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Subject – The Christian Church – Let’s Talk About Sex – Understanding the Entrapment of Emotional and Sexual Entanglement: Step 4- Rationalizations for continuing the affair – Answering Four Street-Level Arguments for Sexual Immorality – “I’m Only Human”- Part 10 of 15
Watch this two minutes’ video by Paul Tripp on: How Can I Overcome the Sin of Pornography?
We bring you good news from the Otakada.org team.
Since we began the series on engaging the marketplace with relevant and rich content, the engagement has skyrocketed. Our vision and mission mandate received on the 14th of June 2003 is pretty clear – We envision a discipled world and our goal is to engage 100 million Souls in the Virtual Cyberspace (Internet) with the message of Christ by 2040. Our strategy changes continually as we listen to the prompting and leading of the Holy spirit.
We are not there yet but we certainly have moved exponentially from where we started based on our milestones and thanks to our partners who have stood with us to make this happen. We would not have reached these milestones without our partners… Thank you and God bless you richly and exponentially in Jesus name. As we reach out to Net Citizens, especially those seeking to know the truth, our heart are with the Christian Church to equip you with rich content to reach the lost for Christ in your sphere of influence and to provide you the needed content to grow and mature in Christ. Our walk with Christ is a journey and we desire to travel with you in that journey. We hope and pray that you will find them useful!
As a result of the growth, we are moving our servers to a more robust platform within a couple of weeks. We are also moving onto telegram that provides us over 200,000 contacts possibility in one single group with prospect for expansion. We are reducing our post on WhatsApp going forward as it is time consuming and growth/engagement limiting.
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Sunday, 27th of October 2019
Blog link: https://www.otakada.org/i-m-only-human
Nuggets of Wisdom –
Premarital sex defrauds the future marriage partner of the person with whom you are involved. You are robbing that person of the virginity and single-minded intimacy that ought to be brought into a marriage. Thus, sexual impurity is as much a social injustice against others as it is a personal sin against God. ~ Sam Storms
Passion & Purity (Elisabeth Elliot)
By trying to grab fulfillment everywhere, we find it nowhere.
I am convinced that the human heart hungers for constancy. In forfeiting the sanctity of sex by casual, nondiscriminatory “making out” and “sleeping around,” we forfeit something we cannot well do without. There is dullness, monotony, sheer boredom in all of life when virginity and purity are no longer protected and prized.
The way to preserve the peace of the church is to preserve its purity. ~ Matthew Henry
The proof of spiritual maturity is not how pure you are but awareness of your impurity. That very awareness opens the door to grace. ~ Philip Yancey
Key verses for Today:
1 Corinthians 7:8-9 The Message (MSG)
8-9 I do, though, tell the unmarried and widows that singleness might well be the best thing for them, as it has been for me. But if they can’t manage their desires and emotions, they should by all means go ahead and get married. The difficulties of marriage are preferable by far to a sexually tortured life as a single.
2 Timothy 1:7 The Message (MSG)
5-7 That precious memory triggers another: your honest faith—and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Lois to your mother Eunice, and now to you! And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed—keep that ablaze! God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.
Matthew 15:18-20 The Message (MSG)
16-20 Jesus replied, “You, too? Are you being willfully stupid? Don’t you know that anything that is swallowed works its way through the intestines and is finally defecated? But what comes out of the mouth gets its start in the heart. It’s from the heart that we vomit up evil arguments, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, lies, and cussing. That’s what pollutes. Eating or not eating certain foods, washing or not washing your hands—that’s neither here nor there.”
Matthew 5:27-32 Message
Adultery and Divorce
27-28 “You know the next commandment pretty well, too: ‘Don’t go to bed with another’s spouse.’ But don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed. Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those leering looks you think nobody notices—they also corrupt.
29-30 “Let’s not pretend this is easier than it really is. If you want to live a morally pure life, here’s what you have to do: You have to blind your right eye the moment you catch it in a lustful leer. You have to choose to live one-eyed or else be dumped on a moral trash pile. And you have to chop off your right hand the moment you notice it raised threateningly. Better a bloody stump than your entire being discarded for good in the dump.
31-32 “Remember the Scripture that says, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him do it legally, giving her divorce papers and her legal rights’? Too many of you are using that as a cover for selfishness and whim, pretending to be righteous just because you are ‘legal.’ Please, no more pretending. If you divorce your wife, you’re responsible for making her an adulteress (unless she has already made herself that by sexual promiscuity). And if you marry such a divorced adulteress, you’re automatically an adulterer yourself. You can’t use legal cover to mask a moral failure.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 The Message (MSG)
11-12 These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.
13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.
