Paul's Passing Thoughts

The “No Means No” Debate: A Biblical Evaluation

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 19, 2014

PPT HandleGo figure, another confusing controversial social issue is now upon us. Apparently, if you pay attention to sports, football players are particularly confused about this issue as well. What issue? In the heat of the moment, when a girl says “no,” does she really mean “no,” or is it just part of the foreplay? Does “no” really mean, “I know we shouldn’t, but I want to anyway.”

I’ll attempt to comment on the societal insanity trying to temper the controversies flowing from this issue; namely, rape scandals, because the girl really meant “no,” and the star quarterback didn’t think so, where even the master of words Rush Limbaugh has stepped in it, followed by an outcry that he be taken off the radio airwaves.  His unpardonable sin? He did not affirm that “No ALWAYS means ‘no’”.

As a Christian, it would seem to be a mute issue to me because I believe Christians should not be in such situations to begin with, but yet, if we are children of the Creator who has wired mankind, we should be able and willing to offer wisdom regarding any life controversy. If we are children of the Creator, we should know what makes mankind tic. Besides, much of Christianity has bought into the idea that we have no real control over the reality that we find ourselves in, so indeed that breed of Christian may need this advice as well.

Apparently, Ohio State has created a heat of the moment student policy that attempts to guide students on this issue. Some portions of the policy even suggest that the absence of “no” doesn’t mean “yes.” The student, at least according to my understanding, is instructed to get step-by-step permission during the, uh, process (chuckle timeout).

Biblically speaking, what’s up with all of this? Let’s first look at the biblical understanding of how all people are wired concerning moral issues.

Romans 1:14 – For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.

All human beings are created with the law of right and wrong written on their hearts (minds). They are also created with a conscience which either excuses or accuses them according to their actions. I am not going to cite all of the various Scriptures, but the other dynamics are feelings and desires. The conscience doesn’t speak to us in a voice, but it uses feelings to either reward or condemn. Desires are totally different, though they use feelings as well. ALL human beings experience the inward tension between conscience and desires. For instance, a person may want something (desire), but doesn’t have the money to buy it. The law of right and wrong tells them that it would be wrong to steal it, so they don’t. But if they go against their conscience, the conscience will more than likely punish them with bad feelings.

Granted, there are a vast number of other metaphysical considerations here such as psychopaths etc.; that’s another post, but you get the general idea.

What is therefore going on in the heat of the moment situation? Not marriage, and there is a reason for that. When the wife or husband says “no,” there are no questions. So why all of the confusion in hanky-panky land? Because in many cases, the girl knows it is wrong, and the female is more sensitive to that because of that added societal caveat known grammatically as, “whore,” “slut,” etc. In most cases, “no” means, “My desires are saying yes, but my conscience is saying no.” As an aside, the world’s dictionary even has a word for those who cannot say no to their desires: hedonist.

When a girl listens to her desires as opposed to her conscience, the conscience, depending on her social conditioning, may punish her severely with bad feelings. This is where the rape charges come in: “I SAID NO! IT’S HIS FAULT THAT I FEEL THIS WAY!” And indeed she did say “no.” And indeed, desire is not the judge, the conscience is. Desires merely lead you places, but do not judge.

The fact that this subject is major in regard to the gospel and salvation aside, it is fundamentally unhealthy to violate your conscience whether you are a Christian or not. Hence, the Ohio State policy only needs the following words,

“’No’ always means ‘no’ because it’s the judge talking, and the ‘yes’ of desire does not speak for the conscience.”


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