Sexually Promiscuous Men Can’t Be Christians, Right?

Modern Christianity uses too much New Testament while acting as if the New Testament experienced little influence by Roman culture.  Nowadays, Christian feel uncomfortable with the Old Testament as it’s both more patriarchal and direct.  Plus, God condemns behavior in the Old Testament that many Christians are guilty – gossip, lying and stirring up conflict.  You can find these sins prevalent throughout many churches; a reason why Christians prefer the simple sin-messages of “Sex is bad.  Alcohol is bad.  Drugs are bad.  Mmmmkay?”

Instead of doing what modern Christians do, let’s actually read the Old Testament with the New Testament and see what the Bible has to say as far as sex being a sin, modern men marrying women, and some other common gender assertions. Because this topic offer extensive possibilities, I’ll address it over many posts.

In 2 Samuel 11, we read the story of King David and Bathsheba. If you haven’t read this Bible passage, I suggest that you click the above link.  In a nutshell, King David sees Bathseba bathing one day, and decided to sleep with her.  The problem with all of this?  Bathsheba was married to Uriah the Hittite.  When Bathsheba learns that she is pregnant, David decides to bring back Uriah so that Uriah will sleep with his wife to cover up his sin.  However, Uriah remains and honorable soldier and thus David has him killed by sending him to the front lines.

The most obvious problem with this passage is that even though it’s written like it happens in couple of days, without the modern technology we have today, this story had to occur over at least a few weeks to a month because

  • Bathsheba had to know that she was pregnant.  They didn’t have Old Testament pregnancy tests in those days, meaning that they relied heavily on monthly cycles (notice that verse 4 indicates this).
  • Assuming the war was close, Uriah probably arrived within a day.  Still, coming back from war and returning to war had to take at least two days.  Depending on the distance, it may have been longer.
  • When Uriah was called back, he didn’t sleep with his wife over several days.

Assuming that the enemy killed Uriah immediately when he returned, we can guess that at least a week went by before King David successfully killed Uriah.  How is this important?

1.  King David committed adultery.  God did nothing.
2.  King David tried to cover up his adultery.  God did nothing.
3.  King David had Uriah killed.  As we’ll quickly see, God acts.

In the next chapter (Chapter 12), Nathan, the prophet, speaks for God against King David.  God didn’t have Nathan visit King David after he committed adultery, even though that’s immoral.  God didn’t have Nathan visit King David after he tried to hide his adultery, even though that is also wrong.  God had Nathan visit King David only after he had Uriah killed.

Question: if sex outside of marriage (like adultery in this case) is such a terrible sin to God, why didn’t He have Nathan step in earlier (and save a life in the process)?

The typical Christian answer is “For His glory.”  However, as we go through this discussion on sex outside of marriage and the Bible, we will find that it’s because while heavily demonized in modern churches, many devout followers of God in the Old Testament were sexually promiscuous.  That did not stop God from loving them, investing in them, or working toward their betterment.  In fact, King David having sex with Bathsheba led to their eventual marriage, which led to Bathsheba becoming the mother of Solomon (a woman whom some Biblical experts think wrote Proverbs 31 or passed it on to Solomon, under his pen name King Lemuel – not saying this is Biblically correct).

Usually, modern Christians will sweep these facts and stories to the side, while trying to demonize the male behavior of wanting sex.  While this story serves as a good example of this (for instance, God does punish David), we’ll learn about other men of God in the Old Testament who were with multiple women, and yet never were punished by God.  We’ll also take a look at the New Testament and what it says about marriage, gender and how our relationships should be.



  1. Careful here, CP. I think you’re treading awfully close to saying the Bible implicity sanctions (or at least does not condemn) adultery and fornication, when it clearly does — both in the Old and New Testaments.

  2. Deti,
    From this passage, God punishes David, indicating his disapproval of adultery. This story makes a great introduction, however, as other OT figures do engage in sexual promiscuity (though, not with married women) and remain unpunished for it.

    I’ll address the NT later, following some OT assessment to sustain a context and balance I think are missing in church when we address sex.

  3. I’m a very interested to see where you are going with this.

    I know that there were men in the OT and NT that had multiple wives and other women to satisfy needs, but I don’t believe they were being promiscuis. I’ve also had someone plant doubts in my mind as to the definintion of fornication and that the definition of the time when the Bible was written is different than we use today, but still it would take a lot of research to know for sure.

