Relax, It’s Just Sex

Shrugging_Shoulders

So today I read an article/devotional about God’s perspective on the human body.

The piece was relatively short but affirmed an old Christian perspective that we ought to be careful about what we do with our bodies because, as the Apostle Paul says, “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.” (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

The writer even goes so far as to say:

This should say something to you about its value and the way you ought to treat it. Furthermore, you should take God’s words as a warning against abusing, misusing, or ignoring your own body.

I’ve seen pastors and Christian leaders use this reasoning to argue against cigarettes, alcohol, tattoos, and anything else Christians deem to be taboo when it comes to the human body.

But here’s the thing: this passage isn’t about body art, piercings, beer, or any of that stuff.

Like the title of this post says: It’s Just Sex. The Apostle Paul is very clear about sexual sin and the human body. But let’s not misuse the Bible to justify our own perspective on the appropriateness of other issues. We can’t condemn people with the “your body is God’s temple” line unless we’re addressing similar issues that God is addressing.

So go ahead and get that tat that says, “I LOVE MOM!” Don’t let people condemn you about your piercings (no matter WHERE they are o.O).

When the Bible speaks, we’ll speak. But let’s not force the Bible to fit into our molds.

5 Replies to “Relax, It’s Just Sex”

  1. While it is true that we have misused scripture to justify our own personal morals, it is also a danger of us slipping into a Pharisaical legalism if we limit scripture only to the strict circumstance in which it is originally written. Scripture teaches us over arching principles by using specific circumstances and examples. We want to avoid getting into the argument that some are using today that basically states that since Jesus didn’t specifically speak on the issue of homosexuality it is therefore okay. Yes, we must be very careful to avoid misusing scripture, but we also mustn’t limit it only to what we can read in the text.

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      1. True, but that is where wisdom, understanding and discernment come in. Just because something isn’t prohibited in the Bible doesn’t mean it’s okay. We are to use the guidance and principles we learn from what the Bible does speak on to help us make those wise choices on those things it doesn’t speak on.

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  2. On the other hand . . . Though the context in 1 Cor 6 about our body being the temple is stated in the context of a discussion about sexual immorality, the statement is still true when removed from that context. If the body is the temple, there may be a principle that can be applied to other issues rather than limiting it only to sex. It may be that the larger teaching of the apostle is that the Body is a Temple, and he chooses to apply it to this controversial issue, but that larger teaching may also be applied to other issues equally appropriately. Finding and discerning what is an appropriate application of that larger issue is the tricky part that we all have to engage in, yet may never agree on 100%. An example is that in 1 Cor 3 he uses a theme from that larger teaching, but in that context and in that discussion he’s referring to the corporate-ness of the Temple of the Holy Spirit. So I think it is clear there is a larger teaching on the body being the temple than merely the discussion about sex.

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