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What the Bible says



Adultery | Sexual Promiscuity | Promiscuous Homosexuality | Alcohol | Pornography | Drugs | Tobacco | Coffee | Gluttony | Rage | Disobedience to Parents | Divorce | Laziness | Gambling | Neglect of Children and Family | Masturbation | Movies/TV

The cure for sin and vice is to develop and practice virtue.

This article highlights what the Bible has to say about various vices.

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin" (John 8:34).

I [Jesus Christ] told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I [Jesus Christ] am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins. (John 8:24)

So that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." . . (1 Corinthians 4:6).

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted (Galatians 6:1).

"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." (John 8:11)

Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you. (John 5:14)

If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. (John 8:7)

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? (Romans 6:1-2)

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires (Romans 6:12).

When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness (Romans 6:20).

But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death (James 1:14-15).

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).

No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God (1 John 3:9).


Adultery

Sexual relations of a married person outside of marriage.

Some people try to soften the meaning of what sexual relations are. But based on Jesus' definition, if a man even looks at a woman lustfully he has already committed adultery with her.

I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28).

Bible quotes that demonstrate the severity of God's hatred of adultery. . . .

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral (Hebrews 13:4).

The seventh of the ten commandments. . .

You shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14).

It is not typically taught in churches today that divorce followed by remarriage results in adultery since there is no such thing as divorce in God's eyes. This is the teaching of Jesus in the Bible. The only exception is if the marriage was not a valid marriage in the first place; if it is fornication and not marriage.

But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery (Matthew 5:32).


Sexual Promiscuity — Fornication

Sexual relations of an unmarried person.

In our modern culture today we wish to be accepting of sexual relations between unmarried people but the Bible condemns this. Some prefer not to use the word "fornication" because it has negative overtones.

Some people try to soften the meaning of what sexual relations are. But based on Jesus' definition, if a man even looks at a woman lustfully he has already committed adultery with her.

I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28).

What about dating and such activities as holding hands, kissing, etc.? It is not easy to set a clear standard from the Bible but I would suggest the following — if the activity causes pleasure in your sex organs you've probably gone too far.

Bible quotes that demonstrate the severity of God's hatred of fornication (some translations use the phrase "sexual immorality" for "fornication").

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18).

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery (Galatians 5:19).


Promiscuous Homosexuality

Promiscuous sexual relations between people of like gender — men with men or women with women.

In our modern culture today we wish to be accepting of promiscuous homosexual relations but the Bible condemns it. People who don't accept the promiscuous "gay" lifestyle as a morally acceptable lifestyle are called "gay bashers" and are thought to be narrow-minded and unloving.

(I should mention lest you get the wrong impression; the Bible opposes all promiscuous activity.)

Some Christians even claim the Bible approves of promiscuous homosexuality and they interpret Bible passages in a way that supposedly supports it, but the truth is the Bible clearly opposes it. However, we are to love the sinner even though we hate the sin — but this is true of all sin.

Bible quotes that clearly demonstrate God hates the sin of promiscuous homosexuality.

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion (Romans 1:26-27).

Read more: Gay Marriage | Homosexuality


Alcohol

Many Christian leaders teach that alcohol consumption is forbidden by the Bible. Some even claim that the wine in the Bible didn't have alcohol. The Bible has much to say about the abuse of alcohol but doesn't forbid alcohol consumption.

Topics. . .

Did wine in the Bible have alcohol?

I believe it is clear from the Bible that the wine in the Bible did contain alcohol.

Points that demonstrate this. . .

Wine not forbidden for elders and deacons

If alcohol consumption was considered by God to be sin then it would be absolutely forbidden. However, in Paul's instructions concerning the qualifications of elders and deacons he allows for alcohol to be used in moderation. . .

Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain (1 Timothy 3:8).

Note that this passage doesn't say that deacons must avoid wine altogether.

Drunkenness

The Bible is clearly against drunkenness. This includes both getting drunk and having a lifestyle of getting drunk. A passage supporting this. . . 

Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy (Romans 13:13).

We need to determine how much alcohol it takes to be considered drunk. The Bible is not precise on this point but here are a couple of references to give us an idea about the parameters.

Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now. (John 2:10)

Jesus didn't object to attending this event (it was a wedding after all) and he didn't even object to providing wine for people who had already drunk too much. But this was in the context of a wedding celebration.

When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. Don't you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not! (1 Corinthians 11:20-22)

Paul may be rebuking them for their drunkenness in addition to their exclusiveness and divisions.

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).

It would seem that Paul is forbidding the kind of drunkenness which leads to the "party" mentality that so often accompanies drinking in the modern world. He is clearly setting a high standard in this passage.

Alcoholism

Alcoholism is the chronic, habitual, addictive use of alcohol. There is much written about alcoholism in these modern times. Clearly it is condemned by the Bible.

Like a thornbush in a drunkard's hand is a proverb in the mouth of a fool (Proverbs 26:9).

Wine with meals

This is a common context in which Christians may drink wine. However, if it is done in public it may give the wrong message to those who witness it. See the next section concerning stumbling your brother.

Stumbling your brother

We should not minimize the problem of alcoholism in today's world. For some, especially those who have struggled in the past and conquered alcoholism, the temptation is always present to slip into this lifestyle again. If we love our neighbor we should wish to not stumble him. For this reason I would recommend that Christians not drink publicly or, even better, that they abstain from drinking altogether. Even if you don't drink publicly you must still purchase the alcohol publicly.

Some Bible passages. . .

You have heard that it was said, "Love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I tell you: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:43-44)

We don't wish to be tempted in our areas of weakness so we should avoid tempting those we love which should be everybody including our enemies.

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall (1 Corinthians 8:9-13).

The context in this passage concerns eating meat that was sacrificed to idols but I think that by way of application this passage has a very direct application to the subject of alcohol.

Drinking and Driving

Don't do it. It's risky and highly illegal. It has the potential to mess up your life and those you injure or kill by doing it.


Pornography

An epidemic in our modern society. Includes photos, videos, the written word and even audio. The internet provides an abundance of pornographic materials for the unwary web surfer.

One verse says it all. . .

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4:8).

Pornography is the opposite of purity. For example, think of the lives of the people who are being photographed. How demeaning it must be for them to be involved in this.

We should not be participating in other people's sin. . .

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife. And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? (1 Corinthians 5:1-2)

Pornography serves no purpose other than to satisfy a person's lust. There is no good that can come from it.

I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28).

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion (Romans 1:26-27).

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming (Colossians 3:5-6).

It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5).

For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world (1 John 2:16).


Drugs

This section concerns drugs which are used for the purpose of getting "high" rather than for a medical purpose or to relieve pain. Many common drugs in this category are illegal.

Many of the same discussions as in the section on Alcohol apply to drug usage (read that section).

The Bible commands that we obey the laws of the land except in the case where the law specifies that we disobey God. A couple of relevant verses. . . .

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ (Ephesians 6:5).

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good (Titus 3:1).

Since God doesn't command us to take illegal drugs we have no reason to break these laws.

Why do people take drugs at all? Isn't it because of self-indulgence? Some quotes. . . .

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence (Matthew 23:25).

Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more (Ephesians 4:19).

Drug usage is harmful to the body. We should be good stewards of our bodies and should treat it well. A few verses. . . .

You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body (1 Corinthians 6:20). This passage is not specifically about taking care of the body but is does have application.

Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God (2 Corinthians 7:1).

Do you not know that your body is a temple 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 body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

And finally, don't drive while under the influence of drugs. It is illegal, risky and could injure or kill someone. It is unloving to do so. . . .

Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:10).


Tobacco

Tobacco contains ingredients which are very addictive. Because of this it can be very difficult to quit. It can also be difficult to quit due to peer pressure. See the section on Drugs for more info.

Cigarette, cigar and pipe smoke are very offensive to most non-smokers. Also, the second-hand smoke has been demonstrated to be harmful.

Some smokers have an attitude that they have to right to smoke anywhere and have no regard for the discomfort of others who have to smell and inhale the smoke. This is very rude and uncaring.

[Love] is not rude, it is not self-seeking . . . (1 Corinthians 13:5).

Smoking has no good benefits and has the potential to damage the smoker's health. About one in four smokers die from it. Both my parents died from diseases caused by smoking.

