Sex, Covenant and Consent
The Bible has always linked sex to covenant rather than consent because the writers of the Bible understood that sex is political, relational and social. Consent is contractual, two isolated individuals negotiating and then reaching agreement about a sexual transaction. Consent is the child of capitalism. Covenant, by contrast, is a promise to care for and protect, tonight, and more importantly, tomorrow. The problem with consent is that while we might voluntarily agree to a sexual transaction, and this does protect us from rape and abuse, we might be radically unprepared for how the experience will leave each of us exposed, vulnerable, and needy in ways we hadn’t anticipated. Covenant is the promise to care about these exposures, vulnerabilities and needs.
—Richard Beck, Reviving Old Scratch