It’s October! Time for raking leaves, time for putting pumpkins and dried ears of corn out on our front stoop, time for long walks in the cool of the evening, time for getting huge bags of candy at sale prices, time to host Tom and Janice Kelly (our missionaries to Mexico for the past 30 years) one last time, time for Pastor Appreciation Month (so make sure to give your Deacons and Elders a hug this month), time for finalizing the church’s budget (so make sure to give your Deacons and Elders a hug this month), and time for ramping up to the November Presidential election.
This year, there’s one candidate who is clearly thoroughly worth your disdain -- the one from whatever party isn’t yours. I’ve never seen an election with more emotionalistic vitriol being spewed out by our candidates, by our media, and by the average Joe on the street. It seems like this one is going to be decided not on the issues, but on who appears least personally offensive to our nation as a whole. But let me caution us that when we make important decisions based on issues of esteem and offense, rather than based on logic and policy -- or, for that matter, on essential morality -- then we’re bound to end up with some nasty conclusions.
Luckily, if Donald Trump wins, then God will clearly be God, and His sovereignty will reign. Then again, if Hillary Clinton wins, then God will clearly be God, and His sovereignty will reign. Of course, if Gary Johnson wins, then God will clearly be God, and His sovereignty will reign (and He will have been shown to truly be a miracle-working God). My point is that, when we think about how to think about the upcoming election, we need to make sure that we put God first and foremost -- not just in what we decide, and not even just in how we decide, but also in our overall perspective on the context of the decision-making process itself.
That’s kind of the attitude we used in talking about sex this week in our message (and yes, we talked about sex -- get over it). I’d love to say that I’ve never understood why Christians have had such a hard time talking about sexual intimacy in a church context, but that’s not true. It’s not that it’s a private issue (because we talk about a lot of private issues in church contexts), and it’s not that it’s an emotional topic (because we talk about a lot of emotional topics in church contexts). It’s that we have allowed ourselves to buy into the same lie that the rest of the world has -- that sex is, at its core, an essentially naughty thing.
But Biblically, it’s supposed to be an essentially pure, God-honoring thing. I mean, men and women were literally created to complete one another, within the context of marriage. And verses like Hebrews 13:4 -- though usually used to condemn the sexually immoral -- are really all about how the marriage bed is a pure and holy thing.
So let’s make sure that we know what’s right and what’s wrong to do with our sexuality.
And let’s make sure that we’re doing those right things with the right hearts.
But let’s also make sure that we understand God’s context for our sexuality in the first place. It’s the ultimate emotional and physical intertwining, within the proper context of the ultimate spiritual and relational intertwining. It’s living out our Creation by placing God’s heart first, our beloved’s heart second, and our own heart third (which is pretty much backwards from the way the world presents it).
So don’t let the lost world be the only people talking about sex -- ’cuz they’re talking about it a lot... but they’re talking about it all wrong...