Sex and Sexuality - Part 1

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By Robert and Christine McCafferty

“Men look to many women to fulfill one need, women look to one man to fulfill many needs.” There is a lot of truth to this amoral and simplistic statement. Sexually speaking, men and women are different and are motivated differently.

The depths of sexual depravity to which ancient Israel fell, might startle some people. “They forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtaroths” Judges 2:13. Baal was a deity representing male sexuality and Ashtaroth, female sexuality. This pagan form of worship was an abomination in the eyes of the LORD (2 Kings 23:13). Molech was another pagan deity that infiltrated into their culture and corrupted many. Molech and Baal worship included child sacrifice - “cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech” Jer. 32:35. Infants were burned alive to this pagan deity. We might look back with horror at these barbaric times with shame upon God's chosen nation for their sexual sin and spiritual harlotry.

However, STOP (Standing Together to Oppose Pornography) secretary Michelle Human was shocked at her findings that even some pastors and youth leaders are avid consumers of pornography. She claims, “the Church is full of pornography addicts”.1 Since the Film and Publications Act was passed in 1996, legalising pornography for the first time, a flood of demonic inspired pornographic imagery and spirits of lust and perversion have entered our country (“When the enemy comes in like a flood…” Is.59:19a). Many of our nation's youth groups are filled with sexual sin. Many Christians and churches have compromised. Pornography is easily accessible on the Internet, coming into the privacy of a home or office.2 The Bible declares, “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption” Gal 6:8. There are consequences to sexual sin which include HIV/Aids, gonorrhea, syphilis, pubic lice, herpes and other STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases), unwanted pregnancies, ungodly soul ties, broken lives and shattered souls. Babies born to mothers with STDs can be born blind, maimed or even with HIV/Aids. To cover their sins, many people resort to abortion. Most aborted babies are sacrificed on the altars of convenience, self-indulgence and pleasure. We may not have the brass and stone idols of Molech, Baal and Asheroth in our modern society, but we do have these demons in other forms. Baal and Asheroth are symbolic of pornography; Molech and Baal worship (with their child sacrifice) are symbolic of abortion. Sex has become an idol in our society.

God's Word is clear about sexual sin: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites… will inherit the Kingdom of God” 1 Cor. 6:9-10.

Jesus rebukes the church for their tolerance
“Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads My servants into sexual immorality…So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways” (Rev. 2: 20,22). God commands us to be holy because He is holy (Lev. 11, 44, 45; 1 Pet. 1:16). In fact Jesus goes further than the Old Testament Law "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” Matt. 5:27-28. “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl” Job 31:1.

So “when the enemy comes in like a flood”, what does God mean, in this context, when He says, “The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him” Is. 59:19b?

Conditions for revival
Many Christians long for revival, but revival requires certain conditions to be met. Repentance precedes revival. The Bible is clear that “judgment (begins) at the house of God” 1 Pet. 4:17. This includes repentance for personal sin and then secondly repentance for failing to “stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it” (Ezek. 22:30), this includes failure to be our brother's keeper and apathy about the sexual idols in the broader society. In the time of the kings, after King David, revival came to the nation of Israel as leaders who “did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father David had done” 2 Kings 18:3. This included pulling down the idols and destroying the Asheroth poles, the altars of Baal and Molech. This is equivalent today of the church pulling down the idols of pornography and abortion. One of Jesus' ministries is to “destroy the works of the devil” 1 John 3:8.

Social consequences
One would be foolish to think that the consequences of sexual behaviour are limited to the individual. J D Unwin's classic study Sex and Culture (1934) revealed God's standard for sexuality. Unwin studied 86 different civilisations and concluded that sexual restraint was the single most important indication that a society was rising. Whenever a civilisation and culture embraced sexual faithfulness (abstinence before marriage and faithfulness to your marriage partner within marriage), that society flourished, developed, became more creative and worked harder. However whenever that same civilisation deviated from this standard (became promiscuous) they began to collapse and rot from within. Ancient Rome and Greece are classic examples. There were no exceptions in all his research. Not one!

“For by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a crust of bread; and an adulteress will prey upon his precious life” Prov. 6:26.

“Remove your way from her (an immoral woman), and do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your honour to others, and your years to the cruel one; lest aliens be filled with your wealth, and your labours go to the house of a foreigner; and you mourn at last, when your flesh and your body are consumed … Drink waters from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love. For why should you my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, and be embraced in the arms of a seductress?” Prov. 5:8-11; 15-20.