1 Corinthians 15:33-34 Living Bible (TLB)
33 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things. If you listen to them you will start acting like them. 34 Get some sense and quit your sinning. For to your shame I say it; some of you are not even Christians at all and have never really known God
Exodus 20:14 –17
14 No adultery.
15 No stealing.
16 No lies about your neighbor.
17 No lusting after your neighbor’s house—or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbor’s.
Read and Digest Cynthia and Toms’ Story
“I’m Only Human”
Step 4: Rationalizations for continuing the affair – Answering Four Street-Level Arguments for Sexual Immorality
Human nature isn’t an excuse.
Cynthia and Tom met at the singles class at their church. Both had been divorced several years before, and now felt ready to begin dating again. Cynthia accepted Christ during the recovery stages of her divorce. Tom was a professing Christian for only a short time.
Cynthia, who married in her early twenties, was now in her late thirties. She had thought life would be easier: Meet your future husband at college, fall in love, marry after graduation, have two children, and live happily ever after. She did all that—except living happily ever after. By this time in her life, she should have been leading the PTA and hostessing parties for her husband’s office staff. Instead, she was back in the work force and raising her children alone.
She had always attended church. It was the socially acceptable thing tp do. But when divorce shattered her well-ordered world, the shallow go-to church on-Sunday brand of religion offered little real comfort. One of her friends introduced her to the meaning of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, as opposed to superficial religiosity. Though the pain of her divorce wasn’t removed, she had a new meaning in life and loving help through the trauma.
Cynthia hadn’t even thought about dating the first year after the divorce, but the loneliness was a very real and awful experience. She had joined the office girls for the “bar scene,’’ but found it uncomfortable and contrary to her growing relationship with Christ. Wanting to date only believers, she decided to join the singles class at church.
Tom had waited till his thirties to get married. The marriage lasted only a few years and produced no children. He started dating again, but also felt lonely and empty. Some of his office buddies had started attending church as a result of the singles ministry. He joined them one Sunday and realized, after hearing the gospel, that he had been seeking fulfillment in the wrong places. A relationship with
Jesus Christ made sense to him, and so he prayed for Christ to come in and change his life.
He met Cynthia in the singles group. They began dating. Gradually, they began to spend more time together, with Tom joining Cynthia and her children at her home for dinner. It was a comfortable, unpressured situation. They both enjoyed the relaxed, family-style time together. It reminded them of some of the better days of their previous marriages.
The physical involvement began innocently enough with a good night kiss at the door one evening when Tom left for home. Both of them had no intentions of compromising their biblical standards in the moral realm and had agreed at the beginning that they would keep their relationship pure.
But they soon began having sexual intercourse on a regular basis. It was never planned, always marred by guilt, never gave the emotional fulfillment they longed for. and they always determined to never let it happen again. However, it did and did and did. “After all,” they thought, “we’re only human.”
Many single Christians rationalize their affairs.
In the single adult Christian community, unfortunately, this scenario is quite common. Singles should be aware of this before they enter or reenter the dating scene. It isn’t biblical, but it is how things are.
Paul addressed this issue in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9: “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
Many Christians singles are doing neither—marrying or burning. Instead of marrying, there is an attitude among many to “put off” that binding commitment. And instead of burning, they take part in illicit sex because they are “only human.”
Some Christian men have admitted that they are afraid to get married or to remarry. They can avoid the involvement and still get all the sex they need. In their view, they have the best of both worlds. In fact, one Christian single said, in reference to this passage in Corinthians, “ That is not a good reason to get married.”
We agree that to marry someone just because you want to have sex is poor judgment and not a good reason to marry. If, however, you are unable to live a life of chastity as a single believer, being married is certainly a better state in which to “work out your salvation” (Philippians 2:12).
We also have a “spiritual” nature.
Today’s culture has so watered down the chastity issue that even the Christian community has settled for a watered-down solution on how to live with unfulfilled desires. We are “only” human. If we belong to Christ, we are also “spirit.” Naturally, the fallen human side of us doesn’t disappear when we come to Christ, but there is now present within us “a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). We have help to live a godly life—not perfectly, but in a determined, thoughtful, and disciplined way. Therefore, to say “I’m only human” and then give in to ungodly desires is a gross rationalization.
Can a thief say, “I’m only human,” after stealing something and expect to go unpunished, then repeat the crime again and again? Can a businessman cheat because of an “only human” desire to succeed and then expect to go unpunished if discovered? Yet, in matters of immorality, there seems to be a sense that one should be forgiven, go unpunished, and then accepted by the Christian community. There seems to be no sense of responsibility for one’s actions. How has this whole rationalizing process crept into Christian ethics?
Rationalizations for continuing an affair
Affairs between believers go on and on because of a lack of total honesty. It’s called rationalization. Some excuses given are:
“Just one more time.”
“If my husband (or wife) only met my needs, i wouldn’t do this.”
