Sunday, January 13, 2008

The question, What does Jesus think about prostitution? almost seems like a no-brainer. Most Christians would probably reply something like this: "Of course Jesus hates prostitution. Why else would He compare Mystery, Babylon the Great to a whore? Why else would the daughter of the high priest be burned at the stake if she practiced harlotry?"

These are all good questions. But here are some equally good questions: Why does the Bible call Tamar righteous after deceiving Judah by posing as a prostitute? Why does the Bible list Rahab the harlot as a woman of faith, even though there is no indication in the Bible that she repented of her profession? Why does the Bible refer to Jesus as a friend of prostitutes? Why does the Bible say that many prostitutes will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, while many so-called righteous men will be cast out? Why didn't Solomon, the wisest man to ever live (with the exception of Jesus, of course), establish laws making prostitution illegal (1 Kings 3:16)? And why were giants of the faith, like Augustine and Aquinas, opposed to laws that would make prostitution illegal?

These questions are both interesting and complex. The Bible seems to give us a mixed-message in regards to the world's oldest profession. How should a Christian interpret this?

Let's begin with Jesus' words, as recorded in Matthew 21:31. Keep in mind that Jesus was addressing the chief religious leaders of His day, namely, the scribes, the Pharisees, the chief priests, and the elders:


I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the
kingdom of God ahead of you (NIV).


Most chief religious leaders of our day would probably respond with something like, "Of course prostitutes can enter the kingdom of God... IF they repent." There's not doubt that many modern-day prostitutes do need to repent. But so do many modern-day religious leaders. And perhaps their need of repentance is even greater than that of a prostitute due to their delusions of self-righteousness. That, after all, was Jesus' point.

Many, if they even got to this point, would say something like, "Okay, enough already. I get it. Religious leaders need to repent of being self-righteous; prostitutes need to repent of prostitution." But was that really what Jesus was trying to communicate here? Of course, many religious leaders do need to repent of being self-righteous. That point, Jesus made crystal clear. But the question that still lingers, which is an important question that Jesus did not make clear or even address, is whether or not it is possible for a prostitute to repent of her sins, while simultaneously practicing the world's oldest profession.

Most Christians would say that the question itself is ridiculous. In their minds, there is absolutely no way that a prostitute could be a Christian. An ex-prostitute, yes. But a prostitute still practicing her profession? To even suggest such a thing seems absolutely ridiculous.

But notice Jesus' own words closely. Jesus said that the tax collectors and the prostitutes "are" entering the kingdom of God. Jesus did not say that the prostitutes "will be" entering the kingdom of God "if" they stop practicing their trade. After all, we have an example of a tax collector named Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-9, who became a follower of Christ without giving up his profession. In verse 8, Zacchaeus told Jesus that he if I have cheated anybody out of anything, he would pay back four times the amount. So Zacchaeus promised to be an honest tax collector. But there is no indication from the text that Zacchaeus planned on giving up his profession. Neither is their any indication the Jesus wanted him to stop collecting taxes. Also, two of Jesus' disciples, Matthew and Levi, were tax collectors. There is no indication that being a tax collector was necessarily a bad thing, although it is true that many tax collectors were despised. It's also true that the profession was subject to abuse. Many tax collectors did take more money from their subjects than they should have.

So most people would probably agree that it is possible for a Christian to simultaneously be an honest tax collector. But the idea of a prostitute practicing her profession in a way that does not conflict with Christian values and ethics seems preposterous to most people.

Now don't misunderstand. There are many things associated with prostitution that are undoubtedly sinful. Many prostitutes practice their profession in a way that is dishonest. Many prostitutes rob their customers. Many prostitutes are drug addicts. Many prostitutes are spreading STDs. Furthermore, many prostitutes are just not very nice people. Many prostitutes will do or say anything to get as much money as possible out of their tricks. So their is no doubt that prostitution can be practiced in a way that is contrary to Christian values and ethics. But the question I'm addressing is, Can a prostitute practice her profession ethically and responsibly while still being a genuine Christian?

Some might conclude that all Christians still sin to a certain extent and will continue to sin to a certain extent right up until the day that they die. True. Nevertheless, that still doesn't answer the question of whether or not prostitution can be practiced in a manner that is not sinful.

