Bible study author, speaker and blogger Michelle Lesley has written a thought-provoking piece for Bible believing Christians (those who hold to the authority of Scripture) that lays out the biblical view of how we must respond to all the troubling sexual issues that are impacting the world and the Church. She writes:
Sexuality in Western culture is a mess. Within the last hundred years or so, we’ve devolved from a society that had, broadly speaking, a general understanding of, and compliance with, the Bible’s parameters for sex to today’s sexual mores that barely top short of child molestation and bestiality and permits – even encourages – nearly every other form of perversion.
It can be difficult to know how to approach these issues which have been suddenly thrust upon us, and with which the average person – Christian or not – has very little experience. How are Christians to think about, believe, and address these issues in our families, churches, and communities? Do we just go with the “live and let live” flow of modern society? No. As with every other issue in life, our thinking, our words, and our actions must be shaped by and in submission to the authority of Scripture. Not public opinion. Not political agendas. Not our own personal feelings, opinions, and experiences. Scripture.
The Bible makes sexuality and gender identity very simple for us. God created two sexes of people– male and female¹. God created marriage to be between one man and one woman. God created human sexuality and confined its use to a man and a woman who are married to each other. Every form of gender identity or human sexuality that falls outside these parameters is sin.
Bearing that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the sexual issues impacting the world, the church, and Christians today and how we can respond to them biblically.
Get the log out
The Bible is very clear that we’re not to be hypocritical when dealing with sin. Scripture’s parameters regarding sexual sin are extremely narrow and govern not only our actions, but our words and thoughts as well. That leaves me guilty. How about you? Where’s your mind when you’re reading that romance novel or watching that steamy movie? Are you using pornography? Flirting with that good looking co-worker even though you’re married? Using double entendres or other suggestive remarks? Exchanging inappropriate e-mails with another man? Fantasizing about sexual encounters with someone you’re not married to? Going farther than you should, physically, on a date? Before we start thinking about addressing the sins others commit, we first need to make sure our own hearts, hands, and mouths are clean by repenting from any sexual sin we’re participating in.
Sweep around your church’s front door
It’s been pointed out by many lost people, that the church is oh so willing to take a strong stand against news-making sexual issues, but sexual sin inside the church is sometimes swept under the rug. They’re right. How does your church deal with an unmarried couple who are cohabiting? A pastor who uses pornography? A church member who is having an affair? A youth director who’s molesting children? A deacon who uses foul language and makes sexual jokes? Does your church practice biblical church discipline when there’s sin in the camp and comply with sexual predation laws? Do you have screening processes in place to protect the children of your church? Does your church teach against all forms of sexual sin?
It should go without saying, but since this is a “back to basics” series it bears repeating: Christ expects Christians to be kind to people – all people – and to treat them with human dignity, respect, and biblical love. Not just in the way we talk to people, but in the way we talk to each other about people. People who live in sexual sin are still made in the image of God and deeply loved by Him. Remember, it was God’s kindness that led us to repentance.
There’s no such thing as a “gay Christian”
Or a transgender Christian, or a stripper Christian, or a bank robbing Christian, or liar Christian. Qualifying someone’s Christianity by their pet sin is an oxymoron. Christians, by definition, are people who sorrowfully turn from their sin and become completely new sin-hating creations through the power of the shed blood of Christ. Christians are characterized by lifelong repentance and the desire not to sin out of love for their Savior.
and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:15-17
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers 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 and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Are there people who are genuinely saved but still struggle against sexual sin? Of course. Every truly born again person struggles against sin for the duration of her natural life. But the Bible knows nothing of a willfully unrepentant conversion to Christ or life in Christ (regardless of a previous “decision” for Christ, participation in baptism, etc.). It is a contradiction in terms and simply does not exist. Nobody gets to carry her sin with her past the cross. Continue reading