Heinrich Bullinger on the seventh commandment (1)

Once again, not a blanket-endorsement of Bullinger as a true Christian.

“In this precept is forbidden fornication, or that kind of whorehunting, which is said to be the meddling of a single man with an unmarried woman. This kind of whoredom is thought of many either to be a very small offence, or none at all. But such kind of men doth the devil hearten on, bewitch, and by all those ill thoughts drive on to commit that sin; when as the doctrines of the evangelists and apostles doth teach us the contrary. For the apostles, in that synodal epistle, which they sent from Jerusalem to all nations, do expressing name and forbid fornication. St Peter reckoneth fornication among those filthy sins, from which he would have Christians to be most clear. St Paul saith, ‘Flee fornication.’ Again, ‘Let us not be defiled with fornication, as some of them committed fornication, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.’ Fornication doth directly fight with the covenant of God, whereby he is joined to us, and we to him: and whoredom also spoileth God of his glory, and doth most filthily pollute the temple of the Lord” (Heinrich Bullinger, Decades, 2nd Decade, Sermon 10 , vol 2, pp. 414-415 ).

Bullinger accurately subsumes “fornication” under the heading of “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” and mentions a type or “kind of whorehunting, which is said to be the meddling of a single man with an unmarried woman.” This reminds me of the popular practice of whorehunting, commonly referred to as “the dating scene.” Many who call themselves Reformed or Calvinist also engage in this fashionable yet wicked practice, where “boyfriends” and “girlfriends” engage in “loving” (cf. Romans 13:8-10) physical contact outside the bonds of life-long marital commitment.

The aforementioned Reformed or Calvinist do not consider this practice a wicked defilement of the marriage bed at all, but a matter of “Christian conscience and liberty” (cf. Hebrews 13:4).

True Christians are to abhor and eschew such wickedness, since they have been bought at a price and their body is not their own but a temple of the Holy Spirit of God (cf. Isaiah 6:1-3; John 12:37-41; 1 Corinthians 6:13-20).

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