Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Big Deal About Sexual Purity, Cheating, Pornography, and God

The Big Deal About Sexual Purity, Cheating, Pornography, and God
By Cody G. Carson

I am no pastor; I am much more of an evangelist. However, part of my film ministry is based on building powerful and close relationships with God. Because of that, much of my focus is in the area of sexual purity. In this article I hope to explain its importance by showing how it affects our personal relationship with God.

Sexual sin does not cause God to love us less or accept us less, but it limits our hearing, interpretation and understanding of God’s will for our lives. It does this by creating a “spiritual short circuit.” The stimuli of lust and sexual experiences can be so intoxicating to our carnal emotions and satisfying to our egos that our subconscious creates a separate compartment for that area to exist. We then make-believe this compartment to be disconnected with the rest of our spirituality.

The carnal emotions that we gave freedom and authority to in this compartment then have an unchecked voice within us; that voice can help us reason that we need to be sexual to maintain a dating relationship, or that sexual promiscuity is harmless as long as it is consensual, or we may reason that since a divorce is imminent, or because unhappiness lingers, an extramarital affair is warranted.

Black or White: There is No Grey
We can choose to think we are obeying the “spirit” of God’s law, and are justified in whatever we choose to do by claiming forgiveness “under the blood.” That becomes our imaginary license to “bend” the written word of God around our circumstances and desires. It becomes selfishly profitable to interpret the letter of God’s law as being too legalistic and to, therefore, adopt a more liberal and subjective interpretation. We invent gray areas in order to determine the boundaries of our own personal carnal playground.

The reality is that God made no middle ground between good and evil. To God, obeying His laws and principles is good or holy. To break God’s laws and principles is sin or evil. God has never modified His law to fit our circumstances. God’s law never changes.

The more sexually active we become outside of marriage, the more carnal we become inside our relationship with Christ. A downward spiral begins as we try to use sex as a replacement to fill the growing void in our lives caused by our fleeting relationship with God.

The Sexes
God divided mankind into male and female with the ability and desire to connect intimately as man and wife through sex. He also gave us the capability and desire to have intimacy with Him through prayer. Just as the intimacy decreases in a marriage when one of the spouses is hiding an affair, our intimacy with God decreases when we are hiding our own pet sin. In both cases, sexual sin is the most difficult to repent from.

Weather it is sexual sin between man and wife, or sin between us and God, the resulting anger that comes from carrying unwanted guilt and shame causes our retreat from intimacy to a safer and more manageable distance.

In the case of a Christian spouse who is engaged in a sexual affair, the separation is from God as well as from the spouse; the same sin is killing both relationships.

Reality vs. Fantasy
It has been proven in medical science that the inner most parts of the psyche cannot determine the difference between real and imagined experiences. An example of this can be seen in children and in the elderly who cannot consciously distinguish reality from make-believe experiences seen in movies. Apart from our conscious reasoning, at our core there is no difference between what we think and what we do. Jesus understood this when He said in Matthew 5:28, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

The bible makes many more references confirming that God judges people by what they are on the inside, not the outside, and that sins committed in the thought life are counted equally as sins committed in action. Here are a few more:

1Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow, as it judges the thoughts and purposes of the heart.”

1 John 3:15 “Whoever hates his brother is a murder...”

To make matters worse, the thought processes of men are based in images unlike a woman who’s thought is based in words. (Her subconscious mind adds images to her thoughts and that gives her a slight interpretational protection from negative visual input.) The direct link from images to thought in men is often not understood by women. That image-to-thought link is a man’s weakness when it comes to pornography and is the reason that the images affect men differently than women. While porn does affect women, it has a more devastating effect on men. It has been readily proven in modern social science, that porn is influential in undermining marriages, ending dating relationships, severing men’s relationships with God, and in contributing to the objectualization, degradation, rape, and sex trafficking of women.

Psalm 44:21 “Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.”

Proverbs 12:8 “A man will be praised according to his insight, But one of perverse mind will be despised.”

One Way to Win
One cannot have true intimacy with God without sexual purity in thought as well as in action. It is impossible for men to view recreational pornography without committing the sexual sin of lust which cuts them off from their deepest intimacy with God (with their wives too if they are married) because it gives them a compartmentalized sin that is as carnalizing as it is difficult to get free of. Abstinence from pornography is the only way to be unaffected by it. However, it can take years of mental re-training after casual exposure for men to form thought processes that are no longer affected by the memories of its sexual images, philosophies and fantasies. The mental healing process is slow and it takes the choice of humility for a man to completely submit his thought life to God. When a man’s thoughts are in Godly submission, he does not commit the internal sins that allow the external sins to happen. God’s enemy is on the march in our culture, and pornography is the chosen weapon of mass destruction.

Sex Rules
The bible is very clear that sex is only for a man and a woman who are married. The bible also clearly states that husband and wife should not withhold sex from each other. If a woman has sex with her husband, she glorifies God. However, If a woman has sex with her date, or her boyfriend, she restricts her access to intimacy with God, and derails the man’s ability to be at his best with God. If a man has sex with his wife, he can enjoy her (guilt free) in the fulfillment of his erotic pleasures, because her body is not only her gift, but also God’s gift to him. However, if a man has sex with his date or girlfriend, he is not only pulling her away from God, but is also distancing himself from God. We were designed by God to have sex and given the desire for it; we were also given clear operating instructions on how to make it constructive and not destructive. The sex rules in the bible are not there to limit our pleasures; they are there to give us healthy direction.

God’s concept is simple: If you are married and physically able, then have frequent and fun sex with your spouse while remaining faithful. Thank God for your spouse, and remain true in your thought life. If you are not married, don’t have sex. Keep your thought life pure by submitting it to God. Singleness is a time of training in self control and self respect. He who can remain abstinent while single, can remain faithful in marriage.

Numerous clinical studies have shown suicide and depression to be common among the promiscuous and the homosexual. Also, the highest rates of self esteem and happiness occur within the faithful marriages of sexually active Christians who pray often.

Is God Real to You?
Many of us believe in God, but have never experienced a REAL relationship WITH God. It is easy to doubt the existence of God when a person believes from a distance. Why not experience true intimacy with God right now? Why not invite God to fill the void in your soul that eats at you. Do not be afraid; you have hidden nothing from the all knowing God who has counted the hairs on your head and numbered your heartbeats. If you are in a sexual relationship outside of marriage or if are addicted to pornography, yours will be a complicated journey, but it will be well worth the trip. Give it a try; if you can’t handle the good life, your sin will always welcome you back.

Pray This Prayer
“Lord Jesus, I know that I am apart from you and that our relationship is not what it could be because of the sin that is in me…. I ask you to help me be honest with my decision to turn away from my sin, and I ask you to give me the strength to remain clean from it. I give you the authority to remove my sin and to remove my will to sin. I give you the authority to make whatever changes that need to be made within me so that I do not choose a relationship with my sin life over a relationship with you again… With a true heart of repentance, I ask you to forgive me of my sins… You are my Lord and my Savior. You paid for my sins so that I don’t have to. I accept that payment. I want you to fill my life; I want that void in me to be gone forever. I want a personal relationship with you now, God... In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.”

What Now?
As historical records show, when someone repented of their sins, Jesus forgave them and said, “Now go and sin no more.” He was not only giving a command, but was expressing His desire for the new relationship to continue without being distanced by fresh sins.

If you prayed that prayer, you are very close to God right now. Stay there by remaining sin free. It is your free will choice to walk in obedience or to return to a carnal lifestyle. Get to know God while you are in His presence.

Get your bible or borrow one. Open it to the New Testament and read God’s love letter to you. Read the Old Testament too (it all applies), but start reading about this Jesus you just prayed to. He already knows you better than you know yourself; He wants you to get to know Him as a friend.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post!

    How we dress, act and even think should always be according to God's Holy Word, the Bible.
    Brother Cody has honestly taken on a subject that is not discussed often enough and way too often ignored completely.

    Sincerely in Christ,
    internet Pastor Bill