Is Looking lusting?

How do people control their lust, when they are all together, naked? Doesn't the Bible say it's wrong?<P>Only Native Residents may post here.

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Re: Calling all pastors... I need your help!

Postby onrdoc » Thu Dec 07, 2006 1:34 pm

MatthewNeal wrote:One additional transformation in my thinking is that men have been told that their sexual arousal is primarily through the eye. I now believe that's a lie. Like women, sexual arousal is primarily through relationship, and then enhanced by the visual (for both sexes!)
<snip>

But like you're experiencing, the allure just continued to drop until I can now look inside my heart and I can't find ANY interest in returning to illicit images! It's likely there in some dark corner so I'll stay alert, but I cannot discern it there anywhere at all.

Even when we went to the TLR last October, while I saw many women naked, and even enjoyed their beauty, I only once remember looking up and seeing a woman in the distance and feeling in my body the habitual response of seeking arousal and gratification. It actually surprised me at that moment, but I easily and immediately rejected it and it passed just that quickly. It was simply a conditioned response I had from the many years of viewing are responding to such images in that way. in other words, I did not lust, but I could feel my body respond as if it expected me to!. Does that make sense?


I'm totally with you on this, Matt. And it's such a "good news" story that you are experiencing, and willing to relate. I, too, am convinced that arousal is more than an 'eye' thing; much of it is a 'head' thing, an intentional act of the will - which can be given over to the Holy Spirit's control.

Keep up the good work.

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Re: Calling all pastors... I need your help!

Postby jochanaan » Thu Dec 07, 2006 3:51 pm

onrdoc wrote:I'm totally with you on this, Matt. And it's such a "good news" story that you are experiencing, and willing to relate. I, too, am convinced that arousal is more than an 'eye' thing; much of it is a 'head' thing, an intentional act of the will - which can be given over to the Holy Spirit's control.

Amen! We've been told so many lies, too many of them from longtime leaders in Christ who should know better--but indeed these truths set us free from bondage, fear, and shame into love, joy, and peace.
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Re: Calling all pastors... I need your help!

Postby LivingFree » Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:33 am

onrdoc wrote:I, too, am convinced that arousal is more than an 'eye' thing; much of it is a 'head' thing,


I heard somewhere that the most sensitive sex organ we all have is the brain!
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Postby Desert Hiker » Fri Dec 08, 2006 6:02 am

Yes--I am sure we all have heard the sermon from the pastor, who illustrates our weakness in sin, by asking the male congregates pointedl; "Did you look at a pretty girl, and think--OH YEAH!!"?, pausing for emphasis; "Then you have lusted in your hearts"! :roll: --I beg to differ, getting momentarily excited at the sight of a pretty girl is a FAR CRY from lust. It could be a gateway to sin, if not checked, but, in of itself, is not sin.

Of course, as always, I stand at the ready, if proven wrong, I will revise my views, and adjust my ways accordingly. :mrgreen:
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Postby jochanaan » Fri Dec 08, 2006 2:16 pm

That's right, Sam. Do we condemn momentary doubts about Jesus etc. in our brothers? Then why condemn momentary appreciation of God's most beautiful creations on Earth? :?: 8)
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Postby LivingFree » Sat Dec 09, 2006 2:38 am

Recently I've been toying with the idea that lust in the NT is similar to covet in the OT.

Exodus 20:17, You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (NIV)

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

The reason I say that is because of the Gr. word for lust, epithumea. It's real meaning is "having a strong desire for." The same word is also used in Luke 22:15, And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." (NIV)

Observe that in Matt 5:28 epithumea is translated "lust," but in Luke 22:15 it is translated "desire." Actually, the Gr. text uses the word epithumea twice in a row, for emphasis, and NIV, using an English dynamic equivalency translation approach, renders "eagerly desired." There are, in fact, several other usages of epithumea in the NT also, and it is translated as "lust" only when it clearly refers to sexual desire. (Isthis a 17th century, KJV language phenomenon?)

My conclusion is that Jesus is speaking, in Matt. 5:28, of the same type of strong desire as God had in mind when he used the word "covet" in Exodus 20:17. (Well, after all, God is speaking both times; why not use the same concept?)

