Sex Before Marriage

People who engage in sexual activity before marriage set themselves up for serious moral compromise. I have met various couples over the years to discuss their coming wedding and addressed this issue with them. I found most are blind to the significance of their sexual decisions.

The Obvious Statement

When individuals decide to engage in sexual activity before they are married they make some clear declarations about who and what they are. I have had some couples protest what I tell them, but see for yourself.

A person who engages in sex before marriage clearly asserts that sex does not belong exclusively in marriage. If they believed that sex was meant only for marriage they would testify to that by reserving their sexual activities to marriage.

When people engage in sexual activity outside of marriage they declare that they accept the idea that sex is not exclusively reserved for marriage. (I know that’s not rocket science, but you’d be surprised how many people refuse to admit that. The “Moral” implications of this confront them and they switch into denial).

Before and Outside

Let’s clear up some English Vocabulary here. If a person accepts the idea of Sex Before Marriage, they also accept the idea of Sex Outside Marriage! Before marriage is “outside” of marriage!

Don’t look at me like that! This isn’t rocket science!

When a young couple become emotionally entangled and fall into lustful intimacy before marriage they are revealing that they would have no moral reason not to do the same thing with someone “outside” of marriage. Their regard for the place of sex has clearly been demonstrated. It has no special place at all!

Now and Then

If a couple will engage in sex outside marriage ‘before’ they are married, what should stop them engaging in sex ‘outside’ marriage, ‘after’ they are married? What is so different between the “now” and “then”?

Couples believe they are totally committed to each other and would never hurt the other by being “unfaithful”. But those same couples have no problem offending God, being “unfaithful” to His holy standards for their life. So, if they can abuse God, how much more readily can they abuse a human?

Your Signals

Think about what you signal about yourself if you accept the idea of Sex Before Marriage. You signal that you have no Fear of God. So, there is now no moral basis for your existence. You will not make choices based on God’s holy standards.

You are a law to yourself. You make the rules about your life and actions. Whatever you choose at any time in the future is what you will do. When it suits you to be faithful, you will be. If you become bitterly disappointed with your spouse and sorely tempted by an alternative, what is there to stop you choosing to be unfaithful to your spouse?

You also signal that you are lord of your own universe. Therefore you are not tapped in to God. You are not able to access all the provisions He has for you, which you will need during your life. You are the fountainhead of your own existence and the moral reference point for your life. This cuts you off from the vitally important resources that only God can give. You and your spouse will be denied so much that you need to successfully navigate and encounter life in the years ahead.

But We’re In Love

Now, how pathetic is this? I have had couples say to me, as they clasp each other’s hands, “But we’re in love!” You’d think the orchestra is supposed to strike up on the spot!

Emotions and decisions are two separate things. The rationale people use for their decisions is irrelevant. The decisions themselves have powerful moral consequences. Killing a man in a moment of anger, a moment of thoughtlessness, or after a lifetime of hatred, makes no real different to the dead man. He is dead which ever way you came to it.

Choosing to mock God is a decision with profound moral consequences. Whether you are “in love” or “in lust”, stupid, irresponsible, selfish, opportunistic or deceived by your culture, you have chosen to mock God and reject His holy standard for your life! Don’t give me that, “We’re in love!” stuff.

What am I supposed to expect from you when you discover one day that you are in love with someone other than your spouse? You are clearly signalling that if you “fall in love” with someone after you are married, you will have sex with them!

Protection

God does not restrict sex to marriage because He wants you frustrated. He is protecting you from moral harm. Sexual sin is a sin against your own body. It creates a huge gap in the moral fence around your life. It brings you under the power of demons of lust, immorality, uncleanness, adultery, perversion, shame and the like.

Sex outside of marriage, including sex before marriage, seriously damages your ability to enjoy the intimacy which God created for you. It is proverbial that couples who engage in sex before marriage find their sexual activity after their wedding to be less than they hoped. Something has been damaged by their foolish and selfish choices.

Sexualised Society

Western culture is highly sexualised. People are sexually damaged while they are still virgins. We are violated by what is shown to us and by the immoral sexual attitudes in our culture.

Despite all of that, you are a fool to go with the flow of today’s sexual tide. Your only viable option for joy, satisfaction, peace, fulfilment and blessing is to live in the fear of God and to find His power to do so.

