50 Shades of Grey Areas in the Church

Whether we like it or not, as single Christians living in a Hook-Up culture, we must acknowledge and obey God’s commandments regarding sexuality

But let me remind us all, that preserving sex for marriage is not something “conservative Christians” invented to be strict, oppressive to women, or used to point fingers and embarrass those, like me, who have crossed boundaries in the past. Sexuality in marriage between a man and a woman is something God Himself invented.

 

Like most Millennials, I understand first-hand what it’s like to live under the weight and pressure of today’s Hook-Up Culture.

I know what it’s like to be called old-fashioned, because I believe that sex is only meant for marriage between one man and one woman.

I also understand how heartbreaking it feels to be dumped by that boyfriend, because you wouldn’t go far enough. And I know the immense feelings of shame because I went too far.

(Side note: whatever your story is, know that it is welcome here too. Because in the Almighty’s story there is forgiveness, healing, transformation and sanctification. In His story, there is no such thing as damaged goods.)

I believed it, for a time, when our pop culture told us “virginity” is a way that our so-called patriarchal society oppresses women. This reason, I’m told, that feminism must prevail.

Then I watch the hardcore-porn novel “50 Shades of Grey,” whose themes glamorize the enslavement, sexual violence and female inequality of a young woman contracted by her old, white businessman, break sales records worldwide. However, feminist did not cry out. Instead they’ve championed it. Newly declared feminist Beyoncé’s music will underlay the 50 Shades of Grey movie soundtrack next year.

Cue the Double Standards. This piece of pop culture with its glaring objectification of women goes absolutely viral, yet virginity is a new dirty word.

This is our hook-up culture. Sexually immoral and oppressive entertainment that we as a culture aren’t shocked to find in the hands of soccer moms at our nail salons, laundry mats and bus stops. Add to that, sadly, we’re no longer shocked to find the hook-up culture in the Church either.

If you haven’t noticed, sex has morphed into a “grey area” in our chapels.

I’ll never forget hearing about sex as a “grey area” while a sophomore in college, and I had just got involved in this Christian campus ministry. Little did I know that the Evangelical Left was alive and well in this ministry, but that’s a discussion for another day.

While sitting in a girl’s small group, a professing follower of Christ told us that she was going to have sex with her boyfriend because she believed premarital sex was one of those “grey areas” not outlined in Scripture. To her, the Gospel was a gist to attain salvation, not a guideline for moral, Christian living. She believed that she and her boyfriend were not doing anything unbiblical and, most of all, she did not want to hear our opinions on the matter.

I can see now that she was wanting, hoping for affirmation. She wanted us to accommodate something, which she knew— tugged by the Holy Spirit’s conviction— that was sinful and ultimately harmful for herself, her relationship with her boyfriend and her relationship with God.

Maybe you’ve come into contact with what I’m talking about? Maybe you’ve noticed the growing bitterness towards what some so-called Christians have dubbed the “purity culture” in our churches?

This was evidenced by a few blogs I’ve read lately. But sadly, one stood out the most. It was titled “Rethinking Sex…” In it the author, a young man fresh out of college wrote “As I have studied the bible and theology, I have come to the conclusion that sex and sexuality is nowhere near as ‘sacred’ as conservative Christians make it out to be.”

Of course, so-called progressives in the Church don’t just see premarital sex as the only “grey areas.” You should also note that the author of this blog is also the spokesman for the new group, Evangelicals for Marriage Equality. Included is certainly homosexuality, one of the most hostile debates of our time, as well as pornography, masturbation and all acts treading around the periphery of sexual intercourse are new “grey areas.”

But let me remind us all, that preserving sex for marriage is not something “conservative Christians” invented to be strict, oppressive to women, or used to point fingers and embarrass those, like me, who have crossed boundaries in the past. Sexuality in marriage between a man and a woman is something God Himself invented.

The bottom line: whether we like it or not, as single Christians living in a Hook-Up culture, we must acknowledge and obey God’s commandments regarding sexuality. Because the Almighty’s moral codes were never intended to bow to the suppositions of our Hook-Up culture.

Here’s my challenge to you: the hook-up culture will continue to make inroads into the Christian community unless we stand up against it. To do that, you’ve got to know enough about what Scripture really says about sexuality to defend your faith. And friends, there are no grey areas on this matter. It’s black and white.

To get you started, I’ve listed just some of the verses in Scripture that clearly outline sexual morality. Study them, memorize them, obey them, and then defend them.

Friends, sexuality in the Hook-Up culture, as well as sexuality in the Christian culture, is a culture war all it’s on. Get equipped.

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Scriptures:

1 Corinthians 7:2; Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Colossians 3:5; Hebrews 13:4; 2 Corinthians 12:21

This article appeared on the Institute on Religion and Democracy’s blog and is used with permission.