Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Moral High Ground - Drink no wine before its time

The second reason for concern regarding the rise in casual sexuality (the first reason is in the previous entry) has to do with the effect this is having on true intimacy. It’s clear by now, sociologically as well as spiritually, that the ease of access to sexual expression (as the result of internet pornography, ‘hooking up’, and internet matches offering painless romps in the hay) have resulted in a proportional loss of capacity for real intimacy.

If sex were just another recreational sport like tennis, this wouldn’t be the case. But somehow playing tennis with someone doesn’t create these powerful bonds. Sexual experience, though, produces such bonds invariably, unless of course our heart becomes deadened. And endless string of partners, then, will have the effect of trouncing on that part of our heart made for genuine intimacy. The result – lots of skin touching skin; an appalling lack of heart touching heart.

It reminds me of the first book in the Narnia series, where the witch partakes of the fruit from Aslan’s special tree. But her very indulgence leads her to despise the fragrance of the tree forevermore. Sex is the fruit. Intimacy is the fragrance. You get the picture.

Aslan says, ‘(the fact that she ate from the tree)…is why all the rest (the fragrance) are now a horror to her. That is what happens to those who pluck and eat fruits at the wrong time and in the wrong way. The fruit is good, but they loathe it ever after.’

Fortunately, there’s a way out. In Christ, we’re invited to genuine intimacy. As we become rooted in the reality that we are deeply loved and fully accepted by our creator, the intimacy that grows there becomes the basis of moving back towards the fragrance and fruit of human intimacy, now redeemed as it is by the Creator. I know it sounds idealistic, and as I’m writing it, I’m sure that many readers will think it silly. But I am increasingly convinced that true sexual freedom, true intimacy, and a life that is ever moving towards wholeness is available – but only as I commit to pursuing intimacy with God and others, and doing so by the terms God lays out. What do you think? Old fashioned advice, or true truth?


At 14/12/05 08:40, Blogger April said...

True truth!

At 15/12/05 05:32, Anonymous 30-Year Old Virgin said...

His Word promises us life to the fullest, that Christ completes our joy, He sent his Son to die for our sin to point us in the right direction - to save us from eternity without Him. If I know this much to be true - I have to accept it all. Sex is for marriage, period. To have sex outside of marriage is to deviate from His plan and therefore has consequences. I am grateful for God's grace, that as a man of 30 years I am still waiting for my bride, saving myself for her. Does it mean I don't want to have sex? Are you kidding me!? There is still temptation, and while my mind my not be a "virgin" my body is. Only by staying connected to The Body, by remaining connected to Christ daily in prayer and in the Word, by desiring to be used by the Lord and looking for opportunities to be used in others lives... these are thing that have helped me keep a biblical perspective on my life. God is sustaining me. God is carrying me. I'm all His, filthy rags and all.

Who greater to teach us about intimacy than our Creator? Who greater to teach us about sexual intimacy, than the creator of sex. How great is the intimacy shared by two sinners saved by grace joined together in an life-long commitment to one another? I believe that it has to be pretty amazing, so much so that by God's grace I will continue to save myself for it.

At 15/12/05 12:24, Anonymous tmcclurg said...

Richard: this is precisely what I've been discussing with friends lately - prompted by a recent Oprah show that featured couples that "swing". This show had couples that said that swinging was not cheating and has led to a much greater and open relationship within their marriage. One couple even said that this showed how strong their marriage was - as if it was a higher or enlightened state. My thought is they would never have to turn outside their marriage for fulfillment if they were engaged in intimacy with Christ. I felt such sadness for these couples and our fallen world.
Regarding your previous entry, I have often thought that as we spread “Freedom and Democracy” around the world, I hope certain things are not spread!


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