Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday October 30, 2009

Women: Sexual Predators?

A recent news article indicated that although most women engaged in sex for pleasure, researchers had counted 237 reasons why they did! There were many good or innocuous reasons for women to have sex. “These reasons ranged from the very altruistic, specifically because you wanted to make your partner feel good; to the mundane, where women said they had sex because they were bored; or to the medicinal, where they said they had sex to get rid of a headache or back pain or menstrual cramps, or to keep warm, or to lose weight, or to get exercise.”

Other reasons, although not altogether surprising given today’s sexual climate, are far more problematic. Some used it as revenge against a partner, or giving unprotected sex to pass aids to a man who wronged them. Others had it for adventure, to get another notch on their belt, to “mate-poach,” to compete to be first to get a desirable guy into bed, or barter for wealth, a job or even just for dinner!

Some had sex to fight loneliness, or to hold onto a guy. Perhaps the most unusual was having sex to get closer to God. Not quite sure how that would work. Perhaps the same way as admiring God’s creation often does the same thing. After all, the beauty of sex was God’s idea in the first place. Certainly, sex in the appropriate relationship without guilt is a great gift from God.

What was most surprising was that the article didn’t even mentioned having a child, although it is hard to believe it was not at least one of the 237 reasons for women to have sex. After all, furthering the human race is the purpose, if increasingly not the reason, for sex. The pleasure derived from it is a side benefit to ensure reproduction takes place! What this article with its glaring omission declares is that sex has finally become totally recreational, and not procreational.

A friend once stated her belief that the trend started with condoms. While contraception in some form has always been practiced—recall Onan in Genesis 38:8–10—the condom and later contraceptive methods have provided a completely new environment where sex can be practised without the attendant responsibility. While contraception was touted as a means of family planning, it is now a vehicle for free sex, even abortion frequently used as a means to the same end.

Nature demonstrates its dislike of indiscriminate sex by sexually transmitted diseases, which would die out in a generation if monogamous fidelity were practiced. This may be too much to ask, but it would be a start to recognise that it is not sex but children, the product of sex, that are the priority. There is perhaps a glimmer of hope in that the majority of Americans are now against abortion for the first time since Rowe v. Wade. Even a recent Law and Order episode portrayed a rethink on the practice.

An old song says: “Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage.” Unfortunately, too many think that idea went out with the horse and buggy days. Even a cursory knowledge of Scripture will reveal its message of final sexual satisfaction only within marriage. At the risk of being legalistic, the restriction of sex within marriage must be the basis not only of a stable society, but also of a secure and happy family life; for a man and a woman, but also particularly for the children.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday October 29, 2009

I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing." Psalm 16:2

The idea that apart from God we “have no good thing,” is probably the greatest barrier to reconciliation with God for it completely deflates our pride and independence. Yet we don’t need to look far to see the naked evil that is unleashed around us daily, born in the minds and hearts of humans. And in those infrequent moments of honest personal appraisal, perhaps sparked by anger, misery or even Holy Spirit conviction, we realize that the propensity for evil is resident in us all. The idea of what Christians call depravity is illustrated in this following excerpt from our book Happy Together: Daily Insights for Families from Scripture.

When I first learned to ride a bicycle, I was let loose on the streets of my neighbourhood and almost immediately came into conflict with another user. My problem was a very simple one; I was riding on the wrong side of the road as the other user testily informed me. My father had not taught me the first rule of the road—to ride or drive on the left (that was in England of course). A moment’s thought reveals to us the chaos produced without this one simple and basic rule.

When it comes to human nature, most are poorly informed of the one simple rule that governs all human behaviour, and must be taken into account in any process of governing: that is our total depravity. This very definitely goes against the grain, especially as it suggests that we have nothing good in us. But it simply means that everything we do is somehow infected with sin; we act with mixed motives and engage in undesirable fantasies. Society assumes the ultimate good in all, a mistaken notion that contributes as much to society's ills as sin itself, by applying incorrect notions. Sin is regarded as a correctable defect rather than a terminal disease.

By contrast the Bible teaches that we are all infected by sin and need inward cleansing by our Creator. The first line of defence for our children is a commitment to Jesus Christ, responding to their recognised need of cleansing and forgiveness; first as an initial experience of salvation, and then as an ongoing need in daily life. Unfortunately, these are so basic that we take them for granted and forget to clearly instruct our children of them—as my father forgot to inform me of the first rule of the road.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday October 25, 2009
The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out, Proverbs 20:5.
Deep waters indeed! It is in the innermost recesses of our soul that our greatest unspoken shames and ambitions reside, and as long as we have a conscience, however distorted or dulled by sin, it threatens a future judgment. After all, our conscience at least gives sufficient innate knowledge of right and wrong to suggest that one day we must all face an accounting. This is the greatest fear of death: what will happen to us when we die?
One way to overcome this fear is to assume God doesn’t exist, or if there is one, he is simply irrelevant. However, with a little thought, it must be obvious that what we believe about God must affect the way we live. If we believe there is a God to whom we are probably accountable, then we will try to adore, fear, respect, appease or worship him—at least try to seek his favour in some way. If we don’t believe he exists, then we will live by laws imposed on us, fear of what others think of us, or by our own moral values or lack of them.
Without God, human ambition tries to assert a natural world that exists on its own as the final truth. Unfortunately, truth based on human reason alone undermines itself because truth then becomes each person’s individual property. With no universal or absolute truth about life, the slogan becomes, “All truth is relative.” Because the truth of that statement is also relative, a postmodern approach where intuition trumps reason is a natural outcome.
The idea in our text that “a man of understanding draws them out,” suggests that a wise man will be able to see into the deep recesses of the human heart, but in addition, “draws out” the false conclusions that those dark recesses invent for cover. In fact, the wisest man, whose foolishness begins where human wisdom peaks, not only made us aware of our hidden proclivities, but also came to deliver us from them. His wisdom is not a cold recitation of facts about us, but also a love for us that passes all human understanding.
It may be a stretch to say that this verse is a prophecy of Jesus Christ, but at least it provides the basic truth about us: In our fall into sin we also fell from truth, and all our human reasoning contains error about life. What we believe about the God who not only insisted that sin and its reasoning be recognized and judged, but also gave himself to ransom us from our predicament, will affect the way we think and live. Particularly it gives life meaning now, and future hope for earth and eternity.