What Can You Get For Your Daughter?

Why would anyone sell their daughter? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

It sounds bizarre to us really. Why on Earth would someone sell their daughter? Do they want money more than they want a daughter? That does seem to be what is going on in Exodus 21.

“If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. 10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.

The problem here is too many of us are reading this from our cultural perspective. We might think of something like sex trafficking going on or people turning their children into prostitutes at their home. This sounds like a family that really doesn’t care for their daughter.

However, when we look at the ancient world, by and large, marriage was about survival and continuing in the family name. This would be more like indentured servitude. serving someone for an amount of time in order to get something out of the deal. This was done by many people at first to get to America.

Okay. So how does that tie into survival? A poor family would have to work extra hard to provide for every family member. For us, we don’t understand this in a world where if we want bread, we can just drive down to the supermarket. For them, just getting a meal was long and laborious and it took time and energy to make bread.

By selling their daughter, they were selling her into a family that could afford her and could provide for her and make a better laugh for her. She would be moved into a new family unit. This doesn’t mean the old family could no longer have any contact with her, but essentially today when a family gives their daughter to a man who wants to marry her, they do the same. When my former in-laws gave my ex-wife to me, they realized that I was going to be the new primary family unit and my parents realized she would be my new primary family unit. I was the one meant to provide for her.

And notice, the new family is meant to do that, especially the husband. He has to provide food, shelter, and yes, marital rights. The man is to consistently love his wife. A man cannot sell her because that would be breaking the covenant promise to her. If the man’s son marries her, the master must treat the new girl like a daughter. If the son marries another woman, this one is not to be deprived and if she is, she can go her own way. In other words, for a book supposedly sexist, the woman has all the freedoms here and the man has all the responsibilities.

Again, we are not really at marriage for love yet, but we will be getting to that kind of attitude. Even still, that needs some temperance as love is badly misunderstood. Keep waiting as that is a way’s away.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

The Servant’s Wife

What happens when a servant comes to a master? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday, I wrote about how marriage was treated differently in the Old Testament. In this instance, we’re going to be discussing it with slavery in the Old Testament. It needs to be said that in this society, slavery was largely a willing institution where people gave of themselves to provide for them and their families. It was also not based on race.

So in Exodus 21, the question comes of a man who sells himself to his neighbor in order to provide for himself. Now if a man comes and he has a wife with him, then when his term is done with his master, then he is to go free and his wife is to come with him. However, what if he comes and he does not have a wife?

His master could provide one for him. This means that the master is giving of himself what he has and letting his servant partake of that gift. After all, a wife isn’t necessary to someone doing their job for the most part. How many of us when we go to work for an employer today discuss with the employer if they will provide a spouse for us or not?

In this scenario, when the man leaves then, his wife and children are not to go with him. The master will provide for all of them. However, there is an exemption to this. The servant can say that he loves his wife and his children and doesn’t want to lose them so he can become a servant for his master for life, which, if the wife was the master’s daughter, would essentially make him a son-in-law entirely and part of the family.

Note also that this indicates love was not really the norm in the time. Marriage was not done so much for love as it was done for survival. However, it would certainly be hoped that a marriage would make someone into a more loving person. In this case, it did.

The servant has no right to claim on his own what is his and what isn’t. He has been working for the master for years, likely had room and board provided, and the master doesn’t owe the servant anything else, including a spouse. If a master gives, that is a gift and the servant can choose how he wants to respond.

For those concerned about the idea of slavery in these passages, there are plenty of resources to go to on this one. I recommend this excellent article from the Christian-thinktank. I also recommend this video series on Scripture and Slavery. For now, I am looking at marriage and I don’t want to get diverted into a whole other series.

This time, we looked at the case of a man going into slavery. Next we’ll be looking at what happens when a man sells his daughter into slavery. That will hopefully be on Monday barring anything else that needs to be said. See you then.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Marriage in the Bible Intro

How do we see marriage explicitly? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We’re in the book of Exodus in our look through the Bible at marriage and as we get into this, we will see a lot of customs that don’t match up with a modern Western approach to marriage. This isn’t a culture that practices dating or marriage for love. You do not normally choose your spouse. Marriage seems to be a different kind of relationship.

