Man, Woman, God & The 7th Commandment

Back in the 1980’s Christianity Today had an article on the fact that the more a society turns from the  sanctity of sex in marriage to the immorality we see in our society today the less productive is that nation.  Even in the prosperous 80’s we saw our nation slipping behind China and Japan in terms of the quality of our goods.   We are more a sex saturated nation now than then–and a less productive one. 

Pastor John Stroman in his book Thunder From The Mountain on the 10 Commandments quotes Frederick Buechner from his work, Wishful Thinking.  Buechner declared, “Contrary to the prudish, sex is not sin.  Contrary to Hugh Hefner it is not salvation either.  Like nitroglycerin sex can be employed to blow up bridges or, in marriage, to fulfill hearts.” 

There have always been people who jump the moral fences.  This was true in the 1950’s when we led the world in most every good thing and our President was a man tempered by leading the greatest military force ever put together in the greatest war the world has ever seen.  The difference then was that people knew where the fences were and had a sense that going over their borders had consequences.   But in the radical 60’s and still today too many want no fences.
But they cannot escape the consequences as we are not made to live this way.

In addition to the Viet Nam War, riots in the streets, assassination of political and moral leaders, the 60’s brought the so called Sexual Revolution.   In reality, this revolution was more a return to the forces that helped destroy the empires of ancient Greece and Rome.  And the terrible consequences in terms of human carnage bring us back to why God gave us the 10 Commandments.   Our moral values today also break the first and second Commandments as for some sex has become their god and an idol.   And the 7th Commandment might now read, “Thou shall lust.”

One also sees the wisdom of God in Romans 1:18-32 which describes the downward descent of a sick society.   It ends with not only do they do these things but others approve of the behavior–every form of sexual immorality including same-sex relations.  And the result is the destruction of that society as surely as the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

How far the anarchy of our morals has slithered into our society is seen in the White House of Bill Clinton.   He was involved in a relationship with an intern not much older than his own daughter.   He knew this was wrong so he lied about it as the blue dress came to light.   Such relations drive the one who practices them to the shadows.  

My greatest concern about this is not Bill Clinton.   Other Presidents like JFK and FDR were involved with women not their wives.    How far we have moved away from Biblical standards, however,  is seen in the response of the American public.   Today Bill Clinton is the most popular of politicians–far more than Barack Obama or Bill’s wronged wife, Hillary.   

Harry Truman who was President 50 years before Clinton told his staff and cabinet officers that if any of them were sexually involved with persons outside their marriage partners, and he found out about it,  they would be fired.   Why?   Because said Mr. Truman, “If you are not keeping the most sacred of vows, the marriage vows, I cannot trust you to keep the promises you have made to the nation and to me.”   Ah, for a President like that again.   In the words of the old Virginia Slims commercial, “You’ve come along way, baby.”   A long way down the road of Romans 1, a long way down the road of our own destruction.

But there is hope!   God remains our great ally, and the 7th Commandment, like every other Commandment, comes out of the holy nature and character of God Himself.   And we are made in the image of God.   These truths are written into our personality physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.    And all the resources of God are available to us to help us keep the 7th Commandment and all the others as well.

There are signs some are turning back to Biblical standards.   In some cases this is out of fear of sexually transmitted diseases.   And that is acceptable even if fear can be a negative reason, but for others it is a real positive change of heart. 

To make it personal, two weeks ago I lost a close friend from high school.   Like many he had lived a rather wild life as a youth.    The pastor brought this out some at this funeral.   But most of the service was a celebration of his turning to God, living for Him and his inheritance of life eternal authored by Christ our King whose physical birth we celebrate again this month.    What changed him?   A beautiful Christian woman to whom he was faithfully married for 43 years.   Her faith became his and he became a leader in his church and community.   And his funeral became a celebration of that.  God’s way works;  Man’s way does not.

I close with a quote from Richard Foster in Money, Sex and Power:
        Sex is like a great river that is rich and deep and good as long as it stays within its proper
        channel.  The moment a river overflows it banks it becomes destructive, and the moment
        sex overflows its God given banks, it too becomes destructive.  Our task is to define as
        clearly as possible the boundaries placed upon our sexuality and to do all within our 
        power to direct our sexual responses into that deep, rich current. 

The 7th Commandments helps us to keep the river within the boundaries God has set forth.  God’s way works.   Praise be to God.



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