SENTINEL 12-22-2011
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Are You a Fornicator?

What will the year anew mean for you?

The Firpo Files

(Sentinel, December 22-28, 2011)


Make no mistake about it, fornication is flourishing.  It could be that you're caught up in fornication yourself. If so, you certainly aren't alone. After all, fornication is fun. And with the new year approaching, as the saying goes, ‘there's going to be a whole lot of shaken going on'! But, I'm writing to help shake you to your senses.

Be warned, you and your fornicating friends will only "enjoy the short-lived pleasures of sin," then it'll be all over. (Hebrews 11:25, Weymouth New Testament) If, on the other hand, you're not a fornicator, read on anyway. God doesn't want you to become one. The world is already overstocked.

But what exactly does fornication entail? You may be surprised at the answer. And, on a personal note, I'm just the messenger. What I'll be quoting here was written in the first century and beyond, way before I was born. Granted, although I'm beginning to gray a little, I promise I'm not a few thousand years old. You can ask my mother.  

Hooking Up: According to Insight on the Scriptures, fornication is "Illicit sex relations outside of Scriptural marriage. The Hebrew verb zanah and its related forms convey the idea of harlotry, immoral intercourse, fornication, or prostitution. ... The Greek word translated ‘fornication' is porneia. Regarding the meanings of porneia, B. F. Westcott in his book Saint Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians (1906, p. 76) says: ‘This is a general term for all unlawful intercourse, (1) adultery ... (2) unlawful marriage.'"

That word porneia is where we get the word "pornography." Insight continues: "Bauer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament ... defines porneia as ‘prostitution, unchastity, fornication, of every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse.' Porneia is understood to involve the grossly immoral use of the genital organ(s) of at least one human; also there must have been two or more parties (including another consenting human or a beast), whether of the same sex or the opposite sex. (Jude 7) The unlawful act of a rapist is fornication, but, of course, that does not make the person who is forcibly raped also a fornicator."

Homosexuality: "The Greek for ‘infirmity' is malakia--a derivative of the word malakos (‘soft' or ‘effeminate')--and means a sickness or condition that weakens or ‘softens' the victim. At 1 Corinthians 6:9 one finds the only occurrence of the related word malakos in Scripture. This clearly refers to a ‘soft' or ‘effeminate' man, the passive partner in a same-sex situation. Whether Jesus is characterizing homosexuality--both male and female--as an ‘infirmity' of some sort is beyond the scope of this [article].

"It is interesting to note, however, that up until the latter part of the 20th-century the American Psychological Association (APA) considered male and female homosexuality an ‘infirmity' or mental illness. Additionally, it may or may not be significant that Jesus mentions the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah--known as centers for same-sex encounters in connection with malakia--just a relatively few verses later at Matthew 10:1, 15." (Modern Matthew: Good News for Today.) Still, the Sodomites were still better off than some whom Jesus preached to.--Matthew 10:15; 11:23.

Bestiality: Insight defines bestiality as "Unnatural sexual intercourse of a man or a woman with an animal. The Mosaic Law emphatically condemned this perverted practice, sentencing the guilty person and the beast to death. ‘Where a man gives his seminal emission to a beast, he should be put to death without fail, and you should kill the beast. And where a woman approaches any beast to have a connection with it, you must kill the woman and the beast.'"--Leviticus 20:15, 16.

Living Together Before Marriage: "Living together before marriage is like a trial run of what it is like to live with your future spouse," says one Web site. "The firsthand knowledge obtained during this time can be beneficial. However, it can also lead to broken marriage proposals or act as a harbinger for divorce. In fact, studies have found that people who live together are more likely to divorce than those who did not live together before marriage." Why? Conditional "love."

Conclusion: Porneia is pandemic. So, "flee from fornication." (1 Corinthians 6:18, New World Translation) Nowadays sex can kill. Stay right, and you have nothing to fear in the new year. Also, keep me in your prayers too, why don't you.--1 Corinthians 9:27.

Peace and blessings to all. Amen.