Paul says that people who give into the lure of sex sins “are no different than someone who worships idols” (Ephesians 5:5). Why do you think Paul would have considered that a fair parallel, sex sins to idolatry?
In Bible times, idolatry and sex took place together. Some religions featured religious prostitutes. The idea was that if you wanted to pray for something, like a good crop of wheat or a baby son, you would go to your worship center with a sacrifice and you would have sex with a temple priestess as a way of entertaining and pleasing the god in the hopes that the god would give you what you wanted. A Greek historian named Herodotus (about 484-425 BC) wrote “The foulest Babylonian custom is that which compels every woman of the land to sit in the temple of Aphrodite and have intercourse with some stranger at least once in her life” (The Histories).
Reprinted from Leader’s Guide & Atlas for Ephesians
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