If what Jesus said, as written in Matthew 5:28, is true then we are all in trouble, especially us guys. I commit adultery on a daily basis. But give me at least some measure of understanding. Have you seen how young women are dressing these days? If I’m committing adultery then they are surely aiding and abetting it.
In the Christian view, sex is, or can be, something between man and wife that is more than mere calisthenics. Physically and spiritually, the Christian idea of marriage relations is captured in Mark 10:8: “And the twain shall be one flesh.”
The Christian world view is one of integrating, enriching, and taming man’s natural passions. One look at the fatherless welfare culture shows the devastation wrought when there are no constraints on sex.
God does not go into detail on the why of not committing adultery. The Commandment is succinct and stands as a terse order. But surely some of the above factors and more are the rationale for it. And as Pat has reminded us in previous installments, the 7th Commandant is very much related to the 8th, for to commit adultery is to steal from another man or woman.
At opposition are two world views: One sees man as more than just a rutting animal, and one who has, and should have, a sacred realm. The other sees sex and marriage as little more than pleasures-of-convenience, meant to fill his time so that he is never bored.
— The Editor
Number 7: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
Playing the Whore
Thou shalt not commit adultery Ex 20:14
The state of our nation can be measured fairly accurately by looking at our society’s attitude toward adultery. We chuckle about it; we forgive our leaders for indulging in it; we fill our stories, our entertainment with it and yet, according to the Mosaic Law both the man and the woman involved could lose their lives if caught in the act. There’s nothing light-hearted about adultery.
The Bible has quite a bit to say about it, on both a personal scale and a national scale, from both the social and spiritual standpoint. It appears to be a huge issue from God’s point of view. Why? What’s the big deal – you could easily get away with it, no one the wiser, no one hurt – after all, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Right?
Adultery strikes at the heart and soul of human society – trust. We can’t run a country without it because no number of contracts and pre-nups, no amount of documentation can replace the efficacy of being able to take a man at his word. Betrayal of that trust digs a hole in the soul of the persons betrayed, crumbles families, and creates poverty.
On a personal scale adultery breaks hearts – of the spouse, the children, the friends and relatives. My father ran off with his secretary over fifty years ago and I still feel my stomach tighten when I think about it. (One thing you learn as you get old is that bodies and souls may heal, but they will never be quite the same.)
Even more damaging is the fact that adultery sets up a negative example for the young people exposed to it. The marriage rate in this country has dropped dramatically and this is one of the reasons often given – why commit to a promise that’s just going to get broken?
The ripples of widespread adultery rock the foundations of a culture. Marriage and family and free will are the building blocks of a functional society. They are the oldest human institutions. In the Garden, God gave Adam a companion, a helper, a soul mate. He didn’t create a variety of women for Adam to pick from, nor did He invite Adam to sample away at will. God created them male and female and when they were driven from the Garden (as a result of Eve’s betrayal – flirting with the serpent turned deadly) they raised children. It was that one family against a hostile world and yet they survived and prospered. No human community has done the same without a similar arrangement – 1 husband + 1wife + children = family, and family(X) = society. There is no other way to do it. And when too many individuals break that pattern, the building blocks crumble and chaos ensues. This is why adultery was once punishable by death.
One can look today at Islamic culture where family involves up to four wives, who may be 1st cousins to the husband and who may be as young as eight. Adultery, incest, and pederasty is woven into that culture and 1400 years of such arrangements has created immense evil that now threatens the entire world. What does that have to do with adultery? Look how far afield that is from 1 man + 1 woman until death do they part.
All of our social patterns are designed around the 1 man + 1 woman blueprint; family is general headquarters, it’s the point of deployment from which people go out into the world to work, to play, to interact with others, to create, to produce. To commit adultery interrupts that pattern and breaks off a cog on the family wheel. If most wheels are missing at least one cog, the whole machine will lock up. We are seeing this now in America. Schools can’t function because kids can’t function because their parents aren’t functioning. When schools don’t function, people don’t learn, which affects their productive value and their voting habits. Disaster.
To commit adultery is to open a hole in the shelter of the family. Family is where you hide out when things are rough; it is protection from the rest of society. An adulterer lets the intruder in and leaves the family vulnerable to evil. Remember Fatal Attraction? True, not all “other women” or “men” are psychotic murderers, but they might as well be – to kill a family is nearly that bad, remembering that no action takes place in a vacuum – all actions reverberate through both time and space, even when the perpetrator doesn’t have the imagination to see that.
Which gets me to my last point. All throughout the Bible, from Moses on, God’s chosen people – Israel – is written of as if she were God’s wife. When she is unfaithful and worships idols, she sacrifices her children on the altars of Baal, and no longer follows God’s law. At those times she is punished with death – marched off to Babylon, attacked by Assyria, destroyed by the Romans. Sometimes she repents and is forgiven.
In some ways America is a chosen people too (no reference to replacement theology intended) and we have turned our backs on God and we have sacrificed our children on the altars of Baal. We amuse ourselves with jokes about presidential cigars and blue dresses, and pay handsomely those who entertain us with adulterous stories and live racy lives of moral abandon. We consider seriously the re-definition of marriage as if we can do so and do no damage to the machine, as if we can heartily endorse sexual perversions and avoid structural disaster.
It is my daily prayer that this adulterous nation will get on her knees and beg her Lord’s forgiveness and return to His house where she belongs. Let us no longer betray him. Let us no longer play the whore.
— Deana Chadwell blogs at ASingleWindow.com.
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.
— Neil Simpson is a husband, father and finance executive who blogs at Eternity Matters. Despite growing up with a saturation of Leftist parenting, religion, education, media and entertainment, he is a life-long Conservative and has been a Christian for 23 years. He seeks to constantly transform himself through the word and is glad to share the Good News with anyone interested in hearing it.