Sex is something that we haven’t really discussed in church. Indeed, very few topics have been more taboo in traditional church. Perhaps there was the “special” meeting held by the youth minister where letters were sent home and parents were invited and everything was handled with kid gloves. Some pastors have boldly tackled the topic, with one even encouraging married congregants to have sex so many days in a row, but that is the exception. As a rule we simply do not discuss sex in church other than to talk about its sinful aspects.
Growing up I remember the “True Love Waits” campaign. We were encouraged to wait until marriage to have sex. Some did, some didn’t. Statistics show that Christianity has basically no effect on sexual habits of teenagers, and it hasn’t really affected adults either. In short, we are not talking about sex in the church and the consequences are powerful.
Trouble is, when we do talk about sex our characterization is ridiculous. Even as a teenager I remember thinking how stupid it was to pretend like something so amazing was so terrible. It’s akin to shaming people into dieting all while pretending that chocolate cake tastes like trash. Well anyone who has had chocolate cake knows it’s awesome. And anyone who’s had sex knows it’s amazing too. So we cannot classify sex as the taboo thing and then expect people to go along with it. It’s silly, and we need to stop it. We need to offer the world a Christian perspective that’s more realistic and convincing than our old “it’s a sin, so don’t do it” line.
To understand the Christian perspective on sex we must go back to the beginning. God created Adam first and breathed life into him. In that moment, God breathed part of Himself into Adam. In a very real sense, God breathed His “godness” into Adam. This “godness” makes humans unique and allows us to create and rule over earth.
If you know Genesis, you know that God saw Adam desired a companion that was human like him. God caused Adam to sleep and took a rib from Adam and formed woman. It is important to note that God did not breathe into Eve. This does not mean that Eve is inferior in any way to Adam. Instead, it means that the “godness” within Adam that made him uniquely human was split in two with the creation of Eve.
What we call “masculine” rested within Adam, the man. When God removed the rib from Adam, He removed part of Adam’s “godness” and placed it within Eve. What we call “feminine” made up the part God removed. These two parts, masculine and feminine, are both within God and pieces of them are within all humans, but males are filled with masculine “godness” and females are filled with feminine “godness”.
This means that when a man and woman have sex, they are rejoining the original fullness of God that was placed within Adam. They are literally rejoining the divine and experiencing the complete joy of a unified human. This is why Christians, and the Bible, view homosexuality, pornography, adultery, and any other form of sexual activity outside heterosexual marriage as forbidden. It is not because Christians are prudes, but because sexuality is a sacred rejoining of the divine within us.
Now we understand why the scripture says, “A man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife and the two shall become one flesh“.
GOD MAKES GOOD
I mentioned earlier the silly tactic used by the church to basically demonize sexuality. It’s confusing and it paints a picture that is completely inaccurate. Barring sexual experiences that are abusive in nature, sexual activity is physically pleasurable. When we place it within its God-given context of marriage, sex becomes spiritually pleasurable as well.
Sex, then, is not evil it is good. Like other good things it is often abused and misused, but that does not make it evil. It is a powerfully good thing that God designed for our pleasure and to demonstrate the spiritual connectivity we are capable of as His children. Because we are filled with “godness” we have spiritual desires that need fulfillment. Sex is one way we can fulfill those desires because sex is good.
PURPOSE OF SEX
One last thing needs to be said in this discussion. Many traditional Christians claim that sex needs to be between a man and a woman because sex is for procreation. I’ve heard people say that God make sex feel good so we would engage in sex and create children. There is simply no biblical basis for this position. The scripture teaches that sex is for joining two people. While children may or may not result from that joining, it is not the primary purpose of sex.
As mentioned above, the primary purpose of sex is the rejoining of the “godness” within a man and a woman. This requires people of opposite sex because males all carry the masculine “godness” and females all carry the feminine “godness”. Sex was designed to show us the beauty of love and connectedness between spiritual and physical beings.
As Christians we need to shift the conversation about sex. We need to teach our young people about the origin, goodness, and purpose of sex. We need to remind humanity that sex was designed to be sacred and holy. We need to demonstrate that sex is not evil or bad. We need to show that sex is good within God’s design. Maybe then we will see a shift in thinking and a return to the beauty and sacred design we were given at the beginning.