Sexual sin breaks down a society. The economic cost of welfare and health care (to treat sexual diseases) is a reality brought home by HIV/Aids. These welfare problems extend to fatherlessness and broken homes. Broken homes commonly lead to boys and girls growing up without fathers, this has resulted in girls becoming promiscuous in their need for male attention and love, often falling pregnant out of wedlock which perpetuates the cycle. Fatherless boys often become rebellious, even turning to drugs and crime, a consequence confirmed by the fact that most of the men in prisons are from fatherless homes.3

Progression of sin
The progression of sexual sin in the 20th Century, can be dated back to the 1960's with the start of the sexual revolution. With the development of contraception, sex could now take place outside of marriage, supposedly with little to no consequences. The shame of fornicating became acceptable in mainstream society. This led to shack-up couples replacing marriage. Shack-up couples' relationships never last as long as marriage and therefore serial monogamy (shacking-up with the next person after breaking-up with the previous) soon became the norm. To aid the attack on marriage, the feminists forced through “no-fault divorce” legislation, allowing easy access to and popularising divorce. Adultery, fornication and promiscuity (many sexual partners) became the norm. Under the sexual revolution and its quest for the autonomy of man's sexuality and so-called sexual liberation, came the logical conclusion to these ideas - sexual adventuring. Sexual adventuring includes homosexuality, bisexuality, transexuality and lesbianism (unlike adulterers and fornicators, these groups have organised political lobbies and an agenda, seeking to force their perversions on society). The next wave is building momentum - paedophilia. Bestiality is also gaining momentum, where man is finally reduced to the logical conclusions of the theory of evolution - man equal to and behaving as beast. By this stage, the destruction of man created in the image of God would be complete. The essentials of this sexual revolutionary ideology is what governs most of the sex education being forced on the youth of South Africa today through loveLife, Planned Parenthood and sex education.

Although homosexuality is gaining acceptance today, even in some church denominations, paedophilia and bestiality are yet to be popularised. However for large sections of society today, sex is viewed as a recreational sport.

The above sexual regression is carnal in nature. But there is another critical boundary - sexual sin as it relates to pagan worship (temple prostitutes, child sacrifice, etc.).

The Bible speaks to the sexual revolution - “They promise them liberty, when they themselves are the slaves of depravity and defilement for by whatever anyone is overcome, to that he is enslaved” 2 Peter 2:19.

For the Christian, freedom is found not in bondage to sin, but in Christ. God is not a killjoy, God has given us His Laws for our good to benefit us. “And the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day” Deut 6:24. Our freedom is found in our obedience to Christ and His commands.

More reasons to be sexually pure
“Pride, lust and greed” - three sins that can bring us down. Our destiny in Christ is linked to overcoming these temptations. Due to sexual sin, Samson never achieved his destiny in Christ, David lost his child who Bathsheba bore him after his adultery. Our purity and virginity is a gift of God and should be treasured as such. “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls” Prov. 25:28 We can so easily become soft targets for the enemy. This is why self-control is a critical fruit of the Spirit. Self-control, self-government (and our purity) is critically linked to our destiny in Christ. Let us rather aim to be like Joseph who fled from Potiphar's wife and finished strong! It was the fear of the LORD that kept Joseph from temptation “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Gen. 39:9b.

Marriage - God's intention for sex
God is no killjoy. God created sex. Sex is God's idea. It is God's intention. God's plan. Song of Solomon is a book in the Bible all about the joy of passionate and intimate sexual love - eros. Right from Creation God ordained the most important covenant between two people in marriage “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” Gen. 2:24. A person can share intimately with people on many levels intellectually, emotionally and they can carry each other's burdens, but the sexual intimacy sets the husband and wife relationship apart from all others. This marriage covenant is referred to as “a great mystery…concerning Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:32). The depths of searching this mystery reveal God's intention and beauty for marriage.

“To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled” Titus 1:15.

Sex and worship
Our sexuality is linked to our worship. When the Israelites were in spiritual harlotry to God, they were often in sexual sin too. Our sexuality is a gift from God; it speaks of our passion. Being passionate and zealous for God and having no other god's before Him (Exod. 20:3), is reflected in the marriage covenant by our devotion and faithfulness to our husband or wife. God reveals Himself as “One” (Deut. 6:4), this is reflected in a man's devotion to one wife (forsaking all others). Sex was created by God to be enjoyed (Song of Solomon). It was intended to create intimacy. When Adam had sexual intimacy with his wife, the Bible describes it as “Now Adam knew his wife, and she conceived” Gen. 4:1a. The word “knew” implies an intimate knowledge. Similarly God wants us to enjoy worshipping Him, have an intimate knowledge of Him and of His love for us (Eph 3:19) and even to delight ourselves in Him (Ps. 37:4). God desires for us to “bear much fruit” John 15:8, which includes, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” Gal. 5:22-23. In the same way, in our marriages, sexual intimacy produces fruit - children. Children are described as a blessing from the LORD, a heritage, “like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth” Ps. 127:4. (So often in the world children are seen as a curse or a burden, hence the ever increasing abortion and child sexual abuse rates.)

