Sex and Human Relationships
Understanding the Procreative Force
Is Sex Impure?
Inasmuch as one or two readers outside the Church have expressed concern over my comments in the article, "Sex and Human Relationships" (E&MS 33:26-39, Spring 1991), I wish here to add a few remarks for clarification inasmuch as I have been accused to proclaiming sex to be something dirty or impure.
My position, and the position of the New Covenant, is stated succinctly in the Covenants & Commandments:
The same revelation further says:
"...sex was neither made for salvation nor condemnation, but it is an ordinance given unto man and wife that they might have joy. Thou shalt neither condemn nor worship sex, but thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, who is the giver of every good thing" (HOC 71:23-24).
The implication is clearly that sex is not ordained for some and they are to live lives of celibacy, for reasons best known to God. Sex is not, as we have seen above, a matter for salvation or condemnation, but is, in its proper order, a manifestation of holiness in those who are holy.
"Sex belongeth unto the lower orders of matter and is sanctified by the higher orders, or in other words, is made pure and virtuous by pure hearts and minds in those for whom it was ordained" (HOC 71:30).
In my interview I likened sex to oil. My point was that sex, of itself, is neither clean nor unclean. It becomes one or the other depending on what you do with it. And as far as I can tell from the scriptures, and my own personal witness of the Holy Spirit, we, as New Covenant Christians, are given one of two options: (1) To use sex in holiness within the prescribed bonds of marriage, or (2) Not to use it at all, whether married or unmarried.
Sexual fasting is enjoined by this Church for shorter or longer periods as and when the Holy Spirit bears witness that this should be done. Since sexual activity is not something married couples pursue full time anyway (since we have numerous other daily concerns) it follows that celibacy is a naturally created part of our biological rhythm. To be celibate, whether for 23 hours or for 23 years, says nothing, therefore, about the ultimate "goodness" or "badness" of sex. It says merely that one person utilises it more than another.
A Binding Force that Diminishes
It is my experience, and I suspect the experience of countless thousands of other Christians too, that as you become sanctified in Christ, so the act of sexual intercourse becomes less important as an ordinance in binding couples together. Higher forces, both "sexual" and non-sexual, come into force that are infinitely more satisfying, and they discover, in fact, that what actually binds them together is their mutual love for, and service to, the Lord. Again, I repeat, this is not to say that sex becomes "dirty" -- it is merely to say that it is no longer required for the purpose it was originally set out for.
There are a number of revelations that talk about sex and its place in the Christian life. And it talks about sex in many different contexts. We must first of all recognise that sex is a force or an energy with many manifestations both on the physical and spiritual planes. Jesus acknowledges the existence of mental sex, for example, by saying that adultery is not only committed on the physical plane, as I pointed out in my interview. It follows that a person can have sex in his mind or heart without having it on the physical plane.
Part of the problem we have is in our use of words. We, in the New Covenant Church of God, find ourselves constantly having to define words so that we are not misunderstood. For your average man-on-the-street, sex is kissing, petting or having intercourse. He does not, as a rule, make a distinction between spiritual or carnal sex. For him (and he may well be an atheist) sex is simply an animal drive that must be fulfilled for his physical health.
New Covenant Christians take this subject much deeper. We want to know the origin and purpose of all things. Therefore we have asked the Lord and He has spoken to us. We also know that He speaks on many different levels in the revelations, each revelation being adapted to the level of understanding and sanctification of its several types of reader. Circa 90% of the revelations, I would say, are addressed to the Zadokian Order and in a language (often semi-legalistic) that can be understood clearly by them. This level is very much the "Mosaic Law of the New Covenant" (which itself should not be understood as being equivalent to the old Law of Moses for it is infinitely higher than that). The language of the Enochian Order (and above that, the Patriarchal) is often very different and not uncommonly is misunderstood by the Zadokian Order. This is because certain keys needed to understand them fully are only obtained in the temple -- therefore they appear to be a riddle, or even contradictory, until these keys are obtained. And these keys are only obtained by those who have been faithful in their Zadokian endowment and have begun to be sanctified by the higher levels of Light. That which is Enochian and Patriarchal in the Covenants & Commandments (for example) is there not for the Zadokian Order (or the world, for that matter) but for those who are sanctified by a degree of the Firstborn.
"Ordinances" are eternal for the level in which they were given. The Old Testament says that the Law of Moses is eternal and cannot be changed. But with the Cross it most certainly was changed because it was fulfilled or completed. Likewise I was ordained to be a child, not forever, but for a season. I was ordained then to be an adult. And God ordained that I should die too. He has also ordained that I live forever if I live righteously. Some ordinances cannot be changed, and never will be changed -- God will not tell us to do evil but has eternally ordained us to righteousness.