Agreed, DH and joch, that we're certainly not speaking here of a passing glance, or even of simply saying "WOW" to a beautiful form, clothed or nude. Why should we be so afraid of a bit of enjoyment, even if it gets our heart racing a bit? That, in my mind, is not lust. Lust is when I fantasize having a sexual encounter with the woman, and then perhaps seek to make it a real encounter. I think that's why Jesus warned of the lustful look. It can too easily become more, not less. But of course, many women fear that a "WOW" could also turn into something more, and soon be out of boundaries.
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Postby natman » Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:39 pm

LivingFree wrote:Matthew 5:28, But I tell you that anyone who looks on a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (NIV)


I see these verses as one of the many examples of hyperbole that Jesus used to show how futile it is to think that anyone could keep the law in such a way to EARN their way into Heaven.

This verse in right in the middle of Jesus' discertation on the Law from His sermon on the Mount of Olives. It is preceeded by the statement in Matt 5:20 "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."

As such, I don't believe Jesus is ncesssarily using the equivilant to "covet" or even "strong" or "intense desire" (Although it is possible that He could be).

The point is that sin is not relative. Even the slightest sin, even a glimmer of sin, will bar us from entering the Kindom of Heaven. Later in His ministry, He explains what it does take to enter the Kingdom of God.
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Postby LivingFree » Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:22 am

natman wrote:I see these verses as one of the many examples of hyperbole that Jesus used to show how futile it is to think that anyone could keep the law in such a way to EARN their way into Heaven.

This discussion has absolutely nothing to do with salvation, or getting into heaven. The Sermon on the Mount is a discussion presented primarily to his disciples, as a guidebook for Christian living. Just look at the beginning of the Sermon in Matt. 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, . . ." and so on. It assumes people who are already living in salvation. Everything in the Sermon has to do with living faithfully by God's standards.

natman wrote:This verse in right in the middle of Jesus' discertation on the Law from His sermon on the Mount of Olives.

No one that I know of and no sources that I have consulted believes this teaching occurred on the Mt. of Olives. The entire context in Matt. shows that it occurred in Galilee, probably on one of the hills between Magdala and Capernaum, where the disciples were just beginning to coalesce as Jesus' primary band of followers.

natman wrote:As such, I don't believe Jesus is ncesssarily using the equivilant to "covet" or even "strong" or "intense desire" (Although it is possible that He could be).

Before you say that, do a word study on the Gr. epithumea.

natman wrote:The point is that sin is not relative. Even the slightest sin, even a glimmer of sin, will bar us from entering the Kindom of Heaven. Later in His ministry, He explains what it does take to enter the Kingdom of God.

There is no sin that will bar a believer from heaven. We are covered by the blood of Christ. Once election is in place, salvation is secure unless the believer rejects the Holy Spirit.
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Postby natman » Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:15 pm

LivingFree wrote:This discussion has absolutely nothing to do with salvation, or getting into heaven. The Sermon on the Mount is a discussion presented primarily to his disciples, as a guidebook for Christian living. Just look at the beginning of the Sermon in Matt. 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, . . ." and so on. It assumes people who are already living in salvation. Everything in the Sermon has to do with living faithfully by God's standards.


Matt 5:20 states "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."

Jesus closes out the sermon with this warning in Matt 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"

Indeed, it is about how to live a good life, but it is wrapped in the concept of being able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (salvation).

No one that I know of and no sources that I have consulted believes this teaching occurred on the Mt. of Olives.


As my kids often say "My bad". On the fly, I often get the "Sermon on the mount" confused with the Olivette Discourse or the Sermon on the Mount of Olives. 'Sorry.

natman wrote:The point is that sin is not relative. Even the slightest sin, even a glimmer of sin, will bar us from entering the Kindom of Heaven. Later in His ministry, He explains what it does take to enter the Kingdom of God.


There is no sin that will bar a believer from heaven. We are covered by the blood of Christ. Once election is in place, salvation is secure unless the believer rejects the Holy Spirit.


I agree. However, relative to this sermon, it apears obvious that Jesus is teaching about the inadeqacy of the Law or the prophets to get us into the Kingdom of Heaven. He does not give the means of salvation in this discourse. Instead, He points out that Law remains intact, and that we are to strive to live FAR beyond the law. How far? That's where His hyperboles come into play. Basically He's saying, "Don't even THINK of a sin!"

