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A Perspective On Lust

November 17, 2018

A Perspective On Lust

u/RPCJoeMak's recent post about the definition of porn raises an important question for Christians to consider. I believe, however, that there is an underlying question that must be answered before: what is lust?

Perhaps the most important passage in scripture in answering this question is found in Jesus' sermon on the mount:

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:27-28‬ ‭ESV

Personally, I believe the issue of lust is extremely overblown in the modern church based on overlooking the Old Testament context of Matthew 5 and almost entirely ignoring the key word that Jesus uses: intent

Intent is important. A man who sees a hot woman and experiences the attending biological excitement can appreciate her beauty/sexiness without making plans in his heart to possess her.

For a parallel example, a man can see his neighbors new sports car in the driveway and admire it, perhaps even imagine what it would be like to drive it, but never in his heart be tempted to actually steal his neighbors car to posses it for himself. If, however, he intends to steal it, he has already coveted his neighbors car and committed the "theft" in his heart even before actually making the attempt to steal it. That, I believe, is Jesus' point here, not that seeing an attractive woman and being turned on by it is sinful.

Now, this actually goes with the context. Jesus is referencing back to the 10th commandments:

"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's." ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭20:17‬ ‭ESV‬

The word used for lust in Matthew 5 is elsewhere translated as covet, and the word used for woman can mean wife. Contextually, it makes perfect sense: you can’t commit adultery with an unmarried woman. Fornication perhaps, but not adultery.

So this critical passage very well could be translated as:

“You have heard that it was said (back in Exodus 20:17), 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at [a married woman] with [covetous] intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:27-28‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I believe this is more sensible given the context.

So what does it all mean? It means that men can admire beautiful women like they would admire any other work of craftsmanship or art, and in-so-far as they do not desire to gain such a woman through unlawful sinful means, there is no violation of Matthew 5 taking place.

In other words: men can stop killing themselves (sometimes literally) over finding hot women arousing. Rather, they can accept it as God's art, appreciate it, and move on to more important things.

My 2 cents.

Tag: u/Red-Curious, u/Deep_Strength. Please feel free to link to your posts on the matter.

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Post Information
Title A Perspective On Lust
Author OsmiumZulu
Upvotes 26
Comments 34
Date November 17, 2018 4:53 AM UTC (4 years ago)
Subreddit /r/RPChristians
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/r/RPChristians/a-perspective-on-lust.301621
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/RPChristians/comments/9xtofa/a_perspective_on_lust/

[–][deleted] 8 points9 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

I don't disagree with your ideas you lay out.

To critically analyze this though, you leave so much unsaid.

The real issue with Christianity or following Jesus is that Jesus doesn't go off and give us 1,000 rules because there's this whole interplay between seeking wisdom from God, prayer, the Holy Spirit, even interacting with others who are wise, all so that we can come to conclusions on how to approach things in a Christ-like way.

Your post can be summarized (as you did at the end) by saying - guys don't feel bad looking at attractive women and being turned on by them.

Ok, fair enough. Let me rasie some pertinent concerns:

  • Should men avoid looking at attractive women?
  • With the way women dress today (I can't tell you how many times at the gym I see a girl in yoga pants and a tight shirt, their entire body is essentially there) - is it good for men to look at these women?
  • How much should we look at them? (minutes, hours, all day)
  • Should men seek out looking at these women?

I know you can't possibly clearly answer all these questions however you almost somehow have to address these. Job said he wouldn't look at a young virgin. I raise these points because there are websites, magazines, TV shows, even the gym, instagram models, even just Google... where women are basically nude or even are nude. A young man without any wisdom could read your post and do some very unwise things which would lead to poor results.

Right now this is all a social experiment. Women always wanted to be models and pretty (get attention). Instagram comes out and democratizes modeling - now you don't need an agent! You are your agent. Next men start watching, perhaps even lusting. Next they start to get likes and lots of them. Suddenly they realize they get more likes when they show their butt or their cleavage - so they wear less and get more likes. Eventually we've landed into basically porn all over instagram.

I don't say this as a holier than thou observer, I say this as a man who has struggled with lust. But I know from my reading and experience that avoiding looking at these women is best. I guess from my perspective - I never considered it a sin (as you lay out) to just see something and be attracted BUT I have learned that I should make every effort to avoid looking at women who dress to show the world their body.

[–]Deep_StrengthMod | Married | deepstrength.wordpress.com9 points10 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

One of the better analogies I've seen is that chastity is a direction, not a line that we shouldn't cross.

If you're trying to see 'how much you can do and not sin' you're operating from an attitude of being under the Law rather than under Grace. Our goal is not to see how much we can get away with but to become more holy.

