Hello everyone. I’m still alive. And I’m still on my hiatus.
I have a final difficult push to get my “financial freedom” business off the ground. So I need total focus. This is probably the closest thing a man can experience to giving birth to a baby (thankfully.)
Anyhow, I’m taking a break this evening and I’ve had some thoughts that have been percolating through the murky recesses of my subconscious that I wanted to make note of here.
Namely, there was a problem I had been thinking about but never quite reached a conclusion:
What is the real problem with pornography?
(You can find my earlier posts on this topic somewhere in the archives. I’m too lazy to link to them right now.)
On the one hand, I think it’s clear that the church misdiagnosis the problem and uses it as a tool to guilt-manipulate sex-starved men. I’ve written about this earlier so I won’t go into details here.
But, I’m not going to come out and say “pornography is just fine and dandy. Go hog-wild boys!” Intuitively, I know there’s something wrong with it.
An idea was triggered when I read an email today from A.J.A. Cortes (who I highly recommend following… even if you don’t normally subscribe to email lists).
The title of the email was “We covet what we see, and what you covet is not Real.” It was a lengthy email, but here are a few excerpts [emphasis mine]:
I grew up in the 1990s, before social media took over. When I was growing up, the hottest girl you knew was whoever was the hottest girl in your class/grade/school was.
Maybe you lusted after a female celebrity, but your beauty norms were shaped by who you saw in person.
Obviously that has changed. We all posses the means now to view an infinite number of hot bodies on our smart phones. The commodification of beauty and the body has spawned a massive, massive industry.
Beauty has always been prized, beauty and glamor are persuasive, that is beyond question.
That said, when you are so inundated with beauty, glamor, appearance, you lose your perceptual underpinnings of what is REAL, and what is artificial.
He then addresses the incel/beta problem:
[The incel movement is] representative of a world in which a generation of damaged men have been raised indoctrinated by femininity, pushed into false vulnerability, made subservient to their feelings, and as a result they are truly beta, and helpless with women. Add in being skinny fat, being made to feel guilty for being a man, and raised to put women on a pedestal, and you’ll end up with some truly deranged individuals (its not accident that around 90% of school shooters are all raised by single mothers)
Modern femininity has cruelly and ironically created the very thing it set out to destroy; men that hate women, and don’t understand them (A woman can never raise a Man to be a Man)
I WOULD call that toxic masculinity.
And its made worse by young men scrolling through 10,000 IG skanqs. It traps their maturity into being perpetual betas looking at fake bodies, and probably pornography as well
The problem is not that men like to look at nude women. People have been depicting and looking at artful depictions naked women for a looooong time. (Yet the Scriptures are mysteriously silent on this “sin.”)
The problem is overexposure to glamour.
I define art as taking something ordinary and making it extraordinary. Art highlights the beauty or emotional power of an object or experience by re-framing it in a way that makes it seem new again.
Or, to bring it closer to home:
The first glamorous image of a naked woman you saw was thrilling. The 1,000th image you saw was “normal.”
The first time you watched sex from a third person perspective was intriguing. The 1,000th time you’re just trying to find a video with enough novelty to get excited enough to cum.
The problem with pornography is that it doesn’t offer any new perspectives on the beauty of sex or women. It only normalizes what was once (perhaps) an intriguing frame. Glamour becomes the expectation rather than the rare delight.
Even “Perfect 10s” don’t look as glamorous moment-to-moment as they do in their one-in-a-thousand perfect photographs.
As Cortes has pointed out, glamour has become a commodity. It’s no longer special.
So what’s the solution?
Well, here’s how NOT to solve the problem.
Don’t go around vilifying men for looking at porn. Let’s not be naive about this: porn exists in such abundance because it’s fulfilling an unmet need.
Men (and women) are hardwired to seek out the mystery that is sex.
I don’t think it takes a genius to figure out that if appreciation for truly artistic expressions of sex, such as the Song of Solomon, are not cultivated, then people will settle for the next best thing.
People will continue to consume tasteless porn for the same reason people continue to consume junk food: they are unaware of how sick they are; they just know they need to continue eating something. And they’re probably just too damn lazy to do anything about it on their own.
