Saturday, October 31, 2009
Seeing that marriage is a reflection of our heavenly marriage to Christ, then sex must also have a spiritual counterpart in our spiritual relation with Christ. Going back to Matthew 19 (oh how I love this chapter!), Jesus gave a resounding affirmation of the sex act when He said:
"And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Matthew 19:4-6).
The sex act is described as the physical union between a man and woman, where two bodies join together and become "one flesh." No one should go and try to destroy this unity which God has ordained. Sex is a sacred, God-ordained act, "what therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder" (vs. 6).
So how is it that we now have people trying to tell us when a husband and wife should and should not have sex? Where did they get their doctrine that sex is only for procreation? Absolutely nothing in scripture speaks of this. As a matter of fact, the Bible encourages us to have sex as often as we want, and to take pleasure in it. The only restriction is when a woman is having her period, because of sanitary hazards, and also some time after childbirth so her body can recover (Leviticus 15:19; Leviticus 12:2-6). The following are scriptures that endorse sex for pleasure. Emphasis is supplied where appropriate.
"Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love" (Proverbs 5:18-19).
"How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!" (Song of Solomon 4:10).
His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem" (Song of Solomon 5:16).
"I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves" (Song of Solomon 7:10-12).
"The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control" ( 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, NLT).
The scriptures speak for themselves. I have yet to find a scripture that tells me that sex purely for pleasure is wrong.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Let me now go into the explanation and give the Biblical facts.
Celibacy by definition is the disavowal of marriage, thus celibate persons have chosen not to marry. Nothing in this definition speaks to abstinence, and so therefore a celibate person can be sexually active outside of marriage. Usually however, religious celibates, also take vows of chastity, where they promise to abstain from sex as well. Please see http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/celibacy. Many people have used the passage in Matthew 19:12 to teach that Jesus endorses celibacy, and we read:
For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it (Matthew 19:12).
Some have said that Jesus was teaching celibacy here, however if you read the preceding two verses, you will see that Jesus was in fact not teaching celibacy, but disagreeing with it on principle. Jesus was having a discussion with the Pharisees about marriage and divorce, and after the discussion His disciples said, "If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry" (vs. 10). To which Jesus replied, " All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given" (vs. 11). What Jesus was saying was that only certain people can be celibate, and he named three catergories of people, who were all eunuchs! In verse 12 He named:
- Natural-born eunuchs: People born with low lido/sex drive
- Surgically induced enuchs: People who were castrated and hence had low libido/sex drive, and
- Spiritual enuchs: People who have lost the desire for sex due to a sense of spiritual fulfillment and wholeness.
The practice of making people take vows of celibacy is unnatural. A normal person with normal libido should not swear off sex. They are putting themselves in danger of falling into sin and sexual immorality. A couple months ago, a former Catholic priest was ousted because he was found to be in a relationship with a woman. He could not practice as a Catholic priest and still keep his girlfriend, therefore he left the Catholic priesthood and became an Episcopalian priest. For more on Father Cutie please read http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1896581,00.html . Nowhere in the Bible does God encourage His people to be celibate. He may encourage abstinence for short periods of time such as for "prayer and fasting" but He then says, "Come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency" (1 Corinthians 7:5). This is tantamount to a command to have sex, and lots of it.
Some have even tried to use 1 Corinthians 7:8 to justify celibacy, where Paul says, "I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I." They assume that Paul was encouraging unmarried people and widows to remain single because he was single. Nothing is further from the truth! Paul was not encouraging singleness in this verse, because he himself was married! We read in Eusebius Ecclesiastical History that Paul was married, but did not take his wife along with him on missionary trips. We also read in 1 Corithians 9: 5 where Paul asked the Corinthian church: "Don’t we have the right to bring a Christian wife with us as the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers do, and as Peter does?" (NLT). Why would Paul ask about taking his wife with him if he did not have a wife! We see in Phillipians 4:3 where Paul references his wife by calling her his "true partner" in NLT ( or "true yoke-fellow" in KJV). Starting from verse 2 we read, "Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. And I ask you, my true partner to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. " (Phillipians 4:2-3, NLT). Here Paul was asking his wife to negotiate a quarrel between two women - Euodia and Syntyche. Paul was therefore not teaching that the unmarried and widows should be celibate, but that they should practice abstinence due to lack of a mate, just as he had to practice abstinence being away from his wife. There is no reason to believe that Paul did not resume normal relations with his wife when he went home to see his wife.
