CensorshipWant a sure fire way of shocking good church folk? Just say ‘sex’.

For some reason, sex, in the minds of most Christians, is filed under ‘evil’. Which is an insult to God and a travesty of the facts.

Fact: God created humankind as male and female.

Fact: Since humankind doesn’t reproduce by mitotic division, sexual intercourse is a fundamental part of human life.

Fact: God includes a ‘racy’ book in the Scriptures, the Song of Songs and endorses sexual and romantic love.

What must be said early is that sexual intercourse is a gift that is to be enjoyed only within the covenant of marriage (Hebrews 13:4).

Which means that in God’s eyes, sex is out for many of us. This seems kind of unfair since our body parts are still working and the desires are still there. Perhaps if humankind had not sinned, every man would have his maid. And there would be neither death nor aging. Nevertheless sex in a fallen world is still a God given gift to be celebrated by those to whom it is given.

The church therefore needs to be much more positive about the whole subject of sex. (Heard any sermons espousing the joy of sex recently?) As in many things, we surrender sex to Satan by default. Let the church say clearly that it is for sex within its God given boundaries. Indeed let us give whatever help we can to our married brethren to enable them to enjoy a satisfying sex life.

But what about those of us who are not married? I suspect that our desire for sex and our desire for intimacy are closely intertwined. After all God didn’t say that Adam was starved of sex. He said that Adam was alone. We won’t die without sex though sometimes it may feel that way. But we all need intimate friendships.

All of us need healthy, close friendships with friends of both sexes. We can also imbue our relationships with our sexuality. I like to be a good male friend to all my friends. Ladies can bring their femininity into the way they express their friendships. Sexuality need not be confined to the genitals.

Pornography is a totally different matter. It is addictive, dehumanizing, demonic, and destructive. We must speak up against it. But perhaps we need to ask why this obsession with sex. It is partly the result of sinful lust. But I suspect that it is also a symptom of our loneliness. Our obsession with sex is a symptom of a deeper need – our desire to connect with God and with others.

So while we must point out the evil of sex wrongly expressed, we should also with deep gentleness, help people experience the intimate friendships they need. And point all back to the Divine lover. And remind all that even sex at its best is at best a sacrament of our union with Christ. And that there is a gap in all of us only He can fill.