Pornography and the Bible…Context is Crucial

Bible_Book_Heart

Be careful, little lips, what you quote.

What does the Bible tell us? That’s what I ask. The Bible is our #1 defense & go-to for advice, comfort, encouragement and rebuke. I don’t know what I’d do without it. So my question for today, is…does the Bible tell married people to seek the things of this world in order to please our spouses? I was told by someone yesterday, that it does (in 1 Cor. 7) meaning “the things of the world” as worldly ways to please a husband, sexually. Well, that didn’t sit well in my spirit.

After a few more comments, I was pretty sure we were on the same page. I think she meant that it was biblically supported & justified for married couples to -specifically- look at pornography, as long as its objective is to please the spouse. The discussion turned a corner shortly thereafter, but that reference bothered me all night. I’d never read in God’s Word anything even remotely implying one should seek the things of this world.

Not sure about a scripture’s meaning? Look it up!

@ biblegateway.com, I found that passage. I read about 8 translations & thought I’d share. But note this: context is crucial. That’s why I included the next verse (35). First, let’s go international & bold the section under scrutiny:

1 Corinthians 7:33-35 (niv) 33But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

(nasb) “but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”

(amp) “but the married woman has her cares [centered] in earthly affairs–how she may please her husband.”

(nlt) “But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband.”

(ncv) “But a married woman is busy with things of the world, as to how she can please her husband.”

(kjv) “but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”

Finally, I read it in The Message for a 21st century paraphrase. Mr. Peterson states it so clearly:

dinner“When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master. Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse, leading to so many more demands on your attention. The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God. I’m trying to be helpful and make it as easy as possible for you, not make things harder. All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions.”

Results of my little Research Study?

There are two fallacies in my friend’s quote & context:

  1. Not one translation instructs or suggests married people to “seek” the things of the world. Doing so would make God a hypocrite by contradicting His very nature, to not even look upon sin (the reason Jesus, with the weight of the world’s sin on him as he was crucified, asked his Father, “Eli, Eli,[j] lema sabachthani?” -why have you forsaken me?).
  2. Not one reference to the things of this world is actually about “worldly things” as we read it elsewhere in the Bible, meaning sinful ways. I can see how some might take this at face value & assume that, if not read in context. But if you read the whole chapter, you’ll see it has nothing to do with sex, specifically…but instead, it has everything to do with how a married person is usually preoccupied with keeping their sweetheart happy. Just read the entire passage & you see how he’s plain-as-day contrasting the mindset of married people vs. their mindset if they’d never married.

Paul’s point is not that we as Christian wives can or should seek / live by the standard of this messed up, twisted world & what it deems necessary to keep your spouse sexually pleased. He was saying that in his opinion, a Christ follower’s time could be better spent in focused ministry, pleasing only God, without the distraction of a marriage relationship.

Refused to be Fooled about Porn.

This is so important: we as believers, need to know a verse/passage inside & out before quoting it. Know & understand its context. If we don’t commit to studying, we subject our minds to the work of the enemy, who has been known to pervert & twist even the very Word of God, to accomplish his will – to steal, kill & destroy (in this instance) marriages.

That is one thing (a huge thing), I believe, pornography can & usually does. If watched alone or together, in any form, & it’s not confessed & repented of, Satan has a strong hold – an open door – almost an invite to influence…& eventually destroy a marriage. If the couple has kids, he rejoices even more, as he gets a chance to tear apart an entire family. Through porn, he will use lies & unfair comparisons. He will mask them in beauty & call them intimacy & creativity to lure in his victims. He uses the justification of watching it (even together, as mutually consenting adults) to introduce & justify other forms of sexual sins…dangerous forms like prostitution, adultery & homosexuality. All of these sins, if your doing as a lifestyle & justifying as right, separate us from a holy God & put in jeopardy our eternal salvation. But check it out -no one needs to be fooled or lured into the patterns of this age, for we have available – the most powerful weapon imaginable with which to fight our blasted enemy: a Sword.

