Monday, November 08, 2004

Food for thought - Sex & Sex Shops

(Article for local newspaper after opening of sex shop in Letterkenny)

Sex was God’s idea. He invented it.

It’s not as if Adam and Eve discovered sex one day and thought, “Oops, let's not tell God. He's bound to get annoyed”. The Creator is creative. He could have invented a method of having kids that involved spitting on each other's big toe. But instead, he invented sex – enjoyable, intimate and exciting.

God’s verdict at the end of the creation week, having created Adam and Eve, and their sexual relationship, was “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” - Genesis 1:31.

Unfortunately the overwhelming impression is that Christians and God are somehow down on sex. And, to be fair, many Christians have given credence to that opinion. But God designed sex in such a way to bring pleasure to men and women. He is emphatically not down on sex.

God is no spoilsport – it is people who are the spoilsports.

Our problem is that we have too low a view of sex rather than too high a view. Sex is precious, and valuable. We have been conned into thinking that sex is purely a biological function. That’s like saying that the Maclaren F1 car, valued at about €1,000,000, is just a vehicle.

Many would like to believe that sex isn’t that special, more like an old Lada that you lend to everyone that needs to use it. But in God's eyes, sex is more like a Maclaren F1 than a Lada. It is valuable. It demands care. It is something precious. You don’t use an F1 to race around the fields in!

And because it is precious we need to follow the maker’s guidelines. After all, he invented it; he should know what the guidelines are. His guidelines and rules are for its enjoyment and to keep us from getting hurt and from hurting others. God's insistence that we enjoy sex in the context of a life-long relationship of loyalty and trust is liberating and not restrictive. It is like being given the keys of the Maclaren, after promising to keep to the roads.

But what’s all this got to do with a sex shop in Letterkenny?

The Bible is God’s unchanging word to an everchanging world. Sex was as much a business commodity in Bible times as it is today (for example Genesis 19, 1 Corinthians 6). And God’s word remains our guide. It warns us against exploiting people for our own sexual pleasure. It warns us against taking God’s gift and abusing it. A sex shop markets a poor substitute for what God offers, a cheap and shoddy imitation of the delicacy that God has designed to be enjoyed in marriage. And when God’s guidelines are not obeyed, then hurt and pain follow, lives are damaged, people are degraded.

But the reason that the Bible warns us against abusing sex isn’t just for our pleasure or because of the hurt that might be caused. It warns us because disobeying God’s guidelines, and putting pleasing ourselves above pleasing God, is sin. And God will punish sin.

This shop promotes a breaking of God’s rules. It promotes sin. It is irrelevant what creed or belief you are. If God says something is wrong, it is wrong, and we will have to answer to him for it. It is my job as a Christian pastor to warn people of the standards God has, and the standards by which they will be judged.

Some would say, “Why can’t you Christians leave the rest of us alone to do what we want?” There is a simple answer – it wouldn’t be loving.

It is out of a love for God, a love for his gifts, and a concern for the souls of the people of Letterkenny, that I long to see this business come to an end, and people giving God his rightful place in their lives and in society.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark

I really enjoyed reading this piece and it takes someone like yourself to give a frank open opinion so others do not get all tangled on this issue

One point - I would argue that within a loving relationship this act really is one of 'making love'. ie the ultimate commitment and sacrifice to ones chosen life partner. SEX is more an act - and often one without appropriate emotion and due thought.

Is this fair?