The Bible describes Jesus as a friend of sinners. The NKJV describes Jesus as "a friend of tax collectors and sinners," not the least of which were the prostitutes of his day. The NLT refers to Jesus as "a friend of the worst sort of sinners!" So we can safely assume that Jesus had ladies who were prostitutes as His friends. The question is, what did Jesus say to these prostitutes? The first thing that would come out of the mouth of most Christians, if they were to associate with such women at all, would probably be something like, "If you don't stop turning tricks this very second, and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life, you might walk across the street, get hit by a bus, and spend eternity in Hell roasting like a marshmallow!" Was that Jesus' approach? Because if it had been, Jesus probably would not have been a friend of prostitutes for very long. This, of course, does not mean that prostitutes, along with all sinners, do not need to be warned about the reality of Hell. This also does not mean that prostitutes, along with all sinners, do not need to repent of their sins and accept Jesus as the personal Lord and Savior of their life. They do. The question I am now posing is, What approach would Jesus have taken?

Another thing to consider is the radical difference between the culture of Jesus' day and the culture of our day. Today, there are plenty of job opportunities available to women. If a prostitute wishes to change her profession, there are plenty of other vocations readily available. But in Jesus' day, this was not so. There were basically two professions: Wife and prostitute. Once a woman became a prostitute in Jesus' day, it would have been virtually impossible to get married. Few men would want her. Therefore, it would have been extremely difficult for an ex-prostitute to support herself. It seems highly unlikely then that Jesus would have suggested that a prostitute give up her line of work. Rather, it seems that the advice Jesus would have given to a prostitute would have been to keep doing what she was doing, but do it in a way that is honoring to God. But most would probably object that such a thing is not even possible.

A further consideration is that the Bible speaks of two kinds of prostitution: (1) secular prostitution, as we know it today, and (2) cult prostitution, which involved the idolatrous use of sex which was involved in the pagan worship of goddesses like Asherah and Aphrodite. The pagan belief was that cult prostitutes were conduits for various deities. Therefore, by having sex with a cult prostitute, the belief was that a worshipper was somehow, in some mysterious way, also having sex with the deity. This obviously violates God's commandments against idolatry and the worship of idols. Therefore, we can safely conclude that cult prostitution is strictly forbidden by the Bible. Period. End of discussion. Nevertheless, there is a huge difference between cult prostitution and secular prostitution. And since cult prostitution is seldom seen in our modern society, we often fail to distinguish between these two practices when reading our Bibles. So again, we return to the question of whether or not secular prostitution can be practiced in such a way that does not conflict with biblical ethics and values.

It probably will surprise many that great theologians like Augustine and Aquinas were opposed to making prostitution illegal. It sure did me. First, let's see
what Augustine had to say on this matter:


If you expel prostitution from society, you will unsettle everything on account of lusts (Richards, Jeffrey. Sex, Dissidence and Damnation: Minority Groups in the Middle Ages. New York: Routledge, 1994, page 118).

According to Aquinas on the Practice of Prostitution by Vincent M. Dever, although Aquinas strongly disapproved of prostitution, Aquinas did not wish to make it illegal. Instead Aquinas believed that the state should allow prostitution to exist for the sake of the common good. Aquinas relied on a well-known passage from Augustine's De ordine, where Aquinas advocates the tolerance of prostitution:



Accordingly in human government also, those who are in authority rightly
tolerate certain evils, lest certain goods be lost, or certain evils be incurred: thus Augustine says [De ordine 2.4]: "If you do away with harlots, the world will be convulsed with lust."


Aquinas maintained that if these social practices were to be suppressed, the public reaction might be such as to threaten the peace of society. According to Dever, though a case can be made for including prostitution under adultery, "Aquinas places prostitution, which he also refers to as whoredom and intercourse with harlots (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, in Sancti Thomae Aquinatis Opera Omnia, 25 vols. (Rome, 1852-73; repr. New York, 1948-50) [hereafter ST], 2-2.153.1.1: "Voluptates venereas maxime luxuria consideratur.", 1-2.100.11.), in the category of simple fornication, [i.e. sex between unmarried people] (ST 2-2.154.6.1.)." So it wasn't that Augustine or Aquinas believed that prostitution was okay. They simply believed that allowing prostitution was necessary for the good of society.

