7 Principles for Making Biblical Marriage Vows

It may surprise many Christians to know that while the Bible speaks a great deal on marriage it never actually gives any examples of marriage vows. But the Bible does give us principles and teachings about marriage that can help us to construct Biblically based marriage vows.

For many engaged couples writing marriage vows can be a very scary thing for a variety of reasons.  One is that it is hard for some people to express their feelings or put their feelings into words. Another might be that they are afraid they might say something that offends people at the wedding. Still another is that they may feel pressure to promise or say they something they know they can’t or won’t keep in the future.

My goal in this article is to help alleviate these concerns for you and help give you some Biblical principles to help you write your vows and also provide you with some real examples. I encourage you also to keep an open mind to what the Scriptures have to say on marriage.  There will probably be many things in this article that will challenge your preconceptions about marriage.  But as you read the Scriptures presented here I encourage you to remember what the Bible teaches us:

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Romans 12:2 (KJV)

My prayer is that after you finish reading this article that you will come away with a renewed passion to not be conformed to our culture’s view of marriage, but rather to conform yourselves as a Christian couple to God’s view of marriage as presented in his Word.

Is it “marriage vows” or a “marriage covenant”?

First let’s clear up some confusion.  You may read Christian articles online or you may have even heard a pastor in your church say “Marriage is not based on vows, it is based on a covenant!” But what many Christian teachers fail to recognize is that while not all vows are covenants, all covenants are vows. The Scriptures prove this when God pictures his marriage to Israel:

“Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine.”

Ezekiel 16:8 (KJV)

We can see here that when God entered in his covenant marriage with Israel – he swore unto her.  That he vowed unto her this covenant.

So then the answer to the question of “Is it “marriage vows” or a “marriage covenant”?” is that it is BOTH!

Some Christians try and teach that Christ outlawed the making vows but this is not the case.  I encourage you to read my article entitled “Is it wrong for Christians to make vows or oaths?” for more on this subject.

The conclusion I came to in that article regarding vows was that Christ was taking on the corrupt system the Jewish leaders setup allowing people to get out of their oaths based on what they swore the oath upon.  Christ was saying our word is our bond – if we make an oath then we must keep it. We should swear by nothing on this earth, but only by God as the Bible commands.  We should always consider our vows carefully and not easily enter into them.  And above all – we should never ever make a vow that we know up front we cannot or will not keep.

What type of love are Biblical marriage vows based on?

There are three types of Biblical love that may occur between a couple seeking marriage and then later these types of love should occur within marriage.

Phileo – Affectionate, feelings based loved – this is the love that is based on emotional attachment to another.  It is usually very strong in the beginning phases of a relationship especially during the engagement period and the first year or two of marriage.

Eros – Sexual love.  This is the love that has to do with physical attraction and desire toward one another.  Again as with Phileo love, this love is usually very strong at the beginning of a relationship and through the first year to two years of marriage.  And contrary to those Christian teachers who say this has no part in Christian marriage this type of love has an entire book of the Bible dedicated to it in the Song of Solomon.  But this love is one that must be contained and controlled until a couple enter into the covenant of marriage.  We see this warning in Song of Solomon 2:7:

“I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.”

Agape – Unconditional love of the will based in duty and commitment toward another.  Phileo and Eros love are often reactionary types of love to the attributes or actions of another. When Phileo love and Eros love fade because of changing circumstances, Agape love remains because it based in a choice.

Biblically based wedding vows should never be made with reference to Phileo or Eros love.  This is not because these two types of love are bad. Christian marriage can and should have both these types of love in it if it is to be everything God intended it to be. But the foundation of Christian marriage is Agape love because it will weather the storms of life and will remain in those times when Phileo love and Eros love may wane.

If you are a young Christian couple reading this – you may think your affection toward each other (Phileo love) and sexual attraction (Eros love) will never fade.  You are convinced of it! But don’t just take my word for it – ask five other Christian married couples that have been together at least 10 years or more.

The reason I ask you to ask five couples is because most likely you will get one or two that simply lie to themselves and others to put on a show.  But if you ask five married couples who have been married for a longer length of time most of them will admit to you that there have been many times in their marriage where their Phileo and Eros love toward each other has waned and the only thing that kept them going was their Agape love toward one another as Christians.  It was the commitment they made to each other before God when they entered into the covenant of marriage that helped them weather the storms of life.

One last part I want to add on this subject of love in marriage vows.  I am not saying a couple cannot say words of affection toward each other and express their Phileo love toward one another at their wedding ceremony. You certainly can do this.  But these words of affection should come before or after the marriage vows and should never be mixed into your vows.  Your vows should be based purely in Agape in love.

Do marriage vows have to include all the duties of marriage?

Nothing in the Scriptures say you have to reference all the various duties of husbands and wives toward one another when you enter into a covenant of marriage.

Your vows could be very concise and they need not be verbose.  In fact your vows could be as concise as the groom saying “I take you as my wife” and the bride saying “I take you as my husband”.

Nothing needs to be said about a covenant, the duration of marriage or the duties of husbands and wives to each other in marriage.  There does not need to be a priest or pastor present, nor does it have to be done in a church.  It does not even require a state marriage license.

On caveat I would add is that while the man needs no permission to enter into marriage from his parents if the woman is not a divorced or widowed woman and “being in her father’s house in her youth” then she and the man she wishes to marry must have her father’s blessing to marry.  In fact if they marry in secret and he finds out and disapproves a father has the spiritual authority to annul any of his daughter’s vows in including a vow of marriage – see Numbers chapter 30 for more on this.

However, just because marriage can be entered into so easily does not mean that it SHOULD be entered into easily.

The Scriptures tell us this regarding vows made to God (and vows of marriage would be included in this):

“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)

It is foolish and wrong to hastily enter into any vow and to hastily enter into a vow of marriage is the perhaps the most foolish of all.

Let me mention something else on the “easiness” of entering into the marriage covenant.  In Biblical times not only was the father’s permission required for marriage, but a bride price was required.  For some men this was a half a year’s wages. Men were required to prepare a home for their bride to be able to demonstrate to her father he was ready to take her as his wife.

The idea today of two young people who just randomly decided to get married without the man being able to provide for his wife in one way or another was rare and not the normal practice.

Some might say “Well we are not compelled to live by examples in Biblical times of marriage customs”. That is true if the statement regarding marriage is descriptive, rather than prescriptive.  If a command is given that would impact marriage then this still stands. A father’s ability to override his daughter’s vows while she is in his house still stands.

Also Exodus 21:10-11 and Ephesians 5:29 show that a man is required to provide for the physical needs of his wife.  If a man seeks marriage to a woman but cannot yet provide for her then he must wait to enter into the covenant of marriage with her until he can provide for her.

One last thing on the subject of “concise vows”.  Make no mistake, even if the groom simply says  “I take you as my wife” and the bride simply says “I take you as my husband” you are still entering into a covenant of marriage together whether you say the word “covenant” or not.  It is God who defines the parameters of marriage not man.  Even though you are not mentioning any of the duties or purposes of marriage they still apply as much to you as if you had mentioned them in your vows.

Ignorance of God’s laws regarding marriage it is not an excuse for breaking God’s law regarding marriage.

That is yet another reason why couples should not hastily enter into marriage and should consider their vows carefully before making them.

We need to take great care with more verbose wedding vows

If you choose to have more verbose wedding vows that “I take you as my husband” or “I take you as my wife” then great care needs to be taken as you utter these words before God.

Verbose marriage vows should be an affirmation of what the Bible says are the distinct purposes, responsibilities and rights of the husband and wife in the marriage covenant. Nothing should be added or taken away from marriage as the Bible defines it. In fact not only is it sinful to add to or take away from what God has established regarding marriage, but any vow which adds or takes away what he allows or commands regarding marriage is null and void in God’s view. For example, to say “until death do us part” without quantifying that with God’s allowance for divorce in the case of certain sins is by definition taking away from marriage as God has defined it.

Now let just put a word in here on divorce.  I know there many good Bible believing Christians who disagree on God’s allowances for divorce.  If you are truly convinced before God that there is absolutely no allowance under any circumstances for divorce and with this conviction in mind you add “until death do us part” with no caveats then in my view this is not an intentional sin, but a sin of ignorance as I believe the Bible clearly does give allowances for divorce.

But if you see certain allowances for divorce in the Scripture as I demonstrate in my articles on that subject and then you add “until death do us part” without the Biblical allowances for divorce that is a greater sin in my view.  And this brings us to our next principle regarding the construction of Biblical marriage vows.

And now I want to share another crucially important principle in when it comes to making verbose marriage vows.

If you are going to write verbose marriage vows and you want them to be Biblically based you must account for sin in marriage just as God accounts for sin in marriage in the Bible.

If you are a woman – you must come to the realization that the man you so passionately love now is the same man you will sin against in the future.  There are going to be days when you do not submit to him as the Church submits to Christ. There are going to be days that you do not reverence him as you should and there will be days when you are contentious and angry with him.

If you are a man, you may not always have the passionate feelings of love that you do now toward your wife to be.  There are going to be days when you do not love her as Christ loves his Church. There may come a day when in a moment of cowardice you do not protect her from others or even protect her from herself.  There may come a day when you dishonor her and do not dwell with her according to knowledge as the Bible commands.

Please don’t fall for the lie that your heart tries to tell you that you will never fall short of your God given duties in marriage toward your spouse.  Because in one way or another you will.  The Bible tells us “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).  Your vows need to take into account the very real possibility of sin on your part as well that of your future spouse.

This is why in the example vows I will give I mention the sin nature and the inability for us to perfectly love our spouse as God would have us to.  This why we need to avoid terms like “always” and “never” in our wedding vows but instead we can use words like “try” or “endeavor” as we submit ourselves to the Lord on the daily basis.

Another important point to make is if you are going to have verbose marriage vows you need to reference the Biblical teaching that marriage is to be a model of the relationship of Christ to his Church.  This is a foundational principle for Christian marriage.

Critical components of this model include the duties of men to be a head and the leader of their wives as Christ leads his Church. Not only should references be made to Christ loving his Church and giving himself for her, but also the reason he gave himself for her to wash her spots and wrinkles and present her to himself a glorious church.

It is a husband’s sacred duty to wash his wife with the Word of God as Christ washes his Church with it and that involved him teaching her the Word and correcting her with the Word.

But we must not forget that husbands are to show grace and mercy to their wives as Christ shows grace and mercy to his church.

The duties of a husband to love his wife as his own body and thus protect and provide for his wife as Christ does his Church should be referenced as well.

In regard to the wife – even though it is extremely politically incorrect to do so – a great emphasis needs to be placed on her submission to him as her head and her reverence for her husband. The Scriptures teach this time and time again toward women and any Christian marriage vows that omit the requirements of submission, obedience and reverence of wives toward their husbands while speaking to the duties of a husband to love his wife as Christ loves the Church are telling half truths about Biblical marriage.

If you will not speak to the duty of the wife to submit to her husband in marriage your vows, then you cannot speak to the husbands love for his wife as Christ loves the Church either.  These are two sides of the same coin.

And again as I said before regarding concise marriage vows even if you don’t mention it in your marriage vows – these things are all required by God in marriage.   And with that being said below are is summary of everything we have discussed up to this point in regard to making Biblically based marriage vows.

7 Principles for Making Biblical Marriage Vows

  1. While all vows are not covenants, all covenants are vows. Marriage is based upon a vow or set of vows which together forms the covenant of marriage.
  2. The marriage covenant, like all other vows, should not be easily entered into it. It should only be done with contemplation and consideration before God.
  3. The Bible does not command that verbose marriage vows be made, nor does it require clergy to officiate, church authority or state authority in the form of marriage licenses. The only authority that may be required for a man and woman to enter the covenant of marriage together is that of the father of the bride if she is still young and living in her father’s house.  However, even if only concise vows are made this does not free the couple from all the responsibilities, rights and purposes of marriage.
  4. If a couple chooses to make verbose vows, then these vows should only affirm the teachings of the Bible regarding the purposes and distinct duties of husbands and wives toward one another in marriage. Christian marriage vows cease to Biblical and binding when they add or take away from the rights, responsibilities and purposes of marriage as defined in the Bible.
  5. When making verbose marriage vows, the sin nature of both the groom and bride should be taken into account in the vows. That means words like “always” and “never” should be avoided.  Instead words like “endeavor” or “try” should use when referencing the couple’s commitment to perform the duties of marriage toward one another.
  6. When making verbose vows, if you are going to add a phrase like “until death do us part” then great care needs to go into this. Unless you truly deny the Biblical allowances for divorce both in the Old and New Testament you need to add this to any statement about remaining together until death.
  7. When making verbose vows you should reference marriage being a model of the relationship of Christ and his Church. It is critical to mention not only Christ loving his Church and giving himself for her but also the submission of wives to the headship of their husbands as the Church is subject to Christ.

Examples of Biblical Marriage vows

Below are three examples I put together based on the principles we have discussed.  The first example of concise vows we already mentioned but I will put it here again for reference.

Example Vows #1 – Concise Biblical Marriage Vows

Groom

I take you as my wife.

Bride

I take you as my husband.

Example Vows #2 – Moderately Verbose Biblical Marriage Vows

Below is what I would call a “moderately” verbose set of marriage vows that build on the principles we have discussed.   Each set of vows below (one for the groom and one for the bride) are just under 200 words. Not too long, but definitely more expressive than the concise vows I showed in the first example.

Groom

I, [insert groom’s name], swear before God to enter into a covenant of marriage with you, [insert bride’s name] and by this covenant I take you as my wife.

I will endeavor to love you as Christ also loves his Church by leading you, giving myself up to wash you with the Word of God as well as showing grace and mercy towards you.

I will endeavor to love you as I love my own body by providing for you and protecting you and I will give my body to you in the marriage bed.

I will endeavor to dwell with you according to knowledge and honor you as my wife.

If you do not break our covenant of marriage I will remain by your side until death takes me.

On this day, I leave my father and my mother and cleave to you as my wife and we will no longer be two, but one flesh.

Bride

I, [insert bride’s name], swear before God to enter into a covenant of marriage with you, [insert groom’s name] and by this covenant give myself to you as your wife.

I will endeavor to reverence you as my head as Christ is the head of his Church.

I will endeavor to submit to you and obey you and as the Church is subject to Christ so too I will endeavor to make myself subject to you in everything.

I will endeavor to look well to the needs of our house and be the help meet and homemaker you need and that God has called me to be.

I will endeavor to love you and ravish you with my body in the marriage bed.

If you do not break our covenant of marriage I will remain by your side until death takes me.

Today I leave behind my own people and my father’s house and will become one flesh with you as my husband.

Example Vows #3 – Very Verbose Biblical Marriage vows

Below is a very verbose example of vows I have written.  Again this is just an example and you could add or take away as you see fit as long as you are following the 7 principles we discussed.  Also in this example set of vows I have included Scripture references next to most of the statements so you can further study those passages to see the principles of marriage that I am referencing.

Each of these sets of vows (one for the groom and one for the bride) are about a one page if you print them out.  I have seen couples use one page vows they have written so I don’t think these are two long if you want to have more verbose vows.

