Why are Christians so old-fashioned about sex?
I meet many people in my life who seem to think that the Christian God is some sort of cosmic killjoy. Now they wouldn't normally say it in words like these, but deep down there is this belief that the Christian God is miserable. And there is this genuine conviction that his instructions for how we're to relate to each other are old-fashioned, unrealistic, and designed to suck all the fun out of our existence.
Take sex, for example. People are always on the lookout to try to improve their sex life. We all know that all around the world every month there are millions of people who buy magazines which promise more pleasure in the bedroom.
But here's my question for you. How many of the people who buy those magazines would actually turn to the Bible for some tips? I doubt if anyone would actually do that! Why would they?!
But what if we should? What if the God of the Bible wasn't a cosmic killjoy? And what if his instructions were actually for our good and for our joy?
Well that's exactly what Jesus claimed when he was alive on this earth. He said: “I have come to give them life, and life in all its fullness.” Not simply existence, but life, life in all its glorious fullness. That life that we are all chasing, in some way or another.
Now I know that's a big claim, but what if it's true? What if deep down we've been created to need God, and only Jesus can reconnect us in such an intimate way with the God who made us?
And what if we need God himself, our designer, to tell us how to get maximum pleasure from all his gifts—say, for example, the gift of sex?
Well in that case, we should turn to his book—the Bible—and listen to his wisdom. Otherwise, we'll just keep on ruining our sex lives and we'll be in danger of settling for too little—and I don't want to be someone who settles for too little in life. I don't want to be someone who's far too easily pleased.
Now I know I've only just touched on this—it's a big issue, it's a personal issue, so let me just encourage you to find out more. You've got nothing to lose—and you've got everything to gain.
So how could you do it? Well, two suggestions. You could find yourself one of the four reliable biographies about Jesus—they're called Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. You could pick one up, read it through for yourself and hear what Jesus says about his identity and why he came.
And what you could also do is to find a group of trustworthy people who you can ask any question you like, including about sex, and hear some reliable, trustworthy answers to some of your big, personal questions. And if you're looking for a group of people like that, you could always find a Christianity Explored course somewhere near you.
Of course, this whole area is one of the most emotional and personal of all (that’s unsurprising if God invented it to be the most intense physical experience we can know). It may be that listening to what God says about sex would mean some painful changes for you; it may be that sex is something you’ve been burned by in the past; it may well be that you have more questions or objections to the Bible’s teaching.
Whoever you are and whatever your past experience and current views, why not:
GO ON a Christianity Explored course, where you’ll meet some people who will listen to you, explain what the Bible says, and who (crucially) you can trust not to gossip, judge or sneer (click on Find a Course
to, well, find a course).
READ a book called (imaginatively!) Sex (you can get a copy here
—some of this book is specifically for teenagers and young adults, but it’s short, clear and readable).