SOURCE: Ed Welch
“Does God care what we do with our genitals?” A wise friend asked this. I thought he was kidding. He wasn’t.
It was a rhetorical question; he wasn’t expecting an answer. But a question like that gets you thinking. Does God care? Why does he care? If I don’t have immediate and persuasive answers to these questions, I am in trouble. Here, at sexuality, is where the world, flesh, and devil converge. Any one of them is formidable, but when they fight as one, there is no mere human who can stand.
Apparently, Others Have Asked this Question
“Food for the stomach and the stomach for food” – but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body (1 Corinthians 6:13).
The reference might seem a bit esoteric, but the Apostle Paul is speaking to us. To paraphrase, he’s saying:
- You think the food we eat is no longer a big deal — we can eat all kinds of food and not just what is kosher. That’s true. But you have extended this to mean that what we do with our physical bodies is not that important, and that isn’t true. When it comes to sex, the Lord does not leave these matters to an individual’s conscience. No, he is all over this one. What we do sexually is a big deal to him.
Your Body Belongs to God
Then Paul gets into why. His argument is sophisticated and rests on a particular theological point: whomever we unite ourselves with has authority over us. His conclusion: “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
“Sexual ‘looking’, whether we are looking at a real person, a digital one, or an imaginary one, is about greed.”
Even without knowing all the details of Paul’s logic, this one gets me. I am not my own. Never was. Never will be. There is no place on earth in which we are our own masters.
Lust is Greed
That’s a good start. Makes sense, goes deep, and surprises. Now just one more thing. Some sexual matters aren’t always about our genitals. Sometimes sex is about the “lust of the eyes” (1 John 2:16). Everyone does it; everyone looks. What’s the big deal?
Here’s the big deal. What I “see” is what I want to possess. Porn is not about our vision. It is about our hearts. I am saying, I WANT THAT AS MY OWN, which is exactly what the picture promises. The person in the photograph wants to belong to you and you alone. Sexual “looking”, whether we are looking at a real person, a digital one, or an imaginary one, is about greed. I want to accumulate for my own kingdom. God is good—but he doesn’t quite give me everything I want.
Ed Welch is a counselor and faculty member at CCEF. He earned a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Utah and has a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary.