Posts Tagged ‘Christian sex’

The Sensuous Pulpit

How many recent fads can you think of that have passed through the churches, in general, over the past few decades? How about “Positive Thinking”, “so-called revivals of the circus variety (Brownsville, Lakewood), the Emergent church, the Purpose Driven drivel, and recently: “God’s Love is Unconditional” and “Christian Sex” seminars?

I apologize, but I couldn’t think of any appropriate pictures for this topic, other than sarcastic ones. And I don’t want to overdo that! I made the mistake of doing a Google Image search (thinking my filters were still intact) for “Christian sex”. There are lots of images, many of which I wish hadn’t popped up, but I should have expected a dart or two from Old Satan.

The “fad” that has aroused my indignation is this preoccupation in many churches these days with “Marital Workshops” that are almost always tied into “Sex Workshops” for Christians. I think the need for these things pretty much evidences the selfishness and carnality of the church, as a whole. Please note that I am not inclined to equate “church” with Christianity! The “church” I’m referring to is the highly secular and humanized version which is so predominant in America.

When Paul addresses sexual issues in the Bible, it is done, not with sensual embellishment, but with grace and enough clarity to state what needs to be addressed. For what reason? “…So that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:5)

When the gifts of the Spirit are listed in scripture, which one of these, pray tell, covers the gift of “sex expert”? One man, in particular, teaches men to purposely eat sweet foods (I guess it’s unimportant whether that is good for the man’s health) in order to make their sexual discharge taste good! This is something I would have expected in the old Penthouse Forum magazine; not in a “Christian” seminar or on a “Christian” web site. There was a time when oral sex was labeled Sodomy, but now it is both taught as acceptable and desirable. Can I absolutely say oral sex is sinful? Not specifically, but when these men (and women occasionally) preach or teach it as acceptable behavior they are doing precisely what Paul warns against doing (in principle) in 1 Corinthians 8:9-13. In essence, these people may very well be harming people’s consciences by convincing them to do things they feel intrinsically are wrong! Scripture makes no bones about doing things we “think” are wrong: “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23)

I personally believe that there are occasions when masturbation is an “escape”, but I am not convinced it is a rule that everyone should or could follow. If it is done to anyone’s detriment or deprives one’s mate as Paul warns against, then it is selfish and not self-preserving or right.

Yes, the Bible says “the marriage bed is undefiled”, but scripture also warns us against these “sensual” men who, “entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error.They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” (2 Peter 2:18-19) and, while Paul applies this to unregenerate persons, it still hits the mark, because they prove “They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.” (Ephesians 4:19)

You cannot tell me, honestly, that anal sex is anything but unnatural, filthy, unhealthy, harmful, and absolutely, from a moral standpoint, degrading. Can you? Dare you? And yet, we have “Christian” sex experts and marriage counselors going around telling couples to go home and engage in this, “as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone”! Ask any honest physician, especially one who has dealt with the ramifications of homosexual intercourse, and they will tell you that anal sex is ultimately very harmful to the body.

I am no “sex expert”, but I speak from the viewpoint of a person who was once a very lascivious and perverted person. I KNOW that engaging in these forms of experimental sex only leads to more depravity and a desire for more experimentation. How long would it be until one partner wants to “choke” the other in order to experience what some consider the ultimate orgasm? Would our sex experts say this is also okay as long as no one actually is “hurt” by it? It’s ridiculous! God saved me from this kind of stuff and now we have preachers leading their flocks down the path of sexual liberation, so-called. This is of the devil, folks!

What many seem to fail to see is that this is a rampant obsession in the churches today and people are considering it a liberating thing. It is evident that this is only taking hold because church going people are not reading their Bibles with a mind that seeks truth, if they truly read it at all. Many, I’m afraid, are reading with eyes and minds that cannot understand, because they are not Spirit led (1 Corinthians 2:14).

What Paul describes in Romans 1:24-25, “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” is precisely what is happening to these people who think they are saved, but are not, or were and have sunk into slavery to the flesh. May God have mercy on those who have fallen from grace!