At this point, skeptics of the Bible who tend to be left politically shout with glee about how much marriage has changed. Thus, we live in a time also where marriage is changing and it is changing so much that it is no longer supposedly a union of a man and a woman. We have already changed marriage since then, so why not?

So for this, I want to give a brief overview. Some matters will be acknowledged. Why people enter into marriage has changed. Why people got married has changed. How people got married has changed. There is something that hasn’t changed.

Marriage hasn’t.

But what about polygamy?

This was a borderline practice that was allowed in the Old Testament. Still, if anything, this could count as one man having multiple marriages. When Joash was the last surviving member of the line of David that was able to rule, he was granted to have two wives. After all, they needed to produce more children again.

So in the Old Testament, most marriages were arranged. This is still common in much of the world today. A person doesn’t know their spouse sometimes until the day that they marry them and then they are to give to the relationship and make it work. In many cases, it really does work.

Marriage was mainly about the uniting of the families together and the survival of the family. This was to pass on the heritage of the family and ensure that they would not be forgotten in Israel. Producing children was a must as that was the way to make sure this would take place and you needed a lot. Today, we take it for granted that our children will live and start saving for college while they’re in the womb. Not so in those days. Child mortality was very common.

While love was not the basis, there was no doubt that it was hoped for. If you read Proverbs, a man is told to delight in his wife. Song of Songs is a very passionate poem about love and especially sexual love in a marriage relationship.

Divorce did happen, but it was not a practice that God celebrated in Scripture, even when He did it Himself to Israel. The breaking of a covenant is always a tragedy. Now I realize some people are saying, “But my spouse abused me. Are you saying that the divorce was a tragedy?” Yes, and hear me out on this please. It is a tragedy that one person broke a promise to love and cherish the other and treat them like a partner in life and wound up abusing and/or betraying them. While the divorce was sadly a necessity in this case, the first tragedy is that the betrayal had already taken place. It is sad the situation was so bad that one person had to remove themselves from it to protect themselves when marriage was meant to be a relationship for the growing of love between the two.

So as we go into this, I’m not going to say every time about how different the union was entered into and the different purposes it served. I figure it’s easier to do this upfront than to do that. Still, we will see differences between our day and theirs. The past is a strange place. They do things differently there.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

On Pascal’s Wager

What is this argument? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We will get back to marriage, but I wanted to write about Pascal’s Wager since I have seen atheists debating it on a Facebook page I belong to and I don’t think I have ever written anything about it. I did make a post in the thread asking how many atheists had read the Pensees. If you don’t know, that’s the book of Pascal that contains the wager. Only one gave any indication.

Note this is not saying that one should use Pascal’s Wager, nor is it saying one should not. It’s just an attempt to clarify what is going on. Most atheists do not understand the wager.

Suppose you are one who claims that the wager doesn’t work because there are many other religions to choose from.

You do not understand the wager.

Suppose you say it doesn’t work because Pascal gives you no reason to be a Christian.

You do not understand the wager.

Whatever you might think of Pascal, by standards of even our time, Pascal was a genius. His intellect was extremely impressive and it’s a shame that he died at such a young age. It is a shame that the #1 thing that Pascal is remembered for is his wager. I think he would be disappointed if he came back today and would ask if anyone had really read the whole of the Pensees, and yes, you should.

Pascal’s wager is not a logical argument in the sense that if you follow the premises, you get to the conclusion that Christianity is true. That doesn’t mean that it’s irrational, but it is not a classical argument that you would find in someone like Aquinas. This is really an argument that is based on experience.

Pascal is talking to the person who is saying, “I’m torn really. I see that there’s evidence for Christianity and I am considering it, but I am not sure if it’s true or not.” Pascal is addressing an experiential claim then. If you are not sure, then live like it is true and see what happens. After all, what do you have to lose? If you die and find Christianity is true, you lose nothing. If you die and atheism is true, you have still lived a good life.

