Jesus Christ said in Luke 6:31 “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise”. This statement is often referred to as the “Golden Rule”. The most common interpretation of this passage that is taught today is “Treat others as you would want to be treated if you were in their situation”. And that is actually a pretty accurate interpretation of what Christ was saying.
Over two and a half centuries since it’s founding, many Americans have used the “Golden Rule” to push their culture and government for new social acceptances and legal protections regarding marriage, gender roles and sexual behavior in America. Below is a list of some these major changes.
20 Ways America Has Applied the “Golden Rule” to Gender Roles and Sex Over Two Centuries
- As men, we should want women to have the right to own property, because if we were in their shoes that is what we would want.
- As men, we should want women to be able to divorce their husbands in the same way and for the same reasons that men divorce their wives because if we were in their shoes that is what we would want.
- As men, we should want women to have the same custody rights to their children in divorce as men do, because if we were in their shoes that is what we would want.
- As men, we should want women to have the right to alimony and child support as they divorce their husbands, because if we were in their shoes that is what we would want.
- As fathers, we should never try to control or pressure our daughters in regard to their love lives, what men they see or what men they seek to marry because if we were in their shoes this is not how we would want to be treated.
- As men, we should want women to vote, because if we were in their shoes that is what we would want.
- As men, we should not want women excluded from any careers, because if we were in their shoes this is not how we would want to be treated.
- As Christian men, we should want Christian women to be able to hold any position in the church that a man can hold including that of being a Pastor, because if we were in their shoes this is what we would want.
- As men, we should not want women forbidden from having abortions, because if we were in their shoes, we would want the right to have an abortion.
- As husbands, we should not try to control our wife’s behavior by telling her whether she can work outside the home or not because if we were in her shoes this is not how we would want to be treated.
- As husbands, we should not try to control what friends our wife has or talks to because if we were in her shoes this is not how we would want to be treated.
- As husbands we should not try to control our wife’s behavior by telling her how much money she can spend on various items because if we were in her shoes this is not how we would want to be treated.
- As husbands, we should not try to control what church our wife attends because if we were in her shoes this is not how we would want to be treated.
- As husbands, we should not try to pressure our wife in any way to have sex if she is not in the mood or she tells us “no” because if we were in her shoes this is not how we would want to be treated.
- As men, we should not look at women as objects of potential visual and physical sexual pleasure because if we were women we would not want to be looked at in this way.
- As men, we should not seek out women as wives so we can take sexual pleasure in their bodies, so they can bear our children, care for our children and keep our homes while we go and make our mark on the world in our careers. Because after all, if we were women we would not want to be pursued by men for these reasons. But rather as men, we should want women to have the same career opportunities we do and we should want wives strictly for human companionship and as equal partners that we can share our lives with and not as “sex objects”, “breeding machines”, “nannies”, “cooks” and “maids”.
- As husbands, we should not enjoy the sight of or think of any other woman other than our wives in a sexual manner because if we were women, we would not want our husbands enjoying the sight or thought of any other woman but us.
- As heterosexual people, we should want homosexual people to be made to feel comfortable actively their lives as homosexuals and we should want them to have the right to marry just as we heterosexuals do. Because after all, if we were homosexuals that is how we would want to be treated.
- As cisgender people, we should want transgender people to be made to feel comfortable being transgender and not as if they have a mental disorder. Because after all, if we were transgender, that is how we would want to be treated.
- As cisgender heterosexual Christians, we would should want homosexual and transgender persons to be able to join our churches as members and even lead our congregations as clergy.
I have made an effort in the list above to try and put the changes in chronological order. In the beginning of the list you will note women’s rights changes in regard to property and divorce rights which occurred from the mid-19th century up to the beginning of the 20th century. These rights were fought for by women and granted to them before their crowning achievement of Woman’s Suffrage in 1920. Also note that just before talking about women voting I talk about women not wanting to be under their father’s authority for marriage. This started in the late 19th century with the advent of the new practice of “dating” which encouraged women to reject their father’s authority over them in seeking a husband.
Then of course as the list progresses, we see the new changes that Second Wave Feminism brought us in regard to telling men what they should want women and marriage for. And finally, we see the changes that have occurred over the last decade regarding the treatment of LGBTQ persons.
As we look at the list above there is a key word, we must take notice of. And that key word is “want”.
Anyone seeking to apply Christ’s statement in Luke 6:31, otherwise known as the “Golden Rule”, must take into account what God says we should want. Failure to do this will cause the gross misapplication we have seen of the “Golden Rule” in America over the past two centuries.
In the Gospel of Matthew we read an extended version of the “Golden Rule”:
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
Matthew 7:12 (KJV)
What was Christ saying here? He was saying that the entire foundation of the “Golden Rule” is the Word of God, the Bible. And what is the foundation of all moral truth in the Bible? The answer is given to us by Christ later in the Gospel of Matthew:
“36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Matthew 22:36-40 (KJV)
So, the greatest command is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, our soul and our mind. And the second one, to love our neighbor as our self, is built upon the first. Christ was quoting two commands from the Law of Moses.
The first is found in the book of Deuteronomy:
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
Deuteronomy 6:5 (KJV)
The second is found in the book of Leviticus:
“Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.”
Leviticus 19:18 (KJV)
Now here comes the million-dollar question. How do we as Bible believing Christians know if we are loving God and loving our neighbor as ourselves by God’s definition? The answer is given to us near the end of the New Testament in the following Scripture passage:
“2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
1 John 5:2 (KJV)
The definition of loving God, loving our neighbors and following Christ’s “Golden Rule” is all premised upon one simple truth.
That we are keeping God’s commands in all we do. That we love what he loves. That we hate what he hates. That we want for ourselves what he wants for us.
This Scriptural truth I have just mentioned runs directly contrary to the vast majority of American teaching both outside and sadly even inside most Christian churches today. We no longer want to adjust our wants and desires to what God wants us to want. But instead we are trying to transpose on to God our wants and desires. Today we actually have churches teaching that God is a feminist and that he is pro-LGBTQ.
The Scriptures actually warn of this time coming and at the same time they command for those of us who are faithful to God’s Word to call out this wickedness:
“2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”
2 Timothy 4:2-5 (KJV)
We Must Change Our Wants to What God Wants for Us
David wrote by the inspiration of God what should be the desire of every man and woman who seeks to please God with their lives and show their love for him:
“Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.”
Psalm 86:11 (KJV)
“With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.”
Psalm 119:10 (KJV)
So now we must tackle the question of what God wants for men and women which should determine what men and women want for themselves.
Should Women Want Equal Rights with Men?
While Genesis 9:6 tells us that men and women are both made in the image of God, we find in 1 Corinthians 11:7 that only man “is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man”. And later in that same passage in I Corinthians 11:9 we read “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man”.