I call you out, from among our sexualised society, to live in the holiness for which you were created. If you have been so foolish as to become sexually compromised and damaged, then follow my Steps to Release, which you will find on the ChrisFieldBlog.com website.

A Holy Nation

You are a chosen generation and a “holy” nation. It is time to live your destiny. It is time to walk out of the morass of sexual pollution and lust, and to breathe the rarefied air of freedom and God’s presence.

I call you forth, out of the muck and into the glorious liberty of the children of God. That glorious liberty includes being set free from all immorality and uncleanness, and all the damage you have done to yourself or others have done to you.

Rise and be healed. Step forward into freedom. Rejoice in the Lord who delivers you from this evil generation!

Throwing Your Life Away

How much are you worth? What price do you put on yourself? How cheaply would you sell yourself to someone?

The questions have a certain silliness about them, because we don’t imagine that we will ever sell ourselves. But in fact we have all done so already. We sell ourselves short all the time.

Compromise

Maybe the word ‘compromise’ will give you another notion of how you sell yourself or throw your life away. When you make a compromise, accepting less than you wanted or demanding less of yourself that you could, you have sold yourself short. You have accepted a lesser bid for your time, your personal authority and your life than you could have asked for. Some people sell themselves short, while others sell themselves out altogether.

What Am I Throwing Away?

Have you ever disposed of something only to realise later that is was valuable to you and you should have kept it. This happens often and can be by accident or by ignorance. Maybe you have thrown something away last week and then discovered that you need it this week. Maybe you thought it was broken but it turned out to be in perfect working order.

When you throw yourself away what is it that is at stake? What are you throwing away?

You can throw away your time, investing yourself in something or someone that is just eating you up for no real purpose. A mother might say to her daughter, “If you marry that man you are throwing your life away.” What the mother means is that the man is of no value and so spending a lifetime as his wife is a waste of the bride’s life.

You can throw away your talents and potential. A father might say, “Don’t study that easy course, because you have enough brains to be doing the hard course and getting a better outcome. If you do the easy course you are throwing your life away.”

You can throw away your personal, moral authority. God has given you the ability to stand on His side and do business with all of His authority behind you. But if you compromise with sin and evil you are throwing away that personal moral authority.

The Bidding Begins

Early in life we find ourselves being asked to sell ourselves cheaply. Bids are made for our attention, time, commitment and so on. Take for example a young man who is asked to compromise his morality by listening to a dirty story or looking at sordid pictures. This will cost him his innocence and make him a slave to immoral thoughts and motivations. Surely he would not want such a penalty.

However, most young men do not understand the cost of their compromise, so they are unlikely to hold back because of proper understanding of the consequences.

What will aid the young man is his conscience and the inner sense that this thing he is being asked to do is tainted. The attitudes and actions of those tempting him will signal that there is something a little shameful or illicit in what is being offered.

Another thing that can save this young man is the instruction of his parents never to allow such offensive things into his life. Wise parents will instruct their children to avoid things that enslave lives.

The Highest Bid

If the young man is reluctant to participate at first he will find that the bidding is raised quite quickly. At first it will simply be temptation to do something illicit. When he declines he will find that the stakes are being raised to include his reputation or acceptance in the group.

Those tempting him might suggest that he is weak by being afraid to participate or they may advise him that he is not fit to be included in their company if he is not a willing participant.

If he further declines, then someone might try to sell him on the excitement that is on offer, or assert their own superiority to the man because they have already participated without injury, and so on.

What is happening in such exchanges is that the bidding for the young man’s soul is rising, until the tempters cause him to yield.

Sold

When the young man gives in he is “sold” out. He has settled on a price at which he will trade off who and what he is for something. In the end he may do what he is being tempted to do, not for the thing itself, such as to view pornography, but to keep the friendships which are now at stake.

By this process people are selling themselves all the time.

Not For Sale

The only ones who are not sold out are those who do what God wants them to do in every situation all the time. Those ones will resist every temptation and threat. They will stand alone and stand for God no matter what the cost.

The book of Daniel records that Daniel and his three friends each did this in various ways. The challenge to ‘dare to be a Daniel’ represents the idea of resisting temptation and threats so that the right thing can be done all the time, without fear or favour.

