Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

Purity: Pendulum vs Plumb Line

As you probably know, a pendulum is a weight that swings back and forth from a fixed point.  Unfortunately, the pendulum symbolizes the way we’ve treated the gift of sex—going from one non-biblical extreme to another.

As I’ve mentioned before, religion has an unfortunate history of treating sex as something dirty and shameful.   Even now, those of us who advocate purity must carefully guard against legalism.

Then there’s the other extreme—a “liberated” mentality in which anything goes and all modesty is lost.  When society allows the pendulum to swing in this direction, the results are incredibly destructive.

I don’t want to be like a pendulum.  I don’t want to react (and overreact) to the problems I see around me.  There’s another way, and another symbol: the plumb line.

A plumb line is a pointed weight on the end of a string.  This tool produces a straight line every time—gravity ensures it.  The Lord Himself used the plumb line as a symbol of His perfect, unchanging standards.

When it comes to sex, God’s “plumb line” runs consistently through the Bible.  It begins in Genesis 2:24, where He describes the beautiful, mysterious “one flesh” union between husband and wife.  Jesus quoted this very passage when teaching about marital fidelity (Matthew 19:5).  Paul quoted it in making his case against sexual promiscuity (1 Corinthians 6:16).  God designed sex to be experienced only within marriage–His mind hasn’t changed.  

I pray that we will act as plumb lines, not pendulums.  Let’s continue to present God’s standard: no more, no less.



  1. kakaiba talaga wisdom mo kuya kevin! God bless you!

  2. Great insights! Pls keep on writing this kind of articles. 🙂
    God bless you more!

  3. Very nice illustration using the pendulum and the plumb line.

    “Sex” in itself is not shameful or sinful, it’s when you do it and under what circumstance, that makes it either that or an awesome thing.

  4. God has given us standards and commands to live by. There are absolutes in God’s eyes, it’s often people just do not want to abide by them so arrogantly declare God does not exist and thus frees them from following the absolutes God has given us. Very good post!

  5. same goes for faith… The Lord operates on a simple principle, “all or none”.. its either you are into Him and all what He says, or you are not. Half-half doesn’t make it.

  6. I recognize the wild swing from promiscuity to viewing sex as something ‘dirty’.

    And I like the comparison to a pendulum and a plumb line. I’m just not sure I understand: doesn’t the plumb line swing back and forth too??

  7. Well, a plumb line can swing, but that’s not how it is used. You let it drop straight down in order to form a straight line.

  8. wow..kakaiba ang wisdom mo kuya kevin. iba ka!

  9. kuya kev. the “one flesh” verse… it’s Genesis 2:24, there’s no verse 27 in gen. 2. i think there’s a typo error here..

  10. Thanks for the heads up!

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