The Fight Between Christianity And Sexuality
Alright folks – young and old – we know, that the subject of sex, in church culture, has been problematic for a LONG time! Why? Older people didn’t want to talk about it. Younger people are so confused about the subject that a lot of them don’t even know what gender or species they are! Authors confused people. Preachers chastened people. Here we are today. Did those approaches work?
In this article, we’re going to open up this conversation and go WAY in-depth, with plenty of other articles to follow, to try and understand a better way to address sex within the context of church culture. We’re going to do our best to explain the truth of scripture and try to put an end to the fight between Christianity and Sexuality.
The first thing we have to do though, is admit that the church has a problem. The subject of sex is discussed in the Bible. God invented it. Yet, for many generations, the church has dealt with it, like it’s some evil or awkward thing. Many generations have tried to reinterpret verses in the Bible to make the presentation of truth more “modest” in their own opinion. How has this worked for us?
Are pastors getting caught in adultery, because we’ve handled the subject so perfectly?
Are Christian marriages fueled with bitterness stemming from sexual tension, because the church has done so well with this issue?
Is Christian participation in pornography such an issue, because we’ve equipped churchgoers so well?
The good news is that, the problem is VERY easy to identify. Since it’s easy to identify, it should be simple to address – in theory at least. Why has the church botched this issue so brutally, for so long? The answer is simple, and deep down, we all know it...
Now, before you assume this is an oversimplification of the issue, let me show you how scripture backs this up. Fear is a POWERFUL force that, fundamentally, can be used to separate people from God. When you have distance between people and God, you have a multitude of ever-evolving problems that come in time. Let’s take this back to the beginning. Did you know that the first time the concept of “fear” is mentioned in scripture, is in the Book of Genesis, when Adam got caught in sin? Check out what the Bible says about this:
“Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where [are] you?’ So he said, ‘I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.’”
God called out to Adam in order to give him a chance to admit his fault, seek mercy, and be restored by God. God asked Adam, “Where are you,” but that doesn’t suggest that God didn’t know where Adam was. The LORD was trying to show that sin DEFINITIVELY changed the relationship that He previously had with Adam and Eve. There was no more intimate unison. There was distance. Adam and Eve were lost because Adam and Eve decided to live in darkness, separated from the light of God’s glory, according to His standards of righteousness.
Adam did admit though, that in spite of the change in relationship, he was still able to recognize and discern the presence and voice of God. He wasn’t intimately connected to God like before, but it’s not like sin made God disappear. That change in relationship though, forced Adam to respond to God in a way that didn’t do anyone, any good. But his testimony gives us A LOT of information to help with our issues today. So, let’s pay attention.
Adam hid from God.
How did that work for him? Was he able to successfully stay off of God’s radar? Think about how, as soon as God called out to him, Adam spoke up to reveal his location. Why did he do that if he was trying to hide? Deep down Adam knew, there’s nowhere to run and hide when it comes to dealing with God. In Hebrews 4:12-13 the Bible says…
“For the word of God [is] living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things [are] naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we [must give] account.”
When Adam thought he could hide, what exposed him? The Word of God.
God called, and it seems like Adam had no choice, but to respond. It was almost like he couldn’t control himself to stay quiet, to keep himself concealed. Why? The Word is POWERFUL! God knew who Adam was, where he was, and what needed to be done because ALL things are naked and open to Him.
Speaking of nakedness, that is an issue we have to deal with here. In Genesis 3:10, Adam seems to blame his “nakedness” for the fear that caused him to hide. Notice the flow here.
Adam tried to hide from God.
Trying to hide, caused a self-inflicted distance between him and God.
Why would Adam distance himself from the One who created him?
Adam said he was afraid. And there you have it. The first mention of fear in the Bible. What does that have to do with sex; and how does this show a fight between Christianity and Sexuality?
The scriptures show that fear provoked Adam to separate himself from God. If God didn’t call out to Adam, Adam would have kept trying to hide, taking himself farther from the One who gave him life and purpose. Why did Adam respond that way? What provoked fear, to where the distance from God, was the end result?
