The elephant in the room is sexuality. Lady Gaga and Katy Perry are everywhere. Sex is rarely discussed in churches, but Sex is the one issue that dominates our City. Historically Christianity has allowed the world to set the agenda for sexual discussions. Sadly, now the world has gone gaga over the church’s hypocrisy and sexual perversion. “See”, they exclaim with glee, “You are just as perverted as we are. You have no moral authority.” Christian Fundamentalism is particularly guilty of putting its head in the sand on its sexual challenges.
God has never been silent on sex, so why have we? Maybe it is because we hate that our old nature still desires sexual perversion. Maybe it is because fundamentalism is wrongly proud in its outward standards. It is time we lifted the veil of embarrassment and false morality, and started to speak openly and truthfully. The following 10 point approach is a suggested framework for considering how to start this change.
1. Genesis needs more emphasis. We are God’s creation – male and female – with a body and a spirit. The gender roles and our physical and emotional desires were all formed by God before the fall. We need to lay the correct foundation before we can build using other precepts.
2. Sexual topics must be preached from the front regularly (but after the kids go out). Each of us face sexual temptation daily, so lets make our preaching application driven towards our issues. When was the last time we preached through Song of Songs expositionally?
3. Technology has put sex on steroids. Every Christian should use internet and mobile devices filters, foxtel and iTunes restrictions, etc. This has helped me as I battle my old nature. It is not fool proof, but it does reduce the amount of instant temptation. And porn is not just a guy issue.
4. Let’s be honest about our temptations and weaknesses. We respect leaders who are open and honest about their struggles. Too many church leaders have pretended they are not tempted only to suddenly leave their wife for a mistress.
5. We should be more explicit in appropriate contexts. Topics such as masturbation, oral sex, iPhone porn, vibrators, birth control, hormones, secrets etc should be discussed openly, but face to face, in gender specific groups. We all read www.news.com.au or similar, so lets bring God’s thinking on these topics to the fore.
6. Homosexuality, gay marriage and orgies are the issues of the day. Let’s boldly and humbly promote God’s view. Our opinion is no more valid than the world’s opinion. It is not us against them, but it is recognising that all sex outside male/female marriage is not authorised by God.
7. Self-control. We must talk about techniques for battling temptation. From Scripture memory, to Christian music, to prayer, to choosing relationships wisely, to a cold shower, to fleeing lust, to accountability and recovery. We must arm ourselves with tools to prevent and repair.
8. If we, or our children, do not have the gift of singleness, we should promote opportunities towards godly marriage early in life. Delayed adulthood and delayed marriage has promoted promiscuity and devalued commitment.
9. We must promote sex as a good thing. As it has been said, ‘the best way to counter something that should not be done, it to explain how it should be done’. Amorous sex in marriage should be encouraged.
10. Sex can be used as a segue to the gospel. God created the marriage union as a picture of redeeming his bride. Once we accept that sex does not provide eternal satisfaction, then we will be open for embracing God’s everlasting saving grace.
In all of this, grace, humility and purity need to be maintained. You may or may not agree with all these ideas, but I welcome your feedback on how we can tackle this elephant more effectively.