Groom

I, [insert groom’s name], swear before God to enter into a covenant of marriage with you, [insert bride’s name] and by this covenant I take you as my wife. (Ezekiel 16:8)

Even though at this moment it is my heart’s desire to perfectly love you as your husband I know that because I am a sinner, like my forefathers before me, I cannot make such a pledge because God forbids me from making vows that I cannot keep. (Ecclesiastes 5:2-5)

I can only pledge to endeavor, to try as I surrender myself daily to God’s will for my life and as I lean on him for his grace and power to love you in my own imperfect way. (Romans 7:18-25)

I will endeavor to love you as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. (Ephesians 5:25)

I will endeavor to present you to Christ and myself as a glorious wife, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but to help you to be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:26)

I will endeavor to be gracious, compassionate and merciful toward you as God is gracious, compassionate and merciful toward his people. (Psalm 86:15)

I will endeavor to teach you the Word of God in our home and to be the spiritual interpreter of the Word to you that God calls me to be. (1 Corinthians 14:35)

In my endeavors to wash your spiritual spots, blemishes and wrinkles I will endeavor to rebuke and chasten you from a place of love for you. (Revelation 3:19)

I will endeavor to love you as I love my own body by providing for your physical needs and protecting you as I would my own body. (Ephesians 5:29)

I will endeavor to provide my body to you as a kindness that is due toward you.  (I Corinthians 7:3)

I will endeavor to dwell with you according to knowledge, giving honor unto you as my wife and remembering that you and I are joint heirs of the grace of life. (I Peter 3:7)

As I end my vows of marriage to you I must acknowledge the possibility that in the same way I may sin against you in the future, you too may sin against me as well.

And while it is true that love covers a multitude of sins there are some sins a wife can commit which can break her marriage covenant with her husband. (1 Peter 4:8, Isaiah 50:1, Ezekiel 16:59, Jeremiah 3:8, Revelation 2 & 3)

It is for this reason that I must give to you a solemn warning like God gave to both Israel and his Churches regarding his covenant of marriage to them.

I swear before God to remain in this covenant of marriage with you for the remainder my life as long as you remain faithful to me. If you break this covenant by committing any type of fornication including defrauding me of your body or giving yourself to another or if you abandon me or seek to bring physical harm or death to me I reserve my right before God to end this covenant. (Matthew 19:9, I Corinthians 7:15, Exodus 21:26-27)

But I am hopeful of better things for us and I believe that in you I have found a good thing and also favor with God.  I look forward to rejoicing with you and living joyfully with you for the remainder of our days together as the Lord wills. (Proverbs 5:18, Proverbs 18:22)

On this day, I leave my father and my mother and cleave to you as my wife and we will no longer be two, but one flesh. (Mark 10:7-8)

Bride

I, [insert bride’s name], swear before God to enter into a covenant of marriage with you, [insert groom’s name] and by this covenant give myself to you as your wife. (Ezekiel 16:8)

Even though at this moment it is my heart’s desire to perfectly submit to you and love you as your wife I know that because I am a sinner, like the women who came before me, I cannot make such a pledge because God forbids me from making vows that I cannot keep. (Ecclesiastes 5:2-5)

I can only pledge to endeavor, to try as I surrender myself daily to God’s will for my life and as I lean on him for his grace and power to submit to you and love you in my own imperfect way. (Romans 7:18-25)

I will endeavor to remember in my thoughts, words and actions that God made me for you and not you for me. (I Corinthians 11:9)

I will endeavor to remember that I am not my own, but that I belong to you as the Church belongs to Christ. (Acts 20:28)

I will endeavor to remember that I am not your equal any more than the Church is Christ’s equal but rather I will reverence you as my head in the same way the Church is to reverence Christ as its head. (Ephesians 5:23 & 33)

I will endeavor to submit to you as I do unto the Lord and make myself subject to you in everything as the Church is subject to Christ. (Ephesians 5:22-24)

I will endeavor to obey you as Sara obeyed Abraham calling him Lord. (I Peter 3:6)

I will endeavor to meet your desire for me to make myself beautiful as God desires the beauty of his people not only through my outward appearance but also by having a gentle and quiet spirit. (Psalm 45:11, I Peter 3:3-4)

I will endeavor to satisfy you with my body and ravish you with my love. (Proverbs 5:19, Titus 2:4)

I will endeavor to be the homemaker God has called me to be and look well to the ways of our household. (Proverbs 31:27, Titus 2:5, 1 Timothy 5:14)

I will endeavor to submit to and seek out your guidance as my spiritual head in all matters of life and living including marriage and family issues. (1 Corinthians 14:35)

I will endeavor to share my advice with you not in a contentious or angry way, but rather with discretion, kindness and reverence. (Proverbs 9:13, Proverbs 11:22, Proverbs 21:19, Proverbs 31:26, I Peter 3:1-2)

I will endeavor to not shame you either with my words or actions but rather I will endeavor to be your crown and glory. (Proverbs 12:4)

As I end my vows of marriage to you I must acknowledge the possibility that in the same way I may sin against you in the future, you too may sin against me as well.

And while it is true that love covers a multitude of sins there are some sins a husband can commit which can break his marriage covenant with his wife.

It is with these sins in mind that I swear before God to remain in this covenant of marriage with you for the remainder of my life as long as you do not break the covenant of marriage you make with me today.  As a wife I reserve the right given me by God to consider myself freed from our marriage covenant if you defraud me by willfully refusing to provide me with food, clothing and your body in the marriage bed or if you seek to bring physical harm or death to me.  Also, if you abandon me either by divorcing me or by some other means I will no longer consider myself bound to this marriage covenant I make today with you.  (Exodus 21:10-11 & 26-27, Deuteronomy 24:1-2, Romans 7:2-3, I Corinthians 7:15)

But I am hopeful of better things for us and I look forward to rejoicing with you and living joyfully with you for the remainder of our days together as the Lord wills. (Proverbs 5:18, Proverbs 18:22)

Today I leave behind my own people and my father’s house and will become one flesh with you as my husband. (Psalm 45:10, Mark 10:7-8)

Advertisements

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.

Is it Biblical to seek to earthly pleasure?

Is it wrong to crave and desire a piece of apple pie for the pleasure it brings our taste buds? The Bible tells us to “abstain from fleshly lusts” in I Peter 2:11.  In Colossians 3:2 we are told “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” So it would appear to some Christians that God commands Christians to stay away from and not seek after earthly pleasures including seeking after a piece of their favorite apple pie.

This is certainly not the first time I have written on the subject of Christians and earthly pleasures and it won’t be the last.  But in this instance I want to tackle this from a different point of view based on a conversation I had with a young woman who emailed me.   She wanted to share some of her personal insights from studying the book of Ecclesiastes and see what I thought of her interpretation of this great book of the Bible.

She asked to be called “Young and Restless” (and she is in her early 20s).

Below are some excerpts from what she originally sent me:

 “Some people think that the focus or emphasis of Ecclesiastes is to enjoy pleasure. They point to the verses about enjoying the fruit of their labour, as if that is what the central message of Ecclesiastes is:

Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.

Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.

 For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.  

(Ecclesiastes 5:18-20).

However, this is only part of the story. The book of Ecclesiastes is a book which recounts all of Solomon’s earthly pursuits by which he seeks pleasure. If anyone had it all, it was Solomon. Yet, he calls it all vanity of vanities, all is vanities. Solomon speaks more about his grief and despair than his joy found in earthly pleasures. Yet, some try to emphase the earthly pleasures, which is because they find it hard to accept that all they have on earth is vanity. They are too focused and distracted by earthly pleasures, and that is a problem

All earthly pleasures, whether it be marriage, family, food or wine are fleeting. You better accept this or else you are a fool. The seeking of such pleasures itself will ultimately lead to a lack of fulfillment. When all such things are gone, one will despair. This explains why so many people in old age who cannot enjoy such things are in despair, because they pursued these things, as opposed to the fear of God”

My First response to Young and Restless’s interpretation of Ecclesiastes view of earthly pleasures

I have studied Ecclesiastes many times over the years.  Both from studying the book itself as well as the account of Solomon’s life in other books I would summarize it as this:

Solomon was a man who started off honoring God with his life but quickly was pulled into pursuing the pleasures of this world rather than serving God.  He allowed his heart to be lead astray by heathen wives.  He pursued every physical pleasure both sexual and non-sexual that a man could ever desire.  He had wealth beyond measure.

His discovery at the end of his life was how much his life was wasted and meaningless because he did not make obedience to God and fearing God the central focus of his life.  He made the pursuit of pleasure the central focus of his life – and this is the very definition of sensuality – when one makes the pursuit of physical pleasures the focus of their life.

He abused “the gift of God”.  The ability of a man to labor and enjoy the fruits of his labor with a wife and children by his side are indeed a gift of God as Solomon alludes to in this book.  But this gift can be abused when we make it the central focus of our life rather than serving God with our life.

This is why I always maintain on my site we must always maintain balance in this life.  The Scriptures tell us “Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4:27).

On one side we have the Christian ascetics who taught (and some Christians today still teach) that all pleasures of this world are evil and to be avoided.  On the other side we have those engaged in materialism and sensuality that have made the entire focus of their life earthly pleasures.  The truth is that God gave us pleasures in this world as a gift – but not as something to be the central focus of our lives.  He wants us to serve him and fear him and in serving him and fearing him we may along the way experience some pleasures in this world – but we will also experience hurt and pain.  But we are to follow the Apostle Paul’s example in this regard:

“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:10-13 (NASB)

Young and Restless’s first response to me

“Thanks for the feedback. I don’t know about you, but you seem to use a more academic approach to studying the Bible. I think that there is a such thing as spiritual revelation that is needed in reading the Bible, and that no matter how many times you study a book in the Bible, there is always more that you can learn.

So, I think there is so much to learn from it than a summary.

‘Balance’ can be a dangerous concept as it can often just another word for compromise on good but hard doctrine, with bad but easy-to-accept doctrine.

If you think I am trying to promote asceticism, no I am not.  I never said that they are to be avoided altogether. Saying that pursuing them for pleasure in themselves and finding contentment in them is not “asceticism”. It is truth.”

My second response to Young and Restless on the subject of earthly pleasures

First and foremost I agree with you that the Bible is a spiritually discerned book – but we must take it as a whole and we must let the Scriptures interpret the Scriptures.  In my life I have far too often seen people claim “spiritual revelation” with absolutely zero Scriptural backing or I have seen those who take one part of the Scriptures that fits their beliefs while leaving out others.  We must take all of it to learn the full truth of any matter.

I would agree with you that the primary emphasis of Ecclesiastes is not to teach us “to enjoy pleasure”.  But I would also humbly submit to you that the primary message of Ecclesiastes is not to tell us that seeking out or enjoying the pleasures of this world are sinful, vain and meaningless as your article states.

The primary focus of the book of Ecclesiastes is that the most important thing in our life – the thing that gives our life meaning when all other things fade away is to fear God and keep his commandments.  Our relationship with God is a never ending source of joy even in the darkest times of life.

Just because somethings last only a short time does not make them of no value

Yes earthly pleasures such as marriage, having children and family, food and wine are fleeting.  They are of this temporary world.  But guess what else is fleeting? Our lives.

 “15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.  16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.”

Psalm 103:15-16 (KJV)

Does this mean our lives are meaningless just because they fleeting? Does this mean our marriages and our children are meaningless just because they are fleeting when compared to eternity? No that is not what these passages teach my friend.   They teach that all these things are meaningless when we make idols of them – when these things become the central focus of our lives and we forget God.  When we no longer remember our creator or fear him.

I can accept that my life and my children’s lives are fleeting like a flower on the ground that withers away and dies.  Amen and Amen.   But is a flower any less special even though it lives such a short time? Is it any less a beautiful and magnificent part of God’s creation? Was the birth of each of my children any less precious because I knew one day they would die? That their life is fleeing? Of course not! This is one of the reasons we as Christians oppose abortion for children who may not live long after birth.  Are the few days or weeks that a sick infant lives not precious because his life is fleeting?

Riches and wealth, and the power to eat of the fruits of our labor, the ability for us to even labor itself and of course marriage and children are the gift of God.  Yet you claim “The seeking of such pleasures itself will ultimately lead to a lack of fulfillment”.  If you had finished your statement with “if we make them the central focus of our lives as opposed to fearing and serving God.” I would agree.  Amen and Amen.

I agree that balance can be used to justify false doctrine – but sometimes it is used to help us from truly going off track as well.  I truly see in the Scriptures two ditches we can fall into.

On the left is slavery to materialism and sensuality where people put the pursuit of worldly pleasures at the center of their life and they forget God and do not serve and worship him.  On the right is asceticism – another ditch we can fall into where we believe we may not experience pleasure in this world or that we may only experience pleasure as a result of others actions toward us – but we may never seek to it out.

Young and Restless’s Summary Statements of her beliefs and our differences

I won’t bother with the entirety of our email chain as it is a bit long and sometimes goes off the topic at hand which is “Is it Biblical to seek to earthly pleasure?”  I will just give two statements from Young and Restless that I believe honestly sum up the differences we have on this issue of earthly pleasures.

“I am not saying that God has created bad gifts, or that they are meaningless and vain. Rather, I am saying that seeking such gifts in and of themselves are. How hard is that to understand? There is a difference between seeking these gifts, and simply humbly, and gratefully enjoying that as God has given to oneself, which you do not seem to understand.”

“I think the problem is that you seem to think that desire for earthly things is legitimate, as long as it is used rightly. However, the problem is the desire for earthly things in and of themselves, is not a desire to delight in God. Rather, it is a desire that is earthly itself. You seem to not even know the difference between desire for something in and of itself, and the desire for it as a means to do the will of God.”

These are the beliefs she has that we can draw from her statements:

  1. We are only to seek pleasure in God and contentment in God and never in any earthly things.
  2. We may not desire earthly things in and of themselves simply for the pleasure they bring us, but only as a means of doing the will of God.
  3. It is not wrong for us to experience the earthly gifts God gives to us such as marriage, sex, children, good food and other things but we cannot seek out these gifts – they must be given to us by God.

Let me practically apply her principles as stated to marriage as an example.

Based on her beliefs it is not wrong for a man to seek marriage to a woman if his only motivating factor is to obey God’s command to be fruitful and multiply and honor God by living out the role of a husband and father while he spiritually leads his wife and future children.   However if any part of his motivation for marriage is his desire to have this woman sexually pleasure him this by definition is sin because he is never to seek out any kind of earthly pleasure for himself. Now if his wife seeks to bless him by giving him sex then he may “simply humbly, and gratefully enjoying that as God has given”.

Now I know based on numerous emails with her that she is not against a man initiating sex with his wife.   But based on these principles she expounded – the only way he could righteously initiate sex with his wife was if his motive was for one of two reasons:

  1. His motivation is completely selfless in that he simply wants to give his wife pleasure. His own desire for physical pleasure with his wife plays no part in his initiating sex because to do so would be him seeking after earthly pleasures instead seeking to delight in God which should be the only thing he seeks after.
  2. His trying to follow God’s command to be fruitful and multiply – so he is initiating sex not out of a desire to for his own pleasure, but to do the will of God by making his wife pregnant.