That part is indeed accurate. All atheists and Christians should agree that the Christian claims do have severe outcomes for us. It is at least worth looking into. If you are an atheist who is absolutely sure Christianity is bunk, the wager is not targeting you. Again, Pascal has a specific type of person in mind.

This might seem dishonest, but many of us know this principle. If you are married and don’t feel love for your spouse, live as if you love them and watch what happens. If you are in a job, live as if you have the ability to do your job well and watch what happens. We are often told that if we act a certain way, we are more inclined to feel that way as well and have the existential question answered.

Before you comment on the Wager now, ask if it’s really for you. If you aren’t the person in mind, then don’t bother. How can you better tell? Try going and reading the Pensees yourself. There’s plenty more in that book besides the Wager.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

On Celebrity Deaths

What do we do when a celebrity dies? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

A little over a week ago, the world received a shock. I remember I was at work that day and I had just randomly started thinking about Betty White’s 100th birthday coming up. In the break room in the past few days before that, I had seen on what I think was Entertainment Tonight that plans were underway for her birthday party. Everyone was ready. It was coming. Let’s celebrate!

Except we didn’t. Before the new year on December 31st, Betty White died.

Then on Sunday night, I received a message from friends about the death of Bob Saget. If your family was like mine at one time, watching America’s Funniest Home Videos was a staple in the household. Bob Saget hosted that and although he was not a bit funny, we did enjoy the videos. I know he was on Full House, but I never watched that so I can’t comment.

When these people die, we mourn and it’s not because we’re normally close to them, but more I think for the nostalgia. For Betty White’s performances, I mainly watched The Mary Tyler Moore Show and I remember her from her husband being the host of Password. I never watched The Golden Girls. I have already said where I remember Bob Saget from.

I suppose you could say it’s like the past dying in some ways. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie Patch Adams, but I have not seen it once since Williams’s suicide. I suppose it’s like my own parents talking back about their past experiences and mentioning someone and saying “They’re dead now.”

Yet there are some matters that need to be said.

First off, most of these celebrities probably had plans, which is not bad, but they never got to pull them off. Saget was on a comedy tour. He had no idea his time was limited to that very night. It’s something to consider that one breath is all that separates you from eternity.

After I get done here, I will take a shower and after some time, I will go to work. I have no guarantee I will come home tonight. I don’t even have a guarantee I will get to work okay. I act like I will and I don’t think we should live in terror that we will die at any moment, but I do need to remember more often that every moment is a gift.

So let’s look at what happens next. What will happen to many of these celebrities? Will they enter into eternity with joy or will they enter it with shame? Will they love the presence of God or will they hate it? Right now, their choice is made and they are done. What would it profit them if they gained the adulation of the world and lost their souls? I’m not saying that happened for sure for either White or Saget. I can’t speak on that. I am saying it could have.

Hollywood is one of the most influential systems in the world today, and we Christians have to admit it’s full of depravity. So what are we doing about it? Do we write them off because they’re celebrities? We often treat them as gods and goddesses and our magazine racks are filled with stories about events in their lives to which I often want to say, “Who cares?” Why should anyone live vicariously through a celebrity? What difference does it make who so-and-so is dating? Don’t you have enough issues in your own life to work out?

However, these people have struggles like everyone else. They have questions and problems like everyone else. They also need Jesus like everyone else. Are we trying to influence Hollywood at all or are we just avoiding it? There is no reason Jesus Christ cannot redeem Hollywood. There is no reason He cannot use you to do it, except for one. You are unwilling to be used. That includes me as well.

When we get to Hollywood also and start making our movies, can we please also make good movies? Right now, for the most part, Christians make movies only other Christians want to see. What good would an evangelism method be that only reached other Christians and never those who don’t know Christ? One rare recent movie I understand was an exception to this was Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ.

Christian movies for the most part are universally bad and Christians go see them because they’re Christian and that’s what you do. Sadly, that’s often the reason we could give for going to church as well. What if we made them so well and they were so popular that non-Christian celebrities wanted to be in them?

