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The Biblical and Practical Basis of Morality

1 Timothy 3:2, a verse in one of the pastoral epistles, explains that certain high-ranking officials of the church must be “above reproach, faithful to [their] wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach.”

This standard for Christian morality has been incorporated into the Biblical understanding of promiscuity (and its sinfulness) for thousands of years.

“Promiscuity” is defined as “having many sexual partners.” [2] Given our culture’s endorsement of the so-called free-love movement, it is rarely discussed today. Unfortunately, people have not only become desensitized to it, they have also have begun to glorify promiscuity, even going so far as to write award-winning pop songs that are literally titled “Promiscuous.” [3]

Although promiscuity refers to a particular kind of sexual immorality, it is related to many other forms of immoral sexual behavior. Historically, the definition of “sexual immorality” was taken by the Catholic Church to cover a number of practices under its umbrella, e.g., masturbation, fornication, pornography, homosexual practice, adultery, divorce, polygamy, and free union. [1]

Although the Reformation has corrected the Catholic Church’s legalistic approach by re-introducing the Biblical foundations of these ideas, Protestantism has correctly maintained the biblical view on many of these practices.

Even as the Bible’s unchanging truths about sexual morality have remained fixed, the American culture has shifted to now condone the writing of articles like this one from the Huffington Post titled “5 Promiscuous Things Women Do That Are Actually Empowering.” [4]

The kind of person who writes articles like this probably also rejects the notion of God-given morality as “superstitious.” Unfortunately for them, what they may not realize is that, while behaviors like promiscuity are immoral in the eyes of God, they also have damaging consequences in the earthly realm.

This has been no more evident than with the recent monkeypox outbreak. Unsurprisingly, the practical measures that have been introduced to curb the outbreak have included advising the general public against engaging in promiscuity. [5][6] This is one of the beautiful things about adhering to biblical morality, one need not wait on declarations from the Centers for Disease Control to know the most healthy and moral way to live their life.

In truth, the whole monkeypox outbreak could very well have been avoided in the first place if our culture had stronger norms against promiscuity. This is not to say that contracting monkeypox is a punishment from God. We should not ostracize or punish people simply for contracting the illness.

We know from the Bible that there are many cases in which innocent people suffered afflictions such as blindness without having done anything wrong (John 9:1-7). It is possible for someone to contract monkeypox through no fault of their own, e.g., because of non-sexual skin-to-skin contact or because their spouse was unfaithful to them.

Nonetheless, the point remains that biblical morality is most often one of the best safeguards against avoidable negative consequences, both in this life and the next. Our bodies are not our own, they are a gift from God for our embodied soul.

As 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.


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