 The Apple Pie Example

I gave her the following admonition because she often speaks in lofty terms which she does not define in practical ways and then she accuses me of simply not understanding the spiritual truths she is giving me.

I would like you (Young and Restless) to apply your principle here on a practical level.  This is something I try to do on my blog – I give what I believe to be a Biblical principle and then I illustrate it in practical everyday situations.

Let’s say I like apple pie.  And there is a restaurant down the street that makes the best apple pie I have ever had.  I am working late at night (as I often do for my job here at my home office) and I decide to run down the street late at night to get myself a piece of that wonderful apple pie.  I purchase it and savor each bite. I have now met my craving and I am content.  I go home, finish my work and go to bed.

How does my engaging in my craving for a piece of apple pie “serve God”? How does the exercise of me engaging in my craving for a piece of apple pie “worship God”?

I did this for my own enjoyment, for my own pleasure did I not? And why was this particular action of seeking to have a piece of apple pie that I enjoy wrong (if you view it as wrong)?

Young and Restless’s Answer to the Apple pie dilemma

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2).

If your manner of spirit in eating a pie is with a mind set on gaining earthly treasure that is wrong.

However, if you do so remembering that it is from God and that is your manner of spirit in savoring it, it is good.

However, so often when people claim that they are delighting in some earthly things to delight in the Lord, they are really seeking to delight in such earthly things in that wrong manner of spirit.”

My response to the Apple pie dilemma

Young and Restless did not answer my questions directly – but simply responded again with lofty terms.  This helps no one. If I have a craving for my favorite apple pie and I go buy it – sit down by myself and eat a slice savoring each bite is that a sin for me? According to her own principles given earlier it is sin because I sought after “an earthly thing” or an “earthly pleasure”.  I sought after something simply to experience the pleasure of it and by her understanding of the Song of Solomon as well as Colossians 3:2 I have just sinned against God in acting in such a selfish manner.

Now if she wanted to say – I should receive the apple pie that I had a craving for and bought and am about to eat with thanksgiving to God I would say Amen!

This is what the Scriptures tell us:

“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude”

I Timothy 4:4 (NASB)

Guess what that means? Did God create my taste buds? Did God create my ability to crave and savor the taste of apple pie by those taste buds? You bet he did.  And what God created is good.  Everything he created is good! It is absolutely ludicrous and unbiblical to say that God gave us taste buds but does not want us to seek to pleasure them by various foods.

In the same way it is absolutely ludicrous and unbiblical to say that God gave men strong sexual desires for women but they are forbidden from acting on them for their own pleasure.  Just think about it – by Young and Restless’s beliefs God placed a strong desire for sexual pleasure in a man but he is forbidden to seek it out.  He may only experience it as a byproduct of “doing the will of God” by either seeking to give his wife pleasure or impregnating her with a baby.

Young and Restless’s principles are not far from what some of the early church fathers taught about men seeking after sexual pleasure with their wives.  See my Article “How the Church made sex dirty” for more on that.

And even outside of food and sex, men have desires to work and sometimes build businesses and other great things to benefit themselves and their families.  But according to Young and Restless – this is seeking after “earthly treasures”, something that we are forbidden to do in her view.

Young and Restless is teaching a form of Asceticism

Young and Restless denies she is advocating for Asceticism because she does not believe it is wrong for us avoid all earthly pleasures.  She is just saying we are not to seek them out.  If they just so happen to land in our lap then it is ok.  So in my apple pie example – if my wife knows I enjoy apple pie and she goes to that restaurant and buys me my favorite pie and serves it to me at home then there is no sin in me enjoying the pleasure God has dropped in my lap via my wife’s kindness.

But I am forbidden from seeking the pleasure of that apple pie by myself – that is an earthly desire that is seeking after earthly things – that is not delighting in God in Young and Restless’s view.

But there are two parts of Asceticism.  The first is that we should not seek after any earthly pleasure and the second is that we should not allow ourselves to experience any earthly pleasures as either one could tempt us to sin and lead us away from God.  Just because she takes the first part and leaves off the second does not make it any less asceticism.  That is what it is.

Demolishing the two primary tenets of Asceticism with the Word of God

Ascetic Tenet #1 – We are to “abstain from fleshly lusts”

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;”

I Peter 2:11

Most Ascetics will argue that his means “We should keep ourselves from experiencing early pleasures otherwise will be pulled away from God”.  Young and Restless would reject this principle of asceticism.  One of the things I love about God’s Word is that in many cases it actually defines what it means by certain words.   These are the lusts of the flesh according to the Bible:

“19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Galatians 5:19-21 (KJV)

Now do you see the human craving for apple pie or just the general desire for sex (not illicit sex) in this list the Apostle Paul just gave? Nope and I don’t either. It really is hard today to find a good balanced church.

On the far left side we have those preachers who never say anything against any sin and they will have members in their church openly living together in fornication and they are ok with this.  Or they may even invite practicing homosexuals to join their church or head their church.

On the far right side we have those who try and teach us that all human desire for earthly pleasure or earthly things is sinful.  These are the extremes we must fight against as Bible believing Christians.

The truth is that in the Scriptures most often the term “the flesh” is being used to speak of the sin nature or corruption of the God given human nature he gave Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.   In no way does the Scripture teach that all human desires for earthly things or earthly pleasures are wrong.  Only when our desire is for things that violate God’s law or when we allow our desire for things that are not sin to replace our love and devotion to God then are our desire becomes sin.

Ascetic Argument #2 – We are not to think on earthly things or love things in this world

Now this is the part of asceticism that Young and Restless fully supports. She gives this well-known passage from Colossians in support of her belief:

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

Colossians 3:2 (KJV)

Another passage she did not give but I have seen others her camp use to try and support their false ascetic teachings is this one:

“15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

1 John 2:15-16 (KJV)

The word “affection” in Colossians 2 is not talking about love.  The modern translation of the Greek word “Phroneo” behind that word is “mind” which is more accurate.  It is saying we are to set our minds, our thoughts on things above and not on things on the earth.  But in 1 John 2:15-16 the Greek word is “Agapao” for love.

First let’s look at Colossians 3:2. If we take this passage by itself and are not looking at its context or how it is used throughout the Bible this would mean that we cannot think about our marriage, our children, our jobs, our car, our dog, our cat, our mom, our dad…you get the point. Now even the ascetic would not like that explanation. They would instead say that “things that are on the earth” or “earthly things” refers to “seeking earthly pleasures or seeking to build up earthly treasures in any form”.  The problem is the text does not give us such a definition. Again as with “fleshly lusts” from I Peter 2:11 we need to let the Bible define itself.  In this same chapter of Colossians we see how the Bible defines “things that are on the earth”:

5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;”

Colossians 3:5-9 (KJV)

So what are the “things on the earth” or “upon the earth” or earthly things we should not set our minds on? It is sinful earthly things – not all earthly things.  Again just like “flesh” can be a Biblical euphemism for the sin nature so to can “things on earth” or “earthly”.   Do you see anywhere in this list of that we should not set our minds on marriage, having children or eating apple pie because they are earthly things? The answer is a resounding “No you do not”.

Now what about 1 John 2:15-16? That passage clearly tells us we are to “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world”.  Again the word “world” can speak to the literal earth and all there is in it or to the evil sinful world system similar to how “flesh” and “earth” are used in different ways.  In the Gospel of John we are told:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16 (KJV)

The Greek words for “love” and “world” are identical here to 1 John 2:15-16.  So when we use discernment we know that God is commanding us not to love the sinful things of this world – not literally everything in their world including our spouses, children and apples.

But shouldn’t we only seek pleasure in God?

 “As Christians we should never desire earthly things in and of themselves but instead only desire earthly things as a means to do the will of God. We should only desire to delight in God, not in earthly things in and of themselves”

This is a minor rephrasing of Young and Restless’s statement but it still captures the heart of what she said.  And she is not alone.  You will find ascetic Christian teachers on the far right teaching exactly what she has said.  In fact I grew up hearing some preachers like this in Churches I attended.

Is sounds nice doesn’t? It sounds so lofty and so righteous doesn’t it? After all God is the only thing that lasts.  All the things of this world will eventually fade away so why should we have any desire for such temporal things in and of themselves?

It may sound nice but it nothing more than “the commandments and teachings of men” as opposed to the commandments of God.  Paul alludes to this in his attack on asceticism that was creeping into the church while the Apostles still lived:

“20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.”

Colossians 2:20-23 (NASB)

But how does seeking pleasure glorify God?

The question of this article and really a hugely important question in life for all Christians is “Is it Biblical to seek to earthly pleasure?”  Notice the way I framed that question.  I could have said “Is it unbiblical to seek earthly pleasure?” But when I ask is it Biblical – I am asking is right, holy and just for us to seek earthly things and earthly pleasures?

Is it righteous, holy and ultimately glorifying to God when I crave a piece of apple pie?  The answer is yes! And the reason is because I was designed to image God. God experiences pleasure and he design us to as well. When we live out our design we glorify God.  It is God who gave me taste buds and it God who gave me that craving for apple pie.  It is God who sends dopamine rushing through my brain as I eat that pie and God who causes my tastes buds to react in pleasure. All of this is by his hand and his design.  Therefore when I exercise my desire for the pleasure of apple pie and I do so within the bounds of his law and realizing everything comes from him I do in fact bring glory to my creator.

In other words – we actually bring glory to God by seeking out earthly things and earthly pleasures like marriage, sex in marriage and having children in marriage as well as building beautiful things and seeking out wonderful foods. When we do all this within the bounds of his law it honors and glorifies him.

But should we not find all our contentment in God?

Again it sounds nice, it sounds pious to say we should find all our contentment in God. But the truth is we can find contentment in earthly things and earthly pleasures as long as we realize that God is the only thing at will ultimately satisfy our spiritual thirst.   Christ alluded to this:

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

John 6:35 (KJV)

Water or tea or even a piece of apple pie might bring us temporary contentment in the moment.  It will content our physical desire for a time.  But these things will never bring contentment to our spiritual thirst.  This is how people abuse Gods gifts when they look to them as their ultimate source of contentment and fulfillment and not God.

But again there are two extremes we must avoid.  The one is to look for all our contentment in earthly things like food, wine or sex(even in marriage) and the other is to say that God did not give us any of these things even for temporary contentment as we look to him for our ultimate spiritual contentment.

The False Dichotomy of Asceticism

This is one of the favorite verses of Ascetics and it is actually one Young and Restless’s favorite verses as well:

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

Matthew 6:24 (KJV)

The Ascetic’s (and Young and Restless’s) second favorite verse is:

“19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal”

Matthew 6:19-20 (KJV)

“Mammon” is an old word for “money”, “wealth” or “riches”.  So Christ was saying you can’t serve God and Money.  Many Ascetics will take it a step further and say it refers to “earthly things”.  So you can’t love God and love earthly things.  Well we defined “earthly things” from the Scriptures earlier and showed that the Bible condemns sinful earthly things or sinful desires of the flesh – not all human desires and not all earthly things.

In the Ascetic view – we cannot have treasures on earth and treasure in heaven.  We cannot serve God and also seek to make money or have possessions in this world.  We must choose between a simple and uncomfortable life and having God or having material comforts and not having God.

Was Christ saying it was wrong to for a man to earn money or have nice things for himself or his family? Absolutely not.  In fact God says this about riches, money and inheritances:

“A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.”

Proverbs 13:22 (KJV)

“Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.”

Ecclesiastes 5:19(KJV)

So what is Christ saying when he says we cannot serve two masters – money (material things, earthly things, riches) and God?

He is talking about where our faith is.  We must trust in God – not in our riches or material possessions.   These passages of Scripture tell us this:

“Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.”

Psalm 52:7 (KJV)

“He that trusteth in his riches shall fall; but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.”

Proverbs 11:28 (KJV)

“23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

Mark 10:23-25 (KJV)

“17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;”

1 Timothy 6:17-18 (KJV)

So what is the common theme in the Bible about those who have riches and material things? The theme is that we are not trust in riches, we are not trust in our material things but our trust is always to be in God.  We cannot trust in riches and trust God.  We must choose.

Now will there be some times when we have to give up some material comforts and temporal pleasures in the service of God? Absolutely.  Missionaries do this all the time.  Even for those of us who are not missionaries we may give up our material possessions and comforts to help others and that is to be commended. So while we should be willing to part with our material comforts if God calls us to in a certain situation it does not mean all Christians at all times not matter their situation may never seek after material comforts or temporal pleasures or should never have these things.  This is the false dichotomy that asceticism offers us.

You see in a way Satan can use both materialism and asceticism to keep people away from God.  We can be drawn away by our possessions and trust in them rather than trusting in God or we can allow asceticism to keep people away from the faith because they thing that salvation requires them to suppress the natural desires God gave to human beings.  Both keep people away from God and serve as stumbling blocks to a relationship with God.

Conclusion

Young Restless actually framed my belief in this area very accurately when she stated “you seem to think that desire for earthly things is legitimate, as long as it is used rightly”.  And this is the truth of the Scriptures as I have demonstrated throughout this article. This like marriage, having children, eating good food and other earthly things and earthly pleasures like these are God’s gift to us and they are meant to be received with thanksgiving.  God does not tell us we may not seek out these gifts and in fact if we don’t in some cases we would be violating God’s law.

For instance, unless God has convicted our hearts that he has called us to celibacy in service to him we are to pursue marriage in keeping with God’s first command to mankind to be fruitful and multiply.  God also commands men to “drink” (Proverbs 5:15) from sexual well that is their wife whenever they are thirsty and he tells men to satisfy themselves (or literally drink one’s fill) of their wife’s body and be intoxicated by her sexual love.

He tells us that earthly temporal things such as a woman’s breasts and her womb are blessings (Genesis 49:25) to men in this first world.  The Scriptures tell us that God gives us “wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart” (Psalm 104:15).

The problem with asceticism is that it does not distinguish from the world God loves and the world God hates.

God hates the sinful system of this world that came into being after Adam and Eve sinned in the garden. But he still loves his creation including the birds of the air, animals, reptiles, the mountains, the rivers and chief among his creations mankind.  He still loves the things he created as gifts for man like marriage, sex, children, food and other beautiful things in this world.  When he calls on us to hate the world and the things in the world – he is calling on us to hate the sinful system in this world and not the beautiful things he created.

Can we love temporal earthly pleasures and earthly things and still love God? Can we seek the pleasure of having a spouse and children and a home together and still love God? Can a man “rejoice in his labour” (Ecclesiastes 5:19) or do something that brings him happiness and satisfaction and still love God?

Can a man store up an earthly treasure as an inheritance for his children and still love and serve God?  Can we love and savor the taste of apple pie and seek after it and still love God? The summary of all these questions would be the very question of this article:

Is it Biblical to seek to earthly pleasure?

The answer to all these questions is a resounding “YES!” Absolutely beyond a shadow of a doubt we can love all these things and still love God because these earthly things and pleasures are his gift to us.

To say that we cannot is to present a false dichotomy the Scriptures never present.  To say otherwise is to teach asceticism which is not the commandment of God but rather the commandments and teachings of men.