Of course, to make this analogy fitting for the present-day religious climate, you’d have to say it’s like telling people that eating is bad by pointing out the poor nutritional content of their diet. Then you ban all production of nutritious food and tell people if they don’t get over their “hunger problem” that they’ll be justly burned in hell forever. Then, as a solution, you offer a path of grace that says you’ll be forgiven for being hungry and eating such terrible food. But you really should stop eating… as evidence that you’re truly forgiven.
Peace out for now.
I’m taking a brief hiatus from my blog.
I’m going into “monk mode” for a while to knock out a mission critical project that is unrelated to this blog. Philosophizing about sex would be a distraction.
I intend to return though. Probably in 2-3 weeks or so.
My blog theme is going to expire soon. I suspect my blog will revert to some kind of generic design when it does. Or something wonky will happen, who knows? I’ll fix it when I return.
If you want to be sure you get alerted when I post again, follow me on WordPress or add my blog to your RSS reader.
Peace out (for now.)
At the end of the week, the premium WordPress theme I’ve been using is scheduled to expire and I don’t intend on renewing it.
I like the design fine, but I don’t like the back end. It was pitched as a drag-and-drop editor but the code is so bloated I have a hard time figuring out how to customize anything. Even after spending several months learning basic web development, I still haven’t figured out how to change the font sizes on the mobile layout.
Anyhow, I’ll be switching to a new theme soon.
If there’s any bloggers reading who are interested, the theme I am using now is from Elegant Themes. The theme I’ll be switching to is GeneratePress.
So expect to see some wonkiness going down if you visit my site this week.
If all goes well, I’ll remember to set up the new theme before my current one expires.
If not, expect all hell to break loose… visually at least.
Since this blog is about sex, and sex is a physical activity, I feel I owe it to my readers to at least briefly touch upon nutrition.
The best book I’ve ever read on nutrition is Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan. It’s got a lot of fascinating stuff on epigenetics (i.e. modifying the expression of your genes). Sadly, most of us our not reaching our genetic potential due to the poor nutrition of the modern diet.
Or, to put it more bluntly, we’re all a lot dumber and uglier than we should be.
The problem I’ve always had with health advice is that there’s always some new thing to be worried about or some new fad to try. What I liked about Shanahan’s book is it teaches you the simple fundamentals of health so you are equipped to judge for yourself.
If you just want the “bottom line” of eating healthy, it’s this:
- AVOID vegetable oils
- MINIMIZE sugar
- Meat on the bone (gently cooked) or bone broth
- Fresh animal or plant products
- Sprouted or fermented foods
- Organ meats
That’s all you have to worry about. If you have a healthy gut you don’t need to freak out about all the toxins and food sensitivities all the hipsters are freaking out about.
Also, eating healthy doesn’t mean eating food that doesn’t taste good. Here’s the breakfast I’ve been making for myself every morning that conforms to the standards of a nutritious diet:
- 2 pieces of sprouted grain bread, lightly toasted, topped with a generous helping of grass-fed butter and
- 2 farm fresh eggs, sunny side up, topped with fresh herbs
- 3 fresh strawberries
Prep time is minimal. The longest part of the process is waiting for the stove to heat up.
And, if you need help remembering not to eat vegetable oil or sugar, just think of this:
When vegetable oil enters your body, it oxidizes and acts like an explosive inside your body, damaging your brain and other organs and (for many) winds up resulting in heart attacks or strokes.
Vegetable oil also causes a man to produce low quality sperm.
And when (excessive) sugar enters your bloodstream, it crystallizes and gets “stuck” in your veins. The resulting blockage makes it difficult for men to “get it up.”
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a doctor. I’m just an ordinary guy who read a book by a doctor. So don’t take this as medical advice. Do your own research, talk to your doctor, yadda yadda yadda
When I was a toddler, all I wanted my mother to read me was dictionaries and encyclopedias.
My poor mother tried in vain to get me to listen to stories, but I had no interest. (It wasn’t until she read me Winnie-the-Pooh that I developed any interest in fiction.)
While I can say today that I’ve since expanded my horizons and read other forms of literature, I’ve never lost interest in dictionaries.
Words have meanings and those meanings are determined by usage. Dictionaries simply tell you how a word is commonly used.
So why would this matter?
