In two previous articles, I attempted to examine why God created sexuality and why it’s reserved for marriage. With those thoughts in mind, we can better combat Satan’s lies regarding the subject. Satan offers a host of ideas about sexuality, and they are tempting because they appeal to the universal drive to find fulfillment. If we’re to have any hope of remaining unblemished in a sex-obsessed culture, we must recognize who is responsible for the false presentations of sex that insidiously corrode a biblical understanding of this part of creation.
When I speak of “Satan’s lies” about sexuality, I am not being melodramatic. The Bible asserts that spiritual beings are involved in this created realm (Dan. 10:10-14; 18-21; Eph. 6:11-12). Chief among these spiritual forces is the one called “Satan,” the “Adversary.” This being “disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14) but is actually a roaring lion seeking to devour the people of God (1 Pet. 5:8). As the current “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4; Jn. 12:31; 14:30), he has filled the world with his lies, for he is the father of lies and the deceiver of the world (Jn. 8:44; Rev. 12:9). Thus it is imperative we understand that lies about sex come from Satan, the one responsible for all views that oppose God’s design. The following illustration will explain the benefit of this recognition: Imagine you’re at your job and working on the computer. Suddenly, a hand holding a plate of your favorite food comes between you and the computer screen. If you looked only at the food itself you might have a hard time refusing this delectable offer. But if you looked to see who was tempting you with food and discovered it was someone known for spitting in food and offering it to people, then that food would surely be less appealing now that you know who’s offering it. This is why we must recognize who is offering us alternative views of sex. By knowing where the world’s views about sex come from, it should make those views less appealing.
So what lies has Satan offered our culture regarding sex? The following is a sampling that can easily infiltrate the minds of Christians if we’re not striving to understand sex as God designed it:
- Sex has nothing to do with covenant marriage. This lie has thoroughly permeated our society. Pay attention to the presentation of sex in our culture, whether in a fictional story or in real life circumstances, and you’ll see that the idea of covenant marriage is entirely absent from the presentation. This lie lowers sex from its profound position in creation, and makes it “common.” It isn’t hard to understand why this lie has been so easy for Satan to sell to our culture.
- Sex is the natural endpoint of “love.” I’ve put “love” in quotation marks because even our culture’s definition of love is different than the Bible’s. Many movies and television shows depict two characters that “fall in love,” with the ultimate expression of their love being sexual activity. Sex is thus depicted as the expression of emotional love, not covenant love. The message of our culture is that if you love someone romantically, then your relationship should “naturally” culminate in sexual expression.
- Sex is recreational. Satan has also convinced our culture that sex need not be tied to love at all. Sex can be something two humans do for fun. You don’t even need to know your sexual partner—it’s just a “one-night stand.”
- Sexual “freedom” is what your life is missing. We see sex in all forms of entertainment, on billboards and other ads, and on magazine covers. All of it communicates that Christians are missing out on something the rest of the world enjoys. Are you single? You’d be happier enjoying the sexual “freedom” of the world. Are you married? You’d be happier experiencing sex with someone else. After all, look at all the attractive men and women in the world who aren’t tied to antiquated ideals of sexuality. This sexual “freedom” is what your life is missing! The reality, though, is that it’s not true freedom Satan is offering, but rather enslavement to corruption and death. But like a dishonest salesman, Satan conveniently leaves out the negative aspects of his product in order to make a sale.
These ideas, and others like them, are not innocent misunderstandings that have developed over the years, but conscious lies Satan has perpetuated in our culture to enslave human beings and attack God’s people. As Paul warned, we must not to be outwitted by Satan nor ignorant of his designs (2 Cor. 2:11). The area of human sexuality is one of the chief ways Satan has swayed mankind to rebel against the Creator. Next time you’re tempted with sexual sin, remember who’s offering it to you and that he is the father of lies. Why would you trust what he tells you about sex? He seeks nothing but your own destruction. Instead, strive to understand sex as God designed it, for it is God’s design of covenant sexuality that will lead you to true intimacy and oneness with another human being. But we must also remember that sexuality, even as God designed it, is not the true source of human fulfillment—Christ is. In my next article, we’ll examine the powerful lies Satan has told us regarding the concept of masculinity.