The Strength in Scripture:

The power of our Sword, God’s Word, when studied & applied, demolishes strongholds & wrong ways of thinking. Wooo-hoooo! I praise God for that! It just amazes me how it cuts, yet builds. How it cleans & purifies…& how it HE speaks so directly to us concerning our present lives, every time we study! Because of His relentless love for his children, He corrects all those misconceptions we’ve ever thought or been taught.

Now, that‘s some Good News.

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4 thoughts on “Pornography and the Bible…Context is Crucial

  1. Pastor John June 25, 2009 / 3:15 pm

    I find it interesting that folks out there will come up with these kind of perspectives when if they were really dissecting scripture as you have suggested is important – they would have read Paul’s thoughts on the Corinthian Church. They had been relying on the natural man (flesh) to discern what is right.

    1 Corinthians 2:14

    But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    I suppose they missed that verse too!

    1 Corinthians 3:1

    And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal…

    Paul was saying, “I was hoping I could address you as men and women who are spiritual, but I can’t because you’re carnal.” The Greek word translated “carnal” is sarkinos and means “fleshly.” Thus, a carnal person is one who is dominated by the inclinations of his flesh. It is this kind of thinking that leads to the acceptance of porn, masturbation, and all the other worldly sexual perspectives.

    1 Corinthians 3:1

    …even as unto babes…

    Paul is not saying that these people were new believers, but he is saying that they are retarded in their spiritual growth. These folks were catching the early bus! Now everyone knows babies are cute but it is important to note that they shouldn’t be filling their britches for the rest of their life! If I go home today and my Wife is standing in the in a playpen, hollering, “I need changed,” I will know there is a problem. So, too, Paul is talking not to newborn believers, but to those who should have been moving on in maturity engaged in ministry and past this kind of immature carnality!

    Paul goes on to say that these are used to being pampered pampered because all they get is milk. But I’ll let them read the whole counsel of Corinthians in hope that they may grow out of their spiritual retardation.

    P.J.

  2. Pastor John June 26, 2009 / 11:14 am

    Another side note for those who might think that we have read a little to much into this passage of scripture.

    Paul goes on in Chapter 5 of 1 Corinthians and says;

    1 Corinthians 5:1

    It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

    Even as carnal as the culture of Corinth was, the entire city was talking about an individual of the Corinthian church who was living in immorality with his stepmother. This guy skipped right past porn an on to shack’n up with his step mom. Yuck!

    Here is the deal. The world still loves to see Christians involved in immorality because it eases their conscience and justifies their own loose lifestyle. That is why we come up with ideas like it is ok to keep porn in the marriage circle. Knowing this, one of Satan’s favorite tactics is to get Christians involved in immorality. He comes to us over and over again and tries to make us believe that it is all under grace. How does he do it? It’s very easy! Simple in fact. Satan brings Christians into temptation in the area of morals by simply nudging agape—the caring, sharing, tenderness, concern, and compassion in which believers are called to walk—into the area of eros, or sensual love.

    Because we don’t deal with our carnality through the meat of the Word. We get sucked in!

    Thanks Chelan, for having the spirituality to call this stuff out.

    I am proud of you!

    P.J.

  3. Cathy July 2, 2009 / 11:22 pm

    I could.not.agree.more. VERY well said. This is a passionate subject for me and you’ve stated things so well here. I find it so sad that so many Christians are letting themselves become conformed to this world AND so many churches are falling away from teaching straight.from.scripture. Jesus never said this Christian walk would be easy and those that are trying to make it more so by justifying are headed down a tragic path. Thanks for sharing Chelan!!

  4. chelan July 3, 2009 / 12:25 am

    Thank you for taking the time to read & comment. I thought this was a pretty long one, but one worth bringing up & clearing up. The truth can be a jagged pill to swallow when you’re used to fake or temporary remedies.

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