Sex & the Church
“If the task of the twentieth century was to rid itself of the Christian sexual ethic, the task of the twenty-first must be to reclaim it.”
— Christopher West, founder, The Cor Project
Preparing God’s people for service
We live in a sexually gratuitous society. Graphic displays of sexuality can be seen on TV, on freeway billboards, and even in media marketed to children. The only place we don’t seem to encounter sexuality at all is in our churches. Does this make churches a sanctuary from the rampant and often-disordered sexuality in the culture?
Far from it. The Church’s silence on all things sexual means the predominant worldview being promoted today is largely pornographic, primarily self-centered and definitely embraces a twisted understanding of what love and relationships are about. So, why are leaders in the Church silent?
There are many reasons, and many of them are understandable. For much of the past 2,000 years, Christians have focused on the biblical sexual prohibitions but haven’t done a very good job at explaining God’s purpose for sexuality in a positive way. Then, since church leaders are people like the rest of us, many have fallen into sexual sin and are ashamed to speak on a topic they personally struggle with. Too, there is a sense of propriety and manners that would see any teachings about sex as inappropriate in a worship setting. Finally, and perhaps most concerning, many in the church today fail to see the close connection between sexuality and spirituality in a person’s life. By minimizing the role of sexuality in God’s plan and the life of faith, we actually encourage parishioners to keep their problems secret, perpetuating a cycle of brokenness and disengagement that prevents effective ministry.
We believe that if the Church were to awaken to the beautiful truth of God’s design for sexuality and relationships and begin sharing it with those in need, she would be astonished at her vitality and influence upon the world’s problems. We must begin to understand that a sexually permissive culture grants us an opportunity to serve people as never before. The hunger driving our sexual desire can never be satisfied by the world. Only Christianity can offer that which truly satisfies–a loving, intimate relationship with the One who called us into being.
The incarnation of Jesus Christ–God come in the flesh–provides the theological anchor for reclaiming an integrated sexual ethic. As in the parable of the weeds, our message of hope, truth, grace, and love most grow stronger, more vibrant and more convincing than the darkness growing around us. Join us in developing and delivering compelling messages that unashamedly and powerfully speak the truth of God’s design for sexuality relationships and the whole person.
Copyright © 2013, Daniel Weiss. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Dig deeper with the following online resources:
Sex and the Silence of the Church
How it is Crippling God’s People
Helping a Sexual Struggler Open Up and Talk
Your Friendship and Your Church: a Safe Place for Honest Revelations
Living in the Light: A Redemptive Response to Sexual Brokenness
Do we invite sin-sick people to come into the light or do we encourage them to continue cowering in the shadows?
pureJUSTICE Bible Study
Go deeper in your pursuit of justice and opposition to sex trafficking with this Bible study. Explore as a small group what the Scriptures have to say about exploitation, justice, purity, and love.
(Links are provided for information purposes only and do not necessarily represent an endorsement of all the views expressed in these resources.)