Children are a gift from God. Conception carries with it elements of the divine - marriage brings forth the gift of life even as Jesus is described as, “the Way, the Truth and the Life” John 14:6. He came that we “may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” John 10:10. Through our restored relationship with Him through the Cross we enjoy eternal life, so the marriage covenant brings forth new life (children). The symbolism runs deeper still. In the Bible there is no greater covenant than the blood covenant; we have entered into a blood covenant with God Christ's blood was shed for our sakes. In the same way, when a husband consummates his marriage with his virgin bride, the hymen is broken and she bleeds - a blood covenant is entered into.

A contrast of cultures
In the ancient world, Judaism was the only culture to place the emphasis of pleasure during the sexual act on the woman. It was primarily for her enjoyment.4 This was in stark contrast to every other misogynous and pagan culture, where it was often the male phallic symbol that was of prime importance the emphasis was on the male's enjoyment of sex. Even within Islam, some Muslims practice female circumcision, because their view of sex is that it is a dirty thing and therefore no woman should enjoy it. What a contrast to the Biblical model, where sex in the context of marriage is to build-up the marriage covenant. The husband is to serve his wife, give of himself and minister to her. Husbands are commanded to, “love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her” Eph 5:25.

“The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife” 1 Cor 7:4.

While sex was created for marriage, marriage was created for more than sex. Marriage includes companionship, friendship, financial considerations, parenting, grand-parenting, etc. This speaks of the fullness of the Church's relationship with Christ. It speaks of faithfulness, commitment (“I will never leave you nor forsake you” Heb. 13:5) love (“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends” John 15:13) compassion, humility, joy and fellowship. Marriage is based on covenant. There is no more intimate image than Christ and the Church. There is no more beautiful and loving image than Christ and His bride. This relationship is based on trust and covenant.

It is then no wonder that research confirms that married Protestants enjoy better sex lives than any other group of people (including those in serial monogamous relationships, live-in couples, and promiscuous one-night-stands or any other sexually perverted relationship). The Christian marriage should be based on trust, mutual respect and Christ-like love. A person in such a relationship is able to give of himself or herself without reserve and with freedom. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear” I Jn 4:18. A husband and wife in a Christ-like marriage can enjoy the freedom of not only bareing their bodies, but their souls too, thereby allowing for greater intimacy.

Covenant versus contract
At the heart of the Christian marriage is covenant. Covenant is for life. It is a triangular relationship, involving husband and wife and God, and is made before Him invoking His blessing (“Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” Mark 10:9). This triangular relationship adds depth, as husband and wife draw closer to Christ, they invariably draw closer to each other. Covenant implies giving entirely of oneself, 100% commitment, serving one another and submitting to one another (“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” Eph 5:21). Covenant is based on, 'what is mine is now yours and what is yours is now mine'. The two become one flesh.

In contrast, contract is the ways of the world, at its foundation is a humanistic man-centred approach, similar to a materialistic business contract. Contract implies, 'You give me this, and in exchange I'll give you that.' At best it offers that marriage is a 50-50 relationship that aims at equality. At worst it is abusive. It is self-centred and looks to what “I” can get out of this relationship. It is performance based, often driven by the fear of your marriage partner finding someone better than yourself, or you not measuring up to their expectations. A contract can easily be broken and end in painful divorce.

This “contract” is preceded by the worldly activity of dating. Sadly many youth groups have been taken captive by the superficial custom of dating.

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” Col 2:8.

Part II of Sex and Sexuality will be published in the next edition of Christian Action. (Robert is the Communications Director of Christian Action Network. Christine McCafferty is the co-author of The Pink Agenda - Sexual Revolution and the Ruin of the Family - available from:
www.christianlibertybooks.co.za
Tel. 021 689 7478)

1 37% of pastors say it is a current personal struggle and 4 in 10 say they have visited a porn site (Christianity Today Leadership Survey, December 2001).

2Almost one in seven calls to the Focus on the Family Pastoral Care Line is about Internet pornography (Pastor's Family Bulletin, March 2000).

3 Boys without fathers are twice as likely to drop out of school, twice as likely to go to jail, and nearly four times as likely to need treatment for emotional and
behavioural problems as boys with fathers (Dr James Dobson, Bringing up Boys, p.66). 95% of those on death row hated their fathers (Ibid, p.71).

4 See Kosher Sex by Rabbi Schmuley Bateauch.

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa info@christianaction.org.za - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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