In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he gives us God purpose and design in marriage:
“23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”
Ephesians 5:23-29 (KJV)
In 1 Corinthians 14:35 the Apostle Paul further elaborated on the husband’s duty to be his wife’s spiritual authority and teacher:
“And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”
1 Corinthians 14:35 (KJV)
And the Apostle Peter gave the following exhortation to women:
“5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”
I Peter 3:5-6 (KJV)
God created marriage as picture of the relationship between himself and his people. God is pictured as husband to Israel in the Old Testament and Christ is pictured as a husband to his Church in the New Testament. Men as husbands picture God in leading, teaching, correcting, rebuking, providing for and protecting their wives as Christ does his church. Women as wives picture the people of God in their submission to, service to and dependence upon their husbands for their spiritual leading and teaching as well as their physical provision and protection.
Based upon the clear teachings of the Scriptures shown above we can see that women should have no want or desire for equality with men and that they instead should want to be under the authority of men in all areas of their lives whether it is civil government, the church or in their marriage.
Should Daughters Want to Be Free of Their Father’s Authority Before They Are Married?
The Scriptures give us the following commands regarding a father’s authority over his daughter:
“2 If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.
3 If a woman also vow a vow unto the Lord, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth; 4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her; then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand.
5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.”
Numbers 30:2-5 (KJV)
“Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.”
Jeremiah 29:6 (KJV)
“16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”
Exodus 22:16-17 (KJV)
There is a reason that we have fathers walk their daughters down the aisle and then we have the traditional statement at weddings “who gives this woman to be wed” and before modern times it was not “her mother and I” but rather it was her father alone saying “I do”.
This tradition is actually firmly rooted in the Word of God as is shown in the passages above. In God’s design fathers give or refuse their daughters for marriage and men take women in marriage with the permission of the woman’s father.
Now there are of course exceptions to this rule when women are widows like in the story of Ruth and Boaz (Ruth 3:8-9). Also, the Bible makes an exception for this rule of having the father’s permission when men take wives as the spoils of war as seen in Deuteronomy 21:11-14.
Based upon the clear teachings of the Scriptures shown above we can see that a daughter should want to be under her father’s authority before marriage and she should want his direction and blessing for marriage.
Should people want to be LGBTQ or live the LGBTQ lifestyle?
The Scriptures have the following things to say in regard to LGBTQ persons:
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
Genesis 1:27 (KJV)
“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”
Deuteronomy 22:5 (KJV)
“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
Leviticus 20:13 (KJV)
“26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”
Romans 1:26-27 (KJV)
Based upon the clear teachings of the Scriptures shown above we can see that no person should want to be made comfortable being any part of LGBTQ. But rather such persons should be ashamed of such desires.
Should Men Want Women for Sex, Having Children and Caring for their Homes?
The Scriptures give the following exhortations to young women:
“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”
1 Timothy 5:14 (KJV)
“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)
And the Scriptures gives the following exhortation to men:
“18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.”
Proverbs 5:18-19 (KJV)
Based upon the clear teachings of the Scriptures shown above we can see that men should indeed desire to marry young women for sexual pleasure, for them to bear children and for them to guide and keep their homes.
I have shown here conclusive proof from the Bible that in order to properly apply the “Golden Rule” Christ gave that we must take into account what God wants us to want and what he wants others to want.
For instance, often times as parents we will find that our children do not want to do the things they should want to do. They should want to do their homework and get good grades. But sometimes they simply do not want to do their homework.
Now if we were to put ourselves in their shoes at their age, we may have felt the same way. But does that mean we should let them not do their homework? Of course not. Their want is WRONG. It is not what God wants them to want.
In the same way men are not breaking Christ’s “Golden Rule” by wanting women as wives for sexual pleasure, for them to bear children and for them to guide and keep their homes. And men are not wrong for wanting to lead, teach and mold their wives as they see fit according to the Word of God.
A man is no more wrong for wanting to control and guide his wife’s actions than a parent is for wanting to control and guide their child’s actions.
Some may say “but women are not children” and that is a very true and Biblical statement. But it is equally true and Biblical to state that women are not men either. In other words, children are not equal with women, but also women are not equal with men.
It is modern society that has invented two new social classes, Adults and Minors. But God’s design has three social classes, Men, Women and Children.
And finally, on the topic of LGBTQ persons and how the “Golden Rule” applies to them. Clearly no LGBTQ person should be “proud” of their sinful desires, but rather they should be ashamed of them and seek help to overcome such wicked desires.
Christians are not breaking Christ’s “Golden Rule” in refusing to make LGBTQ persons comfortable in their wicked desires nor in refusing to allow them to become members of or clergy in churches.
Secular Liberals are absolutely right about one thing that many Christians refuse to accept. There is absolutely an “intersectionality” between women’s rights and LGBTQ rights. LGBTQ rights are a direct result of the Women’s Right’s Movements of the mid 19th Century. This is a reality that Bible believing Christians must face and address in their churches.
So what is the “Golden Rule” when understood in the entire context of the Bible?
We should do unto others as God would desire us to want done to ourselves if we were in their position.
“What do you do as a spiritual wife if you know that your husband is aroused by your pain (sexual sadism). And that it is inflicted purposefully? How much of this type of pain is it our duty to endure?”
These were some questions that were sent in on my article “Why A Wife Should Endure Painful Sex with Her Husband”.
What is Sexual Sadism?
The overwhelming vast majority of men would be turned off by their wife expressing any symptoms of pain during sexual intercourse. This natural response is by the design of God. Whether it be with our wives, our children, other human beings or even animals the natural human response to pain is that we are uncomfortable with seeing it.
A sadist is one who actually enjoys causing pain, or watching pain being caused to others. A sexual sadist is one who is sexually aroused by causing pain to others. Some sexual sadists cannot be aroused to sex by any other way except causing the person they are about to have sex with pain. And to continue their arousal during sex they need to continually be causing pain to that person as they are having sex with them.
Unfortunately, though, pain is apart of living in this sin cursed world. We all experience lesser or greater amounts of pain from various activities. Some people experience chronic types of pain every day of their lives. Many common chronic types of pain revolve around neck, back, shoulder, and joint paint that people suffer on a daily basis especially as they age.
Many couples have to overcome chronic neck, shoulder and back pain in order to have sex.
And in some situations, husbands must overcome how their wife’s chronic pain inhibits their sexual arousal. They take no joy or arousal from their wife’s pain, and they must block it out to find any enjoyment in sexual intercourse with her. They must train their minds to take pleasure from sexual intercourse with their wife DESPITE her pain for the proper bonding of their marriage and to keep from sexual temptation.
A husband who is a sexual sadist is one who is aroused by the pain his wife is having both before or during sex, and he is most aroused by pain that he inflicts on her. A husband who is not aroused by his wife’s pain, but has sex with her DESPITE her pain for the good of their marriage cannot be classified as a sexual sadist.
The Bible Condemns All Forms of Sadism
The Bible condemns sadism in several passages including the following passage from Mark 7:20-23:
“20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
The English word “wickedness” found in verse 22 is a translation of the Greek word ‘’Poneria” not to be confused with “Porneia” which refers to sexually immoral acts. This word refers to taking pleasure from causing others pain.
The English phrase “evil eye” also found in verse 22 is a translation of the Greek words “Poneros” and “Ophthalmos”. What this phrase refers to is one who derives pleasure from watching another person cause pain to others.
