Category Archives: Life Applications

What God Says About “White Lies”

What God Says About "White Lies" | William Cody BatemanWe know lying is a sin (Leviticus 19:11; Proverbs 12:22). But what about those “little white lies” that involve an ever-so-slight stretching of the truth? Do the small lies matter, or are they harmless? What if telling the truth might hurt someone?

Lying is defined as “making an untrue statement with the intent to deceive.” A white lie is an untrue statement, but it is usually considered unimportant because it does not cover up a serious wrongdoing. A white lie is deceptive, but it may also be polite or diplomatic at the same time. It could be a “tactful” lie told to keep the peace in a relationship; it could be a “helpful” lie to ostensibly benefit someone else; it could be a “minor” lie to make oneself look better in some area.

Some white lies are common: lying about one’s age, for example, or the size of the fish that got away. We live in a society that conditions us to lie by telling us that, in many situations, lies are justified. The secretary “covers” for the boss who doesn’t want to be disturbed; the salesman exaggerates the qualities of his product; the job applicant pads his résumé. The reasoning is, as long as no one is hurt or the result is good, little lies are fine.

It is true that some sins bring about worse consequences than others. And it is true that telling a white lie will not have the same serious effect as, say, murdering someone. But all sins are equally offensive to God (Romans 6:23a), and there are good reasons to avoid telling white lies.

First, the belief that a white lie is “helpful” is rooted in the idea that the end justifies the means. If the lie results in a perceived “good,” then the lie was justified. However, God’s condemnation of lying in Proverbs 6:16–19 contains no exception clause. Also, who defines the “good” that results from the lie? A salesman telling white lies may sell his product—a “good” thing for him—but what about the customer who was taken advantage of?

Telling a white lie to be “tactful” or to spare someone’s feelings is also a foolish thing to do. A person who consistently lies to make people feel good will eventually be seen for what he is: a liar. Those who traffic in white lies will damage their credibility.

White lies have a way of propagating themselves. Telling more lies to cover up the original lie is standard procedure, and the lies get progressively less “white.” Trying to remember what lies were told to what person also complicates relationships and makes further lying even more likely.

Telling a white lie to benefit oneself is nothing but selfishness. When our words are motivated by the pride of life, we are falling into temptation (1 John 2:16).

Little white lies are often told to preserve the peace, as if telling the truth would in some way destroy peace. Yet the Bible presents truth and peace as existing together: “Love truth and peace” (Zechariah 8:19). Tellers of white lies believe they are speaking lies out of “love”; however, the Bible tells us to speak “the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).

Sometimes telling the truth is not easy; in fact, it can be downright unpleasant. But we are called to be truth-tellers. Being truthful is precious to God (Proverbs 12:22); it demonstrates the fear of Lord. Furthermore, to tell the truth is not a suggestion, it is a command (Psalm 15:2; Zechariah 8:16; Ephesians 4:25). Being truthful flies in the face of Satan, the “father of lies” (John 8:44). Being truthful honors the Lord, who is the “God of truth” (Psalm 31:5, ISV).

What God Says About Anal Sex

“Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.” ~ Hebrews 13:4

What God Says About Oral Sex | William Cody BatemanThere is no overt mention of anal sex in the Bible. In the account of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19, a large group of men sought to gang rape two angels who had taken the form of men. The reasonable presumption is that the men of Sodom wanted to have forcible anal sex with the angels. The men’s homosexual lust is obvious, but again, anal sex is not mentioned in the passage.

The words sodomy and sodomize come from this biblical account. Sodomy is, literally, “the sin of Sodom.”

In modern language, the term sodomy has acquired a broader definition than what is biblically warranted. Today, “sodomy” often refers to any form of non-penile/vaginal sexual act, which includes anal sex and oral sex. If the biblical text is used as the basis for the definition, though, “sodomy” cannot include oral sex or, technically, even anal sex. The strict understanding of sodomy, based solely on the events of Genesis 19, would have to be “forcible anal sex, with one male homosexually raping another male anally.”

The Bible clearly and explicitly condemns homosexuality as an immoral and unnatural sin (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9). And the Bible strongly condemns rape, as well (Deuteronomy 22:25-27). So, clearly, the Bible condemns sodomy in the sense of male homosexual rape. The more difficult question is whether the Bible condemns all anal sex.

Ultimately, our answer is the same as our answer for “What Gods Says About Oral Sex” Outside of marriage, all forms of sex, including anal sex, are sinful and immoral. Since the Bible nowhere condemns, or even mentions, anal sex within the confines of marriage, it would appear that anal sex falls within the “mutual consent” principle (1 Corinthians 7:5). Whatever is done sexually should be fully agreed on between the husband and his wife. Neither husband nor wife should be coerced into doing something he/she is not absolutely comfortable with.

