Lies We Believe

I hate being lied to. There's not much I detest as much as that, especially if believing the lie has cost me something. That is why I go to the effort to dispel what I believe to be unbiblical lies that we have bought into in Western culture that rob us of the joy of freedom in Christ. Here are some specific ones I am fighting against.

  1. The naked human body is dirty or shameful.  This is one of the most prevalent, and it must be debunked before we can be set free from the lies that follow. God created the naked human body and declared it to be "very good". He even had Isaiah walk around barefoot and naked for three years!  When we call the naked body lewd, shameful, or dirty, we are expressing a viewpoint other than what God says. I don't want to be in that position. Do you?
  2. Specifically, the vaginal area is shameful and must not be looked upon. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ entered the world for our salvation through the gateway of a woman's vagina.  As I see it, He thereby sanctified it as the gateway from heaven. For us to turn around and call that gateway indecent seems to me an affront to God. The vagina may be displayed and celebrated as a beautiful flower of holiness unto the Lord!
  3. The male penis is also shameful and must be hidden. In the Old Covenant, it was the male penis that bore the symbol of the covenant with God - circumcision.  Just as Jesus Christ died for our sins naked, in public, on a cross, the sign of the covenant was exposed for all to see while the blood that He shed ratified a new and better covenant for us. I think that may be one reason that the early Christians baptized new converts in the nude. We should bring this practice back!
  4. Anything that stimulates your sexual organs is lust. Wrong! Lust is "desire with intent", and looking at a naked person or persons is not lust if you are not trying to go have sexual intercourse with that person. It is simple, pleasurable, arousal. Your body was designed to have those chemical reactions, and God doesn't design sin!
  5. Which brings us to masturbation. The Bible never mentions masturbation, and where there is no law, there can be no sin. Enjoy it. Offer your orgasm, your seed, or both, as thank-offerings unto the Lord. Worship with your mind, soul, and body!
  6. Mutual masturbation is a sin. Nope! The only thing that is "sex" is a penis in a vagina. Period. If it doesn’t take away virginity, it’s not sex in the biblical sense. Anything else is mutual stimulation. So be kind to one another, and if both are willing, stimulate each other. No intercourse, no foul. That being said, there are specific behaviors that are condemned, so I will list them here, lest anyone think I am promoting libertinism. They are anal penetration, incest, bestiality, adultery, fornication (prostitution).

So that is a short list of the lies I believe we have been sold and am striving to dispel. Will you join with me as we move up to freedom in Christ?

2.22 avg. rating (45% score) - 32 votes
21 replies
  1. jbm1965 says:

    Sorry, but I disagree with just about all your points, especially offering orgasm to Lord as an offering. You have manipulated Scripture to accommodate your viewpoints.

    • NoahZark says:

      When the Bible says to bless the Lord at all times, it doesn’t exclude those times. No exceptions. Everything we do is supposed to be an offering of worship.

  2. Stag-on-a-hill says:

    Love the picture MH. I agree with your first point. I’m not really with you on the rest. Mutual stimulation is sex. It’s profoundly intimate and psychologically bonds you to the other person, which is great if it’s your spouse, damaging if it’s not. Why is anal wrong if it’s within marriage? Why does fornication mean only prostitution? What is your point about vaginas and penises? They are beautiful gifts but we need to be sensitive regarding where its appropriate to show them. Re: lust - the Greek word literally means ‘over desire.’ Epithumasai - epi (over or strong) thumasai (desire). Sometimes this word is used negatively - I.e. inappropriately strong desire, sometimes it’s used positively- I.e. strong longings for God or for my spouse. CS Lewis talks about ordering our loves. Lust in the negative sense is when our desire for something is out of balance/proportion/inappropriate. Like when desire for good things becomes greed, or we start to lust for power, or our neighbours' possessions etc. We can’t narrow the meaning down to just - ‘intent to have intercourse.’ You can have an unhealthy pre-occupation with someone- and sneak peaks through her window. I know of a guy who was caught and charged with voyeuring a 15 year old female neighbour. Those who think it’s great to watch a lot of erotica - the issue is whether this has become a disordered desire. In my case, I love nudity and enjoy going to nude beaches, but many years ago, I pulled back from that ‘cos it was distorting my life, relationships and faith. That is, my loves were disordered. This is a huge topic that others on here have a different view on, but more needs to be said, ‘cos the great danger is we can make sex an idol. The New Testament certainly uses the word epithumasai in the context of idolatry. When our desire for something is over the top (for the kind of thing it is) that’s idolatry.

