Tag Archives: adultery

Thou shall not commit adultery

Cross-posted at Stubborn Things as part of the Ten Commandments series

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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. 

Casting stones

As nearly every Bible translation points out in the footnotes, the passage in John 8 about the woman caught in adultery isn’t found in the earliest manuscripts.  Therefore, it may not have been in the original writings of the Bible.*

It is a memorable passage and doesn’t contradict other doctrines, but neither does it add anything that isn’t taught elsewhere.  The problems start when people twist the passage to say things that aren’t there.  Here’s the text:

The Woman Caught in Adultery — John 8:2 – 11

Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.  The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst  they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.  Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”  This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.  And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground.  But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.  Jesus stood up and said to her,”Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

If someone drew the conclusion that Jesus was once again clever and outwitted the Pharisees who were trying to trap him, that would be fine. Or that He upheld the law on capital punishment (you must have two witnesses). Or that He outed their hypocrisy in not bringing the man. Those would all be good.

The main misuse of the passage is by those who exclaim, “He who is without sin can cast the first stone!,” when trying to shut up anyone making a judgment they disagree with.  But as you may have noticed, that objection is self-refuting and ironically hypocritical: They imply that all judging is wrong, but they are judging you for judging.  But there is more.

Jesus was referring to real stones that would kill the person. Real stones thrown at a real person until he or she was really dead.  Criticizing someone else hardly rises to the level of killing him by stoning. Flippantly equating death by stoning with mere criticism is beyond hyperbole.

And even if Jesus said the part about not casting the first stone, it wouldn’t have meant, “Never say adultery is wrong!”  Note that the passage also says, “Go and sin no more.”

Those advocating the “judging = casting stones” view typically make all sorts of judgments, including advocating hate speech / hate crime laws.  But shouldn’t they be consistent and not judge anyone for anything, ever?

The passage is also misused to oppose capital punishment in principle.  But again, Jesus upheld the law: If there had been two witnesses present, stoning would have been appropriate at that time.

Keep in mind that any criticisms of this post will be considered stone-casting on your part.  And you know how wrong that is!

* Skeptics like Bart Ehrman like to say that this passage and the “long ending” of the Gospel of Mark reduce our confidence that the original writings were the word of God, but they are really proof that the system works.  Based on the work of textual critics on literally thousands of ancient manuscripts, we can be very confident about what the original writings said.

The real racists.

Chuck Currie finds one (1) offensive comment on Facebook and draws this conclusion: Is Racism Alive In Oregon? Just Look At Facebook.

Sure, Chuck.  One person makes one stupid comment and you draw that conclusion?  The other people were venting over a fake pastor poverty pimp coming to grandstand.  Who can blame them?

Jackson and Sharpton are about as authentic as “reverends” as Chuck is (which is to say, not at all).

The real racists are Jackson, Sharpton, Currie and the like who advocate unrestricted abortion, which targets blacks just as Planned Parenthood’s founder did.  Abortion destroys black human beings at a rate three times that of whites.  It is the ultimate racism, killing more blacks in a day than the KKK did since their inception.

And all with the blessing of “reverends” like these three!

While protecting “choice” (that is, the choice to kill innocent human beings), they oppose the choice that would really help blacks: School choice.

They want to keep the blacks people poor and dependent, and it is working.  Shame on them.

This should be a central concern of the church as we are called by God to be a people of reconciliation and justice.

Sure, Chuck.  Then why do you spread lies about people and falsely accuse them of racist comments and more?

Chuck complains about “institutional racism,” but that is exactly what Liberal politics is about.  Go read Detroit: The petri dish of Liberal politics, education and unions.

Soul mates? Apparently not.

MomLovesBeingAtHome has a great post (Adultery – it leads to disaster) that reminded me of one of my least favorite terms: Soul mates.  Go read her post about the warning signs.  It is important to know that you can cross the line long before a relationship gets physical. 

I’ve heard people rationalize divorce and remarriage because they supposedly found their soul mate or true love.  That handy bit of rationalization conveniently ignores the concept of commitment and is wildly irrational.  After all, if they haven’t screened all the people on the planet then how do they know there isn’t an even better soul mate around the corner?

As she notes, those who do marry the “forbidden lover” get divorced again quite often.  I actually feel sad for them: One day they’ll wake up and realize they married someone who left their last spouse when things got difficult or dull — forgetting that they did the same thing. 

We know a woman who did just that, leaving a long term marriage with three children to marry a guy who abandoned his wife of 18 years.  A few years later they are getting divorced, leading to more carnage for everyone involved.  Turns out they weren’t soul mates after all.

As always, forgiveness and healing is possible in Jesus.  This isn’t to pick on people who have made mistakes, but to provide a warning against highly destructive behaviors.  Heed the signs and stay committed for life.  It is a great formula.

And be sure to read MLBH’s follow up, How to reduce the risk of adultery.