NASHVILLE (BP) – Dean Inserra wants to help his church talk about an issue that permeates culture but Christians may find intimidating to discuss – a biblical view of sexuality.
Inserra pastors City Church in Tallahassee, Fla. Last year he released his fifth book, Pure: Why the Bible’s Plan for Sexuality Isn’t Outdated, Irrelevant, or Oppressive.
In a recent episode of Baptist Press This Week (BPTW) he discussed how the culture has a wrong view of sexuality.
“We live in a culture right now … where sex is expected,” he said.
“It’s almost like what a first kiss used to be is now agreeing to sleep together.”
He says the skewed perspective leaves the culture confused and Christians challenged in their daily lives.
“I think we need to look at how Jesus treated those who were caught in any kind of sexual immorality,” he said.
“We always see Jesus being extremely gentle. and we see Him really having a restorative approach and presence with those people, extending them a lot of grace.”
But he added this does not change Scripture’s teaching on sexuality.
“I tell our church that the Bible’s design for sexuality in marriage is as clear in the Scriptures as love your neighbor or help the poor or even something like Jesus rising from the grave,” he said. “I mean, it’s that clear.
“And that God has designed marriage to be between a man and a woman. That marriage union is the only place where we could say sexual relationships can be carried out.”
As Christians look to live faithfully, reach their neighbors with the Gospel and promote a biblical sexual ethic, creating a new church program to teach about purity may be a first instinct but it’s not a long-term solution, he says.
So how should a church help people turn away from sexual sin?
Inserra believes relationships with growing disciples of Jesus who are ready to walk with someone struggling in sexual sin is the right way to go.
The strongest disciple “…is ready and able and being equipped by the church … strong in a Christian worldview, strong in Gospel centrality, strong in compassion,” he advised.
They should be capable of having a relationship with someone as they build trust and a have a “willingness to be there” because sexual sin brings “scars and hurts”.
As for the Church, Inserra believes it should be ready to help people overcome the complications of sexual sin by being prepared with trusted counselors and other resources.
He encourages pastors to preach and teach on marriage, sexuality and relationships from a biblical perspective.
“The institution (of marriage) was good and was unhindered until sin,” he said. “So it’s not sex that’s the problem. It’s not the union that’s the problem. It’s sin.”