There will be other celebrity deaths in 2022. Are we trying to reach these people that seem out of reach with the gospel? Do we consider that they are a breath away from eternity? Do we consider that we are?

God loves them as He loves us. Let’s show Jesus to them as we should.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

 

DTF 2022

What did I think of Defend the Faith 2022? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was pleased to be invited to attend this conference and though I didn’t give a talk, I still had a good time. Surprisingly, it wasn’t even awkward staying in a room by myself, especially since the last time I had been there I was with my now ex-wife. I somehow managed to sleep well most every night and enjoyed the independence that I had, though I would certainly prefer to be sharing the room with a lady again.

So let’s go over some highlights of the event fSamor me.

Tuesday night was the night that we had trivia night. This was one of my favorite nights of the event. I was on the team of Bob Stewart, the chair of the apologetics department who invited me. I really was glad to be able to contribute so much to our team, which did end up winning.

Naturally, seeing old friends and making new ones is always good. I got to see again Tawa Anderson, Rob Bowman, Tim McGrew, Bob Stewart, and of course, Gary Habermas. I also met Mike Strauss, a physicist who actually works at CERN. The people are always a great facet.

I briefly interacted with Sam Allberry. His talks were some of my favorite. Sam is a pastor who has same-sex attraction and writes and speaks on issues of sexuality and Christianity. His talks not only teach you about the issues of the day, but leave you with a greater appreciation of grace.

Thursday night, I went with Tawa and Mike and some others at the conference who were attendees to the French Quarter. This included going down Bourbon Street which eventually got us to the Mississippi River, which I had never seen in person. While on the Quarter, we saw the annual parade in honor of Joan of Arc. Also, being in this part of New Orleans is certainly a lesson in the depravity of man.

The talks were also great. There are several breakout sessions that take place and the speakers do hang around and answer questions. You can often find them just going about throughout the campus during the day. If you come next year, you are certain to find something that will pique your curiosity. This would also be the case if you’re a non-Christian, and non-Christians are definitely welcome at the conference.

The most important part for me out of all of this was the tour for potential new students. This is something I had been considering and I finally got one of my main questions answered when I went to the campus. There is student housing that is pet-friendly. I would never move somewhere where I could not take my Shiro with me.

My folks know now that this is what I want to do and I am making the plans. My mother’s not thrilled with it, but she knows this is what is best for me. I have been told I can get my Master’s faster if I live on campus and I look forward to living near guys that share my interest (And might want to have a gaming night some nights) and possibly meeting a new young lady I can marry.

If you want to donate to Deeper Waters, now is a great time to do that. Your donations will help make this more of a reality. Yes, there is a load of scholarships I will be applying for, but any donations from friends like you help. Please consider it. I’ll keep you all updated and you can check my Facebook page as well.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Happy New Year

How should we see 2022? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Personally, I’m happy to see 2022 coming. People talk about 2020 as if it was the disaster year. If I say that, it’s not because of Coronavirus at all. It’s because that’s when so much trouble with my ex and I reached a breaking point. In all of 2021, I have not seen her one time in person. On the other hand, I have also not done anything romantic with a lady at all which is depressing for me.

2021 is the year I officially became divorced.

2022 is a year then I am looking forward to as I want to continue to change my life for the better. I am interested in a seminary and getting my Master’s and then eventually a Ph.D. I have noticed I have got to do more interviews and debates lately and I hope that keeps up.

We are told in the Gospels that Jesus said to not worry about tomorrow, which is true. Worry is stupid, even though we do it, myself included. Last night I went to bed worrying about a situation. I slept, but it wasn’t the most restful of sleep, and yet today early in the morning, the situation was resolved immediately and frankly, it never really was one. The real situation was the fear I had in my own head about matters.

By the way, as one who has long suffered with anxiety, and I do take medication now too which greatly helps, I would like to point you to the best book I have ever read on anxiety. That is Pierce Taylor Hibbs’s Struck Down But Not DestroyedThe approach taught in this book has been nothing short of life-changing for me in handling anxiety.

