Pornography and the Bible…Context is Crucial

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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.

1 peter 5:6,7,10

humble yourselves…that he may lift you up in due time.

cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

and the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

night terror

what are they? a night terror (pavor nocturnus) is a parasomnia sleep disorder characterized by extreme terror and a temporary inability to regain full consciousness. the subject wakes abruptly from deep slow-wave sleep, gasping, moaning or screaming. after the episode, the subject normally settles back to sleep without waking. a night terror can rarely be recalled.

they’re not nightmares. they’re not recalled dreams. they’re a controlling combo of anxiety, tension & fear, (usually of insects or other attacking things) lasting as short as 1 minute… up to 20. the lack of a dream itself leaves those awakened in a state of disorientation much more severe than that caused by a normal nightmare. amnesia can follow, leaving one unable to recall their name or location for a short time.

what happens? my husband (who gives permission to write this) has suffered from this sleep disorder for years. his terrors are based around snakes or suffocation. Continue reading

a scripture & more

isaiah 65…and me

1“I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help.

i didn’t ask because i had too much pride to. i thought i could handle my bad habits and secret sins and stressful days without any help, from anyone. or i was too ashamed to talk to you about it.

I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that did not call on my name.

I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.

i know. you could’ve delivered me. but i was too busy. too wrapped up in my own selfish wants. instead of you, i looked for other things to sustain & calm me, even for a minute ~ a hershey bar, a latte’, a “comment”, sex, a new purse, an insanely good musician, my own family, gossip…

2 All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people.

i know. my Bible next to the couch laid open with promises and grace and truth to find again. to rediscover. it was right by my son’s pirate treasure box. that was fitting. i remember the prodigal son. such a powerful image of open arms.

your spirit whispers in my ear all the time.

3 All day long they insult me to my face by worshiping idols…

i look in the mirror & i think i actually make self image & body image my idol. as well as public opinion. some days, the computer or movies can willingly & easily take your rightful place

5 Yet they say to each other,
‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me!
I am holier than you!’

like sunday morning in church when i thought that black usher was looking me up & down, but he was probably just looking to see if i needed a Bible or bulletin. i don’t want people that aren’t like me to invade my personal space. at times i think i’m somehow holier, without a word exchanged.

“holier”. if i drift from reality, i can actually convince myself that my good deeds & gifts to charity are worth holy-points to you, kept on a celestial dry erase board

These people are a stench in my nostrils,
an acrid smell that never goes away.

forgive me. please forgive me. you are my first love. your worth to me is greater than any of these things. i do need your help to react to everyday life, even the good days.

i see you. i call on your name. i run into your arms. i want my life to be an offering, one of a sweet smell that never goes away. i love you.

does the blood of Jesus cover the blood of suicide?

thanks, dad, for your permission to write about gramma.

my gramma was so wonderful to be around. she was kind, always had a hug. she loved “the peoples’ court’ and ‘hee-haw’ and ‘mama’s family’. we used to camp with her in her pop-up at wallowa lake & roller skate on her wood floor. she nursed my first bee sting i got (in my belly button) while lounging in a hammock in her backyard. she baked us a bunny shaped coconutty cake every easter. she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind & boy, could she be blunt (i got that gene). she doted on her weiner dog, trudy (sister to ours) was devoted to the Lord & loved her husband. she lost grampa ted after over 50 years of marriage. that next year brought with it the greatest test of endurance.

emotional stress turned physical & chemicals in her brain started getting off-balance. no one knew her depression had gotten severe. no one knew about the thoughts. not the cuban refugee family she took in to her home, not her pastor, not even her two sons. they would’ve removed the guns from the home.

i was called with the request to drive to her house as “there had been an accident”. i pulled up in my white vw jetta & my mom held me & told me then…gramma was gone. i was confused. i sat on top my car hood with my knees up to my chin & rocked back & forth. there was no accident. she’d stripped her life from herself probably not b/c she wanted to die, but b/c she no longer wanted to live…and in doing so, stripped her life from everyone else who loved her. the tears just streamed as i watched her pastor & the elders haul off the carpet they’d ripped out of that tiny room. i’m just glad it was dark out. i’m even more grateful i wasn’t the one to discover her. i loved my gramma & respected her. i honor her even today. i just wish she was still with me & i could share my life & family with her, like we do w/rick’s grandmas (that seems like a selfish reason, doesn’t it). she sure loved family. there are so many great memories i can recount, that the awful details are usually overshadowed in my mind…

but for the sake of discussion, honest reflection, & hopefully peace to a reader who’s lost someone this way, let’s bring the topic out into the light.

do people who do this go to heaven? to seek some answers (cause i know i have far from all the answers), i went to the Bible, God’s Word. it says that to be absent from our bodies is to be present with the Lord, and there are so many that display his abounding mercy…but i didn’t take much comfort in this passage: he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. ~ 1 Corintians 3:15-17.

this is the only place in the Bible where it refers to what may be suicide, although, it doesn’t even state it as such, specifically. no where else in the Word {Christians’ one & only true source of God-breathed, Holy Spirit inspired ancient text} does it state or even imply that suicide in & of itself, is a sin worthy of eternal damnation…an unpardonable sin. sheesh, even in judges 16:28-30, samson is granted by God the strength to do this. suicide, if unpardonable, would be not just mentioned as such, but woven throughout text.

