The other day I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts--Cooper Stuff--when he said something that stood out to me. He said that no one is talking about sexual purity in the church anymore. Youth groups aren’t talking about it because they are afraid of offending a generation that believes anything goes. (Very different from when I grew up and purity was discussed all the time.)
Too many pastors are ignoring the issue because they don’t want to offend those who attend, volunteer, and give to the church but are living a sinful sexual lifestyle.
As I thought about it, I realized that it's true. When's the last time you heard someone talk about sexual purity from the pulpit? In a world where everything is sexualized, it seems like this is a topic the church would rather not address.
As Jamie and I talked about what the podcast said, we realized that even in men's conferences (where this topic was ALWAYS addressed), it's being talked about less and less. Most of the women's conferences I've attended never really talked about it at all.
The thing is, this podcast didn't just open my eyes, it convicted me. You see, years ago, when I was working on a ministry for single women, one of my mentor's told me that I should stop talking about sexual purity. They said because I had never been married, I didn't know how difficult it was to obey the Bible and I should stop being judgemental. Sadly, I took their advice and stopped talking about this topic for a long time.
However, I've since come to believe that this isn't right. Instead, I believe that all ministers of the Gospel need to speak truth to God's people to counter the lies they are being told in the culture. Because the Bible talks about sex...ALOT.
Not worried about offending people, the Bible lays out very clear directives and boundaries for sex. Anything outside of those boundaries is sin and causes separation from God. The man or woman who wants to follow the Biblical standard for sex in their lives. Churches who want to see their people be sanctified, live holy lives that God can bless and spend eternity with Jesus in Heaven should be talking about what the Bible says about sex.
Just in case you haven’t heard it before or you need a reminder, here are some bullet points. They come from the New Testament so no one can say they don’t apply today.
-The Bible says that God created sex to be enjoyed by one man and one woman within the marriage covenant. Anything else is sin. (Ephesians 5:31)
-The Bible says fornication (sex outside of marriage between unmarried people) is a sin. This includes living together before marriage. There’s no age limit or excuse. If you aren’t married, you shouldn’t be having sex. (1 Corinthians 6:12-19)
-The Bible says adultery (having sex with someone else’s marriage partner) is sin. (James 2:19) This applies to men and women. True confession: for a long time, that meme that said, "It's not God's will for you to marry someone else's husband," was a little offensive to me as a single woman. I always thought, "Why do you assume someone is after your husband--have a little more respect for your gender." Then, my naivety was jarred when I saw three marriages broken up by Christians who pursued a friend's partner. Men and women stole their friend's spouse and acted like it was fine. Just in case you don't know--Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-30--it is a sin. Don't do it!!!
-The Bible says homosexuality is a sin. (1 Timothy 1:10)
-The Bible says beastiality, orgies, and drunken debauchery is a sin. (This would include getting drunk and having a one night stand.) (1 Peter 4:3)
Many progressive Christians say, “Oh, but that’s just the Apostle Paul, he had alot of hangups.”
First, not true! All of the Bible is God’s Word meant to be obeyed.
Second, Jesus didn’t just condemn sexual misconduct, Jesus said that even thinking about another person lustfully was sin. He went beyond just actions and into our thought life. (Matthew 5:27-30) By this we can see that any form of pornography, whether it be hard core traditional pornography or the soft porn we see in tv and movies that leads to lust, would also be a sin.
The Bible doesn’t play around with these things. It doesn’t wink at them and say, “Yeah, we know it’s wrong but everyone is doing it anyway.”
Instead the Bible is very clear.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 states that those who commit these sins will not make it to Heaven.
1 Corinthians 5:11-13 says that if someone calls themselves a Christian and yet lives a sexually promiscuous lifestyle, the church shouldn’t ignore it. They should be confronted and told they need to change. If they reject the warning and refuse to repent, then the Christians were stop allowing them to act like they were a “brother in Christ” until the person repented.
Later, when that person repented they were welcomed back.
It sounds harsh, but the Bible doesn’t play with sexual sin. It’s a big deal.
It should be talked about so that people can know what the Bible says and choose to obey it. So they can be “sanctified”.
What if you are living a sexually impure lifestyle?
Repent and ask God to forgive you.
Then do whatever it takes (even if it's hard) to overcome this sin in your life and start living according to Biblical purity.
Don't make excuses for why it's acceptable because it's normal in our culture, and the Bible is old-fashioned. This isn't true. God's Word is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It doesn't change, and it is meant to be obeyed throughout time.
If you are a follower of Christ, then you must take whatever steps are necessary to bring your sex life under the lordship of Christ and live in obedience to God's Word. Even if enough people aren't teaching it, this is the truth.
I care about you enough to tell you the truth so that you can choose to follow Christ wholeheartedly in every area of your life.
True love tells the truth. If we are going to be Christians who walk in love, then we have to speak the truth about this topic...even if it makes us uncomfortable or unpopular.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry."