I read a post last night that grieved my heart to no end. It is called “Single, Saved, and Sexin': The Gospel of Getting Your Freak On.” From the title to the contents of this post, the air was sucked out of me:
Like most conservative Christian folks, I grew up believing, that sex was reserved for marriage. For years my sexual experiences were laden with guilt. I routinely went years at a time with no sexual contact, until I would finally, in a fit of weakness give in to my urges. I was caught in a continual cycle of self-denial, self-indulgence, guilt, confession, rinse and repeat, topped off by five years of celibacy. I was treating sex as if it were a bad habit that I desperately needed to break.
All of that is a prelude to a confession: I’m single. I’m saved (as in born-again Christian). And I have sex. Unapologetically. [emphasis added]
She goes on to defend her choice to have sex, citing the oppression of women in the church, and the single sad lonely Christian Black woman phenomenon. She concludes:
I refuse any longer to live a fear-driven life, based upon a set of rules that mete out punishment and reward based on how well I perform. I think Jesus came to free us from performance driven living. As women, we are no stranger to performance driven lives, which often leave us empty and unfulfilled as we try to be all things to all people. And then we turn around and try to do this same thing in our faith, and it isn’t working. For Black women who are already forced to be superhuman in every other aspect of the world, our faith space, personal and communal, can only be liberatory when it permits us to be fully human, sexuality and all.
Sex is a form of creative power. And it is in the literal fact of its creative aspects that we feel alive, fully human, and connected. I think God wants nothing less than this for us, and that requires regular, intimate connections of bodies, or at the very least a very regular, intentional and unapologetic intimate connection with our own body.
So sex is back on the table for me in an emotionally safe intimate connection with another person. Because marriage or no, I am clear about this one thing: celibacy is not for me. I need connection. I need intimacy. I need sex. Period.
My mouth was hanging wide open after I read this, and my heart was broken. My first thought was, “MAN! There are a whole lot of “I’s” in that post!” When all we can talk about is what we want and what we need, that’s a sure sign that God is not in the equation. My second thought was that not a single scripture was quoted in the entirety of that post to provide any credence to what she was saying. That’s the most clear sign we can get to let us know that what we think has absolutely nothing to do with the will of God. My third thought was, “Is this how I sound to God? Is this what He hears when I make a conscious decision to sin — irrespective of what the sin is — despite knowing that what I’m going to do is going to break God’s heart?” It was such a great post for me to read, because sometimes we need to put it in writing — or say it out loud — to see how absolutely foolish we sound.
I’ve already explained why being “single, sad, lonely, and Christian,” ought to be oxymoronic in this post: “Twisted: Why Nothing About Jesus is Keeping You Single & Lonely,” so I won’t go back into that. But I’ll share with you my response to her, and ask that you all keep her in prayer:
This grieves my heart so much I couldn’t even get through it all. But how I feel makes no difference, as Christians, what should matter to us is how God feels. The clearest way to understand how God feels is to read the Word He left for us, which you did not quote at all to come to your conclusions. There is a reason for that. Besides that point, here are some questions that might be helpful for you to ponder as you figure out what God’s will is for your life.
1) What does it mean to be saved? You say you are “saved,” but then you say reading the Bible there “aint no good news in it.” That leads me to believe that you can’t possibly understand what Christ did just for you. How He sacrificed His life just for you and what that entails. Ask yourself, what does being “saved” mean to you? Christ was beaten, bruised, and brutally murdered so that we can be saved from the consequences of sin, which is death (Romans 6:23 “for the wages of sin is death, but the Gift of God is eternal life). ETERNAL LIFE! That should be enough good news in and of itself! But that is only the beginning!! Christ has saved us from being SLAVES to sin. Meaning we no longer have to sin because “we can’t help it,” or “it’s too hard.” Romans 6:1 “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” What you are bragging about in this post, sis, is your dedication to living in sin, because God’s grace is going to cover you. But Christ has freed us from the bondage and death of sin!
2) Who is your master? Romans 6:16:Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and having been set free from sin, have become slaves to righteousness.” These scriptures clearly show that we are going to be slaves to someone. Our will is never our own, though we think we’ve got everything under control. We’re either going to submit to God, or submit to sin. You say Christ is your savior — but is He your LORD? The word “savior” is used to describe Jesus 24 times in the New Testament. The word “Lord” is used 747 times. There is a reason for this: you only need to be saved ONCE. What happens next is the understanding that Christ needs to become our master, that our lives need to reflect that Christ has saved us. That makes us different, and set apart. How are you going to minister to the world as Christ commands us to do in Matthew 28:20 if you are HAPPILY living in sin? He didnt save you so you can do what you like, He saved you so you can FOLLOW Him and have life more abundantly than any EMPTY sex can give you (because that’s what sex outside of God’s embrace is, EMPTY!). Luke 6:46-48, Christ says “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say?!” John 14:15: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” PERIOD!