We may absolutely love the things of this world that the Bible calls “the gift of God” to us as long as we are not “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4) and we do not “trust in uncertain riches” instead of “the living God” (1 Timothy 6:17).

Not only is it allowable and not sin for us to seek out “earthly pleasures, whether it be marriage, family, food or wine” as Young and Restless states but it actually glorifies God when we do because this is part of his design in us.

Is Ethno-Nationalism a Sin against God or by His design?

The sign above was posted in Detroit in 1942 to oppose a new federal housing project being built for African Americans.  Most Christian Americans will agree that slavery was an original sin of America’s founders. But what about the founder’s restriction limiting citizenship to “free white persons” via the Naturalization Act of 1790? Was this a second sin by America’s founders?

The founder’s restriction of American citizenship to “free white persons” is part an ideology called “Ethno-Nationalism”.  Ethno-Nationalists believe that nations are built on three things which are common language, common culture and common ethnicity.

When America was founded the vast majority of its citizens were of British decent (English, Welsh or Scottish) with a minority being from other mostly white northern European nations.  The new American British culture would come to set the tone for America.  Even when a large amount of German immigrants would arrive in the 19th century they quickly assimilated to the American British culture that had been established.

Victor Davis Hanson in his article for the National Review – “America: History’s Exception” writes:

“The history of nations is mostly characterized by ethnic and racial uniformity, not diversity. Most national boundaries reflected linguistic, religious, and ethnic homogeneity. Until the late 20th century, diversity was considered a liability, not a strength…

Countries, ancient and modern, that have tried to unite diverse tribes have usually fared poorly. The Italian Roman Republic lasted about 500 years. In contrast, the multiracial Roman Empire that after the Edict of Caracalla in AD 212 made all its diverse peoples equal citizens endured little more than two (often violent) centuries.” [1]

So ethno-nationalism has been what has knit nations together for the history of mankind.  America even started as an Ethno-nationalist nation.  It was not until after the Civil War that American let go of its ethno-nationalist heritage and began its journey into multiracialism and eventually multiculturalism.  America’s motto “e pluribus unum” or as it translates to English “out of many one” was also transformed.  The founders used this phrase to refer to the 13 colonies becoming one nation.  Multiracialists change it for their purposes to mean that America would be a nation that was centered on multiracialism and multiculturalism.

Most Americans feel America has lost its identity

On March 5th 2017, Matt Sedensky in an article for the Associated Press wrote:

“Add one more to the list of things dividing left and right in this country: We can’t even agree what it means to be an American.

A new survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds Republicans are far more likely to cite a culture grounded in Christian beliefs and the traditions of early European immigrants as essential to U.S. identity.

Democrats are more apt to point to the country’s history of mixing of people from around the globe and a tradition of offering refuge to the persecuted.

While there’s disagreement on what makes up the American identity, 7 in 10 people – regardless of party – say the country is losing that identity…

Patrick Miller, a political science professor at the University of Kansas who studies partisanship and polling, said the results reflect long-standing differences in the U.S. between one camp’s desire for openness and diversity and another’s vision of the country grounded in the white, English-speaking, Protestant traditions of its early settlers.” [2]

Some Christians openly rejoice that America has transformed from its Ethno-nationalist roots into a multiracial multicultural country.  Many Christian’s believe the world needs to unite and leave old divisions of race, ethnic groups and even national boundaries to the dustbin of history.

But other Christians remain silently saddened as they see the America of George Washington slip away.

The Language of Race Discussions

We have gone from one extreme in our societies to another.  In times past, racial and ethnic hatred were common and generally accepted in day to day language.  In the days of America’s founding it was common for whites to degrade and insult Native Americans and Blacks.  In fact, to defend these groups in any way and condemn such hateful speech was rare.

But now over the past several decades in America a new hatred has arisen. The only acceptable discussion of race in America is that Whites should be ashamed of their past treatment of various races and that White privilege and prejudice is still holding back minorities like Blacks, Native Americans and Hispanics. A new oppressed minority are Muslims.  If you were to talk about how Whites still oppress and hold back all these groups and all the evils those of European decent have brought on the world you will be praised.  You will be applauded.  You will be loved.

But any speech about race today that is NOT speaking about White oppression against various races is condemned as racist and evil.  For instance, even to ask the question I did in a previous post – “Is Self-Segregation a Sin in the Bible?” is called racist.  To question government forced integration is to be called evil and racist.  People lose jobs not just because of racial slurs – but even for questioning racial integration and affirmative action policies.

In fact, we are told that race does not really exist and even to consider the possibility that race actually exists is irrational and racist. The debate is closed and may not be discussed.

And finally on this topic of the language of race relations I am going to make something abundantly clear that I made in other previous posts on this discussion of race.

I do NOT support White hate groups like the KKK, Neo Nazis or other White supremacist groups.    In my previous article “We must denounce White, Black, Antifa and Muslim Terrorism” I denounced the actions of the KKK and Neo Nazis from a Christian perspective as not only hateful but actually as forms of domestic terrorism.  I showed in previous posts that there is no allowance in the Christian faith for hating someone because of their racial or ethnic origin.

I put the above statement in red so that no one can try and twist or malign the honest discussion I am about to have about race and ethno-nationalism from a Biblical perspective into saying I support White hate groups like the KKK, Neo-Nazis or other such groups.

Denying the reality of race will not end racial hatred or racial atrocities

Even a small child knows that race exists.  When an adopted Black child asks his White adoptive parents “Mommy and Daddy – why do I look so different from you?” he is recognizing what we all know to be true – race exists and it is about far more than skin color differences. The child recognizes the different facial features between himself and his parents.

The difference between races is even more than facial features, hair and skin colors – in other words it is more than skin deep.  While most of the scientific community is trying to erase the concept of races from modern science teachings there is one group of scientists who simply cannot ignore what they see under the skin and they are forensic anthropologists.

“Forensic anthropologists, experts in skeletons that do work for law enforcement agencies, say they are extremely accurate at deciphering the signs that identify a dead person’s bones as African, Caucasian, Asian or American Indian.

“We produce as much accuracy in race as we do with sex and age,” says George W. Gill, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Wyoming and one of the eight anthropologists who are suing the federal government in the Kennewick case.”

[3]

Think CSI, Bones and other crime shows on TV.  When they find a body in a burned out building and all they have to go on is the skeleton.  Forensic experts can ascertain with a great degree of certainty whether a person is of Caucasian, African or Asian descent.  And as far as Native Americans go – Native Americans really are just a particular Asian variant.

The fact is there are three major variations of human beings – Caucasians, Africans and Asians.  We can call them “people groups” instead of “race” as some forensic anthropologists want to do.  But the fact cannot be denied that there are three distinct and discernable major variations of human beings.

But the key word is “variation”.  Just because my major variation type, people group or race is Caucasian and yours is African or Asian does not make any of us less human.  It does not give any of us the right to rule over the other.

We don’t have to pretend or try to erase or minimize race from our vocabulary and thought processes to combat racial hatred.

One other word I will use often in this post is “ethnicity”.  Now today in order to go along with trying to wipe out racial distinctions from our vocabularies people are saying “ethnicity” has nothing to do with race but only groups of people with shared traditions and values or perhaps national origin.  The fact is for all of human history ethnicity has been associated with common heredity as well as common traditions and values and national origin.  You cannot erase heredity as a historical component of ethnicity even though we are trying to do that today in nations.

So, when I use the term “ethnicity” I am using it to refer to minor human variation groups.  Northern Europeans could be classified as a minor variation of the major Caucasian variation group.  Englishmen would be a further subset or minor variation group of the Northern European variant group.  Arabs are a West Asian and North African Caucasian variant group. Nigerians would be a minor variation of the major African variant group as compared to Kenyans being another.  Chinese would be a minor variation of the major Asian variant group compared to Filipinos.

So now you will understand what I mean when I say race or ethnicity.

The Christian case against Ethno-Nationalism

Most Christian Americans and for that matter most Christians today around the world believe that ethno-nationalism is the same as racial hatred and the Bible condemns all hatred except hatred of sin:

“Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”

Proverbs 10:12 (KJV)

So some Christians will stop right there and say the case is closed.  Ethno-nationalism is racial hatred and all hatred except for hatred of sin is condemned in the Bible therefore Ethno-nationalism is a sin against God and Christians should condemn it or so they say.

Some Christians will go a bit further in explaining why Ethno-nationalism is a sin against God and incompatible with the Christian way of life.  The following Bible passages are cited as proof that Christians should be opposed to ethno-nationalism:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Galatians 3:28 (KJV)

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;”

Revelation 5:9 (KJV)

“13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:”

Ephesians 2:13-16 (KJV)

So the argument from Christians who believe these passages condemn the practice and ideology of ethno-nationalism goes somewhat like this:

Christ came to save all men regardless of their ethnic background.  But he came not only to save all races and ethnicities – but he came to knock down the boundaries or as Ephesians 2:14 says “the middle wall of partition” between them.  Since Christ made no distinction in his saving of all men from all races and ethnicities then so too we as Christians should erase all racial preferences or distinctions between races in our own personal lives – this is what we are told as Christians we must do.

Some Christians will even argue that the primary reason that Christ gave himself up on the cross was to promote racial diversity and harmony and John Piper is one of those Christians.  John Piper is a nationwide respected Evangelical Pastor and Christian author and I think he represents well the modern Christian arguments against ethno-nationalism.

You won’t find the term “ethno-nationalism” in his book but you will instead find the synonym “ethnocentrism” all over his book “Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian” like this example where he references it:

“This will mean a new global family made up of believers in Christ from every ethnic group on the planet. And it will mean that those who love that vision will work toward local manifestations of that ethnic diver­sity. Jesus is the end of ethnocentrism—globally and locally. Not color but faith in Christ is the mark of the kingdom.”

[4, p. 119]

In the following excerpt, instead of saying Christ came to end ethnocentrism, John Piper frames it differently by saying Christ came to bring ethnic diversity.  In fact, John Piper says Christ literally died on the cross for ethnic diversity when he writes:

“…this aim of ethnic diversity and harmony in the people of God (the one priesthood and kingdom) was pursued by God at infinite cost. The cost of diversity was the blood and life of the Son of God. This is not an overstatement. Consider the wording of Revelation 5:9 very closely: “You were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” God paid the infinite price of his own Son’s life to obtain a priesthood of believers and a kingdom of fellow rulers from every race and every ethnic group on earth. Think on it. He paid this price particularly. It was for this particular people. He ransomed people “from the nations.” The issue of racial and ethnic diversity and harmony in the church is not small, because the price God paid precisely for it was not small. It was infinite.” [4, p. 141]

John Piper then concludes that it is part of our sacred duty as Christians to pursue racial diversity in all areas of our lives:

“And if it cost the Father and the Son such a price, should we expect that it will cost us nothing? That it will be easy? That the Devil, who hates the glory of God and despises the aims of the cross, will relent without a battle? No. To join God in pursuing racial diversity and racial harmony will be costly. So costly that many simply try for a while and then give up and walk away from the effort to easier things.

But if you love God—if you live to spread a passion for his suprem­acy in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ—you will trust him and seek his help and pursue with your life what cost Jesus his.” [4, p. 142]

As part of his belief that God has called Christians to pursue racial diversity John Piper and his wife adopted an African American girl knowing it would trouble some of his southern relatives.  He also has placed racial diversity as a hiring criterion for all ministries he oversees at his Church because he believes all local churches should do their best to reflect the racial diversity of the world-wide body of Christ.

So that is the total Christian case against Ethno-nationalism in a nutshell.  According to its opponents, Ethno-nationalism comes from a position of racial and ethnic hatred and part of the reason Christ came and died on the cross was to promote racial and ethnic harmony and remove the barriers between races and ethnicities.

In fact some Christians would even go as far as rejecting not only ethno-nationalism – but even nationalism itself. There are many Christians that would build on John Piper’s theology and state that Christ promoted multicultural globalism.   After all we are all “one in Christ” and if we are one there is no place for national boundaries anymore.

The Christian Case for Ethno-nationalism

We have just explored the reasoning by many Christians today for their belief that Ethno-nationalism is a sin against God and that God wants all Christians in every sphere of their life(which would include family, church and society) to promote and implement policies of racial and ethnic diversity.

But now I will present the case that Ethno-nationalism is not a sin against God.  In fact I will show from the Scriptures that God not only allows Ethno-nationalism but in fact he was the architect of it!

I know that may sound shocking to many Christians but that is because of the sad fact that as much as we push education in our modern society – most Christians have never read the entire Bible.  They just read a few portions here and there or they listen to their Pastor or read books by Christian men like John Piper.

Don’t get me wrong.  I think it is great for us to listen to preachers on the radio – I do from time to time.  It is great to go to church each week and here the Gospel and the doctrines of Scripture preached by a Pastor on Sundays.  I have also read many Christian books by many Christian authors. But each of us must study the Scriptures for ourselves as well and remember that no Pastor or teacher (and that includes me) perfectly understands or interprets the Bible.  We are all flawed men and affected by our culture and upbringing.

No culture is perfect. Sometimes cultures and governments actually get things right and enforce God’s laws and policies. Where governments do push godly polices we as Christians should support and promote such polices.

So the question is this – is John Piper and the host of Christians he represents in America and around the world right in siding with our current cultural emphasis on multiracialism and multiculturalism or are Christians like me who side with the ethno-nationalist policies of our founders as well as all nations before the modern times right?

In other words, have nations since the flood acted against God’s will in protecting their racial homogeneity?

With that said here is the case I make from the Scriptures in support of Ethno-nationalism.

The great omission of Christians who oppose ethno-nationalism

The first argument against John Pipers position is found his same book “Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian” where he writes:

“First, that God is the God of the nations means that God created all the nations. More specifically, he created all the people in those nations in his own image. This is not Paul’s explicit focus in Romans 3:29–30, but it is implied in what he says here.

He makes this focus explicit in Acts 17:26: “He made from one man every nation [Greek ethnos] of mankind to live on all the face of the earth.” Notice two things from this text. First, God is the maker of ethnic groups. “God made from one man every nation.” Ethnic groups do not come about by meaningless, random genetic change. They come about by God’s design and purpose. The text says plainly, “God made every ethnos.”

Also, God made all the ethnic groups from one human ancestor. Paul says, “He made from one man every ethnos.” This has a special wallop when you ponder why he chose to say just this to these Athenians on the Areopagus. The Athenians were fond of boasting that they were autochthones, which means that they sprang from their native soil and were not immigrants from some other place or people group.

Paul chooses to confront this ethnic pride head-on. God made all the ethnic groups—Athenians and barbarians—and he made them out of one common stock. So you Athenians are cut from the same cloth as those despised barbarians.” [4, p. 153]

So, what is the argument within his own words against his larger position against ethno-nationalism and for the promotion of racial diversity in societies?

The key is in the passage he cites from Acts 17:26. John Piper makes the same omission that most anti-ethno-nationalist Christians make.  Let’s look at this passage he cites in its entirety:

“24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;”

Acts 17:24-26 (KJV)

The critical phrase he left off (and those who support his position always leave off) is and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation”.

