WHY has this world's "Christianity" failed to understand the purposes of sex revealed in the Bible?
Do you know why God created humans male and female? Do you know that God did not have to make humanity as He did if reproduction were His only purpose?
The First Sex Educator
God was the first great sex educator! The Great God who created the far-flung universe, the earth and all of its complex physical laws and life forms, also created man and woman. "Male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:27). God said of His creation, including human sexuality, "it was very good" (Genesis 1:31). God did not intend for sex to be a source of shame, guilt or fear — or of unbridled lust. Sex is meant to build the family, not ruin it. God created sex to play a role in producing His crowning objective in mankind: the creation, the reproduction of holy, righteous, mature godly character! The right use of sex plays a great part in building that character. In Genesis 1:28, God blessed the first man and woman and commanded them to multiply, replenish and subdue the earth. A great human family was to be born to learn to rule God's creation — mind and body included — God's way, not through their own human reason.
First Sex Education Class
We find in Genesis 2:7 that God formed the male sex first. The first man, Adam, was created from the dust of the ground and began to live when God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. The man did not know anything, apart from language, but had full capacity to learn. He was instructed by God and held responsible for God's revealed knowledge (Genesis 2:16-17). Then God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make him an help meet [or fitting] for him" (verse 18). And so God created a helpmate — not as an afterthought, but to complement and help the man. God created woman from a significant and symbolic part of Adam's own body — a rib next to his heart. She was created to complement and share life in every wholesome way with the man — physically, mentally and emotionally (verses 20-23). God did not leave this man and woman confused about sex or their sexual differences. He did not leave them to stumble and bumble around ignorantly or carelessly into trouble and harm. One of the first things He did was instruct them about sex and the right context of its use. God commanded the man, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (verse 24). So, immediately after creating Adam and Eve, God ordained marriage as the proper outlet for their sexual capacity and to help satisfy and mature their emotional development. Before we go any further, you need to become aware of a special booklet on marriage which takes an in-depth look at the institutions of marriage, the home, and family life. It's titled: Why Marriage! In it Herbert W. Armstrong reveals a startling truth which has been altogether overlooked by science, by religion, by education, and by society! To return to Genesis 2. It is precisely the tragic failure to perceive the implication of verse 24 that has led to so much marital unhappiness and failure, to sex abuse and sex perversion! Note what is implied by God's command in this verse. Marriage and sex relationships are for a properly prepared man and woman. A man and woman need to be mature enough, prepared socially and economically enough, be educated and skilled enough, yes, self-disciplined enough that they could leave their parents and successfully establish a separate home. In other words, they need sufficient right values and character to realize what marriage is intended to accomplish, so they would cleave to their mate faithfully. All of these essential attributes are exactly the opposite of what premarital, extramarital, homosexual and other misuses or sexual perversions create in human character. Instead these sins create lusts, appetites and attitudes that undermine a wholesome marriage and other healthy human relationships. They make lasting and true happiness impossible to achieve. Worst of all, such acts destroy production of the spiritual character God wants and needs in the governance of His eternal Kingdom and Family. Every misuse of sex undermines the desire or the ability to fully experience the divinely ordained "one flesh" union. This is the expression of total commitment to, loyalty to, and appreciation and proper love of, one's mate.
Purposes of Sex
Now consider the astounding purposes of sex as revealed in Scripture. Sex is for — reproduction. We have already seen that sex relations between a husband and wife for reproduction is a right use of sex. But human reproduction is not, as one religious body has taught, the only purpose of sex, a necessary evil to be otherwise avoided. Human reproduction within the family is designed by God to teach a sacred and God-plane meaning not applicable to any other kind of life. Human children are begotten through sex. And the begettal, period of gestation and birth of a human body gives us the pattern of the spiritual sequence — so little understood — that leads to eternal life. Upon human repentance, spiritual begettal comes from God the Father. Then God's true Church functions as a Christian's spiritual mother to feed and nourish him (Galatians 4:26, Ephesians 4:4-16). Our free booklet, Just What Do You Mean... Born Again? thoroughly explains God's process of spiritual salvation, which is patterned after human begettal, growth and birth. Sex is for marriage. We have seen in scripture that marriage is a divine institution. It did not evolve as a result of long human experimentation. Marriage was ordained when human sex was created. Sex was intended to attract a properly matched couple to want to marry and share life together. Marriage and the special sex relationship in it was intended to generate a unique kind of love. Properly used marital sex would bind and draw a man and woman together because it is shared with no other. The Creator intended the differences in sexual responses between a husband and wife to encourage building expression of love and affection between one another. But a proper marriage also allows humans to experience, in measure, a type of the future spiritual relationship to come. God's true Church is the affianced Bride of Christ, to marry him at His return to earth and assist Him in His rulership forever (Romans 7:4, II Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:25-27, Revelation 19:7). Homosexual and extramarital experiences express no such relationship. Sex is for family life. A proper family unit is absolutely necessary for the right teaching, training and security of children. It is necessary for the stability of a nation as a whole. Failure of a society at the sexual level undermines the stability and health of the family. It means the nation or society will break down and suffer social evils. Family life is also a God-plane relationship. God is a Family! The Hebrew word used for God in Genesis 1:26 ("And God said, Let us make man in our image...") is elohim. It is a plural form indicating more than one: a group or a family. God created sex so mankind could understand that through spiritual begettal (baptism, and the receiving of God's Holy Spirit) and righteous spiritual growth humans could be born into the Family of God! "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us [Spirit-begotten Christians], that we should be called the sons of God... when he [Christ] shall appear, we shall be like him... And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he [God] is pure" (I John 3:1-3). Sex is for love. The basis of right family life is godly love. God is love (I John 4:8, 16). The Divine Family relationship is a love relationship. Family life is designed to demonstrate what God's character and love is like. I Corinthians 13 expounds that love: "Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right..." (Revised Standard Version). A happy, successful marriage demands development of a good deal of this kind of love. Two mates deeply committed to each other will want to develop that kind of love. The apostle Paul drew a direct parallel between true Christian marital love and the love of Christ for His Church. