“For God is not the author of confusion…”
I Corinthians 14:33
God loves order and loathes confusion. That should give us pause when we see the trends blurring boundaries and definitions He put in place, edges that are vanishing, to everyone’s harm.
It should also give us pause if there’s clutter, disorganization, or blurred boundaries in our own lives.
The first creative act we see Him performing in scripture is creation, and the next is a corrective one in which He speaks order to a cosmos that had become “without form and void.” (Genesis 1:1-3) That’s how some critical edges were created: Light and Dark, Land and Water; Animals and Human; Males and Females.
After that, some tremendous liberty was given our first parents – the liberty of naming the animals, keeping the land as they chose, and eating (almost) whatever they wanted. But it was liberty within defined parameters, which is the only real liberty I know of.
No wonder, then, He wants us expressing ourselves within defined parameters. To misuse any of what He’s given us, our sexuality included, is to create confusion.
In fact, I find it more useful these days, when talking about morality, to think less in terms of what’s “bad” and more in terms of what’s intended, what’s orderly, and what’s in alignment with the original design.
Let’s apply that framework to the most common types of sexual sin:
- To lust is to covet someone you’ve no right to bond with.
- To masturbate is to expend life-giving energy on nothingness.
- To fornicate or commit adultery is to forge ties that aren’t meant to exist outside the safety of a marital covenant.
- To view porn is to mock a genuine engagement.
See what I mean? It’s not just a matter of right versus wrong, which is no small matter. It’s also a matter of order versus chaos. When the God-ordained edge gets crossed or moved, the logical outcome is wasted time and confusion.
Some would call this sort of thinking legalism, but I sure don’t. Legalism happens when I think God is impressed, or I am justified, by my performance. That’s not just legalistic, it’s hopelessly stupid.
Liberty happens, though, when I recognize God given edges while celebrating God given options. And with that liberty available, I can strive for order in my life, order that extends to my thoughts and passions, as well as my actions.
There’s already enough confusion in the world, thank you. God grant that you and I be sources of clarity today, a clarity expressed in our speech, and evidenced in our lives.