It’s because we live in an evil world. And people who want to harm you are rarely going to do so through brute force. They’re going to do it through propaganda… through words.
It really surprises me how few people understand how deceptive propaganda works. I would guess most people are cynical enough to believe that institutions are lying to them, but they don’t even realize all the lies they believe. Knowing that people are liars doesn’t make you any less susceptible for falling for a specific lie.
A skilled liar will not give you blatantly false information. Instead, he’s going to change the meaning of key word without telling you and then make a solid argument on top of the dubious meaning.
A great example is one that Vox Day talks about:
Atheists will argue that there is no “evidence” for God. But this is bullshit. There is tons of evidence for God. If you look up “evidence” in a dictionary, it simply means “an outward sign” or something like that. There was a Babylon Bee headline a while back that read “Local Atheist Demands Evidence for God, Besides Entire Universe.” That about sums it up.
What atheists won’t tell you is that they are using the term “evidence” in an uncommon way. They are referring specifically to scientific evidence. But it’s a stupid argument argument because one can’t use the scientific method on metaphysical realities.
Anyhow, this is just one example how Christians who don’t pay attention to key terms get bullied and duped by intellectual frauds. It happens all the time and the church is the worst place where it happens.
Some think it’s petty to bring up dictionary definitions in an argument. But the dictionary is very often the most powerful tool for exposing the root of the deception.
It’s perfectly fine to use words in uncommon ways, so long as one is upfront about it or the audience understands the jargon.
But charlatans are never upfront about their terms. They love to take advantage of ambiguity. They love to say one thing and let the listener think something different.
This is why I intend to continue in my dictionary obsession.
Reader Wayne offers an explanation of the watered-down truths that are now leaking into the mainstream:
I think this [watering down] is because, when addressing a general audience, the bitterness of the medicine cannot be accepted by many female readers and old school white knights, so they feel the need to tone it down.
Wayne has a good point here. In any general audience, only a small fraction of that audience will have the fortitude to acknowledge the reality of sexual dynamics. Here’s my sweeping generalization on how it breaks down:
Boomer men are too moralistic and set in their ways to change their view.
Boomer women are too drunk and delusional from the bitter fruits of feminism to give useful advice to young women.
Gen X men might accept the red pill, but are too bitter about their life choices to get much benefit from it.
Gen X women are too busy spinning their rationalization hamster about how they still have plenty of time to do _____.
Millennial men are hopelessly soyed-over and indoctrinated with “toxic masculinity” propaganda (though there are pockets of hope in the male self-improvement sphere).
Millennial women are either too overweight, unhealthy, mentally unstable, etc. to be considered suitable for mating or else they are enjoying the unlimited no-obligation attention offered to them by newfangled social media.
I see four potential groups of Christians who might be receptive to red pill truths:
- Married men who had an alpha frame before marriage but lost it
- Men who are already practicing self-improvement
- Women who are married to an alpha male
- Generation Z who gets to witness the effects of three generations of stupidity
Within any general audience of Christians, these groups will only make up a tiny percentage. The red pill is simply not designed for a mainstream audience.
On the other hand, people will read things online that they would never dare to discuss in real life. So you never know how many “unplugged” men and women are walking about on the streets of your home town.
The fact that mainstream sources are attempting to co-opt red pill truths for their own agenda is telling. It means they see it as a threat.
But, by and large, I think most Christians are too pussified to accept the red pill. Women because, well, they literally do have a pussy. And men because they’ve been trained from their childhood to think and act like women.
But we would do well to apply the Apostle Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians to this age:
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
I found an unexpected nugget of wisdom while reading a parenting blog by Roslyn Ross.
The post is about the danger of thinking of parenting as a job rather than a relationship. But she also inadvertently hit upon the masculinity problem faced by many husbands today:
To illustrate why it’s so unhealthy to turn a relationship into a job, imagine a new husband takes on the job of being a Good Husband. He starts doing all these things he doesn’t really want to do–mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, reading to the kids, helping his wife with the dishes, he gets the highest paying job he can and works his tail off, and at first he’s patting himself on the back going, “I am such a good boy” but after a while he starts to feel like being a good husband is a huge obligation, a chore, a long list of things to do. It’s not fun anymore. And he’s starting to resent his wife and see her as this kind of slave driver.