There is no indication that repentant prostitutes mentioned in the Bible abandoned their profession. Rahab the harlot was listed in the Bible's Who's Who in Hebrews 11:31. Tamar, who seduced Judah by disguising herself as a prostitute (Genesis 38:13-15). Tamar gave birth to two sons (verse 29) as a result of seducing Judah. Not only was this a fulfillment of prophecy, but Tamar and her two sons are listed in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:3 ). Genesis 38:26 describes Tamar's actions as righteous.

So what does Jesus think about prostitution? God certainly forbids the use of a cult prostitute for the worship of false gods. Regarding secular prostitution, there are many things associated with it that are evil, such as drugs, theivery, the spreading of diseases, and deception. But to suggest that secular prostitutes cannot practice their profession in a manner that pleases God seems to go beyond what Scripture warrants. And those who claim that prostitutes, not just ex-prostitutes, cannot enter the Kingdom of God need to remember the warning Jesus gave to the self-righteous religious leaders of His day.

31 comments:

Tristan Guzman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steph said...

hi. im sorry but secular prostitution still isn't clear to me. so, is it allowed, given that you dont use drugs or deception? ")

BlackKnight84 said...

I think basically he saying that prostitution is a necessary evil in this world and we shouldn't be so quick to judge people who are in that profession.

This being said I still think God intended sex to only be between a married man and a woman but in this world we live we need to be realistic that this ideal is not always going to work out for some people.

It certainly gave me pause to think, though I'm not about to head off to a brothel any time soon. :P

BlackKnight84 said...

I would also like to point out in reference to Matthew 21:31 that in the next verse (32) it goes on to say:

"For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him."

This implies that because the tax collectors and prostitutes saw the way of righteousness they did repent. I got that out of reading his comment to the pharisees that even after they saw John preaching they still did not repent and believe him.

Tom Gruber said...

In response to Steph - "Is it [secular prostitution] allowed, given that you don't use drugs or deception? " - although the Bible doesn't seem to answer this question explicitly, it seems that the main condemnation in the Bible is cultic prostitution, where prostitutes were thought to be conduits for pagan gods and goddesses. Back then, having sex with a prostitute was regarded by pagans as an act of worship towards a particular god or goddess. Obviously, the Bible condemns this form of prostitution as idolatry. As for secular prostitution, many prostitutes in early biblical times had no other form of financial support. Many early Christians were either slaves or slaveholders. Many slaves of that time were required by their masters to engage in prostitution.

In response to BlackKnight84 -
"...the tax collectors and the prostitutes did [repent]" - the question is, what did they repent of? Did tax collectors repent of being tax collectors? Not necessarily. One tax collector became a follower of Jesus and still collected taxes, though he may have performed his duties differently in a way that was more ethical, i.e. without extorting his customers. The question I want my readers to ponder is, "Is it possible for a prostitute to practice her profession in an ethical manner that does not violate any laws of God?" It would have been extremely difficult for a woman in Jesus' day to have went cold turkey by abandoning her profession. There would have been few employment opportunities available for an ex-prostitute in biblical times.

I hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Jesus stating that tax collectors and prostitutes would enter heaven before the religious leaders did, was pointing out that the tax collectors stopped extorting and over charging people about taxes owed and prostitutes stopped selling their bodies. Rehab the harlot repented from prostitution because in the geanology of Jesus in the book of Matthew, Rehab had a husband and they had children in the Hebrew linage. Fornication is a sin that the bible clearly warns about, in the book of Revelation it states " that fornicators will not enter the kingdom of Heaven".

Tom Gruber said...

Certainly, I believe that fornication is a sin. There is no argument there. The question is, what is fornication and why is it wrong? The word fornication literally refers to prostitution. It comes from the Latin word fornix, which referred to the archways where prostitutes in Rome applied their trade. The Greek word, porneia, also refers to prostitution. The word pornography comes from porneia and refers to stories about prostitutes. As I said before, there is no question that it is wrong for a prostitute who worked at the Temple of Aphrodite in Corinth or the Temple of Diana in Ephesus to apply her trade because it was an act of idolatry to placate a pagan god or goddess. In Old Testament Canaan, Asherah was the main goddess mentioned in the Bible. But is it accurate to say that all the prostitutes that engaged in secular prostitution stopped applying their trade after coming to Christ? Perhaps we can only speculate. It would have been very difficult in that culture for such a woman to get married or earn a living.