Remember how Adam referred to his awareness of his nakedness? That shows the issue of shame was a factor. If we think about what the scriptures say in Genesis 2:25, we learn something about the issue of “shame” in the Bible. In Genesis 2:25 it says…
“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”
Adam and Eve were created as husband and wife. God left them naked. At first, no one cared – including God. There was no shame in that condition. There was no shame for a husband and wife to be together naked. God created them uniquely, to be helpmates to one another, by enjoying the opportunity they had to be stewards of God’s creation. In that condition, they were guaranteed to have total satisfaction and blessing. There was no death. There was no corruption. There was no shame. How was this possible? There was no sin.
Where is the shame, in being a married man and woman, fitted together by God, unified with the Creator of all things, unified in purpose, free to exercise all of the ability and intellect God provided, to steward the glory of His perfect creation, being blessed in that work?
When Adam brought sin into the world, his physical condition didn’t change – at least, not at first. His spiritual condition changed. Sin caused a change in perspective and worldview. Suddenly, Adam didn’t agree with God. Adam didn’t think that the condition God created him in, was “very good.” The condition that God created Adam in, was “shameful,” to the point where he felt justified in trying to hide from God, being separate from Him.
This is what fear does.
Sin is more than conduct or speech. Sin is the physical evidence of our depraved souls. Sin proves that we as people, think we know better than God does, can redefine the definitions of His standards, and do just fine on our own, without consequences. Adam had an inward rebellion, where he doubted the integrity of God’s Word and standards. That attitude caused him to disobey God’s command. That disobedience made him afraid of God, but not in a good way. Suddenly, he was ashamed; but ashamed of what? Was he ashamed of his sin? Nope! He was ashamed of his nakedness. He was ashamed of the original condition and standard that God instituted. He was ashamed of God’s standard of righteousness and goodness.
Do you think it’s a coincidence that the issue of shame, nakedness, and marriage was an issue then, in ways that are so parallel to the Christian handling of sex today? Was it God’s plan to bring shame to the marriage relationship? Was it God’s plan to bring shame to the nakedness of Adam and Eve? Think about this: Who was the one that nurtured shame in the beginning; that introduced fear and sin; that wants distance between people and God? Yep, the devil! And look how effective his work is, causing the same kind of ruckus today in the church…
We’re not going to deal with this issue entirely in this one article obviously. We’ve got PLENTY more to write about concerning this issue. But before we can get to implementing a fruitful solution, we have to do two things. First, we have to acknowledge that there is a problem. Second, we have to acknowledge that the problem is spiritually rooted because you can’t use human tactics to produce spiritually-fruitful results.
As we conclude here, think about these simple things. The church shouldn’t be ashamed to talk about sex, or governed by ungodly fear when doing so. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or Bible scholar to see what the Bible teaches about this. We see that God created Adam as a man, Eve as a woman, left them naked, and told them to “multiply and fill the earth,” and “blessed them” that way. God then said that those circumstances were “very good.” If it was good to Him in the beginning before sin, why are we ashamed today, unless sin is playing a larger role in our lives than we think?
I want to propose this idea to you:
Is it possible that the difficulty the church has had throughout history, regarding the issue of sex, is because we’ve been running from God about other sinful issues, trying to hide our imperfections, being governed by fear, ashamed of God’s original standards, just like Adam was?
Is it possible that the devil is STILL using unbelief in the clear and righteous standards of God’s Word, to cause distance, ignorance, and shame, about God’s ways?
In the beginning, the devil was able to influence the way God’s Word was considered. He planted doubt. He caused confusion. He made additions. He altered the perception of God in the minds of God’s people. It was confusion about the Word, who God really was, and the disruption of a unified front about those truths, that set Adam and Eve down the wrong path. The devil is still doing that today. You and I both know that the people who make up “the church” are ashamed to talk about sex truthfully and candidly, especially to younger people, because we’re confused about the Bible’s take on it. We don’t really know God and His perspective about it, and the shame of our own ignorance is manifested in the shame we have about the institution God created as a benefit. So, we make up new stuff, that is, if we address the issue at all.
It’s time we break up the fight between Biblical Christianity and Sexuality, and get back to what the Bible says about this stuff. If the devil corrupted marriage and family with this simple issue then, let’s see what happens to our marriages, our families, and the next generation, if we remove sin, remove shame, and remove fear, through the understanding of truth through repentance.
#pastorbside #sexuality #sex #taboo #marriage #church #faithoverfear #christian #husband #wife #relationships #socialchange #babyboomers #generationx #milennials #generationz #generationalpha #christianblog #christianblogger #christianfamily #awkwardconversations