2013-11-15 - Prostitution
Author's Note: This was a message preached to youth on November 6, 2013. It was designed to deliberately grab and hold their attention, and is a bit out there, but I hope you will bear with me, as I think it reveals a good glimpse into our day-to-day choices.
Years ago in Eddie Murphy's early days on "Saturday Night Live," he did a skit about a character named Velvet Jones, who was selling a book called "I Wanna Be A Ho." As tempting as it would be to use that video as an introduction, I thought of something else. So here is my simple question for you.
Someone invited me to be a prostitute. What should I do?
There is a game floating around the interweb on that myface.com thing. In this game, someone posts this question or one of six other absurd things. Then when you like or comment on it, you have to post one of the absurd things as your status. There was one about going commando for a day but the mental image that would leave with my friends might blind them. There was one about still being in love with my ex, but I enjoy living too much to post that; my wife would kill me. There was some others, and after careful consideration I went with the post above. It was, after all, the truth. I opted for this post because it's a real question that I bet each of us faced in the last day or two.
Since we are all at different stages of understanding, let me define a couple terms for you, before we continue. Primarily, a prostitute is "a man or woman who engages in sexual intercourse for money a form of material security." Synonyms include whore, harlot, or the slang term ho. Secondarily, a prostitute is also defined as "a person who willingly uses his or her talent or ability in a base and unworthy way, usually for money." Since a prostitute engages in the activity of prostitution, let us also define that term. Prostitution is defined as "debasing oneself for personal gain" or "a misuse of one's gifts, talents, or skills." With those terms defined, let me rephrase my original statement.
Someone asked me to change my convictions for money or other gain. What should I do?
Ezekiel 16:8-16 (MSG)
In this passage, God says he married Israel. Israel was in a monogamous relationship with the one God you could say. But then they started flirting with other gods. Let's look at another passage about Israel's troubled relationship with God.
2 Kings 17:14-16 (NASB)
Israel's sin is typified as prostitution: debasing themselves by pursuing the ways of the heathen nations surrounding them. They rejected the way, providence, and sovereignty of God for something far inferior, corrupting, and shameful. God warns Israel and by extension, the church today, that chasing after anything but him is prostitution. Leviticus 20 is another example, as God plainly calls anyone who chases after the false god named Molech to be a harlot. When we start to see my post in this light, the scenario is not really all that uncommon. In the Bible, the sin of idolatry is referred to as spiritual adultery and prostitution.
Cheating on God is serious. The first of the ten commandments God wrote down for us says, "I am the Lord your God, have no other God's before me." It has been said by myself and many others before me that, if we could just do this one thing, we wouldn't need any others. I have tried to demonstrate that when we talked about our "respect and decency rules" a few weeks back. To briefly recap that discussion, respecting God makes us respect his image in other people. Respecting God also makes us respect the authority he allows to be over us. Respecting his image in ourselves makes us want to be decent in our dress and actions.
If our hearts stayed faithful to God, if we truly loved Him with all our heart and with all our soul, with all our strength and with all our mind, then we would naturally and without any effort keep every other command. But I don't keep this command. I do not remain faithful to Jesus. My heart is filled with idols. My mind strays from him too many times. John Calvin puts it quite plainly, "Man's nature is a perpetual factory of idols every one of us is, even from his mother's womb, an expert in inventing idols."
We are guilty of idolatry when we betray our convictions to share a dirty joke, to gain some prestige in the locker room. When we make a racial slur to fit in with some crowd, and cast aside what we know to be right, we sell ourselves. When we lay aside our moral convictions for the sake of some temporary pleasure, we are being unfaithful to God. Cheating on God means we're acting like a dirty ho. On an average day, I am in situations where I can push God aside and pursue other things, and that would make me a what? A harlot. If I pursue money and neglect God, what am I? A prostitute. If I pursue fame and neglect God what am I? A whore. If I pursue popularity and ignore God, what am I? That's right; I'm a nasty ho.
So the real question then is this. Do I want to pursue God or the things of this world? Will I commit my life to him and stay true to him, or chase after everything that strikes my fancy? So what do you want to be? If you wanna be a ho to every whim this world offers, then go and be a ho. But if you want to be the faithful bride of Christ and worship God, then say to this world as loudly as you can, "WHOA I'M GONNA BE A HO NO MO!"
Now, I'm going to pray, and if you are struggling with problems in your life, I invite you to pray as well, and to seek the counsel of strong Christians that can encourage you in your struggles.
Almighty God, I am grateful that you look down on your creation and love me so much that you want a relationship with me. I am glad that you are faithful, when I am not. Please give me strength to not sell myself for temporal things, but rather to stay faithful to you today. Amen
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted