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.
3 thoughts on “Secret Sexual Revolution in the Church?”
So right. So many people, both young and older, are looking to fulfill that longing for God we all have in our hearts. If people don’t turn to Jesus and fill themselves with the Holy Spirit, they attempt to anaesthetize the longing with drugs, alcohol and sex … and the longing only intesifies. Until we turn to Jesus for the cleansing Blood, we are in constant search mode for something … anything … to help make the pain of longing go away.
Society has concluded that taboos against sexual behavior (including homosexual) have lost their relevance. The gut feeling of this generation is that sexuality has little to do with one’s relationship with God. The new generation is not wallowing around in pain and longing – it just no longer considers sexual behavior to be inherently religious. The harder we try to reel people back into the sexual repression/guilt/fear paradigm of our own generation the more we alienate them, because that boat has already sailed. People still believe in fidelity and personal holiness but do not view it in terms of social covenant. Integrity is now considered to be an issue between the person and God, not necessarily requiring public ratification by the social covenant of marriage. We’re not going to preach people back into the box. Time to move on.
I beg to differ from the previous comment of: “We’re not going to preach people back into the box. Time to move on.” This “box” is something that God created since the beginning of time. The covenant between God and the marriage partners is something that is holy because God wants it to be holy (that is, set apart for God’s purpose). Moreover, all we do ought to be holy. We cannot reserve one part of our lives as our own. Our entire life belongs to God and therefore, should reflect that–even in our sexuality.