"...And Such Like..."
These three simple words most likely do not make a great impression upon the average reader. I hope after reading this article they will mean more to all of us. They are found in the list of the works of the flesh which the apostle Paul wrote to the Galatian brethren (Galatians 5.19-21).
What are we to understand when we read “…and such like”? The simple and plain answer is that there are practices similar to those mentioned. Although they are not listed, they are to be recognized as just as sinful as those which are. 1 Peter 4.3 mentions the pursuing of “a course of sexuality.” This would include any unrestrained behavior and corresponds to “and such like.” Ephesians 4.19 teaches that when one is given over to sexuality, he or she will practice “every kind of impurity.” the impurity isn to mentioned by name. The phrase “every kind of” corresponds to the phrase “and such like.”
Clearly, there are sinful practices which are not specifically stated in the scriptures. We are to read the scriptures and realize how such things are condemned in principle, though not specially mentioned. There are brethren who are fond of gambling, and their big defense for it is that it is not mentioned in the scriptures by name. The word “gambling” is not found in the scriptures. Neither are the words rape, manslaughter, larceny, suicide, embezzling, bootlegging, white slavery, nor racketeering. However, the evils involved in all these, as in gambling, are clearly and repeatedly condemned.
The word of God sets forth principles which are in direct conflict with the practice of gambling. Gambling is wrong because it denies the integrity of work, the law of labor. “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Ephesians 4.28). It is stealing from another by mutual consent, just as dueling is murder by mutual consent. The dueler takes another’s life with his consent. The word “abortion” is not found in the scriptures.
If we think of “and such like” having reference to the entire list of works of the flesh, wouldn’t murders include abortions? There is also nothing said in the scriptures specifically regarding the scourge of heroin and cocaine abuse in our society. Are we prepared to view the use of such as being innocent? Doesn’t the phrase “and such like’ come into play when such evils are considered?
The phrase “and such like” helps us appreciate the teaching in other scriptures. For example, Christians are commanded to present their bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12.1). Anything which files our bodies should be avoided. We are to keep our bodies pure, and impure habits should have no place in our lives. “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5.22). There are things specifically stated in the scriptures which prevent us from presenting our bodies as living sacrifices. There are also things like these which are not mentioned by name that can do the same. Individuals may not actually commit the act of fornication, but they can become lovers of pornography. When we are thinking of the drug horror, we must not forget that nicotine and alcohol are the most common of all drugs. We need to keep ourselves from “the like.” We are to glorify God in our bodies and our spirits (1 Corinthians 6.19-20).
We should be very careful in handling the word of God. Spiritual growth enables the children of God to recognize sinful practices and those things which are similar to them. Fleshly lusts may be specifically stated or included in the phrase “and such like” (1 Peter 2.11).