So what about those spiritual eunuchs? So what about them. As was said before, spiritual eunuchs have low sex drive because of a sense of spiritual fulfillment and wholeness without a sexual partner. Generally speaking, spiritual eunuchs are normal people with normal libido but due to their high level of spiritual involvement in the pursuit of spiritual things, they may temporarily have a low sex drive or low libido. They are so caught up in the things of God, that sex and marriage becomes the least of their concerns. Such persons are actually practicing a form of sacred sexuality, where God, and not a person gives them complete fulfillment. God fills their hearts with joy, peace, happiness, ectasy, and love that even surpasses the love of a spouse. For those unable to find a suitable spouse, this condition of being a spiritual eunuch may be permanent. For those who are able to find a suitable spouse, this condition may be temporary, but they will continue to receive God's love either directly, or indirectly through their spouse. "For the Scriptures say, 'The two are united into one.' But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him ( 1 Corinthians 6:16b-17, NLT). As Christians we are all married to our heavenly Spouse, Jesus Christ. He is our Spouse, and earthly marriages are just a reflection of our marriage to Him. So whether we are married to someone, or single, we can all enjoy the privileges of being married to our heavenly Spouse.
So we can see that celibacy is totally unbiblical, but is a condition that can only be maintained by eunuchs! Spiritual eunuchs are really not celibate at all, but are practitioners of sacred sexuality, where God fills their lives with joy and ectasy, and a love that far surpasses the love of a spouse.
ADDENDUM: Jesus said, "and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake" in Matthew 19:12. We can also include in this category people who have voluntarily undergone procedures to decrease their sex drive, as a way of controlling their sex drive and to maintain sexual purity. I can think of pedophiles, who have a high sex drive for children, and who do not respond to behavior management/training, that might undergo castration. People who do this are opting for entering into eternal life "maimed" than to go to hell with all their body parts intact (Mark (9:43). Personally, I do not endorse castration, because I believe the Holy Spirit has the power the change the sexual desires of the sexually depraved. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to access the power of the Holy Spirit.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
As stated before, lust is an evil desire or a desire for something which we have no right to have. Sex is something good given to us by God and is therefore not evil; but sex with someone we have no right to be having sex with is wrong. The question is, how do we control our sexual desires so that it does not turn into lust? That question is best answered by using food as an analogy. Food was created by God to satisfy our need for nutrition. Hunger, which creates a desire for food, is the driving force that motivates us to seek food. Ideally, we eat when we are hungry. Having a desire for food is not wrong when we are hungry, but having a desire for food when we are not hungry is not good. Desiring food when we are not hungry is called greed (food cravings), and when we eat when we are not hungry, it is called gluttony. I know many of us have been guilty of gluttony, myself included, but this example shows you how a normal desire such as hunger for food can become abnormal, if we do not properly control our desire for food. It is the same way with sexual desire and lust. Sexual desire is a normal desire, but when our sexual desire becomes the overriding factor in our dating relationships, and in our thoughts with real or imaginary persons, including pornography, then we have stepped over the line. Some people are so 'horny' that they cannot even bear to be in the same room with a member of the opposite sex without thinking sexual thoughts towards that person. Their desire is not really for that person. Their desire is really for sex, and they are going to get some, no matter with whom. When you find that your desire is for sex alone that does not include the well-being of the other person, then you know that you have crossed the line from sexual desire to lust.
