This is an ugly piece of writing and not because of poor grammar. The subject is painfully ugly. America is sex-berserk! Two stories hit ABC news last night. The first was about another mega-church pastor from Atlanta who has been sued by several young men in his congregation who allege he has them, and many others over the years, as his own sex toys. The second was about a young upper middle class girl from Portland, OR whose daddy left the family for an 18 year old. The girl started looking for a father-figure and a pimp found her, turning her, at age 13, into a prostitute and dancer in strip clubs! That story is sad on so many levels – a father who fails miserably, a man who exploits a little girl’s need for love, and all the men who paid for her. There is seldom a day that our local newspaper does not carry a story about rape or molestation.
One writer says we have become a ‘porn’ culture. Psychiatrist Mary Ann Layden says that “people who never use porn end up bearing its costs. That includes wives, who are held up to impossible sexual standards and are as robbed of sexual intimacy as their addicted husbands are. That also includes teenage girls, who are being taught by the entertainment industry and boyfriends that being a woman is about being hypersexual for others.” (An Equal Opportunity Destroyer -http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/September) We are deceived by a lie that makes our genitals our god. One could reasonably conclude that for millions of us the meaning of life is that ability to experience sexual pleasure without regard for the pain it might bring to our spouse, our kids, our city, or even ourselves!
Sex is a gift of God. He created us with the desire to be sexual. I am not ranting as a prude who wants all sex to go away. Within the confines of a covenanted marital relationship, when a man and a woman offer themselves to each other in a selfless love, sex is a beautiful bond of intimacy. That needs to be celebrated and the Scripture does! No real student of the Bible can argue that God hates sex! “Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.” (Hebrews 13:4, NLT)
As Christians we need to change the conversation in at least two ways starting from that passage’s premise.
First, we need to honor marriage. We need to take seriously the admonition of Scripture to love (including physically!) our spouse, modeling a pure sexuality before our world and our kids!
Second, we must refute the lie that better sex is non-marital sex. When was the last time that you saw a happy, well-adjusted, sexually mature couple portrayed in a film or TV program? Hard to remember, isn’t it?
Repression of sex is not the answer. The drive is too strong to ignore. Instead, the issue needs to be addressed courageously, with maturity, and honesty. We need to speak up and remind the filthy mouthed guy with whom we work that he’s being a little boy about his sexuality. We need to speak to the adulterous person about the great cost of their immorality. We need to put sex back into healthy marriage relationships where it can be what God intended it to be, a part of a whole life of love, instead of making it the main course. And we need to remind people that they can govern their impulses, that they can live whole and beautiful lives without venturing into the ‘porn’ world that our culture has become.
Here’s a word from the Word.
“All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own.
All who indulge in a sinful life are dangerously lawless, for sin is a major disruption of God’s order.
Surely you know that Christ showed up in order to get rid of sin. There is no sin in him, and sin is not part of his program.
No one who lives deeply in Christ makes a practice of sin. None of those who do practice sin have taken a good look at Christ. They’ve got him all backward.
So, my dear children, don’t let anyone divert you from the truth. It’s the person who acts right who is right, just as we see it lived out in our righteous Messiah.”
(1 John 3:3-7, The Message)