Doubts, Questions, Queries, Thoughts…

Just because I know you’re out there, I thought I’d just remind you that the ‘Itching Questions’ tab still exists.

I absolutely love questions. Even when I can’t answer them, they open an opportunity for thought.

Don’t be intimidated because I don’t know anywhere near everything and I never will.

Don’t be afraid because my aim isn’t to cut you down but to draw light on your questions/thoughts from the Bible.

Don’t hesitate because you might learn something you didn’t know before.

Don’t hold back because getting into the depths of the Bible is something I find fascinating and I can guarantee it’s worthwhile.

So there, hopefully that’s reason enough to just ask away.

More.

What do you want more of?

For the past two weeks a number of uni’s, including mine, ran a mission on campus. The theme was more, basically Jesus came and said ” I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10). So the focus of the mission was to look at how what we desire and want more of is actually available at it’s best through Christ. I thought I’d give a little summary of the talks that I was able to go to.

 MORE Sex.

Our society has managed to separate God and sex, portraying him as essentially the ‘fun-police’. But when God created man he in fact commanded them to have sex – and to “fill the world”.

Our societies approach to sex is an individualistic one whereas God’s is a relational. Our world sees it as self satisfaction, regardless of the other person. God intends marriage to be a reflection of Christ’s relationship with the church, commitment, service and unconditional love.

MORE Justice.

Our world is messed up. Just take a read of Ecclesiastes to see that the recognition of the broken state of the world is not a new thing. So why doesn’t someone do something? (Essentially, there is only so much we can do)

Why doesn’t God do something? But then the question arrises as to how far you would want God to go if he were to bring justice. What criteria for justice would you have to place down to exclude all the wrong things you’ve done but include everyone else. The reality is, is that no one could stand through judgement.

So as we cry for justice, we should also cry for mercy. And  in this God has heard our cry and provided a way out, despite that we don’t deserve it. Christ underwent our judgement so that we didn’t have to. So why are we still waiting? Well God’s giving us time to come back to him.

MORE Stuff.

People tend to create an image of a God that would feel at home in Soviet Russia, a hater of luxury or wealth, or even all the good things in life.

John 2:1-10. After running out of wine the party starts to fall apart but Jesus revives it by creating 700L of wine. (Which our speaker calculated to be the equivalent of 26, 000 standard drinks). God loves to see us enjoy ourselves.

BUT God does have reservations. HOWEVER, these reservations are the same we generally have. He doesn’t like it when we take the good stuff and use it all selfishly (Amos 5:11-12). God doesn’t like it when we receive these things ungratefully, so taking all the good things but ignoring the giver. Neither does he like us using these things blindly (Amos 9:13-15).

MORE Happiness.

The general trajectory of society is towards to new, towards breaking out of routine and being revived by the new, I guess receiving a sort of ‘happy hit’ to make us really feel alive. I’m sure you know the feeling I’m referring to. But no matter what, that feeling leaves us and we go searching for it again.

But, Jesus is the living one and the life giving one. Humans are born, live and then die. But Christ always was and is. Humans all became but through Christ everything became. Jesus isn’t just a religious guru but he’s the living Son of  God, through which all things were made, he not only offers life, but eternal life. Eternal meaning and happiness and life to the full. (Check out Colossians 1:15-23)

So essentially that thing that’s missing, that you keep trying to replace with “happy hits”. Well that’s where knowing the God who made us is meant to fit.

So I’ve just given a really brief overview of some of the answers to life’s desires that were given. If you find any particularly unanswered or want to know more there is the Itching Questions (and suggestions) tab. Also I’m working on a post called “What would Jesus say in a gay bar on Oxford St?” (and I’m gonna admit stealing the title from a sermon outline), so watch this space.

Purity in a World Obsessed by Sex

Hello again and sorry that it has been so long since my last post! A few people have been asking questions about Sex and God and so here is the long awaited post that’s part of the Distinctives series I’ve been writing. Sorry that it’s a little unformatted, there’s little you can do in an app but here it is C:

Often the Christian views and ‘rules’ about sex are known as restrictive and intolerant. I hope that as I layout what the Bible says about this topic you’ll understand why it works like this and if you’re a Christian, to deal with the frustrations and temptations.

The Worlds View
1. ‘If it feels good, do it’- sex is viewed as a natural instinct, if you’re feeling in the mood then why suppress natural urges? It’s seen as fun and liberating but it can end in emotional disaster.
2. ‘Just a bodily function’ – One of the ministers at our church used these lyrics to sum up this point: ‘you and me ain’t nothing but mammals, so let’s do it like the do it on the discovery channel’. I’ve forgotten who it’s from but I’m sure you’ve heard it.
3. And finally, the worlds view is completel selfish. It’s all about satisfying your desires with no thought for the other person. While we’re quoting songs take a look at these Katy Perry lyrics from ‘I Kissed a Girl’: ‘I don’t even know your name, it doesn’t matter, you’re my experimental game, it’s just human nature.’

So let me some it up, the world defines sex as: selfish, a natural instict, and demeans it to merely a bodily function.

Gods View
1. For some strange reason this stereotype has been placed on Christianity as shy of sex or even that we think it’s sinful or something.
God made sex and he made us to be sexual beings. If you’ve ever read Song of Songs in the OT I hope you noticed that it’s a complete book dedicated to the celebration of sex and relationship!
2. Sex is a means of procreation.
Gods first command to humanity was not love each other or obey me or anything like that… It was have sex and fill the earth.
“Be fruitful and increase in number.’ Genesis 1:28
Here is something I didn’t mention before but seems appropriate now. If you read womens magazines it is so often that they talk about sex but when is the fact that it leads to children ever mentioned? The world has painted such a selfish view of sex that having children (the almost unavoidable result of sex) is virtually completely divorced from it.
3. Sex is for strengthening love and committment.
When God created Adam he was alone so He created Eve for relationship, love and committment.
” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be unitedto his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
Genesis 2:24
Clearly more than animalistic mating, it’s a bringing together of souls, spirit and emotions. Let me put it this way, sex works like a special kind of glue that holds relationships together. So you can see why sleeping with multiple people doesn’t work, you glue yourself to someone and then tear yourself off, glue yourself to someone else and then tear yourself off again etc etc. The glue stops working after awhile and sex stops working. This is why porn and masturbation don’t work.
4. Porn
Porn depersonalises sex, divorcing it fro
relationship. It’s essentially looking at someone elses body and lusting over it. You don’t even know them! There’s clearly no relationship there. Believe or not but this demoralizes and depresses sexual urges. Porn doesn’t educate you so that you can better please your partner, it just desensitises you to sex and takes the pleasure out of it.
5. Masturbation.
This is somewhat similar, you’re essentially having a relationship with yourself when you masturbate and that’s a little weird. Sex is between 2 people not 1.
6. God the ultimate Sexpert.
God made sex so he knows how to best use it i.e in heterosexual marriage.
Marriage is exclusively between one man and one woman. It’s lifelong, the Bible only permits divorce in certain situations it’s not something that is just thrown around like a ‘Get out of jail free’ card.
‘what God has joined together let no man separate. ‘
This is why there is such an emphasis on choosing the right person to marry, based on who they are rather than the superficial elements the world emphasises.
‘Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.’ Proverbs 31:30