It is better to therefore work on increasing self control and discipline rather than try to tow a line that may or may not be sin and also possibly enabling others to sin more.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Exactly. Very well said. It's a direction.

People who want to define how far is too far aren't seeking God and God's will. It's a ridiculous question almost. Can any of us see Jesus praying about what is the exact line that something becomes a sin? Nope. He's playing a different game.

Trying to get as close to the ledge as you can without falling is a fools game. Eventually you fall off.

[–]RPCJoeMak2 points3 points  (25 children) | Copy Link

Great post.

In my post that you referenced, I touch on the subject of Shame and its role in the church.

Shame has to be addressed in these issues so we can have a healthy appreciation for beauty.

Your wording is so viseceral as you say that men are "killing themselves" as they try to find a balance between being a guy and dealing with natural urges on the one hand and also dealing with the unhealthy Shame-Gravy that gets dumped all over them by an overzealous and judgmental church culture.

I am not excusing or rationalizing lust at all. But in light of the 2017 research connecting prostate cancer and healthy sexual release in men, something has to be done to deal with all the toxic shame surrounding this issue of Dead Christian Bedrooms.

We can all do better to help our spouses in this area. And if we don't find the help we need for a healthy and frequent sexual release, we can expect the rates of prostate cancer to continue to rise.

If we can't get help from our spouses, then we still have to come up with a creative way to reach that 19-21 monthly frequency number.

See my new link in the other post about Porn for more info.

Thanks again for your post.

Joe Mak

PMC Member

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Cancer is still a multivariate problem. It may be true that more ejaculations each month reduce risk. I am not married so I can't speak to this problem but it sounds very difficult to move a very low sex marriage to very high. Also I believe I read national statistics for sexual interaction is like 54 times per year or something which was down from 62(?). So very few people are having sex 240 times per year.

[–]WarriorJesus1915Endorsed; Mission-Minded | 30M0 points1 point  (20 children) | Copy Link

What does "PMC Member" mean?

[–]RPCJoeMak0 points1 point  (19 children) | Copy Link

PMC is the Positive Masculinity Crusade.

[–]WarriorJesus1915Endorsed; Mission-Minded | 30M0 points1 point  (18 children) | Copy Link

Ahh. Is that a thing? I'm curious. Couldn't find anything about it in reddit or Google.

[–]RPCJoeMak4 points5 points  (17 children) | Copy Link

I started it in April as I started teaching a men's group of about 10 guys. I started teaching Red Pill awareness topics to our 10 guys. We had so much demand for it that I had to start another group in earl September. We recently combined the first two groups into one Elite group so we could make room to start our third group of guys. We currently have 20 guys in our program. Our third group will start up on 12/2/18. We are doing tremendous work with guys teaching Red Pill awareness in a Biblical framework. I have recently produced a stand alone audio that will be available soon. Let me know if you have an interest in it. It is one of the highlights of my life being able to work with all these guys and making such an impact in my corner of the world. Feel free to send me a message anytime.


Joe Mak

PMC Member

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (11 children) | Copy Link

The only issue with Red Pill in my mind is that it's so loosely defined and the secular red pill writings and teachings go so hard into negativity sometimes.

I don't think it would be wise to teach red pill as a topic, I would almost try to call it something else and not use that terminology. Because while some principles are easily reconciliable with Christianity some are not.

Furthermore, MGTOW 2 days ago got demonitized all across YouTube. Redpill got quarantined here a month ago. All the mens groups are being targeted (and rightfully so, I could be reading a MGTOW post and be thinking, "I agree, I agree..." then suddenly they write - "all women suck, fat dfsklj;, women should lose all their rights." And I think, whoa... that turned from positive to negative fast.

I think you should avoid terminology and association with red pill if you want lasting success.

The red pill forum has a lot of morally questionable things on it. But they can't see it because they just want sex.

[–]RPCJoeMak2 points3 points  (8 children) | Copy Link

I agree. You gotta be smart about things in today's weird environment. In my PMC group, I develop my own stuff to fit our situation in our Biblical framework. I keep everything PG13 a much as we can. We take a lot of secular stuff and make it fit what we want to do. We come up with our own terminology, etc. Out of our 20 guys, I work really hard with 2 other guys in developing our stuff. It a great time.

Joe Mak

PMC Member

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (5 children) | Copy Link

I think if you and a few other leaders of this group could try and write a good book or resource that would be great.

The side bar is very good as it was made (disparate posts describing disparate problems).