God shows us in Revelation 21:4 that suffering and pain are a result of the corrupting influence of sin on this world:
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” – Revelation 21:4
A man who seeks to cause his wife pain to arouse himself sexually is engaging in wickedness. 1 Corinthians 11:9 tell us of man that “he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man”. The Scriptures tell us as part of this sacred duty for men to live out the attributes of God that they are to paint a picture of the relationship between Christ and his Church with their wives:
“25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself f or it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” – Ephesians 5:25-29
Can we honestly say that Christ gets a kick out of needlessly causing the church pain? The answer is no! While it is absolutely true that Christ disciplines his churches as seen in Revelation 3:19 he does this for their holiness, not because he gets his kicks from causing them pain.
God does not cause his people pain to arouse himself or amuse himself.
A husband is who causes his wife pain to sexually arouse himself is not protecting his wife’s body as he does his own. When a man causes his wife pain for his own arousal or amusement he is doing the exact opposite of what God calls him to do in Ephesians 5:29.
Husbands Who Use Misuse Biblical Truths to Satisfy their Sadism
Some Christian men take the doctrines of Biblical gender roles and use them for evil instead of for the purposes for which God intended them. The Scriptures tell us the following principles regarding the roles for which God created men and women:
Principle # 1 – Man is the Head of Woman and Woman Was Made for Man
“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God… Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” – I Corinthians 11:3 & 9
Principle # 2 – Part of God’s Purpose in Making Woman was For Man’s Pleasure
“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” – Proverbs 5:18-19
Principle # 3- Women are to Submit to their Husbands in Everything
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:22-24
Principle # 4- Women are to Submit Even to Husbands Who Disobey God’s Word
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear… For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” – I Peter 3:1-2 & 5-6
Some Christian husbands use these four Biblical principles for evil and not for the purposes for which God intended them. Instead of using their God given position to image God and paint the picture of Christ and his Church with their wife they use their position for their own evil desires. And as we have said previously if a man seeks to be aroused by his wife’s pain this is an evil desire.
This area of sexual sadism is one that we cannot speak in generalities about. We must talk about specific examples of behavior so women understand what is and is not sadism.
Examples of Behavior By Husbands That Are NOT Sadism
As I have written extensively in another article – wife spanking is not unbiblical and is NOT automatically sadism. Wife spanking can become sadistic, but from the wife’s perspective it is very hard to tell. Just because the husband forcefully spanks his wife for some sin she has committed against him or others, does not mean he is acting sadistically. His actions could be righteous and holy.
I have had many Christian wives whose husbands spank them write me and ask “Is the fact that my husband gets a massive erection while spanking me a sign that he is acting sadistically toward me?” And I have told them NO, it is not an automatic sign of sadism on his part. It is perfectly natural for a man a man to get an erection while spanking his wife for a variety of reasons.
The first is that men are very visual – so him seeing her backside will cause him to be aroused. Secondly, men are turned on by dominating a woman, by exercising power over her. This is not sadism as God has designed and commanded that men should rule over women (Genesis 3:16). Thirdly, men are turned on by the submission of women – and after the spanking is completed the wife is now brought to a very submissive state. So it is possible that a man could be aroused for reasons God designed him to be aroused – because of seeing his wife’s backside, because of the exercise of his dominance over her and because of her submissive state after a spanking.
The act of a man taking his wife forcefully or him having rough sex with her either after discipline or completely separately from discipline is NOT automatically sadism on his part. In fact, this could be a very natural act for a man to do. After all – he has an erection and could be aroused for non-sadistic reasons. The Bible does not say that sex must always be of the gentle and affectionate variety. Sometimes a man just needs to take his wife. And it may be a little rough at times. And wives need to be ok with this.
Examples of Sadistic Behavior By Husbands
Now let’s return to husband’s spanking their wives. Is it possible that a husband may be looking for reasons to discipline his wife to satisfy his sadistic urges? YES. Is it possible that the main reason he is getting an erection while disciplining his wife is because he is being turned on by her pain? YES. But a woman can’t get in her husband’s head to know this for sure. This is something another man would have to explore with the husband.
But one definite way a woman could tell that her husband was spanking her for sadistic reasons is if he photographs her during discipline. Especially if he takes photos of her face – so he can capture the pain on her face and enjoy those images later. This is a dead give away of sadism on the part of the husband.
I have had many Christian husbands try and pass off to me this act of them photographing or taking videos of “punishment sessions” as them “just being turned on by their wife’s submission and not her pain”. But if a man photographs the pain on his wife’s face and the pain he inflicts on her backside and he is turned on not by the normal site of her rear end and vulva – but instead it being red and bruised that IS textbook sadism.
Some Christian husbands abuse their authority to convince their wife to do other horrible and heinous things.
I have corresponded with Christian husbands, professing the name of Christ, who have admitted that they forced their wives to strip naked in the presence of other men and then encouraged those other men to masturbate and ejaculate on their wife. They would convince their wife that she was not actually having sex with the man because he never physically touched them. Yes this really happened and does happen.
I have heard of husbands who attach electrodes to their wife’s clitoris to shock her clitoris as a supposed act of discipline. And they literally film this session focusing on the pain on her face and the swelling of her clitoris as a result of the electrocution. This is NOT biblical discipline – this is sadistic torture!
I have conversed with men via email who have forced their wives to purposefully wear very revealing clothes to public places and forced them engage in sinful exhibitionism and show their nipples to waiters or other men.
These actions of these husbands causing both pain and humiliation to their wives are textbook examples of sexual sadism. Yes – God caused pain and humiliation to his wife Israel to discipline her. But he NEVER got pleasure from doing these things. In Lamentations 3:32-33, God said this regarding the pain and humbling he brought to Israel because of her sin:
“32 But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. 33 For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.”
God did not want to cause his wife pain or humiliation (humbling). He did it because he had to because of her sin. Christ does not want have to chasten his churches either (Revelation 3:19), but he does so because he has to – because he loves his churches.
Sadistic husbands justify all this behavior by twisting the principle that God made their wives for them and that their wife must obey them in everything. They convince their wives that even if they ask them to sin, that she bears no consequences and the consequences are all on him. These men take their wives through mental conditioning courses breaking down their opposition to these heinous acts teaching them that I Peter 3:1-2 absolves a woman from all sin that her husband commands her to do.
Some men literally have used I Peter 3:1-2 to convince their wife to have full sexual intercourse with other men for their amusement.
So, what has my response been to these men who misuse Biblical truths to get their wives to submit to their sexual sadism? My response from one man who claims Christ to another who claims Christ has been simple. REPENT. What you are doing is wicked and you are perverting what God meant for his glory and not your desire for sin. You must recognize that if you are a Christian man with sadist tendencies these tendencies are NOT from God. They are a corruption of the sexual nature he designed in you.
You need to repent both to God and to your wife for this evil you have committed against her. And as a failsafe against you giving into your evil desires again, you need to tell your wife that she must resist your sadism with all her ability if this happens again. You need to explain to her the principles I will now outline for wives in dealing with their husbands who have sadist desires.
How Should a Christian Wife Respond to Her Husband’s Sexual Sadism?
