My Christian Friends…I want your feedback.
In I Corinthians 3:16-18 we hear Paul saying that if you ‘destroy the temple, God will destroy you’.
In I Corinthians 6:19, after Paul commands us to flee sexual immorality, he declares that our Body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
In II Corinthians 6:16 again Paul references this ‘temple’ as either our body, or ‘the body of Christ’, in that we are the ‘temple of the living God’.
I have heard it taught often that then defiling your body is sin and will bring the judgement of God upon your life. So what then is Defiling the Temple?
How to define Defiling the Temple
In many Christian beliefs today, my previous affiliation (Oneness Pentecost) included, this list included a lot of external modifiers, such as, but not limited to;
- Drinking Alcohol (Not just getting drunk, but any consumption [Pentecostal])
- Tobacco Products (Smoke, Chew)
- Tattoo’s – body marking
- Piercings of any kind
- Sexual Immorality (Fornication, Adultery, Masturbation, Pornography)
And on and on the list can go. Some of which are clearly stated in Scripture as being sin, such as Fornication and Adultery. Masturbation is controversial and the Scripture is silent on the subject but there is a good argument for when masturbation is wrong.
In most commentaries, such as Adam Clarke, Geneva, Matthew Henry, etc., it is clear that the ‘body’ is in general a reference to the Body of Believers, the Church. Furthermore, the commentaries primarily focus on defilement of that ‘Body’ by way of the teachings of false doctrine. But there is an argument to be had, especially in light of I Corinthians 6:19 that was taught before, fornication defiles the body wholly, both physically and spiritually. In v18 of chapter 6 Paul declared fornication is a sin against ones own body.
My experience under Pentecostal preaching is that any defilement of your physical body is a sin against the Holy Ghost. God wants to dwell in a clean house, a clean heart. This is a true saying. One thing has always perplexed me however, and it can be a little controversial as well.
“How can a very obese preacher stand up and tell me that if I drink wine with my supper, I’m going to burn in hell for defiling the temple?”
Now this isn’t an argument for drinking! I don’t drink at all, not a sip, not a cup or a can. It’s just an attempt to clear up what I find to be completely hypocritical.
Let’s think about this – if the premise is that our physical form is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit (we know it is) and we must do everything in our power to keep the body and heart clean, (Psalm 51:10) healthy and a light of Him who is on the inside, how then is being obese, unhealthy, unfit, decrepit and a drain on the financial well being of society due to medical problems any less a defilement of the temple?
What say you?
In light of this, I would like to reference Matthew 15:11
That which enters into the mouth doesn’t defile the man; but that which proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.