You are right. After the people of Israel conquered Canaan, Rahab left prostitution, joined the Jewish people, and became a respectable married woman, marrying Salmon, the son of Judah's tribal leader. This, however, does not prove that secular prostitution is necessarily a sin.

Anonymous said...

I believe without question fornication is a sin. The scriptures clearly states it. I submit that one could be a believer in Christ and still practice sin. Christ died for sin, not for us to be better. We have the oppurtunity to be better by the leading of the Holy Spirit and the renewing of our minds by the word of God. Better living gives benifet to society and ones own personal life. Which is all wonderful, but Christ died to pay for the sin of the world and the includes prostitutes reformed or otherwise who have trusted Christ.

Jim Thio said...

Marriage nowadays are societies' trap to ration mates in equal share for everyone. Getting married means letting government be the pimp.

If you think marriage laws are unfair, of course you make your own contract. That often end up something simpler like I pay for sex.

That is then called prostitution.

I wrote about it in Avoid Marriage

Tom Gruber said...

Here is my response to the last 2 comments:

To Anonymous, I agree that God can forgive anyone of anything, including prostitution. But that doesn't quite get to the crux of the issue. The issue is, can a prostitute engage in secular prostitution without sinning?

To Jim Thio, there are many pros and cons to marriage. Some have said that marriage is a legalized form of prostitution. The Bible defines marriage as an institution that will pass away. Some say that because it will pass away, sex will also pass away. I believe there will be sex in the afterlife, but I do not believe there will be marriage, at least not marriage as we define the word, in the afterlife. I have written a book on this entitled "Is There Sex in Heaven?" available through lulu.com

Former Escort said...

Hello Tom. My name is Susan and I was a high class call girl in the 80's and 90's. I would like to give you a first hand experience on your article.

I was someone who never used drugs, never stole from my customers nor did any of those things you mentioned. I used Condoms on every call. My clients were high end business men with professional jobs. Yet, I still caught Trichomoniasis, Chlamydia, Pubic crab lice, and Bacterial Vaginosis from my clients. Then, 15 years later, Hepatitis C antibodies showed up AFTER I was long out of the business and happily married. I believed that lie that condoms would protect me. The truth is that the sex industry isn't sexy. For the next 20 years, I suffered from PTSD , low self-esteem, and dissociative disorder. I had to rely on antidepressants and prescription drugs to block out my pain and was told by others to “get over it”.

It DOES affect everyone. It affected my marriage and the loss of my son. Never in my wildest dreams, did I ever think I would loose my son in the process. NEVER.

But here's the best news Tom. Getting out of that business and living a life that Jesus wanted me to was the BEST thing that ever happened to me. "You shall the know the truth, and the truth shall set you free". http://www.DateWithAnAngel.com

Tom Gruber said...

Former Escort,

It's nice to hear an insider's perspective. Exactly how effective condoms really are is perhaps difficult to pinpoint. I certainly don't claim to have all the answers. All I know is what I read from those who claim to be experts.


I read an article a few years ago about prostitutes living on the outskirts of Las Vegas working in legal brothels. These ladies are required to use condoms with every customer. They are checked twice a month for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). If they acquire an STD, it means loosing their jobs. Before working there, they are specially trained on using condoms consistently and correctly. They are also trained in checking the customer to see if the customer is disease-free.

According to the article, there has never been an instance of an STD in these brothels. That article is a few years old by now and I do not know if that is still true or not. Nevertheless, from what I've read, the correct use of quality condoms on a consistent basis does dramatically reduce the chances of acquiring a disease. Whether or not quality condoms used properly are foolproof, I can't say for certain. Perhaps that is why they call it "safer" sex.

As far as the emotional impact of coming out of prostitution, again, all I know is what I've read. You would know more about this than I would. I do know that many prostitutes are also drug addicts and theives. I'm glad that you were not in that category. I'm also glad to hear that you are now a Christian. Also, I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your son.

I encourage all call girls to come to Christ and leave their lifestyle if possible. But the point I was making is, coming out of prostitution would not have been easy in biblical times. Most women had two means of financial support: 1) wife 2) prostitute. Some prostitutes worked in pagan temples, others were secular prostitutes. Many women were trapped in a lifestyle of prostitution. Consider female slaves who were the sexual property of their masters. Some of those female slaves were no doubt Christians. Furthermore, consider that Jesus was criticized for being friends with publicans (tax collectors) and prostitutes. Did Jesus start a conversation with a prostitute by saying, "If you don't quit what you're doing, you'll spend eternity in Hell"? Perhaps, but I don't think so.