The reason being a Good Boy is so unfulfilling is that he’s following a pre-written “script.” He’s not learning or discovering or growing and without growth there is no life.
The other reason it’s so unhealthy is who wrote the script. It wasn’t the husband.
The concept of the “Good Husband” is nothing but coercion… both to yourself (because someone else said you had to do it) and to your family (because you expect them to give you something in return.) The harder you try to do the right things, the less your wife will respect you and the more you’ll resent both her and yourself.
Instead, take the lead by deciding for yourself how you want to live. Take charge of your learning and growth. Don’t follow someone else’s script.
A woman is a follower by nature. She will follow and submit to a man who takes charge of his own life.
I recently dropped an obnoxious question over at the Red Pill Christian reddit. This is what I asked:
What is the problem with porn?
Since most Christians regard pornography as sinful, where do we draw the line?
Song of Solomon => Erotic Poetry => Erotic Stories => Nude Paintings => Paintings of Sexual Acts => Video Animation of Sexual Acts => Photos of Nude Women => Photos of Sexual Acts => Videos of Sexual Acts.
More importantly than WHERE you draw the line. WHY do you draw the line there?
Please use biblical principles and logic to justify your answer.
The post received almost 500 views and got 31 comments. If you got time to kill, it’s worth checking out.
Otherwise, I’ll summarize the responses below. And, since this is my own blog, I will gleefully exercise my sovereign right make a final judgment on every argument.
1. There is no biblical scripture against porn because it wasn’t around back then. But the bible does tell us to “flee sexual immorality” so this would apply to porn.
Actually, porn has been around for a LONG time. Just as junior boys instinctively cover every bathroom stall with crude etchings of penises and tits, so have artists been graphically depicting sex since ancient times. The only thing that has significantly changed since biblical times is the quantity of images available and the resolution.
And, by definition, “sexual immorality” does not automatically refer to porn. It refers to engaging in prostitution and promiscuous sex.
2. The Bible tells us to abstain from “the appearance of evil” (1 Thess 5:21)
This is worth further investigation. At minimum, it can apply as an exhortation to avoid any pornography that portrays unlawful sexual acts (e.g. bestiality, homosexuality, etc.). Though sex itself is not evil so I don’t find it plausible that all “appearances” of sex would be evil. But a further point worth investigating is the fact that a lot of visual porn is produced in a sexually immoral context so technically, you are viewing a picture of a sinful act. But there would be no way to know this from the image alone…
3. Arguably, using sexually explicit material in a marriage is fine if it’s building unity. But it’s best to avoid it altogether when single.
This makes sense to me. Often times, it is helpful to see a graphic depiction of a sexual act for instructional purposes. The next question is, what about inspirational purposes?
Avoiding sexually explicit material altogether when single sounds nice in theory, but is that really practical advice when one lives in a culture saturated with sexual imagery?
4. Isn’t it clear that looking at porn is lusting for a woman other than your wife?
Not when “lust” is properly understood in the Greek. The English word “lust” means to have a very strong sexual desire for someone. The problem is that the English word doesn’t convey the same precision as the Greek word epithumeo. Lust in the English sense is certainly part of epithumeo, but it’s not necessarily the same thing. In order for “lust” to qualify as epithumeo, the desire must also include (1) an intensifying focus, (2) an intense emotion that borders on rage, and (3) a longing to have sex with or possess the woman of focus. In colloquial terms, we might say that biblical lust is the same as being “madly in love” with a woman who belongs to another man.
Now imagine you were the judge of a case where a young man was accused of evil intent. The evidence? He was caught ogling over his friend’s wife’s cleavage as she bent over. You talk to the young man and find he seems to be a “normal” guy. He shows no signs of mental unstableness. He works a steady job. He’s seems to be a genuinely “nice guy.” You find no evidence that the young man is stalking the wife or is obsessed with her in any way. Turns out he’s just got a thing for big tits. Would you condemn that man for adultery? Would you ask the husband if he would like you to put him to death? No! You’d have a good chuckle, pat him on the back and say, “Look man, you got to be more discreet about that stuff. You’re gonna have a hard time getting a good woman if all you can do is stare at her tits with your mouth open.”
The man who spends his time jerking off to porn is not an adulterer. He’s just the dumbass friend who can’t get laid because he just stares at the girl’s chest instead of talking to her.
5. Song of Solomon was basically 50 Shades of Grey for women back in the day and that was considered “holy.” So why not mainstream visual porn today?
I think Song of Solomon has a lot more wisdom that 50 Shades of Gray. But I don’t have a problem with the logic of the question. I think the distinction is not so much an ethical distinction as a qualitative distinction. Once you delve into Song of Solomon and start to understand female desire, you’ll realize that the mainstream porn just makes you sexually retarded. How is watching yet another variation of “Busty Blonde Gets Pounded” really gonna help you?
Dig into the Scripture’s erotica. Study the female psyche. Learn to make up sexual fantasies.
The key to getting laid is leveraging female desire in your favor.
Wayne suggests adding some spiritual dimensions to the basic definitions of sexual terms. He has some good thoughts so I’m highlighting them here and including some additional comments.
1. Lust – According to my understanding, lust is equivalent to a ‘sexual poverty mentality’. When a man has sexual access to a worthy woman, he doesn’t indulge in lust or porn. He simply gets to work on it. To get sexual access, a man needs to have an ‘abundance mentality’. If he languishes in a ‘sexual poverty mentality’ (i.e. lust), then he will have difficulty in his sex life, and will resort to porn.
This makes intuitive sense to me. The less sex a man has the more likely he is to fill the void with porn. I actually read a conversation on Twitter awhile back started by Hunter Drew (of Family Alpha) where a lot of men admitted the reason they watched porn was because they were insecure about their dick size and felt they were unable to satisfy their own wives in bed. So sex ends up turning into a “spectator sport” for a lot of men. They simply don’t feel qualified to participate.
Though I wouldn’t go so far to say these men are ‘lusting.’ I think there is a key distinction between having a burning desire to possess something and merely wishing you had something. I suspect the problem with the stereotypical porn consumer is that he does not truly desire sex enough. He does not desire sex enough to work through rejection and ‘failure’ to get what he craves. He only half-heartedly wishes his wife would do more things in the bedroom and he finds a variety of obstacles (such as the size of his plough) that supposedly prevent him from getting what he wants. In reality, it is the scarcity-based beta mindset that prevents him getting to bedroom paradise.
2. Erotica, Porn, and Art – I would argue that the greatest difference between erotica, porn, and art (from a spiritual perspective) is the mindset which a man entertains in the viewing. A man in a poverty mindset will view porn and erotica as a vehicle of sexual expression (i.e. masturbation). But when a man shifts to an abundance mindset, porn and erotica are merely seen as art. He makes some comments about the art to his woman, they laugh, and then they go home and do it. No lust there. There is desire and passion, sure, but no lust. If the man resorts to lust (i.e. the sexual poverty mentality), she’ll be creeped out and he’ll end up with porn for the night.
Wanking off while viewing porn certainly changes the experience. Many Christians would argue that masturbation is proof of lust. I wouldn’t be to quick to make that conclusion. Practically speaking, the women in porn are not seen as “real” women. In other words, most men don’t obsess over them, try to stalk them in real life, or even entertain the idea of actually having sex with them. It’s just fantasy.
I think regularly using porn for “solo sex” is akin to what Dr. Robert Glover, in No More Mr. Nice Guy, describes as “settling for bad sex.” No sane man would argue that masturbation is preferable to real sex. It doesn’t exactly leave a man feeling proud when he’s finished. We’d all rather be like this guy:
I think the the risk of jerking off while watching porn is that it can easily become an addicting experience. Since it’s more convenient than going through the trouble of learning how escalate with a real woman, it can become a crutch that prevents a man from making the real-life improvements he needs to make to get laid.
But these men already feel bad enough about themselves. Equating their porn viewing habit with adultery on top of being a loser is not going to help them change. They need encouragement, not brow-beating.
3. Sexual Immorality – This is an insightful start. We could make this better by describing what sex is sold in exchange for, and why.
As best I can tell, the biblical problem with sexual immorality is that it shows contempt for one’s own body. God gave us our bodies so that we could manifest spiritual truth. Having sex within marriage is a manifestation of Christ and the church. But having sex outside of marriage indicates that you only see your body as something to barter with for temporal gain. Money would be the obvious exchange. But I think other forms of “currency” would be included such as using sex to “win friends and influence people.”
