Monday, September 29, 2008

Sex & Spiritual Warfare

Mark Driscoll has been releasing a series of lectures about spiritual warfare. Like virtually everything Mars Hill puts out, it's worth listening to. I'd encourage you to download the series if you want to consider Driscoll's thoughts on "Spiritual Warfare".

Specifically, though, within this portion of the lecture series (part 2 out of 4), he has some interesting thoughts about spiritual warfare and marital intimacy worthy of our consideration. On the surface, this may seem totally different from anything you've ever heard. But pull out your Bible and hear what he's saying:

"If you want to help people, you've got to know your Bible and you've got to be very theologically precise. Because so much of what constitutes spiritual warfare is false teaching; it's heresy. Sometimes it's very obvious, sometimes very, very subtle.

"... Let me start with the "ordinary" demonic. When people think of the demonic, they tend to think of the extraordinary [things]... bizarre exorcisms, those kinds of things. The ordinary demonic is very subtle. I've got a list of examples: sexual sin.

"1 Corinthians 7:5 says that a married couple that is Christian should have sexual relations frequently; they shouldn't deny one another but by mutual consent and for a time. Otherwise Satan will get in there and destroy everything.

"How many of you would think that a couple that doesn't have enough sex is experiencing demonic spiritual warfare? It's true. How many Christian marriages divorce? Well, statistically, more than those that are not Christian. When non-Christians can work it out at a rate that is more successful than Christians, that would indicate to me that Satan really has found a way to climb into bed between a husband and a wife and, in one way or another, cause devastation.

"When I'm meeting with a couple, and the husband says, "my wife's not been very nice to me, so I'm gonna deny her sex. And until she's nice to me, I'm gonna withhold it.", that's demonic. The wife who says, "ya know, I'm just never in the mood, and I know you love me and we have a decent marriage, and there's no reason... , but I don't feel like giving it to you",... that's demonic.

"To be sure, there are sex addicts in marriage who are unreasonable in their expectations of their spouse. But what I'm talking about is the common situation where one person in the marriage wants to be intimate more often than the other, and they're rejected. They become bitter. Satan comes in and feeds that bitterness, baits the hook of their flesh with the temptation of the world. And all of a sudden, Satan puts in front of them images, people, and opportunities to lead them astray. It doesn't make anyone a victim, because we all of our own choosing sin. But it does mean that you're giving Satan an opportunity to literally sleep between you and your spouse.

"...Are you having enough sex? ...I rarely have had a counseling appointment where they both say, "I'm satisfied with the frequency and freedom of our sexual relationship." One says, "yeah, I think we're fine", and the other person says, "I'm totally frustrated. It's not very often; it's not very fun; it's very predictable; it's hard for me to rejoice in the wife of my youth." Sometimes it's the wife saying, "He doesn't pursue me, he doesn't touch me,
he doesn't desire me, he doesn't compliment me. I've got other men who compliment me, pursue me emotionally, and are desirous of me." And I say, 'Wow, Satan is here. He is at work.'

"I want you to have that image-- that a couple that's not having free, frequent intimacy-- when they go to bed, just think of Satan lying in the bed between the two of them. That's what Paul's talking about in 1 Corinthians 7:5. It really is a big issue. It's not just, 'I'm more amorous than you are'... this is demonic. It's demonic. "

Some people might feel that Driscoll takes this thing too far. I personally think he's spot on. Have you ever thought about sex this way? Read back through it and consider if Satan might be trying to get in between you and your husband in this way. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy-- and that includes stealing, killing, and destroying marriages, as our culture readily shows. Driscoll gets it.


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