When Christians try to speak on sexuality it most often goes one of two ways. One: “Here is proof the Bible means what it explicitly says.” Two: “Here is proof the Bible doesn’t mean what it explicitly says.”
The stronger each side gets the more dramatic and dogmatic they become towards each other…as the world watches.
It reminds me of bowling with my children. They begin to love the gutter guards so much they start throwing the balls into them. They forget the whole point of bowling – hit the pins.
In this cultural moment, Christians have become so afraid of going into the ditch of being unloving or the ditch of disobeying the laws of God they are slamming their ideas into the other with ever increasing force…as the world watches.
They forget the point of it all. Literally, the very reason God left Christians on this planet. Read on…
Heterosexuality isn’t the answer to homosexuality, or any other sexuality.
Being existentially made whole is what humans need. Aphrodite can’t do that.
In this cultural moment, I think the first* thing people need to deal with is the false assumption that tying your identity to a sexual act (of any form) will lead to a heart made fully alive.**
I don’t think sex can make you complete.
If you had the ideal sexual experience I still think you would be left wanting.
Why do I believe this?
Because culturally accepted heterosexuality and heterosexual activity has already failed to be a worthy god.
Aphrodite can’t deliver what she promises.
The evidence is everywhere. Just look around.
Christians that stop and really think about their theology already know this.
Solomon, the famous (everyone knew him), admired (many wanted to be him), heterosexual (sexual orientation that was accepted), had 700 women he could have sex with anytime he wanted and we don’t find him reflecting on his life as a human made whole. Christians, when you exhaust your energy trying to convince people that heterosexuality is the answer to other types of sexuality you forget Ecclesiastes.
The rabbit hole goes even deeper. A compassionate Christian friend shared something like this the other day on social media. “I believe in Pride month because some young child believes suicide is better than embracing their sexual identity.”
This breaks my heart. Can you see what this statement is saying? Not the explicit but the implicit part, the unspoken assumption of what has the power to make one whole and complete? The statement is implying that their depression and anxiety will be resolved if people would just encourage and support their sexual wants. We know this doesn’t work, because it doesn’t work in heterosexual marriages that humanity has long been fully accepting. And let’s be honest. Mental health is incredibly complex. Posts like this look like a simple call for people to be nice but set up expectations that will cause even more doubt and confusion in the future.
C.S. Lewis, Blasé Pascal, Timothy Keller, and many many other scholars are right… There is an existential hunger in us that nothing in this world can satisfy. We cannot tie our identity on to something that will pass away or grow passé. It’s true, our emotions and desires are important messengers but they are insatiable masters. Moreover, it is freeing when you realize what’s most true about you isn’t what you may feel about yourself at any given moment. What many initially feel as freedom when they pursue any desire they want, in time find themselves feeling enslaved to their ever increasing state of athirst. Meaning, you can’t get enough and you need even more extreme encounters to keep that rush. Every addict knows this.
No human can fill what your heart longs for most, only God can. You were made from Him and for His family. Using sex as the fuel for identity is like trying to put kerosene in a car engine. It won’t work well and things will start to fail.
Genitalia are not gods and to ask identity from them is asking what they can’t give. We must help people understand their starving existential appetites and teach them to feed what is really malnourished.
People need to have their existential questions answered. You were made by a loving God. The brokenness you feel is real and there is a reason and answer for it. You are no accident and you have immeasurable worth and eternal purpose.
To my friends that believe their prime wholeness is found in their sexuality…
I want to show you the place where all the beauty comes from. You are hungry for God and may not even know it. (Acts 17:22-31)
Don’t aim at the bumpers, aim for the pins. Jesus is greater than all forms of Aphrodite worship. If you get to the end of this and you think I haven’t taken a side, you may have missed the point completely. People come to the church I pastor wanting me to talk about Aphrodite in all her forms and I keep responding with, “Jesus is a better God.” Christians, show the world you are whole not because you are having heterosexual sex but because of what Jesus did on the Cross. This entry isn’t a conversation about forms of sexuality being good or bad. There are a thousand articles right now being drawn up contending on these fronts. This is about the idolization of sexuality in our culture. I contend that we are in Ancient Rome again and even some “Christians” are accidentally helping elevate Aphrodite by making their loudest mantra “… just don’t sleep with the men.” Or youth pastors that push movements like True Love Waits with such divine language it causes young people to beg God not to come back until they have had sex. Yes, there are youth groups that make sex look better than heaven. That’s Aphrodite. It’s not confusing why these young kids grow up being totally swept up in the sexual revolution.
But oh, how we falter, how we drift and we roam,
Lost in a world that feels empty, our souls yearn for a home.
In the whispers of the wind and the vastness of the sea,
We hear the incarnate name that can set us free.
For in the heart of our being, a truth does reside,
That only God’s love can truly fill us inside.
No earthly possession, sensual act or acclaim,
Can compare to the wholeness we feel when He calls our name.
*Like a prism there are so many shades to this. I obviously can’t address them all in a blog. I am merely proposing a preferred starting point for identity, purpose and worth, the passion of the Christ.
**To be clear, I am not a gnostic. (Go look it up if you don’t know what that is.) I do believe the body matters and what we do with it has eternal consequences. Augustine wrestled with this as did many early church writers. For a well thought out place to start building a Biblically sound theology of the body read Pope John Paul II lectures on the body. There is a lot more to be said about this at another time. I also believe that sex is a great God given gift, just not a god. At this time in history, this distinction is where we need to start. We find our purpose from God and bring His purpose to sex.