The Nature of Human Sexuality
The Nature of Human Sexuality
The question arises as to why Christians view God as opposed
to sex of any form outside of a marriage consisting of a man and
a woman (e.g., homosexuality, masturbation, singles having sex,
etc). Although there are harmful consequences associated with
sex outside of God's design - and these are presented as reasons
in themselves - there is, in fact, a more fundemental reason why
God has prescribed a particular manner in which we are to practice
An underlying principle of Christianity is that God created
man for a purpose. That primary purpose being for us to intimately
know God and share in all that He has. That means that we are
called to know Him as a person and have an intimate relationship
with Him on that level. When God created man and woman we see
that God created them together as His image (Gen 1:27). This means
that the oneness of marriage is reflective of the very nature
of God. Thus, Christians consider sex as God intended it good
for God created it and blessed it. The Apostle Paul even wrote
about how it is not good for a married couple to abstain from
it for very long (I Cor 7:5). The only prohibition in the Bible
is sex outside of the marriage relationship. Sex in marriage and
performed as God designed it, therefore, is a picture of something
that resides at the very heart of God. Sex creates a complement
of two that have divergent but complementary qualities. Therefore,
sex with oneself (i.e., masturbation) does not provide us with
the image of becoming one nor establish a medium in which to pleasure
one another as appears to be at the very heart of God. We are
to rely upon the marriage partner for this pleasure so that we
associate them with the pleasure. The pleasure is not to be disassociated
from the partner. It is not a personal pleasure but a shared pleasure.
Homosexuality violates the idea of diverse but complementary becoming
one. Marriage also contains much more but I am only addressing
this one aspect. But to distort the image that sex between a husband
and wife presents is an insult to the Artist and hinders us from
gaining a fuller understanding of God, His nature, and our relationship
to Him. Christianity is not a set of arbitrary rules. It is a
relationship between a God and a person. When you love someone
you look for ways to please them. Human romance is only a shadow
of the relationship that God wants to have with us.
One of the fruits of this physical union is life - a new human
person. This brings out another principle of God that is demonstrated
by sex. That is, that life springs forth from love.
So when God created man and woman He desired that they be united
as "one flesh" (Gen 2:24). Since God is referred to
as "one" in the same way as man and woman are referred
to as "one" this heavily implies that the oneness of
marriage reflects the oneness of God. Then what exactly does "oneness"
then mean? The Hebrew word used for God as one and man and woman
as one is "echad." Echad can mean one as in "one
goat," "one day," "one stone," etc. However,
it can also refer to a plural unity such as in a composite whole.
For example, in Num 13:23 echad refers to a cluster of grapes.
And in Gen 11:6 those who built the tower of Babel are referred
to as "one people." When we refer to a person we know
that the "one" person consists of several distinct components
(emotions, thoughts, hands, heart, liver, etc.). Yet we all understand
all of these parts constitute "one person." We also
see echad used very intensely in Ezekiel 37:15-28 in the prophecy
of the "two sticks" of Israel and Judah becoming one.
In that prophecy we have a representative picture and the actuality.
Examine the passage carefully and you will see that the intent
of the two sticks is to be a picture that Ezekiel first shows
to the captive Jews in Babylon. The idea is that they would remember
this message as they go about their daily activities and would
pick up sticks (for building cooking fires, for example) and be
reminded of this promise of God and have hope. In Ezek 37:17 the
sticks don't fuse together into a single stick. It appears that
this was representative of the reality of what happens in God's
hand in Ezek 37:19. Even then, Judah and Israel contain distinct
tribes (after all, one must know who the Levites are for priests
and who the tribe of Judah is from which the Messiah will come).
So the oneness of the two sticks in Ezekiel's hand obviously is
a representative oneness and echad in Ezek 37:17 could be easily
translated as "united." But, nevertheless, the oneness
of Israel and Judah still consists of many individuals from twelve
distinct tribes. The individuals do not become a homogenous consciousness
or a physical singularity of any sort. We are dealing on a spiritual
level of oneness, which is reflective of God's nature.
For marriage the oneness could not simply be a reference to
the bearing of children, which are in a sense, a one flesh result
of the union. It must refer to the marriage itself, for certainly
Adam and Eve were "one flesh" before they bore any children.
This concept of "one" then could not then refer to a
uniform or homogenous state of being; men and women are very different.
Individuals who are united in marriage do not lose their individual
traits, such as their own thoughts, emotions, etc. The couple
does not have the same blood type after they were married if their
blood types were different before they were married. The "oneness"
does not necessarily refer to a homogenous singularity for the
oneness of marriage is reflective of the nature of God Himself.
Examining the Scriptures tells us that there is more to the oneness
of God than we would at first think and gives a foundation to
understanding the triune nature of God.
hi. i have read the mail you sent me. im sorry that mail
i sent your freind lambert was so rude., but i was annoyed that
day. anyway, i respect your way of thinking and all, but to me
religion is just a dogma. i was raised christian and i totally
despise it. i think the bible is just a bunch of crap... after
all, it was rewritten and translated millions of times, so know
one knows what the real story is.i cant see how having sex or
masturbating is sinful. it is simply pleasuring yourself or
someone else. how do you know god says these lustful things are
bad????? did he come and tell you???? you are just believing
what the bible tells you. how can murder and sex both be a sin????
it makes no sense. humans need sex, it is a natural healthy thing
to do, animals do it too. so why do you say that humans can only
do it under certain conditions??? do you get my point?? just
because people have sex for fun and not procreation doesnt make
them bad, so i think it is wrong that you christians make a big
deal out of it. i happen to be a very nice person, i donate to
charity, i help out people whenever i can, i am nice, i help
all kinds of organizations and do lots of other nice things,
and i happen to have a huge appetite for sex. sex is a fun
activity just like soccer. well thats all i have to say. feel
free to email me back.
