Speaking where the bible speaks, and silent where the bible is silent.

Biblical Proof Dec 20 2015

There is a lot of talk in the political world about “Rape” and the abuse of women. Is it a sin to rape a woman or can man do as he pleases to women? Can a man make unwanted sexual advances on women? Can a man sexually assault women? These should be easy answers but for political expedience many think the abuse of women is something men do. You know, “Boys will be boys”. Now I am not going to answer this politically, but rather biblically.

Under the Old Testament, there were a variety of punishments. Rape of a married woman or an engaged woman was an automatic death sentence. “If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both of them shall die – the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; so you shall put away the evil from Israel. If a young woman who is a virgin is betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he humbled his neighbor’s wife; so you shall put away the evil from among you. But if a man finds a betrothed young woman in the countryside, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the young woman; there is in the young woman no sin deserving of death, for just as when a man rises against his neighbor and kills him, even so is this matter. For he found her in the countryside, and the betrothed young woman cried out, but there was no one to save her.” (Deut 22:22-27). This passage covers both consensual sex and rape. Consensual sex (adultery) was punished by death for both the man and the woman. Rape was was punished by death for the man only.

In the case of an unengaged woman, the law again deals with consensual and rape. “If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days” (Deut 22:28-29). “If a man entices a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall surely pay the bride-price for her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the bride-price of virgins” (Ex 22:16-17). Here no distinction is made, likely because it would be difficult to prove whether the act was consensual or not. Instead, the father of the young woman has the choice of forcing a marriage. If he chooses marriage, then the man must pay the dowry price (which is roughly want a man could save up in seven years of common labor) and he is denied the right to divorce his wife. If the father refuses to allow a marriage, which is likely in the case of rape, the man still must pay the dowry price as a fine.

In the New Testament, punishment for crimes is turned over to the state. “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Rom 13:1-4). If your country’s choice for punishing rapist is a life sentence, then as Christians we submit to the governing authority.

Conclusion: Rape or sexual assault is a sin under God’s law and is a crime under the laws of most civilized countries. Women are protected under God’s law knowing that men are usually stronger and larger than them (1 Pet 3:7). Man is commanded to love his wife even as Christ also loved his church and died for it (Eph 5:25). If a young man wants to have sex with a woman, he cannot just take it by force. If a single man cannot persuade a maiden through dating and social communication to marry him, he must leave her alone. No man should attempt to have sex with a woman outside of marriage, even with consent, for such is fornication. Fornication is a sin against your own flesh (1 Cor 6:18).

Words of advice: When a woman says no, she means no. It is also imperative that women not tease and encourage men when they have no interest in them. It is also imperative that women not falsely accuse men of rape or sexual assault, for such can ruin the reputation of a man and even cause their incarceration. Even so, most women find it hard to confront their accusers, for it brings not only shame on the accused but also upon her. Remember men, rape or sexual assault is an abomination before God and mankind. If you need sex, get married and remain faithful to her, for it is better to marry than to burn (1 Cor 7:8,9).

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