3) Where is your counsel coming from? Your declaration that you are “unapologetically” having pre-marital sex is the manifestation of your submission to sin. Sex is your master, and I have to agree with the sister above that when you can sin and have no apology for it, no shame at all, God has turned you over to a reprobate mind, because that is truly the absence of the Holy Spirit who should be convicting you when you do wrong. Where are the Christian leaders in your life? What do they have to say about this? Do you have any? This is why it is so important that God says in Hebrews 10:25 “forsake not the assembling together of Christians, so you can encourage each other, and all the more preparing for the Day that draws near.” You need a Christian circle of leaders, sisters, and brothers who will keep you accountable to the word of God. THat’s why the Bible says in Proverbs 24:5-6 “For by wise guidance you will wage war, And in abundance of counselors there is victory.” You are not receiving wise counsel. You are being deceived, sis. God forgives our sins when we REPENT. Repenting means to acknowledge your sin and TURN from it. It doesn’t allow you to be “unapologetic”! You are not being forgiven because you are not asking for forgiveness! You are not repenting and you are missing out on what God has for your life as you continue unashamed in sin.
4)How hard is “too hard”? You mention that it is “hard to take the Bible as the Gospel truth.” Sis, what?! As Paul says, if Christ didn’t die, we are wasting our times. Why do you claim Christ if you do not believe His word is “the gospel truth”? Yes it’s hard not to have sex as a single Christian, but let’s talk about “hard” for a second. Let’s talk about God sending His only Son to earth to die for us. Christ KNEW He was going to be betrayed by his closest friend, badly beaten, tortured, and murdered for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG. He knew this in advance. Do you think that was easy for Him to do? Even as He was completely God, He was also completely man and would feel the emotional and physical pain He would endure. The night in which He was betrayed He cried out to God, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” YET NOT AS I WILL, BUT AS YOU WILL. We have all suffered wrongs in our lives, we’ve all been hurt before, but the bottom line is that WE SIN EVERYDAY, we hurt God everyday, and He doesn’t have any degrees of sin. Romans 6:23 THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH. ALL SIN. No qualifications. Every single day we live on earth is a blessing and a gift from God because we deserve death EVERY SINGLE DAY. So when bad things happen to us, we can trace that to something we’ve done that shows somewhere in our lives we deserved that wrong. But Christ died doing nothing wrong. Do you think that was easy? John 13:16 says “I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” Christ is our master. Do you think that if He suffered, we are too good to suffer? If He faced trials and tribulations, we are too good to face trials and tribulations? It is a ridiculous thought! And you’re saying what, now? Your need to creatively express your sexual selfhood is too strong to be overcome? It’s too hard for you to do?! Keep Christ’s sacrifice in mind as you ponder what God has called for you to do with your life.
It’s not about you, boo! It’s not about your wants, needs, or desires. I am praying for you, sis! I am praying God pricks your heart and changes it to reflect Christ’s heart. The ruling desire of Christ’s heart was to do God’s will. That’s all He wanted. When the ruling desire of your heart is to do the will of God, then, my sister, you are a Christian. Until then, you are lost in sin. I am praying for you, and I would love to be a part of your spiritual circle of accountability. I love you, my sister, and I will pray with you, if you so desire. firstname.lastname@example.org
We can sin all day long, but we had better not ever say Christ is cool with it, because that is a lie from the pit of hell. Do not be deceived! God is not mocked. In Revelation 3:15-16 He says: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
I don’t know about y’all, but I don’t ever want to be spit out. I’m tired of pretending the things that I do “aren’t that bad,” or aren’t as bad as some other people’s sins. I’m tired of ignoring that my sin is BREAKING GOD’S HEART. Let’s keep each other accountable to this. Let’s continue to pray for each other’s strength in Christ, because we are in spiritual warfare. The devil is busy, roaming, to and fro, seeking whom he can devour, and he’s starting in the Church. We need to make sure we are on a solid foundation, that our faith in Christ is rooted in the Word of God, because when we are outside of the word, we can justify anything we want, and that justification will lead us to ruin. Christ says in Matthew 7:24-27:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
So we’re either rockin’ or crashin.’ I want to rock. I want The Rock. And I want to want what The Rock wants. Check your foundation, family!