    I’m all for reading scripture and understanding it in context to the original language and the culture at the time of writing and casting off the churchianity teachings, but I agree with Deti, that you need to be careful. I have an adult son who is struggling with such things and so I research what I can to understand just what God sees as sin and what the church may have labeled as sin, just as the Pharisees skewed the law to suit themselves.

    There are some things that I question about what I was taught in the church, and although I pulled out of churches I do not want to pull out of obedience to God, nor do I want to misguide my children. I would like to visit and read often if I am welcome, but I will probably have some hard questions and possibly some debate.

  4. In agreement here with Jacquie that men with multiple wives weren’t being promiscuous, nor adulterous, nor were they fornicating. It is pretty clear that polygamy was permitted in the culture and at the time. But we should also remember that polygamous men had to support those wives as well as getting the privilege of sexing them. So polygamy would have had to have been reserved for the top men, such as wealthy men, royalty, etc. The vast majority of men would not have been able to afford more than one wife. David had more than one wife. But the Bible mentions Moses having only Zipporah as his one wife. Same for Job and for Simon Peter.

    And also: some men had a wife and concubines.

    What of Abraham, who had Sarah but also had a son by Hagar, Sarah’s handmaiden?

  5. After the murder of Uriah, God makes plain through Nathan that He would have given David much more than he already had, including presumably other wives, since the wives of King Saul are listed as part of the gifts. Part of his punishment was his wives being lain with in the broad daylight.

    David didn’t covet Saul’s wives. He did covet Uriah’s, and violated the Tenth Commandment. The Torah prescribes that he and Bathsheba could be stoned to death, but there were no direct witnesses save God Himself, and even He only counts Himself as one witness, if even that. A similar situation applies in Jesus’ dealings with the adulterous woman; God knows she did wrong (“go and sin no more”), but due process requires direct witnesses and all the offenders being judged (not just the woman) So the Law is not violated by letting David and Bathsheba live, and Jesus is not establishing a new rule by freeing the adulteress (which would have violated Deut. 12:32 anyway). But they certainly didn’t get away with anything!

    David’s adultery with Bathsheba set in motion a chain of events that resulted in the death of many of his own children, the ravishing of his wives by his favourite son, and also the deaths of many thousands of Israelites in Absalom’s rebellion. David’s confession before Nathan, I personally believe, resulted in God taking his sin away (2 Sam. 12:13) so that he would live, but the consequences were real and lifelong. Though most men crave power of one kind or another, it carries a heavy responsibility that few can bear. It is not a game!

    Having said all that, I cannot disagree with your position. Hooking up is not an ideal situation from a Christian perspective, but the organized Church is right there with the world regarding gender relations today, and a young man finds few allies there regarding his interests and needs. I strongly believe the Church itself is being judged by God for its “goddess worship”; the men are vanishing because there is no desire for their leadership, only their labour and resources.

    King Solomon built altars to Molech, Chemosh and Milcom; children were burned as offerings to these pagan deities, AT GOV’T EXPENSE. Maybe that was the purpose of 700 wives, mostly Gentiles. 50 million unborn sacrificed to Fortune and Destiny in the last 40 years alone. God is extremely patient, in a way that defies human logic. But Judgment is coming, and perhaps is already manifesting.

    When the Babylonians broke through the walls of Jerusalem, the first place to go up in smoke, in the sight of everyone, was the Temple. Up to then, few Jews really took to heart that God had already “left the building” long ago. Jeremiah and the other prophets were not so much warning their deaf and stubborn people as they were telling US that God is eternal, He is not mocked, and He is aware of the vexation of His servants.

    So do what ya gotta do, man. I don’t buy the EvoBio crap, I think it is fallen nature of both genders. Attraction is not a choice, physical desire is not a choice, and giving in to temptation is inevitable when the expectation is you have to wait YEARS for some carousel Christianess to stop chasing the tingle. And then, even when you marry, there’s a 50% chance you’ll still “burn”.

    Think of yourself as Lot, a man who, even though he probably sat on the Sodom Chamber of Commerce, was a worshipper of God and highly vexed by the godlessness around him. And when it came time, God sent rescuers, and Lot left that place.

    Significantly, Mrs. Lot decided she wasn’t haaaaapy and went back to Sex in the City.

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