WHERE DO WE BEGIN?
A significant difference exists between the nations of the West and those of the East and of Africa.
The former have slid down the slippery slope of sexual folly more slowly, perhaps in the period of three generations whereas the more conservative African and Asian nations have suddenly been presented with the slippery slope through the electronic media and the slide is taking place in a single generation. Not so much in Africa, but certainly in Asia, with its technological prowess.
- Sexual experimentation is freely discussed among the young of today and sometimes viewed on the internet.
- So called alternative life style and family, so called same sex marriages and sex changes are increasingly regarded as acceptable and practiced.
- Marriage is regarded as unnecessary and even disdained as out of date by some, “my partner” is the chosen language instead of “my husband” or “my wife”.
BEGIN WITH GOD!
The subject title of these three talks has been chosen carefully and intentionally. It is not “Human Sexuality and God,” or “Human Gender and God,” God is first in the title. All our thinking must begin with Him. Where we begin is where we will end. We will never appreciate and know the truth about human gender issues unless God is first.
- Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit” (John 3:6). Where do the popular ideas about LGBT ideas come from? From the ‘flesh’ – the heart and mind of man. They are astray and lead astray. They have their origin in the depths of rebellious man and shall lead to where they began.
- Where did Jesus begin when asked a question about divorce? With Moses? With the current opinions of His day? Absolutely not! He went back to Genesis chapter two, to the Creation, to the original intention of God in imaging Himself in male and female and bringing them together in union of family (Mark 10:1-12).
- Are we more knowledgeable than Jesus? He evidently believed and knew that the creation narrative in Genesis was the key to the whole matter of human sexuality and should not be tampered with by man. He showed that Moses allowed divorce, and gave the reason. HARDNESS OF HEART.
- No wonder the early chapters of Genesis have been steadily undermined and often regarded as mere myth. They are the seed bed of the Bible, sow enough weeds in the seed bed and you will choke the true seeds that have been planted.
The first twenty verses of Matthew fifteen should be read carefully. Today, in the churches, we have plenty of leaders who are guilty of “making void the word of God.” How? By their additions, temporizing, diluting, distortions and sometimes outright rejections of the word and ways of God.
- God and what He has said is not in first place. Notice the order of things in the Lord’s prayer. “Our Father, Hallowed be Your Name, Your Kingdom come,” (Matthew 6:9-10). “Let your Name be sanctified, reverenced, put first in all things, put in the High Place.” Only then will His kingdom come amongst us.
- Where do all these alternative life-style, same sex marriages, what are known nowadays under the letters LGBT notions come from? Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual come from the heart of man. I avoid the use of the word ‘gay,’ name it what it is, ‘homosexuality.’
- Jesus said, “Out of the heart of man they proceed” (Matthew 15:19).
- We are bombarded with filth proceeding out of the heart of ungodly men and women and it increasingly defiles as it comes out of the mouth. We have a release of words, words that promise sexual fulfilment. Society is increasingly defiled by this ceaseless propaganda. The family unit becomes decimated, children rootless and community replaced by selfish individuality and public correctness.
- The Heavenly Father has not planted these teachers or their doctrine and those in the churches who follow in their steps run the risk of being rooted up, (Matthew 15:13).
- They are blind leaders of the blind and the whole of society will fall into the ditch, (Matthew 15:14).
- Increasingly we have prominent leaders in various churches who are yielding to the spirit of the world in the face of the barrage of words. They tend to teach a kind of compassion and tolerance putting these ideas into first place. God is love and He is compassionate but not at the expense of His holiness. He is revealed as holy before His love, mercy and compassion is disclosed.
- A spirituality that lacks morality is practised. It is false. Divorce is an easy option, even in the churches. Young people often present in praise and worship meetings are loose in their thinking about their sexual lives.
- Mercy and compassion are put first and judgment is neglected contrary to what Jesus said when He warned us that we are not to neglect the weightier matters, “judgment, mercy and faith,” (Matthew 23:23). Note the order of those three words!
MASTERED BY GOD OR OURSELVES
Are we being mastered by the current trends in the world? Psalm 12:1 states, “the godly man is gone, the faithful have failed from among the children of men.”
- See the repetition of the idea of words, mouth, lip, speaking and tongue in this psalm.
- Words about the legitimacy and beauty of sexual liberty and doing it as you yourself like it ‘because it is a private matter’ permeate our world dragging the unwary and the weary onto the slippery slope of increasing animal behaviour.
- The motivation at bottom of all these words is, “who is lord over us,” (Psalm 12:4). “We will be our own lord, our own master, we are free, liberated to make our own choices.” Who is ‘Adon’ over us? ‘Adonai’ means lord.
- These words and ideas are not like God’s words.
- His word has been proven, like silver in the furnace of history in the earth.
- The people of God, Israel, when they lived according to God’s ways, they were “the happiest people on earth.”
- The nations round about were morally corrupt, ruined and defiling others. Alas, the people of God began to copy them and follow their gods and so became corrupted themselves.
