What Are the Issues?
This is the final post that seeks to answer the question, “What should preachers preach about sex?” I have sought to establish that preachers certainly need to preach the Biblical message about sex which not only includes forbidding sex outside of marriage, but celebrating sex within marriage. If preachers neglect to preach both messages, they neglect to share the full message of Scripture with their congregations. Furthermore, history has proven that when the church fails to hear the full message of Scripture regarding sex, it distorts the idea of marriage and inevitably creates a loose sexual climate within the church. That being said, the modern church is in dire need to hear the full message of Scripture with regards to sex and marriage.
What are the sexual issues in our churches and culture that need to be addressed from the pulpit? There are many. Just because something is ignored does not mean that it does not exist. Preachers do not usually preach about elephants, but elephants exist. Metaphorically elephants exist in churches. The elephant in the room is a euphemism for something extremely obvious to all, but no one is talking about that certain something. That something is what may be referred to as “the elephant in the room.”
When it comes to sexual sin and dysfunction there is an elephant in the church auditorium. Each week the pews are filled with confused people whose marriages are suffering. The pews are filled with people who are living in sexual sin. Statistics show that just over 50% of men who attend church are addicted to internet pornography. 30% of pastors are addicted to the same. Youth group teenagers are “sexting”; which is taking sexually suggestive and/or nude picture of themselves and sending them as a pix message to another person’s cell phone. Women who attend church are reading romance novels that are laced with erotic themes. Pornography designed for men is built on images. Pornography for women is built on words. Romance novels are to women what Playboy is to men.
Christian families subscribe to cable television packages that include movie channels which readily show pornographic material. I want to make this statement without statistical proof, but I believe I would be hard pressed to be proven untrue. If a family subscribes to these movie packages there is a problem with pornography in the home. At the very least the problem is that pornography is in your home. Most Christian parents would not think of buying Playboy magazines and using them as coffee table pieces. They would consider it shameful and wouldn’t dare take the chance that their children would flip through the pages. So what’s the deal with HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime? How is that any different? If it is there, it is there! It is dangerous and it will be used! If you are foolish enough to subscribe to these channels and not consider them dangerous, may I also suggest to you a pet tiger, or plastic explosives you can use as silly puddy, or a quick game of “sharp knife toss.” “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned (Proverbs 6:27)?”
Another strange anomaly taking place in the Christian family is the lack of sexual intimacy. Christian couples are marrying and quickly growing cold. This is due to many factors including stolen intimacy from pornography, failure to communicate, pressures of failing stewardship, and so forth; but one thing that never ceases to surprise me as a pastor who counsels Christian couples is that most couples believe a lack of sex in marriage is normal. It is a sit-com theology that says once you’re married, sex is no fun. I have cited several passages in my posts on these matters, but one does not have to read the Scriptures very far to realize that married couples who are not active with one another sexually are rare. For a married couple to not have sex, Biblically, is weird, strange, and odd. Something is horribly wrong. In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul encourages Christian couples to engage sexually, submitting one’s body to his or her spouse, and refraining for sex only in short, agreed upon seasons. Paul implies that if a couple is not having sex it may give Satan an opportunity to tempt (1 Corinthians 7:5). Again, the Bible teaches it, therefore preachers should preach it. Sex outside of marriage is wrong, but sex inside marriage is to be celebrated and enjoyed.
Preachers are to feed Christ’s sheep and help them walk in Biblical paths. Pastors who cherish this call will not neglect to instruct the church on sexual topics. If he preaches the Word faithfully he will not be lewd and inappropriate. If he preaches the Word it will edify the flock and sanctify marriage. If he preaches the Word it will guide the church in Christ likeness and holiness. Preach the Word, all of it!