Why Akathleptos? Because it means Uncontainable. God is infinite. Hence, the whole universe cannot contain Him. The term also refers to the incomprehensibility of God. No man can know everything about God. We can know Him personally but not exhaustively, not even in Heaven.
Why Patmos? Because the church is increasingly marginalized and exiled from the culture.
Why Pen-Names? So the focus is on the words and not who wrote them. We prefer to let what we say stand on its own merit. There is precedent in church history for this - i.e., the elusive identity of Ambrosiaster who wrote in the 4th century A.D.
“Truth is so obscured nowadays, and lies so well established, that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it." Blaise Pascal
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
10 Misconceptions Regarding Sex
Misconception 1) Sex is only a physical act
Scripture is clear that sex is not only the physical union of a man and woman, but also the spiritual joining of the two (1 Cor 6:16-17). In the Bible's strongest statement about sexual desire, Jesus cuts to the heart of the matter (Matt 5:27-28). Jesus remarkably affirms that sexual desire affects the inside of a person ("in his heart") whether or not anything takes place externally. Sexual intimacy between a man and a woman is the physical expression of a spiritual union that occurs between them; this is why Jesus takes the position that divorce is not a tenable option (Matt 19:4-6). A married couple may divorce relatively easily in the eyes of the law, but the spiritual union between them is not so easily dissolved. Sexual relations inevitably and fundamentally alter the relationship between a man and a woman; after this most intimate of acts and communication that can occur between two people, the two will never look at each other, or be able to think about one another the same way again.
Misconception 2) “Consenting adults” is a reliable guide to whether something is appropriate
Such a position naively assumes that adults will always want to do what is right and fails to understand the Biblical truth that all of us are sinners by nature, prone to do what is wrong (Rom 3:10-12; 3:23). By way of practical illustration, a man and a woman may want very much to commit adultery with each other, but their mutual consent, of course, does not validate the act. Because we are sinners by nature, the only true infallible guide as to whether something is wrong or right, is the revealed truth within Scripture – not our own judgement or assessment (Ps 119:9, 101-104, 105-106, 150-151, 155; Rom 7:7).
Misconception 3) “If it feels good, it must be right”
Scripture affirms that sin is often pleasurable – that is precisely why it is so attractive. Note the reference to sinners as “lovers of pleasure” in 2 Tim 3:4 and the reference to the allure of the “passing pleasures of sin” in Heb 11:25. By way of analogy, the heroin user ingests the drug for the fleeting pleasure it provides – all the while slowly destroying himself. This, of course, does not mean that sex should not pleasurable. It can (and should be) be an immensely pleasurable act! The point is that it is foolish to believe the moral correctness of an act is indicated by whether it imparts pleasure
Misconception 4) Sex inevitably becomes boring with familiarity (i.e., “the honeymoon is over”)
Nothing is further from the truth (Prov 5:18-19). In fact, the opposite is true: because sex is the intimate physical expression of the spiritual union between a husband and a wife, the sexual experience can and should actually intensify in pleasure through the years as the bond between the two of them deepens. The sexual experience between a husband and wife can actually be more powerful and intense decades after marriage than at the start of the marriage
Misconception 5) The primary factor in a fulfilling sexual experience is physical attraction
While of course physical attraction is an important aspect of the sexual experience, it is not the most important. Most men know all too well that physical attraction is a powerful catalyst for sexual attraction. But it ultimately is not the determining factor for how satisfying a sexual experience can be. It is a tragic mistake that many make to believe that the more physically beautiful a man or woman is, the more satisfying the sex will be. What is inside a person is far more important than the outside (1 Pet 3:3-4). Remember that sexual intimacy is the physical expression of a spiritual union – it is the bond (i.e., the relationship) between the husband and wife that largely determines how fulfilling the sexual experience will be. A relationship based solely or primarily on physical attraction is doomed; as familiarity sets in, or physical appearance inevitably deteriorates with age, the relationship and its’ corresponding sexual expression will corrode – and may even cease altogether.
Misconception 6) Technique and experience determine the ultimate quality of a sexual experience
While a sexual experience with an experienced prostitute may be exciting, it ultimately will neither fulfill nor satisfy. A sexual experience can and certainly should be exciting. But it is ultimately the ability of a sexual experience to fulfill that finally determines its’ quality. In contrast to prevailing secular wisdom which encourages sexual experimentation before marriage in order to “gain experience” so as to be better “prepared” for marriage, the Bible affirms sexual purity as important before, after and during marriage (Heb 13:4). Some of the most exquisite and satisfying sex can potentially be between two inexperienced virgins who are seeking to express their physical love for one another in a sacrificial, giving manner.
Misconception 7) The emphasis is on receiving pleasure (i.e., “What’s in it for me?”)
This misconception appears to be more common among men rather than women. Of course, sex can and should be an intensely pleasurable experience for both the man and the woman. But each partner should enter into the experience with a sacrificial, giving attitude that focuses on giving pleasure to the partner. The primary goal, in other words, for both the husband and the wife should be to satisfy each other, not oneself. The Bible clearly teaches we have the responsibility to seek the well-being and pleasure of others in accordance with the example of sacrifice that Christ gives us by His life (Rom 15:2-3; 1 Cor 10:24). Correspondingly, both husband and wife should approach the marital bed with the attitude of pleasing their partner – not oneself.
Misconception 8) Sex is the most important thing in a marriage
Sex is a wonderful gift from God to be enjoyed as He designed. But it is neither the most important thing in life nor in marriage. Jesus Christ and a personal relationship with Him should be paramount both in the life of the individual and within the marriage, and is without dispute, the most important thing for the Christian (Matt 10:37; Luke 14:26; 1 Cor 11:3). When sex becomes the most important thing in an individual’s life, it has superseded its’ God-ordained role and the potential then exists for real abuse – much as wine can dominate the life of the alcoholic, or food will dominate the life of a glutton, or money will dominate the life of the greedy. Scripture warns against us allowing our lives to be ruled by immorality (1 Cor 6:12-13). When sex becomes the most important thing in life or a marriage, it then becomes the “master” and the individual (or marriage) inevitably serves “it”, rather than the other way around.
Misconception 9th) Sex is not important to a marriage
At the other extreme, some improperly say that sex is irrelevant for a good marriage. While sex is clearly not the most important thing in marriage, neither can we say that it is of no importance. Scripture clearly affirms the importance of sexual relations within marriage (1 Cor 7:3-5) – ironically, this passage was penned by Paul, a celibate, as instruction to married couples. Barring physical
reasons (i.e., injury, disease, etc.), a marriage where regular sexual relations has ceased is in trouble.
Misconception 10) Sex is the result of the fall of man
More than a few Christians believe this, at least subconsciously, if not outright. They mistake the extreme intimacy of the act, confusing it with something that surely must be less-than-holy. In response to this misconception, it must be pointed out that God instituted sexual relations between the husband and wife before the Fall (Gen 1:28) and pronounced it along with everything else He created as “very good” (Gen 1:31). In contrast to immorality, when we engage in a God-sanctioned sexual experience with our spouse and become one through the act of sexual intercourse, we can actually glorify God through the experience (1 Cor 6:18-20).