In a previous article I wrote entitled “Why God Wants You to STAY in an Abusive Relationship” I made the following statements:
“So on the one hand Biblically speaking we do not have to suffer or allow every kind of abuse from every sphere in our life but on the other hand the Bible does not allow us to or encourage us to do what the world says and confront EVERY kind of abuse or mistreatment toward us no matter what the offense is or where it comes from.
We all need to look to Christ’s example of “taking it patiently”.
What I was tackling in that article was the American “abuse” industry. We are told here in America that we are not to tolerate any kind mistreatment by others.
Many people did not actually fully read that article and did not see the disclaimers I made. I made it clear that if a person feels their life is threatened, or they are suffering serious physical abuse that causes permanent damage they should get out. They should seek out the proper authorities for help.
But today we have people saying if a husband or wife calls the other person a name that is “verbal abuse” and they need to get out of that relationship.
Now let’s relate this to a husband engaging in sexual sadism with his wife. This is definitely an abuse or mistreatment toward his wife. God did not give a man his wife so that he could arouse himself by causing her pain. This is evil and wicked in the sight of God.
So how should a Christian wife respond? Some Christian teachers would say she should separate from him and tell him if he does not seek counseling to address the issue, she will divorce him. The problem with that advice is that it is completely based on emotion and not one ounce of Scripture. That Bible does NOT allow a person to be divorced or free from their marriage for just any kind of mistreatment by their spouse. See my article “For what reasons does God allow divorce” for the Scriptural reasons that God allows divorce.
Trigger Warning for those of us raised in a “resist and fight all abuse culture”
The husband is called the master of his wife in 1 Peter 3:6. And the Bible says this to those who suffer under cruel masters in 1 Peter 2:18-19:
“Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.”
The word “froward” means “cruel”. God calls servants and wives to suffer cruel and sinful treatment from their masters.
But just as 1 Peter 2:18-19’s admonition to servants to endure cruel behavior from their master’s applies to wives – so too Exodus 21:26-27 applies to wives regarding their master husbands as well:
“26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake. 27 And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.”
If a sadistic husband does anything to his wife that risks or causes serious or permanent physical injury she may leave him.
Acts 5:29 very much applies to a woman dealing with a sadistic husband:
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”
If the sadistic husband asks his wife to do anything that risks serious or permanent harm to her body she must respectfully decline.
If a woman’s sadistic husband in an effort to humiliate her commands her to do something like stripping off her clothes in front their dinner guests – the wife must respectfully decline.
If the sadistic husband commands his wife to flirt with a waiter at the restaurant they are dining at, again the wife must respectfully decline.
If the husband asks his wife to drink large amounts of alcohol the wife must decline both because it is a sin to become drunk and drinking too much alcohol can kill or seriously injure someone.
First a woman needs to be careful of calling her husband’s behavior sadistic when it may not be. Male dominance is not sadism. Rough sex is not automatically sadism. If a man takes pleasure from sexually dominating his wife this is not sadism. But if he takes pleasure directly from causing her pain or humiliation that is sadism.
If a husband acts upon his sadistic urges toward his wife there is no doubt that this a great sin before God. But Christian wives need to be careful of compounding their husband’s sin of sadism by adding their own sin of rebellion against God. God calls those under masters to suffer cruel and unjust treatment from them. This does not mesh with modern Western values which teach us to fight all forms of injustice and abuse. But it is the truth of God’s Word.
But there are of course limits on this. God allows a woman to be freed from a man who is so sadistic in his treatment of her that he risks serious or permanent bodily harm to her. God also allows a woman to respectfully decline anything her sadistic husband asks her to do which is sinful.
Antonio Rocquemore, Pastor of Power House International Ministries in Chicago, publicly rebuked a member of his church dressed in drag and then asked him to leave the service. Not surprisingly the LGBTQ community is up in arms about this.
During the service the Pastor made the following statement just before calling out the young man in drag:
“if you stop believing, standing for something, you will fall for anything. And God can’t move the way he wants to because of the standard. He set a standard. Stand by him, even if it costs you friends because you’ll always be approved by heaven. I’m at a point in my life where I’d rather heaven be pleased with me than people speak to me…”
He then pointed to the young men and made the following statement to him:
“Can you step out into this aisle. Please. Can you leave my church and go put on man clothes. And don’t come dressed like that no more. I hold a standard in here. Whatever you do on the outside is your business, but I will not let drag queens come in here. And if you’re gonna come in here you’re gonna come in here dressed like a man … If you’re a man, dress like a man. If you’re a woman, dress like a woman. I’m not going to allow it … you will not be wearing weaves and heels and fooling people up in here.”
You can view a partial cell phone video of what happened here.
After many false accusations against him regarding his public rebuke of the young man dressed in drag, Pastor Rocquemore, posted a video reply to all his critics clarifying why did he what he did and reemphasizing that he had no regrets about doing it.
In that clarification he makes the following facts known.
The young man in question was a member of his church. Not some random stranger off the street. The Pastor also makes clear the when coming to join the church as a member the young man told the Pastor he wanted to learn how to be a man. The Pastor made clear to him the rules of the church including dress codes for both men and women for the services. He told him he could not dress as a woman while attending their services but what he did outside of the service was between him and God.
This Pastor even tried to love on this young man and gave him some of his own money. The young man showed up in women’s attire a few times after joining and the Pastor quietly pulled him aside and told him he needed to stop doing this. The young man finally stopped wearing women’s clothing for a period of time.
Someone, outside or inside the church, encouraged this young man to defy the Pastor by wearing full drag again to a service. This time after several quiet and private admonishments, the Pastor felt that he needed to take a public stand against what this young man was doing as he was challenging the Pastor’s position on men wearing women’s clothing.
You can watch Pastor Rocquemore’s full video reply here.
Now that we have the full truth about what happened in this church let’s look at what the Bible says about this.
The Bible Condemns Transvestism
In Deuteronomy 22:5 the Scriptures tell us:
“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”
So, we can see here that God’s unchanging moral law makes it crystal clear, beyond any reasonable doubt, that a man is never to wear that which pertains to woman or try to change his appearance in anyway to look like a woman. The same goes for women – a woman is forbidden from changing her appearance to look like a man.
Deuteronomy 22:5 then is a clear and concise condemnation of transvestism, cross-dressers and transsexuals going through sex changes.
But the Bible Forbids Us from Eating Shellfish and it Condones Slavery!
Among the myriad of comments on line attacking this pastor we will see people dismissing passages like Deuteronomy 22:5 on the basis that the Bible condones slavery and it commands us not to eat shellfish or wear mixed fabrics. If I had a dime for every person, some sadly even professing Christians, who throws this tired old argument at me I would be a rich man. This is an argument that comes from a complete and utter ignorance of the Scriptures.
The goals of those who use this argument are two-fold. The first goal is to say “Well you don’t follow all the laws of the Old Testament; therefore, you cannot use any Old Testament passages as a basis for morality.” A second goal in this attack is to discredit the Bible as a source of moral truth on the basis that it allows for things that our society considers to be immoral like slavery (Leviticus 25:39-46) or forcing a woman to marry her rapist (Deuteronomy 22:28–29).
