Here are some excerpts from The Westminster Assembly’s Shorter catechism explained: by way of question and answer (By James Fisher & Ebenezer Erskine):
Quest. 72. What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?
Answ. The seventh commandment forbiddeth, all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.
Question 139 of the Westminster Larger Catechism further expounds on Question 72 of the Shorter:
“… unchaste company; lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays; and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others.”
It seems accurate to infer that men like Fisher & Erksine would condemn MOST of the Reformed world. I guess the Calvinist/Reformed today would NOT be okay with speaking, thinking, and acting out unchastity, but ARE totally okay with reading/watching others do so or “pretend” to do so (e.g., “Don’t meditate on your own unchaste thoughts, but DO meditate on the unchaste thoughts of others in that wicked book”).
I surmise that the *vast minority* of those professing adherence to the Westminster Standards do NOT agree with them (e.g., Q. 139, LC) since the *vast majority* are AVID readers and watchers of sexual lewdness, joking, etc., etc., via all kinds of mediums.
Q. 1. What is forbidden in this commandment under the name of Adultery?
A. All sorts of unchastity or uncleanness, of what kind, or in what mannersoever committed, Eph. v. 3.
Q. 2. In what respects may persons be guilty of unchastity or uncleanness?
A. They may be guilty this way: in their thoughts, words, and actions.
Q. 3. When are persons chargeable before God with unchaste [thoughts]?
A. When lustful desires are entertained and gratified in the mind; and, as it were, acted in the imagination, Prov. vi. 18. Matt. v. 28.
Q. 4. What are the usual incentives to unchaste thoughts?
A. “Lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage-plays, and the like.”
Reading or watching unchaste and lascivious garbage is justified by MANY (if not MOST) professing Christians in the name of things such as: “research,” “sanctification,” “wise counseling,” “engaging the culture,” “remaining relevant,” “increased awareness and appreciation of gracious and merciful deliverance from sin,” “a better understanding of your Christian calling in this world,” “a better understanding of the views, language, and mindset of the people you are trying to ‘win to Christ.'” Ad infinitum. Ad nauseaum.
Q. 5. What influences have stage-plays upon fomenting unchaste thoughts?
A. They are generally stuffed with such amorous adventures, many of them of a most criminal nature, that they have a native tendency to debauch and defile the mind. If no corrupt communication is to proceed out of our mouth, according to Eph. iv. 29. neither ought we to listen to it with our ears, as is done by those who attend the profane diversions of the stage.
This describes the exact type of movie-going, tv-watching, and book-reading MOST who call themselves “Christian” engage in on a regular basis.
Q. 6. What is meant by unchaste [words]?
A. All filthy, obscene, or smutty discourse; than which, nothing can be more grating and disagreeable to modest ears. Eph v.
Well, again, probably a lot of professing Christians or Calvinists appear to NOT appreciate language like this … except for when it’s done by wicked “movie stars” on the silver screen — and then they absolutely love and revel in this filth.