When the bikini was invented in 1946, not a single female model of that time dared to wear something so skimpy. Eventually, the inventor had to recruit a prostitute to model it. Sixty years later, the bikini is ubiquitous and it can be difficult for women to purchase anything else.
A similar kind of shift has happened within our North American Christian community. A recent study found that “eighty percent of young, unmarried Christians have had sex. Two-thirds have been sexually active within the last year.” Ironically, this is the case even though a vast majority would affirm that sex outside of marriage is morally wrong. Similar to what happened in the 1960s, the church may now be experiencing a sexual revolution – but this time it’s clandestine.
There are many reasons behind this secret sexual revolution – widespread tolerance of promiscuity, a lack of role models, a prevailing attitude of “do what feels best”. But rather than ring our hands over these statistics, it’s helpful to remember that God created our sexuality as a good gift, and that promiscuity is merely the twisting of this gift. As Darrell Johnson (our Assembly 2012 speaker) observes, promiscuity is “symptomatic of deeper holy longings going unfulfilled and therefore going arwy. And since those deeper longings are finally only fulfilled in a relationship with Living God – [promiscuity] is symptomatic of drifting out of intimacy with God.” GK Chesterton put it more bluntly, “every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God.”
While the escalating promiscuity of our culture has swayed many, an encounter with the Living God fulfills these desires in a way that sexual experience never can. Our churches have the opportunity to reach out to those within our own walls who have succumbed to temptation and point them to the One who heals our brokenness and satisfies our deepest longings.