Index by Subject

Can We Talk About Your Porn Stash?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article contains frank discussion of a sensitive subject matter and might not be appropriate for young readers. Please exercise discretion.

You would rather not talk about your porn stash and I can understand that. I would rather not talk about it either.

If you grew up in the 1960s, 70s, or 80s, it might have been hidden between your mattress and box springs, a stack of dirty magazines mailed to you from Hugh Hefner or Bob Guccione. Maybe your father had one, too, and you happened upon it, innocently enough one day, as you rifled through his night table, looking for … well, it doesn’t matter.

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Your Signet, Cord and Staff

The name of Judah is one that Christians hold in some esteem, if for no other reason than it is the tribe from which our Savior came. Sadly, though, the name of Judah is soiled in the Old Testament by idolatry and apostasy from God, so much so that only Jesus could redeem it and the rest of the world. When we go all the way back to Judah himself–the son of Israel who was the first of the clan–we might expect to find greater integrity and yet his character is marred both by the sale of Joseph into slavery and another more personally significant event. That event has to do with his sexual immorality, its attachment to the lifestyle of the world around him that he was gradually choosing over Jehovah’s, and the spoiling of his reputation.

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Another Ox Goes to the Slaughter

In the sixth and seventh chapters of the Old Testament Proverbs, the ancient writer of wisdom lays down some timeless warnings for his son concerning the danger presented by “the evil woman” (6:24). Along the way, however, he alerts us all to the perils of sexual temptation and immorality through evil women and men.

The hedonism of this world has infected Christianity to the point that new excuses are being created every day to allow for the tolerance of sexual immorality. Standards of attire, behavior and repentance are being cast aside by the soothing self-delusion that nothing evil will result. In these proverbs, though, we find unalterable truth and a reality that must force us to ask wisdom to be our sister and understanding our near kin. No matter your age, marital status or gender, sexual immorality is an issue that must be soberly considered.

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The Exception to the Rule: Fornication

The Bible clearly states that marriage is a lifetime commitment. When a man marries a woman, they “become one flesh”, and Jesus said, “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6). Further, Paul wrote, “For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband” (Romans 7:2). Obviously, God considers marriage to be a lifetime commitment, the contract of marriage ending only at the death of a spouse.

Just as clearly as God revealed his law concerning marriage (one man, one woman, for a lifetime), he also revealed an exception to that law. In other words, there is one scriptural reason for an individual to divorce his or her mate. The rule and exception are clearly stated by Jesus in Matthew 19:9, “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery” (KJV). (exception in bold face). God clearly states that the sole grounds for divorce that will allow for a new marriage is fornication. There are many false doctrines that have been advocated in opposition to this truth. There are some difficult questions that arise due to individual circumstances that arise from time to time in marriages. However, the teaching of Jesus is so clear as to be self-evident. Individuals who divorce for any cause other than fornication have no right to remarry. To so do results in adultery.

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Works of the Flesh: Fornication

In studying Galatians 5:19-21, the second sin, or “work of the flesh” mentioned by Paul is that of fornication. Galatians 5:19-21 closely parallels 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. There, Paul told those brethren that some “shall not inherit the kingdom of God”; and the very first ones on the list were “fornicators”! A note of interest to me concerning Galatians 5:19-21 is that in J.N. Darby’s translation (1871), he omits listing “adultery” and has “fornication” mentioned first. This is also true of the Common English Version, printed in 1865. The New American Standard Bible simply lumps both adultery and fornication together, calling it “immorality.” Nevertheless, to discuss the subject of fornication is certainly a Bible topic, and one which merits our study. We read the word “fornication” no less than 36 times in the Bible. “Whoredom” is found 22 times, and “whoring” is found 19 times. I mention “fornication,” “whoredom,” and “whoring” together because these three words come from the same Hebrew word (zanah) in the Old Testament, and the same Greek word (porneia/pornos) in the New Testament. Fornication is something that is consistently called a sin from Old to New Testament times, and should be treated as such today. Fornication is called a “work of the flesh” by Paul for a reason. Therefore, let us learn why we must avoid such sins. Continue reading » Works of the Flesh: Fornication