At this year's ERLC Leadership Summit on “The Gospel and Human Sexuality,” Jon Akin will be speaking on resisting temptation in his session “Resisting Lips that Drip Honey: Wisdom on Sexuality from Proverbs.” Akin serves as senior pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Lebanon, Tenn., and as adjunct professor for Southern Seminary.
If you are interested in attending the Summit, go here.
At the ERLC Leadership Summit, you will be speaking on “Resisting Lips that Drip Honey: Wisdom on Sexuality from Proverbs”. Why is this an important issue for evangelical churches to consider?
This is such a critical issue because so many people in our churches do not see how they are taking small, incremental steps right now that they think are really not that big of a deal which will eventually lead them to a place of shame and destruction. They think about their internet pornography, or their romance novels, or their Facebook relationship with an old girlfriend and say, “It’s not really hurting anyone,” or “We are just friends,” or “I would never act on this anyway.” So many evangelical men and woman are foolishly being destroyed by the seduction of sexual sin, and the really scary part is that they do not recognize the small seemingly innocent steps they take everyday that further them down the path to destruction. Left unchecked these foolish paths will lead them to wrecking their lives, their marriages, their families, and bring them face-to-face with God at Judgment. Proverbs gives us wisdom to recognize what path we are walking – whether that’s a path toward Jesus or away from him.
When you think about sexual sin, what is a key aspect of that issue that churches aren’t addressing adequately? Why is that the case?
Proverbs clearly teaches that the best defense against sexual sin is a strong offense in marriage. Yet, the church has erred by not talking about sex out of fear, or sensationalizing the teaching on sex in order to draw a crowd. Gimmicks may be used as marketing ploys to sell books or attract numbers, but in the end they only baptize the world’s view of sex into the church. Instead we must uphold the mystery and beauty of the sexual union in marriage as laid out in the Bible.
Also, modern evangelicalism loves to give practical tips on marriage with many sermons like “5 ways to a better sex life in marriage.” Although these sermons will certainly pique interest, the problem is that Proverbs does not teach that wisdom is a set of principles to learn and you’re foolish if you neglect those tips. Proverbs reveals that Wisdom is a person (Jesus), and Folly is also a person (Satan) who is actively seeking to kill you with sexual sin. There are personal beings who notice the things that turn you on and will offer them to you in order to destroy you.All the tips in the world will be of no avail if we don’t understand how wisdom really works.
This conference seeks to apply the gospel to issues related to human sexuality. What are some ways the gospel relates to sex?
Proverbs reveals that whether a person is walking in wisdom or foolishness in the area of sex is determined by whether or not they are in a personal relationship with Wisdom (Jesus) or with Folly (Satan). This is not surprising since the Bible repeatedly links sexual sin with spiritual idolatry. If a person is walking on a path of seduction, whether just starting down that path or far along the road, then it reveals that they have a problem with Jesus and are not rightly believing the gospel – even if the person is a Christian. The Good News from Proverbs is that, even though all of us have fallen for illicit sin and therefore should fall into the pit, Jesus went into the pit for you, crushed the head of the predator and came back alive on the other side. Therefore, Jesus can not only free you from the penalty of your sexual sin but he can also break its power in your life.
If evangelical churches transformed the way they handled the subject of sexual sin, how would it reshape their congregations?
If our churches understood the personal nature of wisdom and the power of sex as outlined in Proverbs we would have satisfying marriages rather than people who just co-exist with each other or abandon their vows. We would have children not living in fear of their parents separating. We would have teenagers who live counter-culturally. And, in front of a lost world, we would not undermine the gospel on our lips with the false gospels displayed at our kitchen tables, on our internet histories, and in our bedrooms.
Register for the Summit here.