In the fourth chapter of Thessalonians Paul wrote these words: “As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
In the Christian community a woman is to respected. They are not to be viewed as objects of lust or abuse. And in sexual matters we are called to be chaste and seek the one that we are prepared to spend the rest of our natural lives with. So why are we so afraid to touch the subject of sexual behavior today and monogamy today? Have you ever heard a sermon about these things? If Paul were speaking today, to our church or our camp, would people take him seriously? Would we, as deacons and leaders accept such a sermon?
Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman, Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein, and a lot of other folks illustrate the problem when men do just as they want, sexually speaking, without regard to God’s plan for how we should treat each other. I cannot attest to any of these men’s faith, nor am I suggesting that I have a right to judge them, but a man or woman of God is supposed to be a bit better than this, with their eyes set upon the hearts and souls of the other, not just the physical allure of the other.
The argument seems to be: “It’s my body and it’s none of YOUR business”; but if it is God’s will that we be “sanctified”, that is, “made holy”, how can we ignore this topic in our churches and Christian ministries? It’s not my body anymore when I come to Jesus Christ—I become a vessel that carries within me the Holy Spirit.
Others might say that these words of Paul and Peter were written only for the first century listeners—-not for us. But throughout the Bible, God’s children are told to avoid sexual sin, and sexual sin, as I understand it, is using God’s gift of sex in any, any way, outside of marriage. These aren’t my words or ideas, but I would challenge anyone to point out scripture that suggests the opposite. Sex was God’s creation and marriage was His idea. He does hold the upper hand in these discussions. Consistently, predatory and abusive sexual relationships are condemned—everywhere in scripture.
Bill Cosby was not the first person to get a person “under the influence” so that he could have his way.
Another complaint has been that you can’t attract folks into the church if you start telling them what they can and can’t do. And that might be true, and it’s also true that we’re not told to save people from pornography or inappropriate sexual behavior; we’re told to bring them to Jesus Christ. But when they come to Christ and are taught how allow the Holy Spirit to being that process of “sanctification”, it does involve giving up those things that we know now are impure—-we can’t shy away from saying it.
The weakest of all arguments is that, it’s just your opinion and interpretation of scripture. But I would challenge anyone to honestly examine scripture and find any support for the way sexual activity is commonly portrayed in our media. We’re told to live our lives pleasing to God. That’s the litmus test. Is it pleasing to God? Are you prepared to argue your point of view with God Almighty? Do I really think that God’s expectations for how I care for my body, and respect the bodies of others, has evolved and that somehow He will eventually come to better understand mankind and sexuality?
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