Monday, February 16, 2009

The Birds and the Bees From Crusty Theologians

I've been preaching verse by verse through 1 Corinthians...there's some tough stuff to plow through. In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul addresses sexual purity head on...something contemporary churches seem very reluctant to do. It's like the only place sex isn't discussed is the church these days. Interesting...' cause it didn't seem to be a problem talking about it in church 400 years ago. Around 1648 a group of theologians met in London to help the church think through what it believes about grace and how grace should enable followers of Christ to act. The Larger Catechism is a Q &A series used to equip new believers about the Christian faith. There is a section that helps followers of Christ understand the 10 Commandments. The questions that address the Seventh Commandment, the one that addresses adultery, are Questions 138 and 139. Keep in mind that when Jesus taught the meaning of the Seventh Commandment, He raised the bar from merely declaring that the actual act of adultery was sinful and included lustful thoughts as well. The other day in church I tried to paraphrase the Larger Catechism Questions, and tried to think through contemporary technological issues as well. Here's what I came up with:
Q 138: What are the duties required in 7th Commandment? A: The duties required are sexual purity and moral innocence in body, mind, affections, desires, words and behavior; and the preservation of such purity in ourselves AND OTHERS! We are called to watchfulness and vigilant care over the eyes and all the senses; self-restraint of sexual desires, the keeping of sexually pure and chaste friends & modesty in dress; To maintain such purity, those who do not have the gift of singleness are called to marry and to enjoy sex with their spouse often; we are called to avoid all occasions of sexual impurity and to resist every temptation toward sexual sin.
Q 139—What are the sins forbidden in the 7th Commandment? The sins forbidden, besides the neglect of the duties required, are adultery (sex with someone not your spouse or with someone who is married to another); fornication (sex between unmarried people of the opposite sex); rape, incest, homosexuality, all unnatural & unBiblical sexual behaviors; all unclean and lustful imaginations, thoughts, intentions and desires; all sexually corrupt or sensually suggestive communication (words, notes, letters, texts, Wall-to-walls, etc) or reading or listening to such communication; sexually loose, obscene or perverse looks and shameless or immodest behavior and dress…allowing, tolerating or keeping of orgies, brothels and immoral parties or partaking of them; undue delay of marriage, polygamy; unbiblical divorce or desertion, as well as sins that contribute to sexual impurity such as idleness, gluttony, drunkenness, immoral friends, impure songs, books, pictures, emails, internet sites, sexually suggestive dancing, sexually stimulating movies, tv shows, plays and all other provocations to acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others! Guess now we know why we all are in desperate need of forgiving and transforming grace...all this from a bunch of crusty theologians! Who knew?


Frank said...

Good word, Bob. Thanks for expounding that.

The Bobosphere said...

thanks, Frank. Hope you're doing well, my friend. That blog is a short comment from my message yesterday on sexual purity.