Saturday, February 10, 2007

Christian Sexuality Part 1


Puritan or Pedophiliac?


The Catch 22 of Biblical Sexual Morality in the 21st Century

HYPOCRISY IN THE CHURCH

This subject cannot be approached from a Christian perspective, without an open acknowledgement of hypocrisy which has filled the rank and file of conservative Christian pulpits around the world. Of particular note in the last 20 years have been the fall of Pentecostal television evangelists to adulterous affairs, and the rash of pedophilia among Catholic clergy. Such activities have made the church unable to accurately address the issue of sexuality without appearing to hold a type of "do as I say and not as I do" double standard.

THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL STANDARDS

During this same time, sexuality has entered into the fray of freedom battles as the first front of action. Issues from gay rights to abortion rights have continued to make discussions about the bedroom personally sacred ground. Our bumpers are adorned with "Keep Your Laws off My Body" and rainbow colored bumper stickers supporting and celebrating these new freedoms.

For the church to enter into the discussion of sexuality, and offer its strict moral codes based upon conservative Biblical interpretation, not only appears to be hypocritical, but an invasion upon these fought for freedoms.

This tension is further exaggerated by the tendency of evangelical Christianity to place sexuality at the forefront of the battle for morality in American society. The battle lines have been drawn, and society has taken their places on the field. To one side conservatives holding to old-time sexual morality, and to the other side those who celebrate today's new found freedoms.

Although the battle lines are clear, those who form these philosophical lines do not always appear to be people you might anticipate belonging on the side they support. The arguments have been so compelling from so many voices, it appears that our society is confused as to how much we should fight for. Middle class working mothers are just as likely to be choice or gay rights supporters, as they are to be right to life or traditional morality supporters.


WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

Does the conservative Christian church have a voice in this current sexually charged atmosphere? Is it appropriate to establish a dialogue on sexuality, after appearing to have lost our ability to authoritatively discuss these issues?

I believe that the conservative Christian church does have a voice, but I also believe that the terms of engagement have changed.

6 comments:

mike said...

i guess i would ask by what you mean by a "voice?" i am troubled by, and would stand against folks who would want to enforce their interpretations of christian morallity upon folks who do not share the christian faith.

and yet, there is a prophetic roll that the church might be called to play. that prophetic office certainly includes more than protesting in front of abortion clinics, and/or advocating for abstenance.

so i think what you mean by voice would be helpful. do you mean pushing our own morals and ethics as the law for all in a pluralist society? or do you mean something else?

by the way as a side note. i worked for several years as a speaker for Crisis Pregnancy centers. i went into schools and advocated abstenance.

i don't do this anymore for the most part because i am not convinced that this is a reasonable solution. yes it is logical - don't have sex and you won't get pregnant/STD's. the problem is that it doesn't work.

i say that only to say that i have a back ground in this. and that i have been on both sides of the debate.

Pastor Phil said...

What I mean by a voice is yet to come. This was party one of a few parts being developed, but as far as your question on pushing morals as laws in a pluralistic society: No that is not where I will be headed in my thoughts havinf a voice.

ded said...

I guess I am talkative this morning...second post in ten minutes.

I grew up homosexual. I became a "Christian" in high school, not exactly sure why now, but at least hoping it would cure me. It didn't. I came out at 19 in San Francisco; lived the gay lifestyle there, in New York, Key West, Atlanta and DC.

I converted to the Christian faith at 24 (again?) I knew my sin was killing me. I married a year later, and my wife and I have parented five children.

Abstinence does work. I have had to remain abstinent from a very strong pull in my soul for 26 years, while my soul became acclimated to the reality of my new creature. God taught me heterosexuality, and I like it. 8^)

Christians need not force their morality on those who do not know the in-dwelling presence of God. That will not work. In fact, just practicing a Christian religion does not keep one from acting on whatever is in the soul. Hence the "hypocritical" appearance of Christians saying one thing and doing another.

Here's an "orthodox" point if you will. Only living in union with Him who is all in all, the in-dwelling Spirit of Jesus Christ, also known as the Holy Spirit sent to comfort and guide us until we are in the presence of the eternal Father, will one overcome the natural urge to live according to the appetites of the body. It makes no difference what those appetites are. (How's the weight doing, Christian American?)

I fear to say the following because of how it can be spun, yet without foisting anything on anyone, but as testimony to what God is able to do...and for His glory I will speak of it, please do not read self-righteousness into my words: Of my five children, now all 17 or older, only one has been sexually active, and he came to me within a week of the act and repented with tears. He is now engaged to a different lady who wants like him to remain pure until their wedding. Of course, any of my children may be hiding; but I have no evidence of that at this time. My eldest came to me the day before his wedding just to say, "I want you and mom to know; we waited."

ded said...

One more thought...I agree with you that there is a Christian voice on this issue. It is not a condemning voice, nor is it a controlling or demanding voice. It is a compassionate voice that speaks to the abundant life available from God the Father when one walks in His Spirit.

Thanks, pastor phil, for this post.

Pastor Phil said...

ded,

Thanks so much for posts here. I am so impressed by your story, your graceful living, and your compassionate heart.

ded said...

I believe it is II Cor. 1:3-4 which basically says as you have been comforted, comfort others.

God has brought me much comfort, compassion, aid and forgiveness in this process. By His grace, I have never fallen back into the behavior, but my heart has been so unfaithful at times.

He is good and faithful, so very faithful.