Before you say that, do a word study on the Gr. epithumea.

Okay. I'm doing a study on epithumea, which appears to have been translated into "desire" (8 times), "covet" (3 times), "lust" (3 times), "lust after" (once) and, "fain" (once). Another Greek word for "desire" is aiteo, which also translates into "ask", "beg", "require", "crave" and "call for".

I do not really see another Greek word that gets close enough to the word for "covet" without out removing some intent to own something. I believe if Christ would have used simply the word for "desire", (it is possible to desire something without lusting or coveting after it), He would have been overstepping the Law by implying that something that was not sinful was sinful. That would have made Him a false prophet.
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Postby jochanaan » Mon Dec 11, 2006 5:04 pm

I just realized something about the familiar Matthew 5:28: Jesus did not say "Whoso looketh and lusteth," but rather, "Whosoever looketh to lust." The Blue Letter Bible (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/words.pl?book=Mat&chapter=5&verse=28&strongs=4314&page= ) gives the Greek for "to" as pros:

"1) to the advantage of

2) at, near, by

3) to, towards, with, with regard to"

So, "whoever looks for the purpose of lusting" is committing this heart-adultery; that is, the man or woman who looks at a human with the intent to stoke their own desires, as in pornography. That would leave out, for example, the momentary desire I might feel when I see a beautiful woman on the bus or at a naturist swim. I look; I appreciate her form; I might even talk with her--but I will not try to talk her into sex unless our relationship develops to where we decide to make a life together.

Of course, we should avoid the wish to possess contrary to God's way, and err on the side of caution if at all. But if God didn't intend for us to enjoy His creation, why did He make it so enjoyable? :mrgreen:
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Postby LivingFree » Wed Dec 13, 2006 1:24 am

natman wrote:Okay. I'm doing a study on epithumea, which appears to have been translated into "desire" (8 times), "covet" (3 times), "lust" (3 times), "lust after" (once) and, "fain" (once). Another Greek word for "desire" is aiteo, which also translates into "ask", "beg", "require", "crave" and "call for".


Excellent. You're 1/3rd done. Next, what's the context of the places where it is used, in the different ways it's translated? Then third, what does a Gr. lexicon give as the definition for epithumea?

jochanaan wrote:I just realized something about the familiar Matthew 5:28: Jesus did not say "Whoso looketh and lusteth," but rather, "Whosoever looketh to lust."


You're right on, joch. That's exactly the point.
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Postby Desert Hiker » Fri Dec 15, 2006 2:17 am

LivingFree wrote:
jochanaan wrote:I just realized something about the familiar Matthew 5:28: Jesus did not say "Whoso looketh and lusteth," but rather, "Whosoever looketh to lust."


You're right on, joch. That's exactly the point.


So, in other words; a man has already conspired in his heart to lust, before he even sets eyes on the object of his desires--a premeditated, conscious action, no less of a deliberate action than committing a very real sexual assault.
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Postby jochanaan » Fri Dec 15, 2006 3:09 am

Desert Hiker wrote:So, in other words; a man has already conspired in his heart to lust, before he even sets eyes on the object of his desires--a premeditated, conscious action, no less of a deliberate action than committing a very real sexual assault.

Yes. Or he looks, and in that moment lets his desire overtake his reason, compassion, and commitment to God. ("Love at first sight" is entirely possible, but is a very different phenomenon that may lead to lifelong joy for two people.)
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Postby LivingFree » Sat Dec 16, 2006 1:51 am

Desert Hiker wrote:So, in other words; a man has already conspired in his heart to lust, before he even sets eyes on the object of his desires--a premeditated, conscious action, no less of a deliberate action than committing a very real sexual assault.


I like to think of it in the context of Titus 1:15. "To the pure-minded all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted, all things are corrupt." IOW, it depends on what's in your heart -- like Jesus always said. I agree with joch that it's possible to be pulled astray by a momentary "ahhhh" moment, but those are not really the ones to be most concerned about. It's the routine attitude of the heart that is of most concern.
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Postby Desert Hiker » Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:33 am

I can certainly see that--it makes sense. I have been down that path too, so I know it to be true.
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