Sold Cheaply

I can think of several school friends who sold themselves cheaply. They readily bought into sensuality, drugs, lying, cheating, irresponsibility and so on. They did it so cheaply that they received nothing in return. They did not hold out for respect, privilege or gain, but hastily jumped into the slime to slide into shame, addiction and worthlessness.

Many people do this, especially if they are without the protection of loving and wise parents who guide them to wise choices and a wise lifestyle.

The Israelites sold themselves cheaply in the days of Jeremiah. They abandoned God and built broken resources for themselves that did not work (Jeremiah 2:12). They were keen to throw away their true value for that which is worthless.

If people think they are worth nothing they see no problem in selling themselves cheaply. Yet every person is of inestimable worth and should never be sold out at all!

Bought Back

The wonderful news is that the sacrifice of Jesus allows us all to be bought back from the hand of those who have enslaved us or bought us cheaply. The Bible uses the word ‘redeem’ to describe this process of paying the price needed so the item is returned.

Jesus Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.

If you have abandoned your personal sovereignty in a vain attempt to get some gain for yourself, like Eve selling herself for nothing in the Garden of Eden, then you need to be redeemed by the blood of the lamb. That was the price paid for your freedom. Make sure you are bought back from the grimy slavery to sin and are given a fresh start to live as a sovereign child of God who can change the world with His grace and power.

Hiram Bingham Takes Christ to Hawaii

This is the day that Hiram Bingham was born in Vermont, USA, in 1789.

He was nearly 20 years of age when Obookiah, a young Hawaiian lad, was found weeping on the steps of Yale College. He had arrived in America on a trading vessel. Led to Christ by a young Christian student, Edwin Dwight, it was hoped that Obookiah would return to his own people with the gospel. But in 1818 the young Hawaiian sickened and died.

It was this tragedy that led the American Board of Missions to call for volunteers for the Sandwich Islands, as they were then called. These islands had been discovered by Captain James Cook just four decades earlier and Cook had given these islands their Sandwich name.

By 23 October, 1819, the SS “Thaddeus” set sail with seven missionary couples. Leader was Hiram Bingham, with his wife, Sybil, whom he had only met for the first time a month previously and married two weeks later! (From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, by Ruth Tucker, page 204).

Five months later they arrived at Honolulu, where some of the missionary party were shocked by the sight of the naked savages. “Gushing with tears,” wrote Bingham, “they turned away from the spectacle.”

A new king had recently come to power and put an end to human sacrifice. Nevertheless “polygamy, fornication, adultery, incest, infant murder, desertion of husbands and wives, sorcery …” were still prevalent (Company of Heaven, by G. Kent, page 58).

The presence of a doctor among the Americans, however, opened the way to receiving the king’s favour.

The party was initially permitted to settle in Hawaii for one year. However Bingham stayed on for 21 years, to 1840, constantly involved in mission work and Hawaiian affairs. The two endeavours became practically indistinguishable.

Contrary to James Michener’s anti-Christian novel, Hawaii, the missionaries were soon welcomed by the islanders. Opposition came, however, from white traders whose visits to Hawaii had resulted in widespread immorality.

Bingham invented a 12-letter alphabet and translated much of the Scriptures into the native language. In 1835 a missionary named Titus Coan toured the Hawaiian islands. “He crossed 63 ravines” and saw thousands confess Christ.

Bingham is described as “A controversial figure” who “became enmeshed in island politics through his single-minded efforts to impose Christian reforms on Hawaiians.”

By the time Hiram Bingham returned to America, due to his wife’s ill-health, in 1840, the church numbered 20,000. He died in Connecticut, USA, on 11 November, 1869.

His son, Hiram Bingham Jnr. (1831-1908), carried on the work in the Gilbert Isles of the South Seas, translating the Scriptures into their language. Hiram Bingham III became famous for his explorations in South America and discovery of Machu Picchu.

This post is based on the work of my late friend Donald Prout whose love for books and Christian history led him to collate a daily Christian calendar. I continue to work with Don’s wife, Barbara, to share his life work with the world. I have updated some of these historical posts and will hopefully draw from Don’s huge files of clippings to continue this series beyond Don’s original work. More of Don’s work can be found at www.donaldprout.com. I am indebted to Don for awakening in me an interest in Church History, which I previously considered to be a little stuffy and of little practical value. I find in the process of updating Don’s Christian Diary that I am being constantly refreshed, illuminated or challenged by the lives of those who have gone before.

