Author Topic: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults  (Read 1320 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #30 on: November 29, 2021, 03:28:52 PM »
These are some excuses for cohabitation:

1. The couple wants to "make certain" they are a good fit for each other
before they ever think about the life-long commitment of marriage.

2. The couple has no interest in marriage.  They are good friends who
want to save money by sharing rental fees for an apartment.

3. The couple  does not believe in marriage but want to have a sexual
partner who is available to them most of the time.

It seems that men are more leery of marriage commitment than women.
We are dealing with a secular culture which rejects the 6th commandment
and has no guilt about adultery.


It's also possible that they have discovered that the OT rules against adultery had nothing to do with having sex with an unattached woman (either unmarried or not engaged to be married). Even Luther's Large Catechism expresses this: "Therefore, it is explicitly forbidden here to dishonor anotherís marriage partner."
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

D. Engebretson

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #31 on: November 29, 2021, 04:20:50 PM »
These are some excuses for cohabitation:

1. The couple wants to "make certain" they are a good fit for each other
before they ever think about the life-long commitment of marriage.

2. The couple has no interest in marriage.  They are good friends who
want to save money by sharing rental fees for an apartment.

3. The couple  does not believe in marriage but want to have a sexual
partner who is available to them most of the time.

It seems that men are more leery of marriage commitment than women.
We are dealing with a secular culture which rejects the 6th commandment
and has no guilt about adultery.


It's also possible that they have discovered that the OT rules against adultery had nothing to do with having sex with an unattached woman (either unmarried or not engaged to be married). Even Luther's Large Catechism expresses this: "Therefore, it is explicitly forbidden here to dishonor anotherís marriage partner."

I know that you have argued many times that marriage as we have traditionally understood is not mandated by the Bible, nor was it practiced. On that many of us disagree.  So be it.

But how many people, in general, do you honestly believe have "discovered" your interpretation? In all my years of ministry I must admit that your interpretation sounds novel. Usually I heard the argument of "we don't need a license from the government to be legitimately married."  But I don't remember people generally discounting Adam and Eve's union in Genesis or other areas of scripture traditionally seen as defining marriage as unrelated to marriage, or hearing people argue whether the word "marriage" is even used in critical passages. For the record, in the Small Catechism, Luther interpreted the 6th commandment as calling for a person to lead a "sexually pure and decent life," which was given in addition to loving and honoring ones spouse.  Only in recent decades would many people tend to think that unrestricted sex outside of marriage is a neutral, non-moral issue.  One seldom hears a person saying two people are "living in sin," or that a baby was "born out of wedlock."  Young women are no longer escorted out of their communities to have their babies elsewhere to avoid community shaming.  In fact, many regular church goers today seem to celebrate such births with as much enthusiasm and approval as they do for the married, and see absolutely no problem with the cohabitation.  They may occasionally say something to their pastors in passing, such as: "Well I don't approve of it," but one wonders how strongly they feel on this point and are simply telling the pastor what they think he wants to hear.  Many parents simply remain silent on the issue out of fear of alienating themselves from their children or grand-children.  Clearly the prevailing culture of the late 20th century to the present has 'won the day.'  I am pleased that in a few short years I will no longer have to have discussions with young couples about their living status and the church's requirement to honor the place of sex only within marriage.  I suspect at this point that what I am told in the office is quickly ignored when they are well out of my sight.  I am not naive, but deeply disappointed in where things have gone in the church.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #32 on: November 29, 2021, 07:17:30 PM »
I know that you have argued many times that marriage as we have traditionally understood is not mandated by the Bible, nor was it practiced. On that many of us disagree.  So be it.


 Can we agree that the Bible doesn't mandate a state license nor does it even tell us of vows being shared between couples who are being married? (About all we know about their marriage celebration from biblical accounts is that they drank a lot: the wedding at Cana and Jacob was so inebriated that he didn't realize he went to bed with Leah rather than Rachel.)

