COLTON DIXON AND THE “CRAZINESS” OF SAVING SEX FOR MARRIAGE

This is a recent post from a favorite writer of mine – Trevin Wax:

http://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/trevinwax/2016/01/28/colton-dixon-and-the-craziness-of-saving-sex-for-marriage/

People magazine recently published a brief story about Christian singer Colton Dixon. The interview included honeymoon pictures of Colton and his wife, Annie, and explained why the two chose not to have sex until after their wedding.

“I believe sex was designed for marriage,” Colton said, explaining that the Bible teaches this idea and that it is “more meaningful to wait.”

The article is short, but the comment stream is long. A few commenters applauded the Dixons for living according to their values. But most were harshly critical of the idea that you should wait until you’re married to have sex.

I’d like to highlight a few of the comments because they are a good example of cultural antipathy toward Christianity’s distinctive sexual ethic. Most of the criticism fell into three main categories.

1. “Sex has no design.” 

When Colton says that sex is designed for marriage, he’s implying that there is a Designer – a God to whom we’re accountable for our sexual actions. He’s also saying that marriage is the only covenant relationship where sexual expression is supposed to flourish.

Naturally, many disagree with both of those notions. So, some reduced marriage to a “human concept” that was “invented” for tax benefits and passing on your inheritance. Others claimed that marriage has “nothing to do with commitment” and is just “a contract for those who need things in writing.” 

2. “Sex has nothing to do with morality.”

The next line of criticism focused on the idea that one’s sexual behavior has something to do with “good morals.”

“Right just means right for the individual,” someone wrote. Colton and Annie are no better or worse for waiting until marriage. It’s more important to treat other people nicely, to donate to charities, to be a good friend, etc.

Sex is “just a biological urge,” so there’s nothing wrong with “having sex just for the fun of it” as long as you’re being “responsible” and trying to get “experience.” If there is any meaning to sex, it is something “created by the couple involved and their relationship and commitment.” And if there is a God, he couldn’t care less what you do with your reproductive organs.

3. “They are freaks.”

The most disturbing line of criticism is that Colton and Annie are “idiots” who have bought into “purity crap” persuasive only to a “few freaks out there.” “SO BIZARRE!” one wrote.

Only religious “repression” could “brainwash” people into thinking sex was something more than just pleasure, and only “a moron” would save sex for marriage. The idea is “silly,” “freakish,” and “against nature.”

Who promises to spend their life with someone before knowing if they are sexually compatible? How else can you be sure you’ve sensed the “spark” that lets you know you’ve found your “soul mate?”

THE BEAUTIFUL CRAZINESS OF MARRIAGE

As Christians, we should get used to being labeled “freaks” and “morons” and “silly” for our views on sexuality. The idea that sex outside of marriage is sinful draws cultural scorn.

The temptation for the Church is to fire back, to condemn the world and run down a list of biblical “do’s” and “don’ts.” Instead, if we are to be effective missionaries in this culture, we should try to show why God’s design is not only right, but also beautiful.

We can start by trying to understand why our neighbors see reserving sex for marriage as “silly” and “bizarre.”

Today, more than half the population lives together before getting married. Many millennials have grown up in broken homes and don’t want to repeat the mistakes of their parents. It’s understandable that they would think it’s healthier to assess one’s sexual compatibility before tying the knot.

But the statistics tell a different story: cohabitation is more likely to lead to future divorce. Why is this the case?

Perhaps it’s because cohabitation robs a couple of the security of covenantal love. Premarital sex offers your partner one aspect of who you are (your body) while you are still holding on to all of the other aspects of your independence (social, economic, legal). It is a pale imitation of marital love, no matter how pleasurable it may be in the moment.

Tim and Kathy Keller write:

In so many cases, when one person says to another, “I love you,” but let’s not ruin it by getting married,” that person really means, “I don’t love you enough to close off all my options. I don’t love you enough to give myself to you that thoroughly.” To say, “I don’t need a piece of paper to love you” is basically to say, “My love for you has not reached the marriage level.”

The Bible upholds sex within marriage because sex is an expression of the covenantal union of husband and wife. Apart from that covenantal promise, sex is diminished, more about one’s “performance” than about selfless devotion. When a relationship becomes a “test drive” or a “try out,” both parties ask themselves either “Am I good enough?” or “Am I settling when I should be looking for someone better?”

Even non-Christians are having second thoughts about our current cultural practices. Consider the questions raised by Aziz Ansari, who critiques American millennials for their “exhausting” search for a soul mate. “While we may think we know what we want, we’re often wrong,” he writes.