Sex and Health
I have also been asked if sex is healthy or not. My answer is that it is healthy for those for whom it was ordained and harmful for those for whom it was not. If a sex-maniac comes to Christ it may well be extremely unhealthy for him to indulge in sex until he has certain things sorted out. Clearly sex is most unhealthy for those with serious illness and who might become more sick as the result of it. If that illness was ordained by God (and Paul tells us that some are...for our salvation) then clearly sex was not ordained for that person. Thus as to whether sex is healthy or not is all relative. It is obviously unhealthy to have your mind dominated by the desire for sex, or to over indulge in it, for these things are a sin against the Holy Spirit and the physical body over which we are stewards. Some sex leads to sin, and some to joy which can readily be transferred into praising God (and here is the key to true and acceptable sex). Therefore, I maintain, that sex is not good or bad in itself, but has the potential for either.
As in so many things, all is a matter of balance or proportion. But in the Firstborn Church we take this further. We recognise that sexual energy is one of several manifestations of the Light of Christ and that it can profitably be rechannelled. The Light itself is necessary for sanctification and wholeness but not every manifestation of it. I think there are people who naively think that celestial procreation is sexual intercourse on a massive scale. It is not. The heavens are not populated by copulating gods -- this is the myth of occultism which uses sex in magic to prostitute the Light of Christ for its own devilish ends.
Making Important Choices
Our time on earth is short and we can use that time doing billions of possible different things. The more you become aware, the more possibilities manifest themselves before you, and the more selective you have to become. I used to agonise as to what career I should have chosen in the early years my life for I have interests in so many fields. I long ago came to recognise that we cannot fulfil all our interests in this life and that I had to choose priorities.
Paul the apostle almost certainly chose a life of celibacy to allow him to give the maximum time to witness of his Saviour. There is no evidence that he or the first apostles, ever took their wives with them on mission, even though we know they had wives. Though they would undoubtedly have liked to have had more time with them, they chose a better and more glorious way. I have no doubt that they are with their beloved ones now and enjoying a union that they could never have known on earth had they sacrificed the preaching of the Word for the sake of the marriage unions.
Not a Question of Salvation
I do not pass judgement on them. Neither to I judge those who feel they should have more or less sex in their married lives. It is their business. But what I do know is that it does not affect their salvation unless their sexual activity leads them away from Christ and/or into sin. It is a well known principle in the Church of the Firstborn that as you increase one activity in one sphere of activity (say spiritual) that a corresponding activity in another sphere (like sex) has to decrease. The more you indulge in sex, however "holy" you may be, the more the spiritual, emotional, and mental life decreases. The more this process degenerates, the more animal-like you become.
Spirit vs. Flesh
Now there are good and bad animals, but they are both spiritually "animals". The more we indulge in physical things, the more animal-like we become until what is left of our spirituality is practically nil. There is one side of us called in the scriptures the "flesh" that is always pulling us down, and one side which the scriptures calls the "spirit". These two are constantly at war. Our life is to a greater of lesser extent a battle as to which shall predominate. As Christians we are more than conscious of this fight and we therefore wrestle with our fallen, human nature (the "flesh") to bring it into subjection to our higher "spirit" nature. Physical sex is a part of that "lower" nature. When that lower nature is dominating, then the whole nature (sex included) becomes an enemy of God and a tool of Satan. When the higher nature dominates, through living a spiritual life, then the lower nature becomes "tame" and can be pressed into service for God. Only then does sex (in this case) become a useful, upbuilding force. To ensure the victory of the spirit means, however, that the spirit must be in control. Sex, like other passions, must be bridled like a horse and not left to run around wild. Eventually it becomes tame and docile and becomes a friend of the spirit, fulfilling its divinely appointed task.
Two "Touchy" Subjects
This subject is a very touchy one for many people because it often lies at the heart of idolatry. As my wife said to me the other day, the two things people are the touchiest about are sex and money. They are modern idols, even for those coming into the Christian faith and who truly believe they have a more spiritual outlook on these things.
For myself, I can only repeat what I said in the interview: on the animal level, I find sex utterly revolting; but on the spiritual level, it can be an instrument of great joy and personal fulfilment. And if I cannot convey my meaning even after this, then either I am a poor communicator or those who cannot understand simply have not crossed the veil of the Firstborn in this matter. These are not simple matters and they can be over-simplified to the obscuring of their meaning. Let everyone be satisified in their own conscience that they are living the Lord's will in their lives in harmony with the Scriptures. Beyond that I cannot say more.
This page was created on 6 July 1998
Last updated on 6 July 1998
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