Quote
But how many people, in general, do you honestly believe have "discovered" your interpretation? In all my years of ministry I must admit that your interpretation sounds novel. Usually I heard the argument of "we don't need a license from the government to be legitimately married."  But I don't remember people generally discounting Adam and Eve's union in Genesis or other areas of scripture traditionally seen as defining marriage as unrelated to marriage, or hearing people argue whether the word "marriage" is even used in critical passages. For the record, in the Small Catechism, Luther interpreted the 6th commandment as calling for a person to lead a "sexually pure and decent life," which was given in addition to loving and honoring ones spouse.  Only in recent decades would many people tend to think that unrestricted sex outside of marriage is a neutral, non-moral issue.  One seldom hears a person saying two people are "living in sin," or that a baby was "born out of wedlock."  Young women are no longer escorted out of their communities to have their babies elsewhere to avoid community shaming.  In fact, many regular church goers today seem to celebrate such births with as much enthusiasm and approval as they do for the married, and see absolutely no problem with the cohabitation.  They may occasionally say something to their pastors in passing, such as: "Well I don't approve of it," but one wonders how strongly they feel on this point and are simply telling the pastor what they think he wants to hear.  Many parents simply remain silent on the issue out of fear of alienating themselves from their children or grand-children.  Clearly the prevailing culture of the late 20th century to the present has 'won the day.'  I am pleased that in a few short years I will no longer have to have discussions with young couples about their living status and the church's requirement to honor the place of sex only within marriage.  I suspect at this point that what I am told in the office is quickly ignored when they are well out of my sight.  I am not naive, but deeply disappointed in where things have gone in the church.


Perhaps 35 years ago I read an essay that called on all Christian pastors to stop signing marriage licenses. Marriages in the church should be about asking God's blessings on the couple and their new life together. That was separate from the state's license of creating a legal partnership. The essay further suggested that the elderly who might lose benefits with the state license, could still be married in a church. They would be united under God, but not under the state.


There was a pretty clear understanding that the state license gave some benefits, but it did not make a marriage. Too many ended in divorce or unhappiness. I've said this before, but marriage is based on the commitments that the couple make to each other. As such, it doesn't just happen with a ceremony and a license. It is a growing process that can begin with the first date, and second, third, and subsequent dates, engagement, marriage, and growing through the stages of the marriage: a couple, a family with children, empty nesting, retirement. Involved in the growing commitment will be sexual acts. The following is "the road to arousal" given by Ray E. Short in Sex, Love, or Infatuation: How Can I Really Know?, p. 121.


Full Repression
Holding hands
Hugging
Casual kissing
Serious kissing
French kissing(?)
Breasts covered
Breasts bared
Genitals covered
Genitals bared
Oral sex(?)
Genital to Genital
Sexual Intercourse


He includes these principles:


Principal 1: Avoid the two extremes.
Principal 2: Donít light more fires than you can put out.
Principal 3: Avoid all chance of pregnancy
Principal 4: Set your own limit Ė and stick to it.
Principal 5: Couples who care, should share.

He, and I think all of us, would say that some of these behaviors will take place before couples marry. His advice is to draw the line as to how far one is willing to go before marriage while one is not aroused, and stick to the line (see principal 2).


My point with this is to indicate that marriage is not about going from full repression before marriage and everything after the ceremony. Marriage as commitment and the sexual expressions of love, are things that grow and develop between the couple. The public ceremony and license signing is just a step in the ongoing process.
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #33 on: November 29, 2021, 08:09:59 PM »
These are some excuses for cohabitation:

1. The couple wants to "make certain" they are a good fit for each other
before they ever think about the life-long commitment of marriage.

2. The couple has no interest in marriage.  They are good friends who
want to save money by sharing rental fees for an apartment.

3. The couple  does not believe in marriage but want to have a sexual
partner who is available to them most of the time.

It seems that men are more leery of marriage commitment than women.
We are dealing with a secular culture which rejects the 6th commandment
and has no guilt about adultery.


It's also possible that they have discovered that the OT rules against adultery had nothing to do with having sex with an unattached woman (either unmarried or not engaged to be married). Even Luther's Large Catechism expresses this: "Therefore, it is explicitly forbidden here to dishonor anotherís marriage partner."

What do the OT rules have to do with us?!