However, it would be helpful to have a really well written book or resource that is more coherent and logical in framework. The sidebar PDF is more disjointed and there is no actual narrative. And it gets far too wordy when it can be much better written (which makes sense, when you are writing a post you are free writing, rarely going through multiple edits, you can drone on and on without consequence, etc). Good writing is succinct, clearly defined, has a trajectory and makes strong arguments. I realize that takes 10 times longer than a quick post but it's also 100 times more valuable.

[–]RPCJoeMak1 point2 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

I have some very good audio that will be released soon. Yes, a book would be great. It all takes a little time. Lol

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

haha I understand that. But a book is almost much more important.

I was listening to a podcast by James Clear who wrote a book called atomic habits and he's been writing 2 articles a week on habits for many years (I can't remember).

However he said something which I've heard before but rings so true. Paraphrased:
Writing is thinking. I don't know what I think until I write.

I believe this is true. And so much of red pill forums are just these posts which are well intentioned and written over some time, but they aren't cohesive. I believe if someone wants to make a meaningful contribution they should write a book. If it takes a year that would be fine - if the topic isn't important enough to spend a year on then find a more important topic and don't waste time with this one.

[–]WarriorJesus1915Endorsed; Mission-Minded | 30M0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

Got an eta on that audio?

[–]blaeseg0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

Thanks for all your hard work. It's exciting to hear. We need more men teaching about Biblical masculinity.

How did you grow the number of people you are teaching? Word of mouth?

Also, how did you get the two other men to help you with developing the teaching?

[–]RPCJoeMak0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thanks for the kind words.

I am growing the group through word of mouth. We don't advertise what we do other than word of mouth. Members are free to invite someone f they feel it would be a net positive situation for the group. They usually ask me first if they can invite a friend, but I don't require it. I am fine working with whoever shows up in a particular meeting.

The two guys who help me have been friends of mine for many years. One is a full time minister and the other is a doctor. Neither of these two guys lives in my town. They are both active in the class to the level that their schedule can accommodate, etc.

It is a powerful dynamic that we have in the group.

[–]Stryker72000 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

Nothing wrong with or unbiblical about wanting to remove voting rights from women for instance. I find most of mgtow to be fine, it is just very susceptible to hedonism.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I would have to think about that. It's not clear to me that removing women's vote would be good. Or even amoral.

[–]WarriorJesus1915Endorsed; Mission-Minded | 30M0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

That's awesome! I am starting something similar currently. I'm going to DM you. Let's set up a time to talk over the phone. It sounds like I might be able to learn something from you.

[–]RPCJoeMak1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Sounds great. Let's do it. We can talk soon. See my other post from the summer about how to start a red pill group in your own area.

Joe Mak

PMC Member

[–]WarriorJesus1915Endorsed; Mission-Minded | 30M0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Sweet! I'm headed to bed, I'll read it tomorrow. Thank you brotha:)

[–]Stryker72000 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

I’d be interesting in hearing more of what you are doing! Sounds like great work!

[–]RPCJoeMak0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Feel free to send me a message anytime. Also feel free to take a look at my other posts on how I got involved in setting up our men's group.

[–]lololasaurusEndorsed | 37M | Married 8 Yrs0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

Shame is a grace.

But when I say that I don't know that we're talking about the same version of shame.

[–]OsmiumZuluMod | Tulip Peddler | Married 6y[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

I agree with you. Shame about true sin is an u deserved but much needed grace. Shame about non-sin is seriously destructive and unhelpful. Hence why a chief concern among Christians should always be carefully examining our presuppositions in light of scripture.

[–]lololasaurusEndorsed | 37M | Married 8 Yrs0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Agreed wholeheartedly.

[–]Willow-girlParticipation Trophy Wife1 point2 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

In other words: men can stop killing themselves (sometimes literally) over finding hot women arousing. Rather, they can accept it as God's art, appreciate it, and move on to more important things.

So they can look at porn without feeling guilty about it?

[–]OsmiumZuluMod | Tulip Peddler | Married 6y[S] 2 points3 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Well, back to the first post, I suppose it depends on your definition of porn. I think there is a massive qualitative difference between watching a woman engage in a sex act and seeing and admiring a beautiful woman in a bikini.

[–]Willow-girlParticipation Trophy Wife1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Perhaps! I'm reminded of what Paul said ... that while all things are permissible, not all are productive. Or something to that effect ...

[–]Stryker72001 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Yep. I’d say porn is wrong. But seeing a beautiful woman does not automatically mean a man has listed. Men are more than animals.

[–]RedPillCoachEndorsed | MRP Mod1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thank you for this.

[–]AngelusVastator1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

The same goes for men too. King Saul and David were considered to be handsome and were approved by the Israelites based on these factors. Even Jesus earned favour amongst men as he grew in "wisdom and stature" (and David was one of His ancestors too). Luke 2:52.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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