  3. A Better Pastime says:

    The anecdotal commentary applied to each of these bullet points has many holes. The early church was not baptizing naked as a ritual form in reverence to Christ being "stripped" through the course of his suffering through his beatings, while on his way to the cross, or while hanging from the cross. If we're speaking of the "early" church, then you would have to include the Church at Corinth. If you do include the Church of Corinth, then you can also say that the "early" church engaged in orgies; should that then also be accepted? There are no prophecies fulfilled by this supposed "nakedness", which Christ is never once referred to as ever having been "naked" in the new testament (ESV). Moreover, "naked", the term, or the physical state, is overwhelmingly referred to as a state of "disgrace" and "shame", and is never once referred to in any context as "very good". Only one time is "naked" referred to in a context that is not of "shame" or "disgrace" and that is in Genesis 2:25 (And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed). Genesis 2:25 is the only time in scripture where "naked" is not referenced as a state of "shame"; scripture is clear on the matter of "nakedness":

    1.) Genesis 3:3 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
    2.) Genesis 3:10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.
    3.) Genesis 3:11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?
    4.) Genesis 3:22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil.

    One can ask the question at this point: "what was the first form of "evil" that man knew?

    Biblical hermeneutics is all about finding the correct interpretation of the inspired text. The purpose of biblical hermeneutics is to protect us from misapplying Scripture or allowing bias to color our understanding of truth.

    • NoahZark says:

      Regarding nude baptism -
      Cyril of Jerusalem 350 AD - “Having stripped yourselves, you were naked; in this also imitating Christ, who was stripped naked on the Cross, and by His nakedness put off from Himself the principalities and powers, and openly triumphed over them on the tree. For since the adverse powers made their lair in your members, you may no longer wear that old garment; I do not at all mean this visible one, but the old man, which waxes corrupt in the lusts of deceit. (Ephesians 4:22) May the soul which has once put him off, never again put him on, but say with the Spouse of Christ in the Song of Songs, I have put off my garment, how shall I put it on (Song of Songs 5:3)? O wondrous thing! You were naked in the sight of all, and were not ashamed ; for truly ye bore the likeness of the first-formed Adam, who was naked in the garden, and was not ashamed.”

      John Chrysostom - “Instructions to Catechumens” - Then [in the Old Testament days] it was slave toward master, but now, friend toward friend...Then there was nakedness, now there is nakedness.  But then the nakedness was a consequence of sin; now there is no sin.  Rather, now we strip to become freed from sin.  Then, he [Adam] put off the glory that had been his; now he [man] puts off the old man, and before he descends into the water, he puts it off just like a garment”

      No matter how intimate it is, the Bible only refers to activity that makes a woman to no longer be a virgin as prohibited acts. That would be regular intercourse. So no, I don’t think it’s sinful. Of course, that doesn’t make it wise.

      Masturbation is a gift from God so a single person can enjoy their body before the much more intimate marital act.

      Regarding anal, I believe this is the “leaving the natural use” that Paul is referring to in Romans 1, since women are incapable of having intercourse.

      Regarding fornication, the original Hebrew word means prostitution, and a 1st Century Jewish audience would have understood it that way.

  4. jbm1965 says:

    Noah - you reply “No exceptions. Everything we do is supposed to be an offering of worship”. So, according to your definition - murder, theft, adultery should be used as forms of worship? Bottom line, the Bible declares the marriage bed undefiled. Those are the actions that take place between Husband and wife. Our bodies and orgasms are for each other, they are not for others and sex/masturbation are not forms of worship. If we go with the adage that ejaculation is given to us by God, then we can say there are many other things that come out of our body that were created by God as well - those too would be inappropriate for an offering.

    • PatientPassion says:

      In Noah's defense, I'm sure those heinous sins were already assumed to be outside of his definition.

      Also, do you mean that it's just *sinful* sex that can't be worshipful? (I agree with that.) Or are you saying that even good, married sex can't be an act of worship? Marriage is designed as a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32), and I think the intimacy, joy and pleasure of marriage in the act of sex is part of that picture. With that in mind, I think it's reasonable to believe that cherishing and engaging in God's gifts as he designed is pleasing to him, and can be an act of praise as well. Maybe it's not always, but with the right attitude, I think it can be.

  5. LoveToWatchHer says:

    I am going to echo what many others have said here with some additional thoughts.

    Specifically, I want to address masturbation. In my opinion, masturbation becomes a sin in the following situations:

    1. Before marriage, if done in desiring someone (i.e. lustful thoughts).

    2. In marriage, if desiring someone other than your spouse.

    3. In marriage, if used as a means of satisfying your need and denying your spouse. In other words, using it as a tool to satisfy yourself and be able to avoid being with your spouse intimately later.

    Much of this applies to stimulation and mutual masturbation as well (except #3 for obvious reasons). But if you are lusting after anyone other than your spouse (meaning desiring them sexually, their touch, their bodies, etc), then stimulating yourself to that thought is sinful. Christ addressed this specifically.

    As far as nakedness, this is a weird theological rabbit hole to do down. While I know what Genesis 3 writes, God did ordain nakedness or else he would have made clothes for Adam and Eve upon creation. It was sin that made it shameful. So which is it: Ok with God, or shameful? I would side with shameful under the umbrella of sin, meaning that we, in our own mind and our own fleshly tendencies (especially men), cannot be around the nakedness of a female without desire. So while I do not believe nudity itself to be sinful, shameful, or dirty, covering is meant to protect us from temptation and sin.

    • Rebel Heart says:

      I am really glad to be reading all of this. My husband and I like to play and sometimes his work schedule doesn't work for us during the week. We have some toys and I always wondered if I was masturbating when he was at work, was it being sinful. I never knew the fine line on that. I always make a point of thinking of him while I am doing it because it's clear to me that thinking of any man other than my husband in that way is a sin.

  6. PatientPassion says:

    In response to the main post, I agree with most of your general points. I don't think that nudity itself is a bad thing. It's the natural state God intended us to be in before the fall, and the fall didn't suddenly make it immoral to be naked. I've never seen that indicated anywhere in scripture. It did add a dangerous element to the vulnerability of nakedness, tragically mixing with the beautiful, unobstructed kind of vulnerability it was meant to be. But it's not immoral, and there's still significant potential for beauty in nudity, even with the new dangers.

    However, there are a few things I want to challenge, first in regards to mutual masturbation and virginity. To my knowledge, outside of the story of Mary, the New Testament never references virginity as the standard of purity we should use. Instead, the term "sexual immorality" is used, which I believe is intentionally broader than the standard of virginity. I believe "sexual immorality" encompasses more than just penetrative sex. Acts like oral sex and mutual masturbation have basically the same psychological and spiritual effects on us as intercourse does, in regards to intimacy and bonding. That means they also come with the same psychological and spiritual dangers as intercourse outside of marriage. (This is largely opinion, but I think what follows is a stronger case.)

    I think other MH community members would agree that oral sex is almost as intimate as intercourse, and even more so in some ways. I think that degree of intimacy was designed only to be experienced in marriage. My view is that we need to move away from an attitude of "how much can we get away with" and move toward "how can we best honor God and his design?" I think the Bible's pretty clear that the design for sex is for it to be between one man and one woman, committed for life within the covenant bond of marriage. It is, after all, supposed to depict the relationship between Christ and the church. And what kind of message does it send about our view of Christ and the church when we do anything even CLOSE to sex with someone who's not our spouse?

    Also, I agree with most of your list of prohibited acts. Most of them are spoken of in harsh terms in the Old and New Testaments. There are some for which the death penalty is prescribed (Leviticus 20:10-16) and some which clearly bring exile from God's kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). However, anal penetration is not one of those. To my knowledge, it is never once condemned on its own as sinful. References to it are implied when discussing homosexuality, but that is condemned separately, so in those cases it would reasonably be the homosexuality and not anal penetration specifically that constitutes the sin. I don't know of a case in the Bible of heterosexual anal penetration, nor of it being described as a sin.

    Thanks for sparking this interesting conversation! I appreciate the prompt to once again consider why I believe what I believe and go back to see what the scriptures say about certain things! 🙂

  7. NoahZark says:

    No matter how intimate it is, the Bublé only refers to activity that makes a woman to no longer be a virgin as prohibited acts. That would be regular intercourse. So no, I don’t think it’s sinful. Of course that doesn’t make it wise.
    Masturbation is a gift from God so a single person can enjoy their body before the much more intimate marital act.
    Regarding anal, I believe this is the “leaving the natural use” that Paul is referring to in Romans 1, since women are incapable of having intercourse.
    Regarding fornication, the original Hebrew word means prostitution, and a 1st Century Jewish audience would have understood it that way.

