Advisory warning: candid discussion about sexuality.
It’s definitely not your usual Sunday morning fare, but at Evangel, we talk about sex a fair bit. Here’s where we’re at on this sizzling hot topic:
1) Sex is oh so GOOD.
Every good and perfect gift comes from God, and eroticism is one of them. Look at how God set this whole thing up: Eve – a beautiful, completely unclothed woman, and Adam – Mr. Universe as bare as the day he was born, in a Garden All-inclusive Paradise, probably on a tropical ocean, white sand, and NO rules (at least regarding their sex-life). And Adam’s first words on seeing Eve are “Whoa Man” – if that isn’t arousal I don’t know what is. We celebrate the wholesome goodness of sex, believing it isn’t some dirty thing that should be hush-hush, especially in church circles.
2) God has the final word.
On all matters related to our sexuality, we believe that God is the ultimate sex Guru, Therapist, Psychologist, and Professional. He created it, designed it, and enables it to be what it is. Another way of putting it: without Him, there would never be another orgasm. He enables us to breathe, and He enables us to climax. If He says that the ONLY context for true sexuality is between a man and woman within the context of covenantal marriage, then He’s right and there’s no arguing the matter. Signed, sealed, delivered.
3) Science backs God’s thoughts on Sex
In other words, if God says YES, science (and medicine) back that “yes” with good facts about why He says Yes. If God says NO, the proof and evidence is everywhere as to why one should heed His advice. For example, one can build a pretty solid case that fornication (sex before marriage) is hazardous to your well-being without ever cracking their Bible. Simply look at statistics, health/wellness, and a host of other factors. The church is not the biggest advocate of celibacy any longer – it’s the medical field! Same sex as a healthy, alternative lifestyle is easily refuted by honestly looking at the facts, including the ramifications to physical health and well-being and origin of such behaviour. Though deviating from God’s way may seem right at the time, their are a host of malignant issues that could arise (and most likely will) as a result of all manner of sexuality forbidden in the Bible.
4) The Bible is descriptive when it comes to sexual sin
Two things: 1) The Bible leaves no room for questioning what is right and what is wrong. The rules to the game are pretty black and white. 2) God isn’t just waiting for you to step out of line so that He can zap you with a veneral disease! When the Bible says that the “wages of sin is death”, it’s a description of what happens when we go against the Laws of the Universe, including those relating to sexuality (ie. do not sleep with another man’s wife). Step off the bridge, you plummet to your death. It’s not necessarily God punishing you! We think gravity is a really good thing, but if you step out of it’s intended purpose, you pay the piper. Sex is a really good gift given to us, out of God’s sheer generosity and goodness. Don’t blame Him for punishing you when you eat rocks and have indigestion.
5) Sex is spiritual
It was created by God and is one of the most beautiful metaphors of God’s relationship with us, His love for us. As such, it is absolutely twisted and deadly when used in the context of casual commitment (or no commitment). Marriage is not just a good idea – it IS the only place where sexual intimacy should be experienced, within a covenant relationship – till death do us part. Like God relationship to us, the I-will-never-leave-you-nor-forsake-you is the environment within which sexuality flourishes.
6) We must speak out
Last week during the Sunday preach in the third service (usually when my tongue is most free) I ranted for a few minutes about the fact that Hollywood always puts PJ’s on married people when they go to bed, and seldom on unmarried people when they go to bed, and on what appears to be an underlying agenda in our culture to make marriage look unattractive. Why do we talk about sex in church? Because it IS being talked about. Sex is everywhere – billboards, movies, commercials, elementary school textbooks, cellphones, and internet. There are a lot of voices adding their opinion (most warped) about this thing called sex – that IS God’s domain. Shouldn’t we be speaking truth? For too long the church has been all-but-silent on this topic, all the while, darkness has been VERY vocal. We feel it’s time to change that.
7) Some good role models are needed
What I mean by that is saved-by-Jesus married people that are enjoying awesome sex. Sign me up :-). As a church, we want to take an aggressive role in teaching married people how to BE at their sexual prime at any stage in life. Sara and I have both had extremely frank conversations with our church about married life and sex, we’ve brought in specialists to teach on this topic, and we feel that being good leaders to the flock includes having a good sex life. “Never trust a pastor who doesn’t know how to dance, and who isn’t making passionate love to his wife regularly and frequently.” I’m quoting myself, is that okay? Drink deeply of love’s rich mead and enjoy every second of it (Prov. 5:15)!
8) Young people are tithing to God when they choose celibacy before marriage.
We recognize that youthful zeal includes heightened sexual awareness, that the pull is strong in teenagers to sexually engage. We also believe that God always asks for the first (first fruits, Prov. 3:9-10). It may seem cruel that God would create a teenager to be sexually alive (which they are) and to practice abstinence until they are married, but it isn’t at all in light of the principle of tithing: you give God the first and best 10% in life, he’ll bless the 90% beyond your wildest dreams (Malachi 3:10). The sex-tithe is the adolescent years leading up to marriage. Conversely, using the tithe for yourself is a good way to invite destruction and poverty into the bulk of your years. So sexual purity is not punishment, but a state of anticipation for what’s ahead. It’s like putting money in the bank, investing for a huge return in the future.
I could go into detail about what good sex looks like, and what bad sex looks like, but that’s another blog for another time.