I am sure we’ll have to add a definition of idolatry to reach a full understanding of this.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I think the equation of sexual immorality with idolatry is an example of “common sense” being incorrect. The New Testament equates idolatry with greed for material gain, not sexual immorality. Though I suppose one could “sell off” one’s body in service of material gain.
It’s possible I’m wrong about this. If anyone can find a passage of Scripture that clearly equates idolatry with sexual immorality, I’ll adjust my opinion accordingly. But since I’ve already searched the ends of the earth (i.e. quickly scanned through Page 1 of a Google search), I don’t think anything’s going to show up.
So here’s some fun things you may or may not have known about sexual immorality. A few of them surprised me during my study.
First, I want to clarify the terms. This is a topic that is usually obscured by word trickery, so I want to make sure you know where I’m coming from first.
sexual immorality (porneia) – to sell off one’s body; to engage in “whoremongering”, prostitution, or other forms of promiscuity.
idolatry (eidólolatria) – service or worship rendered to an image
For clarity, I will be using the more readily-understood word “promiscuity” in place of the ambiguous word of “sexual immorality.”
With that out of the way, here’s some interesting finds in quick-hitting fashion:
1. Promiscuity on part of the wife is the only biblical grounds for a husband to divorce a wife (Matthew 5:32; 19:9)
Hence the disciples shock at Christ’s teaching. When a man takes a wife, she is under his care and instruction for life… in spite of any foolishness or sinful behavior she engages in. It would do a man well to learn to enjoy the process of shaping an imperfect woman into a radiant bride.
2. Promiscuity is a manifestation of one’s inner character and desires. (Matthew 5:28; Mark 7:21)
One does not simply fall into promiscuity by impulse. It is a manifestation of one’s inner thought life. If someone is engaging in promiscuity, it is because they already corrupted themselves on the inside. It’s a reflection of their true character. Hence we should not “feel sorry” for someone living a sexually promiscuous lifestyle. Rather, we should expose the error of their ways and lovingly point them to repentance and the path of life.
3. Promiscuity is a sin against one’s own body (1 Cor 6:18)
Similar to how King Solomon instructs his son not to waste his seed on unworthy women (Prov 5), so Paul instructs us not to sin against our bodies by uniting them to prostitutes. The fact that it is our own body makes it an especially shameful sin. Our bodies were made to serve the Lord (including sex in marriage). Why would you throw away your body like a piece of trash by uniting it to whores?
4. The temptation to engage in promiscuity is a righteous reason to marry (1 Cor 7:2)
As far as I can tell, there are only three (initial) biblical reasons for a man to marry:
- To make babies (Genesis 1)
- Sexual attraction (Song of Solomon)
- To avoid promiscuity (1 Cor 7)
In other words, the reason to marry is sex, sex, sex. Other than avoiding pairing with a bad spouse, no other advice is given.
5. We are to cut off anything that energizes us towards promiscuity (Col 3:5)
This could mean different things for different people. It could mean that a woman shuts down her Tinder account. It could mean avoiding frat parties. It could mean changing friends. Any situation that gives creates a temptation for you to engage in illicit sex should be cut out of your life.
6. Rather than engaging in promiscuity, men are to learn how to get a wife and “possess” her (1 Thess 4:3-4)
I believe if the Apostle Paul were alive today, he would be a big proponent of the “married red pill.” He does not simply instruct young men to get a wife. He essentially tells them to grasp the reality of women (i.e. take the red pill), get a wife, and learn how to make her hot for you within the context of your marriage.
7. Promiscuity is frequently associated or caused by idolatry (Rev 9:20)
It’s easy to imagine how idolatry can lead one to promiscuity. In ancient times, many religious ceremonies involved engaging in orgies, having intercourse with animals, or other such promiscuous behavior. Even today, women who serve the idol of Feminism engage in the “ceremony” of riding the “cock carousel” to prove they are a “sexually liberated” woman. And pick up artists boast of their notch count while they pump-and-dump as many of these “sexually liberated” women as they can.
8. Promiscuity is used as a symbol for idolatry (Rev 17:4)
God frequently uses references to promiscuity to help us understand how he feels about idolatry. Idolatry is described in Romans as becoming debased and focusing on the created thing at the expense of the larger context:
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.
