Licentiousness is from the word license, meaning permission.
Civil, moral and spiritual license is freedom to act, either with or without restraint.
"With restraint" means freedom to act within certain legitimately prescribed norms or limitations. This applies to licenses issued by governments, local, state and national:
- drivers licenses, with and without restrictions; property licenses; marriage licenses; licenses to practice medicine and law, to teach, to publish, to conduct business and trade; and there are laws governing licenses internationally granted by one nation to another.
Personal license is permission a person gives to himself or herself to do something freely, or permission given to another to act.
Corrupt scientific, business and legal practices are usually classified as unethical, sometimes as illegal. Too often scientists, businessmen, lawyers and politicians are unofficially offered a great amount of latitude to stretch, bend and breach rules and regulations by those persons and organizations or bodies charged with responsibility for overseeing and governing their activities and practices and correcting violations of trust and norms of practice. Governmental corruption is normally classified as unethical and illegal. An outraged citizenry may urgently call for legitimate redress of grievances (see United States Constitution and Bill of Rights).
The immorality of "consensual sex" (fornication) is sometimes presented as the legal defense of those persons accused of licentiously committing adultery or rape.
"Without restraint" means unlimited freedom to act, "to do as you please." Moral licentiousness is corrupt behavior without restraint. Anarchism and antinomianism are philosophical expressions of licentiousness. "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law". See Thelema.
Both the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible condemn moral and spiritual license as the evil of licentiousness, unrestrained behavior, unbridled passions and unrestricted lifestyles, such as is often promoted by the entertainment industries in films and books. Such behavior has been falsely promoted as "fully human freedom" and "freedom of expression" unfettered by the moral and spiritual principles of decency and of godly religion (1 Timothy 3:14-16; 3:5; 2 Peter 2:19-22). Atheism promises freedom from such restrictions.
Christian denominations which hold the doctrine of Eternal Security, also called "Assurance", nicknamed "Once saved, always saved", have been accused of promoting irresponsible licentiousness, by doing away with the fear that God will punish sins freely committed by Christians after they have once accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. The Catholic doctrine of Indulgences has been grossly misrepresented in anti-Catholic polemic as a form of officially sanctioned "permission to sin". Some Catholics have promoted the scandalous falsehood that "I can do anything I like, as long as I go to confession." The Catholic Church has condemned this assertion as promoting the sin of sacrilege, "abuse of a sacrament", and as a cover for unrepentant immorality. The Protestant Reformer Martin Luther has been accused of being antinomian in his theology of salvation without any necessity for doing good works. See Corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
See the following external links:
- licentiousness - Roget Thesaurus (classic.net.bible.org)
- The Expository Files - Licentiousness (bible.ca)
- 18.2. Christian Liberty or Licentiousness (biblestudytools.com)
- Bible verses about Licentiousness (From Forerunner Commentary) Richard T. Ritenbaugh, John W. Ritenbaugh (bibletools.org)
- A Historical Examination of the Doctrine of Eternal Security, Jeff Paton (eternalsecurity.us)
- Once Saved Always Saved - Fact or Fiction? (preparingforeternity.com) Eternal Security: "Salvation in Christ cannot be lost, no matter what one does, because salvation is not dependent on works, but faith in Christ alone. 'As it is written, The just shall live by faith alone.' 'For we hold that a man is justified by faith alone apart from works of the law.' "
This is Martin Luther's reading of Romans 1:17,3:28.
See Sola fide.
- Sola Fide (scborromeo.org) "Many Bible-believing Protestants are erroneously convinced that the Catholic Church teaches that salvation is by works, that is, one can "earn" or "merit" salvation on his own. Salvation is the unmerited gift of God, and is retained by doing good; but it can be forfeited by doing evil or by simply refusing or neglecting to do good."
- Luther Added The Word "Alone" to Romans 3:28? (beggersallreformation.blogspot.com)
- The Aquila Report - Justification by Faith Alone: Martin Luther and Romans 1:17. Justification is a righteousness that God gives freely to those who believe. (theaquilareport.com) The righteousness is a legal judgment, not a spiritual or ontological change
- Lingonier Ministries: Justification by Faith Alone: Martin Luther and Romans 1:17
R. C. Sproul describes the moment of awakening Martin Luther had as he read Romans 1:17 (video embedded) (lingonier.org)
- Martin Luther's Preface to The Epistle to the Romans pdf (newcreationlibrary.net)
- Sin boldly (Did Luther really mean it the way we use it today?) (jpserrano.com) "Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong (sin boldly), but let your trust in Christ be stronger...No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day." (Martin Luther: Letter to Melanchthon)
- Total and Complete Forgiveness (josephprince.org) "But you don't confess your sins to God in order to be forgiven. You already have total and complete forgiveness because of the blood of Jesus."
Pastor Joseph Prince boldly asserts with complete confidence a scripture-based argument that all sins, past, present, and future are already forgiven, and there is no need to confess any sin committed. Salvation in Christ cannot be lost, no matter how heinous and vile the sin might be. All of your sins are already forgiven. God will never condemn you.
He contradicts the Bible's conditional-forgiveness teaching in 1 John 1:9:
"IF we confess our sins - [ then ] he will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness". (John does not say, "he has already forgiven all of our sins and cleansed us from all unrighteousness"—and John is not addressing his letter to unbelievers he is seeking to convert, asking them to confess their sins and receive Christ as their Savior once and for all, but to Christians who already believe and have hope in him.) See also James 5:14-16 and John 20:21-23
- The Truth About Martin Luther: And Why So Few Read His Works (jesus-is-savior.com)
Martin Luther's licentious blasphemy in his own words
- Luther Said: Doing Good Is More Dangerous Than Sinning - Beggars All: Reformation & Apologetics (beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com) The author responds to the above article "The Truth About Martin Luther: And Why So Few Read His Works" by explaining Luther's meaning in context - the page also includes responsive comments by readers who disagree with his defense of Luther's "blasphemous and heretical" utterances.
- Catholic Bible 101: Luther's Revolution (catholicbible101.com)
Luther opened the door to licentious behavior
- Christians Shall Be Rewarded According to Their Works Trumpet Ministries, Inc. (wor.org)
A scripture-based argument that those who have been saved and afterward act wickedly will be irrevocably condemned to hell, unless they repent.
- Let God Be True!: Once Saved, Always Saved. One heresy leads to another heresy—requiring two lies! The lie of decisional regeneration needs the lie of guaranteed eternal life to comfort the "saved" that continue living in sin. (audio play option included) (letgodbetrue.com/sermons)
- Into the Light Ministries: The Truth About Unconditional Eternal Security (intothelight.org)
The author says it is a foul doctrine.
- Eternal Security: A lie from HELL - Part 2, Part 3 (three-part video) (youtube.com)
(Part 1 is accessible from the Youtube site.)
- Catholic priest preaches on sin and salvation (youtube.com)
- Purity of Heart, Pope John Paul II, General Audience of 10 December (ewtn.com)
- The Fallacy of Salvation and Justification by Faith Alone (dream-prophecy.blogspot)
Argument from scripture and the writings of the 19th century Swedish philosopher and visionary mystic Emanuel Swedenborg founder of The New Church (New Jerusalem Church) (see Paul's warning: Colossians 2:18-19 with commentaries on 2:18).
Compare the following Bible texts: