Monday, October 27, 2008

The True Love Connection!

In the first two posts on this topic of sexuality- I had quite a few questions- and objections from those who disagree with some of my statements. In the midst of this blog, I intend to reply to some of those objections to bring clarity to what is the Biblical worldview of sexuality.I pointed out in my last blog that the word "sex" is derived from the same root for which we get or word "sections." Thus, the very nature of our language conditions us to think that we are sections in need of another section in order to make us whole. Such a worldview is nothing new. It existed at least 800 years prior to when Christ walked the earth. He reached into a dark world which was consumed with that view. For both the Romans and the Greeks sexuality was considered as a spiritual act in which the male soul was made complete by sexual union with the femine soul. Thus, the more sex a man had, the more spiritual he was considered. A few years ago as I was changing channels on my television I stopped for a moment to listen to a preacher talk about how couples can enhance their marriage. He made the following statement, "Without sex and having fun together, a marriage is no different than any other business relationship." Upon hearing such statement, I was wishing there was a way I could walk into the tv set and knock some sense into that Pastor because such a statement reeks of complete and total hodgepodge.Marriage is not about "sex and having fun" as this pastor stated- but rather is the sacred union in which two people join together in a mission to declare God's glory through their lives accomplishing His will and purpose as they journey through life together as best friends. One reader responded to my last post by saying that "though sex is not the most important part of the relationship, there is something wrong if the sex is not going good." I don't fully disagree with that statement. Nor does any pyschologists whether Christian or secular that are considered experts on the issue. I am going to say very little in response as coming from someone who is not married and has maintained purity for marriage- which might not give me the authority to speak in depth about this. What I am going to point out is that it is univerally agreed upon principle that the relationship outside the sexual union affects greatly the enjoyment of the union. If the relationships is a relationship of two people with an intent of gratifying themselves through "erotic love" then the enjoyment may last for a season- but in the end it will crumble into pieces. If the relationship is based on two people giving selflessly and sacrifically of themselves in pure heart and devotion to one another- then there is nothing to worry about as it will all fall into place elsewhere.So what is our view of sexuality to be in terms of marriage? I think it's both relevant and important to have this in line whether we have been married for a number of years or whether we are still waiting for God to send us the one we will spend the rest of our lives with as and if He so wills. The best way I can state this in proper perspective is from the analogy of winning a prize in a competition whether sports, science fair project, American Idol, etc. While the prize awarded in the midst of the competition is an important perk of the package- it is not the prize that defines the winner as the winner. The same is true of the marriage relationship. Sexuality and sexual expression are perks of the relationship- but they are not in way, shape, or form what defines the deep intimate connection of love that exists between two people that have entered into such a sacred bond of marriage.One of those days, I plan to marry a girl that I call my best friend. Who she is and whether she exists and God wills that for my life I do not know. Most tell me that my philosophy is completely outdated that being friends with a girl only gets you in the friend zone- so therefore we should immediately move in the moment we feel the powerful force of attraction. Such a view may be outdated- but that's the way the vast majority of relationships occurred in the days of our grandparents- and the divorce rate then was much lower than now so maybe it's not such a bad worldview after all. Sadly, I think most people can not accept such a radical view because their minds are geared towards the fast food mentality of an instant rush- than the mentality of cost, time, and steadfast commitment. All three are essential ingredients to a successful relationship.With that in mind, I close by stating that the true connection of love is found in what we are doing for the Kingdom of God. It's not so much what we are doing with our lives as it is what God is doing through us to advance His kingdom. It took me years of searching to find the calling in my life in which I would be connected intimately in a way that I could advance the kingdom of God everyday through what I do. I am by no means perfect but at this stage of my life I feel more connected than I have ever been- and though I desire to someday share my life with a special someone- that's not the centerpiece of my life- and it's beginning to get to the point that I swore it would never get to- that whether or not it is in God's plan for me to be married is of the least of my concerns. The true love connection is ultimately found-in active pursuit of God's holiness- which melts away the boredom in our lives that results from the consumption we have with our own selfish desires. This concept again is radical and is considered by many to be outdated for the world we live in. But I challenge you to think about these thoughts. More importantly pray about them. That's what I have done as I have compiled them. Quite honestly the very thoughts of these ideas seem outrageous. But since when was the God who came to earth as a man and bled, suffered, and died naked on the cross for the sins of the world so against the outrageous.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Did God create erotic love?

