Why is “the church” so bothered about sex? For one thing, the Bible contains many narratives and teachings regarding sexuality. In the primary religious text for Christianity, sexuality is inescapable. Second, in recent years, because of the various approaches in understanding and interpreting the Bible, some Christian denominations have taken several eyebrow-raising stances on diverse sexual issues. After understanding sexuality from the entire Bible and only the Bible, we can see that some of these stances are quite erroneous, if not dangerous in their ramifications! Last, sexuality is so much a part of the human experience that any serious believer will want to understand what the Bible has to say about it.
After studying this topic, it may be shocking to see that the Bible is quite positive toward sexuality. Furthermore, the negative tones often associated with the “church” point to the larger problem of misunderstanding and even mishandling of Scripture. It will be clear that God is the Author of sexuality, and its proper understanding may raise eyebrows in another way.
On the other end of the spectrum is the libertine world, where all forms of morality, restriction, and guidance are considered chaff. Even before the advent of the internet, sexuality and its associated issues started to rise in importance and visibility, commensurate with the expansion of media. Now with the ubiquity of the digital world, sexuality has saturated nearly every sphere of society.
Where are believers of Jesus and Scripture to stand? It is precisely for the prevalence of misunderstanding biblical sexuality that this quarter will be addressing this taboo subject. No Bible study series can fully exhaust the study of sexuality. It will not comprehensively address every issue, hypothetical and corollary, that is associated with the topic. That task would be too exhaustive and would take more than 13 weeks. Rather the basic principles of sexuality will be drawn out each week, allowing the readers to adapt, apply, and intersect the principles to their own real world. As the discussions regarding sexuality have so many nuances and different contexts, biblical principles will help believers navigate through personal circumstances.
In this issue of inVerse, the topic of sexuality will be addressed from the perspective of both the Old and New Testaments. It will present the function, purpose, and gift of sexuality that God created and intended for humanity, not as a polemic or an apologetic, but as a study seeking God’s goodness. The first couple of lessons establish the Bible as the prime territory from which our data is mined and where the purpose of sexuality is found. Lesson 3 establishes that although sexuality is a gift from God, its practice is not mandated for all humanity. The next five lessons look at sexuality from the biblical characteristics of goodness, oneness, duality, sameness, and difference. The remaining lessons approach sexuality from other perspectives, seeking to diagnose and provide restorative principles.
In an era when sexuality is made so common and profane, it is the desire of the authors to increase the dialog regarding sexuality and its associated issues, especially in the arena of the church, Scripture, and faith. It is our desire to explore the holiness of the topic and its true positive purpose for humanity as a gift. Additionally, this topic presents principles presuppositions that will set up future discussions on religious liberty, faith and science, hermeneutics, last-day events, and more.
This behemoth topic is not meant to be a marriage counseling guide or a textbook on biological and sexual issues. It is not meant as a primer on theological propositions or as a practical handbook. Rather it is presented merely as a starting point for young-adult Christ-followers to take the Bible as a whole, seriously, and, inspired by the Spirit, to find answers to the yearnings of the soul.