Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sexual Impurity: A Form Of Heart Disease

Fr. Dale Matson

“A life driven to sexual sin reflects thinking that has long been infected by sensual images and self-pleasure.” Dr. Harry W. Schaumburg.

“Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind; to do what ought not to be done.” (Romans 12:28, NIV)

“The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:13b-20, NIV)

The preceding passages from Scripture came to mind when I ran across this article on the internet. Sex Weekend examines sexual culture.

“Students often do not realize the difference between normative — being in the middle of the bell curve for certain behaviors — and normal, which is a judgment call, [Jill]McDevitt said, adding that what is common is not necessarily good just as what is deviant is not necessarily bad.” Actually, she is right in the sense that obesity is now normative but not good. The problem however is that morals do not change but mores do. Human behavior is now guided by relativistic social custom without reference to the criterion reference of Scriptural standards. The workshop at Yale dealt with masochism, incest, bestiality, prostitution and exhibitionism. One student concluded, “I think that’s what the point of the workshop was — to bring up things we thought were so taboo and desire or urges we criticize are just regular parts of sexual psychology.”

This workshop was not really an attempt to “sensitize” students to those engaging in sexual immorality as much as it was an attempt to desensitize students to the immoral behaviors. Sinful behaviors are symptoms of a heart predisposed to act them out. But the problem is cyclical because the more the behaviors are exhibited, the more likely the heart will be changed (darkened) by them and further predisposed to them. Christ’s admonition, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28, ESV) This was more prophesy than hyperbole.

How many Christians have been embarrassed and shamed by their own dreams where they act out recurrent daily fantasies. There may even be more guilt in the unconscious mind of the dreamer than in the awakened mind. It is God demonstrating to us where the lustful heart will take us. It is a forced honesty in the unconscious mind that is lacking in the conscious, rationalizing, self-deceiving and self-justified mind. Sometimes God allows our dreams to demonstrate to us the full extent of our depravity.

There are several explanations why sexual sins are worse than other sins. I believe St. Paul explained it quite well. Christians are the temple of God. Sexual impurity is a desecration of your body, a body that no longer belongs to you and a desecration of God’s temple. How is this any different, for example than the abomination of temple prostitutes in the Old Testament? We are told by St. Paul to honor God with our bodies, yet we dishonor God with sexual sin. It is also a boundary issue. Moral behavior is based on boundaries. Those with any addiction problem begin to dissolve moral boundaries over time. The line in the sand in moved time and time again until there is no longer a line in the sand. All things become permissible to the darkened mind.

As Christians, it is so easy to compare ourselves to the world and say, “Thank God I am not like him.” (Luke 18:11) Christians fall so often because we are different in our behaviors but similar in our hearts to those we rail against. Lord, give us the will toward a pure heart that our moral slip will not be inevitable.     

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