Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sex to the Glory of God

Let's preach about sex, baby?

No thanks, say some conservative Christian watchbloggers, who are quick to ready, fire, and aim on sermon series geared towards preaching about the Bible's teachings on sex and marriage. Certainly preaching on sex and marriage requires great discernment and dedication to proper exposition of preaching, but does purposefully planning and advertising a series on what the Bible says about sex a bad thing?

Should pastors, from the pulpit, exhort married couples to have frequent sex to the glory of God or should marriage's joys and challenges be preached to the virtual exclusion of the sexual dimension of the marital union? Does talking frankly about the joy of marital sex from the pulpit lead primarily to inflamed lusts or to greater joy in knowing God's sovereign care for our sexuality?

I'd answer those questions with an affirmative to the former options. After all, Paul instructed married couples to not deprive one another except for a short time and to prayer, and there is plenty of content in Scripture that speaks to the joy of sexual union between a husband and wife.

Of course, critics will protest, these things can and should be discussed frankly, in private, in marital counseling, but have no or little place being proclaimed from the pulpit.

Certainly preachers should be careful to rightly divide the word of truth, preaching expositionally in a way that is appropriate for a general audience on a Sunday morning. But God's Word is divinely inspired and profitable for all ages, and rightly preached and teached, sex should be addressed from the pulpit as it is encountered in scriptural texts.

As far as planning a sermon series on sex and marriage to draw a crowd, well, that's a question ultimately for the elders of the local church to prayerfully wrestle with. Preaching series can and should at times have in mind how to reach the community at large by addressing issues of concern in light of Scripture BUT the Gospel must be central, not peripheral to every sermon and the primary concern for the preaching calendar should be prophetically addressing the spiritual needs of the congregation, not the roping in of curious new crowds.

The church is the Lord's house and His people must be fed solid food from the preaching/teaching elders. That includes preaching and teaching both chastity in singleness and frequent, fruitful sexual congress in marriage, all to the glory of God.

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