I have written several articles and even done a You Tube video refuting these false arguments which attempts to either dismiss all Old Testament laws or even the entire Bible on these grounds. See these links below:
The short answer to these false arguments against Biblical authority and specifically the authority of the moral laws of the Old Testament is as follows.
God gave moral laws all throughout the Old and New Testaments. He gave moral laws before Abraham or Moses were ever born and before he instituted the nation of Israel as a theocracy. But when he gave the new nation of Israel it’s laws, he repeated moral laws he had given before and also gave new moral laws as well. In addition to his moral laws, God also instituted civil laws for the nation of Israel which were mostly the punishment or restitution to made for the breaking of his moral laws. He also instituted ceremonial laws which included laws about the priesthood, tithes, festivals, clothing, diet and the sacrificial system.
In the New Testament with the coming of Christ the ceremonial laws are put away because Christ is the fulfillment of God’s law. He was the sacrifice that believers had always looked for. The civil laws were also done away with because those were given for the physical nation of Israel and not the spiritual nation called the Church. God would eventually dissolve what was left of Israel within a century of Christ’s death the Jews would be dispersed throughout the world.
So, the point is that Deuteronomy 22:5 is moral law that is still standing today.
But while Deuteronomy 22:5 could stand on its own the Apostle Paul repeats God’s condemnation of men appearing like or acting like women in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:
“9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
But Jesus Did Not Condemn the Adulterous Woman
In the Gospel of John 8:3-11 we read the story of the woman taken in adultery. The scriptures tell us she was found “in the very act” (John 8:3). The Pharisees wanting to see what Jesus would do threw her before him and reminded him of Moses’s law that commanded that she be stoned. But Jesus said to them “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (John 8:7). And then when all her accusers left by one by one Jesus finally tells the woman “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11).
This passage is used by many unbelievers and even professing Christians to say unless we are sinless, we as Christians have no business passing judgement on other’s sins. But again, such an argument is based on an ignorance about the teachings of the Scriptures.
Some have pointed to the fact that the Pharisees had not brought the man whom she was caught in the act of adultery with to be stoned as well. The Bible commanded that both the man and woman caught in the act of adultery must be killed (Deuteronomy 22:22). So, they were not completely following the law by letting the man go and only taking the woman to be judged.
But aside from their half following of Moses law, Christ was trying to demonstrate two important principles to them. He first was showing his authority as he had previously stated that “that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins” (Matthew 9:6). Secondly, in exercising his authority to forgive sins he was demonstrating to them mercy and forgiveness as he commanded us all to have toward each other:
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” – Matthew 6:14
Pastor Rocquemore demonstrated Christ’s example perfectly toward this young man. He tried to quietly address the issue with this young man. He forgave him on multiple occasions but in the end the young man became more defiant than ever and the Pastor had to take action. People often will cite the first part of the story of the woman taken in adultery but they miss Christ’s final words to that woman “go, and sin no more”. This was exactly what this Pastor did when he told that young man “go put on man clothes. And don’t come dressed like that no more”.
But Doesn’t the Bible Tell Us Not to Judge?
There are a lot of comments by those detractors of what this Pastor did stating that what he did was a violation of God’s prohibition on Christians judging other Christians.
Jesus said “Judge not, that ye be not judged” in Matthew 7:1, but John 7:24 Jesus also said “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment”. The Apostle Paul said “Let us not therefore judge one another any more …” in Romans 14:13 but he also said in 1 Corinthians 5:12 “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?”.
So, we can clearly see that both Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul are condemning one type of judging but commanding another type of judging. What they are condemning is hypocritical judging or engaging in judgement over those whom we have no authority to do so.
In 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 we read of a serious situation happening in the Church of Corinth:
“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. 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.”
So, at the Corinthian church a man had his father’s wife (his step mother) and the church was proud of this! This is no different than many so-called churches today that are “proud” of their gay members, transsexual or transvestite members. But unlike so many false Christian churches today the Apostle Paul did not tell them they were right in not judging this couple living in open immorality, but instead he called on them to JUDGE this couple as he had already done before he arrived.
In 1 Corinthians 5:3-7 Paul gives the church the remedy for dealing with those who try to enter the assembly whilst being in open sin against God:
“3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
Paul literally commands that the Church gather together as an assembly and publicly hand this person living in open immorality over to Satan. He commands them to “purge” such people from the assembly of believers.
The Apostle Paul then goes on to clarify for them those whom they are to judge as a church and those who they cannot judge as a church in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13:
“9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”
Paul makes it clear that that righteous judgement has to do with those whose claim to be brothers in Christ but are proudly living in some type of sin. We are to having nothing to do with such wicked professing believers and we are to put away such people from the assembly of God.
So, we can see based upon the clear teaching of the Scriptures that what Pastor Rocquemore did in this instance was righteous judgment according to the Word of God.
But Doesn’t the Bible say “Come as you are”
Another common argument in the comments condemning Pastor Rocquemore’s actions toward the man dressed in drag at his church is that his actions violated the Biblical principle that we can come to God as sinners. In other words, we can come to God as we are.
The Bible tells us in Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It also tells us in Revelation 22:17 “Come! Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely”.
The problem with this argument is that it mixes apples and oranges. The “apple” in this case is coming to God and taking freely of the water of life by calling on Christ for salvation. The “orange” in this case is fellowship within the assembled church.
God absolutely takes us as we are, wicked sinners. But we cannot remain in this state. If we do remain in sin then we prove we never truly accepted the salvation he so freely offers us.
The Scriptures tell us this:
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” – Romans 6:1-2
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
It is absolutely Biblically true that we can come to God as we are – wicked sinners. In fact, there is no other way we could come as we cannot cleanse our own sin, only Christ’s shed blood on the cross and the work of the Holy Spirit within us can do this. But if we truly believe, then our minds will be renewed. We come as we are but we cannot and will not remain the same if we are truly in Christ.
While God invites all to come as they are for salvation, he only invites those who are not as they were, those who are new creatures in Christ, into to the assembled church.
This Crisis is the Result of the Seeker-Sensitive Church Movement
The fact that it is even debatable as to what this Pastor did in openly rebuking and expelling this man from his church is a direct testament to the massive damage that has been done to many churches by the seeker-sensitive church movement.
The false philosophy of the seeker-sensitive church takes God’s command to the Church to preach the Gospel to the world (Matthew 28:19 & Mark 16:15) and uses it to cancel out all other commands given to the Church.
God did more than just command the Church to spread the Gospel. In 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 God commanded that the holiness of the church assembly be kept above all other concerns and that those who would live in sinful lifestyles while trying to be part of the assembly be expelled from the assembly. In Ephesians 4:11-15 we read that a core purpose of the church is “the perfecting of the saints” which means helping Christians to learn the doctrines of the faith and apply these doctrines to their lives. And in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 God commands that the Church is to “Preach the word” and “reprove, rebuke, exhort” those in assembly.