God is the Substance

A world without God is an oxymoron. It is God who gives substance to all things. This is especially so in reference to things we readily recognise as moral in character.

Imagine a World Without God

John Lennon tried to conceive of a world without God. I suspect that he really wanted a world without consequences, such as heaven and hell. That was the focus of his Imagine song. So let’s take Johnny’s suggestion and do what he asks. Let’s ‘imagine’ a world where God does not exist. Then let’s see what happens to everything else.

Imagine Truth Without God

Let’s assume there is no God. Someone comes along and tells you something that they assert is the ‘truth’. What do they mean? Are they telling you the truth or not? By what empirical reference point can you test the validity and veracity of what they say?

They assert something to be true. Is it true in a universal sense, or only true in their perception? Is it a fact that has been tested or is it only assumed to be true? Are they lying?

To address those questions we need to answer the question, “Where does truth come from?” Is truth a matter of human perception? “I saw something so I know it to be true.” But did you see clearly? Many a witness has been shown to be unreliable in their assertion that “I saw it with my own eyes!”

If God does not exist then we only have human perception to rely on, and that’s unreliable! Human resourced truth can only be relative to the perceptions of the humans involved. It has not more reliable anchor point. Truth then ceases to be truth and becomes opinion or belief.

Imagine Justice Without God

In a world without God what is the measure of justice? Is it “the common good”? That could be terribly unjust to those who sit outside the social mean. Is it what some leader thinks is good? That is so open to abuse that it is frightening. Tyrants love to determine justice on that basis.

And just what is ‘justice’ in a world where there is no external reference point? If you believe you have been treated unjustly how do you appeal against it? You are reduced to popular public opinion. If you have more money or talent or skill than others they just might turn against you and decide it is ‘just’ for you to work, achieve and earn on behalf of all of them. But that would seem quite unjust, wouldn’t it?

If someone is seeking revenge for their loss are they likely to stop when exact justice has been achieved, or are they likely to act in spite, bitterness, retaliation or the like?

Justice falls apart unless there is an external moral reference point. And that’s what God provides for us, quite apart from His reality and power and love made available to us.

Imagine Morality Without God

If there is no God then who or what determines what is moral or not. There are millions of people ready to justify their immoral behaviour, even in a world where God and His Word are clearly presented. Imagine what a free-for-all it would be if God was not there at all!

What makes something moral? Is it because it doesn’t hurt someone? God tells us of secret attitudes and thoughts which He deems to be immoral (such as lust), even though no-one gets hurt. Is it because all those who participate do so of their own will? God shows that many actions are evil, even if the whole nation votes in favour of them. The inhabitants of Sodom all agreed on their behaviour, but God did not.

If God’s moral reference was removed people would do evil, justify their actions, promote evil among others and even aim to subvert the morals of others. There are many tools already in use today to subvert people’s morals, offending their sensibilities and arousing their lusts, so they will succumb to immoral behaviour. God is the only hope we have for maintaining morality.

My Old Mate (‘Buddy’ in US speak)

I once had connection to a chap who turned out to be a talented rip-off merchant. He often bragged about his various exploits and the way he took advantage of other people. True to character he did the same to me.

After several appeals for proper recompense my old mate was quite clearly intent on taking advantage of me and many others. Taking him to court would have been a vexing issue, as he was well acquainted with the courts and had many connections to assist him to use the courts to his advantage. The matter was not of sufficient consequence to warrant the dubious process of legal action. That’s what he hoped would be the case with each of his victims.

My wife, Susan, found herself quite aroused by this man’s actions. She made it a matter of prayer and then told me that she was concerned for the man. She wondered whether we should even call on him to warn him. She came to realise just how severe God’s judgement, justice and moral standards would be when applied to this clever rogue. His ability to play human instrumentalities would do him no good at all when God decided to look into his case.

Existence Without God

Many people, like my old mate, imagine a world without God. They make up their own truth, twist justice to suit themselves and work by their own morality. But God is not amused, nor is He required to sit back and watch.