Here is what God wants. He wants us our desire for the well-being of the other person to override and control our actions and desires, even our sexual desires. We have to learn how to bring our bodies under subjection to the will of the mind through the power of God (1 Corinthians 9:27). We must learn how to hold back on our sexual desires and deny ourselves, so that true love will grow. Here is what Paul had to say about controlling our sexual desires during courtship, "Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well (1 Corinthians 7:37). If a man with a girlfriend (virgin) exercises self-control over his own will to be sexually active with his girlfriend, then he is doing well! Sounds impossible in this day and age, but with God all things are possible. The apostle John was in just such a relationship with a woman, where he had to control his sexual desires for the sake of true love. We read in 2 John 1, The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth. In this verse, John expresses a general love for this lady and her children that is non sexual. Further in this epistle however, he makes a date to see the woman, so that their "joy may be full." He says, Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full (2 John 12). It is quite obvious that John was writing a personal letter to a lady friend, whose company gave him great joy and love.
Are you sexually attracted to someone? Ask God to help you to see the person for who he/she is and not for what you can possibly get from that person to satisfy your own sexual desires. Meditate on God's goodness and love, and show that to others. Show kindness and affection where appropriate. Consult God's law to see which relationships are sanctioned by scripture, and which are considered unholy. Being a good, trustworthy, and caring friend to your potential mate will go a long way to increase your sexual desire for that person, if that is the right person for you. If that person is not the right person, your sexual desire will decrease - trust me on this one! The sexual desire therefore becomes a monitor of how the relationship is progressing. Increased love and steady sexual desire - good for marriage. Increased love but decreasing sexual desire, with the person becoming more like a sibling or friend - bad for marriage. Decreased love and disliking the person - bad for marriage. So we see that sexual desire coupled with love is the basis for marriage. Remember, marriage is about both physical and spiritual union. Physical union without spiritual union is incomplete. Spiritual union without physical union is also incomplete. The physical union is what is needed to catapult the marriage relationship to a higher spiritual plane, which is not possible when couples are celibate.
In conclusion, let us not be afraid to use our sexual desires appropriately when we are in a non married relationship. We need to learn how to control them so that love can grow and deepen, before we express those sexual desires physically in marriage through sex.
I will continue debunking more myths about human sexuality in my next set of posts. My next post will be Myth #2: The Practice of Celibacy Is Endorsed By Scripture.
Friday, October 23, 2009
The first myth I am going to deal with is the one about sexual desire being the same as lust. The sex drive, or sexual desire is a natural, God-given desire that our Creator has given us to start the process of seeking out a mate for marriage. Without this sex drive, many of us would not even bother. I am sure many of you know of people who have low libido. These people show absolutely no interest in members of the opposite sex, because they have a low sex drive. The Bible refers to such people as eunuchs. In Matthew 19:12, Jesus describes three types of eunuchs:
For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake.
Eunuchs are people with low sex drive who were either born that way or became eunuchs through surgical castration. Removal of the testicles in males results in low sex drive and hence diminished to non-existent desire for sex. Such people have no sexual desire and as such are not attracted to the opposite sex, and therefore will not seek out a mate for marriage. For more informaton on eunuchs please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eunuch_(court_official).
Since sexual desire is God-given, and serves the purpose of motivating us to seek out a mate for marriage, then why is it that sexual desire is so greatly condemned and viewed with suspicion within the Christian community? The reason why sexual desire is viewed with suspicion is that many mistake sexual desire to be the same as lust. I remember once reading an article online in a Christian forum and the writer expressed frustration that she practices abstinence but she still has a problem with lust. I feel sorry for her because she is probably confusing sexual desire with lust, or she does have a problem with lust and do not how to deal with it. One of the most liberating things about knowing the difference between sexual desire and lust is that if frees you from the guilt of sin, and channels your behavior into that which is moral and right.
