19. Sex, pornography, and homosexuality - what does God think about it all?

 

 

1. INTRODUCTION

 

Well, before we begin learning about God's view regarding these important subjects we need to set things in perspective. The only way to find out about what the Almighty One thinks is for him to tell us. Unless God the creator reveals himself to us, his creation, we shall never find out anything that goes beyond speculation about him. Thankfully, he has spoken through nature, his prophets and lastly personally through Jesus! Those words were faithfully recorded in the Bible. On www.biblicalchristianity.freeserve.co.uk you will find lots of information to strengthen your faith in the reliability and uniqueness of the Bible. It also describes how to find peace with God. Since it is logical to believe that the author of life would speak to us, his creation, it is most reasonable to search in the Bible for answers to our questions. They who deny the mother of all books to have any say on their lives are left with only one alternative: To listen to themselves. That is exactly what is happening to an increasing measure in today's societies. One only needs to look at the devastating results of trying to be one's own god, to realise that this alternative is just no good. Murder, divorce, rape, robbery, adultery, abuse, selfishness, and much more follows in its destructive path. Since God has created us, of course he has something to say about the theme of sex which is so central to many peoples lives today. His perspective will be explored in this booklet and it promises to be surprising for many.

 

 

2. EXPLICIT SEX MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE?

 

Some have objected and said: 'The Bible can not be from God because some of its contents mention sexual sin such as rape and incest. It also describes the beauty of sex.' While there is indeed explicit sex in the Bible, that is what one would expect of a book that contains God's thoughts on his creation. The Bible has rightly been called 'an instruction manual for human beings.' As in all good guidelines produced by manufacturers it also has sections called 'trouble shouting.' We much prefer producers of products writing honestly about possible problems that can occur and how to handle them, than avoidance of the subject altogether. God tells us in the Bible how beautiful sex can be within the boundaries of marriage and how devastating it will turn out when his words are ignored. Moreover, we learn what to do when in trouble and we are guaranteed a way to cope.

 

 

3. GOD'S VIEW ON SEX

 

Once God had created everything, that includes sex, we read the following reassuring words in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, chapter 1, verse 30:

 

'And God saw everything which he had made and it was very good.'

Adam and Eve, the first two people on earth, must have had a wonderful sex life. And so have today's practising Christians according to research published recently in the news paper 'USA Today', dated February 12, 1999. It is here quoted in full:

 

Aha! Call it the revenge of the church ladies

By William R. Mattox. Jr, a freelance writer living in northern Virginia and is a member of USA TODAY'S board of contributors.

 

'Sigmund Freud said they suffer from an 'obsessional neurosis' accompanied by guilt, suppressed emotions and repressed sexuality. Former Saturday Night Live comedian Dana Carvey satirized them as uptight prudes who believe sex is downright dirty. But several major research studies show that church ladies (and the men who sleep with them) are among the most sexually satisfied people on the face of the Earth. Now, isn't that special? Researchers at the University of Chicago seem to think so. Several years ago, when they released the results of the most 'comprehensive and methodologically sound' sex survey ever conducted, they reported that religious women experience significantly higher levels of sexual satisfaction than non-religious women. While this outcome caught some by surprise, the Chicago study was hardly the first to show a link between spirituality and sexuality. In fact, a 194Os Stanford University study, a 1970s Redbook magazine survey of 100,000 women and at least one other study from the early 199Os all found higher levels of' satisfaction among women who attend religious services religiously. Nevertheless, the common assumption continues to be that church ladies are sexually repressed, or that they're like the blissfully ignorant women of Pleasantville who think they've got it good, but have no idea what they are missing.

 

Yet, It is important to note that the most reputable studies on sexual satisfaction, including the University of Chicago survey, base their findings at least in part on objective measurements of sexual responsiveness (such as frequency of orgasms). In other words, most religious women are actually experiencing the 'big 0' far more frequently than, say, the average Cosmopolitan reader. Interestingly, this greater sexual responsiveness does not appear to be connected to some sort of secret lovemaking technique, or to a preference among churchgoers for the 'missionary' position. (Sorry; I couldn't resist.)

