Of course you’re still reading.
But it’s not just about sex.
In the culture we live in, you can’t really become a follower-lover-apprentice of Jesus without confronting the sex questions head-on. And Jesus wants to be the Lord of your sex life.
We have a real challenge because we tend to gravitate toward harmful approaches to the subject of sex. I’ll hit a couple today and more later. 1 Corinthians 6:9-20 speaks straight to this subject if you want to check it out.
Some of us view sex as a right: Nobody should tell me what to do with my body, we reason. You should know that these thoughts are nothing new. In the first century the apostle Paul wrote a letter to people at Corinth who argued, “All things are lawful for me.” (6:12)
But not everything is wise. At some point, the wise person starts asking better questions than is it wrong? Does it put you on the path of wisdom? Does it produce life? Not everything lines up with how God made you.
“The body is not meant for sexual immorality.” (6:13)
Hold this thought because here is where the subject gets uncomfortable. Here’s where my friends start to ask me, what about homosexuality? This brings up another approach to sex: sex as an identity. What about those of us who feel like we were born gay? What do I say to the many people who come to me and assure me that they did not choose this? I believe them. In a world where homosexuals have often suffered unspeakable pain, I do not believe that most people simply chose this orientation.
But then I cannot run from the clarity of Scripture: “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, not idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality … will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ…” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
We really need to get a little more honest about the stumbling block of Christianity. It’s not just the gay issue; it’s the sex issue. Think about the command against adultery. One partner. In marriage. Period. Go find a good evolutionary biologist and open up that can of worms. He might laugh in your face. I have had people say, Mike, get real. From a purely biological standpoint, we are not wired to be with only one person. Christianity puts a requirement on us that we are destined to violate.
I know! And yet the Executive Director of the universe claims authority over our bodies the biologist does not have.
And that’s the point. It’s not worth arguing about what comes “natural” to me. Because regardless of how I was born, Jesus teaches that I must be “born again.” (John 3:3) I feel like I was born to be with thousands of women. Seriously. Yet God says that I am to be faithful to one wife. Regardless of how I was born, I must be born again and learn the way of Jesus.
So what do I say to those of us who are struggling with same-sex attraction? Or polygamy? How did this happen? I’m not sure. It’s probably the combination of many factors. Upbringing. Genetics. Decisions. Life circumstances. If you take it back far enough we end up in a Garden where everything got thrown off. Some of us are prone to anxiety. Some of us are prone to greed. And some people may be prone to various manifestations of sexual immorality. Yet the Bible teaches that we do not thrive when we live there. Following Jesus means we allow only one Person to assign our rights and define our identity, and that is God Himself.
Does that mean I have to line up my sexuality to the will of God? Yes. Is it easy? No. Is it a quick fix? No. Do all kinds of people “try to change”, but then fall back into unbiblical lifestyles? Yes. It happens with homosexuality all the time. And anxiety. And anger. And greed. And heterosexual immorality. It’s not just a gay issue. But don’t miss the 1 Corinthians 6:11 hope: “And such were some of you.”
Mike, this is so unrealistic. I know. I’ll always look at sex as my right, until I look to the One who gave up his rights on a tree so I could have life itself. I’ll always live out of what comes natural, until I gaze upon the One who gave up his natural life so that I can experience eternal life in the deepest chambers of my soul. But it’s odd; when I look in his direction – when I really gaze with trust, I change.
And it’s the amazing promise of Jesus to help us become.
I dare you to become.
For more of my thoughts on homosexuality check out a previous blog here.