By definition, lust is an evil desire or desiring something which you have no right to have, and is also known as covetousness. According to James 1:14-15, lust is something that tempts and entices. It says, But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. In the decalogue as well, we are commanded to not covet (lust) after that which belongs to others, whether it be someone else's wife, or possessions. We are commanded, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's (Exodus 20:17). Lust will cause you to want things that you should not have such as sexual relations with someone else's spouse, or with an underage child. It will cause you to commit sexually immoral acts to fulfill your sexual desires. Jesus says, But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart (Matthew 5:28). Lust drives you to mentally take delight in that which is wrong, and make you crave for it. Lust causes you crave for things that are wrong for you and wrong for others, and causes you to sin against God. Lust is therefore a desire for something you should not have.
Since God is the creator of sex, and sex is His gift to us, then the desire to have sex is not wrong. What is wrong is the desire to have it with someone you should not be having it with. That is the sin which is sexually immoral. I will use the animal world as an example of how God programs sexual desire within nature itself for a purpose. In animals, sexual desire peaks in mating season, when the female is fertile. It is then and only then that the males sexually desire the females. This sexual desire causes the males to seek out a female for copulation/mating which hopefully should result in pregnancy. Without this sexual desire, the males would not seek out females, and mating would not occur. In humans, our sexual desires do not depend upon any season. We have those desires whether the female is fertile or not. Those desires are essential for us to seek out members of the opposite sex for marriage with the purpose of mating. No sexual desire therefore means no seeking for a mate, and no seeking for a mate means no marriages. No mating, then no children. The world would quickly become a desolate and empty place.
Sexual desire is therefore A GOOD THING. What we need to do is control it in such a way that it motivates us to get to know a person first, before we enter into marriage, and by "know a person" I mean get to know that person's character, attitudes, feelings, and longings. That initial attraction is what draws us to others where we would want to get to know them. Unfortunately, many commit their bodies to total strangers to satisfy their sexual desires before knowing such persons. Their sexual desires cause them to go after sex instead of going after the person. Going after sex is not the thing, but going after the person is what God wants. The sexual desire is the motivating factor that drives us to want to know more about that person, so that love can grow and develop in the relationship. Once love has grown, the next natural step is sexual intimacy that fulfills a spiritual union - marriage. Here is what the apostle Paul, of all persons, says about dating relationships!
But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry (1 Corinthians 7:36).
Let me translate here: If a man has a girlfriend (virgin) and starts to make sexual advances to her, and if she is of legal age to marry, then he has not sinned by marrying her. From this example we can see that sexual desire is the motivating force which drives the man to want to marry his virgin (girlfriend). If he had no sexual desire towards her, then he would not even think of marrying her. Desire is therefore needed to get the ball rolling towards marriage.
In conclusion then, we can safely say that sexual desire is not wrong, but is good, and is not the same as lust. Lust is the desire for something evil or for something which is wrong for us to have. God gave us sexual desires so that we would be motivated to find a mate, for the purpose of marriage.
ADDENDUM AND WORD OF WARNING: Many modern translations of the Bible translate the word lust as desire. THIS IS AN INCORRECT OR INACCURATE TRANSLATION OF THE WORD. The word lust denotes an evil desire or craving, while the word desire denotes a longing for something that could either be good or bad.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Is celibacy really scriptural? Is non reproductive sex a sin? Is lust the same as sexual desire? Is lusting for your spouse a sin?
