Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Why a Commandment against Adultery? Part II

This is a continuation of my discussion on why God put in place the commandment against adultery. For more reasons, see part I.

3. To Preserve an Orderly Society

Despite what a certain book title says, it does not take a village to raise a child. It takes a mother and a father, and that so-called nuclear family is the basic building block of society. Think for a minute, What would society look like without the family? We can’t even imagine it, but I suspect it would either be chaos and anarchy, or a repressive dictatorship put in place to maintain order. If you saw “Dateline” a few years ago, you saw the results of abandoning the nuclear family for alternative lifestyles.

4. To Protect Emotions

God created us in such a way, that we are unable to have a sexual relationship outside of marriage without guilt and emotional tension. Adultery and young people having sex outside of marriage destroys us from the inside. When sex is practiced outside of the protection of the marriage covenant, there is inevitable hurt and the damaging of emotions. Dr. Irving Sands of the Neurological Institute of New York said, “The Ten Commandments are old indeed, yet they comprise the greatest mental hygiene code ever produced.” Dr. Sands went on to say, “Adultery leaves a blight on the emotional part of one’s personality. Moreover it is a source of emotional conflict.”

Sex without commitment leaves people feeling used…even dirty. It frequently results in feelings of worthlessness. So sex outside of marriage does enormous emotional, spiritual and psychological harm.

5. To Protect against Disease

Physical harm is also a prevalent consequence of sex outside of marriage. AIDS, venereal diseases and other problems result from sex outside of marriage. And unknown to many, adultery and promiscuous living increases one’s risk of certain types of cancer. Dr. Ralph Richart of Columbia University’s College of Surgeons says that, infidelity and promiscuous living drastically increase a woman’s risk of developing cervical cancer. So we can see from these common-sense reasons why God’s way is the best.


In conclusion, morality, sex, marriage and the family seem to be the main battleground in the culture wars that we are experiencing in this country. Make no mistake about it, others chose this battleground, not the so-called religious right, the Church, or Christians in general. It is the other side that wants to totally remake society according to its values, and its values generally contradict Scripture.

The Church and Christians are simply reacting to this attempt to radically redefine society as we know it and the way God established it. Somebody has to stand up against these radical forces, and it should be the Church. As a matter of fact, the other side will ridicule family TV programs of the 1950’s such as “Father Knows Best,” “Leave It to Beaver,” and “Ozzie and Harriet.” They will say such programs were not real, were idealized and untrue versions of life.

My response is, So what? What’s the harm in that? At least those programs gave both adults and kids a model of what families should be like, rather than the dysfunctional families of Homer Simpson and Al Bundy. The other side will also tell us that Scripture is merely one ancient society’s view of how life should be lived, and it is time to move on to more modern thinking. If that is true, then let’s never read Scripture again. We’re wasting our time.

Obviously that’s not true: we know that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, given to us to reveal God’s will for our lives. Therefore, we should pay attention to what the Bible says in all areas, even sex, because, as we know, “Father knows best.” God gave us the gift of co-creation, but it is to be used responsibly.

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