(The below is from THE PRODIGAL, January 21, 1973 and we
feel it is interesting and should
be passed on to those of you who
do not receive this MCC publication.)
While it will probably never
rank with such classics as Lady
Chatterly's Lover and The Tropic
of Cancer, the PRODIGAL has
been criticized on occasion for its
frank treatment of sexual themes.
These denouncers have pointed out
that a religious publication should
concern itself more with spreading
the Word of God than with such
"worldly" subjects. The Word of
God, eh? Well, let us look at the
manner in which the Bible handles
One hasn't far to look. Genesis
16.4 in fact mentions the subject
And he (Abraham) went in unto
Hagar, and she conceived . . .
Very modest? Yes, until one
finds that a direct translation from
the Hebrew gives a much more
frank and open view:
And he (Abraham) went gushing
into Hagar, and she conceived ..
And all of the "went in unto's"
in the Old Testament can be translated as above.
Or take for an instance the
sordid affairs related in Genesis
38:1-25. (You'll have to read that
one yourself as it is too long to
quote entirely.) Onan spilling his
seed on the ground--now we all
understand that one, don't we? Or
Judah taking his daughter-in-law
to bed believing her to be a whore.
Strange goings-on for a religious
book to concern itself with.
And the sad case of Lot and his
daughters. In the nineteenth
chapter of Genesis, the daughters
say to one another:
Our father is old, and there is
not a man in the earth to come
into us (THAT phrase again!) after
the manner of all the earth: Come,
let us make our father drink wine,
and we will lie with him, that we
may preserve seed of our father.
And they did lay with him and
conceived two children who became
the progenitors of two of Israel's
greatest enemies, Moab and
And how are we to judge the
supposed author of the Pentateuch,
Moses? Perhaps it would be good
to consider the estimation given
in Deuteronomy 34:7.
And Moses was an hundred and
twenty years old when he dies:
his eyes were not dim nor his
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natural force abated.
Considering the correct version
for the words translated "his natural force abated", we come up
with an entirely different picture
of the man:
And Moses was one hundred-
twenty years old when he died:
his eyes were good and his waters
were not dried up (Hebrew idiom
which means he could still ejaculate).
The great king of Israel, David,
makes the same use of this idiom
in Psalm 32:4.
. . . my moisture is turned into
the drought of summer.
And on and on it goes. The affair
between David and Bathsheba; the
Song of Solomon, and even the
method for referring to men slain
in a battle:
. . . There was not left unto
Nabal by the morning light any
that pisseth against the wall.
(I Sam. 25:34)
But why point out all of these
things? To degrade the Bible to
to a Grade B novel? NO! But
simply to point out that the Word
of God does not pull punches but
deals with the fact of real people
living in real situations and does
not consider doing so to be irrelevant to its religious outlook.
The PRODIGAL must deal with
life also. It must as a publication dedicated to God teach men
how to treat their fellow men with
consideration and love. And since
even the Bible considers sex an
important part of life, it is both
expedient and relevant to deal with
considerate and loving manners in
relation to the sex act in a religious publication.
I close with this quotation from
Unto the pure all things are
pure: but unto them that are defiled
and unbelieving is nothing pure:
but even their mind and conscience
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