Sexual Ethics Foundation: Can We Talk?

Is it really necessary for the church to discuss sexual ethics? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Recently, I wrote a follow-up to a post on stating the value of a woman and where her self-worth comes from. A friend who was pleased with what I wrote noted that at the end I had said we need a foundation for sexual ethics in the church and asked me if I’d ever considered writing one up. Naturally, this won’t all be done on one post, but I think it’s a noble idea that needs to be done.

I wish to start simply by saying “Should we talk about this?” I am reminded of the joke about a minister who said that he was told two things about sex growing up.

#1. It’s dirty.

#2. I should save it for someone I love.

We laugh, but many of us know the situation. Sexuality has always been a taboo subject. It is treated as if it is a private matter. Now in some ways, it is a private matter. You’re not going to have your friends come over and watch you and your spouse in the bedroom and offer you their advice for instance. There is no doubt there is a private dimension to sex.

But there is also a public dimension. In fact, it is a public dimension. You see the effects of sex every day. How? Every single person you meet, including the person that you see in the mirror every day, is there because two people at one time had sex. (Although granted, with in vitro fertilization we are starting to get to where we have to qualify this.)

The effects of that one union are long lasting. How old are you right now? That’s how long the effects are lasting from the encounter that your parents had. In fact, that encounter is a result of prior encounters before you ever came along. While it is not necessary for any one life that a person has sex, it is necessary for the species as a whole that sex take place. (Although again, with modern techniques, it is possible to avoid sex, though as a good friend of mine has said, this new way to get pregnant is probably not nearly as much fun as the traditional way.)

This is also public in that we all know today that sex sells. Children are learning younger and younger about matters that most of us wouldn’t have learned about in the past until we were teenagers. In the past, if you watched a movie, you’d see a man and woman go into a room, the door would close and you’d hear a click. You knew what was going on. No one needed to tell you.

Today, we have to have a total scene showing practically everything that goes on in the bedroom.

Pornography is rampant and with the internet, it has only become more problematic. Children younger and younger, not even hitting puberty yet, are getting a skewed view of sex before they even really know what is going on.

Well that’s the world! Surely that’s not the church!

Think again.

It has been said that 1 in 3 men in the church are struggling with pornography. This can even include ministers. I listened yesterday to a man in a church giving a marriage seminar where he stated that he knows ministers who have to keep a dirty magazine out when they’re making love to their wives so that they’re able to perform.

Wouldn’t that make you feel loved ladies?

It is also not uncommon to hear about sex scandals in churches. Of course, we hear it when major figures take a fall, but let’s remember not so major figures take falls also. I have no doubt several people reading this blog have seen accounts of affairs taking place in a church and this can often divide the church.

Houston. We have a problem.

What has been the response of the church? Sadly, the same approach we take to claims of our youth apostasizing when they get to college.

“Let’s just ignore it and hope it goes away. We don’t want to talk about that.”

If we don’t give a message on sex to our youth, we can rest assured the world will give them a message and it is a message we do not want them to receive.

So yes, this is an issue we need to talk about. We need to deal with this and we need to watch the way we’re handling it. I think many of the messages we’re sending out are way to shallow to work. We don’t want to give a “just because.” We want people to have sex as properly understood in their worldview.

Our blog will be back on Monday and unless I have a book review or some other news going on, I plan on posting on that topic.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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One Response to “Sexual Ethics Foundation: Can We Talk?”

  1. Daniel Eaton Says:

    I wrote a blog series on this topic and how the church is not handling it properly. I think the church does real well with the “don’t before you marry” message but is totally silent on what is and is not OK afterwards and why.

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