Ethical Behavior. Break the Rules, Here’s the Outcome
Ethical behavior is not always center-stage for adult, youth, and child behavior concerning instruction. Why? Here are the reasons and the outcome.
There are two foremost reasons we’re talking about ethical behavior.
- It is in the context of Genesis 3:14. Specifically, about the Serpent eating dust, which is devouring humankind.
- Behavior results from human nature and free choice. On this result hangs justice. We reap what we sow. If behavior is good, we reap the positive. If behavior is bad, we reap the negative. The Serpent wants humankind to reap the negative. That’s the way it devours humankind. That’s the way it bruises the heel (Gen. 3:15) of the seed of the woman.
Is the Serpent inciting humankind into UNethical behavior a reality? Is this premise scriptural? The verse below refers to an episode in Numbers when Balac, king of Moab, asked Balaam, a prophet of Israel, to curse his own people. God forbade him to do so. Result? Greedy Balaam gave Balac another method to cause the downfall of Israel.
12. And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things says he (Christ) which has the sharp sword with two edges;
13. know your works, and where you dwell, even where Satan’s seat is: and you hold fast my name, and have not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells.
14. But I have a few things against you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock (G4625) before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication.
A resume of the Apostle John’s recording of Christ’s Words about Pergamos would be that around 90 AD, the city was the spiritual capital of Rome. It possessed the Pergamon Altar, thought to be Satan’s seat. The altar is so impressive that it was dismantled and taken to Berlin, where you can see it in a museum named after the city, the Pergamon Museum.
In verse 13, we see the Serpent devoured God’s servant, Antipas, by having him martyred. God’s Church resisted and stayed strong, but some were putting debilitating obstacles in front of the brethren. Here’s the meaning of the Greek term for stumbling block.
σκάνδαλον skandalon skan’-dal-on; A scandal; probably from a derivative of G2578; a trap stick (bent sapling) that is snare (figuratively cause of displeasure or sin):
KJV — occasion to fall (of stumbling) offence thing that offends stumbling-block.
κάμπτω kamptō kamp’-to; Apparently a primary verb; to bend:
KJV — bow.
Christ said that through scandals, some were setting traps to trip up the ethical behavior of the members of the Church. Stumbling blocks is an interesting study that you can do at UnlockBibleMeaning.com, by looking up all the verses with that theme. One who sets them up is the Serpent, “… lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil (1 Timothy 3:7).”
This snaring is a formidable tactic the Serpent uses to devour humanity. In Balaam’s case, he suggested this stratagem to destroy the nation of Israel. How can you set a trap to cause the SPIRITUAL DOWNFALL of a NATION? What Balac wanted was the DESTRUCTION of Israel. God obviously wouldn’t do that directly for NO good reason. But, God would clean up a mess. A mess caused by very UNethical behavior. Hence Balaam’s proposition to Balac. Incite Israel to forgo ethical behavior and adopt spiritual misbehavior. Balaam knew this would lead to Israel’s destruction.
John mentions two types of stumbling blocks, traps, into which a nation and its individuals can fall.
- Eat things sacrificed to idols: This depends on the CONSCIENCE of an individual (1 Corinthians 10:26–33).
- Commit fornication: wide-open sexuality. Something that is easily understood.
Unethical religious behavior
The first has to do with confusing people’s understanding of God. Bewildering people about what an idol is and what God is. This puzzlement goes further, in that people think that the PRACTICES they follow, which are idolatrous, are pleasing to God. How many today believe they’re worshipping God, when, in reality, they have fallen into a trap, and are worshipping idols?
This study would involve revealing false religious beliefs, practices, and teachings. It would include misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and outright lies that are being taught, preached and spread by people who think or believe they are educating their followers in the way of God’s Word.
This outlook covers a vast space of the way humans reason. Audit of Humankind devoted five chapters to Religion with thousands of different Church groups, and undoubtedly tens of thousands of ideas, of what individuals and denominations think the way to serve God is. The Apostle Paul also addressed this issue.
