Moral Blindness

By Not Known

A Christian missiologist, Ed Stetzer, wrote this on Facebook last Wednesday, “In the last 5 days, 700 refugees drowned off Greece, 9000 babies were aborted in U.S., and 68 were shot in Chicago … and a gorilla dominated the news.”
Last Saturday, Cincinnati Zoo had to put down 17-year-old Harambe, one of their endangered gorillas, after it was deemed a life-threatening situation by the response team when a 3-year-old boy fell into its moat enclosure.  The boy survived with minor injuries.  The Internet has been abuzz this past week about this story with mixed reactions, many slamming the zoo for a bad decision to kill the beloved gorilla, and others blaming the boy’s parents for being negligent, petitioning for them to be held responsible for the gorilla’s death.  Still others praised the zoo for saving the boy’s life.
This reminded me of a similar situation that happened in July last year when there was seemingly more public outrage over the alleged illegal killing of Cecil the lion in Africa by an American dentist, compared to the controversies surrounding Planned Parenthood videos released in the same week.  Recent research suggests that people are twice as likely to give money to save a dog than help a dying child.  One writer puts it this way, “sometimes it’s just easier to care dead animals than dead people.”
How would you react in such situations? Or perhaps you might have already liked, shared, or commented to such posts or articles on social media.  Do we get caught up in the furore of the moment, or are we able to step back, reflect and respond in a God-pleasing manner?  On one hand, it has to do with our priorities and perspectives; on another, our morals and values.  Can we dare say that we have never suffered from moral blindness?  The book of Judges ends with this statement, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” (Jdg 21:25)  Do we live our lives under the lordship of Christ, yielding our will and behaviours to God’s Word?  What shapes our sense of morality, justice and values in the world that we live in today?  “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.” (Prov 29:18)  As we begin a new sermon series on “Sex, Morality and Marriage”, may God and His Word continue to be the anchor and guiding light in the darkness around us, and may we be godly ambassadors of the unchanging truth of the gospel to a blinded, depraved and dying world.




Timothy Pang

It’s Not About Sex!

By Not Known

A marriage enrichment programme typically emphasises the importance of a healthy sexual relation within a marriage.  Essentially, it is deemed capable of rejuvenating intimacy and rekindling love and communication. While there are some true benefits, it may unduly portray ‘sex’ as key to a healthy marriage.
The apostle Paul takes a certain view towards sex in 1 Corinthians 7.  Just as marriage and singlehood are both gifts of God (v7), sex is to be located within the gift of marriage.  In other words, sex outside of marriage is a sin – sexual immorality (v1).  The root to extra-marital as well as pre-marital sex is the lack of self-control (v5).  Therefore, sex in and of itself is neither good nor bad.  If it is pursued outside of wedlock, it is sinful however in love the couple is.  If it is pursued or denied within a marriage without respect for one’s spouse, it displeases God.  Sex pursued or delayed within a marriage out of a mutual submission to God’s purposes is holy (vv2-5).  Let’s look a little deeper.
Marriage is a gift, a union of one man with one woman.  In a promiscuous culture of Paul’s days and of ours also, having multiple sexual partners in a “casual friendship” environment where meeting personal pleasure is an all-consuming passion, marriage is unfashionable.  It spells the end of personal freedom.  Paul teaches otherwise.  Marital commitment is true freedom – freedom to express sexual passion; freedom to expel sexual immorality.
Marriage is not about sex, it is about serving your spouse.  Honouring God with our bodies involves submitting it to his intended purposes within a marriage as well.  In marriage where two become one flesh, Paul teaches that husband and wife are co-owners of each other’s bodies.  It necessarily implies the need to care for, honour and serve each other’s needs.  Sexual desire is just one of the many needs – physical, emotional, and spiritual. In fact, Paul teaches that a delay in meeting one’s sexual need with mutual consent in order to seek God is also a spiritual act of worship.
Marriage is about controlling the passion, not unleashing it.  Paul believes that it is good to remain unmarried in their present situations, but for those who struggle with presumably their sexual desires, they should marry.  The purposes of marriage then are to tame that passion and to guard against sexual temptations.  This is an important posture towards the conduct of sexual relation in a marriage.
Marriage is not about sex.  It is about learning to respect one’s spouse under God by meeting each other’s need and also in helping to pacify each other’s passion.




Benson Goh