Yes, God made every “ethnos”- every human variation type from one man and that was Adam.  That is an absolute Biblical truth.  But the second Biblical truth found in this same verse is that God also determined the bounds of their habitation.  This is a reference back to a passage in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy.

“7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. 8 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”

Deuteronomy 32:7-8 (KJV)

In Deuteronomy 32 we read about “the days of old” when God “separated the sons of Adam”.   Now you will need to follow the bouncing ball just a couple more times to see the complete truth of the Scriptures.  The event where God “separated the sons of Adam” is a reference to what God did at the tower of Babel as recorded in the book of Genesis.

The Biblical Story of Babel

The Biblical account of the tower of Babel is given to us in the book of Genesis:

“And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”

Genesis 11:1-9 (KJV)

Genesis 11 is not the only part of the Bible to speak of what God did at the Babel event.

The book of Deuteronomy gives us more detail on the Babel event:

“7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

8 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”

Deuteronomy 32:7-8 (KJV)

The phrase “the number of the children of Israel” found in Deuteronomy 32:8 refers to this passage of Scripture:

“And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already.”

Exodus 1:5 (KJV)

So Deuteronomy chapter 32 tells us God did not just divide men by language but he also separated them into nations and sent them where the nations originally started across the world and Exodus 1:5 shows us he divided them into 70 groups and then in Genesis chapter 10 we read more detail on the nations and their ancestry.

When did the Babel dispersion event occur?

Bible scholars have debated this for centuries.  The debate centers around a man name Peleg and his life as a reference for when Babel occurred. The Scriptures say this about Peleg:

“And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.”

Genesis 10:25 (KJV)

Arch Bishop Ussher who made his famous chronology based on Biblical events and their given timings in relation to one another placed the Babel event just before Peleg was born because Peleg means “divided”. This would mean roughly only 105 years after the flood the tower of Babel was built and God divided the people.

But if we move closer to Peleg’s death which would still be in his lifetime that would add 235 years to the Babel period. Some scholars believe there would not have been a sufficient population to build the tower as well as fulfill later Biblical events if the division happen only a 100 years after the flood making it much more likely that the Babel event probably occurred around 300 years after the flood.

It is possible if the Babel event happened 300 years after the flood that there could have been anywhere from 500,000 to has high as one million people at Babel when God separated them into nations and sent them on their way to the ends of the earth.  So I would put my guess in the middle and say there might have been 700,000 people at Babel when God divided the nations.

How did God scatter the people at Babel?

Most people think God scattered the people in only one way and that was by language.  The Genesis 11 account does allude to God dividing the people by giving them different languages.  But as we previously have shown from Genesis 10, Deuteronomy 32:7-8 and Acts 17:24-26 not only did God divide the world by language – but he also divided the world into nations.  God is literally the creator of the concept of nations.

So God sent 70 groups of people out and then split them into the various nations inhabiting the world.  If he divided the people evenly we are talking about God sending out 70 groups of 10,000 people to start the first nations of the earth and then each of those groups would have divided once in their new homelands into various family and tribal groups which formed ancient cities and towns.

God divided the world by Ethnic Groups

But God did something even more interesting.  He divided men into major heredity groups (races) both by nations and continents.  Why don’t we find ancient nations in Africa with people who have Asian characteristics?   Why don’t we find people with African characteristics in the Americas before European slave traders brought them? Why don’t we find people with Caucasian characteristics in Asia before modern times?  It is because God “separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people” (Deuteronomy 32:8).

In fact the only area of the world we find any mixture of races at all in ancient times was in the Middle East because it was the cross roads of the known world.

Some Christians would try and argue that the 70 groups of humans that God sent out from Babel all looked the same and that only through isolated breeding over thousands of years did distinctive East Asian, Central Asian, African, European, Australian and Native American characteristics form.   That might sound fine to secularists and evolutionists but I do not buy that as a Bible believing Christian.

I do not buy into Darwin’s evolution of races.  I believe God put in Adam the DNA for every distinctive characteristic of every major and minor human variation type and the Bible tells us that Adam and Eve had many sons and daughters. I believe Adam carried the human DNA for every skin color variation and every hair, eye, nose and lip variation that would ever be.  And John Piper actually agrees with me on this point when he wrote in the excerpt I quoted above:

“Ethnic groups do not come about by meaningless, random genetic change. They come about by God’s design and purpose. The text says plainly, “God made every ethnos.”

I believe Adam and Eve gave birth to children that had Asian characteristics, Caucasian characteristics and African characteristics. These were the three major human variant types – they did not evolve over thousands of years – but were there from the first men.

God made sure in his divine sovereignty that Noah and his wife would carry the distinctive DNA for all human variation types which most likely means that Noah and his wife as well as their parents were biracial couples which would make his three sons biracial and perhaps their wives were biracial as well.

And no I don’t buy into the theory that Ham was the father of the black race and that God cursed the black race.  So if you think I am saying that please save your breath – I am not. I believe Ham, Shem and Japheth where biracial children who were the product of their biracial parents and grandparents.  Just as the Ark carried every type of animal, bird and reptile so too it carried every human variation type in Noah’s three sons and their wives DNA.

Also I don’t believe Adam was white but rather he was most likely a middle brown of sorts somewhat like a middle easterner.  But whatever he looked like it does not matter because he carried in him the DNA for every human variation that would ever exist.

Where is the proof that God separated nations by Race?

Some people might be screaming at this article right now saying “Ok you have proven that God separated the world by languages and nations but the Bible says nothing about race!”  Well actually it does and John Piper has actually helped me to prove this point with this statement from his excerpt I previously gave:

“He makes this focus explicit in Acts 17:26: “He made from one man every nation [Greek ethnos] of mankind to live on all the face of the earth.” Notice two things from this text. First, God is the maker of ethnic groups.”

The Greek word for nation is ethnos from which we get our word ethnicity. It referred not only to a group of people with shared traditions and values but also with shared blood lines (common heredity). This is why I and others who are being faithful to understanding what nations were before our modern era maintain that one of the critical foundational pieces of nations that God created was common heredity or ethnos.

Acts 17:26 serves not as a defense of the concept of multicultural and multiracial nations, as John Piper and other modern Christians suggest, but rather it serves as a fatal blow to their position and a solid rock to support the idea that God not only approves of ethno-nationalism but he actually invented it!

So yes it is absolutely right to say as John Piper did that God created every human being from one man and he created every ethnicity of man.  Amen and Amen.  But it is also right to say that the same God who created all of us from one man and every ethnicity from one man also separated the sons of that one man by ethnicity into nations.  We cannot affirm the first truth while leaving the second truth out.

Not only does the Bible clearly state that God separated the world by ethnicity into nations but world history proves it.

Why don’t we find large mixtures of races in nations before modern times?   The answer is simple.  It is because as the Scriptures state God created the “ethnos” and “separated” and set “the bounds of their habitation”.

That means the original inhabitants of China were sent their by God. The original inhabitants of the Americas were sent there by God.   The original inhabitants of India were sent there by God. The same goes for Africa, and Europe and Australia.

So up to this point we have established from the Scriptures that it was God who separated the sons of Adam at Babel and determined where they were to go on earth.  He sent 70 different groups of people out from Babel – some not too far Babel and others he would send to the other side of the planet in what would later become known as the Americas.

While the Scriptures don’t specifically describe the racial characteristics of these groups that God scattered we know from history that the major racial types were primarily clustered by continental areas and since the Scriptures tell us God sent them there we can rightly say God divided the world not only by language and nations but also by major and minor racial categories.

But then the question becomes why? Why did God scatter the people at Babel? It appears that before the flood the concept of nations did not really exist.  The world was not divided by language, racial characteristics or national boundaries.  So why after the flood did God divide the world in the ways we have discussed?

Why did God scatter the people at Babel?

There are positive and negative reasons God scattered the people at Babel.  God loves variety.  He ordained that there would be 12 tribes of Israel and 12 disciples.  Each of the Tribes of Israel were unique as each of the 12 Apostles were unique.  He used 4 different men to write the Gospel from four different viewpoints.

Now God could have had every variety of man in one big worldwide order with all the major and minor variations of man that he knew he created all intermarrying and living in one interracial utopia with one culture.  But this was not what he wanted.  He wanted man to fill the earth and to spread across from one side of the planet to the other. He wanted a variety of different languages and ethnicities and nations to form.

But the people at Babel forgot God and forgot his command that he gave to Noah:

“And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.

Genesis 9:7 (KJV)

God wanted Noah’s decedents to not only have lots of children but he also wanted them to spread out across the earth and fill the earth. Instead the decedents of Noah turned against God’s command and purposefully sought to keep themselves together.

Often times one sin leads to an even greater sin and this is what happened at Babel.

There is a sinful ideology that absolutely grew like an infectious disease after Noah’s descendants decided to stay together at Babel over several centuries.  That sinful ideology was secular humanism.

Secular humanism is the Spirit of Babel and the Spirit of Babel is secular humanism – they are one and the same. 

And do you know what feeds the Spirit of Babel and causes it grow? When mankind unites in the name of mankind across racial, ethnic and national boundaries under anything except obedience to and the worship of God.

“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”

Genesis 11:4 (KJV)

The people did not want to make a name for God – they wanted to make a name for mankind.  Listen to this definition of Humanism from dictionary.com which so perfectly fits the people at Babel:

“a variety of ethical theory and practice that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of belief in God.” [5]

In Genesis 11:6 God tells us there would be no limit to what mankind could do if they remained united:

“And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”

So, God was saying there were no limits to the sin man could commit when the world unites and this is why he wanted men separated by language, culture and race in various places throughout the world.

America played with humanism and brought about the new Babel

The fact is that while many of the founding fathers were godly men they also dabbled in secular humanism as well.  They thought they could “Christianize” humanism.  Humanist philosophy began to grow in America and be influenced more by European thinkers.  Atheism, egalitarianism, multiracialism, feminism and eventually multiculturalism took over until the values of America barely resembled those of her founders.

America started off as a Christian ethno-nationalist nation of northern European decent and in just over century it transformed into a secular humanist multiracial multicultural “melting pot”.  America would go on to be instrumental in bringing the world together to form the new Babel “that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of belief in God.”

Truly the new uniting of the world with America at its center has resulted in evils that would be unimaginable a century ago.  The most powerful human sphere of authority God ever established – that of the husband and father has been almost completely neutered as a result of efforts to appease feminists and meet the demand of a secular society for greater equality for all its members. Infanticide in the form of abortion is the law of the land resulting in the deaths of millions of children each year.

Divorce is rampant and cohabitation is fully accepted. Full acceptance of homosexuality and transgenderism is mandated by law. God has been chased out of our schools and secularism is fully entrenched.  Laziness is subsidized through social programs.  Most of the Churches in the western world (including America) have bought into the social Gospel.

Integration schemes are continually tried to force different ethnicities to unite.  Governments seize money from the rich and middle classes in their futile attempt to end poverty in all nations as well as redistribute wealth between different ethnic groups.

The fatal mistake Christian Diversity Advocates make

I am going to quote you a few passages of Scripture that point out a critical truth of the Scriptures that Christian diversity advocates make.

“34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:”

Luke 20:34-35 (KJV)

You might be scratching your head now saying “what does marriage have to do with ethno-nationalism?” It is not marriage that I want you to notice but instead look at two key phrases Christ says here. Those phrases are “this world” and “that world”.

We live in “this world” not “that world”.  Even Christ said his kingdom was not yet of “this world”:

“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

John 18:36 (KJV)

Now he did say that one day he would come to rule and establish his kingdom here on earth:

“26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.”

Mark 13:26-27 (KJV)

And in the book of Revelation it says that Christ will rule over the nations with a rod of iron:

“13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.”

Revelation 19:13-16 (KJV)

What is my point? The fatal mistake diversity advocates like John Piper and other Christians who attack the concept of ethno-nationalism make is that they think they can bring about “that world” before Christ comes.

Only God himself can cancel his Babel policy that he made for mankind. Only when Christ returns to rule over this earth can the nations of the earth unite without returning to evil spirit of Babel.

Did Christ die to promote racial diversity?

My Bible does not tell me that Christ died to bring “racial diversity” in this world “globally and locally” but rather it tells me “Christ died for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3).

Absolutely it makes no difference what our race, ethnicity, gender or social status is – Christ saves us all just the same.  And praise be to God he has saved and will continue to save men and women from “every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

Christ gave this great commission to his Church:

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Mark 16:15 (KJV)

Christ didn’t say “go promote racial diversity and get rid of ethno-nationalism” he said to go into the world and preach the Gospel. He did not call us to bring about his earthly kingdom – he will do that himself one day.  When I read John Piper’s statements about Christ dying for racial diversity it very much reminded me of when Christian feminists say Christ died to abolish the sin of patriarchy and bring about gender equality.

For now, we are to live in “this world” while looking forward to “that world”.  No Christian should actively seek to work against or cancel out God’s Babel policy in this time and this world.  Only Christ can do that one day when he returns to reign.

How should we as Christians respond to living in the new Babel?

First, we need to realize that we live in this sin cursed world and that ethno-nationalism can create an environment that when unchecked by Christian principles can lead to sinful racial pride, racial hate and bigotry. History shows this time and time again. But do we think God did not know that when he instituted ethno-nationalism at the tower of Babel? Of course, he did.  But he knew an even greater sin of humanism and secularism would occur if men stayed together.  Yes, nations would be sinful on their own – but if all the ethnos of the world united together under anything less that Jesus Christ himself as King it would spell complete rebellion against God. And that is what we see today.

This is another area where John Piper and others get it completely wrong.  Christ was condemning the sinful racial pride, hatred and bigotry of Israel but he was not condemning the policy of ethno-nationalism which he himself established in Israel as he had for all nations at Babel.

So, as we are forced to live in this new Babel we must always be personally checking ourselves against attitudes of sinful racial pride, racial hatred and racial bigotry.  We must also guard against sinful national pride, national hatred and national bigotry.

But I want you to notice a word I always put out in front of pride and that is “sinful”.  Pride is not always sinful in the same way that hate and anger are not always sinful.  Sometimes pride is actually holy and just in the same way that hate and anger can be holy and just.

“Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.”

Proverbs 17:6 (KJV)

For parents to be proud of their children’s accomplishments if not sinful.  If that pride in their children’s accomplishments leads to them degrading other’s people’s children because they have not had the same accomplishments then it becomes sin.  In the same way, it is not wrong for anyone to glory in the accomplishments of their father or forefathers or even those of their same kindred or ethnicity.

When an American wins at the Olympics it is not wrong for us as Americans to be proud of our fellow American that won.

Some will point to this verse to say Christians should not regard themselves as citizens of any nation whether it be America or any other:

“20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”

Philippians 3:20-21 (NASB)

But these Christians are making that same error I pointed out earlier of confusing “this world” with “that world”.  We eagerly await the transformation of our bodies into glorified bodies in heaven – but we are not there yet.  For now, we live in this world and we are in fact citizens of whatever nation God has placed us in.

What should our attitude as Christians be toward racial diversity?

