, even once?

        I invite you to look up Gen 2:18 at BibleHub, where you can see the verse listed conveniently from eighteen separate Bible translations side-by-side. Tell me if you see a word in seventeen of those that does not appear in any of the 2384 instances where you quoted it on this site. It is the word “the.”

        Gen 2:18 – “Yahweh God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’”

        I don’t mean to sound snarky, but it bears pointing out:

        Times you have quoted Genesis Two Eighteen: 2384

        Times you have quoted it accurately: 0

        I think we can agree that if the word “the” was not important, God would not have spoken it. Why is it, in all the times you have referred to that verse, it never struck you that you were saying it wrong? This is not a trivial omission on your part. The answer goes back to what I said in my first post. The error never alarmed you because you made an assumption (as do many, including the translators of the Douay Rheims) that the verse means basically the same thing without the word ‘the’ as it does with it. And that assumption was based on the even deeper one: that you know why God spoke Genesis 2:18—that is, what is purposes were. However, as we will see going forward, there is much more to Gen 2:18 than you have thus far acknowledged, and the lack of that realization has substantially colored your interpretation of every other scripture related to marriage.

        I’m off to work. More when I get time.

          (Quote)

        • Von says:

          I had asked whether it fair to say that God’s statement that “it is not good for man to be alone” is the foundation, or at least the cornerstone, of your philosophy of marriage. You answered, “It is foundational.” I’ll categorize that as agreement.

          Grammar, my friend, grammar.

          The difference between ‘the foundation’ and ‘foundational’ being??

          That one is unique, singular, stands alone… the other stands in the midst of others.

          As you seem tempted to analyze the verse we are talking about out of the context of Scripture, so you seem to analyzing *One of the foundation stones* of what we teach out of the context of the others. But we move on…

            (Quote)

        • Von says:

          >>The error never alarmed you because you made an assumption

          The ‘error’ never alarmed me because I read the rest of Scripture. Indeed because I read the rest of the chapter.

            (Quote)

        • Jeff says:

          Nate: how is it that in all of those times, you have never quoted it right, even once?

          *facepalm*

          Considering that we generally copy and paste (KJV) from another site when we quote it in an article…yeah…may be a bit of an exaggeration to say that we “never, not once” quoted it correctly.

            (Quote)

    • Von says:

      You will need to share with me how you got that figure. I asked my friend who is into computers, and he suggested I do a Google search. That only turned up 288 hits, however. So you must have used more sophisticated programming.

        (Quote)

      • Nate says:

        Google is incomplete. It is probably only showing pages, whereas I counted all references, included those where it occurred multiple times on the same page. That said, Google is not even counting all pages where the phrase appears. I used software that crawled the whole web site. :-)

          (Quote)

        • Von says:

          Well, I think you need to work on your software then, since Google seems to find us quoting it ‘accurately’ several times. Check out:

          Genesis 2:18 “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” In Genesis we learn that even in paradise it was not good for man to be alone, and that God has created woman as his helpmeet.

          in
          http://truelovedoesntwait.com/answering-objections/a-leap-of-logic-and-other-issues/

          As well as dozens or so other places.

          What particular Hebrew word are you accusing me of leaving out, by the way? I assume the grammatical marker ‘ha’?

          I will try to quote more accurately in the future, and will work on editing our current posts. But you are aware that Adam (the man) immediately generalizes his experience? Your larger point fails because you, yourself, fail to keep reading.

          Adam literally says that because of his experience, stating that because Eve was one flesh with him ‘Ish’ (man in general) would cleave to a wife, and they, Ish and Isha (man and woman) would become one flesh?

            (Quote)

  21. Nate says:

    “Grammar, my friend, grammar. The difference between ‘the foundation’ and ‘foundational’ being?? That one is unique, singular, stands alone… the other stands in the midst of others.”

    I’m reading your comments carefully. I think it would be only fair for you to read mine with equal care. If you look back at my earlier message, you will find that I asked if the verse is “the foundation, or at least the cornerstone, of your philosophy of marriage.” Note that my question covered both possibilities–the idea of it being the unique, singular (atomic would be a better word) foundation, and also the alternative of it being one stone that stands in the midst of others. Admittedly, I used the word cornerstone, which seemed appropriate given the issue under discussion. When you said that the verse was foundational for you, I thought you were agreeing that it was in the foundation. Unfair assumption? Or are you simply saying that it is not the “cornerstone” of your marriage philosophy? It seems to be, given the frequency with which you quote it.