Our relationships are fraught with the fear of constant comparison. We wonder if our partners will stay with us as we age, or if they are on Facebook wishing for “what might have been,” or swiping Tinder to see what new options are available. Ansari contrasts this frustrating sift through endless romantic options to his parents’ (arranged!) marriage, a relationship where compatibility and love have grown stronger over time.

Conclusion

Colton and Annie Dixon went against the flow. They were rebels in a world where sex before marriage is normal and expected.

They chose to give themselves to each other fully only after they had made the vow that encompasses and protects the beautiful vulnerability of their marital love. That’s one way they show their marriage is much more than a contract. It’s a covenant designed to inflame and sustain their sexual union – “till death do they part.”

If you love the Head, you’ll love the body.

Matt Smethurst tweeted not too long ago,

“Saying ‘I love Jesus but not the church” is saying ‘I love Jesus but not what Jesus loves.’”

I agree. If you love Jesus, you’ll love what Jesus loves. If you don’t love what Jesus loves, then you don’t love Jesus. Which means, you can’t say that you love Jesus but not his wife. You can’t say “I love God” but not love his kids. If you love Jesus, the Head and Husband of his bride, the church, then you’ll love what he loves.

John put it this way,

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love  . . . Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another . . . And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.” 

1 John 4:7-8, 11, 21; 5:1-2

Proof that you have been born again is that you love Jesus and his Father who sent him, and you also love everyone who also loves Jesus, or, you love everyone that Jesus loves. If any part of this is absent, you are not saved. But this is good news: though you know your own proclivity to sin, you still love Jesus and the church. You are not deceived: you sin your sin and confess it (1 John 1:9) and keep on loving what Jesus loves. This is possible only because God the Father birthed you into his family and then you believed (1 John 2:29; 5:1a). The ground of your salvation is that God chose to love you before you loved him (1 John 4:19). The proof of God’s love is that you love what he loves – otherwise, you would still love what the world, flesh and the devil does (1 John 2:15-17).

Is there any evidence at all in the past two weeks that you love what Jesus loves – his church? If there is – then rejoice that God’s grace is upon you. If not, then believe that Jesus is the Son of God, who came to destroy the works of the devil that are evidently still at work inside you (1 John 3:8-10). You don’t have to live in fear – believe that Jesus is your only hope and love what he loves (1 John 4:17-18).

 

The Ground of your Faith is not your Faith – it’s Jesus.

Here is a clip from Don Carson at the 2016 Desiring God Conference for Pastors and Church Leaders. This was my 18th year in a row to attend – and as always, I am refreshed and encouraged again. May your heart be strengthened with this simple illustration of a great truth. Enjoy!

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/faith-or-christ

 

An Anniversary for Abortion. Roe vs. Wade 43 Years Later

Here is a “celebration” by Greg Morse that was posted today, a seminary student at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN. And he’s black.

“Today is an anniversary — a time for warm smiles and congratulations.

Never mind that one black child is killed every minute in America. Never mind that more blacks are lynched in the womb every three days than were strung up on trees by white supremacists. Never mind that more black children now are killed in a week than the KKK killed in all their 150 years of horror.

No, never mind that. Today is an anniversary — a time for toasting and feasting.

Never mind that every other black baby is put down before they see life — two conceived, one born. Never mind that blacks are the only minority whose population is in decline. Never mind that in some states more black babies are killed than kept — no, we cannot mind that.

For today is an anniversary.

This is not the time to consider that over half of black deaths this year will happen in the womb — twice that of accidents, police and gang violence, cancer, AIDS, and all other diseases combined. Nor is this the time to wonder why our government gives over half a billion dollars to fund these minority death camps. No, today is a time for celebration and cheer.

Today is an anniversary.

Never mind that abortion was propagated by white eugenicists who desired to limit the black population through their “Negro Project.” Never mind that the first people against abortion weren’t white conservatives but the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam because they saw abortion as a civil rights issue.

And never mind that their fears have been actualized in today’s statistics, which tell us that black babies are five times more likely to be aborted than whites. Or that nearly 40% of abortions today are procured by black women (though they are only 12% of the population), or that two out of every three Planned Parenthood clinics are located in a black community.

No, today is a happy day. A special day. A day to mark on our calendars. A day to remember — an anniversary.

Since the gavel sounded on Roe v. Wade 43 years ago today, more than 17 million black children have been killed in their own mother’s womb. That’s the combined populations of New Mexico, West Virginia, Nebraska, Idaho, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. States full of black citizens, fathers, mothers, professionals, students, children, friends —gone.

Today is an anniversary.”

Indeed! How strange is it then that the most Aggressive-for-Abortion President that the United States has ever had, is a black man. I’m speechless.

