Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:2 MSG)
Part 2: CHURCH – Sexual Restraint and the Modesty Movement (Part 2 of a 3 part series, “3 Enemies of Sex” )
The Last Taboo
The Last Taboo of the church is sex. We’ve overcome a lot of religion over the years but the denial, obfuscation, and misunderstanding of sex in the church continues. Our book and blog are for the sole purpose of bringing sex out from under the bushel of religion and into the glorious light of the gospel.
Christian gnosticism (aka docetism) exalts the spiritual over the physical. This dangerous Christian sub-culture teaches sexual restraint for men and pious modesty for women as the way of holiness in marriage. God thinks differently. Lots of sex with our spouse contributes to our holiness not self restraint. (See “Sex & Sanctification”)
Paul says, “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.” This includes the Christian gnostic sub-culture that represses married sex.
Sex, sex, sex, there we’ve said it 3 times and we’re still alive! God did not cringe at our repetition. God is for married sex. He loves sex. God created sex and thinks it’s pretty cool. God uses it to describe the intimacy between Christ and his church. He even declared it, as part of his creation, “Very Good”. (See Genesis 1:31 ESV)
The Christian idea of modesty, in the name of saving our lustful brothers in Christ from falling into sexual sin, has taken a left turn. In fact, it is way off the tracks mainly because of a holier-than-thou peer pressure from the church ladies’ fashion brigade. This is nothing less than religion; that is, trying to impress God with our “holiness”. God is not impressed.
Women in church have to fall in line. (Gloria was once accused in church of wearing “hooker shoes”. Seriously.) Let’s let women show their individuality and creativity and not be pressured into drab, gender neutral, uniforms.
Incredibly, Christian modesty promotes the cultural trend of gender neutrality that we looked at in our last post. We have taken on the uniform of sexual sameness in the name of “holiness”. Asexuality is not holy.
There are two problems with excessive modesty. The first is the false idea that we are helping our brothers in Christ avoid sexual sin. This is, at best, false optimism and, at worse, spiritual pride. Immature men will fall no matter what you wear.
The second, and most insidious problem, is when modesty becomes a way of life, when our identity is tied to it. Wrong thinking about modesty will lead to a denial of sensuality if we’re not careful.
Be modest, of course, but be careful that it’s not an excuse to avoid sensuality. It’s hard to shift gears from a pious, modest, asexual Christian in church to an enthusiastic, reciprocal sex partner in the bedroom. God calls us to the latter.
Bible Thought: Religion tries to impress God with sexual restraint in marriage and excessive modesty. God is not impressed.
Prayer: Father, help me to realize that my righteousness is in Christ and that you have made me a sexual creature with legitimate needs and desires. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Just do it,
Rene & Gloria