All those and more coming.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
According to statistics, 50% of all marriages will end in divorce. A chilling reminder of how fragile marriage is, and how couples can go from being in love to divorce, and sometimes in a very short time. According to many Christian publications, the divorce rate among Christians is no better than that of the general public, and this too is alarming. One would think that spiritually-minded people would have better marriages or at least have less incidences of divorce, but this is not the case. In my opinion, I think the high rate of divorce among Christians is caused from misconceptions and pre-conceived biases against sex that has been instilled through erroneous church teachings, and limited understanding about sacred biblical sexuality. Many Christians who are experiencing maritial problems do so because of ignorance in the practice of sacred biblical sexuality. The typical approach to religion is usually one of prayer, church attendance, family worship, and lifestyle changes, but sexuality is an enigma that still brings embarrassment and blushes to even married folks, and when practiced, it is done at the non spiritual level - perhaps as a duty or obligation, or perhaps as a ‘legal’ way to satisfy the demands of the flesh. It is my belief however that this non spiritual approach to sex is the cause of the many family problems afflicting the church such as divorce, pre-marital sex, adultery, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, single parenthood, spousal abuse, family neglect, teenage sex/pregnancy, child molestation, and so on. A comparision between biblcal sexuality and the other types of sexuality will give a clear picture of how far we have strayed from the holy path, and will help to bring us back to God’s ideal for us. I have included modern tantric sexuality in the comparision because some people are going down that path as an alternative spiritual path, and I want to show the differences between that path and sacred biblical sexuality.
FORCE OF ATTRACTION
Sacred biblical sexuality: Soul to soul attraction; inner beauty
Modern tantric sexuality: Body to body attraction
Non spiritual sexuality: Physical attraction; outer beauty; bodily attraction
Sacred biblical sexuality: Love; sexual desires
Modern tantric sexuality: Love; lust; sexual desires
Non spiritual sexuality: Lust; sexual desires
OBJECT OF WORSHIP
Sacred biblical sexuality: God (monotheism)
Modern tantric sexuality: The self and one's sexual partner(s); sex ; (idolatry)
Non spiritual sexuality: Sex (idolatry)
DEFINITION OF GOD
Sacred biblical sexuality: Spiritual Being and Creator who exists outside of self and also within the body temple.
Modern tantric sexuality: The human self is a part of the essence of God; we are gods.
Non spiritual sexuality: A Spiritual Being who lives somewhere out there in heaven, but has no input in human sexuality(deistic); Does not exist (atheistic).
Sacred biblical sexuality: A good thing
Modern tantric sexuality: A good thing
Non spiritual sexuality: Good but 'dirty'. Do the 'nasty.' Dirty words to describe the act.
Sacred biblical sexuality: Almost constant state of orgasmic bliss independent of arousal, that increases more when one is sexually aroused.
Modern tantric sexuality: Practices to stimulate arousal states and orgasmic bliss.
Non spiritual sexuality: Anywhere from a constant state of arousal to frigidity. From the need to ‘satisfy an urge’ to complete sexual apathy, and ‘faking’ orgasms.
Sacred biblical sexuality: Guilt free
Modern tantric sexuality: Practices to negate guilt and shame; glory in shameful acts
Non spiritual sexuality: Guilty pleasures; shame and guilt; glory in shameful acts
Sacred biblical sexuality: Encouraged
Modern tantric sexuality: A goal to be achieved, especially during lovemaking.
Non spiritual sexuality: Poor sexual continence; out of control.
*Sexual continence is traditionally defined as refraining from sexual activity even during marriage. It is also defined as “a total awareness and control during lovemaking. This implies that the couple will experience complete union with the possibility of reaching many orgasms. This kind of love fusion does not end with ejaculation for men nor an explosive discharge of sexual fluids for women" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_continence) .
Sacred biblical sexuality: No restrictions; controlled by the couple with input from God; children a blessing from the Lord.
Modern tantric sexuality: Reproduction not a goal; controlled by the couple.
Non spiritual sexuality: Unwanted by-product of sex; out of control sexual continence resulting in multiple unplanned pregnancies and births, and/or abortive methods to control birth; children a burden.
DEVIANT SEXUAL PRACTICES AS DEFINED BY THE BIBLE
Sacred biblical sexuality: Forbidden
Modern tantric sexuality: Some are included as okay.
Non spiritual sexuality: Anything goes!
In conclusion, it can be seen that the adoption of non spiritual sexual practices will lead to the breakdown of marriages and homes, and society at large. I pray that we make a change and adopt the path of sacred biblical sexuality.
