"Liberated Christians" on Lust

Liberated Christians (LC) wishes to assure you that:

The natural desire for sexual variety has absolutely nothing to do with "lust" as most assume it to mean. Lust is only wrong if it is the selfish desire to take something from another. Lust is wrong if it is about greed and self satisfaction at the expense of another. But there is nothing whatsoever wrong with mutually desired loving intimacy and enjoying sexual variety.

How LC arrives at this conclusion is a case of usual decontexualizations. Here's the list:

  • In biblical times man could have as many wives and concubines (breeders) as they wished once the man was age 12 and the women age 13, and adultery was only a sin for a married women. It was never a sin for a married man as long as the other women was not married (owned by another man).

    Of course, if it is a sin for a married woman, then that pretty well cuts off bed-hopping of the sort LC advocates, since it takes two to tango. But if you want to take the Biblical model to heart, the only people who could be allowed to practice polygamy were the very wealthy. In NT times, Herod the Great had ten wives and a harem, whereas the average Joe didn't. And the rabbis didn't do it, and the Essenes specifically condemned it. (For more on this, see what is said about polygamy in articles listed under the entry at Link 1 below.)

  • Biblically lust was not nearly such a bad word as those that use it against sexuality seem to think. In the original Greek the word translated "lust" was used several other times for things NOT considered wrong: Jesus "lusted" to be with his disciples. The word is the same as that some use to make lust to be a sin. Did Jesus sin? No, but He lusted. Strong desire for something is not a sin.

    Hmmm. Better check this out:

    • Matt. 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
    • Luke 22:15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

    Problems here: LC is being misleading; they are focusing on "strong desire" as the issue when it is WHAT you desire that is the problem. And in Matthew, the desire specifically for a woman -- whether married or not -- is obviously sin. Now, maybe LC will make the claim that they have ways of wanting to get into bed with a woman WITHOUT "desiring" her, but if you believe that, I have some beach land in Nebraska to sell you. (LC also alludes to their incorrect understanding of the law which we address in link 2 below.)

  • And how to get rid of that pesky verse in Matthew?

    An interpretation of this passage is that if you look at the Greek verb (lust more properly translated covet or desire), is the same word used in the Septuagint's translation of the 10th Commandment (not covet). In this case, Matthew has Jesus saying that covetousness, the desire to deprive another of his property, is the essence of adultery.... The purpose of the verse is to show no one is free of sin, but the nature of sin lies in impurity of the heart (taking from another man his wife) rather than the physical act itself. This is different from consensual nonmonogamy.

    So, in other words, LC wants us to believe that they can have sexual relations without desire.

    I think I'll leave things at that believable note.

    - JPH


    1. page with polygamy entry
    2. LC and the law