Last week, I wrote a post on the issue of homosexuality exploring the paramaters that revolve around the issue. In dealing with that issue in my gacebook group, I was both appalled and very disturbed to hear it said that "a person's sexuality is a defining part of who they are and how they experience the world." If that is true of anyone whether hetero, homo, or bisexual, then that person is obviously living a deluded, demented, sadistic, and twisted life.

Which brings me to the issue of the oversexualization of our culture. At the conclusion of my post on homosexuality, I said that I don't think that homosexuality is the main issue here- but rather the oversexualization of our culture. Statements like the statement that "a person's sexuality is a defining part of who they are and how they experience the world" show a clear fundamental misunderstanding that has mistakenly associated sexuality as having anything to do with love. Love has become far too sexualized and in such far too conditionalized.

True love, however is above coniditions. It is unconditional, never failing, never ending. It looks beneath the surface of each individual and sees the core of the heart and the soul. It was a few months ago that I had a discussion with one of my best friends about "what love truly is." We were actually talking about physical attraction. While I certainly don't think it is wrong to have physical attraction- love must based on something far deeper than that. In that conversation my friend made the comment "God created erotic love."

I later had that same discussion with another close friend who inspired me to look at the true meaning of erotic love within the context of Biblical times. Erotic love was in Biblical times, the most selfish, most self-gratifying form of love there was. It therein did not refer to just the physical act of sexual union- but to any act that was selfish and sought only to gratify one's self.

With that stated, let me make it clear that in accordance with the Biblical definition of erotic love- God clearly DID NOT create erotic love. The kind of love God calls us to have one for another is beyond conditions. It inspires to look beneath the surface and to see inside the heart and soul. If we would approach with that same person of love- we would transform the world. The problem is that "Christians" today are more obsessed with the things that gratify themselves. This stretches far beyond their sexuality to their quest for identity and purpose. While there is nothing inherently wrong with that quest- the answer to those questions is only found in the person of Jesus Christ.

On the topic of sexuality and specifically the word "sex." The word "sex" is derived from the same root from which we get our word sections. Based on that wording "sexual intercourse" is so powerful because it fulfills the need for us to be connected as sections. In truth, if we see ourselves as nothing more than just sections- we undermine the intrinsic value that God places upon each one of us. We are whole people, not half of a person.

And so, when it comes down to what should be our stance when we approach the issue of sexuality as a whole and to what extent have we become oversexualized? It is people for love to be oversexualized both prior to marriage and even within the bonds of marriage. If our love for another person is based on what we feel we gain from the partnership with that person- then our priorities are out of place and we are guilty of committing the sin of erotic love whether with or without the act of "sexual intercourse." Love is an attitude that seeks better for another person than for ourselves. It is an attitude of commitment and uncompromising sacrifice towards another person. While sexual intercourse is a legally acceptable act within the bonds of marriage, Married couples should approach the act with the attitude not of gaining pleasure for themselves, gratifying and serving to fulfill their own desires- but rather as an opportunity to give unconditionally of themselves to another person. This is the way Christ loved us in His once for all sacrifice for our sins. And this is the way that you are called to love one another in your sacred partnership.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The issue of homosexuality!

In recent news, it became known that former Christian music artist Ray Boltz who wrote such songs as "Watch the Lamb" "I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb" and "Thank You" has come out of the closet as a homosexual. With this news in mind, I think it is important to take a closer look at the issue of homosexuality Bible does indeed condemn homosexuality as a sin.

The three passages of scripture most commonly referenced to refer to homosexuality as a sin are Leviticus 18, 22, Leviticus 20:13, and Romans 1:18-32. While there are other passages which may be referenced in regards to this issue, these are the two clearest in all of scripture. In recent years, the Gay and Lesbian Movement has grown significantly gaining the support of even Christians who no longer see homosexuality as a "distinct sin issue." Before I proceed any further, let me state clearly that I believe we should love and reach out to homosexuals- and that I believe we can do that even while acknowledging the practice of homosexuality as a sin. I believe the most loving thing we can do is what is done by ministries like Exodus International- we can provide the support to lead homosexuals out of their life of bondage and into a knowledge and grace of Christ Jesus as Lord.

When I think of the Gay and Lesbian Movement, God's words to Job come to mind "Will you condemn the Almighty to justify yourself (Job 40:8)." Looking at the agenda of the Gay and Lesbian Movement we see how those in the movement have done just that. Sadly, there have been two opposite extremes of Christians both of which have done the name of Christ great dishonor. On one hand, there are those who have promoted a message of hatred towards homosexuals. On the other hand, there are those who have become so desensitized as to look at the issue of homosexuality as more of a grey area than a black and white issue.