Smoking is not compatible with living a Christian, Spirit-filled life.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22,23).

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love (2 Peter 1:5-7).

My recommendation to anyone who is addicted to tobacco is to never give up trying to quit. Keep praying to the Lord to give you the strength and willpower to quit and keep asking others to pray for you.

That each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable (1 Thessalonians 4:4).

It is reasonable for non-smokers to insist that smokers don't subject them to second-hand smoke. It is also reasonable that we have laws that require that there be no-smoking zones in public places.

Non-smokers should not shun smokers. They should be willing to accept them as brothers and sisters and to love them in spite of their addiction.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:1,2).

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10).

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing (2 Thessalonians 1:3).


Coffee

This section deals with coffee, tea, and soft drinks containing caffeine. See the section on Drugs for more info.

I am amazed at how many churches have coffee available at every church function. No one even mentions that caffeine is a habit-forming drug. A friend told me that if I as a pastor were to forbid coffee consumption at church functions, most of the congregation would find another church.

Caffeine has no nutritional value (it is not food) and it has side effects. How many times have you read something from the medical profession advising you to stop consuming caffeine? It can cause symptoms such as nervousness, sleeplessness, irritability, impatience, stress, meanness and for some it has more severe side-effects.

I include coffee in the list of vices only because I want people to consider why they feel they must have their cup of coffee.

I recommend that you consider giving up caffeine or at least reduce the amount you consume. Try prayer the next time you need an energy boost. Or perhaps your sleeping schedule needs to be adjusted. Go on a caffeine fast from time to time by completely abstaining from it for a set period of time. Don't let caffeine run your life but use it as a tool when you need it.

A few relevant Bible verses. . . .

To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me (Colossians 1:29).

No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize (1 Corinthians 9:27).

They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him (2 Peter 2:19).


Gluttony

Gluttony is a lifestyle of obsessive, compulsive overeating leading to obesity.

It is difficult to know how much food is too much in this culture where food is so abundant. I suggest that obesity caused by overeating (but not due to a hormonal unbalance) is a symptom of a lifestyle of gluttony.

The Bible specifically mentions gluttony as an undesirable trait.

Even one of their own prophets has said, "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons." (Titus 1:12)

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners."' (Luke 7:34)

Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags (Proverbs 23:20,21).

The real question is — if I am a glutton, how do I quit? I don't recommend getting involved with faddish or drug-based diet programs. Talk to your doctor if you have a severe problem.


Rage

From a Biblical perspective rage and anger are the same. An angry person usually feels justified in being angry because he/she feels the other person wronged them. But this is not the Biblical response to being wronged:

But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also (Matthew 5:39).

Some teach that the Bible approves of "righteous" anger — after all God has righteous anger. Rather than try to refute this I will content myself to list some of the many passages that deal with God's hatred of anger.

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell (Matthew 5:22).

For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder (2 Corinthians 12:20).

In your anger do not sin : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry (Ephesians 4:26).

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice (Ephesians 4:31).

But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips (Colossians 3:8).

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires (James 1:19,20).


Disobedience to Parents

The Bible requires that children are to obey, honor and respect their parents.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise—"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." (Ephesians 6:1-3)

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord (Colossians 3:20).

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy (2 Timothy 3:2).

It is common in today's modern world for children to dishonor their parents. Television, movies, music, art and literature all portray disobedient children. But God will judge the nations and the individuals who are disobedient to their parents.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10).

For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient (Ephesians 5:5,6).


Divorce

God created the institution of marriage. He intends for a marriage to be permanent as long as both partners are alive.

Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" "What did Moses command you?" he replied. They said, "Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away." "It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law," Jesus replied. "But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." (Mark 10:2-9)

The New Testament mentions only two circumstances when a supposed marriage is not really a marriage after all.

It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. (Matthew 5:31-32).

If a marriage is not really a marriage (it is fornication), then there is no need for a divorce because there was no marriagein the eyes of God.

If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. . . . But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances. . . . (1 Corinthians 7:12-15).

This does not refer to a divorce but to a separation. If the other person chooses to divorce civilly, this does not mean that God honors the divorce unless the marriage was not a real marriagein the first place.

