The Mosaic Moral Upgrade

Sex is for Christians! Biblical Insights for a Lifetime of Purity and Pleasure - Chapter 4

PLEASE NOTE: This e-teaching is not appropriate for children, preadolescents, and many adolescents.

The Mosaic Moral Upgrade by David Servant

As we were considering, in the previous two chapters, the moral deficiencies of ancient sexual standards, you may have wondered how ancient consciences could have remained undisturbed by what we confidently classify as immorality. Even when one’s culture approves of inappropriate behavior, does not one’s God-given conscience condemn compromising conduct?

The answer is “yes,” but culture often wins over conscience. If “everyone is doing it” or “everyone thinks it is OK,” the inward voice of conviction is more easily ignored. Although unregenerate people certainly “show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them” (Rom. 2:15), they often “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom 1:18). People today do it every bit as much as ancient people. Nothing has changed.

Seven Strange Scriptural Sexual Stories, Part 2

Sex is for Christians! Biblical Insights for a Lifetime of Purity and Pleasure - Chapter 3

PLEASE NOTE: This e-teaching is not appropriate for children, preadolescents, and many adolescents.

Leah, Rachel, Bilhah and Zilphah, Jacob’s four wives

I hope that, after reading the first two chapters, you are growing a little more comfortable mixing sex and spirituality. Scripture is full of sexual references, and it is interesting that many of us—who believe the Bible is God’s inspired Word—find certain parts embarrassing. When you think about it, it is a little bit of a chuckle that we believe certain things God said in His Word are inappropriate to mention in church, or just about anywhere for that matter. Modern Christian culture tends to be a tad Victorian. In many Christian circles, even the word sex is taboo, so it is softened with the euphemism intimacy.

It is also a little funny that some parts of the Bible that are read publicly in church services have become so familiar to us that we’ve become oblivious to the sexual connotations. May I point out a few of them before we consider four more strange, sexual, scriptural stories?

Seven Strange Scriptural Sexual Stories, Part 1

Sex is for Christians! Biblical Insights for a Lifetime of Purity and Pleasure - Chapter 2

PLEASE NOTE: This e-teaching is not appropriate for children, preadolescents, and many adolescents.

Abram and Sarai in Egypt

When you think about some of the scandalous stories that are found in the book of Genesis, it is a little bit amusing that Christians carry Bibles with them into churches every Sunday morning without shame. If we weren’t so familiar with those stories, hearing them for the first time would be shocking.

We’ve not only got nudists prancing naked around a garden. We’ve also got men lying about their marital status so that their wives consequently become members of other men’s harems. We’ve got women encouraging their husbands to have sex with younger women. We’ve got a whole town of homosexuals hoping to sodomize some male visitors. We’ve got a lustful married woman ripping the clothes off a good-looking young foreigner. We’ve got one man marrying his half-sister and another man marrying his second cousin. We’ve got men taking multiple wives, and in one case, wives who were sisters. And did I mention that we’ve got one man having sex with his daughter-in-law, another man having sex with his two daughters, and another man who has sex with one of his father’s wives? That’s all contained in the first chapters of the book your pastor reads out loud, without apology, every Sunday. The Bible is not a book for prudes.

Has the Great Delusion Begun?

When God Makes People Stupid

"has the great delusion begun"

One of the New Testament’s most poignant passages has to be 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12:

They did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

There is no escaping the clear meaning of Paul’s words. There is a time coming when God—not Satan—will cause people to be deceived. It will be a means of His righteous judgment upon them.

It is important to note that God will not arbitrarily—in a Calvinistic sense—send a deluding influence upon people. Rather, He will send a deluding influence upon free moral agents who “did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved” and “who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.”

The Silliness of “Christian Fluffy Love”

By David Servant

Most Christians know that God expects us to love our neighbors as ourselves. That expectation is contained in what Jesus said in the second most important commandment. We should all be striving to obey it.

silly clown

That being said, there is a spectrum of opinion among Christians regarding what loving one’s neighbor as oneself actually looks like in practice. How, specifically, should we be obeying the second greatest commandment in everyday life?

