Here is our church newsletter for February 2020. It contains an article on sex.
Archive for the ‘Sex’ Category
I want to dwell here upon our visit to Pompeii. The city of Pompeii was obliterated by volcanic ash emitted as a result of an eruption of Mount Vesuvius on August 24, 79AD. The city has been re-discovered through archaeological excavations which have taken place over the last 250 years. We visited it on Monday, November 4th.
It is an interesting place to visit. The audio guide was not so helpful, but speaking to the personnel who were situated at certain parts of the site to keep watch and guide people was most helpful. They all spoke good English and seemed to be archaeology students at Naples University.
One thing that became apparent through visiting was that Pompeii was a place of gross immorality. Sexual licentiousness, fornication and lasciviousness were de rigeur in the place. It really had resemblance to a Sodom and Gomorrah type place. Here is one view on how we can consider the burying of Pompeii in volcanic ash as a judgemental intervention of God.
Further information on the happenings on that fateful day can be found here. I make two further observations:
- South westerly winds were normal at that time of year in Southern Italy. For Pompeii to be devastated required North-westerly winds. This again points to the finger of God.
- The previous day the Romans had been celebrating Vulcanalia which focused upon their devotion to the god of fire including volcanic fire. There is only one God of fire and that is the true God known through Jesus Christ.
In reviewing this whole matter we must be careful of saying this event happened as an act of judgement by God because of the sin of the people. The Lord warns of the danger of such cause and effect reasoning in Luke 13:1-5 where He says:
There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish
I conclude with three observations:
- When we see calamities in the world rather than rushing to apportion blame or attribute responsibility we need to realise that we are in a world destabilised by sin. And I am a sinner and I need to repent so that I will not face judgement.
- The similarity between what happened to Pompeii and what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah are striking. So striking that we hear the voice of God echoing through the Pompeii events and saying sexual immorality is detestable to me and devastating to humanity and my anger stands against those communities given over to it.
These two observations should gave us much pause for thought as to our own personal situations and the precarious position we find ourselves in in the West through the embracing of a multitude of sexual perversions
This programme show gives the low-down on what transpired in the sordid “Warwick Uni Rape Chat” case. If you do watch it beware that it contains obscene language (although that is limited). Here is an article commenting on the independent review of the case.
To fill in the basis details. Some male students at Warwick University shared a social media chat group. This group degenerated into shared descriptions of what sexual exploits they desired to engage in with their female friends. The girls found out and were greatly alarmed. Thereupon the matters were referred to the university authorities who handled them in a cack-handed kind of way. Here are some thoughts:
- Sexual Revolution. Look where all the revolutionary views, originating in the 1960’s, about sex and “freeing things up” have brought us to. Now I do not want to hark back to some prudish Victorian ways, the Bible is never prudish about sex – see the Song of Solomon for that. However, sexual engagement is for marriage between one man and one woman for life. As a result of weakening that fundamental principle moral chaos has ensued and this has not enhanced our view of sex, but rather cheapened it. Something that is a beautiful gift has been brutalized and marred.
- Modesty. Although, the depraved behaviour of the male students is indefensible, I do feel that girls need to take thought and care as to how they dress and present themselves. I have written somewhat on this issue here. I cannot comment specifically about the girls at Warwick university and how they presented, but I do feel it is an issue that girls need to think about. Ladies who dress revealingly put temptation to lust before men.
- Morality. When you operate without a moral compass to guide you then you are set loose of a sea of wildness. If you do not have base standards to operate from and upon, then, with some egging on, you can go anywhere. If the consensus of your group allows it then you just flow with it. Consensus rather than conviction drives us. Acceptance within the group is more important that keeping standards.
- Manhood. We live in an age where manhood has lost its ways. So many in their teens and twenties are at a loss to know what appropriate conduct of a man is to be. So we end up with infantile puerility of this ilk.