Some Christians add two circumstances when divorce is acceptable, but these are not specified in the Bible:

Common reasons people have for divorcing which are not acceptable to God based on the Bible:

The LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. . . . "I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel. . . .  (Malachi 2:14-16)

Divorce affects the children and the extended family. It creates tension, confusion and bad feelings for everyone involved.

It is tragic how many children today grow up in a family with a divorce. I believe that the divorce epidemic is ruining our society.


Laziness

The Christian life is to be a life of diligence, perseverance and hard work.

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12).

We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised (Hebrews 6:12).

The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!" As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed. The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth. The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer discreetly (Proverbs 26:13-16).

How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man (Proverbs 6:9,10).


Gambling

Gambling is not specifically mentioned in the Bible. However, the Bible establishes principles which apply to the topic.

The Bible does mention casting lots, but this is not gambling. Gambling is done for the purpose of making a profit. A couple of examples of casting lots:

Young and old alike, teacher as well as student, cast lots for their duties (1 Chronicles 25:8).

And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get (Mark 15:24).

Sometimes casting lots was done as a means of seeking the Lord in making a decision.

Joshua then cast lots for them in Shiloh in the presence of the LORD, and there he distributed the land to the Israelites according to their tribal divisions (Joshua 18:10).

Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles (Acts 1:26).

There are also example of people casting lots as a form of divination. This is definitely forbidden in the Bible.

For the king of Babylon will stop at the fork in the road, at the junction of the two roads, to seek an omen: He will cast lots with arrows, he will consult his idols, he will examine the liver (Ezekiel 21:21).

Do not practice divination or sorcery (Leviticus 19:26).

Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead (Deuteronomy 18:10,11).

The real problem with gambling is that it is based on greed, covetousness and worldliness and that the lifestyle of a gambler is not a lifestyle of righteousness.

People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs (1 Timothy 6:9,10).

We need to be careful to not be legalistic when considering whether it is okay for a person to buy lottery tickets (for example). We should seek the Lord when making decisions about whether to participate in such activities and we should be careful not to judge others for their decisions in such matters.


Neglect of Children and Family

People often neglect those they love because of their career or due to selfishness and laziness. Yet we as Christians are to love one another as God loves us.

Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! (Psalms 66:20)

We must not let our selfish ambition take a higher priority than those we love.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3).

Parents who allow their children to live in a way that dishonors God are guilty of neglect. The example of Eli the priest is often cited as an example of this.

At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them (1 Samuel 3:12).

Husbands are often guilty of neglecting their wife and children but this should not be.

In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself (Ephesians 5:28).

Parents are to spend time with their children so that they would grow up to be godly.

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up (Deuteronomy 6:6,7).

Now Adonijah [king David's son], whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, "I will be king." So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him. (His father [king David] had never interfered with him by asking, "Why do you behave as you do?") (1 Kings 1:5,6)

The Lord considers it important that fathers have a heart for their children.

See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse. (Malachi 4:5,6)


Masturbation

The Bible doesn't specifically mention the topic. However, there are things that can be said about it from a Biblical perspective.

Some say that the story of Onan refers to masturbation but this is not so.

But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he lay with his brother's wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother (Genesis 38:9).

This passage concerns Onan's duty under the law to father children with his deceased brother's wife so his brother's line would continue.

Often pornography is involved with masturbation. See that section for discussion.

We are to remain sexually pure at all times which involves our thoughts as well.

I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28).

Also, we are to remain free from bondage to anything.

They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him (2 Peter 2:19).


Movies/TV

Modern electronic-based entertainment hadn't been invented yet when the Bible was written but the Bible does have something to say about the topic. Movies, TV and music CD's are modern ways in which people allow unwholesome thoughts, ideas and images into their thoughts and lives.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4:8).

Most people acknowledge that the programming isn't as edifying and wholesome as they wish it were but they tune in anyway. There is plenty of violence, sex, bad role models, etc. portrayed on the screen and in songs. Is this really what we should be "stuffing" into our heads?

I don't wish to be legalistic or dogmatic about this, but consider boycotting the unwholesome programming content:

I wonder what Jesus would do if he were alive today?

Another important thing to consider with TV is the effects on social interaction in your family and with your friends. A couple of things to consider:

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