In my next post I will try to bust some myths pertaining to human sexuality.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
As was stated in my last post, sacred biblical sexuality is defined as a physical expression of God’s love towards mankind, that is often manifested indirectly through the physical union of husband and wife. “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me” (Song of Solomon 7:10). In biblical sexuality, the sexual union serves as a means to achieve spiritual unity, bonding, intimacy, and affection between a husband and wife. It is God's way of making two distinct individual persons become united in mind and purpose, so that they act as a harmonious unit, with love and affection for each other. This bond of love should be so strong that it can withstand the pressures and outside forces that should come against it.
"Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned" (Song of Solomon 8:6-7, NIV).
The beauty of biblical sexuality is that its goals can be achieved even outside of sex. Therefore, for the unmarried or single person, this is great relief, because it releases one from the pressure of having to find a mate or 'perform' sexually in order to achieve harmony, love and affection for others. The euphoric states of joy and ecstasy, which are experienced in the sexual union, are also available for the single individual who is not sexually involved, but who has achieved a level of spiritual union with God. Such a feeling of love can be so strong that it supercedes any feelings of love that we can have for a physical mate. In 2 Samuel 1:26 it says, "Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women"(or men for us women). It says in 1Peter 1:8 that our love for Christ causes us to rejoice with "joy unspeakable and full of glory" which denotes an ectastic state of joy, and this idea of joy being similar to that in the marriage union is further conveyed in Isaiah 62:5 where it says, "And as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee." Biblical sexuality therefore allows one to experience complete fulfillment or joy, whether one is married or single.
Below are some comparisions between biblical sexuality, tantric sexuality, and non spiritual sexuality. Remember, I am using modern tantra as my basis, as I do not know much about ancient tantra as practiced by Hindus and Buddhists. I try to be as fair-minded and objective as I possibly can, so as to give an honest asssessment.
GOAL OF SEX
Sacred biblical sexuality: To achieve spiritual union with God and to deepen the bond between God and man. To foster a spiritual union between husband and wife.
Modern tantric sexuality: To achieve spiritual and physical union between man and the gods/God
Non spiritual sexuality: Physical union between two people.
Sacred biblical sexuality: The body is the Temple of God. The body belongs to God and I do with the body only what is pleasing to God.
Modern tantric sexuality: The body is the temple and body of God. The body belongs to self who is a god. It is my body and I can indulge it in pleasure to please myself and my lover(s).
Non spiritual sexuality: The body is a created object given to us by God but He has no interest in the body (deistic view); the body is an evolved object which we can use however we see fit (atheistic view); the body belongs to self, “It is my body and I can do whatever I want with it.”
Sacred biblical sexuality: Good body image; unashamed of the body.
Modern tantric sexuality: Egotistical view of the body (body of a god); unashamed of the body.
Non spiritual sexuality: Poor body image; ashamed of the body; 'dirty' words to describe genitals.
CARE OF BODY
Sacred biblical sexuality: High levels of self-care; health consciousness.
Modern tantric sexuality: High level of self-care to bodily abuse; health consciousness that is frustrated by disease, risky behavior.
Non spiritual sexuality: Neglect of the body; bodily abuse; poor sense of health consciousness; risky behavior; disease.
FEELINGS OF SELF-WORTH
Sacred biblical sexuality: High feelings of value and self-worth with or without a sexual partner; feelings of well-being and wholeness; high self-esteem and self-love.
Modern tantric sexuality: Some level of self-worth without a partner; self-pride; struggle between self-love and self-hate. Needs a sexual partner to fulfill highest ideals of self-worth/self-divinity.
Non spiritual sexuality: Poor self-esteem; self-hate; feelings of inadequacy; feelings of sexual power and dominance; sexual abuse; narcissism; selfishness.
