I am a believer who was searching the Web for information on something that, frankly, was a shock to me.† I will try to express my thoughts clearly, but I tend to jump around a bit.
I attend a church near my home and feel God has drawn me to this specific church.† Yesterday my accountability partner's wife sent an invitation via the mail to my wife to attend a party that sells sex toys.† My first thought was "really?" I was further puzzled that the person running the party is another woman from my church.
I must first acknowledge that due to some sexual abuse that occurred to me by a peer at the age of 11, I often struggle with both good and bad sex.
In beginning the discussion with my accountability partner, I wanted to know his thoughts on this.† As it turned out we sit on opposite sides.† He claims to struggle with the concept but is leaning toward what happens in the bedroom of a married couple is undefiled.† I, on the other hand, believe that we should not defile the marriage bed with perversion of the world.† Not that we should not have sex, nor stick to plain old "missionary postion," but that we certainly should not partake in acts such as anal sex, even if it is mutally accepted by the married couple.†Basically it boils down to where do we draw the line between appropriate and perversion?
My accountability partner and I also meet with our pastor on a weekly basis, currently discussing biblical doctrine.† We agreed to bring this subject up and gain some insight from our pastor. Maybe I am a bit apprehensive, as sometimes people simply state what occurs in the bedroom between a married couple is okay because the marriage bed is undefiled.
Here is what I believe.† I believe that Satan is one that tries to infiltrate the church and that he twists the truth and some of the saints fall prey to the lies that are hidden†by truths.† I believe that what I have read so far about these matters on your web site are truths and i find no infiltration of evil here.
So I ask that you reply to this email and provide me with some tools that I can bring to this discussion.† I do not know what the pastor thinks about this, but I have a feeling that we may not be on the same exact page.† If I am wrong, which many time I am even though I find it hard to admit that, I would pray that the Holy Spirit provide me with wisdom and discernment.
I hope you will give me a moment to clear some side issues before diving into the question you raised.
First, I am always saddened when people tell me they think God is leading them through their feelings. The Bible never states this. Instead, there are warnings that our feelings can be deceived. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered" (Proverbs 28:26). Your feelings can be manipulated. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings" (Jeremiah 17:9-10). Your heart reveals the motivation, your mind your reasoning, and then God judges you according to your action. "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God" (I Corinthians 4:5). God doesn't guide by feelings, He guides through teaching us the truth.
The second is that there is no passage that discusses accountability partners, by that name or by the practice. There is the idea of student and teacher, but that is the closest I can find.
So let's get into the actual question: My reaction was amazement of what people can justify to themselves for the sake of making money. No matter where you live or the culture you were brought up in, you will generally find a universal reluctance to discuss sexual matters in a open forum. There is a reason for that, it is a matter of modesty. "And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty" (I Corinthians 12:23). It isn't just visual exposure either; there should also be modesty in our language. "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 5:3-6).
It is here that I have a hard time connecting a party (a fun and games social gathering) with the serious and personal matter of sex. The world makes jokes of sex and sexual situations, but such jokes have no place among Christians. Why should Christians discuss in a public forum what they do in the privacy of their bedrooms?
And I don't even want to know how the catalog presents these items, but I strongly doubt that the images given would qualify as "G Rated." "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (I Thessalonians 4:3-5).
The problem is that it put emphasis on this world. It is Christians wanting to act as the world acts, and for the crass purpose of making money. "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Romans 13:13-14).