Not Even Named Among the Gentiles


The church in Corinth had many problems that Paul needed to address in his first letter to them. One of these problems had to do with a case of sexual immorality that was being tolerated by the church.

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you” (1 Corinthians 5:1-2, NKJV).

One of the members of the church at Corinth was engaged in a sexual relationship with “his father’s wife.” Likely, this means she was his stepmother rather than his biological mother. The Law of Moses condemned this type of relationship (Leviticus 18:8). But Paul pointed out that this was such a perversion that even the Gentile world generally understood it to be wrong.

Times have changed.

Recently, a popular pornography website has released its annual report for 2015. [Warning: While the link is to an anti-porn website and contains no inappropriate images, it does contain some offensive language, though this is simply for reporting purposes.] Among the items contained in the report was a list of the most popular search terms that visitors used to find the pornographic videos they wanted. Shockingly (at least it was to me), the most popular search term on this website for all of 2015 was “step mom.”

In other words, this relationship that existed in Corinth that was nearly unheard of among the wicked and godless people of that culture is the most popular sexual fantasy among viewers of pornography in our culture. That is truly a disturbing thought.

All pornography is wrong, regardless of what relationship or act is being depicted. Jesus’ condemnation of one who simply “looks at a woman with lust for her” (Matthew 5:28) ought to be enough to cause us to avoid it. However, this particular fantasy is troubling for additional reasons.

  • It is a reflection on the fact that there are far too many homes in which children are not being raised by both of their parents. I realize that sometimes a parent will remarry after the death of a spouse (Romans 7:2-3). I also understand that one has the Lord’s permission to put away a spouse who has been guilty of fornication (Matthew 19:9). However, in most of the homes where there is a “step mom” present, it is not for a legitimate God-approved reason; it is because God’s marriage institution was not “held in honor” from the beginning (Hebrews 13:4).
  • It shows that far too many children – I would imagine that most of those watching these types of videos are teenage boys and young men – do not respect their fathers. Even if their father’s marriage to their stepmother is accepted in the eyes of God – through death or lawful (by God’s law) divorce (Romans 7:2-3; Matthew 19:9) – they are fantasizing about a woman that is only for their father. This demonstrates a complete disdain for their father. As the Old Law stated: “You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; it is your father’s nakedness” (Leviticus 18:8). Instead of showing this type of disrespect for their father, they are supposed to “honor” him (Ephesians 6:2).
  • It is one step closer to the acceptance of incestuous relationships. If one can fantasize about someone who is not a biological relative, but simply a relative by marriage, how long until sexual relations among blood relatives are accepted? Given how rapidly our society has come to accept homosexuality, it may not be that far off.

Our society is becoming more and more wicked and perverted every day. As we see in this report, this moral decline is often manifested in ways we would not even imagine. It is vitally important that we guard against the evil influences of the world. Paul said, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). It is also important that we continue to let our light shine “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation… Holding fast the word of life” (Philippians 2:15-16) so that we might be able to lead others out of the filth of sin to the cleansing that is found in Christ (Hebrews 9:14).

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  1. Larry DeVore says

    Excellent article, Andy, and so needed in our culture!

  2. Thanks, Larry. I wish an article like this wasn’t needed though.


  1. […] Sochor reflects on the fact that the most popular pornographic search term for 2015 described sin “not even named among the Gentiles” in 1 Corinthians 15. “In other words, this relationship that existed in Corinth that was […]