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- a little gross over-generalization IMO, but probably not far from the sad truth.
I actually did a study for a presentation and those were the numbers given by the research, and I don't have the source right now. But with cell phones and internet readily available, sadly, I have counseled with several young adults who got started with their porn addiction as young as age 7-8, being hooked for some 15 years by the time I get to counsel them, from very sheltered Christian homes, private Christian schools as well as home schools. The numbers may be a little off because this was from some years ago. Nowadays little kids ask each other for nudes and that's how it starts... boy asks girl, "hey, send me a picture of your butt." This is the NORM, don't be deceived by their cute faces! I do this for a living.
>The principle related in Romans 14 is not just about eating or drinking, or special day observances. It is a principle of grace and understanding, and ultimately growing in faith. Can it apply here? I think so. If one man knows he may struggle in this area, and he chooses to avoid certain contact, why judge him harshly?
Absolutely! Ultimately it was the couple's decision.... up to them whether to hug or not - and as it turned out, yes, the young man was struggling with it. But had both said there was absolutely no problem, they are of age - go for it! My husband as mentioned earlier... only side hugs women and we have many other unwritten rules to safeguard our marriage. But if you can do any of these things and stay pure - go for it! (Though as someone mentioned it before, you never know how the receiving party will take the "act of compassion" : a pastor can easily cause some single lady in the church to develop a secret crush or worse).
What I think is interesting is that the judging comes from the other side... I have not read one reply here that said, "if you frontal-hug a woman you're sinning", though several said, "this is what I do, take it or leave it." However, it has been implied that those who choose not to hug are somehow Phariseeical or believe that a woman's body is evil ? Is that not judging your brother and not showing grace? Maybe that brother actually knows his limitations and chooses to exercise self-control in that area and he should not be condemned for such?
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EB, first of all, nothing in my original statement was about the particular instance of this couple wondering if they should be doing what sounds like it amounts to cuddling while standing. Everything after the first line break was about what I see in the replies. Keeping that context in mind should answer several of the question you asked above. If my points still don't make sense after reading my post while knowing the context, I'll gladly try to do a better job explaining them. :)
I have not been desensitized because there is not something to be desensitized to. Comparing a hug to the content of R rated movies is ridiculous on its face. Affection is normal, not sexual, and commanded five times in the Bible. The only way to teach people that hugs are sexual is to restrict them to the sexual relationship. Christian groups that do counseling for unwanted same-sex attraction understand this concept because, frequently, teaching SSA people how to have healthy, affectionate, non-sexual relationships helps with SSA. Yet, in general, the church preaches the opposite of this when someone is struggling with managing opposite-sex desire. These approaches are completely inconsistent. Given the stats on how many people are porn addicted in the church, it should be obvious which approach is better.
"No one is being deprived" Making cases for blanket rules about how men and women shouldn't hug each other unless married - which is what I see in a few comments - is going to lead to people being deprived of affection. Hugs are the most accepted, least sexualized form of affection in American society. People need this.
The argument that I've used Col 2:23 out of context falls apart simply by knowing the definition of asceticism. This is from the Oxford English Dictionary: "characterized by or suggesting the practice of severe *self-discipline* and abstention from all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons." (My own emphasis added.) Paul's clear and obvious concept that he is trying to communicate in that verse is that arbitrary rules against non-sinful things are not a means to prevent sin.
Nothing I've said should be construed to say that hugs may not be wise in limited instances that others have done a decent job pointing out, but making those limited instances into the rule and therefore avoiding health and growth, like SeekingChange explained, is utter foolishness.
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>I have not been desensitized because there is not something to be desensitized to.
Other men would disagree with you here. If you think feeling women's boobs when frontal hugging is fine and you have no problem with it, go ahead.
>frequently, teaching SSA people how to have healthy, affectionate, non-sexual relationships helps with SSA. Yet, in general, the church preaches the opposite of this when someone is struggling with managing opposite-sex desire. These approaches are completely inconsistent. Given the stats on how many people are porn addicted in the church, it should be obvious which approach is better.
Not sure what your train of thought is here, could not follow but am interested. Could you explain this better?
>“No one is being deprived” Making cases for blanket rules about how men and women shouldn’t hug each other unless married – which is what I see in a few comments – is going to lead to people being deprived of affection. Hugs are the most accepted, least sexualized form of affection in American society. People need this.
I never said that. I don't think anyone in this whole thread has ever said that men and women should not hug each other. Even when I said, "No one is being deprived which you quoted above" please read the context. I said no one is being deprived because they can be hugged plenty, just not the frontal hugs where you can feel each other's body parts for prolonged lengths of time. I even said my husband hugs the opposite-sex sideways and so do I. Please do not take what I am saying out of context.
>The argument that I’ve used Col 2:23 out of context falls apart simply by knowing the definition of asceticism. This is from the Oxford English Dictionary: “characterized by or suggesting the practice of severe *self-discipline* and abstention from all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons.” (My own emphasis added.) Paul’s clear and obvious concept that he is trying to communicate in that verse is that arbitrary rules against non-sinful things are not a means to prevent sin.
I will explain better. If you will study the historical context of the letter of Colossians, Paul was fighting those who believed in Asceticism, who believed that (among other things) the physical body was evil. Paul is saying, "if you got saved, so why are you guys still believing that your "touch not taste not handle not" ordinances will take you to Heaven?" Figuring the historical context, the intended audience, and the text itself will give you the proper exegesis. If Col 2:20-23 is saying that you are trying to say it is saying, how do you explain 1 Cor 7:1 where Paul admonishes that it is good for a man not to touch a woman? That is why properly Exegesis is important on these passages. No one is saying that the body is evil. It has to do with believing we all have GOOD God-given appetites that must be honed into their proper lawful boundaries by exercising self-control. This link explains the above passage and the difference in Asceticism and Self-Control / Discipline, properly exegeted: https://www.puritypoint.org/blog/asceticism-discipline