 

Instead, at least four other factors appear to be responsible for the link between spiritual commitment and sexual fulfillment. First, church ladies appear to benefit from their lack of sexual experience prior to marriage. That's right, several studies (including the Redbook survey) show that women who engage in early sexual activity and those who have had multiple partners are less apt to express satisfaction with their sex lives than women who entered marriage with little or no sexual baggage. Now, this does not mean that virgin brides typically experience total sexual satisfaction the first time they consummate their marriages, or that sexual baggage is impossible to unload. But it does mean that saving sex for marriage pays considerable dividends. As David Larson of the National Institute for Healthcare Research reports, 'Couples not involved before marriage and faithful during marriage appear to be more satisfied with their current sex life than those who were involved sexually before marriage.'

 

Second, churchgoers appear to benefit from a commitment to marital fidelity and marital permanence. In fact, most major studies show a strong correlation between monogamous marriage and sexual satisfaction. And sex therapist Mary Ann Mayo says this connection is particularly strong for women, since 'their sexual responsiveness is greatly affected by the relational context in which lovemaking takes place.'

 

Mayo says that a mutual commitment to lifelong marriage not only makes it easier for women to 'let themselves go' sexually, but It also tends to encourage constructive 'pillow talk' about sex between spouses. Indeed, Redbook found that highly religious women are more likely than other women to communicate with their husbands about sex.

 

Third, church ladles typically enjoy far greater sexual freedom. A 1982 UCLA study found that sexual satisfaction is positively affected by 'the absence of sexual anxiety.' And part of the reason church ladies have more fun is that they don't have to worry about many of the fears commonly associated with sexual promiscuity, such as the fear of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, fear of rejection, fear of out-of-wedlock pregnancy or fear of getting caught.

 

Moreover, church ladies tend to be free from the guilt associated with violating one's own sexual standards - a factor that a University of Connecticut study found to hinder sexual satisfaction among unmarried college students.

And church ladies seem to benefit from the belief that sexual pleasure is not the be-all and end-all of human existence, or even the key to a happy marriage. While sexual fulfillment certainly contributes to marital satisfaction, Mayo says that sexual enjoyment is more commonly a by-product of a stable, happy union rather than the primary cause of it.

 

Several studies looking at the flip side of sexual satisfaction (sexual dysfunction) appear to bear this out. For example, a new study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a strong correlation between marital discord and sexual dysfunction. And a 1993 study in the Journal of Sex Research found that losing one's job is more likely to trigger sexual dysfunction among unhappily married men than among happily married men.

 

Finally, church ladies appear to benefit from the belief that God created sex. A 1993 research review by psychologist Timothy Kelly found that frequency of church attendance positively affects sexual satisfaction above and beyond one's commitment to traditional sexual morality.

 

Similarly, the controversial 1993 Janus Report on Sexual Behavior found the non-religious 'have a tendency to focus on the more technical or physical performance aspects of sex, while the religious pay more attention to the mystic and symbolic dimensions of one's sexuality.'

 

Put another way, churchgoers are apt to delight in the Edenesque pleasure of 'being naked and not ashamed' of celebrating the 'transcendent intimacy' found only in the marriage bed.

 

Interestingly, the Bible encourages such exultation. Not only does it contain an entire book ('The Song of Songs') that celebrates marital intimacy, but it also contains other passages that say things like, 'Rejoice in the wife of your youth. ... Let her breasts satisfy you at all times, be exhilarated always with her love.' (Proverbs 5:18-19)

Now, these religious teachings are apt to come as a shock to those who believe God is a cosmic killjoy when it comes to sexuality. But if one wants to know why church ladies are having so much fun, my best guess is that their husbands are actually taking these biblical passages quite literally.' (end of 'USA Today' article)

What went wrong?

 

As we have seen so far, there is nothing wrong with sex as such. God created it and like everything else he brought into being, it was very good. But then came what theologians call 'the fall'. Adam and Eve rebelled against God by going against his command (see Genesis, chapter 3) and so it has been ever since. God created sex to be enjoyed within the marriage relationship. (Genesis 2:24) People decided to have sex without permanent commitment. What followed is history, sexual abuse, lies, polygamy, adultery, etc.

