Practical Atheists

A recent survey by the dating website asked Bible-believing singles ages 18 to 59, “Would you have sex before marriage?”

63 percent said yes.

Reflecting on these results in Charisma Magazine, Kenny Luck, a minister and ChristianMingle advisory board member, writes that many professing Christians “are prone to compartmentalize their faith away from their sexual life.” He dubs them “sexual atheists.” That is, when it comes to sex, they act as if “God has nothing to say to them on that subject…or, at least, anything meaningful enough to dissuade them from following their own course of conduct.” Luck continues:

It is the ultimate oxymoron. A person who at once believes in a wise, sovereign and loving God who created them and all things, can also believe simultaneously [that] He should not, cannot or will not inform their thinking or living sexually…There is a disconnect between identity and activity.

It occurs to me that the same problem — that “disconnect between identity and activity” — can rear its head in plenty of other ways.  If we aren’t diligent, we can fall prey to the tendency to “compartmentalize” our faith away from other facets of our lives. We may believe in God while at the same time acting as if He has nothing meaningful to say to us about our marriages…our jobs…our entertainment…our finances…our language…our attitudes…and much else. And if we refuse to let God direct our thinking and living in any aspect of life, to that extent we become practical atheists.

“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1). “The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him…the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:4-6).