- Attitude to Women. Men should respect and honour women. It is a man’s responsibility to protect and support the weaker sex. The feminist movement sought that women would have equal rights to men. In many ways this was an honourable thing because there was unnecessary discrimination against women in terms of salaries, job opportunities and access to services. There have been gains in these areas. However, there has been much loss in terms of men’s attitude to women. After all, if men and women are now to be treated alike then each and all must fend for themselves. Mix this in with a bit of testosterone and bingo, you have men defaulting to an indulging sexual passions position; rather than using their strength to protect women.
- Education is not the dreamed of panacea. Here we have some of the brightest young men in our universities, and it is not just Warwick with examples of these debauched chat groups, as indicated in the aforementioned programme. These men may be progressing in academic knowledge, but possess a debased morality in sexual terms.
- Salvation. What is the hope for those taken in and involved in these types of discussion groups. First of all it is to realise that these lustings are all a part of the fruiting of our sinful nature. Accordingly, confession of sin before a holy God is needed. Thereupon, we cling to the Christ who is Jesus who gave Himself to deliver us form our sins into a new and living way and life. A life where, through the Spirit all our energies should be to please God and benefit others. Now that is better, so much better, than indulging our passions for the titillation of ourselves and others.
So as I sit down to my breakfast I am greeted by some advert on the Kelloggs cornflakes packet about winning tickets to the Love Island finale.
Now I have never watched Love Island, and so some would say, I am in no position to say anything. However, I am aware enough, to know that it is about watching beautiful people interacting and manoeuvring around and with each other to see who ends up having sex with who. Please correct me if I am wrong in that understanding. This is now prime entertainment in our culture and the advert on the Kelloggs packet tells me how mainstream it has become.
Apparently only the football beat Love Island into second place for popular TV watching in 2018 for 18 to 34 year-olds. And all the while reports come out that we are having less sex than ever.
Oh what a mess this all is. That which is a precious gift from God to be enjoyed within the bonds of marriage, by a man and a woman (husband and wife), has become cheap entertainment. Now you can argue about it being a study in how people interact in certain circumstances, but surely that is a smokescreen for the fact that people watch it for who is going to go with who and how far.
And while we titillate ourselves in our voyeuristic engagement with Love Island we have lost the real joy of sex. Marriages that can be sweetened by this beautiful gift are losing out.
We are a society saturated by sex and increasingly we have not got a clue what it’s for and how it should fit in with our lives. All the while the pornography industry prospers, nicely nudged along by Love Island of course and lives are ruined.
If only we would stick with God’s plan we would be saved from all this mess of course. Strange that isn’t it? No, not strange at all because God’s way is always the best way.
And Lord please have mercy on our nation. In losing you we are losing everything.
All of us either are or have been single. Although, God calls many to be married; He also calls many to be single. To be single is not a second class state. Churches therefore should value everyone in their particular calling. Never, should we pityingly give the impression to single people that one day they will find Mr Right or Miss Right and then everything will be fine. Let us look then at this calling to singleness.
The LORD Jesus
Let us remind ourselves that the only perfect life lived on earth was by a single man. Our Saviour was sinless in all His ways and lived as such without ever being married. Immediately then we realise that singleness is not a second class state to be in.
Also the LORD had close relationships with both men and women. We remember the family in Bethany who welcomed Him to their home; Martha, Mary and Lazarus. His twelve disciples shared in His ministry and developed a closeness to Him. The world around us leads us to think that any close relationship must have a sexual element to it. This thinking is wrong and single people should be encouraged to cultivate close and wholesome relationships. The relationship of David to Jonathan is an example of this.
The life of our LORD Jesus reminds us that it is most wonderfully possible to live a life of purity in the sight of our God. The calling to singleness is also a calling to sexual purity. Paul could say that to Timothy keep yourself pure (1 Tim. 5:22b) and that should be the desire of all that all single. The Lord in His Word prohibits sex outside of marriage and we fall into sin if we fail in this area. Single people who are “courting” before marriage should be particularly be aware of this. Sex is for marriage and nowhere else.