Often when we look at the future, we’re tempted to assume the worst. Why should we though? Let’s suppose the worst happens, whatever it is. God is with us. For me, I would have told you the worst thing that could have happened to me was to get a divorce.

Well, guess what. That happened, and it hurt immensely and it was awful and there were times that I wondered if life was really worth it, but you know what? I made it through. I made it through and I have kept going. Will there be a new worst possible thing to me someday? Probably, but I need to remember I made it through this one.

So if a disaster happens in 2022, well that’s just a fine time for the church of Christ to shine. That’s a great time for us to rise up and to show the love and power of Jesus to a world that needs that. Many times, I have reminders come that God is in control of the story and has it all worked out. Whether you are a Calvinist or an Arminian, all Christians should accept God is the author of this story and He is working it out.

So with 2022 coming, I want to see how it works out. I have my hopes and dreams, sure. I want to do my education and get my Master’s and hopefully, at least start dating someone special and being in a serious relationship. I also want to get a better job and be earning enough that I can provide for that woman.

I could be afraid of the future, but that wouldn’t do me any good. Wherever I go, I need to walk with courage. I never walk alone. God is with me as He was through the worst time of my life. He’ll get me through it all so why not enjoy the ride?

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Aspergers and Future Plans

What are the hopes for 2022? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I want to let you all know that for the first week in January, there won’t be any new blogs. I will be in New Orleans for the Defend the Faith Conference. I have been invited to attend, though not as a speaker this time, and while there, I will also be discussing with them the possibility of my attending seminary as well there. My pastor informed me I can get a big discount at a Southern Baptist Seminary on tuition since I’m a member of a Southern Baptist Church and I know a lot of people at New Orleans so it sounded good.

I do have a Bachelor’s already, so this will be Master’s work. However, that’s a brief rundown of what’s coming. Check here after the first week in the year for updates, but I do want to share something else about it. This post is not just about future plans, but it’s also about Aspergers.

When I was growing up, my parents say they were told many things about me. After all, I spent many a time at centers for studying disability. It wasn’t until 5th grade that Autism was my diagnosis. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t there before that.

There was some concern, for example, when I went to Middle School. Why? The school had more than one story. That meant climbing stairs. I was scared of stairs then. To some extent, I still am, but my mother took me to the school beforehand when it was empty and they let me in knowing their concerns. I reportedly told my mother, “I have to do this” when climbing the stairs. Looking back at Middle School, I don’t remember stair climbing ever being an issue really.

Throughout my school years, I didn’t know much about my diagnosis and didn’t say much about it. However, my parents had been told that I would never finish school. I wouldn’t be able to hold down a job. Nothing like that.

I understand I was the first student on the spectrum in Knox County, Tennessee to go completely through the public school system. I don’t know if that’s right, but it’s what I have been told. For me, any time someone told me I couldn’t do something, it often became a challenge of “Watch me.”

Now if I was never to finish high school, surely I could never finish college. Nope. Did that too. Did a senior sermon before my entire graduating student body which consisted of about 1,000 people, including students and professors. Even months after that sermon, people who saw me in the halls would still compliment me on it.

One of my professors, David Wheeler, remarked about how when I came to college, I was quiet and not interacting with anyone. Then I found apologetics there, which became my passion, and soon I was dropping in on my professors and sharing jokes and everything He remarks about watching me come alive in college.

I had also been told I would likely never drive a car. Well, that’s been shot through of holes. I drive nearly every day and to this day, I still enjoy driving. I still consider it a remarkable gift.

One summer, I knew I wanted to get out and live on my own. I was looking for a way to convince my parents though. I knew they were protective. I had found a good place and I needed a good argument to be able to convince them to let me move in. I thought of one and one day came home from searching to find them on the back porch together and I made my case.

“I just put money down on an apartment.”

It was a very powerful argument. The next day, we started making preparations. I took this route because I wanted to attend seminary out of state and I knew my parents wouldn’t just let me go immediately. I needed a trial period, so I lived about 20-30 minutes away and fended for myself for the most part.