One question I was addressing was: Can a prostitute simultaneously be a Christian without giving up her profession? Put another way, are there prostitutes in Heaven now who were practicing their profession on their deathbed?

The other question I was opening for discussion was: Can prostitution be practiced in a way that is totally and completely ethical?

Discuss.

Jenna said...

Thanks for writing a thought-provoking article! Here are some of my initial thoughts.

"Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!" I Corinthians 6:15

Or, rather shall the prostitute, who professes Jesus as Savior, join her body with any man who wants to satisfy his sexual appetite? Never! She is far too valuable.

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Back in Jesus' day, I will venture a guess that the prostitutes he engaged with were brought into the family of believers. I believe Jesus would call His disciples to welcome in the former prostitute and provide for her needs the way that widows and orphans were provided for by the church. Perhaps some will get married the way that Rahab did. Regardless, I believe that God would have provided for them and been faithful to their faithfulness of choosing to honor God with their bodies. I can't imagine it was easy, but I believe God would have provided a way.

At any rate, I don't think the main question at hand should be whether secular prostitutes can honor God in their professions .. I believe that is very clearly no.. the main question is how can can we provide a way out for these women? Especially the ones who depend upon the profession for their livelihood .. let us bring them into God's family, see each former prostitute as a sister in Christ- dearly loved and infinitely valuable- and provide for them out of the abundance of our resources.

Pierre said...

Re: I Cor 6:16. It must be kept in mind that in this passage, Paul is admonishing men not to "join" themselves with "harlots", for it is said "the two shall be one flesh". This quotation of Genesis makes it clear Paul was speaking about marriage to a prostitute, not an occasional encounter with one.

This parallels the passage in Leviticus 21:14 where the sons of Aaron were instructed not to take harlots as wives.

The remonstrances in Proverbs against keeping the company of harlots are speaking about married women - See Proverbs 6:26; 7:19 (in 6:26 remember parallelism in Hebrew poetry - the "whorish woman" and the "adultress" are the same woman, a distinction is not being drawn between unmarried girls and an adultress).

The commandment in Exodus is against adultery (i.e. having sexual relations with another man's wife). Jesus' teaching in Matt 5:28 deals with the coveting of a man's wife (in this text "lust" should be translated as "covet").

And while sexual relations with an unmarried virgin is to be compensated with money - see Exodus 22:16, no penalty is pronounced in the Mosaic law against sex wtih unmarried non-virgins. A gentlemen of course will look after a girl who provides him pleasure with a gift of money.

The unmarried call-girl, stripper or other sex worker who honestly and ethically practices her art need not bear the condemnation or reprobation of the holier than thou crowd who, like the pharisees, imposed man-made additions to the Law of God.

Benny said...

Quite simply, all prostitution is a sin, you said yourself that the word fornication originates from the word for prostitute, doesn't that tell you something? Fornication is having sex outside marriage, which is a sin and is condemned in several places. I think Jesus would approach it the same way he did the woman at the well. You keep mentioning how in Jesus' time it would be hard for them to move on with their life, which is true, but so was life for the women at the well and as someone mentioned before, Jesus would probably instruct his followers to do with former prostitutes as they would with widows.

Anonymous said...

It was difficult for anyone to be a Christian in those times... Many were killed outright, fed to lions, etc.

The idea that fornication/prostitution is justified due to hardship is heretical. Don't be decieved by the foolish tricks others play on themselves, calling wrong right.

Your main argument (ie that it was justified for hardship) is torn to shreds by the truth of the Bible. The disciples were selling all of their pocessions and eating meals together. Read your Bible and ask God for understanding twice as much as you read it.

Be warned. Those who lead others astray are in for a double helping of wrath. Study and be trained before you try to do the teaching.

Tom Gruber said...

Anonymous,

I agree that nobody should ever do anything that is wrong or that they think is wrong simply to avoid persecution. Hopefully, if I were ever in a position where I had to choose between denying Christ or being eaten by a lion, I would hopefully choose the latter. Furthermore, I do not think that fornication is ever okay. My main point was that there is a huge difference between secular prostitution and cult prostitution. Cult prostitutes used sex as a means of worshiping pagan gods and goddesses, which was a form of idolatry. I believe that cult prostitution and any form of idolatry is always sinful and therefore always wrong. However, I question whether or not secular prostitution is always wrong, and therefore whether it is accurate to label secular prostitution as fornication. It may not be, and probably isn't, idyllic. But is it always a sin? That is highly debatable.

