I don't think I'm personally aware of how much secular culture has influenced me, and as I listened to yesterday's sermon, I thought about how I could grow in awareness of what attitudes and world views I willingly subject myself to through the shows that I watch, the conversations I'm a part of, and the things that I read. We can't crawl in a hole and hide from the world, but we can make wise decisions regarding what we expose ourselves to. This week, try taking note of how many references to sex or sexual issues you encounter in the shows or movies that you watch or in the books, articles, and blogs that you read. I'm not advocating legalism, but I do think that such an exercise could help us all recognize what we're hearing and seeing based on the choices that we're making. Holiness involves taking proactive measures and avoiding even the appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:22) as well as how we react to things as they occur.
This is what David was getting at when he quoted Kevin DeYoung saying, "This is not about the culture out there. It's about those of us here - about what we as Christians are doing, what we are seeing, and what we may not know we are doing and seeing. I'm afraid we (including I) don't have the eyes to see how much the world has squeezed us into its mold."
Romans 12:2 instructs Christ-followers not to be conformed to this world. To be conformed means to fit the world's mold. Think of it as cookie cutters. Do you fit the world's cookie cutter about what is okay or not okay when it comes to sex, homosexuality, affairs, dating, purity, pornography, etc.? Or do you fit Scripture's mold?
One of the most helpful parts of the sermon for me was looking at how sin disorders our hearts, our thinking, our desires, and our actions. The progression of sin begins with our hearts and our thoughts. Reflect back on what the content of your thoughts have been today. Would the progression of desires and actions that would flow from today's thoughts be a progression of sin or of godliness? For more about dealing with your thought life, read previous BH Women's blog posts on "The War Within" and "Shepherding People Through Crisis."
Homosexuality and what can I do/not do with the guy I'm dating are probably the two most common sexual issues I address with the college students I disciple. As I listen, I am constantly reminded of how often we - myself included - try to justify our actions (and if we feel the need to justify our actions, odds are the action is probably wrong). When we "exchange God's Word for our experience," we open ourselves to twisting God's Word to permit what WE want to do - whether it is making out with our boyfriends, petting, oral sex, an affair, masturbation, or porn. If you're asking "how far is too far," you're starting with the wrong question. What does Scripture say? It should be our standard for morality, not our experience or social mores.
In relation to the topic of sexuality, I encourage you to watch this video of Max McLean acting out a scene from C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters regarding pleasure. I found this at home last night and had to add it to the post because it fits so well with the sermon David preached.
What questions do you have regarding 1 Corinthians 6-7's teaching or on Christian sexuality? What comments do you have regarding Pastor David's sermon on "The Cross and Christian Sexuality"?
Two resources that Pastor David mentioned during the sermon that discuss the topic of holiness and Christian sexuality include: Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung and True Sexual Morality by Daniel Heimbach.
If you would like additional resources regarding this sermon, download the Small Group Guide associated with this sermon. It contains discussion questions, the sermon outline, and things to consider as you talk with others about this sermon and this Scripture text.