The modern seeker-sensitive churches cast aside all these other commands given to the church in order to make their churches more appealing to the outside world and unbelievers in their midst. They refuse to preach against sin, to rebuke those who sin in their assembly and to keep the church only for those who are new creatures in Christ.
The Bible tells us:
“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” – James 4:4
These seeker-sensitive churches value friendship with the world and being loved by the world more than faithfulness to God’s commands to keep the holiness of his Church. As a result, these compromising churches find themselves filled with people who are not new creatures in Christ.
As Christian Churches we may disagree on various doctrines. But standing for the holiness of the church cannot be one of them. We must stand together on this.
A War on Christianity Has Begun
As Christians we must realize that within our culture a war is being made on Christianity. Just a few days ago the following news was reported in an article on CBNNews.com entitled “Incoming Democratic Congress Has Hobby Lobby in Their Sights, Hoping to Force Abortion Funding“:
“Having just won back control of the House in this year’s midterm elections, Democrats now have their sights set on an issue near and dear to people of faith: the sanctity of life.
As they prepare to take over the chamber, 50 Democrats have agreed to co-sponsor legislation that would effectively cripple the 25-year-old Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That brings the total number of Democratic House legislators supporting the bill to 172.
According to The Washington Examiner, H.R. 3222 would make it so LGBTQ rights and other progressive causes would take precedence over religious freedoms.
In addition, supporters say the bill would reverse the Supreme Court’s rulings in the Hobby Lobby and Masterpiece Cakeshop cases.”
The enemies of true Christianity are trying to force church ministries and Christian owned businesses to provide abortion services as part of their health insurance for their employees. Homosexuals purposefully go into Christian bakeries, florists and wedding photographers to set them up for lawsuits. And now we see transvestites forcing their perverted actions and beliefs on local churches. I have no doubt that if not in this case that in the future we will see homosexuals suing churches to force them to allow them to be members.
Those who do this believe they fight for civil rights and social justice. But God grants no such right to live in these wicked ways or do these wicked things. Thus, they stand in opposition against God and his Word. Many falsely compare the fight for equal treatment for those of different races in the 1960’s with the fight now for LGBTQ rights. But the difference is that one was based on race and the other is based on one’s actions. These two things are as different as night and day. Those who falsely believe they will force by the power of civil law full acceptance of the LGBTQ community on Bible believing Christians are in for a very rude awakening.
We know what the Scripture tell us when civil authorities pass laws which contradict God’s laws:
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:29
Christians have been dying for centuries for their belief and adherence to the Word of God and now will be no different than then. When the time comes, the true believers in Christ will be willing to lose their businesses and even in their lives for the cause of following the Word of God. But as Churches and other Christian organizations continue to be taken to court many Christians and non-Christian alike in America will grow tired of this. And the fight for the soul of our nation may boil to a point we have not seen since the Civil War.
Does the Bible forbid us as Christians from feeling “a burst of rage” when we hear about cases of pedophiles molesting, raping or killing children? Are we putting ourselves in the “Judge’s seat” when we feel such special anger and rage toward people who would do such things to children?
A Christian blogger calling herself “SeriouslyServing” answers both of these questions with a firm “YES”. In her view Christians are forbidden from feeling a burst of rage or anger or feeling any differently toward cases of child molestation than any other sin.
In her post “Thank You, Lord, That I am Not Like This Paedophile” SeriouslyServing writes:
“Every time a news story breaks about a new case of child sexual abuse or a child porn user, a slew of people rush to the comments section to declare their thoughts about the criminal.
“Scum of the earth…”
“Bring back the death penalty…”
“Let him stay with the general population in prison, see how he likes that…”
In one sense, I can relate. Nothing sickens me more than the thought of people hurting and abusing children, especially since I’ve had kids of my own. At times, I’ve read details of these horrific cases and felt a burst of rage, and contemplated what justice might look like for that person.
So we put ourselves firmly in the seat of Judge, and we mete out what we would consider Justice. I have to laugh at the incongruity here, given one of the maxims of our day is “don’t judge”…
“Don’t judge” – unless the person you’re judging is a paedophile.
“Don’t judge” – unless it’s someone who is clearly way worse than you.
“Don’t judge” – unless it’s publicly acceptable to do so.”
To be clear, SeriouslyServing, is admitting she has struggled with reacting to the actions of pedophiles differently than any other sin. The rest of the article is her telling herself and us why she thinks she was wrong for feeling that way and why we should feel wrong as well.
And just a note – the different spelling of “Paedophile” has to do with the fact that SeriouslyServing is using the British spelling of the word. The American spelling is “pedophile” so that is what I am using.
SeriouslyServing bases her premise that we are wrong to feel a burst of rage or any differently about what pedophiles do to children on this passage from the Gospel of Luke:
“9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
Luke 18:9-14 (KJV)
SeriouslyServing has completely misinterpreted the meaning of Christ’s parable that we have just read. The emphasis was not on judging sin, but on a person, being self-righteous.
Christ said this in another part of the Gospels:
“When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Mark 2:17 (KJV)
Jesus was saying here that unless we see ourselves as sinners in need of the great physician which is Christ we cannot be saved. This is the same message Christ was giving in Luke 18:9-14. The Pharisee who thanked God “that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess” was showing God he did not see himself as a sinner before God. He thought his good outweighed any bad he did and that his works made him righteous before God.
Luke 18:9-14 is actually a beautiful picture of what it takes for us to be saved. I have used it many times in sharing the Gospel. We cannot look at the good we do or compare ourselves to others and think because we do more good than some others that we are saved. We cannot think that because we don’t do certain things others do that we are saved. Each us must do what the Publican did and pray “God be merciful to me a sinner”. This is the only way we can be saved.
Does God view all sins of equally?
Is it wrong for us to feel a special rage toward those who harm children or should we have no burst of rage or anger toward such sins and regard them as no different than someone getting a speeding ticket?
It is absolutely true that all sin condemns us to hell.
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”
Romans 5:12 (KJV)
Whether we sin little, or sin much the smallest sin will condemn us to hell. But just because all sin equally condemns us to hell – this does not make all sin equally heinous before God. The Scriptures show that God views some sins as more heinous than others.
When the Jews said that Jesus did his miracles by the power of Satan he said:
“31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”
Matthew 12:31-32 (KJV)
So, as we can see ascribing the miracles of God to Satan is something especially heinous to God and is set apart from other sins.
Jesus in speaking to Pilate said:
“Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.”
John 19:11 (KJV)
Christ was saying if Pilate sentenced him to death that would be a sin against God in that he would be sentencing an innocent man to death. But the “greater sin” was committed by the Jewish leaders who handed him over to Pilate for death. They were rejecting Christ as their Messiah and calling Jesus who was the sinless son of God a sinner worthy of death. Theirs was truly the greater sin.
Again, in the New Testament Paul has a warning for those who are teachers of God’s Word:
“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.”
James 3:1 (KJV)
If a person sins because they have been wrongly taught that it is ok to do something they will still be judged by God. But God judges the teachers who taught others to do such things with a greater condemnation than those who simply followed the wrong teaching.
