THE BIBLE, SEX ED, AND STDS
By Wayne S. Walker
Recently, I came across a sheet of paper from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), a U. S. government agency, entitled “Information for Teens: Staying Healthy and Preventing STDs.” I assume that it was intended for use in high school sex education and/or health classes for students to learn more about “sexually transmitted diseases.” After presenting some factual information about what STDs are, how they are spread, and why they are so common especially among young people, with which I have no objection, the paper then explains some things that teens can do to protect themselves.
The first suggestion is as follows: “The surest way to protect yourself against STDs is to not have sex. That means not having any vaginal, anal, or oral sex (‘abstinence’). There are many things to consider before having sex, and it’s okay to say ‘no’ if you don’t want to have sex.” This advice is in perfect harmony with God’s word. “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).
“There,” someone says, “they taught abstinence.” But wait a minute. The very next suggestion goes on to say, “If you do decide to have sex, you and your partner should get tested beforehand and make sure that you and your partner use a condom—every time you have oral, anal, or vaginal sex, from start to finish.” One either teaches abstinence, or one doesn’t. It’s not an “either-or” situation. “If you do decide to have sex,” then you’re not practicing abstinence, and if the teacher allows for that possibility, then he or she isn’t really teaching abstinence.
The paper also offers this advice. “It is not safe to stop using condoms unless you’ve both been tested, know your status, and are in a mutually monogamous relationship. Mutual monogamy means that you and your partner both agree to only have sexual contact with each other. This can help protect against STDs, as long as you’ve both been tested and know you’re STD-free.” Not quite. Monogamy literally means “one marriage” and is defined “the condition or practice of having only one wife or husband at a time.” This, too, is in perfect harmony with God’s word. “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). In other words, sex is to be limited to marriage.
So in truth, monogamy does NOT mean “that you and your partner both agree to only have sexual contact with each other.” That’s just committing fornication with only one partner. Monogamy really means a husband and a wife having sexual relations only with each other. By the way, using condoms may reduce the risk of STDs, but condoms can leak, break, or slip off, so they are not a 100% foolproof way of avoiding STDs (or unwanted pregnancies either). The only absolute way of doing that is to refrain from sex prior to marriage and then to have sex only with your spouse after marriage. It appears, after all, that God must have known what He was talking about all along.
—in “Search for Truth;” February 5, 2017; Vol. VIII, No. 7