If anal sex occurs within the confines of marriage, by mutual consent, then there is no clear biblical reason for declaring it to be sin.

In summary, the word sodomy does not occur in the Bible, although it does originate from a place name in the Bible. The specific sin of Genesis 19 was forcible anal rape of a man by another man. This passage does not concern marital relations.

Anal sex between a husband and wife, within the confines of marriage, in the spirit of mutual consent, cannot be definitively categorized as a sin.

Please note – while anal sex between a husband and his wife might not be sinful, that does not mean we endorse it. In fact, it is our conviction that anal sex is physically risky, even within the confines of marriage. Medically speaking, anal sex is neither healthy nor safe. Anal sex increases the risk of tissue damage, infection, and the transmission of STDs.

What God Says About Oral Sex

“Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love.” ~ Proverbs 5:18-19  

What God Says About Oral Sex | William Cody BatemanOral sex, also known as “cunnilingus” when performed on females and “fellatio” when performed on males, is not mentioned in the Bible. There are two primary questions that are asked in regards to oral sex: (1) “is oral sex a sin if done before marriage?” and (2) “is oral sex a sin if done within a marriage?” While the Bible does not specifically address either question, there are definitely biblical principles that apply.

Is oral sex a sin if done before or outside of marriage?

This question is becoming increasingly common as young people are told that “oral sex is not really sex,” and as oral sex is promoted as a safer (no risk of pregnancy, less risk of sexually transmitted diseases*) alternative to sexual intercourse.

What does the Bible say? Ephesians 5:3 declares, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity…because these are improper for God’s holy people.” The biblical definition of “immorality” is “any form of sexual contact outside of marriage” (1 Corinthians 7:2). According to Hebrews 13:4, only the “marriage bed” is pure and undefiled.

According to the Bible, sex is to be reserved for marriage. Period. So, yes, oral sex is a sin if done before or outside of marriage.

Is oral sex a sin if done within a marriage?

Many, perhaps most, Christian married couples have had this question. What makes it difficult is the fact that the Bible nowhere says what is allowed or disallowed sexually between a husband and wife, other than, of course, any sexual activity that involves another person (swapping, threesomes, etc.) or that involves lusting after another person (pornography). Outside of these two restrictions, the principle of “mutual consent” would seem to apply (1 Corinthians 7:5). While this text specifically deals with abstaining from sex/frequency of sex, “mutual consent” is a good concept to apply universally in regards to sex within marriage. Whatever is done, it should be fully agreed on between the husband and his wife.

Neither spouse should be forced or coerced into doing something he/she is not completely comfortable with. If oral sex is done within the confines of marriage and in the spirit of mutual consent, there is not a biblical case for declaring it to be a sin.

In summary, oral sex before marriage is absolutely a sin. It is immoral. It is in no sense a biblically acceptable alternative to sexual intercourse for unmarried couples. Within the confines of marriage, oral sex is free from sin as long as there is mutual consent.

*While oral sex is safer than sexual intercourse in regards to sexually transmitted diseases, it is definitely not safe. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV/AIDS, and other STDs can be transmitted through oral sex.

What God Says About Healing

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” ~ Isaiah 53:5

What God Says About Healing | William Cody BatemanIsaiah’s verse is then quoted in 1 Peter 2:24, as a key verse on healing, but it is often misunderstood and misapplied. ” The word translated “healed” can mean either spiritual or physical healing. However, the contexts of Isaiah 53 and 1 Peter 2 make it clear that it is speaking of spiritual healing. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). The verse is talking about sin and righteousness, not sickness and disease. Therefore, being “healed” in both these verses is speaking of being forgiven and saved, not physically healed.

The Bible does not specifically link physical healing with spiritual healing. Sometimes people are physically healed when they place their faith in Christ, but this is not always the case. Sometimes it is God’s will to heal, but sometimes it is not. The apostle John gives us the proper perspective: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).

God still performs miracles. God still heals people. Sickness, disease, pain, and death are still realities in this world. Unless the Lord returns, everyone who is alive today will die, and the vast majority of them (Christians included) will die as the result of a physical problem (disease, sickness, injury). It is not always God’s will to heal us physically.

Ultimately, our full physical healing awaits us in heaven. In heaven, there will be no more pain, sickness, disease, suffering, or death (Revelation 21). We all need to be less preoccupied with our physical condition in this world and a lot more concerned with our spiritual condition (Romans 12:1-2). Then we can focus our hearts on heaven where we will no longer have to deal with physical problems. Revelation 21:4 describes the true healing we should all be longing for: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

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