Here we see God specially targets sexual sin:
“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”
1 Corinthians 6:18 (KJV)
So, as we can see from the Scriptures – all sins condemn us to hell but not all sins are judged equally by God. Some sins receive a greater condemnation than others.
Is it wrong to judge?
But what about judging? Doesn’t the Bible say we should never judge others sin?
A lot of Christians and non-Christians alike misunderstand what Christ said about judging below:
“Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
Matthew 7:1-5 (KJV)
If you look at the passage in its context Christ is condemning hypocritical judging, not all judging. If we are doing the same things or worse things than what someone else is doing we have no business passing judgement on what they have done.
Besides hypocritical judging there is one other type of judging the Bible condemns as seen in the passage below:
“1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.”
Romans 14:1-2 (KJV)
We are not to pass judgement on our brothers regarding disputable matters. There are some things in which we must seek the Lord’s will for personal decisions in our lives. As Christians we may come to different conclusions on some matters and we must do what we believe is right before the Lord based on searching the Scriptures and seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
So, as we have shown from the Scriptures God condemns two types of judging – hypocritical judging and judging on disputable matters or matters of conscience.
But we are in fact commanded to judge righteously as opposed to judging hypocritically or in matters of conscience as seen in the Scriptures below:
“Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.”
Leviticus 19:15 (KJV)
“Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”
Proverbs 31:9 (KJV)
“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
John 7:24 (KJV)
Too many Christians and non-Christians alike believe that no one can say anything against their sin. They say “the Bible says judge not lest ye be judged!” But they are absolutely wrong in their assertions of what the Bible says. The Bible tells us not judge unjustly. It tells us not to judge hypocritically. It tells us not judge in matters of conscience. But where God speaks clearly and we are not guilty of such things ourselves we are commanded by God to “in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor”.
This means that Christians can and must speak out against things like murder (including the murder of the unborn) rape and fornication including one of the most wicked and heinous forms of fornication which is child molestation.
Is it always wrong to get angry?
Like in the matter of judging, many Christians and non-Christians alike believe the Bible condemns all forms of anger or hatred based on passages like this one below:
“43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Matthew 5:43-45 (KJV)
Was Christ condemning all forms of anger or hatred? The answer is no. We can see from Christ himself that he acted in anger:
“13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”
John 2:13–17 (KJV)
Like judging, not all anger is according to the Scriptures. The New Testament tells there is a righteous form of anger:
“26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil.”
Ephesians 4:26-27 (KJV)
If we look back to the Old Testament we can understand what kind of anger is actually righteous in God’s sight:
“Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.”
Psalm 97:10 (KJV)
“21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.”
Psalm 139:21-22 (KJV)
Many good men who had righteous anger toward wicked things that happen in our world have allowed their righteous anger to be turned into sinful bitterness and this is something we should always guard against in our lives as Christians.
However, there is a zeal, an anger or hatred for evil that is in fact righteous before God. Christ demonstrated such righteous anger when he put a whip together and drove the money changers out of the temple.
So, if Christ was not condemning all forms of hatred in Matthew 5:43-45 what was he condemning? To find the answer to this question we must look to another of Christ’s statements later in the Gospel of Matthew:
“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”
Matthew 24:9 (KJV)
Christ was saying that if we are hated for being Christians we would should use that as a way to minister toward our spiritual enemies. We should love those who hate us for being Christians and show them the love of Christ. But this was not a condemnation of us being angry at evil or hating evil acts against innocents.
Christ had a special hatred for those who would harm children
In the same way that Christ had a zeal for those would abuse his father’s house he also had a righteous hatred toward those who would harm children:
“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
Matthew 18:1-6 (KJV)
Several times in the Gospels Christ told his disciples that in order to enter the Kingdom of heaven they needed to become as little children. He was using children as a symbol of innocence. Children are trusting. Child place their dependence on others for their provision and protection. Only if we humble ourselves as a child seeing ourselves in need of God’s forgiveness and grace can we be saved.
Christ then gives a stern warning against those who would offend (or harm or lead astray) one of these “little ones”. He says it would be better for them to have a millstone hung around their neck and be cast into the see than to commit wickedness against one of these “little ones”.
This warning has multiple applications of course. In its most literal sense as Christ holds a child in his arms he is talking about those who would commit wickedness against the innocence of a child. But he is also using this in the spiritual sense of those false teachers who would come along and lead believers astray with false doctrines.
We have demonstrated from the Scriptures some very important principles.
Luke 18:9-14 rather than being a condemnation of us being angered by the wickedness that others do is a condemnation of having a self-righteous attitude toward God in the matter of salvation. We can only be saved when we see ourselves as wicked sinners and we must not think because we don’t do certain things or do certain things that this provides the justification for our salvation.
While Romans 5:12 shows us that all men have sinned and all sin equally condemns men to hell, other passages like John 19:11 and James 3:1 show us that there are in fact greater and lesser sins in God’s eyes.
On the subject of judging in the Scriptures we read that we are actually commanded to judge righteously (Leviticus 19:15 & John 7:24) while at the same time we are forbidden from judging from a place of hypocrisy (Matthew 7:1-5) or from judging other Christians in matters of conscious (Romans 14:1-2).
The Bible actually commands us to be angry at sin and hate evil acts (Ephesians 4:26-27, Psalm 97:10, Psalm 139:21-22). Jesus Christ acted in zealous and righteous anger in whipping the money changers and driving them from the temple (John 2:13–17). The Bible warns us against allowing our righteous anger to turn into bitterness. Christ commands us to show love toward those who hate us for his name’s sake.
Finally, we showed that Christ did single out those who would commit wicked acts against the innocence of children.
So, we can rightly say using the principles that Christ laid out that it would be better for a man to have a large stone hung around his neck than for him to commit wicked acts against the innocence of a child.
It is absolutely true that God offers forgiveness, mercy and grace towards sinners including murders, rapists and yes even pedophiles. But God also commands us to judge from a righteous position these heinous acts. Just because God offers forgiveness and grace does not mean he is not filled with anger and hatred toward such acts and he commands us to be “Be ye angry, and sin not”.
There is a reason that social workers, police officers and soldiers feel “a burst of rage” and a different kind of hatred when they find children having been abused, molested, raped or murdered. There is a reason that even the hardest of criminals feel this way toward pedophiles. It is because children are one of God’s greatest symbols of innocence and when their innocence is violated in these heinous ways it should evoke a righteous anger and hatred in all of us, if it doesn’t that is the problem.
Some Christians believe that Christ outlawed the making of vows based on Matthew 5:33-37 and James 5:12. They believe based on these passages it is wrong for Christians to swear allegiance to their country, to swear to tell the truth in court and even to make marriage vows. But is this conclusion based on sound principles of Biblical interpretation?
First we will look at Christ’s words from the Gospel of Matthew on this subject of vows:
33 “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.”
Matthew 5:33-37 (NASB)
I have used the NASB here because I think it communicates the language a little better than the KJV in this particular case. But both the NASB and KJV accurately reflect a key phrase “But I say to you, make no oath at all” (NASB) and “But I say unto you, Swear not at all” (KJV).
So it appears based on this passage Christ is telling us that we should no longer make oaths or vows which are really the same thing.
