Sexual Issues

Ed Welch  - Blog Post  - Sep 29, 2009

by Ed Welch

We aspire to have a point of contact when we disagree with someone. We can agree in part with small government conservatives who distrust political machinations and we can also agree with big government liberals who are concerned about the neglect of the poor. An interest in a point of contact is both civil and biblical. But when it comes to sex, Christians accent their differences with the rest of the world.

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)

The East, The West, and Sex: A History of Erotic Encounters, by Richard Bernstein, reminds us that most of the world has lived in a “harem culture” throughout recorded history. The eroticized version that Westerners have of the East, he writes, is largely true. Against this backdrop it shouldn’t be too difficult for Christians to be different.

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Ed Welch  - Blog Post  - Sep 22, 2009

There was a time when I wanted to write a book about sex. Maybe I will someday, hopefully before I lose interest in it, if such a thing happens in a growing marriage. My goal was not so much to say anything new, but I believe that this era deserves as many sane books as possible on sex.

A Vindication of Love: Reclaiming Romance for the Twenty-First Century, by Christina Nehring in one from the competition. Her enemy is dull and limited monogamy. Her goal is sexuality out of the conventional box where passions can truly be savored. Nothing new here, but if there is a steady stream of books from the reckless sexuality genre that sound fresh, then I expect that Christians can be making the biblical case for sexuality in new and engaging ways too.

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Ed Welch  - Blog Post  - Sep 17, 2009

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)

Ed WelchDo 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.

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Winston Smith  - Blog Post  - Jul 28, 2009

“Just say no.”

Not bad advice as far as it goes but, then again, it doesn’t go all that far. When it comes to dealing with sexual sin, willing yourself to say “no” usually isn’t enough. And thankfully Christ doesn’t just help us to say “no” but gives us so much to say “yes” to. That’s what I like about Winner’s book, Real Sex. It isn’t just one more plea for Christians to say “no” to sexual sin, but a help to say “yes” to sexual purity by appreciating the connections between sex and the riches of life in Christ.

An Old Approach Made New: Chastity.

Interestingly, one of the ways Real Sex helps us to say “yes” to purity is by refusing to downplay the difficulties of sexual purity. Winner understands that sexual sin isn’t an annoyance that can be flicked away, an addiction that is excised with a therapeutic scalpel, or a cultural wave that we simply must brace ourselves against. No, sexual temptation has been and always will be with us. Successfully navigating it requires a long view, discipline, and an awareness of how the means of grace apply. In part, Winner does this is by reintroducing us to the concept of chastity as a spiritual discipline. Viewing chastity as a discipline reminds us that sexual purity is hard; it reminds us that the Christian life is hard. Real Sex isn’t a cookbook of magical formulations that make purity easy – and neither is the Bible. Winner shows us how chastity, rightly understood, points us to life in Christ. That gives us hope, direction, meaning, purpose, and even great power and resources in battling sin. But the help is not in the form of a three, five or twelve step program that allows us to simply tackle one problem and move on to the next. Winner gets the big picture of the Christian life and so chastity is presented as a vibrant, time-honored and biblical way of battling sexual sin.

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Ed Welch  - Podcast  - Jun 29, 2009

This week's podcast is an excerpt from an actual CCEF Distance Education class.

Taken from CCEF faculty member Ed Welch's "Counseling: Problems and Procedures" class, this excerpt is from a lecture focusing on suffering, particularly the suffering that results from sexual violation. To hear an extended version of this class sample, click here.

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Winston Smith  - Podcast  - Jun 15, 2009

Masturbation, pornography, sexual fantasies...what's so bad about these? No one gets hurt, right? Aren't they better than indulging in actual sexual indecencies with other people? In this podcast, CCEF faculty member Winston Smith addresses the issue of what's sinful (if anything) about these supposedly "victimless" indulgences.

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David Powlison  - JBC Article  - Jan 01, 2006

Sexual sins are obvious and obviously destructive. But the Bible does not
address sexual sin as an isolated sin—it is part of a family of sins including anger,
fear, pride, false worship. Counselors must look at these wider, deeper battles to see
how they interweave with sexual sin. Ultimately, the deeper battle is this: who or what
controls a person’s heart?

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Ed Welch  - JBC Article  - Jan 01, 2005

Unlawful sexual relationships tear us away from our union with Christ. Paul reframes our identity as God’s people and demonstrates that His kingdom is better than our earthly physical existence, even when we live in a sex-obsessed world.

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David Covington, Sharon B. Covington  - JBC Article  - Jan 01, 2004

Book Review: Not Even a Hint by Josh Harris

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Jill Page  - JBC Article  - Jan 01, 2003

Jill page, who does abstinence teaching in the Philadelphia area schools,
addresses the most frequently asked questions about sex from parents and from kids.

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