In the Old Testament history of Israel and Judah, these sister nations politically interfaced with the southern superpower of Egypt under some kings, while under other royals they placated the various northern superpowers of Mesopotamia. Geographically sandwiched between the empires of the Nile and the empires of the Tigris and Euphrates, the people of the Jordan were always caught between two sides. Rather than subscribing to either of the imperial scripts, the prophets implored God’s people to rely on the scripts of the Ultimate Superpower of superpowers.
Contemporary society has similar challenges, but rather than two sides, there are multiple ideologies of sexuality seeking to influence us. One is secular counterculture. Anything that goes against the current is extolled. Whether it be art, fashion, politics, or entertainment, pushing boundaries or questioning society’s norms is the fad. But too often, being countercultural can be so … cultural.
Another is the culture of institutionalized traditionalism. Found in all denominations and organizations, it seeks to legitimize, preserve, stabilize, and pass on the standards of society, whether they are biblical or not. It is not the content of the values that is emphasized, but the resistance to change that is eulogized.
The former seeks to analyze, point out hypocrisies, highlight weaknesses, and revel in the excitement and creativity of the new. The latter enjoys the comfort of mindlessness and security of the existing social architecture, while disparaging others who may remove this warmth and coziness. Both these cultural dominations enslave their practitioners to a mediocre and even deceived understanding and practice of sexuality. It is the challenge for the next generation of Christ-followers to avoid ditches on all sides.
There is only one resort. Especially for the realm of sexuality, we must seek answers and scripts from God and His revealed truth. Only Scripture presents a legitimate platform of authoritative scripts that provide both the hope of change and the power of security that we desperately need.
Romans 12:2 states that we are not to be conformed to the scripts of this world. Since these earthy scripts are so “sticky,” we must be transformed by the renewing of our minds on a regular basis, if not daily, to ascertain the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. Instead of seeking Scripture to support existing ideas and practices, we must subject ourselves to its transformative power to recreate our “operating systems” by implanting its scripts into our minds. This openness is what verse 1 speaks about, presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice—completely open, exposed, vulnerable, and unguarded from the influence of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Word. Only when we do so shall a beautiful and much more amazing picture of sexuality emerge.