Prescription for Sexual Sanity

This has to be one of the best sermons done on having a healthy view of sex and sexuality. I believe this is from the 2001 Harding Lectures and it is by Don McLaughlin from the North Atlanta Church of Christ. I can’t remember if it was Philip or Daniel who brought this tape to my attention. Thanks to Don for permission to upload this.

Prescription for Sexual Sanity

Tim Challies on Sexual Detox

Tim Challies has an excellent blog and is one you should subscribe to if you aren’t already. Tim offers up an excellent series of blog posts on sex, pornography, addiction, etc. These are excellent and should be read by all the guys/anyone in ministry. Nice work Tim! We need to encourage our young people before they get themselves in trouble rather than after. Too many people go into adolescents and adulthood uninformed from a Christian point of view and cling to the only information available to them – the destructive and deadly message of the world in regard to sex and sexuality. Here are the posts. Have a look:

Sexual Detox: Recommended Resources

Sexual Detox 1: Pornifying the Marriage Bed

Sexual Detox 2: Breaking Free

Sexual Detox 3: A Theology of Sex

Sexual Detox 4: Detoxification

Sexual Detox 5: Freedom

Sex and Money

These are…

  1. Two topics the world talks about the most
  2. Two topics you rarely hear discussed in church (at least in Churches of Christ…for fear of being “like the denominations”)
  3. Two of the most argued about topics in marriage
  4. Two topics that are at the center of a high percentage of divorces
  5. One topic that most non-Christians think Christians never talk about (and they are right)
  6. Another topic that most non-Christians think Christians always talk about (in a bad way…as in “the church is just after my money”)
  7. Two topics that can wreck your life
  8. Two topics that have the potential of helping you live a healthy and happy life when lived with an understanding of God’s plan for each.

So why not have a Bible class on both? Next month our 20s & 30s class will be talking about these two issues in one of those “I wish someone would have told me that earlier…” types of Bible classes. It is amazing to me that the church is silent on an issue that is ripping people apart. The world is informing our young people about what is normal and healthy when it comes to sex and sexuality. Why should the church be silent? The world also sends out a non-stop message of greed and self-centered materialism that many of our young people are buying into for lack of hearing a case made for a biblical point of view when it comes to finances. Why not get out the message of what the Bible teaches about finance, money, and stewardship? This should be interesting…I will let you know how it goes!

Search Terms Other Than “Sex” That Got People Here

WordPress provides a handy list of search terms that people used to arrive at your blog. These are interesting at times and I thought I would share a few.

Top 5 search terms of all time:

  1. Olympics (2,929)
  2. Small group lessons (1,008)
  3. Oreo pizza (847)
  4. the rock (826)
  5. fully rely on God (817)

Pretty sad that only 2 of the top 5 have anything to do about God.

Interesting search terms:

  1. James dobson-bible translation
  2. Creepy background
  3. bible stories old testament profits
  4. snacks
  5. kicked to death by grasshoppers

People say the word sex usually gets you a lot of hits and generates lots of attention. I guess if I really want to get a lot of traffic I can use the word sex a lot more on this blog. But I don’t really blog about sex or preach about sex or teach about sex or have much to say on the blog about sex. So I guess I won’t be using the word sex on my blog for the time being. There, do you think that will raise my traffic on this post? We’ll find out!

Articles on Cohabitation

Thanks to Don Flor for these two links to information on cohabitation:

Article 1 – Sex Without Strings

Article 2 – Sex Without Strings, Relationships Without Rings (Rutgers University)

Also see the article I mentioned previously – Dangers of Cohabitation

Sex Ed is Not Working – 1 in 4 Teenage Girls Have at Least 1 STD

There is a tremendous push to have us believe all we need is more sex education in the schools. With this new study out showing that 25% of teenage girls between 14-19 are infected with at least 1 sexually transmitted disease it is clearer than ever that sex ed just isn’t working. 15% of those studied had multiple STD’s. That is just shocking. Throw in these stats from the 2005 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey with that and the picture is even more bleak:

46.8% of high school students have had sex.
14.3% have had sex with at least 4 people.
33.9% are currently sexually active.
62.8% used a condom the last time they had sex.
87.9% say they had been educated about HIV and AIDS in a school class (sex education).

