Christianity and Human Sexuality (or orthodox thoughts on sexuality)

by

I’m not a politician. To be honest, I personally don’t find the idea of being a politician pleasant in any way! I’m neither a Republican nor Democrat. I have no interest in building up a political party. I’m not saying it’s wrong to be a politician or member of a political party, and I’m certainly not trying to give the impression that it’s wrong to vote. I merely begin this way because I don’t want you to think what I’m writing is politically motivated. What I am is a disciple of Jesus Christ. What I am interested in is theology. What I am for is the Kingdom of God. What I’m going to write goes against the theology of some politicians, but don’t draw the wrong conclusions from the correlation. I’m writing not because politicians have spoken, but because theology has been spoken.

The word ‘christian’ is not a policed term. You don’t have to sign documents, go through a special class or receive a certificate to call yourself a christian. And because of that, two people with completely differing beliefs can and do call themselves christian. Christianity, however, is not a new phenomena. It has existed for thousands of years, and christians throughout the centuries have recorded their beliefs. What’s amazing is that a great amount of what has been historically recorded about christian belief is in agreement. The core doctrines (beliefs) that compose Christianity enjoy a large degree of historical agreement. Those beliefs make up what can be called ‘orthodox Christianity’ (or the teachings the historical church has considered non-heritical). It’s incredibly important to consider what christians over the past 2,000 years have believed. Each of us tends to interpret Scripture in light of our cultural context, personal experiences, and education. When we look at a belief historically, however, we can see the conclusions drawn by those outside our culture, context, and education. I bring this up because I’m well aware that the view of human sexuality I’m about to espouse will be labeled un-christian by some who consider themselves christians. You can read this blog and search for an opposing christian view and find one with no trouble. What you can’t find, however, is an opposing orthodox Christian view. With that in mind, here’s a brief biblical, orthodox view of human sexuality in seven points.

1) God created the universe with purpose and design that extends to every molecule in existence. In Christianity nothing came into existence randomly or by chance. The universe has design and purpose.

2) God has the right to establish how his creation should work. Since God created everything he alone has the ability and right to tell us how things are supposed to work.

3) God’s creative purposes include human sexuality. Sex is not an accidental byproduct of creation. God could have created a way for human procreation that did not include sex. He could have made a help-mate for Adam that did not include the possibility of sex. But he didn’t! God made man and woman and included sexuality as a part of their design.

4) God designed that sex exist only in a lifelong marriage consisting of a man and a woman. God did not design sex as an extramarital activity. God did not design sex to take place within a larger-than-two group of people. God did not design sex as an action between two women or two men. God designed sex as an act to be enjoyed by a man and woman in a lifelong monogamous marriage. Jesus affirmed this framework of marriage, and so sex, in Matthew 19.

5) God’s design of marriage is not about rights or desires. Marriage, and all it entails, was designed as a picture of Jesus Christ and the Church. Marriage and sex are bigger than the thoughts and desires of two people. Both, as pictures of a larger truth, communicate something about God (see Ephesians 5). As such, God has always placed a high priority on marriage and sex.

6) Human’s rebelled and continue to rebel against God. As a result we have wrong (sinful) desires and wrong thinking about both sex and marriage. By nature we do not want to submit to God’s design. Like Adam, our desire is to rule our own life, determining what is good and evil. As a result, apart form the saving work of Christ, we are unable to fully see and enjoy God’s good design in any area, including sex.

7) God loves you and want’s to redeem / save every human on the planet from our rebellion. None of us, christian’s included, gets anything completely right (including sexuality). So God invites us to repent, confess our sins, put our faith in Jesus and be saved. He invites us to have our minds renewed through the power of his Spirit and Word. If we will believe in Jesus God can and does forgive us and redeem us.

These seven points scratch the surface of orthodox Christian teaching on human sexuality. What impact, then, does this have on politics and your vote? I don’t care to argue that here (or in any upcoming blog). What I do care about is good Christian theology. I care about good theology not because I want to be right, but because I care about the glory of God and the salvation of souls. I’m not arguing here for laws or votes. I’m arguing for a clear portrayal of God’s design as it is revealed in the person and work of Jesus and the inspired Word of God. To paint another picture of human sexuality and call it Christian is biblical and historically disingenuous. You may not agree with what I have written about sexuality. You can disagree. And I cannot and should not try to make you believe in the orthodox Christian view of sexuality. What I should do, as a christian, is clearly proclaim what Christianity says. And know that I don’t write with anger, swinging around Christian theology like a baseball bat! I love what I believe, and so I write it with joy and hope that every man and woman will know and delight in Jesus Christ.

3 Responses to "Christianity and Human Sexuality (or orthodox thoughts on sexuality)"
  1. That is the most logical, comprehensive, and easy-to-understand explanation about human sexuality and Christianity that I have ever read. Thank you for that!

  2. Jonathan,
    I know I was supposed to stop at verse 9, but I accidentally read Matthew 19: 11 and 12. Now I AM confused! Can you please shed some light on the meaning of these verses which are written only for those who are able to receive them? Thanks.
    Bruce

    • Yes Bruce, you were supposed to stop reading at verse 9! Here’s my quick explanation, beginning with what ‘this saying’ means in Mat. 19:11. The two options are either Jesus teaching on marriage, divorce, and remarriage in v. 9 or the disciples response in v. 10. I think it most likely that ‘this saying’ refers to the disciples response in v. 10, mainly because Jesus’ explanation in v. 12 has to do with ‘not getting married’ (which is the disciples point) and not staying married (which is Jesus’ point). The disciples are saying, “If marriage is this permanent–you can’t merely divorce and get remarried–then it’s best not to marry at all.” Then in vv. 11 – 12 Jesus confirms that in some instances choosing not to marry is the best choice (see also Paul in 1 Cor. 7:25-38). In v. 12 Jesus uses the framework of a eunuch (a man who by design would not marry) to reinforce this. Some men don’t marry because non-marraige is forced upon them by birth or other men. And then there are those who choose the ‘path’ of the eunuch (not literal emasculation) for the sake of Christ’s kingdom. In the final statement of v. 12 Jesus says to his disciples, “If you can receive this, i.e., choose not to wed, then do so.” By ending this way Jesus clarifies that all Christians should not aim to be celibate. There are some, however, for whom celibacy will be the right decision.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


PageLines
UNION VIEW