“Sex” is everywhere.
I’m not talking about the intimate act God reserves for marriage, but the word “sex.” When I was a child, the word was taboo; kids secretly whispered “it” to the sounds of snorts and giggles.
Chastity, however, is missing. Even as the church, we changed our language. The old explanation to the Sixth Commandement said that we are to lead “chaste and decent lives.” We lost an important word, “chaste,” and its variant, “chastity.” Now we recite that we are to lead “sexually pure and decent” lives.
This issue of The Lutheran Witness is not an “old timer’s” attempt to go back to the old language. It’s not about using an old, better word. “Sexually pure” is a fine phrase, but for many people, it limits the discussion to the marital act. Chastity takes place throughout the entire life of the believer. It encompasses not simply the acts occurring in the bedroom, but the life we live together and before the world, in the clothes we wear, the jokes we tell, even the movies we watch.
We discuss these topics in this issue and more. It’s a heavy issue with a load of law. And so, I encourage you: Repent and return to the Lord your God.
Nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ. If you have fallen into sin, whether the sin of homosexuality, pornography, promiscuous living or the host of sins we discuss in this issue, know that God sent His Son to suffer and die for you. Repent of your sin and trust in the work of Christ who forgives you.
In Christ’s forgiveness,
Roy S. Askins
Managing Editor, The Lutheran Witness
1 thought on “A Chaste and Decent Life”
This is a topic long neglected by the church. But the Lord was always clear about culture, and warned His followers that they were lambs surrounded by wolves, living in a world, amidst a crooked and perverse generation. The idea of separation from the world was not meant to imply monastic life for a believer. It meant a separation of values and conduct individually and collectively guided by the word of God, hence the Pilgrim and stranger identity. Being in the world, and not of the world is not an easy task for even the strongest believer, because the world system is unrelenting, demanding, somewhat ruthless, and led by Satan in a contentious spiritual battle which requires intense resistance.
As I have been around for nearly 76 years, I have watched the culture from my own humble perspective. I first watched television at 5 years old on a 17 inch Westinghouse TV, and well into the 1950’s and beyond there were wholesome values and moral lessons tied to comedy and music, to detective dramas and westerns, and documentaries and news stories watched by entire families. But the generations coming into its own rendered traditional values, faith, and the Bible “obsolete,” and the age of permissiveness and tolerance of sin entered casually, twisting truth, perverting the society, academia, and the church. Apostasy came into its own as well, and a prosperity Gospel assured some Christians that one can have both the world and Christ at the same time. Individual rights became sanctimonious. Individual responsibility became anathema unless it supported new cultural norms.
How do we deal with it all now, now that the values have changed so much in the culture in which we live? We start with ourselves. We go back to our Bibles, the source of truth, we share our faith with the lost, we strive against sin regardless of the cost. We accept the offense of the culture against what we believe, and we walk the straight path, sinners saved by grace alone, by the finished work of Christ on the cross, in a crooked and perverse generation. Either we are God’s people or not. Either saved or lost. Soli Deo Gloria.