Taking a Stance on Sanctity
By Rick Warren
“Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.” Acts 18:9 (NIV)
For the last few days, we’ve been looking together at what it means to develop a Christian worldview. As you’re forming your worldview, it’s important to understand God’s stance on three issues that are controversial in many cultures today.
I’ve chosen these three because speaking up about them requires the most courage. Not only will most people disagree with you about these topics, but they will also passionately argue with you.
It takes an uncommon courage to stand up against that kind of pressure.
There are many parts of the Bible that people don’t have a problem with, such as when we’re told to help the poor. Nobody disagrees with that. But the world hates some parts of Scripture, and that makes it difficult for Christians to stand up for what they know is right.
Here are three issues related to sanctity that Christians today need to stand up for.
1. The sanctity of life: God has a purpose for every unborn child. God planned your life before you were born: “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” (Psalm 139:16 NLT). We are to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves—the unborn, the tens of millions of babies around the world who would be here if they hadn’t been aborted. If I claim to be a Christian, then I must believe that every life is sacred.
2. The sanctity of sex: Sex is only for marriage. Sex is God’s idea. It isn’t dirty or wrong; sex is holy. “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4 NIV). God’s instructions never change: Premarital sex is unacceptable to God. Living together without being married is unacceptable to God. Adultery is unacceptable to God. Pornography and the objectification of women are unacceptable to God.
3. The sanctity of marriage: One man and one woman for life. That is God’s intended, original design. A lot of people ask, “Well, what about all the polygamy in the Bible?” The Bible telling the truth about something that happened doesn’t mean God approved it. And the Bible is very clear on the issue of marriage: “Haven’t you read . . . that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:4-6 NIV).
People of goodwill can disagree over many issues in life. For example, the Bible offers no economic recovery plan, so Christians can disagree on that. But, as a follower of Christ, it’s important to line up with what God says about the sanctity of life, sex, and marriage. And you need to have the courage to stand up for them, even when—and especially when—it’s not the popular or politically correct thing to do.
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