Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sex: Purity vs. Idolatry vs. Adultery

1 Corinthians 6:14-17
14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.

My father-in-law gave me a wonderful book, “On the Frontline,” that I read in one week. The author, Tom Neven formerly served as a Marine and honorably separated from the service as an M-60 gunner and a couple of Embassy tours. He went on to earn his Bachelor’s in Philosophy from Wheaton College, then his Masters from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

My favorite section of the book he writes about is sex – but not in the sense that most would think about. It’s a charge to sexual purity, though the exhortation is by now cliché. So in his godly, mature, and insightful style he brings about a more savory perspective as he writes from experience in his many sea-tours to Subic Bay, Philippines; Hong Kong; or Amsterdam: places where the phrase, “Sun! Sand! Sex!” was coined.

What a perspective on the perverted nature of sex. What the world fails to realize and I as well until I read this, is that sex leads to a form of union. The way God designed sex was so that two people [of opposite sex] would come to know each other. Though we seem to allow mainstream to decide for us otherwise, it still is what it is – THE WAY GOD DESIGNED IT. He does not change, right?

An excerpt from the book:

“There is something about the sexual act that brings about a union of two people, whether or not they are married to each other. The apostle Paul wrote, ‘Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, ‘the two will become one flesh’ (1 Co 6:16). That helps explain why sex outside of marriage is so damaging. It creates a one-flesh bond that the partners don’t intend to be permanent. And while fornication (sex between unmarried people) and adultery (sex when at least one partner is married, but not to the sexual partner) are both condemned in Scripture, adultery is a degree worse because it not only tears apart an existing one-flesh union, but it’s a unique act of unfaithfulness. That’s why God often refers to idolatry and unbelief as a form of adultery – spiritual unfaithfulness to God (Mt 12:39; Mk 8:38).

The one-flesh aspect of sex also helps explain why pornography is so damaging. Since pornography is almost always accompanied by masturbation, it’s an attempt to enjoy the pleasurable/physical aspect of a sexual relationship without biblical intimacy, the spiritual/knowledgeable part of righteous sex. Using pornography as asexual stimulant is an attempt to deny and avoid the biblical truth that sex results in a one-flesh union.

(here’s the key) Rachel Zoller, a counselor at Focus on the Family… says that sex and our perceptions about it are completely intertwined with our beliefs about God. For example, Christianity is our relationship. You start a relationship with God and build on it. As it matures and develops, you have moments of intimacy with him. Then there are times when it seems you’re just going through the motions. But the relationship is primary; the intimacy is possible only because you … [committed] yourself to a relationship with God.

The same ebb and flow is true of marriage. You start the relationship, and the sexual intimacy comes as a result of having first made the unbreakable commitment. The intensity of your sex life will wax and wane, but during a down time you don’t worry that you are no longer married. The legitimacy of your marriage and the bond that exists is not based on the intensity of the physical aspect of your relationship. It is established by the covenant of marriage.

The converse is also true, however. Sexual deviancy places the physical aspect above the relationship itself – elevating physical desire and gratification above the intimacy of a conventional relationship. Therefore, when something goes wrong in the physical realm, the partners worry that the whole bond might crumble. In such an upside-down approach to marriage, sex becomes the foundation and the relationship will always be secondary. There is a recipe for disaster for disaster, because you can never maintain a constant peak experience in your sex life.

The intimacy of your relationship, and the marriage commitment you made that makes intimacy possible is the basis for everything else that is good about your relationship. Not the other way around.”

Source: “On the Frontline” Pg 118-120

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