 

 

4. PORNOGRAPHY AND HOMOSEXUALITY

 

'The word pornography is derived from a Greek term meaning 'the writings of harlots or prostitutes.' Closely related, and in legal terms virtually identical, is obscenity, which is 'behaviour or material that is immoral and designed to produce lust' (Compton's Concise Encyclopaedia.) In the New Testament we read where pornography and homosexuality originate from and what God thinks about them:

 

'For there is a revelation of the wrath of God from heaven against all the wrongdoing and evil thoughts of men who keep down what is true by wrongdoing; Because the knowledge of God may be seen in them, God having made it clear to them. For from the first making of the world, those things of God which the eye is unable to see, that is, his eternal power and existence, are fully made clear, he having given the knowledge of them through the things which he has made, so that men have no reason for wrongdoing: Because, having the knowledge of God, they did not give glory to God as God, and did not give praise, but their minds were full of foolish things, and their hearts, being without sense, were made dark. Seeming to be wise, they were in fact foolish, And by them the glory of the eternal God was changed and made into the image of man who is not eternal, and of birds and beasts and things which go on the earth. For this reason God gave them up to the evil desires of their hearts, working shame in their bodies with one another: Because by them the true word of God was changed into that which is false, and they gave worship and honour to the thing which is made, and not to him who made it, to whom be blessing for ever. So be it. For this reason God gave them up to evil passions, and their women were changing the natural use into one which is unnatural: And in the same way the men gave up the natural use of the woman and were burning in their desire for one another, men doing shame with men, and getting in their bodies the right reward of their evil-doing. And because they had not the mind to keep God in their knowledge, God gave them up to an evil mind, to do those things which are not right.' (Romans 1:18-28)

 

 

5. NOBODY IS PERFECT

 

Dear reader wait, before you blow up with rage or fall into despair! Let me quote you another passage that applies to me and everybody else equally:

 

'...and one man is not different from another, For all have done wrong and are far from the glory of God; And they may have righteousness put to their credit, freely, by his grace, through the salvation which is in Christ Jesus: Whom God has put forward as the sign of his mercy, through faith, by his blood, to make clear his righteousness when, in his pity, God let the sins of earlier times go without punishment,...' (Romans 3:22-25)

God is Holy, therefore he can not have fellowship with sinners be they what we may call 'big or small' sinners. Any kind of sin will, according to God's law, bring death, the separation from God, the very Giver of Life:

'For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.' (Romans 6:23)

Let me illustrate this most important truth, firstly with a question: There are two glasses, one filled half with water and half with a poison called arsenic, the other one having just one drop of arsenic in an otherwise filled glass of drinking water. Which one do you think will cause death to the one who drinks it? Of course both will lead to certain death once drunk, simply because arsenic is deadly whether consumed as a drop or as half a glass.

Furthermore, imagine sitting together with me in a test at school. 50% are needed to pass it. Let us assume you would be badly prepared for whatever reason and only score 10%. I for once would be much better by scoring 49%. What would you say if I came to you after the result are known boasting, 'look I am much more excellent than you are!' Surely you will quickly silence me by saying, 'but you were not good enough either, you failed too!'

Let me encourage you, we both need Jesus desperately:

 

Jesus said to him, 'I am the true and living way: no one comes to the Father but by me.' (John 14:6)

Only by putting our faith in Jesus who fulfilled God's perfect standard by being sinless and by being willing to pay the death punishment on the cross on our behalf, we shall be accepted by God and have eternal life in heaven. According to the Bible everyone, even the vilest offender who prays to God for forgiveness of his sin and to give him new life in Jesus will be saved:

 

'Come to me, all you who are troubled and weighted down with care, and I will give you rest.' (Matthew 11:28)

Out of thankfulness those who came to him will leave their lives of sin and make it their goal to please God, not to get saved but because they are already saved. Wow! If that's not good news then I don't know what is!

 

 

6. CONCLUSION

 

Sex is great but only within the boundaries of marriage. Pornography, homosexuality, adultery and every other form of perversion are directly and indirectly a result of sin. Far from condemning people who are entangled in those addictive practices, true Christians will reach out with understanding. They love sinners but hate the sins. They re-echo the words Jesus spoke to a women caught in adultery after her accusers had all left realizing they were sinners too:

 

'Woman, where are they? Has no-one condemned you?' 'No-one, sir,' she said. 'Then neither do I condemn you,' Jesus declared. 'Go now and leave your life of sin.' (John 8:10-11)