The most graphic example of such darkened thinking is found in Ezekiel 23:20:
There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.
In other words, idolaters miss the point. They are like women who judge men solely on the size of their cock… not realizing that there is a purpose to sex beyond just seeing how big of a member they can stuff into their overstretched vaginas.
9. Promiscuity is not synonymous with idolatry
All this leads to this final point, which surprised me.
I had always assumed that sexual immorality was equated with idolatry. In other words, sexual immorality was equivalent to “worshiping sex.” I’ve heard this sentiment expressed in churches many times.
But I could not find a single passage in the Scripture that made this connection. There are passages that describe sexual immorality as a result of idolatry. And there are passages that use sexual immorality as a metaphor for idolatry. But nothing saying that that sexual immorality is the same as idolatry. (Someone please correct me, if I overlooked any data.)
So why does this distinction matter? And why were we led to believe they were the same?
I have a good guess.
It’s a diversion to prevent us from seeing what is synonymous with idolatry… namely, pleonexia, which is typically translated in Colossians 3:5 as “greed” or “covetousness”:
So put to death your worldly impulses: sexual sin, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry).
The definition of pleonexia is telling:
properly, the desire for more (things), i.e. lusting for a greater number of temporal things that go beyond what God determines is eternally best
The Strong’s Concordance sheds further light on the term:
From pleonektes; avarice, i.e. (by implication) fraudulency, extortion — covetous(-ness) practices, greediness.
In light of these definitions, the equation of pleonexia (greed) with idolatry makes perfect sense:
If one’s desire to gain more possessions drives one to commit fraud and extortion, then that is serving an idol rather than God.
Now can you think of any institution that might want to hide this sin?
And can you think of a reason that institution would want us to think that our sexual “immorality” was the problem instead?
The Second Lateran Council of 1139 A.D. presents sheds some light on the motives [emphasis mine]:
5. We enjoin that what was laid down in the sacred council of Chalcedon be rigidly adhered to, namely, that the goods of deceased bishops are not to be seized by anyone at all, but are to remain freely at the disposal of the treasurer and the clergy for the needs of the church and the succeeding incumbent. Therefore, from now on, let that detestable and wicked rapacity cease. Furthermore, if anyone dares to attempt this behaviour henceforth, he is to be excommunicated. And those who despoil the goods of dying priests or clerics are to be subject to the same sentence.
6. We also decree that those in the orders of subdeacon and above who have taken wives or concubines are to be deprived of their position and ecclesiastical benefice. For since they ought to be in fact and in name temples of God, vessels of the Lord and sanctuaries of the holy Spirit, it is unbecoming that they give themselves up to marriage and impurity.
7. Adhering to the path trod by our predecessors, the Roman pontiffs Gregory VII, Urban and Paschal, we prescribe that nobody is to hear the masses of those whom he knows to have wives or concubines. Indeed, that the law of continence and the purity pleasing to God might be propagated among ecclesiastical persons and those in holy orders, we decree that where bishops, priests, deacons, subdeacons, canons regular, monks and professed lay brothers have presumed to take wives and so transgress this holy precept, they are to be separated from their partners. For we do not deem there to be a marriage which, it is agreed, has been contracted against ecclesiastical law. Furthermore, when they have separated from each other, let them do a penance commensurate with such outrageous behaviour.
8. We decree that the selfsame thing is to apply also to women religious if, God forbid, they attempt to marry.
In other words, the church couldn’t have men with wives or concubines in leadership. This would mean that the property would go to the man’s own heirs rather than to the church. And that just won’t be favorable for building a religious empire.
But it would be too obvious to simply try to take the property by force like a barbaric army. No. You’d need something much more subtle. Something that rings with holy rhetoric.
So the church presents a fraudulent gospel. A gospel where marriage is seen as unholy and the congregation is held in a state of perpetual guilt under an ambiguous and expanded definition of sexual sin.
With the sexual men ousted from leadership, and the congregants distracted by their perpetual guilt over sexual sin, there is no one left who is fit enough to call out the sin of idolatry in the church.
Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will desert the faith and occupy themselves with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings, influenced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. (1 Timothy 4:1-3)