Whatever the case may be, a huge distinction needs to be made between cult prostitution and secular prostitution. The Bible itself seems to make a huge differentiation between the two and this distinction is oftentimes lost or disregarded. This was my main point. Sorry if I did not make that clear.

Regarding Tamar, who disguised herself as a prostitute to get pregnant by Judah: it seems she did a righteous thing, as the Bible states. Some suggest that only Judah considered her action as an act of righteousness, and that the Bible was simply recording what Judah said, not how God regarded the situation. Some suggest that God really disapproved of Tamar's seductive activities but simply failed to mention it in Scripture. Perhaps. I, however, disagree, though I admit I could be wrong. What Tamar did was a fulfillment of prophecy. So if there is one exception to a rule, perhaps there are others. For example, keep in mind that God commanded Hosea to marry a prostitute.

My major objective in blogging is to cause people to think. And if I have done that, I believe I have done a noble thing.

Angelique said...

An open-minded Christian? Well I'll be damned! Interesting read. I wish the bible wasn't open to so much interpretation so as to settle the debate about sex industry workers once and for all. I hate the way that strippers, porn stars, and prostitutes are viewed in our society. You would think based on the way they are looked down upon that their profession includes selling nuclear weapons to North Korea. There are many women in the industry who have good hearts and are merely trying to support themselves and their families. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

A different question, what does the bible say about a single man paying for sex with a prostitute? What about one night stands? If both persons are single what's the problem? Where is the sin? Is Sex a sin??

Anonymous said...

Not all things that happened under the old covenant(or that God allowed) was the ideal situation. In the beginning before the fall God made Adam and Eve and they became one flesh. Sex is more than just a mere act, it's the greatest possible form of intimacy you can have with your partner. People often think that God's unfair not allowing sex outside of marital union, but it's God's gift (people forget that its a gift)to us and an amazing gift it is. It is his sovereign right to decide how we can use it, not ours. And believe it or not, God actually has these laws for our benefit, he isn't the kill-joy that's us. How would you feel if someone abused a gift that you gave to them.

The new testament is also a superior covenant and the true glory of God has been revealed to us. We have less of an excuse than the people of those days, we can't even begin to grasp how hard life was back then.

Looking at this topic from another angle, have you considered the people who the prostitute is having sex with. How does she know that a man she's having sex with is not married - she could end up destroying another marriage.


I have attached a link to a very interesting and well written page. Its a re-examination of the anti-porn stance but the topics do somewhat overlap.

http://net-burst.net/porn/peep.htm

Enjoy

Robert said...

Absolutely ridiculous attempt to provide a religious justification for prostitution.

It never ceases to amaze me how people can torture the bible, or any other written text, to support any extreme position.

If you wish to believe that God regards "secular" prostitution (as you put it) as acceptable Christian behaviour then you are truly lost. You have completely failed to show this with the highly selective, not to mention poorly interpreted, quotations you have presented.

What next? Because Jesus forgave a murderer, that means God supports those who continue to murder?!

As your own example clearly states, the prostitute wept and repented of her dissolute and immoral lifestyle, whereupon Jesus forgave her. Repentance of sin is absolutely required. Prostitution is sin. You cannot deliberately engage in sinful activity and repent at the same time. Repentance involves a real attempt to desist from the sinful behaviour. End of story.

The bible may be the word of God, but that doesn't mean that it can provide an answer to every conceivable legalistic quibble. Your position seems to be that, unless Jesus utters the precise words "secular prostitution is sinful", then it cannot be asserted as such. This is nonsense. Only a modicum of common sense is required to see that the prohibitions against prostitution that are present throughout the bible apply to it in all its forms and manifestations.

The question "Can a prostitute practice her profession ethically and responsibly while still being a genuine Christian?" should be a rhetorical one.

The answer is NO.

