Fornication. One of the big no-no’s. Sex outside marriage is a no-no. Begins with envy or lust and ends with STD’s or an unwanted child – with the homewrecking and divorce and unnecessary trauma for all concerned!
All because you wouldn’t keep your private-parts in your pants!
I always thought it unfair as a young man, that this “fornication no-no” was applied equally to me. Footloose and free – hormonal and having accumulated many unwanted items from the chemist’s before actually asking for a pack of condoms! I was clean and prepared – targeted only free single ladies – always took no for an answer (usually the no’s I talked myself into before even opening my mouth to any lady).
Yet I was still subject to this “fornication no-no”.
And now I read of abuse. I read of those who were protected by the Church as they abused. I read of those who were telling us the BIG NO-NO whilst they abused. Maybe the same ones who bring so much acrimony to “gay sex”. Who are so vocal about the “evil” of sex between man and man, woman and woman, adult and child, adult and beast … AND my solo masturbation and handjob!
And yet “we” still jeer at the “Pharisees” today.
That isn’t “The Law” – and THAT isn’t right. That is telling me that Christians are STILL scared of sex … STILL think it is dirty … STILL do it with the lights off … STILL protest at 50 Shades of Grey (even though the relationship across that trilogy is more loving than many a bible relationship).
“It is hard to swear when sex is not dirty and blasphemy does not exist.” — Ursula K. Le Guin
Today we are in Mark. A universal audience of “Chosen People wannabees”. Which means more Pharisee bashing of our favoured pantomime-baddies. Jesus Walks on the Water … That Which Defiles … Jesus Honours a Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith …
“Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” Mark 7:14-15
I have heard this taught my whole life. And always to validate my own choices: bacon is okay (poo is just “poo”), listening to bad language (so long as I don’t join in), solo masturbation (isn’t sex so isn’t fornication), not tithing (being so uptight about money is a no-no) … The list goes on because finding loopholes is what we do.
And I think we like “The Pharisees” for that reason – to have “them” available to excuse “us” bending the no-no’s. To use “them” for “me” breaking the little (or big) no-no’s. Because by breaking the “red-tape” no-no’s – I am proving I am NOT a Pharisee!
“For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” 21-22
So long as we live by The Law we will find loopholes, we will find justification for breaking the law, we will bend it this way and that. THAT is why there is a law in the first place. THAT is why there is a consequence to breaking the law. And THAT is why there are two books mentioned in the bible – The Book of Life and The Book of Deeds.
Both judge the heart.
For if I live by Love I live in The Book of Life. I may swear … I may read 50 Shades of Grey … I may love those who Love Allah … I may love those who love Atheism … I may love those who would never enter the doors of a church (as well as those who have and would never do so again) … I may love those in church today … I may love without regard or condition … I may love selflessly and selfishly … I may call your God one thing or another … I may not believe the bible like you believe the bible …
But BECAUSE of the bible … I will ALWAYS return to Love because Love does not live by the Law. Love transcends the Law. Love is “why” the Law. The Law is not Love. The Law is because of the absence of Love.
And these Pharisees we keep as pantomime baddies so we can boo and hiss and think ourselves so much better than “them” … These “Pharisees” who allow us to excuse our own “love-and-law-breaking” whilst singing along to “I have decided to follow Jesus” …
What does that REALLY say about every one of “us”?