The Hebrew word for this expression is used particularly with regard to sexual affairs. The Greek word has the sense of wantonness, shocking public decency; shameless conduct, especially with regard to sex.
The Bible applies the expression “loose conduct” to fornication, adultery and sodomy and other forms of physical immorality. It is also used in a symbolic way to describe spiritual unfaithfulness.
“OUT OF THE HEART”
Jesus points out that loose conduct is more than merely a physical or mental property. He says: “From inside, out of the heart of men, injurious reasonings issue forth: fornications, . . . adulteries, . . . loose conduct, . . . All these wicked things issue forth from within and defile a man.” (Mark 7:20-23) Corrupting the heart, out of which are “the sources of life” (Prov. 4:23), loose conduct will keep its practicer from gaining everlasting life. It is one of the “works of the flesh,” one of the fleshly desires that “carry on a conflict against the soul.” “Those who practice such things will not inherit God’s kingdom,” says God’s Word.—Gal. 5:19, 21; 1 Pet. 2:11.
CHRISTIANS FORSAKE FORMER COURSE
Most acts of loose conduct are carried on in the night by lovers of darkness, and Christians loving the light of truth are told: “As in the daytime let us walk decently, not in revelries and drunken bouts, not in illicit intercourse and loose conduct.” (Rom. 13:13; John 3:19-21) The apostle Peter argues: “For the time that has passed by [before becoming servants of God] is sufficient for you to have worked out the will of the nations when you proceeded in deeds of loose conduct.” (1 Pet. 4:3) The apostle Paul likewise admonishes Christians, describing the course of worldly nations with whom they formerly associated as “in darkness mentally, and alienated from the life that belongs to God, . . . Having come to be past all moral sense, they gave themselves over to loose conduct to work uncleanness of every sort with greediness.”—Eph. 4:17-19.
SOME TURN TO BAD COURSE
Nevertheless, some claiming to be servants of God and Christ turn from the way of light. Paul was grieved by those in the Corinthian congregation who had not repented of the “uncleanness and fornication and loose conduct that they have practiced,” in spite of admonition to the contrary. (2 Cor. 12:21) Peter warned the early Christians that false teachers would come from among their own ranks, and that many would follow their acts of loose conduct, bringing reproach upon the way of truth. (2 Pet. 2:1, 2) Jesus’ words to the congregations in Pergamum and Thyatira, written down by the apostle John about 96 C.E., indicate that Peter’s prophecy was to some extent having fulfillment at that time. (Rev. 2:12, 14, 18, 20) Both Peter and Jude express the judgment coming on practicers of loose conduct.—2 Pet. 2:17-22; Jude 7.
Their argument as an excuse
The argument of some practicers of loose conduct in their attempt to entice and deceive others in the Christian congregation is that God’s undeserved kindness is great and that he will overlook their sins, since he recognizes their imperfections and fleshly weakness. But Jesus’ half-brother Jude spoke of such as being “ungodly men, turning the undeserved kindness of our God into an excuse for loose conduct and proving false to our only Owner and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Jude 4) Such ones’ profession of Christianity is meaningless. Their service is unacceptable to God, just as the wise writer of Israel said: “The sacrifice of the wicked ones is something detestable. How much more so when one brings it along with loose conduct.”—Prov. 21:27.
Under the Law, the same viewpoint was expressed against loose conduct. God has not changed on this matter. Loose conduct was legislated against, and the penalty for most of such practices was death. (Lev. 18:6-29; 19:29; 20:14) David appealed to God not to take his life away with “bloodguilty men, in whose hands there is loose conduct.”—Ps. 26:9, 10.
Through his prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Jehovah warned Israel of his judgments against them for loose conduct practiced both in a physical and a spiritual way.—Jer. 13:26, 27; Ezek. 16:27, 43, 58; 22:9; 23:21-49; 24:13.