Existence without God is a misnomer. There is no existence outside of God. And there is no morality apart from His. There is no truth outside of Jesus Christ, because He is truth. There is no justice outside of God’s judgements. We will all eventually face the judgement seat of Christ.

It is better to be judged in the here and now, so we can repent and attain God’s forgiveness, than to live this life as if God did not exist. Once we pass from this life without repenting we face an existence without God. That’s not some clever place of human freedom. It is an eternal torment of physical pain and mental regret.

I Wish You Judgement

Those who hate you may wish you every success in life, so you will pass into eternity with unresolved judgement resting on your head. Those who love you will warn you and pray that you face God’s dealings in this life, to alert you to what is to come. Once forewarned you are empowered to do something about it, through repentance and God’s forgiveness.

In the spirit of that observation, let me tell you that I wish you judgement. May it be the blessing of your eternal existence.

Scorner in the Corner

I was contacted many years ago by a young male university student who had recently joined a skeptic group on campus. He phoned me to practice his powers of intellectual argument or something. The exchange didn’t go as he had planned.

The first thing I sensed as the stranger did a hasty introduction and then hit me with some challenging question about Christian faith, was that he was a rather insincere young man. He seemed to be trying something out that really didn’t fit him very well. I gave an off-the-cuff cursory answer to his question and he pressed his point. I can’t remember the issue that he raised.

He rather proudly announced that he was a skeptic. I think he found some solace in the idea that he was backed up by something like a body of supporters. I replied by sharing with him my thoughts about people who are sceptical.

I pointed out how it surprised me that people who chose to identify themselves as sceptics were principally only sceptical about faith in God. These supposedly enlightened minds, superior enough to see through other people’s folly, seemed remarkably gullible and ever ready to be uncritical in their embrace of things anti-Christian. They did not prove to be sceptical of their university professors, nor of the populist ideas of their group. They did not seem to be sceptical of their own scepticism.

I went on to explain that it seemed that the mainly male groups which identify themselves as skeptics are likely composed of people whose own moral compromises motivate them to become devoted to an anti-God posture, in fear of the alternative. Instead of getting on with life and engaging in the broad sweep of life experience, some of these self-proclaimed sceptics are caught in an eddy, which swirls them around in an endless pursuit of the perfect proof that God does not exist. In reality that are being tossed around by their own conscience, and that’s about as close to ‘science’ as many of them get.

I respect those who engage in open-minded analysis of facts and data and who can accept and accommodate competing beliefs and perspectives. Many who identify themselves as skeptics may be just like that. However, the genuinely thoughtful person in such groups is likely to have their integrity compromised by the passionate crusaders who see skeptic groups as a place to celebrate their religious devotion to an anti-God belief system. Those impassioned people are not sceptical at all.

Three thousand years ago King Solomon, in his wisdom, gave a name for people who choke on truth. He called them ‘scorners’. I fear that the young man who phoned me those years ago was trying his hardest to be a scorner. I pray he failed.

It is a sad thing to go through life motivated by fear of judgement for shameful actions. It is also a sad thing to go through life under the cloud of immorality and moral compromise. What a shame for many young men that their lusts bring them into a place of inner defeat that they cannot resolve. Rather than finding true release and personal freedom (Jesus Christ promised such freedom and history attests to its delivery ten thousand times over) these people compound their slavery by playing mind games and slipping into an intellectual backwater. They celebrate their advanced state – the sceptical mind – while they are actually taken captive by vain imaginations and empty beliefs.

If you know someone how is caught up in such a life of scorn, please pray for them. I sense that it is time for many of them to come to the real freedom they are crying out for on the inside. I sense that God is ready to rescue their minds and release them to use their intellectual capacities for good, in ways that will so thrill them and give them what their current delusions don’t deliver.

“Lord, only You can rescue the scorners. Solomon warned us against rebuking them, since they will only try to tarnish the reputation of all who do. So Lord, we pray for them. We pray that You reach out Your hand and apprehend these fine young men who have become enslaved in shame and delusion. Rescue them for Your kingdom and use them for Your glory. Cause the hearts of their ancestors to rejoice in having brought them into the world. Release them into divine destiny. We ask this in Jesus’ powerful and eternal name. Amen.”