The 2nd Amendment and My Citizenship in Heaven

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I just bought a box of 32 cal. rounds at Cabela’s for my 1943 Walther pp 32 handgun. This is, so far, my constitutional right as an American citizen, and so is my concealed carry license. But, as a believer in Christ whose citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20), it is not my right to own a weapon, ammunition for it, and a license to carry it concealed – it is a temporary privilege under the present government of which I am a legal citizen.

If and when my earthly government makes it illegal to own a weapon, overturning the 2nd Amendment, then I will obey the government – the same kind of oppressive government that gave almost no rights at all to its citizens: Roman’s Law! Yet Jesus said to obey it anyway: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment . . .” (Romans 13:1-2). We support many missionaries who are living in other countries. They presently are American citizens while abroad – but while they are in countries whose law says, “Thou shalt not own a weapon or have one in your possession” – then it is not their American right to disobey that law, but rather it is their responsibility to submit to the government of that land, knowing that you don’t have to own a gun to be a Christian and go to heaven.

I grew up around more guns, ammo, powder, fingers in our ears, and hot lead, than the average kid does today – unless that kid lives in the Middle East. Marksmanship, hunting, and shooting cans off a rock was as normal of a pass-time as was skipping rocks across the lake. But times are changing in our country. And the most important thing for me to remember is to be a better citizen of Heaven than America. Therefore, I am not willing to go to jail defending my American right to own a handgun. However, I am willing to go to jail to defend my duty to preach the gospel and its implications. For example, if my government passes a law and says that I am not permitted to promote the sanctity of Marriage between a Man and a Woman, only, then “I will obey God rather than man” because it is now Man who has violated God’s law of sexuality (Romans 1:18ff; Acts 5:29). If my government passes a law and says that I am not permitted to promote the sanctity of human life in the womb, then I will obey God rather than Man – and go to jail for obeying God. There are other things for which I would be willing to obey God and go to jail for – as did Martin Luther King Jr. did. But I am not willing to go to jail for the defense of the 2nd Amendment.

There may come a sad day in this country that I have no legal right to privately defend my property with a weapon, if need be. But this is not the worst thing. The worst is not having the legal right to enter the kingdom of heaven (John 1:12-14). Keep your focus men!

Morning & Evening Devotions

It’s been a very long time since I’ve used this for my devotions – “Morning & Evening” by Charles Spurgeon. What is especially helpful, are the scripture references and the few updates that Alistair Begg has provided, permission by Crossway.

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For today, Spurgeon calls us to cast our cares upon the Lord, citing 1 Peter 5:7. He says, “O child of suffering, be patient; God has not passed you over in His providence. He who is the feeder of sparrows will also furnish you with what you need. Do not sit in despair; hope on, hope ever . . . He, if you are one of His family, will bind up your wounds and heal your broken heart. Do not doubt His grace because of your tribulation, but  believe that he loves you as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness. . .”

I highly recommend this blessed tool for your heart this year!

For the New Year: Indecision and Compromise

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At the dare of a friend, I shaved half my beard off; gives a whole new meaning to resolve, doesn’t it!? But what if this year I was as resolved as this silly approach to shaving? If I wore this year round, I think most people would wonder if there is something seriously wrong with me – “either shave it all off or grow a full beard – but that is ridiculous looking – it’s half-committed – it’s indecisive and half-hearted, ect.” Probably more would be said but I think these comments would describe the event.

And what if the following half-committed, half-hearted, indecisive resolutions described our lives? No, we don’t openly state, or even agree to these, but if we are not resolved and committed in our hearts to “look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16), then our lives will naturally gravitate towards apathy for the spiritual disciplines of the heart. In other words, if we are not intentional about spiritual growth in Christ, we might as well and go public with these kinds of resolutions for the new year:

Resolved to Read God’s Word when I get the chance, or when things get bad, or if nothing else is more important, or when I just feel I need some help.

 Resolved to Pray when I get the chance, or when things get bad, or if nothing else is more important, or when I just feel I need some help.

Resolved to Worship with the Body of Christ when I get the chance, or when things get bad, or if nothing else is more important, or when I just feel I need some help.

Resolved to nurture my relationship with Cheryl, as long as she appreciates it, meets me half way, and doesn’t make me angry.

Resolved to use my money with these priorities in mind, from the most important to the least: first, the pursuit of financing my personal pleasure, even it means spending more than I make; then, all necessary obligations and debts that if I don’t pay, someone might come and take away my possessions; then, family and friend stuff; then, if there is anything left, I’ll give to the Lord and His Mission to spread the gospel here and abroad – he’ll understand.

The good news is that in Christ, we have all the grace and strength to pursue holiness, without which, we will not see the Lord at the end of this very brief life. (Hebrews 12:14-15).