Chapter 6 Excerpt

Chapter Six

Grand Slam Sex

I remember pretty clearly the first time I heard the word “sex” in church. No, I don’t mean I heard someone whisper it in the back row or someone blurt it out in the bathroom. I mean I heard in a sermon.

Growing up in a rather conservative church environment (rather is a relative term, and in my case, think all caps), “sex” was a word you just didn’t say in church. The public pulpit was not a place where you addressed items of such a personal nature with blatant, frank words. Looking back, if that three-letter word was used in church, it was probably viewed as a four-letter word.

Don’t misunderstand me. My dad had “the talk” with me when I was a young boy on the cliffs on puberty. Though my parents were also conservative (not with all caps, though), honesty and straightforwardness were valued. So the birds and the bees weren’t strange items or foreign subjects at home.

But in church? Plain and simple, certain words were never spoken.

So when they were said out loud, I was all ears.

He Said the “S” Word

I was in college, and Paul Dixon, who was then president of Cedarville College, had been invited to speak to our university and church. Though I don’t recall his texts or themes for that entire weekend, I vividly remember the message he brought to the student body. He began, “Today I want to talk about sex.” In a millisecond, every student grinned and looked straight ahead to the platform, and every faculty moaned and looked immediately down at their Bibles.

As part of the student body, I was no exception. He had me at “sex.” Here’s why. Not only had I rarely, if ever, heard a pastor or Christian leader talk that plainly and bravely to such a large crowd about that subject, but I had never heard such clear reasoning about why the subject was being handled so forthrightly. His reasoning? Until we know where the good water comes from, we’ll keep drinking from polluted streams. His goal, he said, was to take us to the crystal clear water of Scripture and let us see God’s invention of and intention for sexual intimacy. He believed God’s Word would so clarify, magnify, and beautify this topic that we’d never again run to the culture’s polluted well for a drink.

That’s exactly what Paul did. His presentation made such incredibly logical sense that it was supernaturally etched into my mind and heart.

That same goal pounds in my heart as well. Polluted water from society’s dirty wells has left us with a view of sex that is worse than distorted. It is destructive. More than ever, we need to drink from God’s pool of pure water on this subject so that we see and practice intimacy as the beautiful gift it truly is—not the tawdry act so many men and women make it.

Our culture is consumed with sex. Not sex as God intended, mind you—a gift to be unwrapped in marriage between a man and woman. Sadly, many see sex only as a tool to sinfully satisfy all kinds of lusts and desires. They’ll do this with anyone in any environment they wish.

Consider these facts:

  • “Sex” and “porn” are in the top five Web search terms for kids under 18.[1]
  • 1 in 8 of all searches online are for erotic content.[2]
  • 48% of 17-year olds, 61% of 18-year olds, and 71% of 19-year olds will engage in sex prior to marriage.[3]
  • According to a survey of adults aged 20 to 59, women have an average of four sex partners during their lifetime; men have an average of seven.[4]
  • From 2001 to 2007, the Internet porn industry went from a $1-billion-a-year industry to $3-billion-a-year in the US alone.[5]

This is evidence we’ve been drinking from the wrong wells. The church must continue to talk scripturally about the topic of sex, showing where to find the good water. Pray that God will arrest the perversion going on so that, in glad surrender, we live in light of biblical mandates and principles. God-ordained sexual intimacy is something meant to be sacred and enjoyable.

Nothing New

Yet, we’re not the first to live in the middle of sexual twistedness. Few cultures have been as perverted as ancient Corinth’s. Two books of the New Testament—First and Second Corinthians—were written by the Apostle Paul to Christians in that city. It’s reputation was so bad, the city’s name was often used as a verb—to “corinthianize” someone. This described a person who had digressed into gross immorality and debauchery.

This kind of lifestyle was exacerbated by the city’s temple to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. At this site of false worship, located on the acropolis (literally meaning “a high city”), around 1,000 religious prostitutes, called priestesses, lived and worked. They walked the city in the evening, offering their services to male citizens and foreign visitors.

Right in the middle of this culture, the Apostle Paul uses blatantly plain language to help the believers, thus the church at Corinth, with the issue of sex. The opening verses of 1 Corinthians 7 deal with husband-wife intimacy. The rest of the chapter moves on to topics such as divorce and celibacy.

Paul’s openness to address these issues reveals that we aren’t the first to veer off course in regards to sex. We aren’t the first to need divine guidance. No, our predicament isn’t new, and God’s prescription is tried and true. Who better than God to steer us straight? After all, He invented sex; He is the Creator of this sacred gift.[6]

[1] “The Numbers Behind Pornography” by XXXChurch.

[2]“Get the Latest Pornography Stats” by Covenant Eyes.

[3]In Brief: Fact Sheet – “Facts on American Teens’ Sexual and Reproductive Health” (Guttmacher Institute, June 2013).

[5]“Get the Latest Pornography Stats” by Covenant Eyes.

[6] Genesis 2:24-25

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