2 Corinthians 11:13–15
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
The Serpent seduced one-third of the angels away from ethical behavior; they became its spiritual servants. Likewise, it has seduced men and women who are DECEITful (that is the prime characteristic of the Serpent) workers (verse 13). They are actively presenting idols and untruths as God and His Word. It would take another volume to explain false doctrine. The Explanation has not taken that route. The goal is to explain what the Bible says, based on the Biblical Hebrew, to establish a SOLID FOUNDATION. After that, it’s up to each one of us to prove all things; hold fast that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
The Explanation cannot get into endless debates about words and doctrines. It is a waste of time and effort. That’s what the Serpent would have us do, and is indeed the occupation of many.
Notice, “whose end shall be according to their works.” Paul refers to their destruction. That’s what the Serpent’s goal is, precisely. That is where unethical religious behavior leads. And, that was the method Balaam suggested to Balac.
Unethical moral behavior
The second trap Balaam recommended was to lead the nation into fornication. This malicious behavior is much easier to define than eating meats offered to idols. Of course, the first question that arises is, what is the definition of fornication?
Yes, this is where the debate starts and never ends. We do not want to get into that mode. Here is the definition based on Genesis chapters 1–3. I hear you; those chapters don’t talk about fornication. Exactly, they talk about what is ETHICAL behavior. Let’s be clear; EVERYTHING else is UNethical. The Apostle Paul refers the Corinthians to the passage in Genesis 2:24 to establish the definition of fornication.
1 Corinthians 6:13–19
13 … Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
14 And God has both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
15 Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot (G4204)? God forbid.
16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot (G4204) is one body? for two, says he, shall be one flesh.
17 But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.
18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body.
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?
Take a look at the Greek. You’ll recognize the word harlot, immediately.
πόρνη pornē por’-nay; Feminine of G4205; a strumpet; figuratively an idolater: — harlot whore.
πόρνος pornos por’-nos; From πέρνημι pernēmi (to sell; akin to the base of G4097); a (male) prostitute (as venal) that is (by analogy) a debauchee (libertine):
KJV — fornicator whoremonger.
Question? Who are the TWO that become ONE flesh in verse 16? In Corinth, it was someone with a prostitute. But the two original people who constitute a proper sexual relationship are the male and the female. The ONLY two human beings present at the time of their Creation and married by God. Anything else falls into the category of fornication.
If you believe the Bible is coherently complete, then any other interpretations leave much to be desired. There is one exception, multiple wives, in the Old Testament. We find this incorporated into the law following the giving of the Ten Commandments. The Explanation will comment more fully on this subject, and Biblical law, when we reach Genesis 3:21. Suffice now to say; it involves the hardness of their hearts (Mark 10:5).
Spreading immorality insidiously
Let’s talk about fornication and its relationship to music, TV, movies, and culture in general. But the principle we are going to broach can be applied to violence, drugs, harassment, entertainment, and many other activities.
Balaam TAUGHT Balac how to cast a stumbling block in front of the Israelites. There are various techniques for doing this. This expression, in English, originally meant a tree-stump over which someone tripped.
The point to keep in mind is that the Serpent is inspiring its ministers, in leadership in all disciplines (cinema, music, psychology, industry, finance), philosophy, science, and religion to increase the temperature of the water slowly but continually. As the temperature rises, it picks up momentum and goes faster and faster until we reach the point of no return. Have we reached that point? It’s entirely possible, but The Explanation makes no predictions.
These first examples refer to sex and violence; roughness, even brutality, often accompany fornication. See how it goes crescendo over the years. And how it’s in fourth gear now as so-called stars vie to outdo each other to gain the public limelight.
If there’s one article to read, its Music and Spirituality below. Music is beautiful. But music can be used and is indeed misused, to lead people astray. The article starts with a quote, “Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.” — Ludwig van Beethoven. You recognize the author of this citation. Here’s the connection between music and fornication (sensual life). I could give you a long list of well-known musical artists who have lead the Western world into fornication with their lyrics and antics.
Sex and Violence on Television — A Christian Worldview Perspective The extent of the problem and TV’s impact on Ethical Behavior
Kerby Anderson takes a reasoned look at the amount of sex and violence portrayed on television and comes away with a sobering understanding of the intensity of the problem. From a biblical perspective, this level of consumption of disturbing images will result in a deadening of even Christian hearts to the clear call of Scripture to a life of purity in mind and action.