“I understand him (her) so much better than his wife (her husband) does.”
“He (she) needs me.”
“We minister together.”
“It won’t happen again.”
“I’m just too weak.”
“If only God would give me the strength to stop.”
“God knows that I need this.”
“So many others are doing it; it can’t be that bad.”
“No one else knows, so what’s the harm?”
“God will forgive us.”
“There are worse sins.”
“God loves us no matter what we do.”
Some of these statements, such as the last one, are true. But that’s not the whole story. It is really very simple. The Bible says, “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). There is no way to rationalize it. God is serious about this offense.
Why are so many Christians caught up in immorality?
It’s possible they haven’t looked honestly at themselves early enough. It’s back to the process. If earlier on they would have been aware that they were getting caught in a web of sin, they might have been able to disentangle themselves before getting totally entangled. Once a physical involvement begins, control becomes very difficult.
Once over the line in total sexual involvement, a decision has to be made. If you belong to the Lord, you cannot go on indefinitely in an immoral relationship and expect anything other than grief. You have to make a decision. And it must be made today.
Answering Four Street-Level Arguments for Sexual Immorality
As fallen human beings we tend to explain away or excuse our sin. We all do it. It’s part of our desires to justify ourselves apart from the blood of Christ.
So below are four street-level excuses we commonly use to justify our sexual sin coupled with answers.
1. My sexual choices aren’t hurting anyone else.
We call this the Golden Rule idea. If it’s not hurting anyone else, what could be wrong with it? If a guy is sleeping with his girlfriend and the two of them are consenting adults, why should the church condemn that behavior? Likewise, if a woman wants to be in a monogamous sexual relationship with another woman, why does it matter as long as it’s not harming anyone else?
The truth is, sexual sin does harm us.
It’s a sin against the body. We also must remember that the Golden Rule (love your neighbor) is second to the greatest commandment (love God with your whole self). Jesus said clearly in the Gospel of John that those who love him obey his commands (see John 14:15). In other words, “If you love me, obey me.”
When you place the Golden Rule within the framework of biblical teaching, you see that sexual sin is a sin against our own bodies and is ultimately a sign of our rebellion against the God who made us.
2. We’re all sinners, so who are you to judge?
Whenever Christians affirm Jesus’ vision for human sexuality, we are often greeted with the comeback line “So you’re perfect, then?”
The critics have a point here. The Bible shows us up as sexual sinners—all of us. But the real issue is repentance. The question is not “Do I sin?” but “Am I walking in repentance?”
Christians ought never to feel superior to others. We’re sinners too. The question is about repentance. Are we turning from sin and embracing Jesus?
3. Jesus never talked about homosexuality.
This objection is only half true. When it comes to dealing with the topic explicitly, Jesus did not speak to the subject, so far as we know from Scripture. But there is a sense in which Jesus did address this issue.
In Matthew 15:18-19, we read: “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” The word for “sexual immorality” covers all sorts of behaviors condemned in the Old and New Testaments.
Furthermore, when asked about divorce, Jesus went back to God’s design in creation to show how men and women were to relate to one another. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus built on the Old Testament understanding of morality and even went beyond it—calling us out for lust.
4. Sexual promiscuity is seen in nature.
Sometimes people will condemn faithfulness between a husband and wife (monogamy) or the Christian view of homosexual behavior by appealing to nature. As long as animals aren’t monogamous and as long as we see some animals behaving in same-sex ways, then why would we condemn adultery or homosexuality or sex outside of marriage? If it’s in nature, it must be natural.
This line of thinking denigrates the dignity of human beings, implying we are nothing more than our sexual passions. If we roll out that argument, we arrive in a scary place. We know of certain insects where the male impregnates the female and the female turns around and eats the male. Who wants that as the norm for humans?
What’s worse, those who believe in evolutionary theory adopt the principle “survival of the fittest.” Do we want to imply, for example, that people with same-sex attractions are genetically weaker than other human beings? Of course not! Appealing to nature to justify any kind of sexual immorality is a dead end leading us to see people with less dignity, not more.
Questions for reflection:
- If you were Cynthia or Tom, what would you have done differently before, during and after the affair?
- If you were John, how would you respond? What would you have done differently in engaging your wife? How would you respond after discovery of the affair between your wife and the minister?
- What have you learnt from this story and what lessons would you apply to your scenario and who would readily come to mind that this story will help a great deal today? We are all ministers of Christ – Either silent or vocal – Get involved today and safe a soul for Christ or help someone make godly decision today.
Oh Lord God, lead us not into temptations that we cannot resist and deliver us from all appearance of evil on our short pilgrimage here earth and lead us unto repentance in Jesus name, Amen
Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe
E – Discipleship @ Otakada.org