There are two extremes on this issue of racial diversity.  One extreme of ages past taught that we as Christians are forbidden from any interaction with people of other races and ethnicities. The Bible does not support such a notion and this passage of Scripture directly contradicts that:

“11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.”

Galatians 2:11-13 (KJV)

We don’t have to be ashamed to associate with people of other ethnicities, especially brothers in Christ.  Churches should not forbid various ethnicities from coming to them. They should be open to all ethnicities because it is not the job of the church to protect its racial homogeneity.

But then we have the other extreme.  While it is not the job of the Church to protect its racial homogeneity, it is also NOT the job of the Church to vigorously promote and encourage racial diversity.

What about parents and their children? Is it a sin for a parent to prefer their child marry someone of their own ethnicity? The answer is no.  We see examples of parents being very protective of making sure their children married within their ethnicity:

“2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: 3 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: 4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.”

Genesis 24:2-4 (KJV)

Again, as I said in the previous post – interracial marriage is not a sin in and of itself.  But it is also not a sin for parents to prefer their children marry within their own ethnicity.

And finally, on the subject of national policy.  We as American Christians live in a nation where we can vote and we have a say in government policies and since we as the people have say in the direction our nation goes we must oppose policies that continually run contrary to God’s Babel policy.

What that means is we as Christians should vote against any local, state or federal policies which seek to weaken the nation’s sovereignty and identity and give that sovereignty to the United Nations or other international groups.

We must vote against any local, state or federal policies which seek to strengthen the spirit of Babel in our society by forcing racial and ethnic integration such as bussing schemes and housing schemes.  We as Christians should vote against affirmative action schemes and any legislation which would impose racial diversity quotas on centers of education or businesses.  If we as Christians were ever presented with government proposals to limit immigration by ethnicity as we did before the 1960’s we should support such efforts.

Christians should absolutely support a ban on immigration from all Muslim nations not only to protect ourselves from terrorism but to protect our ethnic and cultural identity.  Christians should oppose building permits for new mosques in their neighborhoods.

It’s not about just about protecting Whites from the attacks of racial diversity pushers in America, it is about working to weaken or stop the spirit of Babel which is so prevalent throughout the world today and trying to return to God’s Babel’s policy where he “separated the sons of Adam”.

I hold no hatred for those who are not of my racial and ethnic kindred and I also hold no illusions about America remaining a majority white nation. I am not angry at Black, Hispanic or Asian Americans.

I am saddened at the behavior of my own kindred – those of British decent, those of northern European decent.  They embraced humanism, egalitarianism, multiracialism and feminism and in the process gave away the nation their ancestors fought and died for.  White men gave up their duty to protect the racial homogeneity of their nation both by engaging in slavery of the African people as well as allowing the slaves to stay after had they had been freed against the wishes of Abraham Lincoln who wanted to send them back to Africa.

White men in America gave up their leadership of their families and this nation when they allowed women to leave the home, pursue their own career interests and have less children.  They again failed to protect their racial homogeneity with the removal of all ethnic limits on immigration in the 1960s.

The spirit of Babel may not be stoppable and it may simply hearken the end of days.  But until Christ returns to establish his kingdom in this world we as Christians have no right to throw out God’s Babel policy nor should we embrace the evil spirit of Babel in our world.

References

[1] V. Davis, “America: History’s Exception,” National Review, 2017. [Online]. Available: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/436347/america-melting-pot-immigrant-culture-made-country-great.
[2] M. Sedensky, “AP-NORC Poll: Political divide over American identity,” Associated Press, 2017. [Online]. Available: http://www.apnorc.org/news-media/Pages/AP-NORC-Poll-Divided-Americans-fret-country-losing-identity.aspx
[3] W. Lawson, “Anthropologists Disagree About Race and Bones,” ABC News, 2000. [Online]. Available: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=98485&page=1.
[4] J. Piper, Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian, Crossway, 2011.
[5] “Humanism,” Dictionary.com, [Online]. Available: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/humanism.

Does the Bible Teach that Women are Second Class Citizens?

I recently received an email from a woman asking for Scriptural proof that that God does not want women to be treated as second class citizens.  She could have sent this email to a lot of Christian sites and they may have sent her back Scriptures that they believe support the idea that women should be treated completely equal with men.

The most common Scripture passage used to try and say the Bible supports equal rights for women is found in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians:

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 (KJV)

The advocates for woman’s rights hail this verse saying that it teaches that God intends for there to be absolutely no distinction and thus completely equal rights between men and women. But is this passage from Galatians God’s complete revelation on the subject of gender? We will explore the answer to that question later in this article.

I have changed the name of the woman who wrote me to Lauren in order protect her anonymity as she gave me her real name in the email.  What follows are several statements from her in the email and my response to her showing her from the Bible what God’s Word says on this issue.

LAUREN’S STATEMENT:

“I am raising daughters that have been in an environment that teaches them that women are second class… Do you know any podcast, bible verses, bible studies, websites, etc that can guide them back to trusting the Bible as God’s word and that the verses are not intending women to be second class citizens?”

MY RESPONSE:

First, we need to define what treating someone like a “second class citizen” is.  In common language usage today treating someone like a second-class citizen would be to show disdain for them or mistreat them in some way.  If we were talking about treating with disdain or hatred we can easily show that Biblically speaking this is wrong.  We are to be kind to all people no matter what their race, gender or ethnicity is.   We are also to treat others as we would want to be treated as Christ exhorted us in what has become known as “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)

But often times this rule that we should treat others as we would want to be treated is vastly abused by many to cancel out entire sections of the Scriptures.

I get people writing me all the time saying “You only believe the way you do because you are a man and it is advantageous to you to believe in Biblical Gender Roles.  If you were a woman you would not so easily believe in such things.”   You know what my response is to such assertions? I tell them if I was a woman like my mother or my daughter or many other godly women I knew growing up I would absolutely believe the way I do about Biblical Gender Roles.  I don’t believe in Biblical Gender Roles because it is advantageous to me as a man – I believe in Biblical Gender Roles because that it is what the Bible teaches.

Trust me, it is not easy living counter to the culture you live in.  It is also not as easy as women think to be a man especially in this day when masculinity is attacked and women no longer respect men. Marriage has become more of a battlefield today than it ever was thanks to feminism poisoning the minds of women. Many men have just given up and given the reigns to their wife and they do whatever she says and whatever makes her happy.  That is taking the easy and cowardly way out.

Returning back to the subject of women being treated as second-class citizens – we are not talking about mistreating women in the sense of treating them with disdain, dishonor or unkindness by Biblical standards.

The key phrase in my last statement is “by Biblical standards”.   Our culture has a whole different set of standards by which women are said to be treated with disdain, dishonor and in an inhumane way.  Before I speak to this let me give a dictionary definition of a “second class citizen” according to https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/second-class_citizen:

“A person belonging to a social or political group whose rights and opportunities are inferior to those of the dominant group in a society.”

So, if one social group of people has inferior rights and opportunities to that of some other dominant group than they are said to be treated as second class citizens.

American and Western culture in general have devised a new standard of treating someone as “less than a person” or treating someone in “an inhumane way”.  The standard is equal rights.  If a culture has different classes of people with different classes of rights then they are said to be treating those people with hatred, disdain and in an inhumane manner.  No one is allowed to question this modern definition of treating someone in an inhumane way.

In fact, in America we have sacrificed the doctrines of our Christian faith as well as our marriages and many other things on the altar to our false god of equality.  It is ok if we worship the Christian god too, as long as our service to the god of equality comes first.

So now the question then becomes does the Bible advocate for women to be treated as second class citizens to men according to the dictionary definition I just gave?

The answer simply put is YES.  The Bible does in fact advocate for women to be treated as second class citizens to men if “second class citizen” simply means they are to have less rights and opportunities than men.

In fact, women occupy the second of three social classes of humanity that God designed.

The Three Social Classes Ordained by God

Contrary to modern Western and American ideals about equality God’s original design of mankind features a social order with three classes of people.

God’s First-Class Citizen – Man as God’s Image Bearer

“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)

There are a great number of Christian theologians that misread this famous Biblical account of the creation of man and woman.  This passage does NOT teach that God created “them” (male and female) in his image. It clearly states “in the image of God created he HIM”. Many Christian teachers (even non-feminist teachers) have tried to argue that because “man” can refer to mankind that this can mean “So God created mankind in his own image”.  That is absolutely true that sometimes “man” (or Adam as it is in the original Hebrew) can refer to an individual man or mankind in general. The problem with this interpretation in this particular passage is found in the second phrase with the word “him” which is a translation of the Hebrew phrase “eth haa-‘adam” which literally means “this same man”.

So in Genesis 1:27 the Scriptures are telling us “God created Adam in his own image, in the image of God created he this same Adam.  Male and Female created he them.”

This passage tells us two very important truths.  God created man (male human beings) in his image and also that he created women as well.  It does not say he created women in his image, only that he created women.

And if there was any doubt as to the correct interpretation of this passage God gave the Apostle Paul this divine commentary on Genesis account:

“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.” I Corinthians 11:7 (KJV)

God’s Second-Class Citizen – Woman the helper to man

“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” – Genesis 2:18 (KJV)

In Genesis chapter 2 we see that God did not want Adam to be alone and so he created a helper for him.  Now a helper can be one in authority (like a manager who helps his workers), a helper can be an equal partner or a helper can be a subordinate.  So which kind of helper did not create Eve to be? The Genesis account tells us that Adam named her type “woman” and later he even gave her personal name which was Eve.  This was a sign that she would be a subordinate helper, not an authority helper nor an equal partner.  Throughout the Old Testament this is maintained when we see that men ruled over women and that husbands could override any decision of their wives and fathers could override any decision of their daughters (Numbers 30).

Multiple New Testament passages confirm that woman was designed by God to be a subordinate helper to man.

“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 (KJV)

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 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.” Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)

God designed woman to be man’s subordinate helper in many ways.  She helps him by bearing and caring for his home and his children (1 Timothy 5:14). She helps him by being a faithful companion (Proverbs 31:11, Malachi 2:14). She helps him by bringing him sexual pleasure (Proverbs 5:15-19).  But another way she helps her husband is simply by being “the weaker vessel” (1 Timothy 5:14) and needing his leadership, provision and protection.  A man cannot fully image God as he was designed to do without being a husband and father and woman helps him in this way to fulfill image God to his fullest capability.

So, if you are asking “Why did God make women to be second class citizens?” the answer is found in a passage we just stated above:

“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.” Ephesians 5:23 (KJV)

Not only was man made to image God and thus bring glory to him but marriage between a man and woman was made by God to model the relationship between God and his people. So, by fully embracing their status as second-class citizens to men women help men to fully image God and also model the relationship between God and his people.

To our equality obsessed world this makes no sense but this is why we as Christians are called to honor women for being the second-class citizens God designed them to be (I Peter 3:7).

Let me put this another way.  God could have made a partner for man that was his equal in every way. In fact, God could have created man as a hermaphrodite (with both sexes) and then humans could have just chosen any other human as partners. They could have equally broken up the division of having children, caring for the home, leading, providing and protecting.  If what I just said sounds familiar it is because this is exactly what our culture does today.  We promote homosexuality and gender equality – both ideologies which are in direct contradiction to God’s Word and his design.

But if humans existed in pair bonded relationships as equals this would not have properly modeled the relationship of God to his people.  Only if there were two genders with one dependent on the other for their leadership, provision and protection could the relationship of God to his people be properly modeled.

God’s Third-Class Citizen – Children as God’s inheritance to man

“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.  4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:3-5 (KJV)

While man does not create life in exactly the same way God does – God wanted man to have a taste of his ability to create life and in this way, he blessed man with the ability to father children.

Children help both men and women to fulfill their God given God given roles by having someone who needs their care and support.  Children help men to exercise their father role in the way God is father to his children.

Summary of God’s three ordained social classes

Now let’s summarize the three classes and how they relate to one another. Men are to be the image bearers of God. One of the ways a man images God is by loving his wife as Christ loved his Church. Another way a man images God is by loving his children as God loves his children.  Women are to show respect and deference toward men in general and specific obedience and submission toward their father and later their husband.  Children are to show respect and deference to adult men and women and they are specifically to obey and honor their father and mother.  This is God’s original creation design and order of humanity.

A fourth social class allowed by God because of Sin

Sin’s entrance into the world resulted in crime, laziness, poverty and war.  These four human conditions would necessitate that God allow for a fourth class of citizen which is that of a slave.

“If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service.  He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee.  He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall go back to his family, that he may return to the property of his forefathers.  For they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt; they are not to be sold in a slave sale.  You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God.  As for your male and female slaves whom you may have—you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you.  Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession.  You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another.”  Leviticus 25:39-46 (NASB)

While God allowed for slavery he also specifically gave rules regarding the humane treatment of slaves and the conditions under which slavery may occur.  The version of slavery that occurred in North and South America neither met the conditions allowed for slavery or the treatment of slaves.  See my article “Why Christians should not be ashamed of Slavery in the Bible” for more on this subject.

Is a woman’s second-class status only applicable if she is married or living with her father?

Some might think by the passages I mentioned previously that a woman’s second-class status only applies to her if she is married or perhaps is still a young woman living at home with her father.  Such thinking is flawed and does not take into account the entire witness of the Scriptures.  Yes, God allows and even praises celibacy in both women and men (I Corinthians 7).  However, celibacy is God’s exception to his first command to mankind to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28) and to keep this command men and women must marry, have sex and have children.

Even if a woman feels called by God to celibacy in his service this does not remove her second-class status.  Paul’s divine commentary on the Genesis account of the creation of man and woman makes this clear.

“3 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. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.”

I Corinthians 11:3-10 (KJV)

This is one of the most controversial and most un-preached passages in modern churches today. Why? Because it blows away our entire “equality based society”.  Men and women are equal in their humanity because woman was taken from man. However, Paul explains why women were to wear head coverings in worship services – because they were to reflect the order of God’s creation.  Notice there is no mention in this passage of marriage or the relationship between a husband and wife. Instead this speaks to the social order between men and women in general.  This is why women regardless of their marital status are to wear a sign of authority on their head when they come to worship.

LAUREN’S STATEMENT:

 “We attended home church and was told that women are to be submissive to their husbands, and not speak in the church.”

MY RESPONSE:

If you had church services in your home (as many churches do) then your husband would be right in teaching that you and your daughters should remain silent and simply listen during the spiritual instruction given by the men.  This is actually very clearly taught in the Scriptures.

“11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” 1 Timothy 2:11-13 (KJV)

Now does these mean women can never speak in their home because it is also used for church services? No.  Paul even commands that elder women are to teach younger women in the Lord when he writes:

“3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 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 2:1-5 (KJV)

So, it is perfectly Biblical for elder women in the Lord to conduct women’s Bible studies in their home or maintain blogs online with other women as long as this occurs under the authority of their husbands.  The women teaching should teach what is in accordance with their husband’s teachings and the women attending should do so with their husband’s permission.

LAUREN’S STATEMENT:

 “Some of the men in the church were not very caring and loving husbands and they did not honor their wives.  Last year I realized that my efforts to be a proverbs 31 wife has led me to have a relationship that is not what I consider to be what God wants.  My husband is verbally abusive, self-centered, and has neglected his role as Father and Husband.”