    “Well, I think you need to work on your software then, since Google seems to find us quoting it ‘accurately’ several times.”

    Lol, I searched for the target phrases “not good for the man” (0 hits) and “not good for man” (2384 hits) in the entire directory tree of your web site. The example link you provided above does indeed show the word “the” in a couple of references, but the wording was “not good THAT the man.” I didn’t think of that one. (Although, even in the link you provided, the inaccurate quotations outnumber the correct ones.) Later I’ll tell you exactly how many times you quoted it correctly on your whole site. (Don’t worry, I have cached it, so you won’t see a bunch of hits.) That said, given the number of incorrect quotations (over two thousand) and the number of correct ones (“dozens”) I think the latter is a statistical anomaly. You probably made a cut-and-paste error. The difference between the renderings clearly never made much of an impression on you.

    “Your larger point fails because you, yourself, fail to keep reading.”

    Hadn’t you better wait for me to state my point before concluding that it fails? :-) So far, I’ve only established that you misquoted it thousands of times (which you have now admitted) and I’ve asserted that God used the word for a reason, and that the verse does not mean the same thing either way. I have not suggested what I think that reason is. If you want to argue that God had no particular reason for using the word “the,” and that the sentence means the same either way, I guess you can do that. I’m no Hebrew reader, so I wouldn’t know a ‘ha’ from a ‘ho.’ That’s why I rely on using many translations, and clearly the translators of the 17 Bible versions on BibleHub (whom I assume are Hebrew readers) all agree that the word “the” is in that sentence. Ask THEM what word they are putting in that you are leaving out. :-)

      (Quote)

    • Von says:

      I’m reading your comments carefully. I think it would be only fair for you to read mine with equal care. If you look back at my earlier message, you will find that I asked if the verse is “the foundation, or at least the cornerstone, of your philosophy of marriage.” Note that my question covered both possibilities–the idea of it being the unique, singular (atomic would be a better word) foundation, and also the alternative of it being one stone that stands in the midst of others. Admittedly, I used the word cornerstone, which seemed appropriate given the issue under discussion. When you said that the verse was foundational for you, I thought you were agreeing that it was in the foundation. Unfair assumption? Or are you simply saying that it is not the “cornerstone” of your marriage philosophy? It seems to be, given the frequency with which you quote it.

      ROTFL.

      Grammar, my friend, grammar. You repeat the same mistake all over again.

      So are you asking me if it is ‘the’ foundation or ‘a’ cornerstone?

        (Quote)

      • Nate says:

        Is Genesis 2:18: (a) the foundation of your philosophy of marriage, (b) the cornerstone of the foundation of your philosophy of marriage, or (c) a stone in the foundation, but not the cornerstone?

        When you said it was foundational for you, I’m afraid I assumed that it was one of those options. Is there an option that I missed?

          (Quote)

        • Von says:

          I believe I already answered that. Suitably edited I said:

          In that light God’s statement in Genesis 2 that ‘It is not good that the man to be alone’ (increase count to 2383) is important in two ways. First of all because it is foundational. As we see with Christ, we go back to ‘the beginning’. Secondly because, as a short sentence spoken directly by God, it makes a great quote :)
          However the verse does not stand in isolation. Christian nudists, I am told, make much of the verse ‘and the man and his wife were naked and not ashamed’. But when they build a doctrine out of that verse, they tend to ignore, well, pretty much the rest of Scripture. As we show on our site, however, the statement ‘it is not good for man to be alone’ (2384) is given context by the rest of Scripture: beginning with God saying “I will make a helpmeet for him’, Adam regularizing the process to the rest of mankind (for this reason…), the countless examples of Godly men marrying, the dearth of examples of Godly men not marrying, the daughter of Jepthah bewailing her virginity, the statements in Proverbs ‘he who finds a wife’ and ‘a virtous woman who can find’ (there’s a post in there somewhere); Christ pointing back to the beginning, Paul giving an entirely new context to ‘for this reason’, Paul speaking of the word being blasphemed and some turning aside unto Satan… and ending with the great and glorious marriage of the Lamb.

          Thus the point I was making that:
          a) It was a short, pithy phrase uttered by God Himself and
          b) It was said ‘in the beginning’, and the first of a whole long series of statements by various people, including God Himself several times, stories, and the like, all in inspired Scripture, all making the same point in different ways.

