Ideas About Sexual Purity Gone Wrong

Has contemporary Christianity placed sexual impurity in a “sin category” of its own? Is sexual impurity more unforgivable or a worse sin than the others? In my book, To Kill a Lion: Destroying the Power of Lust from the Root, I deal with the unacceptable mindset regarding sexual impurity embraced by many Christians. Yet, even beyond what I wrote in my book, I’ve witnessed the detrimental attitudes and views numerous believers share. If you are in the ranks of those who agree with them, I challenge you to reassess your views.

At times, in Christian religious circles, people tend to over-emphasize their “pet” sin(s). Sometimes it is the unique thing that they are against, which sets them apart from other strains of thought. Or perhaps they see a particular sin that is causing offense, hurt, or injustice. They demonize that particular sin, setting it apart from other sins of equal disdain. This doesn’t just happen in church. It happens in society—where certain social sins are exalted—while others, equally unacceptable, are ignored.

I recently read an article in Relevant Magazine, "Have We Made an Idol Out of Sexual Purity" by Debra K. Fileta (July 29, 2014). The gist of Fileta’s article is a rebuke on the idea that sin—the action—is more notable than the heart condition behind the sin. What I hear her saying (and I agree), is that true purity is a condition of the heart, far beyond what might manifest into an inappropriate act. Fileta doesn’t lessen the sin of immorality, but she does chide those who represent impurity as a sin not worthy of the same forgiveness and restoration offered by God to all.

I was there, too, in a place where sexual sin highlighted my focus. Though I never indulged in sexual immorality in any way, the temptation was present, like a lion in a cage roaring in my heart. This is where the name for my book came: To Kill a Lion. Because of my own personal battle, I over-emphasized my campaign against lust and immorality. And I probably helped perpetuate the semi-unforgivable nature of that kind of sin.

After my sexual healing, I was able to clearly see the true nature of sexual lust—the real issue is, indeed, a condition of the heart.  Yes, there are consequences to any sin, and sometimes sexual sins have severe consequences. But just like any other sin, Christ died to grant forgiveness of all sins. Purity is just a prayer away. You can be restored to purity now, once and for all, by trading your sin and shame for Christ’s righteousness. 

Traditionally, and historically, well-meaning people have attempted to fix lust problems through the avenues of guilt and shame. If you have followed this route, likely you’ve hit a dead-end. Guilt and shame have their place, but real healing is experienced through the mercy of God, the blood of the cross, and more than anything—the righteousness of God, which cloaks every one of His children.

Has sexual impurity placed you in a box that God did not design for you? You don’t have to attempt to whoop up sorrow. You don’t have to cry. You don’t have to do penance. What you do need, though, is to accept the forgiveness that Jesus died for you to receive. Don’t waste a second! Accept your purity right now! And before doing anything else, say this prayer with me:

Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask your forgiveness for not receiving your forgiveness. I realize that you came to set me free from all forms of guilt, shame, and fear, and right now you desire for me to accept my purity in your Son, Jesus. I break my agreement with the condemnation that Satan has brought on me, and once and for all, I accept your forgiveness, healing, and restoration. Thank you!

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