    • CrazyHappyLoved says:

      "Regarding anal, I believe this is the 'leaving the natural use' that Paul is referring to in Romans 1, since women are incapable of having intercourse."

      For a long time, I worried about this, too. I just wasn't sure what the Bible meant by that phrase and whether it was a "dishonorable" or "degrading passion" to use my bottom as a source of pleasure for us both, much less his. A couple of things worked together to convince me that, if we both agreed on it, it could be a pure part of our lovemaking.

      a) I looked at the passage again. Romans 1:26 "For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 Likewise, the men abandoned natural relations with women and burned with lust for one another." That little word "likewise" at the beginning of verse 27 leads me to believe that the unnatural relations in both verses entailed homosexual relationships. (There is also the matter of "exchanged" or "changed", but that may be a road too far...)

      b) (and this may upset some and be argued against, but it's what we believe and apply in our marriage) my husband bears the responsibility before God for what we do. Yes, that was an Old Testament teaching, and I do bear responsibility for decisions I make on my own. But in things that concern us both, when I submitted willingly to my husband's understanding and leadership in the matter (not that it is unpleasant for me, understand, but because I was unsure whereas he was not), he answers to God. I have done what was asked of me in Ephesians 5:21-24. And in taking the burden of "gatekeeping" from me, he has also loved me as in vs. 25-28.

      Please don't think I'm trying to tell you, ladies, how to honor your husbands. I'm only telling you one of the ways I honored mine. And I appreciate the freedom it gave me to enjoy and be enjoyed by my husband in every imaginable way, as long as it is between us two.

    • WakaWaka123 says:

      This is a really interesting view. I'm not sure I agree with it but I would love to learn more about it! Can you recommend any resources that expound on this view?

    • undeservinggrace says:

      What does it mean to be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains?
      What are the mountains of spices?
      What are the mountains of Bether?
      What does 'Bether' mean?
      Mountains of separation?
      Two separate mountains?
      Two hills with a valley between them?
      Turn? Turn around?
      Mountains of separation?
      Be like a young stag?
      Be like a gazelle?
      What kinds of ideas do these images evoke?
      Enjoy your freedom.

  8. southernmost says:

    Hi there, I greet you all in peace and love.

    It is clear that there are many different opinions on the topics presented above and I would like to address some of them and some of the comments to them.

    We have to look at the points above in context of a Hebrew man or woman 2000 years ago, not using our 21st century understanding to deliver Biblical commentary.

    Nudity is a very cultural thing. Most here have mentioned that nudity is almost inextricably linked to sexuality. But if you look at many other cultures, like that of the Scandinavians, of Asians, or people from poorer nations, nudity is a social thing, or a cultural norm. Thus, I believe we must exercise nudity appropriately within our culture. Paul said "Unto the Jews He became a Jew, and the Gentile, a Gentile". He meant that he fitted into a group of people to further the work of the gospel. But applying it to our lives, we live out that gospel, and there are certain societal traits that can help that. We must also be wary that while we have many liberties in Christ, we must not use those liberties to cause a brother or sister to fall. So, being nude in certain places in a westernized culture could be a very bad idea. I agree that we must also guard against forming an Idol out of things like nudity, again, we must rely on God's strength to have dominion over these things, not the other way around.

    Regarding sex! It's one of the most fascinating topics in the Bible. Noah is correct I believe in saying that it only requires a penis in a vagina for the act to be considered sex - this is how the Hebrews understood it. In fact, the only time a man could reliably accuse his wife of adultery was if he found another man's penis in her (caught her in the act basically). Now of course you can't have oral sex with another man's wife or anything else, because you're still using his wife for your pleasure, which is theft, but sex was only regarded as what I've mentioned.
    Oral sex was practiced by women at the time with each other, but was not considered sex by the Jews. And, lesbian sex was not outlawed, probably due to polygamy being allowed (that's my own deduction). However, I would say that because "lesser" forms of sex were not seen as sex back then, does not mean we can go around doing them with many people, or casually - this is promiscuity. It is true that premarital sex is not outlawed, so lovers most likely could have done these things with no sinfulness whatsoever (the unmarried couple in Song of Songs). But the minute these activities spread in your life - they can cause a spread of disease, break people's hearts, become an idol etc etc. In context of the Hebrews, a virgin woman was her father's property and any activity of any kind which could lead to her loss of virginity would have been forbidden, because the man who married her needed to be sure of his bloodline. So while it's not sinful to have premarital sex, any type of sexual activity has the potential to steal from a father - would anyone want to take that risk? What happens if the woman is widowed or legally divorced - well, it's a different story then, but we know God's ideal is marriage, so it would be best to marry. As someone rightly pointed out, it's not what we can get away with, but how we can best honour or serve God.