A year later, my best friend, David Sorrell, and myself, moved into an apartment together. David was coming from Missouri and I from Tennessee. He would be getting a Bachelor’s at the Bible College. I would be getting a Master’s at the Seminary. However, there was one thing that did change our plans.

I met a girl.

After I married Allie, the seminary chose to go after my then father-in-law and so I left there as well. I am sure the people who were the experts had told my parents I would never marry either. Well, that’s another one they got wrong. Even now after a divorce, I say I am still not stopping. I have plans to get my Master’s and to get remarried.

For me, every major success I take is something huge. It is a victory for those on the spectrum as well. I realize not all are high-functioning. There are limitations for all of us, but I want people to see what I can do and if they are on the spectrum to think, “I can do likewise.” Your dream may not be mine, but you can still follow it.

Last month I went to ETS and I considered that a victory. I am able to fly on a plane by myself, interact by myself, and to most people, I am sure I come across as a relatively normal person. When I am on a plane flying, I marvel at what God has done in my life and allowed me to do what I love here.

When I walked down the streets of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I was amazed still. Here the experts thought I would never do anything and yet, I am out on the streets living my life and making a difference. I am hanging out with scholars and not only do I know who they are, they know who I am. That still shocks me.

Next week, God willing, I will be in New Orleans. I will be discussing attending seminary and if things work out, I will be moving then to New Orleans into student housing. There’s a lot to think about, but I think the future looks good. Every time I do a debate or am interviewed or anything like that, I consider it a testimony of what God can do in the life of someone on the spectrum.

Many of you who know me know that I am a hardcore gamer. Tonight, I spent about an hour playing several games against both of my parents individually of Connect Four at their invitation. I won the overwhelming majority. When I play a game, I play to win.

For me, my own life is the ultimate game too. I am playing it to win. I want to be the best that I can be in it. I want to succeed and be somebody with my life. I don’t want to just hold a 9-5 position and have it be that. (Even though I was also told I would never hold down a job. So much for that.) I want to get a Master’s and a Ph.D. and to remarry.

Tomorrow, I plan to write something on the New Year coming and a look back. One final plea I would make here though is to please consider becoming a financial partner through Patreon. There is a link on this blog post below. Even a small amount means a lot. This is about my going to seminary, getting a teaching position, hopefully starting the podcast again, and making strides for the Kingdom of God. Whatever people donate means so much because it tells me you think my work is worth investing in. If you want to make a one-time gift for end of the year giving, that’s okay too.

Besides that, I owe so many of you thanks anyway. My family always believed in me and supported me and raised me to be the way that I am, even if sometimes they don’t like my sarcastic personality. My friends have stood by me in many times and while divorce has been the worst pain I have ever gone through, one blessing I have is I don’t think I have lost a single friend because of it. Thanks to you friends.

Please be praying for me in all of this. The future does look bright for me really. I hope I can make it bright as well.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Are Women Property?

Does the commandment on coveting treat women as property? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Let’s suppose there was a translation of the Bible made that took the passages that were general and yet used the male to speak to the people. Instead, this translation used she and her and spoke of a husband instead of a wife. Now let’s suppose we went to the Ten Commandments in this Bible. What would we see?

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s husband, nor her male servant nor her female servant, nor her ox, nor her donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.

Would I read this and think that if I was married, that this would mean that I am my wife’s property. No. I would take it to mean that my wife has a husband and I am that husband and no other woman is to covet me. It’s not really offensive at all.

But so many people who come at the Bible with an axe to grind want to make everything in there offensive. Therefore, the Bible apparently lists a woman as property. After all, it mentions a man’s wife and then it mentions other things that he owns. Thus, the conclusion is that a wife is just another thing that a man owns.

Why should anyone think this? We can often go to a man and ask him about his wife or ask a woman about her husband. Would the same apply if we spoke of their kids or of their pets?

