Colin you have written a book called “Staying Pure in a Sex-Charged World. Could you explain the title to us?
Colin: I want to help believers deal with the whole issue of sexuality particularly in today’s society when there is so much emphasis on sex and it is not always given its right biblical context. Have a look at billboards and TV advertisements, films, even sex education in schools. These things put many people under pressure in this area. I want to help Christians come to terms with this and identify how they can live with their sexuality in a way that honours God.
There are already a number of books within the Christian market about sex and relationships. Why write another one and what is, perhaps, different about this book?
Colin: In many ways this book complements a lot of other stuff that has been written. I have read quite a few of these books. Some of them have great stories and testimonies and a lot of practical stuff and teaching. This new book presents clear biblical teaching in a simple way and also covers many areas that I find are not always well covered in other books. An example is the emphasis on singleness and the Bible teaching on homosexuality.
You mention friendship within the same sex. Could you just briefly outline the Bible view on this subject?
Colin: This is a very big subject. I find that there seems to be two kinds of viewpoints, even amongst Christians. There is the legalistic approach, which is very moralistic with a heavy emphasis on the scriptures, which seems to condemn all forms of homosexuality out of hand. Then on the other hand there is the more liberal emphasis where people seem to suggest that it does not matter – homosexuality is as acceptable as heterosexuality. I actually think that the Bible is midway between these two viewpoints. First of all, the Scriptures honour friendship within the same gender and hold them in high esteem. In my book I mention Ruth and Naomi, and David and Jonathan. There is a particular place in God’s heart for strong and intimate covenant relationships between members of the same sex. However, it is my view that the Bible falls short of allowing these relationships to enter into an explicitly sexual area. I think that the display of affection and love between members of the same sex can have a real context in the plan of God. However, the Bible seems to steer us away from taking such relationships further into sexual acts.
How would you advise a Christian struggling with homosexual issue in terms of what you have said about sexuality?
Colin: I go into this in detail in the book and there are a number of things to bear in mind. You are not defined by your sexual orientation. You are much more than a sexual being. It is not necessary to define yourself by your sexuality. The second thing is to look at the need beneath the surface that sex in itself, in all its forms, cannot really fulfil. Many people struggling with heterosexual or homosexual sin have needs that they are trying to meet through sex and sex isn’t designed for that. `My advice is find people who are non-judgemental and able to keep confidences and work with them so that they can help you to honour God throughout your sexual experience.
It is interesting that the media, generally, portrays Christianity as anti-sex. What would be your take on this?
Colin: I think that is one of the most important emphases that I put into the book. Christians, particularly evangelical Christians, are portrayed as being anti-sex and that is not the case. God is not anti-sex; he invented it. He made the human bodies and gave us the rules and parameters by which sexual experience can flourish and the context, which is the covenantal relationship between man and woman in marriage. Often, it is this that is ridiculed and pilloried by the press, many of whom are products of the 1960s’ so-called sexual revolution. You only have to look around our society today, to see the devastation that sex out of context has produced. So, the agenda of this book is to encourage believers and indeed non-believers, if they would read it, to re-examine what God has to say about sex.
You mention non-believers. Who is your target audience? Is it Christians, singles or young people?
Colin: My target audience is believers who are concerned about how to honour God with their sexuality. I hope to encourage people who may be struggling in certain areas to come and find a non-judgemental, non-condemning book that will encourage them to stay pure in the midst of a very challenging environment.
Do you think that this a message that can be taken to non-Christians and young people in schools, colleges and universities?
Colin: The publishers are hoping to promote this through the secular press and I am sure that it can gain a hearing there, at least, as an example of what Christians really do think about God’s gift of sexuality. I think that many people in the wider world consider themselves to be Christians; 72% of the population of the UK calls themselves Christians. And I think that these people will be impressed by the non-judgemental, common sense approach to this subject matter. Also, there is a lot of research that shows that God’s way is the best way of living in families and bringing up children. The sexual experiment has failed. There is a strong statement from Anne Widdecombe, the Conservative MP (in this book) that shows that many people, from a political point of view, are concerned about the social trends of today and want a real alternative to the free-for-all, anything-goes philosophy of the modern generation.
One of the things that you outline in the book is the spiritual dimension to sexuality. You mention soul ties. What are soul ties and why are they so dangerous?
Colin: Well, a soul tie is any strong emotional attachment to a person, a place, a situation or a memory. Its relevance in sex is that if you have sex with somebody, you are not just joining your body to another person; rather you can almost speak about a soul-attachment – an intermingling that comes through the sexual contact. The great fallacy of the modern age is to believe that we are just “body beings’. We are not just “body beings’; we are spirit, soul and body beings. What you do with one part of your personality will impinge upon the rest of your personality. And so soul ties can almost have the same force as demonic bondage and people need to be set free from an emotional/spiritual bondage that can come through sex.
What would be your advice to people who recognise their need to be set free from such bondage?
Colin: First, you need to confess the sin that you have been involved in, renounce all contact and association with the person involved, get rid of any kind of link with him/her, whether it is physical gifts or objects. Then come before God and ask him for his freedom and deliverance. If possible, it is sometimes better to receive ministry in this particular area and in my book Living Free! , I show how people can do this and experience freedom from soul ties.
Finally, Colin, what do you have to say to our readers who are single? Do you have any advise for them?
Colin: There is a chapter dedicated to single people and my advice to people who are single is make the most of God’s gift of singleness for as long as you remain single. Don’t think of it as bondage or a problem. Rather, think of it as a gift from God because there is so much that you can do and achieve for God while you are single. You grow as an individual and prepare yourself and your character for the Lord in preparation for marriage. The gift of singleness is a tremendous gift.