Website owner:  James Miller

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On fornication and adultery

   Why should one take fornication and adultery seriously and be 
   careful to avoid them?  My first answer is that you should 
   avoid them because they are wrong.  Grossly wrong.  Period.  
   They are wrong because God says so.  God's commandment is that 
   we must refrain from them.  So refrain from them.  The Bible 
   teaches that they are gross sins and those who engage in them 
   will go to hell.  To engage in them is to go against God.  You 
   cannot be faithful to God and commit these sins.  If you think 
   you can you are only deceiving yourself.  Christianity and 
   illicit sex simply don't mix.  You can't have both.  And it is 
   very interesting to note that almost all major religions of the 
   world are in agreement with Christianity on this point.  Almost 
   all regard fornication and adultery as wrong --- grossly wrong.  
   However, in addition to the fact that it is just wrong, one can 
   give other reasons why you should not engage in fornication and 
   adultery.  Let us list some: 

   1.  You run a high risk of getting one of the many sexually 
   transmitted diseases that are out there (including AIDS).  Thus 
   engaging in them puts your health at risk.  And health is 
   important.  Very important.  Bad health is like a pebble in 
   your shoe as you walk through life, something you have to live 
   with.  A wise man is concerned about preserving his health. 

   2.  If you are married you wrong your spouse (by being 
   unfaithful to him); if the other person is married you wrong 
   the spouse of the other person. 

   3.  If a child results from your actions it will be 
   illegitimate.  By producing an illegitimate child you have 
   wronged that child. 

   4.  If, as many people do, you produce a child you are not able 
   to support, you have wronged society --- for society must then 
   support the child. 

   5.  Adultery is cheating.  You can't be an adulterer and be an 
   honest person.  If you are an adulterer you are also a liar 
   and a cheat. 

   6.  If you are married you risk destroying your marriage and 
   causing great emotional upheaval in both your life and your 
   spouses' life.  If you have children your actions threaten 
   great upheaval in their world and deep emotional problems for 
   them, deeply wronging them.  Your actions threaten your entire 

   Having said these things now, it is important to be honest and 
   recognize that fornication and adultery are indeed the 
   Achilles' heel of mankind.  We all have those forces and 
   desires within us pulling us in that direction.  We are all 
   vulnerable.  We are all tempted.  For all of us there is this 
   conflict between flesh and spirit, between desire and 
   conscience.  And if allowed to go too far fleshly passion can 
   become so strong as to overpower all else (reason, conscience, 
   whatever).  The sexual urges, needs, desires and forces within 
   us are very powerful.  They are indeed difficult to cope with.

   Now let us make one final observation.  Of all sins none does 
   so much hurt and harm to others as the sexual sins (adultery, 
   fornication, sexual perversion, etc.).  Hurt in the form of 
   personal anguish, suffering, anger and hatred; hurt in the form 
   of messed up lives; hurt in the form of financial distress.  
   Furthermore, no other sin does so much damage to a society as a 
   whole.  The costs of the sexual sins are very great to a 
   society.  Many of the problems of our society have at least 
   part of their root in sexual sin.  For example many cases of 
   broken homes, marital discord, spouse abuse, child abuse, and 
   juvenile delinquency have their root in sexual sin.  Sexual sin 
   produces large numbers of divorces and remarriages, thereby 
   producing children being raised by stepparents, children who 
   often end up angry (stepparents often do not have the patience 
   and love of the true parent).  Angry children often become 
   delinquent.  The illegitimate children arising out sexual sin 
   (teenage fornication, for example) are far more likely to be 
   juvenile delinquents and to follow a path of crime than are 
   legitimate children living with both of their parents, thus 
   providing a big component to our crime problem. All these 
   problems have not only emotional costs but dollar costs 
   associated with them: the costs in tax dollars to support large 
   numbers of unwed mothers with their hordes of illegitimate 
   children, lawyer fees for divorce cases or juvenile delinquency 
   problems, court costs, costs of maintaining people in prison, 

   So with all the damage that sexual sin causes for individuals 
   and the society what is our society's attitude toward it?  We 
   romanticize it, glamorize it and wink at it.  And we call those 
   who condemn it Old Fashioned, Victorian or prude.  Instead of 
   hating it as we ought to, it is OK.  Liberal religion and 
   philosophy, Hollywood, TV, Alvis Presley, Hugh Hefner, and many 
   others can all be thanked for this. 

   Aug 1998

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