Recently, I offered an article titled “You Won’t Blow Up!” which focused on the subject of “celibacy” and how the God-given mandate and calling for single men and women goes against the normal flow of our culture, a culture which promotes a love of pleasure and self-indulgence. The article caused quite a stir resulting in my hearing from many via Email, Facebook and by phone.
For the most part, the majority of people that contacted me agreed with the content of the article but there was an element with some communicating, “Celibacy? Get real, Phillip!”
Admittedly, the complacency, the disbelief and the outright disregard of any possibility of any man or woman living within God’s holy boundary lines with regard to sexual expression deeply troubled and troubles me. Troubling because Jesus could not have been more clear in defining if a person is not married the only acceptable option with God is celibacy. For the single person, celibacy is a good thing and should be our only choice if we want to live according to God’s word and plan.
There is no doubt the winds of social change continue to blowing aimlessly and carelessly across America with emphasis being placed upon “tolerance” – which is to be extended to everyone and anyone without limitation and to any and all kinds of sexual expression.
I have a couple of questions, please.
Is there nothing wrong with sex as long as it is consensual?
And if there is something wrong, what is it?
Does it really come down to a matter of personal taste, of private sentiment and personal choice?
Have we become a nation that gains our sense of purpose and meaning primarily from our sexual desires and behavior?
The reality of an across-the-board crisis of sexual and relational brokenness in America and The Church clearly points to an increasing inability, as a society, to make healthy and moral distinctions. Even those who place a high premium on tolerance are obligated to recognize that matters of various sexual lifestyles now threatens the very values and institutions on which a solid and vital society is built and sustained.
What matters morally should and must be determined on the basis of our best understanding about what constitutes human well-being. Today, more than ever, responsible American citizens and faithful followers of Christ Jesus should place under the microscope, a moral gaze on their sexual behavior.
Clearly, not every American or Christian is willing or responsive enough to such an obligation. What’s more, they do not want anyone to hold them responsible. Those who have the self-respect to recognize that a person is not reducible to his or her desires or behavior truly exhibit a concern for social justice, personal responsibility, a care and concern for a healthy and holy Church, and a true love for this nation which seeks nothing higher than the welfare of people.
How is it in choosing to dismiss and disregard a moral compass, we are shocked by the state of our culture? Even so, shocked at what has happened and continues to spread in the Church?
Speaking as someone that was trapped for many years in a behavior and lifestyle, thinking there was no way out, I completely understand how anyone might have difficulty in believing in and receiving God’s forgiveness, restoration, and the holding on to “God does have a much, much better way!”
“But Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
God remains rich in mercy and remains willing to deliver anyone.
“He is forever our great Sin-bearer and the God who forgives.” (Psalm 99:8)
Jesus Christ is the only Alternative, Solution and Answer.
He addresses the problem – man limited to self – and provides the way through which we can find fulfillment in Him.
America is in need of huge and immediate change. I believe the Church should be out front by showing the way to bring it about. If things continue in this wonderful nation as they have, America and the Church will remain adrift without a moral compass.
There was a time when the Church set societal standards. We cannot and we must not apologize for moral and ethical “holy boundary lines” for living. All faithful followers of Christ Jesus are called to a higher standard.
It is absolutely essential we return to pinning our faith to, and subject “all” our thinking to and doing to, what we read in the Bible.
The 138th Psalm says, “I will praise your name for your loving kindness and your truth, for you have magnified your word about your name.”
Obviously, God thinks highly of His name – but He has magnified His Word even about His name – and so should we all.
If America and the Church continues, in so many ways, to disregard, downplay and dismiss “the spiritual with regard to God’s divine intent for human sexuality,” sexuality will rule and reign supreme.
When the moral question has been offered, considered and answered, then, and only then, can we truly deal with the moral decay that exists in American society, the Church and the world. Until then, we are adrift without a moral compass.
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries
Member of Restored Hope Network