Sex is a gift from God to be enjoyed and guarded, Mohler writes in ‘Desire and Deceit’

Communications Staff — November 14, 2008

As sex and sexuality increasingly invade America’s homes and public lives through advertising, media and education, Christians must respond with a biblically consistent and informed approach to the issue, R. Albert Mohler Jr. argues in a new book.

In “Desire and Deceit” (Multnomah: 2008), Mohler argues that Christians understand that sex is both more and less important than our modern culture believes.

“Human existence is not, first and foremost, about sexual pleasure and the display of sexuality,” writes Mohler, who serves as president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. “There is much more to human life, fulfillment, and joy.

“On the other hand, sex is far more important than a secular society can envision. After all, the Christian worldview reveals that sex, gender and sexuality are ultimately all about the creature’s purpose to glorify the Creator.”

Mohler’s goal is to offer a biblical perspective on several controversial issues concerning sexuality to enable Christians to think and act in a biblically consistent manner.

The plague of pornography and its growth as an industry marks it as one of the greatest issues of moral concern for Christians in today’s culture, Mohler writes. Pornography threatens the integrity of Christian marriage, an institution God designed as “not merely an arena for sexual activity; it is presented in Scripture as the divinely designed arena for the display of God’s glory on earth as a man and a woman come together in a one-flesh relationship within the marriage covenant,” Mohler notes.

Because of God’s design for sexual intimacy, pornography is not merely a physical and sensual issue but instead cuts to the very heart and soul of a man and his marriage.

“The deliberate use of pornography is nothing less than the willful invitation of illicit lovers, objectified sex objects, and forbidden knowledge into a man’s heart, mind, and soul,” Mohler writes. “The damage to the man’s heart is beyond measure.”

Mohler devotes six chapters to the issue of homosexuality, asserting that in every age the church is confronted with an issue of such a magnitude that tests both the conviction and compassion of the body of Christ. Mohler examines the roots of the homosexual movement, shows how activists twist Scripture to validate homosexuality, then provides a biblical worldview and response to the issue.

Christians must view homosexuality through the lens of Scripture and stand firmly upon biblical authority, Mohler writes.

“We must continue to bear faithful witness to the clear biblical injunctions concerning homosexual acts, that such acts are not only inherently sinful but also an abomination before the Lord,” he writes.

The Christian response to homosexuality should not end in judgment, Mohler writes. Instead, homosexuality gives the church an opportunity to bear witness to the Gospel.

“Salvation and repentance must be preached to homosexuals—and to heterosexuals as well,” Mohler notes.

“East of Eden, not one of us has come before God as sexually pure and whole, even if we have never committed as illicit sexual act. Our ministry to homosexuals is not as the sinless ministering to sinners, but as fellow sinners who bear testimony to the reality of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.”

In the chapter “From Father to Son: J.R.R. Tolkien on Sex,” Mohler examines several letters that Tolkien wrote to his three sons on various issues related to sexuality. Tolkien, Christian author of the fantasy trilogy “Lord of the Rings,” wrote in a letter to his middle son Michael that “the devil is endlessly ingenious, and sex is his favorite subject.”

Mohler noted that Tolkien advised his 21-year-old son that human beings are capable of almost infinite rationalization in the area of sexual motives.

Mohler spends two chapters analyzing and providing a biblical approach to the sin of lust. In a culture that downplays the danger of lust or promotes it as a valid expression of humanity, Mohler says the Christian must recognize lust as “illicit sexual desire.”

Mohler contrasts the views of Simon Blackburn — author of “Lust: The Seven Deadly Sins” (Oxford: 2006) — who argues that lust should be embraced because sexual passion and pleasure are ends in themselves, with the biblical view that lust has no place in the life of the Christian (Cf. Rom 13:14).

“The deadly problem of lust arises when the sex drive is directed toward something less than or other than the purity of marriage,” Mohler writes.

In a culture that promotes polymorphous perversity — a term Sigmund Freud developed denoting any kind of sexual behavior carried out without any kind of restraint — Mohler writes that Christians must uphold biblical standards of sexuality with true resolve.

“Let us mount a movement, not consisting so much of placards, billboards, and advertising, but of couples and families, men and women who will not bend, will not bow, and will not surrender to the culture of polymorphous perversity.”

Are you ready to become a pastor, counselor, or church leader who is Trusted for Truth?

Apply now for summer or fall studies

Classes begin in June & Aug.