Prominent theologian John Piper has argued that while Hollywood's "sinful misuse" of sexuality may cause many to believe sex is sinful and "undermining to the all-satisfying beauty of Christ's holiness," Christians should understand that sex is actually made for the glory of Christ.
In a blog post titled "Sex Belongs to Believers" shared on his Desiring God website, Piper, chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary, argues that it was the false teachers who first promoted the idea that "sex in marriage and eating foods freely were at best for second-class Christianity."
For believers who understand the truth of the Gospel, however, "the sex of marriage and the pleasures of food are made holy - that is, they are set apart from the sinful use of the world and made pure and precious and beautiful by participation in the goodness of God," Piper writes.
Christians should not be embarrassed by the "forthright sensuality of sexual love in marriage as the Bible portrays it - sometimes graphically," the Desiring God author contends.
He quotes Proverbs 5:18-21, which reads, "Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? For a man's ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths."
Thus, believers should be unashamed "that 'a man's ways are before the Lord' as her breasts fill him at all times with delight. This is why God made her that way and him that way."
Piper explains: "The heavens are telling the glory of God. We are to see it. And worship Him. So it is with the breasts of our wives. The breasts are telling the glory of God, the goodness of God, the beauty of God, and more. We are to see it. And worship Him."
The Old Testament book Song of Solomon seeks to "make sure that we take seriously the exquisite physical pleasures between a bride and a groom as a picture of Christ and his Church," Piper writes.
He laments that it's easy to lose sight of this, as "Hollywood has ripped the curtains off the sacred marriage bed and turned a luxuriant, holy pleasure into a cheap spectator sport." Because of this, one may be tempted to think that, "since sex is so sinfully misused and is so universally undermining to the all-satisfying beauty of Christ's holiness, maybe we Christians should have nothing to do with it."
However, the apostle Paul charges that "It is the world that has stolen what belongs to believers. Sex belongs to Christians. Because sex belongs to God."
Ultimately, Piper encourages believers to remember that everything God made is good and is for the sake of worship and love.
"And this is true both in the feasting and the fasting," he writes. "In the sexual union and in abstinence. Sex is made for the glory of Christ - for the Christ-exalting glory of covenant-keeping faithfulness in marriage, and for the glory of Christ-exalting chastity in singleness. It is always good. Sex is always an occasion to show that the Giver of sex is better than sex."
In addition to sharing his thoughts on sexuality within marriage, Piper has written several blog posts regarding singleness and how the sexuality of a non-married follower of Christ is meant to work out for the glory of God.
"Resolve to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and he will add to you everything you need sexually," he writes in a post titled "Sex and the Single Person." "It may be a spouse. It may be the grace and freedom to be single and pure and content. That is up to God. Ours is to seek the kingdom. Or to put it another way, our all-consuming passion must be to glorify God in our bodies by keeping ourselves free from every enslavement but one: the joyful, fulfilling slavery to God."