It’s here. The topic that I (half) hoped would never appear in the preaching calendar of Victory is finally here. Sex. What does the Bible say about sex? Should the church talk about it? Do you have to be pure (for at least four weeks) to be qualified to talk about it in your discipleship group? Do you need to be married to preach it? How do you talk about it with a straight face in your victory group? Do you worry that if you admit your struggles, your spiritual leadership would be ruined? And what do you do when someone in your group sounds obviously proud (and unrepentant) of his experience?
I could compile more questions but I’m sure you get the point. Our current preaching series is fraught with hazards from all sides. When we showed the Uncensored video teaser at Victory Tacloban two Sundays ago, the entire congregation gave a nervous chuckle. It was awkward, considering that minutes prior to that, we just prayed for our outgoing pastor, installed a new senior pastor, Pastor Manny gave prophetic words, Pastor Jon pronounced a soaring benediction, and people were still crying. Oh and this is Tacloban, a place where people are more traditional compared to other parts of the country. People here come to church with their mothers. If it were me and I was sitting beside my mother, I would probably be mortified and not talk to her for the rest of the day and probably make sure that the following Sunday, I would sit very far away from her.
However, the moment I faced my victory group after the service last Sunday, I knew that the topic was necessary. As young working men who have posts in the different companies and agencies in the city, we need the Word to cleanse us, to challenge us, to help us practice our Christian convictions in real life. The highlight of that conversation was simple but pointed: Christian men, do not give away your strength to impurity, whether it comes in the form of pornography, self stimulation, or sex outside marriage. Many people today can’t give full creativity to their jobs, their relationships, and their families because they are literally weakened by their addiction to sex. They spend their off hours in sin and that sin drains them of their strength. It robs them of power, of leadership, of authority, of manhood. It keeps them tethered to their smart phones and computers; it makes them spend money and energy to satisfy themselves for a few moments of pleasure; it enslaves them and they willingly give in. Our shortage of great leaders today is not because there’s a shortage of great men and women; it is because the strength of these great men and women are spent somewhere else.
This is actually sobering. When we told the people that we will talk about sex in the pulpit, somebody said it will be good to have sex education in church. This is not sex education. This is an issue of purity, of worship, of idolatry, of who you ultimately submit yourself to. Every time we read our Bibles, we are often stuck with an absurd observation that ancient people were quite weird. Why would they bow down to totem poles? Why would they worship Baal? What’s with all these wood and stone pillars that compelled them to worship? The answer is actually sex. Most Canaanites deities were fertility gods that demanded worship by having sex with temple prostitutes. Ancient people believed that physical pleasure was the way to reach the divine. This stood in stark contrast with the biblical teaching that holiness is the way to the presence of God. The correlation is inescapable though. In Biblical terms, worship and sex are related topics. This is the reason why sex is a necessary, legitimate topic in the pulpit today.
Join us in the next two weeks as we discover God’s original design for sex and how a Christian could walk in purity in a society that is becoming more accepting of sexual sins and perversions. In the course of this series, I will also be blogging my reflections to help our victory group leaders talk about this topic in their discipleship groups. Stay tuned!