We have developed a marvelous system of spiritual accounting when it comes to chastity.
We believe that we can discard strict decency as a virtue of the 1940s and 1950s that God’ no longer requires of saints today.
Can we abandon decency and believe we are chaste?
No! Chastity requires decency. It requires decency in what we watch, in what websites we visit, in what books we read, in what music we listen to.
We are fond of committing adultery in our hearts. But we are equally fond of rationalizing it away as something God smiles on as having no bearing on our chastity.
We know Christ said that to look upon a woman to lust after her is committing adultery in our hearts. We have a marvelous system of accounting developed that we use to call it something else.
Spiritual accounting trick 1. We watch a show in which a man and a woman start kissing passionately and removing their clothes. But it didn’t “show anything” so we weren’t looking on a woman to lust after her. We didn’t commit adultery in our hearts. We are conclude we are perfectly chaste.
Spiritual accounting trick 2. We watch a show in which a woman is shown in underwear, or wearing even less, in a bikini. Bikini’s are “normal” and we continue watching. We aren’t looking on a woman to lust after her. We didn’t commit adultery in our hearts. We conclude we are perfectly chaste.
Spiritual accounting trick 3. We watch a show with nudity, but we are “big enough” or “it doesn’t affect us” or “we have seen enough bad things that it doesn’t affect us” or “it is OK because we are married” and the list goes on. Whatever your excuse of the day is, bring it to mind and do your spiritual accounting. You conclude from it that you were not committing adultery in your heart. You are chaste.
Spiritual accounting trick 4. We watch a show with short skirts or belly shirts, or cleavage. It is just in part of the show, and isn’t anything bad so we don’t need to look away or skip that part. Heck, we can show this to our teenage boys. They are teenagers, so they are old enough and this is nothing. We do careful spiritual accounting three times here. Once for ourselves, likely counting it nothing at all, and conclude that we are perfectly chaste. Then we do our accounting for ourselves as parents and for our children. We tell them this is no big deal. We are keeping them chaste. We tell ourselves we are good parents. We are guiding our children so they know God approves of in our media.
Spiritual accounting trick 5. Everybody has cell phones. Also all teenagers need to be able to be on the internet by themselves. Our boys just have to get used to having cell phones and using the internet alone. It teaches them to be responsible. We are good parents by putting our youth into a spiritual war zone by themselves on their own. We are teaching them to be chaste.
Spiritual accounting trick 6. Same thing but with books, or music. We say “I don’t listen the lyrics, I am chaste”. The music itself can be obviously meant to be alluring and sensual, but we will say the music is fine. We think there is nothing wrong with music that sounds like it is meant to accompany a strip tease.
Spiritual accounting trick 7. God does not mind if a show portrays immorality as normal and acceptable. But, of course, yes, if we are sitting, enjoying a presentation which includes teaching that the second greatest sin is of no consequence, we are still a great ways from what the scriptures teach God requires of his saints. Chastity requires decency.
New spiritual accounting trick. God does not mind seeing perversion portrayed as normal. I’m afraid our spiritual accounting has carried us so far that what we used to recognize as perversion that should be fled from is now treated as normal. Again, true chastity requires decency.
The list goes on.
But we need to be honest with ourselves. We look down on the Pharisees in the scriptures because they knew they had to follow the law of Moses, so they found a marvelous system of spiritual accounting that let them do what they wanted, while still convincing themselves they were obedient. Thus they could divorce a wife for any cause and take on a new one at their whim, effectively committing serial adultery, but they paid tithing even on their spices and limited the number of steps they would take on the Sabbath day.
We need to reread Christ’s statement and THINK about what he is really teaching there. He is saying that to commit the smallest moral transgression is to commit adultery in our hearts. He is saying that we cannot live chastity the way HE wants us to live it until we flee from the whole lot of the seductions and enticements the world offers us and tempts us to rationalize.
He is teaching that our system of spiritual accounting with our media is nothing better than a form of adultery in our hearts, and that if we are going to be his disciple we have to discard the lot of it.
When we partake of any such things we offend our Savior, for that is the very point he was making. That is why he compared it to adultery.
And when we offend the Savior, we offend the Holy Ghost. He will not dwell with us. He leaves us, of necessity, except perhaps to warn us against what we are doing before he goes.
We are the only people under heaven that have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost. We desperately need to drop those things which Christ spoke against so we can have his spirit to be with us.