Why is this coveting condemned? Coveting is condemned because it leads to envy, and envy is a breeding ground for many other sins. I want what someone else has. Now the right response to this is to say “Therefore, I’m going to work hard and do what it takes to get what they have.” Of course, you can’t get their wife, but you can get a wife.

The rabbis did take coveting seriously. Coveting was said to be the sin that led to the fall of man. If Paul knew about this, that would explain why he spoke of not coveting in Romans 7. (Also, I don’t think Paul is giving his personal testimony. I think he’s speaking in the person of Adam.) Because Adam and Eve saw something that they wanted and wanted on their own terms, humanity fell. (Remember, advertising is the world’s oldest profession truly. See this fruit? You need it to be happy!)

So really, I don’t see anything here, but I did want to include it in the case of being thorough. Instead, internet atheists need to find something really worthwhile to deal with. Perhaps instead of critiquing the commandment so much, they could consider it seriously. They might think it’s a stretch to say that coveting leads to the fall of man, but what damage does it do to society to covet today? Wouldn’t that be a better area to focus on?

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

 

You Shall Not Commit Adultery

What is adultery? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Centuries ago, there was a Bible published that was called the Wicked Bible. In this one, there was a misprint in the seventh commandment so it read, “You shall commit adultery.” The publishers were greatly fined for this.

We should all know adultery is wicked, but what is adultery?

Adultery is sexual behavior reserved for the covenant of marriage that is done outside of that covenant. This can be of a physical nature, sexual activity, or it can be of an emotional nature, an emotional commitment to another person where you share things with someone else that should really only be shared with your spouse. Both of these are incredibly harmful to a marriage.

Why is this so? Because marriage is a relationship built on exclusive trust. When you go outside of that, then you are violating that trust. Sexual activity is giving someone total trust with your body and it only makes sense if this takes place in the covenant of a promise that is followed through.

This is why I always tell women to not have sex with a man until he marries you. Why would I not say the same to a man? Technically, I would, but more often than not, the men are the pursuers in the market. If it wasn’t for sex, men would never marry. Men seek to be with women because we have strong drives and those drives drive us to love the woman also.

When a woman gives herself to a man without that, she is ultimately saying she will give him her very body for whatever he has done already. It’s hard to think of something greater one human can trust another with than their body. So a woman needs to decide what her body is worth. A promise to marry in engagement? Six months of dating? A month? A week? Dinner and a movie?

By the way, normally, once a man is given what he wants, odds are that he could have a good chance of plateauing at that level. Many a woman will think living together is a prelude to marriage. It isn’t. He’s got a great deal already. He gets the sex he wants, he can leave any time that he wants, and in the end, he doesn’t have to pay alimony if something happens because there was no commitment.

Now while I said it’s hard to think of something greater one human can give to another than their body, there is one thing indeed. Their heart. Emotional affairs hurt. I speak from experience. In the age of Facebook, they can much more easily happen. Most physical affairs also start off as emotional ones.

A man goes out from his office on lunch and there’s a woman that goes out at the same time. Why not just go together? We’re friends. We’re both married to other people, but why not? Then they begin talking over lunch and they enjoy each other’s company and not too much later, they’re meeting in a hotel room and having sex.

Yes. This happens.

Very few people get up one morning and say “I think I’ll have an affair to screw up my marriage.” It happens gradually. Often, the other side of the fence can look greener to which the reply is “Tend your own lawn first.” This will lead to hopping from relationship to relationship, especially when the spark dies down.

This is why vigilance is required to guard a marriage. In my own personal life, I have said when I get my own place again, I don’t want to be alone with a woman who is not family, even one I am dating. I know my temptations. I know as a man I greatly desire sex and having been there before, I don’t want to put myself in a position where it’s hard to put the brakes on.

Sex is reserved for the covenant of marriage. Taking it outside is lying with your bodies. It is a beautiful gift to be given to a man and a woman who have made a lifelong covenant with one another. Their bodies in sex show what they have done with their hearts to one another.

God stands against adultery not because He is anti-sex, but because He is pro-sex. He created everything about it after all. If we are to enjoy it to the best, then we need to follow His counsel on the matter.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)