i know from experience about the kind of God i serve. i don’t care if people call me biased or subjective. everyone of us is, really. God is just & merciful & kind. he is the essence & exemplification of love. he reaches to us beyond the point of our carnal death & gives us a chance to be judged, for the good, bad & ugly. not one of his kids will escape accountability. committing suicide? yeah, that too. they’ll have to answer for it to their Creator himself. sin cannot go unpunished. it was his life to make, & his to take, in his time. but for him to ‘sentence’ hell because of this would be unjust & uncharacteristic.

our lives are so valuable…often underestimated…& extremely important to God! read Psalm 139. to me, suicide can be the ultimate act of selfishness…but i think our Father looks beyond the sin at the time of death, & sees what mere man cannot: the whole person, their lifestyle, their love for him. he takes into account their suffering from mental illness or severe depression & applies the blood of his Son, Jesus to that final sin. so what if they aren’t alive to ask for it!?! his grace reaches beyond that technicality. his grace always looks at the heart.

his blood is not partial. it does not flow down our hearts full of sin avoiding a few choice acts. it cleanses all. that’s why i love to sing songs about it. the suffering & the blood of Jesus is worth squat if we humans can determine that some sins it does not cover (“how could he forgive a child molester or murderer?” “how could he forgive one who doesn’t ask for it because they’re dead now?”), & some it does cover. what if i’m saved, (i’ll use a lame example for lack of time) i’m driving & completely envying the person driving next to me. i end up rubber-neckin’ & crashing into a pole & i die? would a gracious God just look at my last sin of envy & say to me at the throne, ‘well in spite of your life of obedience & humility and your heart of love toward me & toward the least of these, you never repented of that last sin…so, since the wages of sin is death…’

absurd. that clearly goes completely against his character displayed throughout the entire Bible.

we all tend to ‘heirarchy’ the wrong we commit to help us feel better about our ‘little pet sins’, but to God, it is what it is ≈ that which separates us from him, and calls for a perfect atonement. envy, greed, suicide, homosexuality (sexual sin is different, but not worse to God. see 1 corinthians 6:18-20), disobedience, slander, drunkenness…you name it, it’s all sin. if we live this way, refusing to acknowledge/accept Christ’s atonement, it is serious business (see 1 corinthians 6:9-11).

the Word states there is o n e sin that’s unforgivable, unpardonable & results in hell: blaspheming the Holy Spirit ~ (my paraphrase: completely & permanently denying Christ, even after you know the truth in your spirit). this may seem contradictory to the scripture above naming many sins that can lead to eternal separation from God, but this one refers to a blanket statement, covering all of those listed, as examples. hell is for the unrepentant of heart that denies Christ. anyone who has guilt for their sin, confesses with humility & repents…(“such WERE some of you” oh, please don’t miss that part!)…he is immediately restored to right standing with God. my heart leaps for joy to read this again.

Christ words on this sin can be read in mark 3:22-30 & matthew 12:30-33 . dr. henry morris & author & theologian, dr. f.f. bruce shed some further light on that ‘unpardonable’ sin ~ to read their insights on the subject, click here (but come back!).

so yeah, i’m biased here. i miss her. but not so biased, i’m blind. i have faith (evidence of what i can’t see) that the saved don’t have to worry about heaven vs. hell when they die. they are free of every pain in their new bodies, enjoying the gift of eternal life. in my humble opinion, this is the bottom line: whether it was a life of a Christian taken by God in his timing, by someone else or by their own hand, that life…that blood is covered by the blood of their Savior. period.

oh…my gramma’s name?

grace.

now, as for whether or not we know if someone’s really saved before they die?! …well, that’s a topic for another day. i’m way past my wordcount on this one, but i’d loooove to read any comments on today’s.

let’s faith the truth

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lazy pray-z girl. that can be me, alright. sometimes even when i know he cares and i know he’s listenin’, i still don’t take the time to pray. i don’t know why. maybe partly b/c i think it’s faster and easier to get things done myself, which is actually pride, no matter how i slice it. even this morning as i woke with a headache, i actually thought to pray about it and a minute later, grabbed my advil. what is that about? can i not send up a prayer and wait 10 minutes to see if my headache subsides? i bet most of my little round, red pills have been wasted. all it takes is patience and a little faith. not just faith that he will listen and help, but faith that he cares even about the little details of my health…headaches, skin problems, cramps. sometimes i forget that i believe what matters to me matters to him b/c he’s a caring, loving person…the perfect parent. and often times he will reward my faith just as he did when so many came up to him with infirmities – touched him – and b/c of their faith, were instantly healed.

“but he said, what is impossible with men is possible with God.” j. meyer gave me some insight on that this morning. sure it’s true, but how ’bout this take: “when i do everything that i can do, he will then step in an do what i cannot.” strikes a chord, cause it means we actually have some responsibility to walk our talk and to take faith-action in areas of our lives that we haven’t before…or areas that we have a while back, and need to again. it means we need to stop it with our whiny, deceptive ‘i’m trying!’ mind-set which can actually be self-pity in pretty wrapping paper, and get up & do something in faith. really, anything. i want to be a doer of the word.

eugene peterson paraphrased, “because you’re not yet taking God seriously,”…”the simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘move!’ and it would move. there is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.”

nothing?! wow.

today, i’m going to stop saying it and actually do it ~ trust him to help me with my total health & with my time management. i’m going to get some exercise. and i’m going to spend less time on the computer and more time outside w/my kiddos. starting now.

 

 

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