MY RESPONSE:

Who determines if a husband is acting in a caring or loving way toward his wife or honoring his wife? I can tell you who does not determine this.  Neither his wife nor his children. Ultimately it is God himself who judges whether your husband is caring and loving to you and honoring you in the way God expects of him.  And how does he determine God’s will in these areas? By examining the Scriptures and how God loves his wife.

Now this is not to say that men should not listen to the counsel of other men whether it be their fathers or their pastors or other spiritually mature men in the Lord.  The Scriptures tell us “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14).  Also, men should hear their wife’s concerns but men must weigh their wife’s concerns by the Word of God. Is what she is asking for within the commands or example of God’s love toward his wife? Maybe.  But is it also possible that how a wife feels her husband should care for her and love her is not warranted or commanded by the Scriptures? Could she actually be selfishly ambitious for a type of love that God does not entitle her to?

For instance, what is verbally abusive? If a man simply raises his voice to his wife is that verbally abusive? You won’t find that anywhere in the Scriptures. If a man calls his wife foolish for acting or talking in a certain way is that verbally abusive? No – in fact we have the example of one of the most righteous men in the Bible doing just that with his wife and the Scriptures tell us he did not sin in doing so (Job 2:10).

LAUREN’S STATEMENT:

“As my daughters are growing up they are rejecting this unfair situation and are questioning the Bible.  They see how there are many verses that are not in favor of women and that we are not as entitled as men… My daughters are losing interest in the Bible as they feel how can God want us to be treated unfairly and they also think that because men wrote the Bible that their sin and attitude about women is revealed in their writing.”

MY RESPONSE:

If I had a dime for every woman that wrote me over the past few years saying something like this “Thanks for confirming for me from the Bible why I never want to be a Christian” or “Thanks for helping me to leave the Christian faith your gender role teachings” I would be a wealthy man. The Atheist emails are especially humorous with their “I love your site – keep up the good preaching! You will convert everyone to atheists like me.”

I have had others write me things like “Please stop teaching these gender role doctrines.  The Gospel is the most important thing people need to believe but people will never come to hear the Gospel if they first hear these gender role doctrines.  Let them discover these passages on their own and decide for themselves what they believe.  Stop putting a stumbling block for people coming to Christ.”

What are all these complaints really saying? They are saying that Christians need to leave behind anything in the Bible that conflicts with our modern culture.  We need to teach people what makes them feel good and things that match the values of our culture or so we are told.  A lot of big churches today do just that.  Even many small churches do this.  The sad fact is only a small percentage of Christian Churches today follow Paul’s example when he stated in Acts 20:27 “for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” 

The fact is the doctrines of Biblical gender roles are part of “the whole counsel of God”.  Pastors and Christian teachers do exactly what the Apostle Paul warned them NOT to do:

“1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 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.” 2 Timothy 4:1-4 (KJV)

What do most Pastors and Christian teachers do today? They teach only what their congregation’s itching ears want to hear.  They have conformed themselves to the pattern of this world and the culture we live instead of transforming their minds and seeing the sin that the lays before them in our culture as the Bible exhorts us to do:

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2 (KJV)

We need to pray for preachers who will once again not be afraid to preach “Thus saith the Lord”.

But Christ didn’t treat women as second-class citizens!

The truth is that there are many Christian Pastors and teachers today that “preacheth another Jesus” (II Corinthians 11:4).  The Christ they preach is a feminized Christ who is not Lord of all, but one who bows the knee to the false god of equality.

Some online articles try and point to the fact that Jesus broke some social norms of his age when it came to interactions with women and that somehow shows he was a feminist or rejected patriarchy as I have shown the Bible clearly supports.

Their supposed evidence for this is that Jesus encouraged women to sit and listen to him rather than doing house work while he taught (Luke 10:38-42), he spoke to a Samaritan woman (John 4:6-30) or that he had women followers who came along with his disciples.

None of these actions by Christ prove one iota that Christ did not in fact treat women as second-class citizens to men.  What it proves is that he believed the men had had gone too far in forbidding women to hear the teaching of God’s Word (which many did).

Did Christ have even one of his twelve Apostles whom he commissioned to build his Church be a woman? No, he did not. Did Christ one time tell women they should be social equals with men? No, he did not.  Did he tell women not to submit to their husbands? No, he did not.

But the biggest problem with saying Jesus Christ believed in treating women completely equal with men is the fact that his Word says otherwise! Remember that what the Prophets before Christ and the Apostles after Christ wrote came directly from God.  Some Christians falsely believe that the words Christ spoke while he walked among men are more authoritative then the words he gave to his Apostles after he ascended to heaven. To attack the teachings of the Apostles like Peter and Paul regarding gender roles is to attack Christ himself who gave them his Word.

Conclusion

We have shown that those who use Paul’s statement that “there is neither male nor female“ in Galatians 3:28 and Christ’s actions in teaching women have built a false platform of support of equal rights for women.  When we examine the whole counsel of God as found in the entirety of the Scriptures we see this is not the case.

If you are a Christian woman who feels as Lauren and her daughters do toward your husband, father or just men in general this is what you need to do.  You need to heed the words of the Apostle James where he wrote:

“13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” James 3:13-16 (NIV)

As a woman who feels the way Lauren and her daughters do – you need to recognize your feelings for what they are when measured against the Word of God.  If you desire anything God did not intend for you to have that is by definition selfish ambition.  If you are desire the status that someone else has that is envy.

If you as a woman desire to be a first-class citizen – meaning to have all the rights and privileges of a man, then you have selfish ambition and envy in your heart.  You need to get down on your knees and pray the prayer of David in Psalm 51:10 where he prays “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” You need to fully embrace your position as the weaker vessel and your place in God’s design.

If you are a father, husband or teachers of God’s Word you must have the courage to stand firm against the evil attitudes and ambitions in the women of our age.

“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”

I Corinthians 16:13 (NASB)

Why it is NOT Wrong for Men to See Women as Sex Objects

Feminists and Church leaders have taught a false dichotomy that men must choose between seeing women either as people or as objects of sexual pleasure. We are constantly warned in the media as well as our churches and educational institutions of the supposed need to combat the “sexual objectification of women”.  We are told this is a flaw in the masculine nature that must be rooted out.  But is this behavior a flaw in the masculine nature or could it actually be by the design of God?

Recently I receive a letter from a Christian husband who told me that his wife stopped having sex with him and this has gone on for a long length of time.  One of the reasons she cited for her stopping sex with her husband was that she felt he wrongly treated her as a “sex object”. He agreed to go to a Christian counselor and the counselor agreed with the wife that her husband was treating her as a sex object.  I am writing this article as a prelude to a second article where I will give the full text of his letter and address some other issues he is facing with his wife.

The main objective of this article is to prove both from logic and the Scriptures that men seeing women as objects of sexual pleasure does not mean they are “dehumanizing women” as we are so often told. I am also going to prove from a Biblical perspective that a man’s natural inclination to see women as sex objects is not part of his sin nature, but part of his God given nature.

In the following sections I am going to build a logical and Biblical argument in a step by step fashion proving that it is not morally wrong for men to see women as sex objects and even to use them as sex objects under the right conditions.

What are Objects?

Dictionary.com defines an object as “anything that is visible or tangible and is relatively stable in form.”  Are human beings visible? Are human beings tangible? Do human beings have a relatively stable form? The answer to all those questions are YES.  Therefore, human beings are in fact objects and please take note that I said “human beings” which means BOTH men and women are objects.

But then we have two types of objects – animate objects and inanimate objects.  Animate objects are objects which are alive and inanimate objects are things which do not possess life.  A hammer is an inanimate object.  A dog is an animate object and so is a human being.

Objects made in the Image of God

While dogs and human beings are both animate objects – a human being is so much more than a dog because human beings are directly or indirectly made in the image of God.

The Bible tells us regarding man that “he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man” (1 Corinthians 11:7).  Man is God’s direct image bearer and woman is God’s indirect image bearer because of her shared human nature with man from whom she was made.

Because of their common humanity men and women are so much more important to God than animals:

“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Matthew 6:26 (KJV)

Now that we understand what objects are and that human beings are actually objects this leads us to the next truth we need to discuss.

Human beings use other human beings every day

Whether we realize it or not, every day we use other human beings as objects. When we get in a taxi we are using that taxi cab driver (an animate object) in conjunction with his car (an inanimate object) to take us to the destination we need to go to.

When you go to a sandwich shop and have the worker construct your sandwich just as you like it – you are using that person as an object to make your sandwich.  When you go to get you hair cut – you are using that barber or hair dresser as object to cut and style your hair.

Farmers use human beings as objects all the time.  During the harvest season a farmer may hire many temporary workers to harvest his crops before they go bad.  He may have machines (inanimate objects) to do some harvesting and for other harvesting he may use animate objects (human beings).

These are just a small fraction of the way we use other human beings in our everyday lives.

Now that we have discussed that human beings are indeed objects and that human beings may use other human beings for various purposes we now need to discuss the rules and boundaries for the use of animate or inanimate objects.

We must have the right to use objects

Whenever we use an object, we must have the right to use that object.  If we use an object without having the right to use that object that is a form of theft. For instance, if my lawn mower were to break down and I just went into my neighbors shed without asking my neighbor and used his lawn mower that is a form of theft.  Even if I intended to put it back, I have no right to go on his property or use his lawn mower without first having his permission.

The right to use a certain object may also come with certain limitations.  My neighbor may allow me to use his lawn mower, but he may allow me to use it with certain conditions.  He may insist that I check the fuel and make sure it is filled back to where it is when I am done.  He may insist that I agree to repair any damage to it should that occur during my use.  He may give me a time limit to use it and a time I must return it by.

In the same way, even if we are given the right to use various human beings as objects we may have stipulations on how we may use them.  For instance in my sandwich shop analogy – I can ask the worker to make my sandwich but I cannot ask him to go change the oil in my car.  If I want that done, then I need to go to an oil change place where I can rightly use a human being there as an object to change my oil.

So we have shown up to this point that human beings are objects which may be used by other human beings but that in each use we must have the right to use another human being and we must use them only within the conditions we are allowed to use them.  Next we need to discuss who gives us the right to use objects and who sets the conditions for the use of various objects.

Who gives us the right to use various objects and the terms under which we may use those objects?

The Bible tells us in Psalm 24:1 that “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” which means every object on this planet, whether it is animate or inanimate belongs to God.  As human beings, we are simply stewards of what God has given us – including our own bodies.

But as stewards God has given us certain usage rights over both inanimate and animate objects (including our own bodies). But he commands that we use these various objects within the limits and boundaries of his law.

So going back to my analogy of the lawn mower – why do I have to ask my neighbor’s permission to use his lawn mower? The reason is that God gave him the right to earn a living, to buy and own property (including that lawn mower) and God expects us to respect the private property rights of others. In fact, respect for private property rights are so important to God that he dedicated two of the Ten Commandments he gave to Moses to the subject of private property rights.

“Thou shalt not steal.”

Exodus 20:15 (KJV)

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

Exodus 20:17 (KJV)

Basically God was saying this in the 8th and 10th commandments:

“Do not violate another man’s private property rights by taking what is his private property and don’t even THINK about violating another man’s private property rights.”

Christ affirmed private property rights again in the parable of the land owner who hires men to work his fields when he stated of the land owner:

“Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?”

Matthew 20:15 (KJV)

When Christ speaks as the landowner saying “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?” he is pointing back to the Law of Moses which protected private property rights.

So let’s now update the tally as to what we have learned about objects. There are living and non-living objects. Human beings are living objects, human beings can use other human beings as long as they have the right to do so for the use they want to use them for and who determines how humans may use all objects (including their own body)? It is God himself. God has given us stewardship over various objects and he determines the boundaries and rights to those objects that we have as stewards of his creation.

Must we account for human feelings before using another human being?

We have shown that God determines what our usage rights are when it comes to all types of objects both animate and inanimate. But just because we have the right to use another human being – does that mean we can do so without regard for their feelings of whether they wish to be used or not?

The answer in most cases is that human feelings are irrelevant when it comes to the use of one human being by another.

Let me illustrate this point by going back to some previous examples and adding in some new examples as well.

When I go to my favorite sandwich place must I take into account the feelings of the sandwich maker when I use him as an object to make my sandwich? The answer is no.

He has agreed to work for a certain wage and both his employer and I as his customer have the right to use him to make sandwiches regardless of his feelings.  He might be having a bad day because of personal issues at his home.  He may just be feeling tired because he did not sleep well the night before. He could have just been insulted in the back room by one of his fellow employees.   There could be a million reasons why at this particular time he does not feel like making my sandwich.  But his feelings are irrelevant.  It is his DUTY to make my sandwich both on account of his employer and to me as his customer.

Do we have to take into account the feelings of our barber or hair stylist before we use them as an object to cut our hair? The answer is no.

Do we have to take into account the feelings of the worker at our local oil change place before we drive in to have him change our oil? The answer is no.

And now some examples for the ladies.

If you hired a photographer to photograph your wedding and on the day of the wedding he just had a fight with his wife or girlfriend and does not feel like working that day is it ok if he does not take your wedding photos? Do you have to take his feelings into account to use him as an object to take photos of your wedding? The answer is no.  In fact you would expect him to have a smile on his face and not trouble you with his personal problems on your wedding day.  He was hired to do a job and he should do his duty regardless of his personal feelings or issues.

What if you and are your girlfriends planned a day to go to your favorite nail salon.  Just before you get there the three ladies who would do your nails got into a big fight and they just want to go home and not do anyone’s nails.  Would that be ok with you? Or would you expect them as their employer would expect them to do their duty with a smile on their face? We know the answer to this. You would expect them to do their duty with a smile on their face and for them to hide any ill-will or bad feelings they had as you used them as object to do your nails.

So here is the truth of the matter as far as humans using other humans is concerned.  If one human has the right to use another human being for a specific purpose then then human being using the other human being has no obligation whatsoever to take into account the feelings of that human being as to whether they want to be used for that function.  And from the perspective of the human being who is to be used for a certain purpose – they must always realize that their duty to perform their function as an object always trumps their feelings.

Earlier I said in most cases human feelings are irrelevant when it comes to one human being who has the right to use another human being for a specific task.  I said that duty in these cases always trumps feelings and in fact the one being used should not trouble the person using them for a certain task with their feelings.

But there are some times when feelings are part of the determination of whether someone can use another person. If I call up my guy friend on the phone to go out to dinner I might say something like “Hey do you feel like going out to dinner with me tonight?”  He has no obligation or duty to go out to dinner with me as his friend.  He may feel like it or he may not feel like it.  What am I doing when I call my friend and ask him to go to dinner? In most cases it is because I want to use him as a companion object to talk with and interface with.  To share my life stories and perhaps hear his as well.  Now in some cases I may not want to use him at all – maybe I know he has been having a rough time and I want to freely offer my services as a sounding board to him.

