The insidious parts about our culture and feminism is that they drive us to think that our bodies, hearts, minds, spirits, and souls as separate entities. Indeed, nothing in the Jewish tradition or the early Church suggested this was the case. They are all inextricably linked together.
“Casual sex is just for pleasure” or “just this once” in terms of food and gluttony, neglecting exercise, not doing the right thing, not speaking up for the truth, etc. “It won’t hurt anybody [not even yourself].”
The fact that all such things are linked together into one person is in the same way that the church is the one mind, one spirit, and one body of Christ.
Now, I haven’t read “Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy and the Longings of a Woman’s Heart” only SSM’s review of the book, but this is the heart of the issue that is important to note.
I’ve driven home the Galatians 5 passage before, but I want to do so again.
Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh [g]sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you [h]please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: [i]immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, [j]factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
We can see that every act we undertake is spiritual in nature. It’s not just that sex which is or is not spiritual. When you do something, you either choose to give into the lusts of the flesh or you choose to please the Spirit.
All our actions are to have purpose behind them. If they do not have purpose, we are wandering aimlessly and not directing ourselves closer to the Truth.
I choose every second while I’m thinking about a meal, cooking a meal, serving a meal, and eating a meal about whether this is something I should be eating or not. Is it healthy for me or is this detracting from my health?
I choose every second while I go to the gym, while I lift weights or my bodyweight, etc whether I should be doing this or not. Is this healthy for me or is it detracting from my health?
Does not my good health also affect my mind being able to think more clearly, uplift by spirit through the pleasurable effects of endorphins through exercise and eating well, and not lift my spirits as well?
It is rather foolish as Christians walking in the world to assume that such things are trivial in nature. Rather, it is when we are faithful with a few things that we be put in charge of many things.
Parable of the Talents — Matthew 25 (NASB)
14 “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five [a]talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. 16 Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. 17 In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. 18 But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his [b]master’s money.
19 “Now after a long time the master of those slaves *came and *settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your [c]master.’
22 “Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
24 “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’
26 “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. 27 Then you ought to have put my money [d]in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. 28 Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’
29 “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 30 Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
I covered other analysis of this passage in God doesn’t owe you anything, and the fact that we fail to really understand many of these things until we seek God is a horrible, horrible Truth. This is why Jesus said to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.
Likewise, I looked at the 2 Peter 1 passage in the Foundations of Christian Masculinity, but it indeed does not just apply to men but also to women.
2 Peter 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral [g]excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.
(P.S. If you want to see the analysis of this passage click on the above link)
Just as everything in life is transactional in nature — that is we spend our time for it whether significant or not — everything in life is also spiritual. This is the life that God created, and we are to indeed be stewards of it.
Sex in marriage is just one aspect of that. In this I agree with SSM that sex in marriage that it is not about being satisfied although that may certainly be the case that you are satisified by sex.
However, take it one step further. It’s one of the things that was directly created by God and commanded. It involves the heart, mind, body, and soul/spirit. It’s an act of worship to God. You honor God by having sex in marriage.
Are not our lives supposed to be as living sacrifices to God?
Unity and division
It may sound weird in direct reference to sex, but where two or more are gathered in Jesus’ name there He is with them? Is not God omnipresent also? Why are we so uncomfortable speaking of sex which is holy in marriage?
Now, it only sounds weird because we have become so conditioned to our culture — and not only through feminism — that we would consider the spiritual natures and implications of our act to be separate from our actions. We only associate some things with being spiritual — church, prayer, meditation, fasting, serving, etc.
This is one of the beliefs that hinders not only our prayers but our relationships with God and with others.
Feminism is divisive. It sets men against women. However, that is probably the least insidious nature of what it does.
- It sets mind against body — to fit in you should get tattoos, cut your hair short, don’t have to worry about your appearance, go along with the crowd, give in to peer pressure, etc.
- It sets the heart against the body — follow your heart and enjoy casual sex, eat this because it tastes good without concern for your health, be lazy today it’s only just missing one workout, etc.
- It sets heart against mind — it’s OK to divorce because your husband/wife was already cheating on you by looking an pornography / having an emotional affair / not attracted / not the right one / etc. God wouldn’t want you to be unhappy, right?
- It denies the soul/spirit — there are no spiritual implications for your actions. Do what is right for you here and now and don’t worry about anything else. Consequences be damned.
Truly, this is the insidious nature of what feminism is.
It seeks to divide and conquer at all levels sowing dischord not just on a more macroscopic level of interpersonal relationships but also on the intrapersonal microscopic level of how we view ourselves and our relationship with God.
This is why I believe why so many men are suicidal and depressed in today’s society, and 25%+ of women are on some sort of mental or anti-depressant medication. The level of cognitive dissonance created through internal strife is not something that we were meant to live with.
Now, as Christians it is only in the Spirit that we are able to sync up and have true Unity, and it is in this Unity that we have joy and peace. The outside pressures of the world that will attempt to divide you between the Spirit and the flesh will melt away. It’s not so much about happiness but removing the internal dischord that we will find peace and joy.
When it feels weird or uncomfortable to talk about the Truth, that means you were beliving in and conditioned to a lie. This is not good. This is something that needs to be taken to repentence.
I think the rash of posts among the men of the manosphere has led me to this place of understanding a greater emphasis of what is going on at this fundamental level.
To me it’s not really about having it all together. None of us will ever have it all together.
Rather, it is about eliminating the seeds of destruction and dischord within ourselves from feminism as well as Satan and his demons. Removing the knives, the swords, the barbs, the flaming arrows of the evil one. Then, and only then can you allow God to come into those places and work His healing.
You can never do enough good to right your wrongs. This is the grace of God. Rip out the evil from among you:
Repent of being ashamed for what you believe. Repent of pedestalizing women and their feelings. Repent of apologizing when you don’t need to. Repent of not speaking up for the Truth. Repent of the porn. Repent of the erotica. Repent of the laziness and sloth. Repent of the lust. Repent of pride. Repent of the wrath. Repent of the gluttony. Repent of the envy. Repent when you weren’t considerate. Repent when you weren’t loving. Repent of everything that can come between you and God.
It is important to not only repent of the things that you did do but also of what you didn’t do especially if you were fearful about talking about God’s Truth.
Then allow God to work His healing power. Allow God to bring unity to your mind, heart, body/strength, and soul/spirit.
Then, if you have faith, moral excellence, and knowledge, then start exercising it in exhibiting self control, perseverence, godliness, brotherly kindness/love, and love.