A Pastoral Letter On Sexual Morality For 21st Century Christians
Beloved in Christ,
In our day the floodgates of sexual immorality have opened wide. Within the dead culture there are no longer any restrictions. Those who manipulate culture have succeeded in turning the world away from Christian morality, which provided divine light to the western world (and beyond) for 17 centuries. What Melville pointed out in Moby Dick was true: the pulpit leads the world.
But we must not despair, for it is not the first time or place that Christians have been forced to live in a hostile environment. While I have no delusions of changing the world, by this writing I wish to solemnly warn those who are under my pastoral care to be catechized by the church, and not the culture in all matters of sexuality. For Christians are not members of the animal kingdom, but images of God in Christ.
If you have transgressed, no matter how badly, or for how long, you can still repent, and still be restored to life with God; and to sanity. For among other things sexual transgressions infect the mind, intellect and emotions like a deadly gas. They jumble the affections so that the person who sins sexually becomes increasingly insensate to marriage, family, spouse, and children.
If you have sinned in this area there is private confession and absolution for the asking. If you need counsel, guidance and strength, whether you are young or old, God has gifted you with a pastor.
Scripture says to the young:
2 Timothy 2:22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
And to the old it says:
Psalm 25:7 Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!
The following "brief" comes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Edition) page 575, and as a Lutheran pastor I agree with everything stated below.
2399 The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).
As those baptized into New Life in Christ, and as partakers of the flesh and blood of Christ in holy communion, I give you the words of St. Paul, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-- this is your spiritual act of worship." (Romans 12:1)
And as a closing prayer I offer verse 4 of our hymn (TLH #227)
4. Exalt our low desires,
Extinguish passion's fires,
Heal every wound.
Our stubborn spirits bend,
Our icy coldness end,
Our devious steps attend
While heavenward bound.
God grant it for Christ's sake,
Rev. Dean Kavouras, Pastor