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Understanding Infantilism (.org)

Notes on what the Bible Says About Infantilism

By BitterGrey

Leviticus 18:19

Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.

Surrounded by famous commands about incest (v. 6 - 18), homosexuality (v. 22), and bestiality (v.23), this command is almost unknown. As such, it provides a wealth of insight for systematic analysis. Short of such detailed study, it has one simple warning; taken as a whole, the Law is a wondrous and bewildering thing, but verse by verse, it is easily misused. One man uses verse 22 to accuse a homosexual of sin, but the homosexual responds, displaying that this accuser does not observe verse 19. The homosexual might not be justified, but his accuser now stands condemned by his own misuse of the Law of Moses. If we are to keep this Law, we must keep it all, even down to abstaining from pork products.

Deuteronomy 22:5

A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear woman's clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.

This command is interesting because it isn't placed with the sexual violations, but with commands such as "Do not plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard" (verse 9), "Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together" (verse 10), "Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together" (verse 11), and "Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear" (verse 12). While this passage is about transvestism, it may also be a call to purity: The Jews, who the Law was given to, were God's chosen people. As such, it was important that they not intermingle with the pagans. This theme of isolated purity is echoed in numerous laws.

Other possible interpretations could be shared with Re 3:15, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either one or the other." This can be read that purity in and of itself has value.

Deuteronomy 23:12-14

Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. For the Lord your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you.

A favorite verse of backpackers, this passage gives a doctrinal justification for sanitary practices.  The Old Testament also had an extensive list of things which caused uncleanness, such as menstruation (Leviticus 15:19) and childbirth (Leviticus 12:1-2).  These were distinct from sins, but were viewed similarly by the culture.

Leviticus 15:2-3

...When any man has a bodily discharge, the discharge is unclean. Whether it continues flowing from his body or is blocked, it will make him unclean.

It is conceivable that this verse is about incontinence. If so, it describes it as an uncleanness.

Matthew 5:27-28

(27) "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery;' (28) but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Matthew 19:7-10

(7) "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" (8) Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. (9) I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery." (10) The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry." (11) Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. (12) For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. Those who can accept this should accept it.

See also 1st. Corinthians 7:25-28.

The relevance here is that of moderation. Purity and perfection are to be valued, certainly. However, they may not be attainable. To decide not to wear diapers is morally safer, for the most part, but not wearing diapers is more easily said than done. Much the same can be said for marrying (1Co 7:32-35), but most people just do it anyway. Those who are able hold to these should do so, but it won't make them more perfect than those who cannot.

Romans 14:22-23

So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But he who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith, and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

If you have questions about the morality of infantilism, deal with them before acting. Do not do anything you are unsure of. This is moderated by 1 Corinthians 10:25-28, which advises against raising unnecessary questions of conscience. 1 Corinthians 10:32-33 summarizes "...whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (32) Do not cause anyone to stumble..."

1st. Corinthians 3:1-3

Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual, but as worldly-mere infants in Christ. (2) I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. (3) You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?

Although it may be excusable, spiritual immaturity among Christians is a bad thing; the equivalent of mental retardation or stunted growth. Christians should strive to become mature, but whether these spiritually mature Christians wear physical diapers is another matter. Sadly, many churches never outgrow 1st. Corinthians.

1st. Corinthians 10:23

"Everything is permissible for me" - but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible" - but not everything is constructive.

Christians are not bound by the Law of Moses, but this freedom must must not give rise to a self-serving lawlessness.

1st. Corinthians 13:11

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned as a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

Like 1st. Corinthians 3:1-3, this text uses emotional maturity as an analogy for spiritual maturity. Please see the note for that verse.

Ephesians 4:14

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and fourth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.

See 1st. Corinthians 3:1-3.

- Updated:25 July 2014     

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  Reader Comments:
  • Mike comments: All [due] respect but you do realize that you have twisted the word of God to your own purposes don't you? You might want to learn about proper hermeneutics and pray for understanding before posting again, as a fellow christian and brother I would urge you to remove this until you have had a chance to learn more fully what these passages mean. Mike seems well-meaning, but if I had intentionally twisted the Bible to suit my own purposes, what good would a comment like this do? Trying to educate me by pointing out and explaining the specific errors would have been more helpful. On that note, while I stand behind my interpretation, I'd encourage you all to become knowledgeable about the Bible yourselves. Even Paul praised people for doing so. (Acts 17:11. Unlike me, Paul was there.) -BitterGrey