Many think that if only they were within the security of a marriage relationship then they would be really free. However, Paul says effectively that the reverse is true in 1 Cor. 7:32b-34 An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs – how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world – how he can please his wife – and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world – how she can please her husband. Here Paul is showing that the unmarried person is advantaged over a married person in that they are free to devote themselves to their LORD. A married person has legitimate obligations to fulfil which mean that their freedom in rendering service to their God is to a degree hindered.
Of course herein there is a challenge to the unmarried to make sure that they use their extra freedom profitably. So easily we fritter away the time we have available to serve our LORD.
One of the great things that an unmarried person can miss is that of having a close relationships to another individual. However, one of the great things about being a Christian is that we have a relationship with our Eternal Father God in heaven. Satan would want to persuade the single person that they are lonely and missing out in living a fulfilled life. We should fight against these lies. The Lord is our faithful companion who has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Paul knew something of this wonderful enduring relationship and could say towards the end of his life when facing trial that At my first defence, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength (2 Tim. 4:16-17a). People will let us down; even the very best of them. However, the LORD will never let us down. How amazing it is that we have such a great God.
(Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church newsletter of December 2004).
Before marriage May Lin and myself covenanted that we would not allow certain parts of our bodies to be in contact. It is an absolute non-negotiable of Scripture that any sexual engagement is prohibited outside of marriage. However, wisdom would inform us that it is best to make sure that we do not provoke any unnecessary sexual stimulation.
So May Lin and myself determined that even in a fully clothed state certain erogenous parts of our bodies would not come into contact. This is something we have never regretted doing. There is something wrong if a couple “go-as-far” as they can without transgressing sexually before marriage.
The course that May Lin and myself chose, I believe:
- Meant that our relationship was built on a solid spiritual and companionship foundation before we engaged in the “icing” of the physical relationship.
- We had a built-in safety net which stopped us stirring up sexual energies that can soon lead to sin.
- Our sexual relationship has been the more special within marriage.
No it does not! But, it certainly does sometimes. What are the essential issues here?
In the Right Place.
Sex within marriage is a gift to be received from God with thanksgiving. It is something which, with due sensitivity by and for each party, should be engaged in and enjoyed. When sex is enjoyed within marriage then it is a beautiful constituent part of the marriage relationship. It gives added glue to the marriage. Moreover, through it, God can bring the blessing of children.
In The Wrong Place.
Sex outside marriage is like driving a car the wrong way down a motorway. You may seem to get-by sometimes, but generally it is a mess. And even when you have survived a few close scrapes it is known to be a less than ideal experience. Three scriptures struck me recently.
Firstly when Hagar was taken by Abram for sexual relations because Sarai could not have children we read the aftermath in Genesis 16:4b-6:
When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, ‘You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.’ ‘Your slave is in your hands,’ Abram said. ‘Do with her whatever you think best.’ Then Sarai ill-treated Hagar; so she fled from her.
A household which was seemingly interacting quite harmoniously is now full of friction and disputes.
Secondly, in 2 Samuel 13 we read of how Amnon raped Tamar, his half sister. Again the outcome is unpleasant. We read: Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, ‘Get up and get out!’ ‘No!’ she said to him. ‘Sending me away would be a greater wrong than what you have already done to me’ (2 Sam. 13:15-16). Hatred has entered in conspicuous fashion consequent upon illicit sexual activity. As you read on in 2 Samuel 13 you find an angry father, David (v21) and a vengeful brother Absalom (V22).
Thirdly, in Genesis 34 we read of the brutal happenings which ultimately ensued as a result Shechem engaging sexually with Dinah, the daughter of Jacob. The Word says it all started to go wrong when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her (Gen. 34:2).
So the lesson must be learned from Scripture and it is tangibly observed in our contemporary society that when sex is encouraged in in the wrong place, that is outside of marriage, then a mess results. The passages above all indicate how the mess is not just restricted to the couple involved, but effects many others as well. Let us be warned. But never forget, sex in the right place, that is in the marriage bond, is a gift to be received from God and engaged in for the glory of the Lord