Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Idol of Sex

The major idol of our time is money and the things money can buy. But if there is a clear competitor, it would be sex.  Now the Biblical teaching is clear that the ideal is one man and one woman for life and that the only acceptable alternative is abstention (Proverbs 5:3-17; Matthew 19:3-12; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8). (Obviously, there are special cases, such as when a spouse dies, but the ideal remains.) But we are constantly bombarded by the opposite message that if it feels good, we should do it and who cares about the consequences. 

Sometimes, as Christians, we can jump to the other extreme. We can vilify sex and make sexual sin one of the greatest of all evils. Further, we can erect our own idol, an idol of family to compete with it. If we only have a prefect family and a perfect marital relationship, we will not be tempted in this area. But who has a perfect marital relationship? Or we can take the other tack and simply drift with the culture and accept more and more compromises. And some may justify this on the grounds that we do not have the perfect marital relationship. Now I do believe a good marital sexual relationship can be helpful in dealing with this situation (1 Corinthians 7:1-5; Proverbs 5:18-20; Ecclesiastes 9:9). And it is clear that sex is a good thing, originally given by God (Genesis 2:21-25; 1 Timothy 4:3-5; Deuteronomy 24:5). Further, this is necessary to say because, in reaction to the idea that sex is all right in any context, we can decide that sex is evil in any context.  But this idea can be blown out of proportion to the point that someone can feel that if they do not have a perfect sex life in their marriage, they are doomed.

What, then, do we do about this? We need to start by getting it clear in our minds that God forgives sin (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 8:33,34; 1 John 1:9) but does not condone it (Titus 2:13-14; Romans 13:11-14; Galatians 6:1). This is often a tough course to follow. Especially on a hot button issue like this one. If you offer forgiveness, there are those who will say you are soft on sin. If you correct someone, there are those who will see you as too narrow and bigoted. But we must uphold both sides of God’s truth. However, more than that, we need to put this issue in perspective. There is only one God, and He has no real competitors (Isaiah 43:10-13; Psalms 97:1-9; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6). Therefore, to exalt something as too greatly, either as a good thing or an evil thing, denies the greatness of God. Therefore, I would suggest looking at sex from a more reasonable viewpoint, as a good thing of God that can be abused, but should not be blown out of proportion either way.

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