We Must Cry Out for Holiness

by | Nov 20, 2009 | Spirit-Led Living

When I agreed to write about sexual immorality in the
body of Christ, I thought pulling the information together would be an
easy task. As a pastor, counselor, speaker and public health educator,
I often address this topic. But as I began to wrestle with the many
perspectives from which I could approach the issue, I almost lost
myself in a crippling hodgepodge of psychology, sociology and theology.

Finally, I decided that the best approach was the
biblical approach. After all, God’s perspective, clearly revealed in
His Word, is the only perspective that really matters.

The Bible makes four simple declarations about human sexuality:

1. God created our sexuality, and it is beautiful (see Gen. 1:26-28; 2:24-25).

2. Sex within the marriage covenant is holy and pure (see Heb. 13:4).

3. Sex outside the marriage covenant is sin (see 1 Cor. 6:9).

4. Sexual relations with the same sex is an abomination (see Lev. 18:22).

Many nonbelievers would probably reject these statements
as trivial, outdated, homophobic, narrow-minded, judgmental, accusatory
and discriminatory. Unfortunately, judging from their lifestyles, many
Christians do too.

I’m not writing to nonbelievers. I’m writing as a Christian to Christians from a Christian perspective.

I wish sexual immorality were a problem outside the
church only. But it’s not. It’s a big problem inside the church, also,
among Christians and Christian leaders.

Often when I’ve taught about sexuality in church
meetings, I’ve been shocked by the concerns that were expressed to me
privately. Take my word for it: Every form of sexual addiction,
perversion and practice is alive and well among believers, and it
stretches from the pulpit to the vestibule of the church and everywhere
in between.

The issues, problems and consequences of carnality and
sexual immorality are recorded in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
God has given us clear guidelines in His Word. So why are so many
believers today involved in sexual sin?

Let me put it bluntly: The reason is that too many of us
are refusing to yield totally to the Holy Spirit. We declare with our
mouths that we love Jesus; we say we will follow Him wherever He leads
us.

But our actions indicate otherwise. Our actions say, “I
love you, Jesus, almost as much as I love myself; and I will follow you
all the way until I get to the fork in the road where I make the
choice to satisfy my own carnal desires. I will believe your Word up to
the point at which it disagrees with the secular perspective that
explains my behavior. Any variance from that perspective means Your
Word is outdated and is not for today.”

How did we get to this place? How did the body of Christ
reach the state in which sexual sins are not only overlooked by many
Christian leaders but are being openly committed by the keepers of the
flame? Blatant immorality, drunkenness, womanizing and perversion are
running rampant and unchecked in too many assemblies!

Strong words, you say? Yes, these are very strong words.
But strong words are what are needed to rout the “strongman” of
immorality. The sins of fornication, adultery, homosexuality and
perversion have become deeply rooted in the church and are tolerated by
too many of us.

Part of the problem is that we’ve believed the lie that
church leaders are “faultless.” That lie has caused many of us to close
our eyes to the sexual sins in which some leaders have engaged while
serving as our spiritual shepherds. Those “private Bible studies” and
late night “counseling sessions” with single folks, unhappy spouses and
“sick” members have gone unchallenged and unrebuked by a godly
membership.

Now mistresses have the audacity to sit on the front row
in the church. Homosexual lovers don’t hesitate to share the platform
during praise and worship. Unmarried couples who sleep together
Saturday night have no qualms about sitting in church together Sunday
morning.

I am aware that I sound angry. I am angry! I’m tired of
seeing strong young men and women in the church devastated by the
ravages of AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and dysfunctional
lifestyles as a result of sexual immorality. It hurts to see the hopes
and promises of beautiful teen-agers and young women dashed when they
discover that they’re pregnant and the father has disappeared or has
announced to the world that the child is not his baby because the
pregnant female “sleeps around.”

Who will comfort the young child who has been fondled by
a priest, a pastor or a trustee of the church in the church? Who will
help rebuild the shattered emotions of the pastor’s wife after she has
discovered her husband’s infidelity with the church secretary or the
Sunday school teacher, or worse yet, one of the young men in the choir?
Who will sound the clarion call to sanctification and holiness in this
age of promiscuity and rank immorality?

Needless to say, we need a revival. The principles of
sanctification and holiness need to be revived at the altar. We must
stop petting folks who want to stay in their sins. We must herald the
truth of God’s Word. We must face sexuality immorality squarely in the
face and declare holy war on our carnal nature.

God has given us plain and simple instructions throughout
the Bible such as those found in Galatians 5:16: “Walk in the Spirit,
and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (NKJV). We need to
study the Bible and let the Word of God speak to us. We must be willing
to hear and to repent of the sin that God reveals in our lives through
His Word. After all, we serve a loving and gracious God who is waiting
and willing to forgive us, sanctify us and restore us.

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