Anonymous said...

there shouldn't even be a big deal about secular & cult prostitution. prostitution is prostitution. it is sin. hosea was to marry a prostitute, which was God's way to show that He was reconciling the sinner to Himself. God allowed many things in the OT like abraham having children with his hagar, jacob having children with 2 wives & maids. solomon having many wives came after the law but was not considered a sin. he had other wives, but he used them to know his enemies better. tamar's act allowed judah to realize how he had deceived her. these all happened in the OT--God allowed certain things to happen & were justified then, probably bec. the Holy Spirit did not dwell in all of the believers back then. in the NT, i haven't read of any such thing, again probably bec. when one receives Christ, the Holy Spirit indwells the new believer, therefore he cannot join his body with that of a prostitute. one cannot continue a lifestyle of sin if the Holy Spirit lives in Him. first off, he would be defiling his own body, where the Holy Spirit dwells. secondly, if the Holy Spirit is in him, the conviction would be too much--how can he not discern that it's wrong?

Anonymous said...

Hi , I have been looking into a lot of different religions at the moment , and as i am an ex or maybe not working girl (I haven't worked for a year and a half)i was wondering about what the go on this was.I am considering going back to work as i need to get myself and my children to safety and this is the only way i can get the money so my children don't end up starving and homeless or if we don't go worse.
To ex escort i was in the industry for 8 years not high class and i know women who have been doing it 25 years or longer we do monthly health checks and s.t.d checks on clients we are trained what to look for and I have never known a prostitute who follows the proper guidelines to get any s.t.ds unless they use drugs or participate in unsafe sex.
And as for destroying marriage's i have had clients come back not for sex but to thank me as i try to help by giving an objective insight into how their wives may be feeling.
I am not saying i'm a good person or wasn't sinning but i have always tried not to hurt anyone else and be a good person.

Anonymous said...

"to suggest that secular prostitutes cannot practice their profession in a manner that pleases God seems to go beyond what Scripture warrants."
Also it is possible for a "john" to be kind and considerate in the way he treats a prostitute…
I have great respect for what you’re trying to do but would have appreciated more comments from women.

Hugh-EMC said...

I think it is fantastic that some Christians are throwing off the chains of sexual misunderstanding and recignizing sex is both holy and healthy

Ramblin'Man said...

Regarding the word "fornication", our host Mr. Gruber has pointed out rightly that its original meaning was "prostitution" so it was an apt translation of "porneia". Young's literal translation renders it "whoredom". Furthermore, there is no doubt whatsoever that prostitution was allowed in Israel under the law and that only when it involved adultery or idol worship was it condemned. Pierre has pointed out that there was no punishment, thus no sin committed, when someone had sex with an unmarried, unbetrothed female.

There was an expectation that they would marry, but the girl's father had the last say. There are NO prohibitions in the OT against having sex with a single woman living on her own. Some of these may have been prostitutes, innkeepers, or engaged in crafts like Lydia and Dorcas in the N.T. Hebrew scholars readily admit that the Law doesn't forbid premarital sex. The restriction of no sex before marriage was ONLY upon a female who has been betrothed, bought by her suitor to be a virgin on her wedding day, usually when she turned 13. There is no correspondence between the Bible's actual teaching and modern Church rules of no sex outside of marriage. The Roman Church made these rules up during the medieval times, when sex itself was thought to be evil.

The New Testament apostles and writers, being Jews who observed God's Law, maintained God's laws for the Church, which was originally a sect of Judaism. Though the ceremonial laws were not to be mandated upon the Gentiles, the moral codes were the same. What God wrote as being sexually immoral in the OT, was considered sexually immoral in the NT. God gave His list of sexual immoralities, what the church began referring to under the term "fornication" or "uncleanness" in Leviticus 18. There are some other lists and slight additions, but this list is the best collection of sex taboos.

If it was true that "all sex must be within marriage by one man with one woman" and all else is sin, then God missed a golden opportunity to say so when He had Moses write this passage. Leviticus 18 is written, like most of the Bible, by men to men, and it warns against specific types of incest, specific types of polygamy, bestiality, adultery and sex during menstruation. There is no requirement of marriage before sex in this passage. Among things that are permissible under God's laws: secular prostitution, sex between singles, multiple wives, concubinage, lesbian sex and masturbation. Even if you look throughout the rest of the OT, you won't find laws against these sexual activities, which makes sense since the book really only has one Author.

Continue: Part Two

Ramblin'Man said...