          That’s pretty much what I said, and pretty much what I meant to say. It is part and parcel of one very important doctrine in Scripture. Being the first time mentioned, it can well be said to be ‘foundational’… taken in that light. In the same light as when Christ said, ‘But from the beginning it was not so…”

            (Quote)

        • Nate says:

          I distilled your comments and chose option “c” on your behalf. Let me know if that is incorrect.

            (Quote)

      • Von says:

        >>I distilled your comments and chose option “c” on your behalf. Let me know if that is incorrect.

        What would be correct would be for you to assume I meant what I said, not what you want me to mean. Try that.

          (Quote)

    • Von says:

      “not good THAT the man.” I didn’t think of that one.

      Bible hub must have failed you. It is straight KJV.

      You probably made a cut-and-paste error

      .

      Just the opposite, actually. When we wrote ‘not good for man’ it is always when we typed the phrase in ourselves, or copy/pasted some other man using the phrase. When it reads ‘not good that the man’ it is a direct copy/paste from Scripture, and usually cited.

      Indeed you can find us citing it correctly and then typing it incorrectly in the same paragraph or section of text.

        (Quote)

      • Nate says:

        “Bible hub must have failed you. It is straight KJV.”

        The KJV at BibleHub, like the other sixteen translations, says “not good that THE man be alone,” not “that man be alone.” So does the KJV at BibleGateway.

        “When we wrote ‘not good for man’ it is always when we typed the phrase in ourselves, or copy/pasted some other man using the phrase. When it reads ‘not good that man’ it is a direct copy/paste from Scripture, and usually cited.”

        Sorry, I was unclear. My point is that every one of the thousands of times you quoted it from memory, you left out the “the.” I don’t know why; it’s not that hard to remember. The fact that there are more than one of you, and yet none of you can get it right from memory, is part of my point. Whenever you got it right, it was only because you cut and pasted it, and thus you made an “error,” in the sense that you accidentally said something that was inconsistent with 99.99% of what you had already published.

          (Quote)

        • Von says:

          ROTFL

          So you missed, in your first pass, all of the times that we copy pasted it from Scripture because why again?

          18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

            (Quote)

        • Von says:

          in the sense that you accidentally said something that was inconsistent with 99.99% of what you had already published.

          Given that we do a lot of cut and pasting you might want to check these numbers. I’ve been editing the site and only finding us to have typed it in one time in three, or maybe half.

          But we’ll all look forward to the document you produce. Which will be out of date, but still interesting.

          Remember, you have to delete all of those times when we cut and pasted someone else saying ‘It is not good that man…”

            (Quote)

        • Von says:

          every one of the thousands of times you quoted it from memory,

          Your technology must be failing you. We have three hundred posts, and a dozen or so pages. For us to have used it, typed in directly, ‘thousands of times’, then that would mean, and an absolute minimum, that Jeff or I typed it in seven times *per post*!

          That is hardly credible. Better check your sources :)

            (Quote)

        • Nate says:

          After review, I see what is going on with your web site. Allow me to digress for a moment and explain the technology a bit. The days of discrete static web pages are over. In the modern era, a web page consists of a rough-and-tumble collection of separate elements (text, graphics, dynamic objects, script-generated content, database records) which the web server throws together on-the-fly and presents to you as a coherent “page” in response your request. What appears to be a simple “comments” page may in fact be 38 separate HTML pages from the browser’s viewpoint. While ‘trueloveddoesntwait.com’ may appear to you as “300 posts and a dozen or so pages,” I assure you that it is more technically described as 4093 dynamically generated pages built from 9762 component files, of which 7306 are downloadable.

          I downloaded and searched all 7306 of those files and found the following:

          “not good for man to be alone” — 2382 matches in 1173 files

          “not good for the man to be alone” – 0 matches

          “not good that man be alone” 1 match in 1 file

          “not good that the man be alone” – 0 matches

          “not good that man should be alone” – 18 matches in 18 files

          “not good that the man should be alone” – 546 matches in 384 files

          I hear you thinking, “There is no way that we wrote that much.” You’re right. A large percentage of the files are duplicates, which I failed to notice on my pre-breakfast peek this morning. For example, every time a person comments on one of your threads, your system is creating a duplicate of the original page and adding the new comment to the bottom, but it isn’t throwing away the original. Basically you get a new page with every comment. If someone says, “The sky is blue,” and 30 more people comment after that, then a string search would turn up 31 matches of the phrase “The sky is blue” in 31 separate pages (on your particular web server).

