Sex and the Church
The Opposite of Be Mine – Sacred Sex
Is there such a thing as sacred sex? If it does exist does it shape the intimacy you and I so desperately crave?
The bible speaks of Sacred Sex. Like today culture at the time of Christ under Roman rule expressed divergent world views, and the redefining of normal – if there is such thing as normal. The Greek city of Corinth was a thriving cosmopolitan port city. It had multiple religious, moral and social perspectives. Despite the freedom and diversity of life there is a craving for more. And the more was found in the commitment to be a follower of Christ. Yet there was dissonance. People were claiming to be Christ followers while rejecting the truths and teachings of Christ. There was a lot of crazy sex going on. Paul, a leader in the church, writes this letter in response to the dissonance
I Corinthians 6: 12-20
You say, “I am allowed to do anything”, but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything”, I must not become a slave to anything. 13 You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. 14 And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead. 15 Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! 16 And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, “The two are united into one.” 17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. 18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honour God with your body.
We have the legal and cultural permission to have sex with whom we want. We have the right to select our sexual partner in marriage or outside of marriage. So why should we, why would we not act on our impulses? What reason can there be to defer, to wait? We understand what I.Q. means. It is a measure of our intelligence. Yet there is a body of evidence that says our Emotional Intelligence is a more accurate indicator of our ability to function successfully in life. Our E.I. is measured by our degrees of self-awareness– Mood management– Self-motivation– Empathy and Relationship management.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to determine someone’s E.I. is their ability to delay gratification. If sex is so important to God and obviously to us, should we not give careful consideration to delaying the gratification for something better. The good thing is that E.I. can be a learned behavior; it isn’t too late.
We are whole beings – spiritual, physical, emotional and sexual we cannot separate the sexual from the whole. To be defined by our sexuality or our sexual drive is to minimize our person-hood. More than that we are sacred beings created in God’s image and our physical is representation of God in us. Sexual sin, unlike other sin, invades and distorts the sacred – the wholeness that defines us as created in God’s image. Sex is an emotional experience and it affects our lives in ways we cannot fully understand. Sex outside of marriage often leaves us with feelings of guilt, embarrassment, distrust, resentment, and lack of respect.
I wonder if Harry Nilsson wrote the song One after a one night stand:
One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do
Two can be as bad as one
It’s the loneliest number since the number one, oh
No is the saddest experience you’ll ever know
Yes it’s the saddest experience you’ll ever know
‘Cause one is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do
One is the loneliest number, whoa, worse than two
Regardless of our sexual history it isn’t too late. Sacred Sex is possible. We may be broken, hurting, dysfunctional units but we were created to receive Gods intimate love and to respond in kind. God continues to say “As you wish”. God continues to say, “I forgive you”. The most powerful sentence in relationships of intimacy is, “I am sorry, please forgive me”. It is how we reorient ourselves with Christ. God continues to romance us. He is unrelenting in his pursuit of us.
Sacred Sexuality is the opposite of “Be Mine”.
Selfish becomes selfless. What I need becomes – I am yours.
What implications does sacred sex have for you and me, for our community?