Clearly it isn’t working. The “all we need is sexual education” crowd says education is all these young people need. When 9 out of 10 know the risks, 6 in 10 practiced what they were taught (use a condom), and 1 in 4 has a disease that can result in death, infertility, and life long consequences the message is clear – sex ed doesn’t work because kids aren’t mature enough to make these kinds of decisions. The bottom line is that kids understand pleasure more than they can grasp long term consequences and risk levels. If an educator hears that what they are doing is resulting in this kind of mess how can they keep from teaching the only responsible thing to teach? Abstinence.

Ripening Issues in the Church of Christ – Pornography

Another repeated message of the college rally last weekend was that many college students are struggling with pornography addictions. In Randy Harris and Chris Seidman’s question and answer period many of the questions submitted were related to pornography. When fully grown pornography becomes an addiction that can be as powerful as crack cocaine. The behavioral reinforcements that come from the resulting neurotransmitters released upon viewing pornography largely mimic what is produced by drugs like crack.

The Danger of Addiction:

One of the best definitions of addiction I have ever heard is that non-addicts love people and use objects and addicts use people and love objects. Addiction is a distortion of reality and a reshuffling of priorities that results from feeding unhealthy patterns of behavior and the subsequent release of neurotransmitters that brings pleasure from the activity or substance. Like any other sin it is taking something God made for good, sex, and using it in a way it was not intended to be used. Sex is something to be shared in the context of marriage. When it is it is being used as it was intended good results. When it is used outside of marriage or when it is used inside of marriage in a way not intended (ie – with an image alone rather than with your spouse together) it produces deadly spiritual consequences. I believe it was James Dobson who gave the image of godly vs. ungodly sex and sexuality being like a fire in a house. When it is put in the fireplace in the living room, where it was intended to go, it brings light and warmth and goodness but when it is on the couch in the living room, it destroys the whole house. Sex inside the context of marriage is a beautiful thing but when it is abused it can be deadly.

Renewing a Healthy Sense of Sexuality:

We need to renew our sense of healthy sex and sexuality. Our young people have been surrounded by unhealthy images of what it means to be sexy and what the norms are of expressing that sexuality. Where has the voice of the church been on helping our young people get a healthy view of their sexuality? Many have been silent. Many have acted like it is yucky or a taboo subject that is “off limits.” So where do young people go for their information? They don’t have to look any further than the magazine rack at the checkout aisle or the television and movies that are readily accessible (not to mention the internet). We have to start talking about this with our young people in our homes AND churches from an early age. To keep silent is to passively allow a death sentence on our children. We have to renew in our families and churches a healthy sexuality and it needs to start with our men. We need to hear it in our Bible classes, small groups, and from the pulpit. But won’t someone get embarrassed? Of course they will but wouldn’t you rather someone get embarrassed than someone get addicted?

Shon Smith illustrated this situation being like a tourist who traveled to the Nile River. He saw all these people sunbathing on the shore and they were mangled, missing arms and legs. All of a sudden he saw how it had happened. A crocodile come out of the river and bit one of the sunbathers leaving them disfigured and mangled. But no one moved. No one seemed surprised. They just stayed right there and continued to be attacked by the crocodiles. He yelled, “Why don’t you move?!? Why do you just sit there and get devoured by the crocodiles…why doesn’t someone do something? Don’t you know this is killing you?” But they just sat there.

We need some people shouting about this. We need some people raising their voices about how devastating this can be. We need to be made aware of how prevalent this problem actually is – not over there somewhere but right there in your church, in your home, among your family and friends. And like I have said over and over again here, we need safe places to talk about these things where we can express who we really are and what we really struggle with and find accountability and love rather than judgment and wrath.