I was once a severe skeptic so I knew the hostility towards
Christianity that you now have. I thought Christianity was for
the 'brain-washed' and snickered that anyone would take such 'rubbish'
as legitimate. To me being a Christian meant that you didn't think
for yourself but let some manipulative dictator do your thinking
for you. Christianity was irrelevant and Christians were to be
looked down upon as intellectually compromised. I ardently rejected
the Bible as a book of ridiculous fables. However, as you already
know, I came into a relationship with God on a person-to-person
level. I was not brought up in any Christian Church and thus
no one can say that I just accepted what was handed to me. Those
who knew me at the time (25 years ago) were totally shocked that
I had become a Christian. In fact, no one was more shocked than
myself. So if God can grab hold of me He can grab hold of anyone
- including you.
Part of the confidence I have comes in the fulfillment of the
recorded prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah in the
person of Jesus and the historical event of His physical resurrection.
If you are interested in investigating the historical evidences
for Christianity, including the all important resurrection event,
let me suggest the book "New Evidence That Demands A Verdict
- Revised Edition" by Josh McDowell. If Jesus is who He
said He was then this truly requires a close examination of what
He said and their implications. I am not sure where you got your
information that the Bible was rewritten and retranslated millions
of times, but McDowell's book goes into evidences concerning the
various Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and their reliability. Another
book, "New Testament Documents : Are They Reliable?"
by F.F. Bruce goes into depth concerning the New Testament manuscripts.
Following are some other books worth examining in this area:
a) "Who Moved the Stone?" by Frank Morison b) "The
Historical Jesus : Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ"
by Gary R. Habermas c) "Leading Lawyers' Case For The Resurrection"
by Ross Clifford d) "The Historical Reliability of the Gospels"
by Craig L. Blomberg Because of my confidence in Jesus as the
Messiah - God come to us clothed in human flesh - I trust what
He has said concerning the areas of life where my knowledge is
lacking. None of us are aware of all the pitfalls and dangers.
Sometimes we are oblivious even after we have fallen headlong.
And sometimes we don't want to hear anything that will spoil
what we would like to believe.
Your desire for sex is something that God built into you, just
as He has built it into all of us. As I stated in my previous
e-mail the sexual relation within a marriage is a picture of something
within the very heart of God. But there is more to this picture
than that which is represented by physical pleasure. To separate
this aspect from the picture is like going into the kitchen of
a master chef, discovering the various ingredients set out for
the preparation of a wonderful meal, and eating the pure sugar
- not waiting for the chef to properly prepare the meal. The
master chef intended the sugar as only one ingredient to complement
the others in a complex manner. Sugar tastes sweet but is extremely
one dimensional in character - it is something that appeals to
children who have not acquired a taste for subtle and complex
dishes. You are shortchanging yourself by not having the patience
to have the meal served as intended. If we were patient and waited,
then when the chef does serve the meal, we discover that the sugar
takes on a richer and fuller quality that we never would have
imagined it could posses.
So God, the "Master Chef," has designed various aspects
of life for us to be experienced within certain contexts. In
this case, sex is to be experienced within the context of marriage.
Sex for its own sake lacks psychological and spiritual moorings.
Marriage is where we find the tools to hold it all together.
Of course, not everyone uses the tools of marriage properly and
they end up in psychological, spiritual, and physical messes.
But the point is that the tools to make sex truly meaningful
exist only within the context of marriage. I never said that
the only reason fro sex is procreation. If you think that is what
I meant then you shoud re-read my previous e-mail more carefully.
But what lasting and fulfilliing thing do you expect to gain
from sex for sex's sake alone?
I think that it is naive to think that sex is in the same category
as playing soccer. Sex is a much more powerful force than that.
It works on a much deeper and more profound level. Nearly every
culture throughout history has understood the powerful nature
of sex and have taken precautions to keep it from going out of
control. Those societies that let it run wild have not survived
for very long. I think that you are playing with something more
powerful than you know and someday you may find it explode in
your face in ways you never imagined.
I don't doubt that you are a nice fellow and do benificial
things for others. But such things do not create a relationship
with God. God desires for us to relate to Him personally and
trust Him. Examine the book of Ecclesiastes. There we find Solomon
who tried everything to find satisfaction in life, including power,
knowledge, sex, monument building, parties, etc, found, in the
end, that only trusting in God provided true satisfaction. His
lament over all other things was "emptiness of emptiness
- all is empty." Solomon points out that all will die -
the rich & poor, the wise & foolish, the famous &
obscure. The famous are forgotten by the next generation. The
wealth of the rich is given to someone else. He hence asks what
difference anything makes since we all end up in the same place
anyway - the grave. And this is the conclusion we are forced
to accept if we leave God out of the equation. Are you certain
that you can leave God out of the equation of life?