Je­sus and sex

The Church of England - - COMMENT -

Sir, I think that Colin Bricher’s let­ter (28 Au­gust) was one of the most sen­si­ble state­ments about sex that I have seen in many a day. I thank him for it, and you for pub­lish­ing it.

The male hu­man sex in­stinct is, I be­lieve, highly prob­lem­atic for in­di­vid­u­als and so­ci­ety. Je­sus, the Word of God through whom all things were made (John 1:1-3), came into the hu­man world and gave the most ruth­less con­dem­na­tion of sex­ual congress out­side mar­riage that has ever been ut­tered (Matthew 5:27-30).

He did not call his dis­ci­ples to a life of sex­ual sat­is­fac­tion (how did the apos­tles sat­isfy their ‘nat­u­ral’ urges as they fol­lowed him for three years around Galilee and Judea?), and of the 13 se­cret vices he lists in Mark 7:21-23 three, pos­si­bly four, are sins of sex.

His cho­sen ex­ple­tive for a rev­e­la­tion-deny­ing, evan­ge­lism-op­pos­ing pop­u­la­tion was “this adul­ter­ous gen­er­a­tion”. He never con­doned adul­tery, although he for­gave it (as he did cru­ci­fix­ion, Luke 23:34), with­held, and even bore, its penalty (John 8:2-11, 1 Peter 2:24).

He was ex­plic­itly more neg­a­tive about way­ward sex than he was about war; not be­cause such sex was more wicked but be­cause it was more wide­spread. Ev­ery man to whom he spoke was guilty un­der the sev­enth com­mand­ment as he ex­pounded it in the Ser­mon on the Mount.

It is more than il­le­git­i­mate, it is il­lit­er­ate, to ap­peal to the public with as­sur­ances that Je­sus didn’t care much about sex. Read the Gospels if you doubt this. But for any com­mand­ment he gave he gave also the prom­ise of power to keep it.

The “light from heaven brighter than the sun” burns ram­pant sex­ual de­sire to dust and ashes. Only then may the Cre­ator’s gift of sex be re­leased as an ex­pres­sion of com­mit­ted monog­a­mous love for its cre­ative pur­pose.

Mean­while we must chal­lenge, how­ever weary we be­come in do­ing so, the folly of think­ing that ev­ery urge in the groin is a word from the Lord.

Richard Wilkins,


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