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it... So men ought to love their wives as their own bodies..." (Ephesians 5:25, 28). Much of this fifth chapter of Ephesians further expounds proper marital relationships. Sex is for developing and maturing character. Contrary to the propaganda of radical feminists and others, there are major differences in the physical, mental and emotional talents and abilities between men and women. Properly developed and utilized, these attributes produce a strong, balanced, humane and nurturing society. God, the Creator, has given each sex special gifts, emotions, talents and responsibilities "as it pleases Him" (I Corinthians 15:38). God did not put all the strengths of His character in one sex. The differing masculine and feminine gifts and talents should be mutually respected and appreciated. Tragically, such differences are discredited by unisex propaganda being promoted in the guise of "enlightenment." When a man and woman are united in a properly matched marriage and living God's ways, the mental, emotional and physical aptitudes of husband and wife complement, not compete with, each other. The strengths and functions of such mates are essential for the proper rearing and healthy sexual identification of children. Moreover, true masculinity and femininity help balance the other mate's personality, outlook on life and character, smoothing out certain eccentricities that each sex might not work out alone.
Sex Demands Character Building
God created human sexual capacity and the sex drive. Sex demands right character development according to God's revealed laws to control it, or else misuse, perversion, unhappiness and social tragedy will result. Millions — ignorant or in rebellion to any authority — run away from this kind of character development. They are allured by loose, cheap, misleading and damaging role models and social values. Sexual drive, when expressed within the confines of God's laws, is designed to channel the human emotion toward true love. What is the nature of true love? Whether in marriage or some other human relationship, true love acts in ways showing total concern for the physical, mental and spiritual well being of others. Lust, on the other hand, is concerned only with fulfilling its selfish desires, pleasing its immediate feelings, wants and cravings. It is not thinking about another's long-range needs, security, future growth or godly development. In Malachi 2:14-15, God warns husbands to be faithful to their wives as their marriages are intended to be a means of producing "godly offspring" (RSV). But Satan, the invisible supreme ruler of this world who sways society, doesn't want that outcome. He doesn't want humans to understand the full purposes of sex. He does not want humans to see how proper marriage and sex relations or other wholesome human relationships between the sexes reflect the character and attitude of God. Satan hates God's purpose of reproducing Himself. Satan wants to make family life and marriage repugnant and unattractive. He works in human lives to destroy wholesome marital and human relationships. He does it by keeping mankind ignorant of God's laws, purposes and plan. He works to inspire and encourage wrong values, emotions and lusts (see Ephesians 2:2-3). That's the real behind-the-scenes author of many wrong emotions and attitudes!
Author of Wrong Sex Attitudes
Satan was the author of the first wrong attitudes about sex back in the Garden of Eden. Satan tried to discredit everything God had taught the first man and woman. Look at the story recorded for our learning. In Genesis 2:24, God just finished instructing Adam and Eve about what was expected in their interpersonal relationships and about the purpose of life. Then right away Satan gets to them (Genesis 3:1). Notice what Adam and Eve came to believe as a result of Satan's deceptive lies. They decided to disbelieve what God said was evil and experiment for themselves — like so many do today. Eve took over the leadership role of the family that God had given to Adam, and Adam sheep-like followed her in eating from the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil." Sex was not the first sin. Disobedience to a direct command of God was. Adam and Eve's attitude toward God and sex changed. Now they were ashamed of their bodies — they weren't before. Now they were afraid of God and wanted to hide. "Who told you that you were naked [and needed to be ashamed of your sexual functions]?" asked God (verse 11, RSV). Who? Satan had injected the first unwholesome attitudes about sex and God's purposes. And ever since, Satan has tried to cause humans to have wrong attitudes about sex. He has worked through misguided and deceived influential persons and inculcated in human minds wrong sex attitudes. These attitudes run the gamut from asceticism, shame and sex is evil to today's degrading "anything goes" immorality. Satan is still here bombarding susceptible human minds with his perverted sex attitudes and thoughts. But many do not recognize and resist his (as well as other) damaging human motivated influences on their minds. No wonder so many are swept away by the deceptive allure of permissiveness. Why is God allowing it? So mankind will never be able to say to God: You have denied us the experience of living in ways contrary to your laws and purposes.
What About You?
Sex demands right character and attitudes. But today there are many forces working to undermine the building of right character and using sex rightly. There is a massive assault on the family and marriage, working to undermine and destroy their divine purposes and functions. Malachi 4:5-6 reveals that only because there will be human beings who heed God's laws governing proper family relationships, God will not, in the end time, strike the earth with total destruction. The good news is that you as a person, single or married, can strive to develop the character that makes marriage and family life a success. You can build godly character and thus, in the resurrection, qualify for a greater reward in God's Kingdom and Family. Godly character development and the proper control and right use of sex go hand in hand. Strive to use and appreciate sex as God intended.