Should A Christian Wife Submit to Her Husband’s Sexual Sadism?

“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.

Some Christian husbands abuse their authority to convince their wife to do 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 conversed with husbands via email who force their wives to endure horrible pain through vaginal fisting or rough anal sex and the more pain they cause their wives the more it turns them on.

Some sadist husbands’ men whip their wives or hurt them in ways that will only leave bruises in places people cannot see and they tell themselves as long as they don’t break any bones or cause a permanent damage this is all fine before God.

I have conversed with men via email who have forced their wives to purposefully wear very revealing clothes to public places and forced them to show 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.

They 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.

Other Christians teachers will say that a wife must patiently and quietly take sexual sadism from her husband and that she is following Christ’s example in suffering in doing so.

But I would argue when it comes to sexual sadism that if a wife offers no resistance that she is in effect partaking in her husband’s sin.  And that is something the Bible forbids for us to do:

“And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.  But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

Ephesians 5:2-7

Many women today wrongly believe they are to be the Holy Spirit for their husbands.  They believe they must try to correct their husband’s every sin. This is unbiblical and false. The Apostle Peter gave wives what was to be their default behavior toward their husbands when they acted in disobedient ways against 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; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” – I Peter 3:1-2

So rather than constantly rebuking and chastising their husbands, which is out of place for a wife, she is to win her husband without a word by her submission and reverent behavior toward her husband.

However, there is another Scriptural principle that I Peter 3:1-2 must be balanced against.  The same Apostle Peter who told wives to win their husbands without a word by their submission and reverent behavior also stated the following:

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:29

So how do these two Biblical principles harmonize?

If a husband’s disobedience does not require his wife’s participation in his sin, and does not place her life or her children’s lives in imminent danger or risk of serious bodily harm then she is to say and do NOTHING.  She is not to preach the Word at her husband and tell him that he needs to repent.  She is to submit to him and attempt to win him with her life and actions, not her words.

Now what I just said there is a VERY hard pill for most American women, including Christian women, to swallow.  But it is the truth of God’s Word.  You are not his mother, you are not his equal partner, you are his wife which is his subordinate helper.

But if you as a Christian wife are asked to fulfill your husband’s sadist desires by letting him purposefully cause you pain to arouse himself the Ephesians 5:7 principle that you are not to be a partaker in other’s sin comes into play.  You must resist your husband to the best of your ability. 

What I just said I do not say lightly. Just as husbands can abuse their Biblical authority over their wives so too women can abuse God’s rare allowance for them to disobey their husbands.

Christian women – God calls on you to submit to your sinful and disobedient husbands, but you are not to be a willing partaker in his sin, including his sin of sadism.

“Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.” – 1 Timothy 5:22

Pastor Publicly Rebukes Drag Queen in Church Service

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:

What is the distinction between the Moral, Ceremonial and Civil laws of the Old Testament?

What are the Moral Laws of God in the Old Testament?

Why Christians shouldn’t be ashamed of Slavery in the Bible

Shellfish, Mixed Fabrics And Slavery – Oh My!

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.

Is it wrong to judge a Pedophile?

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.

Conclusion

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.

Is it wrong for Christians to make vows or oaths?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Conclusion

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.