Sometimes, pulpits appear subordinate to the sinful flesh, particularly subordinate to sex. This subordination takes different precise forms, that range from glorifying sex as a religious act to thinking of sex as a sin in itself that needs to be controlled. Both views are wrong. Both views are dangerous to concepts of chastity and celibacy. When the Spirit becomes superior to the flesh, then chastity becomes normal and sex resumes its proper place if people choose.
"Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh." (Galatians 5:16-17)
Therefore, when church leaders encourage spiritual growth, they discourage sexual sin at the same time simply because spirit and flesh are contrary to one another. Spiritual growth and development is the only way to prevent sexual sin. A lot of church leaders use marriage as a band-aid to cover up sin. These church leaders think that because sex was created for the covenant of marriage, then marriage will ensure legitimate sex and prevent the couple from sinning. However, encouraging marriage either for the sake of sex, to prevent sexual sin, or with sex as the goal, makes the covenant and spiritual matters subordinate to sex and disregards the will of God.
How many church leaders preach this verse from Paul, "The body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord." (1 Corinthians 6:13)
If God wants two people to marry, then He will lead them to marry. First, have people dedicate their lives to God to lead godly lives.
Paul wrote, "he who stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own will, and has so determined that he will keep his virgin does well. So then he who gives in marriage does well, but he who does not give in marriage does better." (1 Corinthians 7:37-38)
Marriage can never be a band-aid for sexual sin when people consider sex a personal achievement.
“A comfortable sexual routine should be established before you promise to spend the rest of your life with someone,” wrote a young adult
One said sex with some people is neither initially nor easily gratifying and “I don’t want to be married to someone like that.”
Another said, “I want to know the sex I’m going to get is good enough to keep me loyal.”
Of course, there is the concept of magic sex in which sex with the right person leads people to discover their true love.
In the search for significant others, sexual satisfaction is so chiefly sought — at least for my generation — that the thought of waiting disturbs most of the people who don’t.
“How do you know your marriage will work?” wrote one of my surveys’ respondents. “What if you find out the sex isn’t gratifying, that (your husband) has no idea what he’s doing?”
With these beliefs, it is impossible to use marriage as a band-aid for sexual sin. The concept of magic sex confuses the spiritual and the carnal, leading people to worship the creations and deny the Creator.
Then, there are the people and church leaders who focus too much on marriage as symbolic of the unity with Christ that they think of marriage as being Christ-like and forget Jesus led a celibate life. Overusing and overhyping marriage as symbolic of unity with Jesus is another form of carnality. Although marriage has been used to symbolize spiritual things, there is a big difference between the actual symbol and what it represents. Paul described the difference between sex and spirit.
"he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her for 'the two shall become one flesh.' But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." (1 Corinthians 6:16-17)
The Bible reinforces a distinct difference between the carnal and the spiritual. Sin abounds when people confuse the two. When people revere what exists in the physical world, and this includes all types of carnal matters, then they worship the creature instead of the Creator. Revering the spiritual liberates people from the things of this world and enables people to love more freely.
And then, there are pastors who take the marriage symbolism to an even further extreme. Sometimes, the most perverse statements are the most unintentional. In Texas one pastor made a entire sermon on August 26 about how marriage symbolizes and represents the union with Christ. In the sermon, he stated that the groom reveals himself to the bride and consummates the marriage and that Christ will reveal himself to His followers so we become united with Him. The whole undressing and sex symbolism takes the analogy a little too far in a bad extreme. If taken even further, it could confuse the carnal and the spiritual, thus leading into something dangerous. Religious sex, maybe?
What this pastor has done is merely overanalyze and overemphasize the symbolism of marriage as unity with Christ. Quite a lot of Christians do this throughout America to the point that marriage has become legalistic in some cases. The problem is within contemporary Christianity as a whole, not any specific individual. The problem is too widespread. According to these people, to marry is to be Christ-like, so they think if someone is not married, how is someone obeying or observing God?
"I want you to be without worry; he who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord - how he may please his Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world - how he may please his wife.
There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she maybe holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world - how she may please her husband." (1 Corinthians 7:32-34)
And this overemphasis on marriage instead of the truly spiritual worships the creation instead of the Creator. People begin to yearn more for a spouse instead of a relationship with God. Overanalyzing marriage as unity and finding symbolism even in wedding night sex should be a sign for Christianity to tone down the wedding and marriage talk. This should be a sign that Christians need to focus less on marriage and more on the spiritual love that comes from God.
Sex makes two people one flesh while "he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." (1 Corinthians 6:16-17)
"Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (2 Corinthians 3:17)
"Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16)
If you want, you can follow me at Twitter.