          It is now clear to me that you did not misquote Genesis 2:18 thousands of times, so I apologize for that claim; however, you’re not off the hook because, speaking in terms of simple percentages, Genesis 2:18 still appears on your site correctly only 16% of the time. It is incorrect 5 times more often than not. Make of that what you will. Maybe all or most of those occurrences came from you quoting other people, but that is unlikely given that you already admitted that you get it wrong when you quote it from memory. Also, I was drawn to this site in the first place because of watching you quote it wrong on Facebook.

            (Quote)

        • Jeff says:

          Nate: Genesis 2:18 still appears on your site correctly only 16% of the time

          *facepalm*

          You are, of course, assuming that every time that string of words shows up that Genesis 2:18 is being “quoted”. It can only be said to be misquoted if one is claiming to quote it but using the wrong words. I believe what you are saying is that the paraphrase is used x% of the time or whatever.

          I think you would do better to spend more time talking about *why* you believe a particular paraphrasing is wrong vs. another. That would be much more productive.

            (Quote)

        • Von says:

          Maybe all or most of those occurrences came from you quoting other people, but that is unlikely given that you already admitted that you get it wrong when you quote it from memory.

          Well, when you look at the individual examples, we will see how many come from titles or citations.

          Did you actually search on the quote marks in your search?

            (Quote)

  22. Von says:

    Later I’ll tell you exactly how many times you quoted it correctly on your whole site.

    Feel free, but it will take a lot of work on your part, because you will have to except all of the times when we (accurately) quote someone else who uses the phrase you disagree with.

      (Quote)

    • Nate says:

      It only takes a minute to count phrases. If you feel that I have unfairly omitted any that I should have searched for, let me know and I will add them. And again, let’s be clear. This is not a case of me simply “disagreeing” with your phrase. It’s a case of your phrase of choice being different than what is shown in the seventeen different Bible translations.

        (Quote)

      • Von says:

        Yo, Nat, let’s be clear here. Here’s what we got:
        1) Every time I copy pasted the verse I got it right
        2) When I typed it in, more often than not, I made a mistake
        – Which I am fixing
        3) When many of my commentors ‘typed it in’ they used the same phrase that I do, no doubt as their interpretation of the meaning.
        4) When you typed it in, you made the same mistake I did :)

        5) Your ‘count’ is obviously wrong in its total number, ignored every single time I correctly copy/pasted or quoted it correctly, and ignores the fact that I often copy pasted *other people* who put it the other way.

          (Quote)

        • Nate says:

          “When you typed it in, you made the same mistake I did.”

          I quoted it that way to avoid giving away the thrust of my comments that would come later.

          By the way, the whole reason I started this project is because I watched you converse with someone on Facebook, and time after tine I saw you quote Genesis 2:18 wrong and never correctly. So then I came to your web site and I found that you were quoting it wrong here, too. I wanted to point out your mistake because I think it plays into the dysfunction in your theology of marriage, but I realized that it was possible that it was a random thing, and maybe you said it wrong about half the time. That’s why I downloaded your whole web site and used software to count the references. I’ll check and see if I make a mistake in the counting process. If so, I’ll own it. But if not, then the evidence of your usage suggests that you think the sentence is basically equivalent with or without the definite article, and that would indicate a serious misunderstanding of the verse.

            (Quote)

      • Von says:

        It only takes a minute to count phrases.

        Tell me how long it takes you to separate out the number of times when we copy/pasted a commentator who used the phrase.

          (Quote)

        • Nate says:

          That’s an interesting question. It’s probably a fairly straightforward matter to write a script that watches for relevant quote marks or html tags. It may or may not be necessary, though. My programmer’s mind nay chew on it a bit.

            (Quote)

  23. Von says:

    I’m no Hebrew reader, so I wouldn’t know a ‘ha’ from a ‘ho.’

    You should learn to use an interlinear. “Ha” is the Hebrew grammatical marker that helps make up the word ‘Haadam’ that we are talking about. In the text we have three words for male:

    Adam
    Ha-adam
    and
    Ish

    The ‘ha-adam’ word is the ‘adam’ word with the ‘ha’ marker (also called the ‘he’ marker as it appears that way in other words.

    See here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prefixes_in_Hebrew

      (Quote)

    • Nate says:

      I’ve tried interlinears before. Having been a Christian for 35 years, I’ve seen enormous damage caused by people who think that an interlinear makes them Bible translators or interpreters. It’s always a hoot when some pastor, or guy at a Bible study, says of a Bible text, “That’s not a very good translation. A better translation would be…” just because he spent some time in an interlinear and now thinks he’s an expert. Personally, when seventeen different Bible translations agree on a particular rendering, I feel pretty confident that I’m not going to improve on them by cracking open an interlinear. :-)

        (Quote)

      • Von says:

        Yup.

        But you could find out what ‘ha’ means, how it is used in the rest of Scripture, and the like.

          (Quote)

        • Nate says:

          Or, alternatively, I could just accept the fact that 17 out of 18 Bible translations say “the man” and not “man.” That’s another possibility. :-)

            (Quote)

        • Von says:

          Or, alternatively, I could just accept the fact that 17 out of 18 Bible translations say “the man” and not “man.” That’s another possibility.

          Only if you are ignorant of linguistics and translation principles and hermeneutical principles. Do you know that words like ‘the’ get used differently in different languages? That when a Frenchman asks you what languages you speak, he might say ‘do you speak *the* French or *the* English’?

          One cannot ever just assume a one to one correspondence with English.

          But the case here is worse, because you ignore how the surrounding verses treat the issue. You seem to ignore the Adam, himself, ‘generalizes’ his experience to all men.

            (Quote)

    • Nate says:

      Your comment is a puzzler to me. I am holding in my hand an English translation of the Bible. I have instant access to seventeen more English translations of the Bible. Presumably, the people who translated those versions were acquainted with English and, as you put it, “linguistics and translation principles and hermeneutical principles.” THEY put the word “the” into the English translation of that verse for me to read. Why, exactly, do I need to personally know that “ha” is a Hebrew grammatical marker?

        (Quote)

      • Von says:

        >>THEY put the word “the” into the English translation of that verse for me to read.

        Don’t deny it. Good translation. But not the end of the hermeneutic story.

        As I say, languages do not have a one to one correspondence. At one point, for example, David says, “I’m going to kill every one who pees on the wall.” That would be the literal, one by one, translation of what David said.

        But translators, since we don’t speak that way, translate the word ‘male’. And that is great.

        But suppose someone comes along and says ‘See how careful Scripture is not to use crude language’, and I were to point out the actual Hebrew of this phrase, or the actual Greek of a similarly crude phrase. The fact that it was a ‘good translation’ doesn’t mean that it has a one to one correspondence with English.

        And this situation is more serious, because we are talking doctrine. We don’t get that from one word in one verse, but from the entire context. And as I have said a good number of times now, Adam himself puts this story in the context of mankind in general.

        So Adam, specifically, was given, specifically, a wife. Everyone is agreed. And then Adam talks about how things would be ‘for all men’ because of what happened to him.

        >>Why, exactly, do I need to personally know that “ha” is a Hebrew grammatical marker?

        When one is trying to make a doctrinal point about a specific word, it really does pay to look up that word and see how it is used. I once listened to a sermon where the preacher talked the whole time about a word that wasn’t actually in the text he was citing. The translators had added it to make the text flow.

          (Quote)

  24. Von says:

    Hadn’t you better wait for me to state my point before concluding that it fails? :-)

    Ah, but you have already made a point. Perhaps it isn’t your end point, but you have made one. Or maybe more than one. You stated:

    The error never alarmed you because you made an assumption (as do many, including the translators of the Douay Rheims) that the verse means basically the same thing without the word ‘the’ as it does with it. And that assumption was based on the even deeper one: that you know why God spoke Genesis 2:18—that is, what is purposes were. However, as we will see going forward, there is much more to Gen 2:18 than you have thus far acknowledged, and the lack of that realization has substantially colored your interpretation of every other scripture related to marriage.

    This seems like at least ‘a point’ to me.

      (Quote)

    • Nate says:

      Well, my real point is the one I was building up to from the very beginning, which I mentioned as something that “we will see going forward, there is much more to Gen 2:18 than you have thus far acknowledged.” Be patient. :-)

        (Quote)

      • Von says:

        Well, if you can find more than ourselves, and all of the old commentators we use, feel very free to bring it up. You’re off to a bad start, but hopefully will go somewhere good :)

          (Quote)

        • Nate says:

          I think I’m off to a good start. I already got you to admit that you’ve been saying it wrong and you will begin correcting that. I call that progress.

