Society and Sexuality
It is an unavoidable reality: we live in a highly sexualized society. One cannot go very far in modern America without being bombarded by highly sexualized imagery: online, at the grocery store, or even just walking down a street on a warm day. Our society prizes itself on its tolerance, especially in regards to sexual issues. Nevertheless, the results of this “tolerance” is manifest: a soaring divorce rate, large percentage of teenagers engaging in sexual activity, prevalence of pornography, and many other negative consequences. Furthermore, there is a culture of silence about such issues, especially among religious persons; while one’s personal sexuality is understandably a private matter, the truth of God regarding matters of sexuality must be clearly proclaimed in our world.
Many would desire to return to some mythic “good old days” when people had proper views of sexuality; unfortunately, such times never existed. Human beings have either been obsessed about sex or the abstention thereof; holistic, Biblical balance has been entirely lacking. Regardless, we live in a rather promiscuous age, and there are many factors that have led us here.
Modern scientific consensus tends to rationalize mankind’s behavior in terms of natural development. All matters of sexuality are analyzed and described in terms of natural animal impulses; when human sexuality is reduced to animal desire, why should we be surprised to see many humans thus acting like animals? Likewise, the modern feminist movement has “liberated” women to “take control” of their own sexuality. In reality, feminism has denigrated marriage and the need for commitment, and it is hard not to see correlations between the growing prevalence of single mothers and modern feminism. But it is entertainment, above all other factors, that leads to such promiscuous attitudes within our society. Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art? Television, movies, the Internet, and all kinds of venues promote all kinds of sexuality, and rarely is marriage honored or respected in such media. This has spread into the advertisement world, so that sex appeal sells everything from cars to chewing gum.
What has happened on account of these factors? Sex is reduced to a mere physical action, divorced of any other aspect. Men are treated as mere animals, and women experience great emotional trauma. “Liberated sexuality” has led to plenty of pain, suffering, and unfulfilled expectations.
This is not God’s intent for mankind. God made male and female so that man would leave father and mother, he could cleave to his wife, and the two could become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Sex is only right and proper in the marriage relationship, cementing the covenant made between a man and woman before God (Matthew 19:4-6, Hebrews 13:4). Everything else–lusting for other men or women, pornography, adultery, fornication, homosexuality–are condemned (Matthew 5:28, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
The Word of God, therefore, stands against the world and its perverted view of sexuality. Friendship with the world is enmity toward God (James 4:4), and this is certainly true in terms of the world’s view of sexuality. We must stand firm and stand up for true and proper and holy sexuality, and reject the perversions of mankind. Divorce and adultery are not acceptable. Fornication, lasciviousness, and pornography are not acceptable. Homosexuality is not acceptable. We must not compromise with the world, but stand firm and proclaim God’s will for sexuality for mankind!
Ethan R. Longhenry