by Ed Welch
It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; (1 Thes.4:3-5)
Do you ever get the feeling that the church – that is, us – is gradually giving up in its battle with sexual passion? I am certain that I have been to conservative churches where the actual practice with some sexual sins, such as premarital sex, was, “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” The message of the culture is finally taking hold: you can’t put boundaries around voracious sexual drives – at least men certainly can’t. Too much momentum of having been instinct-driven simians and all that. We have enough stories of prominent preachers who, while preaching against sex outside of marriage, have already given up the battle with the beast within.
This is a difficult one. Of all the ordinances of God, which are intended to teach us how human beings are really intended to live, only the sexual commands are suspect, and all of the sexual commands are suspect. No one, Christian or not, condones murder, stealing, disrespect toward parents or slander. But the world around us doesn’t get the sexual commands, and many of us are beginning to scratch our heads too. When homosexuals are speaking about committed love, when everyone throughout history is saying that boys will be boys, and when we know by our own experience that sexual passions don’t easily take “no” for an answer, we gradually adopt causes with a higher probability of success, such as world peace, and become quieter about sexual sin.