Thankfully, God has not left us in the dark on this. He’s given us an entire Bible, full of helpful insight regarding the specifics of loving our neighbors as ourselves. Beyond that, God Himself became a man who lived without sin His entire earthly life. He always perfectly obeyed the second greatest commandment. We can look at His life for insights regarding what it means to love one’s neighbor as oneself.

Fourteen Words to Fix or Upgrade Your Marriage

This month we’re publishing a classic e-teaching I wrote some years ago about marriage. It is based on a biblical concept that many Christians have never heard of, namely, the concept of “merciful and merited love.” Understanding and applying that concept can revolutionize your relationship with God and others, especially if you’ve been heavily influenced by unbiblical teaching about the “unconditional love of God.” Applying this simple concept in your marriage can repair those that are broken, improve those that are mediocre, and enhance those that are strong. God is glorified in great marriages, and yours can be one of them! — David

Why do we love? Our motives for loving can be divided into two categories: (1) “I love you because of…” and (2) “I love you in spite of…” The first we could call merited love and the second merciful love. Merited love is earned and deserved. Merciful love is not. It stems from grace.

picture of married couple

Every loving relationship finds its motive in one or the other, or a mix of the two, including marriage relationships. However, before I reveal the 14 words that can fix or upgrade your marriage, let’s first make sure we sufficiently understand merited and merciful love.

The Brownie Surprise

by David Servant

Dear Friends,

I wrote the article that follows in 2005. It is a true story about an incident that occurred when I was pastoring my last church. I’ve since discovered that my article has been published on hundreds of Christian websites and forums. Interestingly, I’ve also discovered my article published on scores of Muslim websites, but always with any reference to Christianity or the Bible removed.

In any case, I thought it would be good this month to re-publish ‘The Brownie Surprise’ for the benefit of those who have never read this classic e-teaching. Enjoy and apply! — David

The Brownie Surprise - A Teaching by David Servant

Some years ago when I was a pastor, I walked into my church office after a Sunday morning service to find a sandwich bag on my desk containing three chocolate brownies. Some thoughtful and anonymous saint who knew my love for chocolate had placed them there, along with a piece of paper that had a short story written on it. I immediately sat down and began eating the first brownie as I read the following story:

#Me Too, Men Too

by David Servant

Note: This teaching is for adults only.

It certainly is rare for a culture to climb morally upward when it comes to sexual standards. Generally speaking, it seems that cultural sexual standards trend downward, and that trend has only accelerated with the advent of photography, movies, television and the internet. Over the past sixty years of my life, the sexual standards of American culture have sunk deeper by the decade.

#Me Too, Men Too E-Teaching by David Servant

Why Does God’s Judgment Sometimes Fall on Entire Families?

by David Servant

The Bible certainly contains plenty of stories about evil people getting what they deserve. Although God is longsuffering and merciful, there are limits to His tolerance, and unrepentant wrongdoers eventually reap what they’ve sown. When God’s mercy ends, His judgment begins.

Why Does God's Judgment Sometimes Fall on Entire Families?

I must confess that I enjoy reading Bible stories that feature bad guys getting what they deserve. (Don’t we all love justice—when it applies to other people?)  On the other hand, I’ve found myself concerned when I read biblical stories that seemingly portray God as unjust, when, for example, His judgment falls on the entire family of one wicked man. Why do children and spouses sometimes suffer for the sins of their ungodly family members? If you read the books of 1 and 2 Kings, for example, you’ll discover at least three such incidents. God’s wrath fell upon some families of evil men to the degree that, not only were their sons annihilated, but also other members of their extended families.

So how is that just? As Abraham said to Lord while he interceded for the people of Sodom: “Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” (Gen. 18:25).

Let’s take a closer look at three kings of Israel—Jeroboam, Baasha, and Ahab, who all suffered familial judgment, to see if there is anything we can learn.