1 Corinthians 5:1-2 ESV
“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.”
Sexual Immorality Running Rampant
Sexual immorality is running rampant in the American church today, although not in every congregation. The big issue appears to be primarily addiction to pornography, although that is not the only issue, and it is not necessarily the primary issue in all cases. For there are other prominent ways in which people are engaging in sexual immorality, including in prostitution, extra-marital affairs, child abuse, self-gratification (sex with oneself), voyeurism, exhibitionism, sex texting, and the like.
For Jesus defined adultery as lusting after another in one’s mind, so it isn’t just one person having sexual relations with another person with whom one is not married, especially if one is married to someone else. All of these expressions of sexual immorality mentioned above, and many more, involve lusting after someone else in one’s mind, even if that “someone else” is oneself. And most of these are acted out in some way physically, too.
So, if you are married, and if all you do is lust after others in your own mind and you don’t engage physically with anyone else in a sexual way, it is still adultery. If you view pornography and then you bring yourself to an orgasm, it is still adultery, because you are having sex with yourself. And if you are addicted to self-gratification, then you are in an ongoing state of committing adultery against your spouse, if you are married. It is not much different from having an extra-marital affair. The affair is just with oneself.
The sad reality is that many Christian men and some women (not as many women as men) are engaged regularly in some type of sexual immorality. Porn addiction is high in numbers. And those who are addicted often do not have a conscience about it, or they find a way to justify it. They think it is their right, so even though they know it is wrong, pride and selfishness get in the way and demand what they believe is their right to self-pleasure.
And if the faithful spouse gets wind of what is going on and tries to appeal to the unfaithful spouse about the adultery, oftentimes the addict’s pride and selfishness, and the demand for one’s own rights, will interfere in any communication to try to resolve this issue. Those who are full of pride will not want to submit to anyone, let alone to the faithful spouse, and so the adulterous and unfaithful spouse will resist, and will act childishly, and will make all sorts of excuses for why one continues to be unfaithful, even casting blame on the faithful spouse out of spite and anger.
Yet, the faithful spouse is not required to put up with the lies, the excuses, the false accusations, the “blame game,” the pride, the mind games addicts often play, the childish behavior and tantrums, etc. For you can’t reason with someone who is not willing to be reasoned with or who shows no signs of genuine remorse or a willingness to change. If the unfaithful spouse is unwilling to be humble and to repent (in truth) and decides to just make excuses for why one can’t be faithful, then just walk away from the conversation. Don’t let the unfaithful spouse intimidate you.
Depending on the Church for Help
And if you are the faithful spouse and you are depending on the church to help you and to convince your unfaithful spouse to change, don’t count on it. For one, so much of today’s “church” is not the body of Christ with Christ as her head, but she is a conglomerate of professers of faith in Jesus Christ and the people of the world and of big business and of church denominations who are trying to attract the world to their gatherings, so not many of them will exercise true church discipline.
For they don’t want to offend anyone or make them feel uncomfortable, which is why so many of them have diluted the gospel and are no longer teaching repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord. Since they are not teaching that we must die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, in obedience to his commands (New Covenant), they are not clamping down on the sexual immorality which is running rampant in what is called “church” these days.
Some of them may host support groups for addicts, but let’s just think about that for a moment. They host “support groups” not for the ones who being sinned against but for the ones still living in slavery to sin who are living in sexual immorality and who are living in adultery against their spouses, many of whom are also mentally and emotionally, and perhaps even physically are abusing their spouses. And many pastors will do nothing to help the injured spouses or to exercise biblical church discipline against the adulterer.
And many of these “support groups” do nothing to demand change in behaviors and will not even give biblical counsel in what needs to be done for true change in behaviors to take place, and so they end up coddling them in their sin and the offenders could go on for years meeting in these support groups while they continue in the church in spiritual fellowship with the rest of the body of Christ while at home they are still cheating on their spouses, abusing them, and still making excuses for why that is where they are.
1 Corinthians 5:6-8 ESV
“Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
Many of these “churches” which are tolerating sexual immorality among their members are proud of their gatherings and even of their support groups while they will not lift a finger to cleanse their gatherings of sexual immorality and to exercise godly church discipline, because then their church attendance would decline and so would their financial support, and so these sins are being tolerated. Thus, the church, overall, is on a massive spiritual and moral decline, because sin has spread throughout the church.
And the thing of it is, many pastors are among the sexually immoral who are living in adultery against their spouses while they are leading their congregations supposedly to worship God and to follow Jesus. And this is one of the reasons many pastors are not lifting a finger to exercise biblical church discipline to cleanse the church of these rampant sins which are destroying the church, although sexual immorality is not the only sin destroying the church. Gossip destroys church congregations, too.
And not only are these sins being allowed to continue within the gatherings of the church, but marriages are being destroyed, and children are being abused and/or led into following after the sins of their parents, and not much, if anything, is being done to try to restore these marriages and families and to bring wholeness and morality and faithfulness and love and commitment back into these homes. But the church is proud and she continues on and she does not skip a beat.
So, the faithful spouse who is also living in faithfulness to the Lord must find assurance in the faithfulness and love of God alone. So, if this is where you are, living as a faithful spouse to an unfaithful spouse, this song is to encourage your heart that God is always faithful. He truly is the only one who is 100% faithful in all that he is and does. So, we can always depend on him when spouses and when the church and when others fail us, or even when we fail ourselves.
He’s Been Faithful
By Carol Cymbala
In my moments of fear
Through Every Pain Every Tear
There’s A God Who’s Been Faithful To Me
When My Strength Was All Gone
When My Heart Had No Song
Still In Love He’s Proved Faithful To Me
He’s Been Faithful, Faithful To Me
Looking Back, His Love And Mercy I See
Though In My Heart I Have Questioned
Even Failed To Believe
Yet He’s Been Faithful, Faithful To Me