It’s a surprisingly common misconception of people who do not know me well that I am afraid that people will think I’m crazy. This is, in fact, not true. I am afraid of two things when it comes to my sanity, that people will think I’m sane, and that I’m really not.
As I am wont to do, I gave only half of the story in my previous post. One of the major reasons for doing so was that I was very angry when I wrote it. A friend of mine was looking for a “god-reason” to break up with his girlfriend. Well, that’s not exactly true, he was looking for a “fuwjax-reason” that he could twist into a “god-reason”. That made me pretty angry. I know better than to blog when I’m angry. As an apology, here is the second half of the story.
Matt 5:28 spells out perfectly clear just how far is too far, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” The appropriate response by the way is not to break up with her, the next few verses say “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”
So you see, I can hardly worry about whether I’m off-base; I follow a man who was truly insane. Can you imagine a culture that gouged out their eyes for lustful looking? But there is no other course of action. If you intend to save yourself from hell, you’d probably better get going on the self-mutilation. Of course, there is that other option.
There is forgiveness. That truly insane man cut himself off. He threw himself away. He died to give us his body. He rose so that we would be a part of that body, that we would not be cut off, that we would not be thrown into hell. He has paid the price. He has set me free.
I’m not joking that you’ve been set free from the law. Check out Romans 8, it’s amazing. And I’m not kidding that all things are permissible. I quoted 1 Corinthians 6 last time. This time I’m quoting 1 Corinthians 10. “‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” And now we come to the crux of our freedom.
Is it ok to have sex? Not if it becomes your master. Is it ok to have sex if it doesn’t become your master? Not if it leads someone else to sin. Keep reading the rest of 1 Corinthians 10. “For why should my freedom be judged by another’s conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for? So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.”
Here Paul is talking about eating food sacrificed to idols, but it applies equally well to “whatever you do”. If you’ve found a way to drive faster than the speed limit, steal, lie, sleep with your girlfriend, beat your kids, abuse your spouse, get drunk, get high, or pretty much anything else you might believe is a gray area when it comes to righteousness… if you’ve found a way to do these things to the glory of God, for the good of many that they might be saved, then don’t let me stop you.
So how far is going too far? If you look at someone lustfully, you’ve gone too far. What you have done in your heart is no less a sin than what you have done with your… hands. If holding hands with someone makes someone else gossip and slander you, then you went too far. It’s easy to love the girl who is affectionate; it takes a real man to love the slanderer.
That said, I have one final point. Stop making up laws. If the laws from God’s own lips are not in themselves powerful enough to save, then how much more worthless are your own laws? If God has given you a way to glorify him through sex, then you would be a fool to not take advantage of it. It’s not a loophole in the law; the law serves his glory not the other way around. Just understand that if your abstinence only serves to glorify you as a tool to condemn others, it is certifiably not from God.
Posted with : Bare with Me