Needing a Creed
The church of the 21st century seems to be faced with the theological question of what Godâ€™s purpose is for human sexuality. Other generations have debated soteriology, Biblical veracity, sacraments, and furthest back the early church debated whether Gentile believers needed circumcision (Acts 15:6-29). Through all of these historic debates, one common trait is that the result is some form of creed or confession. At first the creeds were defining Christianity, and as history has gone on they have had a tendency to define types of Christianity.
Nevertheless, the 21st century, I believe will be a century in which the church must decide upon the matter of human sexuality. There may well need be a sort of â€œcreed of biblical sexualityâ€ that ought to be crafted and adopted by the church to distinguish herself from the libertinism that has swept up our culture and sadly has swallowed many denominations in its deluge.
The Glory of it All
Sexuality will prove to be a watershed issue of our generation, and the reason being is that God has made human sexuality to be a thing so intrinsic to our existence and experience as humans. It is no peripheral aspect of creation, it is plopped in front of us in the opening pages of scripture: â€œSo God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them (Gen. 1:27)â€ & â€œAnd they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed (Gen. 2:25)â€.
We are presented with maleness & femaleness, a command for these two sexes to fruitfulness (Gen. 1:28), and the conclusion of the Eden story (before sin marred the perfect creation order) is that a man and a women were naked, one flesh, and shamelessly so (Gen 2:23-25). Godâ€™sÂ Word concludes the creation narrative with a highly erotic scene of human sexuality.
This is because human sexuality was made to be something glorious, reflecting something infinitely more glorious! A man and a woman in union is a faint shadow of the union that existed (and will be reinstated) between heaven and earth. Christ and the church are the earnest of the full consummation to come. But until the Kingdom has fully come, we must not misunderstand what the parable of human sexuality is about! It is primarily about the glory of God, and when this is the case it is not a matter for quibbling but rather obedience! In our day, all manner of sexual concoctions are being brewed by the GQ-BLT community; these are all enough to cause a dizzy spell for those who prefer to live by common sense and not in commune tents!
Notice that Godâ€™s order is simple in its glory: one man, one woman, given over to an intensely profound union of their bodies which results in fruitfulness. The glory of human sexuality is not merely the image ofâ€“as Shakespeare put itâ€“ â€œthe beast with two backsâ€ which is glorious indeed in that it is two beings made as if into one.
This is glorious: that God intended heaven and earth, God and man, to be integrally united in a profoundly intimate and inseparable way. However, the glory of sex is also the fact that it is fruitful! That union of man and woman creates life! In this, I believe, God wants us to see that only when heaven and earth are united through Christ is life truly produced.
A Square Peg Just Won’t Go in a Square Peg
Herein lies the problem for all the gender-benders. Allow me to be euphemistically frank (if that is possible):
Two men can only be sparring partners, unless and until one of them submits to the humiliation and degradation of being the butt of the joke.
Two women can only be two empty gardens, forever separate, unable to fill the hole.
It is only when one man and one woman are together that each partner can both enjoy the dignity of being face to face, and at the same time, fulfilling the unique purpose of each: a mighty instrument of strength enters a garden full of possibility. In this consummation the womanâ€™s garden is tended and the manâ€™s tool is employed in the Creatorâ€™s intended use.
This also leaves polygamy out in the cold! Polygamy is a man trying to tend two gardens at once, and anatomy itself testifies that this is an impossibility and one garden or the other must be left vacant and also untended.
The Glory of Sex
A man and woman together, face to face, same but sundered, identical apart from one difference, united by a vow to be two made one, capable of producing life through their mingled love: this is the glory of sex. This is the truth that must be fought for. Much still needs to be done here, and it must be done with a gracious manfulness. Meaning, no cowards need apply.
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