Celibacy For The Kingdom

In my last post, we began a discussion based on Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 19.  In that Scripture Jesus discusses three groups of people that are eunuchs (unable to marry).  There are those that are born that way (either physically or mentally unable to marry), those that are made that way by men (which I’m suggesting includes those made that way by the fall of man) and those who choose of their own volition to remain celibate for the sake of the Kingdom of God.  Today I want to focus on this last group.

Before we go any further it is important to realize how completely revolutionary this entire conversation would have sounded to the disciples who were listening.

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The Three Eunuchs

One of the things we have to do is our Christian culture and language is rescue the idea of Celibacy.  I’ve tried to write quite a bit about this in the past but I realize that we need to talk about it even more.  The good news is that more people are talking about it.  The bad news is that a lot of us don’t realize what we are talking about including most of our “leaders”.  We are going to need a more full theological and biblical understanding if we are going to lead in this conversation.

Most people tend to start in 1 Corinthians 7 where Paul talks about marriage, celibacy and the gifts.  But I believe a better place to start is Matthew 19 where Jesus discusses the three eunuchs.

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Insurance And Other Things Singles Should Consider

Have you ever as a single person had an event happen to you where you realized just how on your own you really are?  What I mean is, have you had that moment when you realized, what happens if _______ happens to me?

It can be simple things.  I remember one weekend when I was leading a singles conference we were talking about advantages and disadvantages of being married vs. being unmarried.  One lady gave a practical example of a disadvantage.  She said, “if for example my car breaks down.  Who do I call?  If you’re married, your spouse might be able to say to their boss, ‘My spouse’s car is broken down, would it be alright if I took an hour and went and got them?’.  But that probably isn’t going to work for any other relationship.”

Let me give you one that sort of got my attention.  I was in my early thirties.  Single, no relationship.  This particular day I started feeling pain in my abdominal area.  I thought, no big deal.  A little indigestion.  But it got worse.  I went to the gas station to get some gas and thought I’d grab a Sprite.  I could barely get out of the car as I was so doubled over.

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What To Do With Sinful Desire

The last couple of posts we have been talking about the difference between attraction and desire and whether or not sexual desire is a sin.  To sum up the second question we noted that indeed many of our desires come from a sinful heart and therefore we often desire sinful things.  However it what we do with these desires that determine if we sin or not.

So the question is, if I have a sinful desire (as we all do) then what do I do with it?  In other words if acting on a sinful desire coming from a sinful place leads to sin – how do I not act on it, and what do I do with it instead.

The first thing that I want to clarify is: what does acting on desire mean?

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Is Sexual Desire A Sin

In my last post I posed the thought that sexual attraction and sexual desire are not the same thing.  I believe this it true in general by the way.  In other words attraction of any kind is not the same as desire of the same kind.

The question that follows though is this: Is sexual desire for someone other than your heterosexual spouse a sin?

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Attraction vs Sexual Desire

One of the problems in our theology of marriage and celibacy, as well as frankly most other topics, is that we often use the certain words interchangeably that don’t mean exactly the same thing.  This of course causes all sorts of confusion and it makes it really hard to have theological conversations of any kind let alone a debate.

Now part of this is due to the English language itself.  Now I’m fan of English, but let’s face it, some of our words cause problems.  Think of the word love.  I love my car, I love my dog, I love Mizzou, I love my wife, I love God.  Obviously I love all these things differently and yet I’m given only one word to use.

But a lot of our problem comes from lazy theology and/or lazy language use.  For example, while they are to varying degrees related, salvation, justification, and election are not theologically the same word, and yet we often treat them as if they were.

This is also true when it comes our theology in the contexts of marriage, celibacy  and sexual sin.  So today, I want to break down a couple of these words we use.  I’m not expecting everyone to agree with me, but we have to at least try to talk about it because if we don’t have any nuance of language then we can’t really have much of a conversation about any of this.

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Practical Money Thoughts For Singles

In my last post I shared some thoughts about some of the traps I fell into and mistakes I made in my over 20 years as a single person in handling my money.  Today I want to offer some practical thoughts about things you can do as a single person in regards to finances.

But let me start with this:  How you handle your money as a single person in the Kingdom is just as important as how a married person handles theirs for at least two reasons.  First, you are just as important as a married person.  Second, the scriptures are clear that all of us need to handle our money well.

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