    Regarding lust, no, having sexual thoughts about someone and masturbating to them is not lust and this is not what Jesus addressed. Jesus said that if those thoughts lead to you intending to steal someone's spouse - that's adultery. Remember, intent means that you now are willing and possibly planning to steal - that's different from a temptation. Masturbating to a picture or to someone's wife is not sinful, but if you want to take that person for yourself, that's the sin. However, if adultery is a problem in your life, then it's best not to masturbate to someone that could end up causing adultery again. It's up to the individual and their walk with God to decide what is beneficial and what is not.

    I will comment again on the other topics if need be, I do not want this comment to be too long. But do not take my word for what I've said. Go study yourself and use the Greek Bibles, not the English alone, the English does not give you what the Greek so precisely says. In all things, pray and pray some more. And realise that while we have many liberties in Christ, those things are not always beneficial. And God's ideal is a monogamous marriage between a man and a woman - that is what we should be striving for if we want a partner and if we want sex of any kind. But also, if we fall short of that ideal, realise that not everything that falls short is a sin and I think the points above illustrate this. If all these things were a sin, then Jesus' burden would not be light, but He assures us it is!

    In peace and love,

  9. PatientPassion says:

    As you noted Noah, it's true that two women can't have intercourse, at least in the way God intended, with the coupling of male and female parts. But in the same way, neither can two men have true intercourse. They can stimulate each other though, and I think this brings up an interesting point. It shows that a sexual act can be something other than intercourse and still be sinful. I think that has bearing on both homosexual and unmarried heterosexual relationships. Since non-intercourse acts can be sinful, it follows that it's not only intercourse that's off-limits before marriage. (This may not be a water-tight case logically, but I think it supports the idea.) It sounds like we may have to agree to disagree here, but I appreciate the interesting discussion.

    Also, after reading Romans 1 in several different translations, I see how you could somewhat reasonably see a reference to anal sex in verse 26. However, given that it's also clearly talking about homosexuality in verse 27, and again is not clear in indicating anal sex as the sin, I think it's the homosexuality and not anal sex that's being condemned. This is supported by the fact that homosexuality is also clearly condemned elsewhere in both the New and Old testaments, whereas anal sex is not.

    • NoahZark says:

      I would say that specifically in Leviticus, when God was giving them laws regarding sexuality, he condemned many specific acts, including a man lying with a man as he would with a woman. However He did not mention a woman lying with a woman. That’s significant since just before that, when He condemned bestiality, God was specific and mentioned it being forbidden to women as well. So we can’t assume that the prohibition of man with man automatically carries over to woman with woman.
      As a man, I can’t be a lesbian, so I don’t really have something to gain by this. But I find it curious that mutual stimulation between women is not mentioned at all prior to a possible interpretation of Romans 1. Like masturbation, it is conspicuously absent prior to that.

  10. Sarge says:

    I’m going to dispel some misconceptions about the sex lives of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We love sex, and within the bonds of marriage, there are no restrictions on what we can do, with the exception of pornography.
    Our church leaders do not ask details of our sex lives, or rather they’re not allowed too. For single members, pornography is not allowed, but our lay clergy only asks if we are morally worthy of entrance into our temples. Our feeling of worthiness is a matter of self-reflection and between us, our Savior, and our Heavenly Father.
    My late wife and I enjoyed a very diverse sex life that was based on our personal preferences, not doctrine. Oral sex, mutual masturbation, even solo Christian masturbation was part of our routine. Anal sex was just something we weren’t into, not because it was forbidden.
    Once again, pornography is not allowed and I personally do not have a problem with that. I think porn is harmful to realistic expectations and is usually performed by unmarried couples or same-sex couples/groups.
    Sex is not dirty nor immoral within the bonds of marriage. Since I’m a widower, I use my memory of my wife or create scenarios involving what I would do with my wife were she still here to stimulate myself for masturbation.
    Feel free to ask me questions about anything I’ve said.

    • WakaWaka123 says:

      I was thinking more like a blog or online community or something. I can't find anything by that author other than the book itself.

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