AN EVER PRESENT DANGER
We are facing increased pressure to drink the poisoned waters currently accepted in the twenty-first century. The doctrines of feminism so dominant and aggressive in the mid to late twentieth century are now backfiring somewhat. This is how some discerning secular writers and observers see things anyway. Every word that is sourced in the unregenerate heart of man will have its day and it then produces a harvest that brings no sustenance to the human heart. Consider John Wesley and others in the mid to late eighteenth century in England. There was a spiritual revival, God moved in power as he and George Whitfield and others preached the word of God. They believed and preached the Word well tried like silver (Psalm 12:8) and purified perfectly (seven times). This brought a transformation in English society. Meanwhile, simultaneously across the English Channel people in France were listening to the humanistic doctrines of Tom Paine and others. Words about liberty, equality and brotherhood, but based on the weak efforts of human hearts. If we would have the life summed up in those three words – “judgment, mercy and faith,” -then God must be first and His ways embraced with a whole heart. The resources that are in Him will then be ours and so shall we truly live. The result of the vain efforts of reform in France was the blood bath we know as the French Revolution. The attempt to establish a secular godless society.
- Wesley and his friends had a particular way of considering and discerning truth (as is declared in the Scriptures)’ from error.
- First and foremost to them was “What saith the Lord” in His book the Bible.
- Then they considered the tradition of the centuries.
- Along with this they pondered things along the line of their reason. What was reasonable.
- Finally they examined experience.
- So, apply this to the matters of feminism and sexuality, alternative families promulgated this last fifty years or so.
- Firstly, what does God say in the Bible, and how did obedience to His ways work out in the traditions of societies. Was it and is it reasonable and what becomes of the experience of those who reject God’s ways?
- Draw a large circle on a piece of paper, write in that circle “Scripture”. Within that circle draw three intersecting circles and in one write tradition, the other reason and the other experience.
- Then draw a large oblong, divide it in half vertically and horizontally leaving yourself with four smaller oblongs of equal size. Then write those four words – truth (as is declared in the Scriptures), tradition, experience & reasons – one in each of those oblongs.
- Which drawing best represents the pursuit of truth about a matter? The first! If God and His word are not the all encompassing thing, and we err by giving equal value to “I feel this in my experience” and “to me it seems reasonable to accept that we live in days to which the church must adapt.” We are sure to err and the result be disaster sometimes swift and sometimes slow.
- Anyone prepared to be honest will acknowledge that experience and reason prove that the sexual freedom touted during the 1960’s and growing since the free use of the birth control pill has resulted in bondage and gender confusion, broken families, shattered marriages on an unprecedented scale in the arrogant sophisticated West. This ‘liberty’ has not produced what it promised!
LAYING THE GROUNDWORK
All that we have looked at so far has been laying the groundwork. The letter to the Romans was the letter from God’s heart, written to the Christians living in the midst of the most cruel, domineering and ruthless empire the world had yet known. Paul sets for the fact that mankind is wrecked and under judgment and God has acted in His mercy and compassion to bring about salvation through His Son. It is God’s good news. But first Paul will have to detail how mankind became degraded and in need of salvation. First, he will write mainly about the non Jew, the pagan, we can include ourselves as being from that background (Romans 1:18-32). However, he will also make some distinct statements about the Jew (Romans 2:1-29) and their privileges and problems. Then he will bring everything to the terrible conclusion, “there is none righteous, no not one….there is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:1-20). Having laid all this groundwork he wrote, “But NOW the righteousness of God has been manifested in Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:22).
- Now look carefully at Romans 1:18-32. Go slowly, see the states into which the human hearts degrade themselves. See how society is corrupted and becomes licentious, ruined and lost.
- It all begins with “ungodliness and unrighteousness,” (Romans 1:18). These two go together but the first word sets the condition of the second. Ungodliness is the refusal to reverence and honour God as God.
- Quite soon the outcome of this attitude to God, (Romans 1:21) is that human beings will not reverence each other and will engage in acts that dishonour one another, (Romans 1:26). It seems that sexuality and gender will be to the fore in this degradation. It is happening and shall worsen. The church must bear her testimony by her life in the midst of this quagmire.
A CONCLUDING EXAMPLE
Ben Stein, the well known American Jewish newspaper columnist and investigative reporter began to discover that many accomplished scientists, physicists and astronomers (among others) were unable to find employment in many places of learning. He delved into the matter realising that these people had, in some of their learned articles mentioned that they could only conclude that the creation came into being through intelligent design. This was sufficient to make them heretics in the minds of the establishment. Stein made a DVD entitled “Expelled.” There are interviews aplenty and these finish with him talking to the famous pop atheist Richard Dawkins. Stein is very clever and leads Dawkins (and with this the DVD finishes) to indicate indeed, it is likely that there is intelligent design at back of all things “but do not call him God.” Do not call Him God!
Having laid this foundation we can go on to some serious probing about beauty and value of human sexuality as God intended it and the ruinous aberrations that mankind has substituted in its place.