(Photo: Facebook/Desiring God)
Is oral sex OK for Christians? A quick Google search on this question online is likely to yield a plethora of responses, but for popular theologian and Baptist preacher John Piper, the answer to that question should depend on a number of factors.
In a recent discussion of the question on the 400th episode of Ask Pastor John, the first consideration that comes into play when answering this question says Piper is that oral sex should be done within the confines of marriage.
"I think it is wrong outside marriage…Oral sex is even more intimate and delicate, it seems, than copulation. And we know this because even married couples are wondering if they should go there. It is as if it is a stage of intimacy that may not even be proper for married people," explained Piper.
"To think it can be an innocent substitute for copulation so people can obey the letter of the law outside marriage is a mirage," he added.
He then listed four reasons why oral sex would be wrong in a marriage and expounded on each reason. He noted that oral sex would be wrong if: it were prohibited in the Bible; it were unnatural; it were unhealthy or, that is, harmful or if it were unkind.
Concerning biblical guidance on the subject, Piper said there is nothing in the Bible that prohibits oral sex.
Number one, I don't think oral sex is explicitly prohibited in any biblical command. If the Bible pro-scribes it, it would have to be by principle and not by an explicit command.
He then debated whether or not oral sex is unnatural and citing Proverbs 5:19 and Song of Solomon 7:7–8 suggests that it isn't.
"Even though there is very little anatomical correlation between a man's hands or his lips and his wife's breasts, it surely seems to be, quote, natural, in another way, namely built in delight and desire that God in his Word seems to commend for our marital enjoyment. So I ask: Well, might there be similar desires for oral sex or other kinds of sex? So I doubt that we should put a limit on a married couple based on the claim of it being unnatural. That is risky, but that is where I come down on the naturalness of it," said Piper.
In discussing the healthfulness of the practice, Piper said oral sex can be unhealthy in the presence of sexually transmitted diseases and it can be carried out in harmful ways.
"So the couple needs to be very honest and caring by not taking risks that would be unloving," said Piper.
In considering whether or not the activity is unkind, Piper discussed the idea of spouses pressuring each other to engage in oral sex when one party finds it unpleasant as an unkind gesture.
"It is a sin to be unkind. Ephesians 4:2. Be kind to one another. But the key word here is pressure," said Piper.
"I know that 1 Corinthians 7:4 says the wife does not have authority over own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. And the context there is sex. So what does that mean practically?" he asked.
"Well, it means that both the husband and the wife have the right to say to the other: I would like to blank. And both of them have the right to say: I would rather not blank. And in a good marriage, the biblically beautiful marriage, both of them seek to outdo the other in showing kindness," he added.