If my children ask me on a Friday night to take them to a certain movie – do I have an obligation and duty to take them that movie? Basically they want to use me as an object to take them to the show, buy their tickets and spend time with them at the movie. But I have no duty or obligation to let them make use of me in this way and it depends on how I feel at the moment. Now sometimes I might not feel like going to the movies but as an act of love and grace and I take them anyway despite my feelings.

So now let us tally once again what we have learned up to this point.  Objects are both living and non-living. Human beings are living objects.  Human beings may and can use other human beings as objects for various uses as long as they have the right to do so.  God determines how human beings may use various objects (including other human beings as well as our own bodies).  In the vast majority of cases when one human being uses another human within their rights to do so – they do not have to take into account the feelings of the human being that is being used for a particular task.

This brings us to the primary subject of this article.

God created woman as a sexual object for man’s use and much more

“Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:9 (KJV)

The Scriptures are clear throughout the Old and New Testaments that woman was created for man, not man for woman. These are the uses for which God created woman for man:

  1. Subordinate Helper (Genesis 2:18, I Peter 3:1-6)
  2. Sex Object (Proverbs 5:15-20, Romans 1:27)
  3. Companion (Malachi 2:14)
  4. Comforter (Genesis 24:67)
  5. Mother and Caretaker of his children (Genesis 49:25, Psalm 128:1-4, 1 Timothy 5:14)
  6. Keeper of the Home (Proverbs 31:10-31, Titus 2:4)
  7. Weaker vessel to need his love, leadership, strength, protection and provision (Ephesians 5:22-33, I Peter 3:7)

The fact that God created woman for man, not man for woman is extremely offensive to our modern feminist and egalitarian society but it the truth of God’s Word.

From time to time I peruse other blogs or look for mentions of my blog on other blogs.  I found this comment from a man on what he thinks is the only reason men should get married and why he got married:

“Companionship and sharing were the main reasons I got married…most men marry because they have found someone they enjoy being with, not to have sex.”

I wanted to find a bucket to barf in after reading this statement from this feminized man!

He literally sounds like a woman.  But the truth is that there are millions of men in the western world that will make statements like this man every day.  And while some of these men may just be asexual or have lower levels of testosterone so they are more like women –  some of these men are normal men with normal levels of testosterone and they just have been trained their whole lives to suppress their true God given masculine desires towards women.

The fact is that without societal conditioning that tells men their wants and desires are evil and selfish and women’s desires are noble and righteous we would be hearing some very different things from men.

Men marry women for sex! They marry women for companionship! They marry women to bear their children, care for their children and care for their home while they go to work.  Men want to have a beautiful sexy wife to come home to each day who makes their home warm and inviting and has dinner on the table each evening.   They want to know that whenever they wish they can drink from sexual well that is their wife!

These are desires that God has placed in man and no man should ever be ashamed having these desires towards a woman.  Some Christian sites talk about things like “when you feel more like a maid than a wife” when the reality is part of being a wife IS being a maid.   Other sites talk to women who feel like they are “more of a sex object than a wife”.  Are they kidding themselves? Being a wife and sex object are not mutually exclusive things.  A wife was designed by God to be a sex object to her husband.

The Scriptures are crystal clear that sex is “the natural use of the woman” (Romans 1:27) for the man and that he is to drink from the sexual well that is his wife and satisfy himself sexually with his wife’s body whenever he wants (Proverbs 5:15-20).

Is there a difference between seeing wives as sex objects or women in general as sex objects?

This is a question that is sure to come up in the context of women being seen as sex objects by men.  The fact is that men see ALL women (whether they are married to them or not) to a greater or lesser degree as sex objects excluding their blood relatives like their mothers, daughters or sisters. If the woman is less attractive to the man based on his preferences than he may see her less as a sex object and if she fits his preferences of sexual attraction he will see her much more as a sex object.

Some Christians reading this may not have a problem with men seeing their wives as sex objects but object to men seeing women that are not their wives as sex objects.  But such a distinction is false.  For the most part, every man who asks a woman on a date does so because he is sexually attracted to her and sees her as an object that could bring future sexual pleasure to him.  If he did not – he would never have asked her out in the first place.

Now sexual attraction is not the only reason men choose women as potential mates, but it is often the first reason.  Men also choose women based on what type of mother they think she would be, what kind of homemaker they think she would be and also how submissive she will be.  For many men – a woman could be a very attractive woman but if she appears to be a contentious and high maintenance woman they won’t go near her.  This is why many women who have high power jobs have a hard time finding men and when they do in most cases they have to find men who are softer and more submissive.

Can men go too far in sexually objectifying women?

Any behavior, even a God given behavior in man or woman, can be taken to an extreme so of course it is possible for men to go too far in sexually objectifying women.   For instance, if a construction worker sees a nice-looking woman walking down the side walk in front of him and he is sexually aroused by her form and has sexual thoughts about her this behavior is holy and by the design of God.   In fact, maybe he sees this woman walk by his work site every day for many weeks and then gets the courage to talk to her and ask her out on a date based on his sexual attraction toward her.  Again, this behavior is by the design of God and is holy and just.

However, if this same construction worker instead of asking her out and talking to her in kind way starts whistling at her and saying sexually suggestive phrases about her then he has now gone too far in sexually objectifying this woman.  The same would go for men that try and sexually touch or use inappropriate sexual language with female coworkers or other female acquaintances.

I know of a young man in his early twenties that tried to have vaginal intercourse with his wife only a week after she gave birth to their first child. He caused her a lot of medical problems by doing this.  Most doctors advise that men wait 6 to 8 weeks to allow their wives to properly heal after child birth before trying to resume vaginal intercourse.  Now as I have mentioned elsewhere on this blog – I think a wife can help her husband sexually in other ways during this waiting period for intercourse.  But this young man was wrong knowing the potential damage it could cause his wife and still doing it anyway.  Yes, God made his wife as a sex object for him – but God also says that a husband is to protect and care for his wife’s body as he would his own (Ephesians 5:29) and he failed to do that.

So yes, men can sometimes go too far in sexually objectifying women.

Application for women

If you as a woman are reading this and you are angry or hate that fact that your husband or men in general see you as a sex object this is what you need to do.  You first need to realize that your feelings on this issue are not holy and justified but are based in your own sinful pride.  You may not even have realized how you feel about being a sex object for men is based in the sin of pride because of what our culture tells you every day.

The Bible tells us this regarding our cultural conditioning:

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Romans 12:2 (KJV)

God calls you to reject your cultural conditioning that goes in direct opposition to his word.  Once you have resolved to allow God to transform your thinking you need to mediate on these principles:

  1. You as a woman were created for man, man was not created for you. (I Corinthians 11:9)
  2. In keeping with your created purpose for man – you are in fact a sex object to men. God reserves the sexual use of your body for marriage (Hebrews 13:4) but when you are married your husband may fully use you as a sex object (Proverbs 5:15-20).
  3. While you are to guard your virginity as a sacred treasure for marriage – you should never scold men for being sexually attracted to you or for simply glancing at your female form.
  4. When you are married you should never allow yourself to have negative thoughts of being sexually used by your husband. In fact, you need to recondition your mind to WANT to be sexually used by your husband because that is one the purposes for which you were designed by God.

Finally, on the subject of feeling sexually used by your husband.

I always find it fascinating how many Christian women pray that God will use them but they only want to be used in the way they want to be used.  They have these grand visions and really selfish ambitions of how they want God to use them.

But to be used as a maid, a cook, a mother for his children and an object of sexual pleasure for a man – well that is just beneath them and they will have no part in this.

If you are having negative feelings about being “sexually used” by your husband you need to realize that such thoughts and feelings come not from your spirit, but from your sinful nature (your flesh).  Such feelings are not only unbiblical, they are in fact illogical and they fully based in sinful pride.

Why would you feel angry at your husband for using you for one of the purposes for which God made you?  Getting angry at your husband for using you for sex would be like your wedding photographer getting angry at you for using him to take pictures at your wedding.  It is part of your function, your design and your intended use.

I encourage and admonish you as a woman to pray the prayer of Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”  Once you give your pride to God, humble yourself before and fully accept his design for your life you will truly find the peace and joy that God intended for your life.

Application for Men

Both the secular world and sadly even the much of the Christian world today tells men that their God given masculine desires are based in pride. If a man desires for his wife to submit to his authority and not argue with him all the time we are told this desire of his is based in his wicked “male pride”. If a man desires to be the primary bread winner or sole provider for his family again we are told this is based in his wicked “male pride”.  Finally, if a man desires to have sex with his wife anytime he wishes as opposed to only when his wife is in the mood and mutually desires sex he is told this is wicked “male pride” and “selfishness” on his part.

Christian men hear me now. The teaching that these God given masculine desires are wicked and sinful on the part of men is a teaching straight from the pit of hell.  The prophet Isaiah speaks of the false teachers we see today:

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

Today they teach that God given masculine desires are evil and feminine sinful desires are good!

I do not deny that some men do deal with sinful pride in other areas – but a man desire the things I have mentioned from a woman is not sinful in the least bit.  It is holy and by the design of God.

The biggest problem for Christian men today is not pride – but cowardice.

We as men are too cowardly to call out those who attack the masculine human nature which makes man the image bearer of God (I Corinthians 11:7). We as men need to realize there is a reason why the world attacks the masculine nature while elevating the feminine nature.  It is symbolic of mankind’s rejection of God himself.   When we take the “weaker vessel” (woman) and elevate her above the image bearer(man) we are spitting in the face of almighty God himself.

So, to all you men out there I give you this advice – ask God to give you the courage to stand firm in the faith and act like a man!

“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”

1 Corinthians 16:13 (NASB)

Stop apologizing for your God given masculine nature whether it be your logical thinking, your competitiveness, your desire to lead a woman or you strong physically based sexual desire toward women.

You need to do as I encouraged the women to do and let go of the cultural conditioning you have grown up with that has taught you to hate your God given masculine nature.  You need to mediate on these Scripture principles:

  1. God created you as a man to image him (I Corinthians 11:7). This means that your masculine nature is the direct image of God where the feminine nature only indirectly images God in our shared humanity as men and women.  You image God by living out and acting out your various masculine traits.  When you compete with other men in various forms you image God’s competitive nature. When you exercise your protective masculine nature by desiring to train yourself or buy weapons for protection you image God’s protective nature.  When you find women beautiful and desire sex with women you image God’s desire for beauty and pleasure.
  2. Do not be ashamed of the fact that woman was created for man (I Corinthians 11:9), and specifically that your future or current wife was created by God for your blessing and pleasure. She was created by God for you to help you fully image God as a husband and later a father to your children. Embrace this and rejoice in this Biblical truth!
  3. Have the courage to fully act on your sexual desires toward your wife. There are many men that have great courage whether it be on the battlefield or in their careers or in sporting events but they cower like children when it comes to their sexual desires toward their wives.  Many men cover their sexual cowardice toward their wives under the guise of “being sensitive and unselfish” toward their wives.  But such thinking runs directly contrary to the command of God in Proverbs 5:15-20 toward men to liberally and freely satisfy themselves sexually with their wife’s body.

Conclusion

Women – stop having sinful pride against one of God’s purposes in your design and that is your design as a sex object.  You need to fully embrace the fact that a big part of your design was to bring visual and physical sexual pleasure to men and specifically your husband in marriage.  Stop judging men and scolding men for noticing your female beauty but rather rejoice in how God has made man and your purpose in his creation.

Men – stop having sinful cowardice in regard to your God given masculine nature.  Stop apologizing for how God designed you as men and the God given desires you have toward women. Fully image God by fully embracing your masculine human nature.  Do not feel guilty for wanting a woman to sexually please you, bear your children and care for your home.  All of these are God given desires and are part of your imaging the very nature of God.  Especially if you are married – have the courage to fully and completely act on your sexual desires toward your wife and stop allowing the world to tell you that you are selfish in engaging in the God designed natural use of the woman.

It could be a hate crime in Canada to use wrong gender pronoun

Calling someone by the wrong gender could now become a hate crime in Canada.  The protection of gender identity is now being compared to the protection of freedom of religion by proponents of the new legislation.

Here is some of the story as reported by the Daily Caller:

“Canada passed a law Thursday making it illegal to use the wrong gender pronouns. Critics say that Canadians who do not subscribe to progressive gender theory could be accused of hate crimes, jailed, fined, and made to take anti-bias training…

“Proud that Bill C-16 has passed in the Senate,” said Jody Wilson-Raybould, the country’s attorney general and minister of justice. “All Canadians should feel #FreeToBeMe.”

 “[There’s an argument] that transgender identity is too subjective a concept to be enshrined in law because it is defined as an individual’s deeply felt internal experience of gender,” said Grant Mitchell, a conservative senator, in November 2016. “Yet we, of course, accept outright that no one can discriminate on the basis of religion, and that too is clearly a very deeply subjective and personal feeling.”

So this is the point we have come to now? Comparing gender identity to religious freedom?

So if I believe I am a girl even though I was born with a man’s body I can now call it my religion to believe I am something I am not and force the world to go along with my mental disorder? And yes that is exactly what homosexuality and transgenderism is – it is a mental disorder. Let us remember that up until the 70’s and 80’s homosexuality and transgenderism were RIGHTLY labeled as mental disorders by the main stream American medical establishment.

It is absolutely crazy what our world is coming too. Whether it be homosexual or transgender so-called “rights” or the homosexual or transgender agenda we are giving away our freedoms more and more as a society.  We have been doing this for decades and now we are reaping the consequences.

The Word of God clearly states “male and female created he them”(Genesis 1:27) and it tells us what homosexuals and transgenders do is “against nature“(Romans 1:26) and “unseemly“(Romans 1:27).    God did NOT create homosexuality or transgenderism and we must continue to preach that these behaviors are corruptions of his perfect design.

Many who fight to force our nations to accept the homosexual and transgender agendas are fighting to force us to accept what is against nature as God designed it. And unlike the Civil Rights movement which was about race, this is about behavior.  It is about forcing people to accept and validate behavior which violates their deepest religious beliefs as well as their own sense of the natural world.

And unlike the Civil rights movement of the 60’s(which had its own problems) this is one the progressives will not win.  Men have died for their faith for centuries before the homosexual and transgender movements of the modern era. If Christians are being put in hand cuffs over speech against homosexuality and transgenderism or failure to fully embrace it the progressives will awake a sleeping giant.  Even those who are more secular and don’t have a religious beef with homosexuals and transgenders will begin to turn against them when Christians are locked up for their faith.

It is one thing to say you want to be free to be a homosexual or transgender – most Americans will accept giving you that freedom now.

But you are not free to force anyone to validate your behavior which they find to be immoral.   You are not “free” to make them make your wedding cake or cater your gay wedding.  You are not “free” to make them take of photos of your gay pride event.  You are not “free” to make them design your gay website. You are not “free” to make Christian adoption organizations adopt to gay couples.

In other words, You are not “free” to force us to violate our Christian faith by making us validate your immoral behavior.

On these principles, most Americans will agree whether they are Christian or non-Christian.  Once Christians start being prosecuted regularly for supposed “hate crimes” against homosexuals and transgenders for simply not participating in events that honor or promote homosexuality or transgenderism this nation’s acceptance and embrace of homosexuality and transgenderism will fracture.