            (Quote)

        • Jeff says:

          Not nearly as progressive or productive (not to mention efficient) as just getting on to your point about why it matters whether “the” is included.

            (Quote)

        • Von says:

          Oh, I think that correcting it is absolutely a good thing to do.

          I was referring to ‘your point’… which so far either doesn’t exist or consist of ascribing me bad motives.

            (Quote)

      • Nate says:

        Not bad motives. I think you got off to a bad start years ago, and now you’ve got momentum an inertia preventing you from being willing to accept the possibility that your entire edifice is possibly on sandy ground (with respect to your theology of marriage, not your salvation).

          (Quote)

        • Von says:

          I think you got off to a bad start years ago

          Going to Scripture? Researching all of the old commentators? That’s a bad start?

            (Quote)

        • Nate says:

          Well, now, let’s be fair. Everyone always claims that they draw their beliefs only from scripture. It’s a given that all sides in every serious Biblical conversation will make that same claim, and try to use it to stake out the high ground, so you get no points for being the first to make it here. :-)

          As far as commentators go, I have no beef with most of them, but if you are reading them and concluding that Gen 2:18 is talking exclusively or even primarily about marriage, then that’s where you took a wrong turn early on.

            (Quote)

        • Jeff says:

          Nate: if you are reading them and concluding that Gen 2:18 is talking exclusively or even primarily about marriage, then that’s where you took a wrong turn early on.

          wow, lol

          Taking Genesis 2:18ff as a marriage passage is a wrong turn? rofl

          Well, gee, thank you, sir, for correcting 2000 years of Church study and commentary.

          Considering Christ and Paul both use Genesis 2 as applicable to doctrines of marriage (Matthew 19, Ephesians 5)…
          considering the Westminster standards uses Genesis 2 as a prooftext for doctrines of marriage…

            (Quote)

        • Von says:

          Well, now, let’s be fair. Everyone always claims that they draw their beliefs only from scripture

          Actually not. Indeed it is one of the most frequent issues that we have with the courtship crowd: they don’t even claim to be teaching what the Scripture teaches. They literally begin talks with ‘this isn’t what Scripture teaches but…” or “We have no Scriptural examples of this but…” or “Of course they did it different in Bible times but we…”

          We would love to have a courtship advocate come on here and try to support what they believe from Scripture.

          So, I am being fair. Very, very fair.

            (Quote)

        • Von says:

          As far as commentators go, I have no beef with most of them, but if you are reading them and concluding that Gen 2:18 is talking exclusively or even primarily about marriage, then that’s where you took a wrong turn early on.

          Oh, this will be good.

          In saying that Genesis 2:18 is speaking about marriage I have the support not only of the text, the context, and the commentators…but of Christ Himself. So… go for it :)

            (Quote)

        • Von says:

          >>Not bad motives. I think you got off to a bad start years ago

          Oh, by the way. If you’re thinking that my view of Gen 2 is what drove my original thinking, I think you are off. I think the real opening was Ephesians 5.

            (Quote)

  25. Von says:

    I think we agree that God said at the beginning of Creation that it is not good for man to be alone.
    -Nat

      (Quote)

    • Nate says:

      I knew you were used to that wording, so I said it that way to avoid giving away the punch line that was coming later in my post. :-)

        (Quote)

      • Von says:

        And many commentators, and I, tend to use it as an accurate summary of the Biblical doctrine, if not a translation of the actual verse.

          (Quote)

        • Nate says:

          “If not?” Are you that unwilling to simply say that if seventeen Bible translations say “the man,” then that’s probably the translation?

            (Quote)

        • Von says:

          “If not?” Are you that unwilling to simply say that if seventeen Bible translations say “the man,” then that’s probably the translation?

          Wow, did you miss what I said. Let me try again:

          Many commentators use the phrase ‘it is not good for man to be alone’ as an accurate summary of a Biblical *doctrine*. We do NOT use it as a *translation*. (or, when we do, it is in error).

            (Quote)

      • Nate says:

        I did understand that you see it as an accurate representation of Biblical doctrine. That much I got. However, your phrase “if not a translation of the actual verse” made it sound like you questioned even whether it was an inaccurate translation. I think we now agree that “the man” is the right translation of the sentence, and simply “man” is not, correct?

          (Quote)

        • Von says:

          >>I think we now agree that “the man” is the right translation of the sentence, and simply “man” is not, correct?

          We have agreed on that since practically the first post.

          Now we can talk doctrine :)

            (Quote)

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