The True Christian Safe Sex Guide
by Alan C. Clifford, B.A, M.Litt, Ph.D (Pastor, Norwich Reformed Church, England)
The AIDS threat has made everyone think very carefully about their sex life.
Avoiding HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases is a major health priority. Information supplied by various Health Authorities and other agencies seeks to balance maximum sexual pleasure with minimal danger to yourself and your partner. Even then, condoms do not guarantee 100% protection against the HIV virus.
THE MAJOR PROBLEM IS A MORAL ONE. In a society where everything is 'OK', sexually active people are more vulnerable than ever. If an 'anything goes' promiscuous life-style is so risky even for those who take precautions - and not all do - then we must seek another answer.
So, is there such a thing as truly 'safe sex'? If 'no sex' is the only absolute guarantee of safety, is there an alternative to total life-long abstinence? Yes, there is.
This statement has been issued to help you grasp and follow this simple code:
RIGHT SEX IS SAFE SEX
As with driving a car, so handling your sex-drive needs a 'highway code'.
Like drivers of high-performance cars, we all know how powerful our sexual urges are. As with behaviour on the roads, lack of control can lead to disaster for all involved.
There are rights and wrongs in bed as well as on the road. We ignore them at our peril. Christians believe that God our creator has given us such a code in His revealed word, the Bible.
According to God's sex code: RIGHT SEX IS SAFE SEX
Before this code is outlined, objections need answering. "Isn't the Church against sex anyway?" "Isn't sex sinful for religious people?" These questions linger in many minds. Yes, the Roman Catholic Church's teaching on celibacy makes sex a second- best option for many. Other Christians are often too shy to talk about the subject. So, what is the truth?
THE TRUTH IS THAT SEX IS A GIFT OF GOD. Male and female were created by
God. He instituted marriage. He meant sexual intercourse to be both pleasurable as well as productive. It is a vital and exciting way for two people to express their love for each other. Love-making is liberating!
Religious people need to know that while voluntary celibacy is taught in the Bible, imposed or obligatory celibacy is not. Speaking generally, the Bible assumes that Christian ministers will be married. Otherwise, it is difficult for them to deal with other people's sex and marital problems with any real understanding. To say otherwise is to be wiser than God. This is not to deny that being single can be fulfilling and happy. Neither should married people be insensitive to the loneliness often felt by single people.
So, when all is said, away with hang-ups and misunderstandings about sex. GOD IS ALL FOR IT!
If God is 'for sex', what is He against? Since sex was designed for marriage alone - a life-long faithful relationship between a man and a woman - all forms of extra-marital sex are wrong. Hence the true Christian Church proclaims the right use of sex. It is to be used not abused.
The wrong uses of sex are as follows:
(1) An obsession with sexual matters. While it is an important and joyful part of being human, it is not the whole.
(2) Premarital sex is irresponsible and selfish. It is also a contradiction in terms. Since sexual intercourse is the consummation of marriage, how can two people be married before they are married? If fornication (the proper word for it) is pleaded for on an 'experimental basis', marriage partners come to their marriage 'second hand'. And if people are promiscuous before marriage, they are just as likely to be so afterwards.
(3) Adultery is specifically forbidden by God (see the Ten Commandments). It is cheating, stealing, betraying; a violation of the sacred mental, emotional and sexual bond with one's spouse, with serious consequences for domestic and social happiness and stability.
(4) Homosexuality is equally forbidden by God, in thought and deed. It is contrary to the natural function of sex. From a strictly physiological and anatomical standpoint, the human body is not constructed for anal intercourse. Such a common sense conclusion hardly requires a medical expert to validate it. Thus sodomy is nothing less than 'body abuse'. It is therefore a perverted and degrading violation of normal human relationships.
It should now be clear that RIGHT SEX IS SAFE SEX. This means abstinence before and outside of marriage, and faithfulness to one's spouse within marriage. If this is observed, sexually transmitted diseases will be avoided. Since 'right sex is safe sex', what is the RIGHT SEX CODE? This comes in two parts: (A) THE CARE CODE and (B) THE CURE CODE.
(A) THE CARE CODE
(1) Disregard as dubious and dangerous any government, educational or religious guidelines which fail to recognise authentic Christian spiritual and moral values.
(2) Reject the teachings of priests and 'trendy' liberal clergy who claim that heterosexuality and homosexuality are equally valid life-styles. Since celibate clergy are obviously disqualified in advising others on intimate sexual matters (and not infrequently guilty of moral lapses themselves), seek advice from Christian leaders who teach God's guidelines faithfully and who have stable and happy marriages.
(3) Consider sexual intercourse as a gift for marriage only. Patience will be rewarded.
(4) Have the courage to say 'NO' when pre- or extra-marital advances are made.
(5) Do not commence any relationship with a member of the opposite sex where casual sex is regarded as normal and expected.
(6) Avoid social functions with sexually-promiscuous overtones, especially when alcohol is available.
(7) Avoid pornographic literature and video material, and also sexually-suggestive music (both 'pop' and 'classical'). Shun anything which is sexually stimulating. Wear modest clothes.
(8) Avoid films, TV 'soaps' and advertising, chat lines and any forms of entertainment where loose moral standards are encouraged either explicitly or implicitly.
(9) Pursue a healthy mental and emotional life-style. Life has many worthwhile interests and activities which do not revolve around sex!
(B) THE CURE CODE
Prevention is better than cure. However, no one is above temptation. While the consequences of sexual sin can be dangerous and even fatal, it is neither the worst kind of sin nor is it beyond forgiveness and a new beginning. The Christian Gospel alone can cure the victims of sin in all its forms.
(1) Believe in the truth of God's Word, the Bible. In a 'post-modern' era when many people regard moral standards as 'relative', the true Christian Faith says there are 'absolutes'. Sin is a violation of God's Law, not a departure from custom or 'political correctness'. The consequences of such violation are for time and eternity.
(2) Trust in God's grace and mercy to forgive your sin and deliver you from its power. Sin may be pardoned since God sent His Son to be the Saviour of the world. Christ died for our sins upon the cross. In dying 'the righteous for the unrighteous', Jesus dealt with the guilt, power and consequences of human sin. No sin is beyond the cleansing power of His precious blood. For all who turn to Him in repentance and faith, there is forgiveness and a new beginning.
(3) Rely on the gift of God's Holy Spirit for guidance and strength. In the face of life's many temptations, none of us can stand upright in our own strength. We are all sinners. Living a life of Christian faith, love and obedience is the only safeguard from the destructive corruptions of modern society. Be sure to link up with Christian churches (usually protestant, reformed and evangelical) where these guidelines are clearly taught.
(4) Let your life be an example and encouragement to the victims of sexual disease. Show compassion to them. The love of Christ gives hope to the hopeless. The Christian Gospel enables those who suffer from AIDS to do more than just die with dignity. God's mercy points all who trust in Christ to heaven and eternal happiness.
THOSE WHO SCOFF AT THESE THINGS WILL HAVE THE WHOLE OF ETERNITY TO REGRET THEIR FOLLY AND UNBELIEF.
Please consult these Bible references: Genesis 1:27, Exodus 20:14, Proverbs 5:1-20, Matthew 19:4-6, Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 7:1-9, Galatians 5:19, Ephesians 5:22-33, 1 Timothy 3:2, Hebrews 13:4, 1 John 1:5-2:6; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; John 8:1-12. Q
Editorial end-note: This very excellent article has been written from a monogamy-only perspective and must therefore be interpreted in that light. For a broader biblical perspective, see this article.
This page was created on 12 June 2000
Last updated on 12 June 2000
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