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)
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.
Ugh. May we encourage one another so we aren’t hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Here is the truth: sex is the place where the church must look most different from the world. That’s what Paul says to the Thessalonians. The world has a long history of unbridled sexuality; it is at this point we must be unashamedly and, when possible, persuasively different.
More in the next post.