Again, James writing under the inspiration of God states this about vows:
“But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.”
James 5:12 (NASB)
He makes a clear statement here – “do not swear” which seems to echo Christ’s words on the subject. Many Christians have taken these two passages as undeniable proof that Christians are forbidden from taking vows or oaths.
However, I will demonstrate that such a conclusion violates the following principles of Biblical interpretation:
- We must always take the context both of the passage itself and the historical context in which is stated into account as we make our conclusion on any doctrinal matter.
- We must always take the entire witness of the Scriptures on a particular subject taking into account both the Old and New Testaments while understanding that God can and does alter his laws from the Old to New Testaments.
What did the Old Testament say about making vows?
In the book of Genesis Abraham made his servant swear a vow to him when seeking a wife for his son Isaac:
“And I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:”
Genesis 24:3 (KJV)
Later Moses would give these commands regarding oaths to the Israelites:
“Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.”
Deuteronomy 6:13 (KJV)
The Israelites were only forbidden from swearing falsely by God’s name falsely or using it in vain (as in a curse word) as seen in these two passages:
“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”
Exodus 20:7 (KJV)
“And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord.”
Leviticus 19:12 (KJV)
New Testament Examples of Vows
The Book of Acts shows that Paul, one of James fellow Apostles and writers of the Scriptures, made a vow and fulfilled it:
“And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.”
Acts 18:18 (KJV)
Paul also made other vows – essentially swearing by God’s name that what he was saying was the truth:
“Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.”
II Corinthians 1:23 (KJV)
“Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.”
Galatians 1:20 (KJV)
“For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 1:8 (KJV)
These examples from the New Testament prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christians are not forbidden from making oaths and swearing by the name of God that what they are saying is the truth. If that were the case than Paul sinned in penning the very Word of God in the examples I have shown and we know that can never be the case.
So what this tells is – we need to look a little deeper into what Christ and later his Apostle James were saying about swearing and taking oaths and vows.
Understanding Christ’s prohibition on vows and oaths in their historical context
A good way to understand what Christ was talking about in Matthew 5:33-37 is to look at what he later says in the same Gospel of Matthew:
“16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. 19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.
21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.”
Matthew 23:16-22 (KJV)
What was happening is the Jewish leaders were saying if people swore by one thing – they could not be held to their vow, but by another thing they could be. They were using things they vowed on as a way of tricking people and getting out of their vows.
So what was Christ telling us about swearing by God’s name and making vows and oaths? He was saying we should never ever knowingly make a false vow. We should never make an oath or promise knowing we will later try to weasel out of it or break it. Every oath or vow should be made with the genuine intent to fulfill that vow.
And we should never ever swear use God’s name falsely to say we are telling the truth when we are not. But if we are telling the truth we may do as the Apostle did and swear by God’s name that we are indeed telling the truth. So if we are asked in court to swear we are telling the truth, “So help me God” there is no sin in this.
Don’t play the games that the Jewish leaders were allowing people to play and be a man or woman of your word – who keeps your commitments – this is what Christ was saying.
A warning on making hasty and emotional vows
The Scriptures give a great warning about making rash vows, oaths and promises:
“2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. 3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.
4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. 5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.”
Ecclesiastes 5:2-5 (KJV)
God does not want us to be rash or hasty in making vows, oaths, commitments or promises. Many good Christians with noble intents and the full intent of fulfilling a vow have made rash and hasty vows based on the emotion of a moment. This behavior is wrong for a Christian. We should always take the time to pray and consider the consequences of any vow. We should make our vows based on leading of the Holy Spirit, not the leading of our emotions and feelings.
Far too often Christians with noble intentions in the passion of a moment make rash and hasty vows that they should not have made. While both men and women struggle with this – in my life experience I have seen women struggling with this more than men because they are emotionally driven creatures.
Even in the case of well thought out vows (such as marriage vows), we often invoke emotion into our vows and make parts of our vows completely based on the emotion of the moment. We do not consider the future or the fact that we are sinful creatures and will not be able to keep some of our emotionally driven vows. I will speak more on marriage vows in an upcoming article on this subject.
It is a foolish Christian who makes vows hastily and often. A wise Christian rarely makes vows and oaths and when he does so he only does so after careful consideration.
When we make vows we should always be mindful that we do not control the future. We should make realistic vows that we can keep.
For example, it is realistic to swear in a given moment that we will not lie. I can swear in court that in that moment my testimony will be the truth before God. But what I cannot do is swear I will never tell a lie for the rest of my life.
It is utterly wrong for a Christian to vow things like “I vow before God to never do [fill in the sin]”. You can’t vow not to sin! You are a sinner and you will be one till the day you die. But many Christians think if they vow not to do something – then they won’t do it any more for fear of breaking the vow. The problem is you are setting yourself up for failure and only compounding your sin when you make such vows.
It is also foolish to vow things like “I will always do [fill in the blank]”.
The fact is we should avoid terms like “always” or “never” in our promises, vows or oaths.
Instead we should say “I will endeavor (try hard) to not do such and such or to do such and such by God’s power as I submit myself to him”. This is not absolute promise to do something or not do something, but rather a commitment to try with the Lord’s help to do something.
Making commitments and allegiances is a good thing – as long as it is done with careful consideration of this sinful world we live in and our own sinful natures.
In the Old Testament we see patriarchs like Abraham and others making vows in the name of God. In the Law of Moses God actually commands his people to swear by his name while at the same time warning them not to use his name in vain or swear falsely by his name.
Yes, God can and does change his laws. There are some Old Testament laws such as the ceremonial and civil laws of Israel that are rescinded in the New Testament. Some definitions of sin are even expanded such as when Christ spoke on adultery.
But the question is – did God change his law concerning the making of vows in the New Testament?
While at first glance it might appear that Christ took away the ability to make vows based on passages like Matthew 5:33-37 and James 5:12 if we look at the entirety of the New Testament we will find this cannot be the case. Paul made a vow and kept it as well as he swore that he was telling the truth by the name of God several times.
We know that Scripture never contradicts Scripture so that means we must look deeper into what Christ was saying. After looking at other parts of the New Testament as well as the history of the time we see that Christ is addressing the abuse of making vows – not vows themselves. He is addressing the false system the Jewish leaders had setup concerning vows that if you swore by certain things your vow did not count. Christ was saying all vows count and that we should not swear by things on this earth or by heaven itself but only in the name of God as Paul did and only in a truthful manner. Our “yes” should truly mean “yes” and our “no” should truly mean “no”. We should never ever make a vow knowing there is a good possibility we will break or that we intend to break it.
Also we should not make hasty vows. This truly does come from the Devil. Satan wants us to make rash and hasty vows that he knows we will break. Like when we vow not to sin anymore – he knows we will break that vow and he knows it compounds our sin when we do so.
Christians can make vows, oaths and promises. However vows, oaths and promises should be rare for us and only in the most important of matters. Our vows should be well thought out and always take into consideration the sinful world we live in – including our own sinful natures. Also when we make vows we should not be afraid to add in many caveats and disclaimers should circumstances in the future change that make it too difficult or even impossible to keep such vows.