I will stop here now with this comparison, as a lot has been said, and needs to be absorbed before I continue. I will continue with the comparisons on my next post, so watch out for that. I hope so far you can see how far we have strayed from true biblical sexuality, and what has resulted from us straying from this holy path.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Our growing attraction for tantric sex stems from a need to feel good about our sexuality. For too long, sex has been a controversial topic that has been drawn through the mud, and is highly misunderstood within our culture. We can see that with the ongoing controversy surrounding sex education in schools, the persistent negative image of sex as being ‘dirty’, increased divorce rates, sexual dysfunctions, sexual abuse, sexual crimes, abortions, fatherless children, broken homes, and the list goes on and on. What should have been a source of joy is a source of pain and problem upon the human race. The solution to our sexual problems lies not however in putting a seal of approval on perverse sexual acts, but by embracing true spiritual sexuality.
The path that I have chosen to embrace in the pursuit of true spiritual sexuality is the Judeo-Christian path. This may sound shocking to some, but the Bible is really a book about sacred sexuality. Do you think God was using idle words when He spoke of Himself as being our Husband, and the church as His bride? All these are metaphors employed by God to teach us about human sexuality, and our relation with Him. He uses sex to teach us about Himself, and therefore there are lessons that we need to learn in order to properly fulfill this sacred privilege. What better teacher is there to teach us about sex, than the Creator of sex, God Himself?
To best illustrate, the differences between sacred Biblical sexuality, tantric sexuality, and just plain old non spiritual sex, I have prepared a some definitions below, which are based upon my research and observations on this topic, and also the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
Biblical sacred sex – A physical expression of God’s love towards mankind, that is often manifested indirectly through the physical union of husband and wife. “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me” (Song of Solomon 7:10).
Tantra – “The approximate Sanskrit definition of "Tantra" is "web" or a union of opposites that, when united, becomes one with everything in the universe. Tantric practice unifies the many contradictory aspects of the self (e.g., masculine and feminine, spirit and matter, dark and light) into a harmonious whole” (Tantra.com).
Tantric sex – “Tantric Sex is meditative, spontaneous and intimate lovemaking Through it you learn to prolong the act of making love and to channel, rather than dissipate potent orgasmic energies moving through you, thereby raising the level of your consciousness. Tantra transports your sexuality from the plane of doing to the place of being. There is no goal in Tantric sex, only the present moment of perfect and harmonious union. Tantra teaches you to revere your sexual partner and to transform the act of sex into a sacrament of love” (Tantra.com).
I hope this post proves to be eye-opening as well as informative. From time to time in subsequent blogs I will deal with these issues of human sexuality, based upon the above definitions.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
This is the final in the three-part series dealing with worship. Today we will examine how our bodies play a vital part in worship, and how this can be done with specific examples.
In the body, soul, and spirit triad of Christianity, the body is often the most misunderstood and neglected part of worship, and also controversial. Many Christians are deists when it comes on to the body. Many believe that God created the body, and that it is His gift to us, but that God is not interested in the body, only the soul. They point to scriptures that speak about 'sinful flesh' and 'corruptible' bodies as evidence that the body is corrupt and unworthy. Ideas about the immortality of the soul also feed into this idea that the body is corrupted, but that the soul lives on forever in immortality. No wonder we have a negative view of the body!
The body however is very important to God, because without a body we just could not worship God. The fact of the matter is that the soul and spirit needs a body to function. No body= no active soul/spirit. Let me show you Biblically how this works.
This idea of a non-functioning soul/spirit without a body is best depicted in Revelation 6, under the fifth seal.
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should REST yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled (Revelation 6:9-11, caps supplied).
In this vision, the souls of the slain saints are crying out to God for vengeance. These souls are not seen in heaven enjoying bliss, but are 'under the altar.' Under the Old Testament sacrificial system, the altar was the place where the sacrifice was killed, and the blood would be sprinkled under the altar (Leviticus 1:3-5). In the above vision, the souls are neither active in the affairs of men nor of God, but are resting from their labors, until the number of their fellow martyrs is completed. Their work on earth is complete, but they are now resting by awaiting the return of Christ, who will reward them for their sacrificial deeds.
Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them"(Revelation 14:13).
So we see that souls existing without a body are basically dormant and not active in neither the affairs of earth nor heaven. Therefore, it is only when the soul meets the body that there is life - an active life. Nowhere is this shown more vividly than in the Old Testament account of Elijah and the widow whose son had died.
And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again. And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth (1 Kings 17:20-23).
The body is therefore important to the worship experience. Without a body there is no life, and the spirit and soul are left without a vehicle of worship. Our bodies belong to God and our bodies are God's temple ( 1 Corinthians 6:13-20). God lives within our bodies as a Spirit, and therefore our bodies are sacred temples of God's infinite presence. It therefore behooves us to honor our bodies, and to glorify God in our bodies, by our worship. Below are a few examples of effective body worship. Be creative and come up with some of your own and have fun with it!
Verbal expression - Singing, preaching, teaching, testimonials, praising God, praying.
Mental expression - Meditation, positive thoughts.
Body language - Lifting up hands in worship, dancing before the Lord, kneeling, bowing, closing the eyes, clasping the hands, deep breathing, being still before the Lord.
Physical artistic creativity - Dancing, theatrics, performances, religious art, writing, drawing.
Sacred sexuality - Physical expression of God's love shared between husband and wife, that results in a spiritual union with God (I will deal with this topic on subsequent blogs to show the spiritual aspects of sex as a sacred act).
Fasting - denying the body food or certain pleasures for a short time to achieve spiritual connection with God.
Here ends my little series on worship. I hope this helps each and every one of you to have a more fulfilling worship experience, using all three parts of our being, by engaging the whole person - body, soul, and spirit.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).Continuing on this topic of worship, I will now deal with the soul and how we worship God with our souls. The soul is that part of our being that is the source of deep-seated emotions and desires. It is with our souls that we feel inner pain or joy and a whole host of emotions in between. How we respond to any given situation in life is largely determined by how we feel internally, and the preconceived attitudes/biases we have developed over time. Therefore, our attitudes toward God and the Christian life is largely determined by how we feel about them. If our souls are connected to God, then we will have a positive attitude towards God. If our souls are disconnected from God, or only connected periodically, then we will have either a negative or an disinterested attitude respectively about God. True worship requires connectedness, without which, we cannot truly worship God. Without this connectedness, we would only be faking it.
The soul is also the seat of our deepest desires. It is that place of your deepest longings, yearnings, and wants. We tend to seek out that which we desire and want, and if your deepest desire is to seek to worship God, then you will do that with all earnestness. A common problem among believers is that God, while they desire to know Him, He is not one of their deepest desires. All other desires sometimes takes precedence such as money, marriage, and material possessions. God is often neglected while we pursue our worldly goals, or we may only pay lip-service to God when attending church services and participating in corporate worship, because it is the 'Christian' thing to do.
True soul worship therefore means that God is first, and last, and everything in all that we do and are. He takes first place in our lives and whatever we do is always based upon that relationship. Soul worship is essential to deepening that relationship we have with God. It establishes and maintains intimacy in our relationship with God. Let us not therefore neglect this very important part of worship.
18And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things.
19And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
20When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
21And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight.
22Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
23And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
Are you embarrassed about being a Christian? Many people are. Based upon their behavior and lifestyles you sometimes cannot tell whether they are Christians or not. They hide their Christianity before the world but in secret claim to be followers of Christ. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a secret Christian, because Christianity is a lifestyle, not just a set of beliefs that one assents to. It is not just dogmas, doctrines, or creeds. It is a life where the evidence of your Christianity is reflected in the life you live, and the works you do. People should be able to tell by your actions who you are, and the type of faith you have. Very little good works=very little faith. Life filled with good works=life of faith. So, are you a Christian? If you are then show it!