How TV lost its sexual inhibitions Here’s the introduction to the article.
From its first episode in 2011, HBO’s Game of Thrones gave us sex like nothing else that had been seen on US television: incest, oral sex, orgies, brothels, breasts, breasts, and more bare breasts. The next year, the network’s very different new show, Girls, made headlines for a similar reason: its young stars’ penchant for stripping down to perform in graphic sex scenes.
A Brief History Of Sex On TV From Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Tipping The Velvet to… Bewitched (stick with us here)
Thanks to its frank, honest approach to female sexuality, Wanderlust, the new series landing on our screens next week, has already prompted a flurry of headlines branding it the BBC’s ‘most controversial’ and ‘most explicit’ drama to date. When Toni Collette, who stars as Joy, a therapist struggling to keep the spark alive in her marriage, said she was ‘happy’ to ‘take the accolade’ of being ‘the first woman to have an orgasm on the BBC,’ it raised eyebrows even further.
A Brief History of Sex on TV by TIME magazine
Racy teen drama Skins is far from the first show to cause a stir about what’s appropriate for television. TIME takes a look at the boob tube’s long, delicate relationship with all things sexual
Why Music, Part 9: Music and Spirituality
This is the article I recommended reading above. It contains all the fundamentals of unethical behavior: Music is universal. There’s a type of music for all tastes. It is a medium of intense and deep expression. Music creates a mood and incites attitudes in its listeners.
Blow your mind
What is fundamental to the Serpent’s stumbling blocks is they bypass reasoning. The Serpent wants you to have an out-of-your-proper-mind experience. Music is often associated with excessive alcohol and drugs. One of the goals is to raise listeners’ emotions beyond rational thinking. In many societies, the design of the beat and rhythm is to lead listeners into a trance. The Serpent’s goal is to blow your mind.
I debated with myself as to whether I should give you the names of some artists that have gone off the deep end into trash. And I decided not to do that. Unfortunately, all you have to do is go to Youtube to get your fill. And that’s what a lot of kids and young people are doing nowadays. Fornication and violence start at an earlier age than ever.
It’s not just TV, movies, and music that leads people to destruction. The Serpent has something for everyone. It adapts its strategy to meet the needs of everyone’s talents, desires, and tastes. It could be politics, economics, culture, leisure, addiction, anything to divert you from the Word of God. Stumbling blocks apply to all fields in a liberal society, sex, violence, entertainment, government rulership, and especially relationships.
Along this line, here’s a final article in French, which, using your browser, you can translate into your native language. The coronavirus is a symptom of abused biodiversity. It reveals the same history of slow but sure degradation of our environment. In this case, for financial reasons. We’re witnessing wholesale destruction of Earth’s ecology due to unethical behavior.
For the scientific community, the appearance of viruses such as COVID-19 is not a coincidence. By increasing the rate of its expansion and the rate of their activities in recent decades, humans have undermined many ecosystems and opened Pandora’s box.
This puzzle piece, of little-by-little inciting people away from ethical behavior, explains the origin of the confusion around us. How individuals, families, and nations have been lead down the garden path and have wound up in such dreadful conditions as I’ve pointed out in Audit of the Universe and Audit of Humankind. It is the result of the thinking and behavior that departs from ethical behavior.
The Serpent is busily spreading the bad news of how it wants society to become. Don’t get caught up in this snare. If you find you’re in a trap, do all you can to free yourself. When we reach Genesis 3:21, shortly, The Explanation will show you how.
The article is an excerpt from chapter 3.3 of the book Agony of Humankind.
A wise man once said, Teach you me, what I do not know.
Let’s get started with The Explanation.
- Inventory of the Universe
- Audit of the Universe
- Audit of Humankind
- Origin of the Universe (Commentary on Genesis 1)
- Origin of Humankind (Commentary on Genesis 1:26–2:7)
- Origin of Woman (Commentary on Genesis 2:8–25)
- Agony of Humankind (Commentary on Genesis 3)
You can read all the books of The Explanation series online. Buy the books at your favorite store. Sam blogs weekly at TheExplanation.com The Explanation masters Biblical Hebrew to help you unlock more in-depth Bible meaning. Free tools to read and study the Bible online.