The shrimp can't be far behind. Or maybe an irrelevant, personal acecdote.   ::)

« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 08:12:12 PM by Donald_Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

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Charles Austin

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2021, 08:36:13 PM »
Pastor Kirchner grumps:
The shrimp can't be far behind.
I comment:
Oh, so there are passages in the Bible that you choose to ignore. Or you choose to interpret them in different ways than the Faith community,

Pastor Kirchner:
Or maybe an irrelevant, personal acecdote.
Me:
Well, heaven forfend us from citing our real experiences in the world rather than sticking to airy principles of philosophy or theology.
How about you? How many couples have you married that were not already living together or - if they lived far apart - taking vacations together in Cancun or Acapulco?
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns couldíve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #35 on: November 29, 2021, 08:46:57 PM »
Pastor Kirchner grumps:
The shrimp can't be far behind.
I comment:
Oh, so there are passages in the Bible that you choose to ignore. Or you choose to interpret them in different ways than the Faith community,

I don't ignore them, but they don't apply to us.

Good grief, Charles! You brag about being in your luxury facility and having shrimp cocktails being delivered at your door during those dark, depressing times when the rest of us were out and about, working.?
Don Kirchner

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2021, 08:57:30 PM »
What?!? I donít remember bragging. I donít apologize for living in a comfortable (not ďluxuryĒ) place and what does that have to do with anything?
Got an answer to my question about marrying couples were already living together?
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns couldíve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2021, 09:20:29 PM »
What?!? I donít remember bragging. I donít apologize for living in a comfortable (not ďluxuryĒ) place and what does that have to do with anything?
Got an answer to my question about marrying couples were already living together?
I believe the point was that if you eat shrimp and you know kosher laws from the Bible, then you know it isnít a matter of simply selectively applying verses.

Charles Austin

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #38 on: November 30, 2021, 12:00:31 AM »
Irony and whimsy fail again. Sigh.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns couldíve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #39 on: November 30, 2021, 01:14:08 AM »

What do the OT rules have to do with us?!


The Ten Commandments. The great commandment(s). The first command from God to humans: Be fruitful and multiply (and it wasn't about orchards or mathematics).

Quote
The shrimp can't be far behind. Or maybe an irrelevant, personal anecdote.   ::)


If biblical truths cannot show up in personal anecdotes, then it isn't much of a truth. Just words in a book. If the Word of God doesn't change people's lives (which can be related in anecdotes,) then it has lost its power. I continue to believe that God's truth and God's Word are powerful enough to be illustrated in people's lives.
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #40 on: November 30, 2021, 08:20:30 AM »

What do the OT rules have to do with us?!

The Ten Commandments.

Lutheranism 101, Brian. We don't derive the 10 Commandments from the OT. What does Moses have to do with me? I'm not a Jew.

"The law of Moses binds only the Jews and not the Gentiles"

LW, vo! 35, "How  Christians Should Regard Moses"

https://www.nlnrac.org/node/253
« Last Edit: November 30, 2021, 08:26:47 AM by Donald_Kirchner »
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Norman Teigen

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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #41 on: November 30, 2021, 08:42:43 AM »
I know from personal experience that Pastor Austin does not live in luxury.  It is a reasonably typical place the likes of which are seen nearly everywhere. 
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Re: Changing Lifestyles Of American Adults
« Reply #42 on: November 30, 2021, 09:11:52 AM »
Here is my to-do list when a couple has been living together/having sex before marriage:

1. Help them acknowledge that this is not the way of the Lord. Most still know that.
2. Help them understand that beginning sexual relations before marriage comes with proven problems for couples, namely, less developed spiritual bonds/commitment. This shows up later in the marriage when the sexual interests change and the spiritual aspects must hold the two of them together. Last time I checked, this problem leads to divorce in about 75% of cases. Divorce is far lower for couples who wait to have sex until after marriage.
3. Lead the couple in prayers of repentance and new commitment, understanding that they are not "trying" the other person but giving themselves wholly to one another.
4. Encourage them to return for counseling early if problems should arise, understanding that marriage is a lifetime commitment.

In some cases I have urged couples to separate as part of the repentance. (This often depends on family and household relationships and how long they have been together.) Illinois helpfully had common law marriage on the books (7 years cohabitation). Ohio does not.
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