Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christians and Sexual Immorality

Eighty percent of young, unmarried Christians have had sex. Two-thirds have been sexually active in the last year. Even though, according to a recent Gallup poll, 76 percent of evangelicals believe sex outside of marriage is morally wrong.

-Relevant Magazine, September/October 2011 Issue.

22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers. 23 With them they sent the following letter:

The apostles and elders, your brothers,

To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:


24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.


-Acts 15:22-29

But Pliny [the Younger, Roman governor of Bithynia, a region on the north shore of what is now Turkey, persecutor of Christians during the Second Century] considered himself a just man, and therefore felt obliged to find out what crimes, besides sheer obstinacy, Christians committed. All he could learn was that Christians gathered before dawn to sing to Christ "as to a god," and to join in an oath not to commit theft, adultery, or any such sins . . .

-Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity, Vol. 1 at page 40 (1st ed. 1984)

What Carol and I have seen is that this sort of disobedience is not confined to "young, unmarried Christians," but to unmarried Christian adults of all ages. Such conduct has seriously weakened our local church and its mission. I suggest that this problem is at the heart of the movement under way of many PC(USA) churches out of that denomination. It is not about homosexuality, it is about sexual immorality, regardless of how one self-identifies concerning "sexual preference." It is a good reason to leave, as much as I would prefer not to concede that it is.


Lindsay said...

Agreed. When asked my position as a Christian re: homosexuality, I ALWAYS couch it in sexual immorality as a whole. And my questioner is almost always surprised.

Paul Stokes said...

I'm seeing people my age, middle class people, church-goers or former church-goers, who are divorced or widowed, simply move in with each other. They act as if the rules no longer apply to them. They act as they wish with impunity. I see others of my generation, however, who are faithful. They either remarry or remain celibate.

Grace said...

Amen to that.

The churches seem always to be huffing & puffing about homosexuality whilst ignoring fornication, which is rife in the churches. Jesus spoke more of fornication and adultery than of homosexuality, yet its seems that the churches are far keener to major on homosexuality rather than fornication or adultery/divorce, since the latter are too close to home.

...And even the desirability of premarital chastity is being attacked --- not simply within the culture (which is now so profoundly sick that it views fornication as good), but even implicitly within the church. ...So that when a chaste young Christian man dares to express his (Scriptural) preference that his bride be a virgin too, he can expect to find himself denounced for his chauvinism and regarded in much the same light as the members of the Taliban.

The Western churches appear to have caught the Western culture's terminal sickness...