Sex, Preachers, and the Church

"The Bible does not hide from or obscure the power of the temptation to illicit sex. In language that is refreshingly clear and direct without itself indulging in titillation, the text warns the reader of the debacle that awaits him should he succumb in this area and at the same time promises profound sexual joy to those whose hearts are chaste and loving. If the church is to do its duty, it must be no less clear in its teachings. To assume that nice, Christian young people do not struggle in these areas or to speak only in whispers and innuendo on the grounds that they are inappropriate for the Christian pulpit is no less than gross neglect of duty on the church’s part. Whether one is dealing with the ritual prostitution of a fertility cult, the ordinary prostitute on the street (or in a magazine), or the simple lure of extramarital sex, the temptations and dangers are the same." [Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs: The New American Commentary, vol. 14 (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 90.]

"My son, give attention to my wisdom, Incline your ear to my understanding; that you may observe discretion and your lips may reserve knowledge. For the lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps take hold of Sheol. She does not ponder the path of life; her ways are unstable, she does not know it.

"Now then, my sons, listen to me and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Keep your way far from her and do not go near the door of her house, or you will give your vigor to others and your years to the cruel one; and strangers will be filled with your strength and your hard-earned goods will go to the house of an alien; and you groan at your final end, when your flesh and your body are consumed; and you say, 'How I have hated instruction! And my heart spurned reproof! I have not listened to the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to my instructors! I was almost in utter ruin In the midst of the assembly and congregation'" (Proverbs 5:1-14).

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