Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sex and the Single Christian

Rod Dreher has an interesting post up today regarding Sex and the City, and how the church handles chastity. Apparently Christianity Today reviewed and RECOMMENDED the movie. Some people were rightly not amused. Read it, it's worth the time.

It's a tough issue, and I think Rod hits on something when he says the church generally mishandles the issue (or doesn't handle it at all). How many sermons has your pastor preached on abstinence lately? If so, does the advice go any deeper than "don't do it"? Are single Christians holding their peers accountable in a firm, but gentle way? Are we expressing the true value of sex as one part of a committed bond? It's easy to avoid the issue. After all, we've been beaten up and called "prudes" so often by the world. We like to think of it as a "private" sin because it helps us excuse our inaction. Too bad that no sin is actually private. All sin damages our relationship with God, while also having earthly consequences. If the church is a connected body, how can we excuse standing by if our friends are doing something foolish? Isn't damage to one part of the body damage to the whole?

Just before Shannon and I got married, I was with a group of Christian men, and mentioned something about having to move all of her stuff while finalizing a wedding. He was genuinely surprised that we weren't shacking up already. I'm not trying to make mention of my own holiness. I have no more ability to resist temptation than anyone else out there. Fortunately I was marrying a godly woman, and even more fortunately, I have people in my life who refuse to stand by and allow me to make dumb choices. I would never have been in a position to shack up even if I wanted to. But that obviously isn't that case for most Christians or he never would have been so surprised.

I don't have any answers, other than to get involved in a loving way. We have perfect examples of how to handle sin in Paul's letters. How many churches actually follow the pattern he lays out? Do we ignore anything else so callously? Why do we let that one slip?