Again, I quote Paul, “I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.” (Romans 6:19) and “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13)

Please read Ephesians 5 in its entirety, with an open an honest heart. And consider how verse 1, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” can be in any way compatible with this obsession of pleasing the fleshly desires with sex games, toys, and unnatural experimentation.

I welcome all comments in good taste, including those that disagree.

A prisoner of flesh and bone?

The purpose of this post is to get some feedback. I have several conundrums that I am wrangling with and I’d appreciate other insights a lot.

WARNING: I make reference to things that are fleshly here, because that is the subject of this post. I am not intentionally being crude, but simply striving to be honest about this perplexing issue.

In Romans 8 Paul says “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.” In Galatians 5:24 he says “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Yet he also says “but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. ” (1 Corinthians 7:33) Yet he never condemns marriage but rather blesses it as an institution of God.

 My problem is: Where is the line between being fleshly minded and spiritually minded? None of us, while in the “body of this death”, can be completely spirit minded. When our stomachs grumble, we think about food. When our libidos kick in we think about sex. So, when we give in to our fleshly needs and desires, how can that be anything but being fleshly minded? If my bladder is full, it will be very hard for me to concentrate on my Bible study until I take care of that physical need.

Where do we draw the line?

I confess, when I am interested in sex with my wife, all I can concentrate on is pleasing her and myself. This is not a selfless act, regardless of how much I want to please my wife! Now I know that Paul declares “the marriage bed is undefiled” but, I find it nearly impossible to think spiritually when my desires are purely physical! There is much discussion on the web and elsewhere about “Christian sex” (as if there really is such a thing!). Marcion, an early church heretic, approached this problem by requiring all who fellowshipped with him to abstain completely from sex. His movement died out, in part, because his followers didn’t create offspring!

In essence, what has prompted this post are my own attempts to reconcile the physical with the spiritual. Often, I think it would be great to no longer have a sex drive (that would be selfish since I’m married) or to no longer have to immerse myself in the everyday toil of work, house maintenance, grocery shopping, etc. But all these things cannot be ignored. They are everyday things that we have to address or end up falling into other temptations as the result of ignored needs.

Another part of the conundrum concerns the affairs of this world. We have been blessed with a newer house and have been fortunate to not have had to do much maintenance to it so far. Unfortunately, it is evident that we need to address some things very soon that will cost us much more money down the road if we don’t spend money on them now. At the same time, both my wife and I hate to spend money on frivolous things, trying to give our excess to God’s purposes. Yet, we can’t ignore certain things. Even a hermit needs shelter and while we have much more shelter and comfort than we need, should we lose it all, we know that our hope and life do not consist of the house or the things in it. But, I still hate to spend money on the house. What are my choices though? I can rent and not worry about maintenance, but any return on my money would be completely “for the moment”. I could live in a tent (for a while), but unless we have to, I don’t think my family would be very enthused about it. I’ve even considered that maybe Christians aren’t supposed to own anything we call “mine”  but, obviously the first believers in  Acts 2:44-46 did not sell their homes! In fact, most of the early churches would assemble in the homes of the well off!

So, really…who among us is completely spiritually minded all the time? And when we are physically minded, distracted from spiritual things by our physical needs and wants, are we dying spiritually? Is it all a kind of see-saw thing?  We have to be spiritually minded as often or more than we are fleshly minded in order to balance things towards God and life? I mean, we cannot be 100% spiritually minded. Can we?

Paul even says, conditionally, that we are to be concerned for the interests of others as well as for our own interests: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4 ESV). He also seems to contradict himself in this: “For the one who sows to his own flesh will, from the flesh, reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will, from the Spirit, reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:8 ESV) vs. “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church” (Ephesians 5:29 ESV). So there is a tension here. The problem seems to be in knowing where the line is. But, if I understand the will of God correctly, it seems that if we always look out for the interests of the gospel, and others, instead of always our own comfort and selfish desires, we will do well.