Sunday, August 23, 2015

“God And The Sexual Metaphor”

“It is a question that has challenged me for years,” writes Roy C. Price, former pastor of Paradise Alliance Church. In reading through the Bible, “I was struck by the frequent references to God accusing Israel and Judah of adulterous behavior.” Why this image, not “lying (the tongue), theft or the violence of murder, but the most private, personal activity of humanity as the metaphor of choice? What does this tell us about sex and about God?”

The result of his investigation is a clarion call for contemporary society to understand that “sex was specifically designed by God to be an expression of trust; trust based upon integrity, so that the commitment to give one’s body to another person is not trashed like used tissue. God doesn’t use people and throw them away. His commitment caused Him to become a human being, suffer rejection, misunderstanding, and finally crucifixion from the explicit motivation of love.”

In “God And The Sexual Metaphor: Theological Implications And Behavioral Guidelines” ($19.95 in paperback from Global Educational Advance), Price, who dedicates the book to Sandra, his wife of 58 years, has an admonishing word for the church as well: “It is evident that the church has not been able to convince its own constituents or the secular culture that the boundary of a heterosexual monogamous marriage is best for the individual and for society.”

Price argues “that as a person understands the true spiritual nature of sex, they will be more willing to respect and implement the disciplines of delayed gratification and confinement of sex to the covenanted marital relationship of a man and woman.”

He addresses the practical question of how a person, living in an “orgasmic culture,” can retain integrity. Drawing on 2 Peter, he offers an inductive Bible study on Christian spiritual formation and the work of the Holy Spirit in the “non-stop battle of the flesh versus the Spirit.”

The church has frequently erred in its “repeated attempts to control behavior through rules, intimidation, anathema and other degenerate forms of manipulative discipline.” By contrast, and for Price the last word in his thought-provoking and heartfelt book, “God is the source of grace and healing.”

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