Part Two:

Paul, being a well-trained Jewish scholar wrote in accordance with the Law, which he often quoted and taught from in his works. We see him using words like fornication and uncleanness (sexual defilement) and wonder what he meant, when all we needed to do is read the Law, and we would know what he meant. Paul reveals to us what he meant by fornication, in its more specific usage, when he warned against it in 1 Corinthians 10:8, comparing it to the sin of Israel with the Moabite women. Read the reference, which I believe is in Numbers 25 and you will readily see that fornication is sex with women as an act of idolatry, joining oneself to Baal in their case. In Corinth, it was Aphrodite, in other places it was other gods.

Regarding concubinage, these were temporary wives, basically kept mistresses, either in the home or in other towns (See Gideon, I think.) God Himself claims to have given David his 7 wives and 10 concubines and offered him as many more as he wanted. I would say that God's view of sex is highly unlike that of mainstream society or the church.

I would contend that a woman could be a prostitute and be a Christian, but I suspect that she would opt out of that profession for something more fulfilling.

Regarding the lady who was a "high class call girl", she was pimped out by her step-dad, which is a violation of the law, and she had many abusive and emotional problems already, spent time in jail etc. She had a boyfriend while she was hooking, so she may have contracted sexual infections by him or others. Life can be rough and tough, etc., but the question is, what does the Bible actually teach.

Anonymous said...

Question: "What does the Bible say about prostitution? Will God forgive a prostitute?"

Answer: Prostitution is often referred to as the "oldest profession." Indeed, it has always been a common way for women to make money, even in Bible times. The Bible tells us that prostitution is immoral. Proverbs 23:27-28 says, "For a prostitute is a deep pit and a wayward wife is a narrow well. Like a bandit she lies in wait, and multiplies the unfaithful among men."

God forbids involvement with prostitutes because He knows such involvement is detrimental to both men and women. "For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of hell" (Proverbs 5:3-5 NKJV).

Prostitution not only destroys marriages, families, and lives, but it destroys the spirit and soul in a way that leads to physical and spiritual death. God's desire is that we stay pure and use our bodies as tools for His use and glory (Romans 6:13). First Corinthians 6:13 says, "The body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body."

Although prostitution is sinful, prostitutes are not beyond God's scope of forgiveness. The Bible records His use of a prostitute named Rahab to further the fulfillment of His plan. As a result of her obedience, she and her family were rewarded and blessed (Joshua 2:1; 6:17-25). In the New Testament, a woman who had been known for being a sexual sinner—before Jesus forgave and cleansed her from sin—found an opportunity to serve Jesus while He was visiting in the home of a Pharisee. The woman, recognizing Christ for who He is, brought a bottle of expensive perfume to Him. In regret and repentance, the woman wept and poured perfume on His feet, wiping it with her hair. When the Pharisees criticized Jesus for accepting this act of love from the "immoral" woman, He admonished them and accepted the woman's worship. Because of her faith, Christ had forgiven all her sins, and she was received into His kingdom (Luke 7:36-50).

When speaking to those who refused to believe the truth about Himself, Jesus Christ said, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him" (Matthew 21:31-32).

Just like anyone else, prostitutes have the opportunity to receive salvation and eternal life from God, to be cleansed of all their unrighteousness and be given a brand new life! All they must do is turn away from their sinful lifestyle and turn to the living God, whose grace and mercy are boundless. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Anonymous said...

What about being a cam girl? It is selling your body virtually. Is that a sin as well?

Anonymous said...

so do you believe that sex outside of marriage is not a sin?

Lovelacepersona said...

No matter the type of prostitution, it is a sin. All this other stuff if just jibberish. It's of the flesh, it's lust. Lust is of the devil. Things of the flesh, and of this world are of the devil. Everybody will have lust at some point, and everyone will sin. But you are not supposed to contribute to the devil's work, especially if you call yourself a Christian. It's that way in most religions, actually. God made sex for marriage. Obviously, the devil had a strong grip on this world and people now think such is impossible. Whether back then or today, God's word is God's word. Point, blank, period. No excuses. Whether you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is your own person decision, and whether you go to hell or not is between you and God on your judgement day. But you cannot do something that God forbids, Ask for forgiveness, then keep doing so and expect to go to Heaven. You ask for forgiveness and repent. Which means, you quit or try your hardest to quit sinning in that area. What any human says or their opinion does not mean a penny. God's word is the only thing that matters. Read Revelation 18: 2-4 AND Corinthians 6: 9-11. That's the only answer that is straight truth and that matters.