The Church and Sexuality: What is God’s Purpose for Sexuality?

church and sexuality church consulting lgbtq+ Sep 21, 2022

What is God’s Purpose for Sexuality?  

Our society distorts sexuality into monetary transactions, friends with benefits, and the erotic fantasies of 50 Shades of Grey. Our culture has deified desire and exalted the right to choose as inviolable. Tragically, we believe that people will be happy if they fulfill their sexual or otherwise desires and that restricting them is wrong and harmful.  


Moms and dads want to protect their children from sexual corruption, but how do we move beyond moralizing? Sometimes our theology boils down to something as simplistic as: don’t have sex before you are married, and then enjoy it to the fullest as soon as you get married. We buy our teens promise rings, and then when they get engaged, we give them Christian sex manuals. Beyond these noble efforts, could there be a bigger, more powerful, biblical story of sexuality that we have missed? 


I hope to offer a basic framework to cast a grander vision of sexuality. The implications of this more holistic theology of sexuality are massive for how we minister to singles, marrieds, and LGBTQ+ people, whether single or married and especially for the picture we give our teenagers. 


Humans are sexual beings. God created sex as a good gift, but it is far from the most critical feature of our lives. It is not essential to life. Sex is necessary for humanity to continue, but that does not mean that sexual activity is crucial for every person to live a good life before God. If you are married, before you get too tense, let me assure you that in marriage, sex is important. A husband and wife should care for each other sexually. Sex is not essential, however, for a great marriage. 


We can see that Christian leaders have generally overplayed sex by contrasting biblical theology with current Christian cultural reality. We have often made sexual intimacy a bigger deal than it is. Ironically, we have bought into cultural distortions, essentially making sex an idol and treating it as if it will bring us true happiness. By presenting a brief biblical theology of sexuality, I hope to show that sex is a good gift, but it is not essential for a good life. 


A closer look at the biblical progress of revelation has given me new insights into sexuality’s place in our lives. [i] Seeing through this powerful lens opens essential windows of understanding that have been obscured in many Christians’ thinking on this topic. We will discover that the role of sexuality shifts over time. 

For an exploratory 30-minute conversation about consulting with Bruce, click here.

[i]. See Dennis P. Hollinger’s chapter “The Christians Worldview and Sex,” The Meaning of Sex: Christian Ethics and the Moral Life (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2009), 69–92, for a similar but more detailed analysis; and Denny Burk, “Introduction” in What’s the Meaning of Sex (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013) where he interacts with Hollinger on the purposes of sex. 


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