Originally posted July 10, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) -- Be careful about shaking your head at same-sex marriage, warned David Platt, senior pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., and author of the best-selling book "Radical."
Christians should grieve the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the federal ban on same-sex marriage, but believers should also be "careful not to be guilty of selective moral outrage when it comes to the issue of homosexuality," Platt said.
Everyone, each individual, is bent toward sexual sin, Platt said.
"This is something that every sinful heart is prone to struggle with in some way or another," said Platt, who preached in late June on the subject of the cross and sexuality. His two-part sermon series on 1 Corinthians 6 book-ended the week of the Supreme Court's two rulings June 26 supporting gay marriage.
"If we roll our eyes and shake our heads when we see the Supreme Court ruling on this case, yet we turn the channels on our TVs to watch the trivialization of sex on shows and advertisements, to surf the Internet to find images in order to satisfy our lusts, to go to movies that glamorize sex ... and entertain sexual thoughts and desires outside of our own marriage, then we have missed the entire point," Platt said.
Sins shouldn't be acceptable just because they are the sins of the majority, he said. The church needs to declare war on every sexual sin that plagues Christians in order to show the world sexual purity and godly marriage.
"All throughout the Bible from cover to cover, sex is only celebrated ... in the context of exclusive covenant relationship between a husband and wife. Period. There are no exceptions to that," Platt said.
There's no exception for homosexuality but there's also no exception for adultery, promiscuity, pornography or masturbation, he said.
What's happening in "our sex-crazed culture" today is essentially sex worship -- the idea that "I would be happy if I had the freedom to express myself sexually," Platt said.
"According to , we're not human if we can't please our bodies however we desire, so any attempts to limit sexual expression are seen as oppressive and inhumane," he said. "We set our minds on the things of the flesh, which is hostile to God, and we exchange God's Word for our experience."
So often the Bible is twisted to fit preference -- as with the argument for homosexuality -- or its supposed silence is interpreted as liberty, Platt said. For instance, he said, when he was a teenager he and others would ask the question, "How far is too far?"
"I never once heard a well-reasoned, objective answer based on Scripture," he said, explaining that instead leaders would tell youth to pray, set boundaries and decide what they thought was right, because the Bible didn't spell it out. So when he and other guys would talk about it, they would "do what teenage boys do" -- set the standards as low as they could.
"I found myself in this dangerous gray area that led to guilt and failure," Platt said, noting that even though he and his wife Heather didn't have sex with each other or anyone else before their marriage, "that doesn't mean we glorified God with our bodies."
Platt urged unmarried men and women to consider that the reason God has no explicit instructions for sexual behavior between unmarried people in relationships is because God didn't intend for them to engage in any at all.
"God in His Word has no category for two people who aren't married but kinda sorta act like they are. It's not mentioned one place," he said. "That's because they are your brother or sister in Christ and likely to be someone else's spouse some day. If you say, 'Well, I think I'm going to marry her,' then marry her.
"Looking for a guideline? Don't do anything with a brother or sister in Christ that you wouldn't do with your brother or sister, or with someone else's wife or husband."
That also goes for how married people relate to people other than their spouse, he said, as well as in the case of pornography. Pornography isn't at all relational as God intended for sexual activity to be, and in no way emulates the character of Christ.
"Men, these women are someone's daughter -- they aren't objects, they are souls," Platt said. "They need you to point them to Christ, not fuel their exploitation."
Platt said he's convinced the reason the mission field is dominated by so many single women is because pornography has such a grip on men that they are too weak to follow Christ's call. Men need to fight the battle for the sake of unreached people worldwide and for the sake of God's glory, he said.
"So much of the power of sin is found in its secrecy," Platt said, urging Christians to be intentional about having accountability in place. "Guard yourself with godly friendships and Gospel accountability."
And don't give in to the desires of the flesh outside of marriage, even in masturbation, he said.
"God designed sex to be relational; masturbation is lustful," Platt said. "It teaches people to satisfy themselves" and is isolating, noncommittal and self-centered. Masturbation "goes against the design of God" just as homosexuality does, he said.
"Let us give ourselves to His design and reclaim godly marriages" for the sake of Christ, families, the church and the world, he said.
Platt said he's convinced that "living as a Christ follower is going to be harder, not easier, in the coming days" and that the Supreme Court decision will "have ramifications on religious liberty."
But "marriage is a union that represents our union with Christ in heaven, and it will not go away," Platt said. "It is wise to be confident in the resiliency of marriage, in the opportunity for the Gospel and in the sovereignty of our God."
"Flee sexual sin and run to Christ," he said.
Grace Thornton is assistant editor of The Alabama Baptist (www.thealabamabaptist.org), newsjournal of the Alabama Baptist Convention. To watch or listen to the sermons, visit www.brookhills.org.
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