The Gay and Lesbian Movement within the church has started to rationalize with passages of scriptures in order to make the case that their behavior is not sinful. Leviticus 18:22 which is the most profound warning against homosexuality in the Bible has been downplayed by the Gay and Lesbian agenda by using the argument that homosexuality was simply commanded against as part of the Old Testament holiness code. While there are those things that were part of the Old Testament holiness found throughout Leviticus, homosexuality is speciffically referred in both chapter 18 and chapter 20 as an abomination. The very nature of the word abomination is indicative of a sin against God which would stand throughout all generations with no exceptions and no compromise. If we buy into the argument that the warning against homosexuality as an abomination in Leviticus 18:22 is simply part of the OT holiness code, then we must conclude the same about Leviticus 18:23 which warns us that having sexual intercourse with animals is an abomination before the Lord. Of course, in today's society where we are constantly condemning the words of the Almighty in an attempt to justify ourselves, it would not surprise to hear someone say that indecent acts with animals are acceptable and even genetic. It makes me wonder whether this whole issue of gay marriage in our own generation is going to manifest itself in the issue of whether or not people should be allowed to marry their pets in the next generation.

The other passage spoken so frequently against the practice of homosexuality is Romans 1:18-32 which tells us of how men forsake their natural desires in exchange for unnatural ones. If we take scripture back to its original language the nature of the language reveals several other NT passages which reveal homosexuality as a sin in addition to this passage in Romans. The Gay and Lesbian agenda has found its way around this passage by alleging that Paul is referring to those people who were not naturally gay and yet were committing homosexual acts. That brings us to the question of whether or not homosexuality is genetic.

I am appalled to hear people that I deeply respect buy into this idea of homosexuality as a genetic practice. The studies used to conclude that homosexuality is genetic are about as reliable as the study last year by researchers used to conclude that pork is one of the healthiest foods you could ever eat. Amazingly, the research was funded primarily by those in the pork industry in the same way that the research used to conclude that homosexuality is genetic is funded heavily by the Gay and Lesbian agenda. Even if the research were not funded by the Gay and Lesbian agenda, it is staring right in the face as to why these studies are simply not an indicator of homosexual as genetic. For instance, one study used to identify homosexuality as genetic revealed that it has been discovered that in 48% of identical twins where one member is gay, they are both gay. If homosexuality was indeed genetic, than even the discovery of 99.99% of all identical twins in which one member is gay they are both gay- would be out of the question. The research reveals that such is not true of even half of the identical twins. Yet, this same study is taught in the college classroom as evidence that homosexuality must indeed be genetic. It makes me wonder where have the brains of students and professors gone. Of course professors teaching at state universities are largely funded by Liberal lobbyists who are set in their intent on defending the Gay and Lesbian agenda so it is no surprise that they are sellouts.

There are quite a few other studies out there used to make the case that homosexuality is genetic. One study found that in a certain percentage of homosexuals, the hypotholamus is smaller. Again, only a certain percentage which is used to induce that homosexuality may be genetic. But as we know inductive logic can only imagine, whereas deductive logic presents up with absolutes that can not be questioned. With that stated, the studies used to identify as homosexuality as genetic are clearly based on inductive logic rather than deductive logic. Often times the inductive logic should lead us to the other conclusion- as is the case with less than half of identical twins in which one member is gay, both are. That means that in 52% of the cases where one member of identical twins is gay, the other is not- which leads us to the opposite conclusion that homosexuality is not genetic.

Time does not allow for me to deal with all the studies conducted to try and justify homosexuality as being genetic. But they all fall under the category of suppositions not supported by absolute fact which in reality put the very practice of the scientific method in drawing conclusions to total shame. In truth, I don't think that homosexuality is the issue here. Rather the issue is the oversexualization of our culture- whether hetero, homo, or bisexual. There is a large dependency on sexuality to bring fulfillment in life in our culture. If it is done apart from the will of God- that fulfillment will only last for a season and in the long run will only lead down a path to total destruction.

It is imperative that we as Christians rather than shying away from the issue of sexuality- confront that issue approraching it from the standpoint of what the scripture says. It can be adequately stated that the oversexualization of our society is the reason for many sins whether homosexuality, infidelity, divorce, etc. Therefore we need to approach this issue from a Biblical standpoint and confront it head on asking what in fact the Bible does tell us about sexuality. With that in mind, I am going to be focusing on this very issue in my next post. The title of that post is "Did God create erotic love?"