Cross-posted at Stubborn Things as part of the Ten Commandments series
The English Standard Version of the Bible uses whore 48 times to describe the worship of false gods. For example:
Exodus 34:14-16 (ESV) 14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), 15 lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice, 16 and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods.
This illustration of rebellion against God makes simultaneously strong and unmistakable points: Worshiping other Gods is like sexual immorality and sexual immorality is like worshiping other Gods. Both have devastating consequences and are the opposite of loving God and neighbor.
This verse summarizes Christ’s standard well. (I’m taking a little poetic license by using adultery synonymously with sexual immorality, but I think I’m on fairly solid ground with that.)
Ephesians 5:3 (NIV): But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.
Not even a hint. That’s unusually specific. Yet I’ve had lifetime churchgoers ask if sex out of wedlock is really a sin. Recent polls show that churchgoers who support “same-sex marriage” have the same views about sexual immorality (porn, fornication, adultery, etc.) as the general population. The world is just fulfilling its job description as rebels against the one true God. It is the broader church that isn’t doing its job.
Our society has sunk so low that it is not an exaggeration to say that the commandment has been reversed to thou shall commit adultery. The alleged moral superiority of having sex before marriage to ensure compatibility is a convenient lie. This is exacerbated by churches that pretend that God agrees with those ideas.
And feminism has so dominated society that otherwise-conservative and accurate Bible-believing leaders treat feminism as a given. They assume that it is acceptable to be miserly with sex instead of being generous. The rules have been turned upside down. Even Christian women use sex as a weapon before marriage to land men, then after marriage to control them.
Our unwillingness to do anything about porn guarantees that things will continue to slide. Men indulge themselves with porn and do far too little to fight it and to protect their families. Women rejoice over 50 Shades of Grey and we use tax funding for Planned Parenthood to encourage kids to read it while experimenting with the BDSM lifestyle. People indulging in heterosexual sins reflexively give the LGBTQX lobby a pass so they can rationalize their own behavior.
Women have bought the lie that serial monogamy and “frivorce” aren’t adultery. If you divorce without biblical grounds then remarry, you commit adultery. Churches went soft on this and we are paying the price.
The forms of rebellion shift but they are very effective at causing death and destruction. The evidence for the damage caused by sexual immorality is irrefutable, yet the proposed solutions are all about giving kids the implicit and explicit message that we expect them to have sex before marriage. Consider:
- The vast majority of murders – i.e., abortions – occur because of sexual immorality.
- The vast majority of fatherlessness is due to sexual immorality. This wreaks havoc on kids and ultimately fills our prisons while creating countless victims.
- Many painful, life-wrecking, generation-impacting divorces occur because of sexual immorality.
- Nearly 100% of STDs are due to sexual immorality.
Satan is evil but not stupid. He has been using sexual immorality to rebel against God for millennia. Jesus said this to the church in Ephesus:
Revelation 2 6 Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
So Jesus has things He hates? Who knew? Apparently the Nicolaitan false teachers were seducing Christians with idolatry and sexual immorality — much like the theological Liberal churches today.
Revelation 2 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
Given Jesus’ standards – and they are the only ones that ultimately matter — we have all sinned in this area. By his grace we can still be adopted by God and completely forgiven if we repent and believe. But if we really believe and if we really love God and neighbor we’ll fight this wave of sexual immorality inside and outside ourselves and inside and outside the church.
Not even a hint.