Sunday, July 3, 2011

"Try It Before You Buy It?" and a 300lb Gorilla

I’d like to share a link to an article written by Greg Koukl and published in Salvo Magazine, Issue 17, Summer 2011; titled “Try before You Buy”; about the pitfalls and dangers of pre-marital sex. This article is an adaptation of his Stand to Reason booklet of the same name available at

Now-a-days I think that Christians and non-Christians alike have a problem with the idea of something being a sin. Even the word SIN is passed over and re-worded to perhaps make it more palatable. I hear within Christian circles the word sin changed to “mistake” or wrong-doing, or error in judgment. But sexual sin is just never discussed…it is ignored; it is the amazing 300 lb gorilla in the room.

I personally have the hugely painful experience of being “hit-on” by a professing Christian. But this should not have happened if we get our heads out of the sand and teach loud and clear the biblical mandates for chastity, purity, and the fact that sex is ONLY to be entered into by a man and woman in the covenant of marriage.

We are in a war against the world, and the 24/7 bombardment of media…TV, magazines, billboards, and all the endless adds on the internet which promote sexuality. In the book The God Question, J.P. Moreland addresses the effect of media on men from an article by Michael Levine in Psychology Today. J.P. analyses the article this way;

Levine points out that for all of human history prior to the automobile and television, the average man was exposed to very few people in general or extremely beautiful women in particular. Limited in travel and with no television, most men learned to relate to women on a basis other than beauty. But today, says Levine, the average man sees hundreds of absolutely gorgeous women each night on television shows and commercials and gradually loses interest in less beautiful women. These findings are not hard to believe. What is surprising, and relevant to our discussion, is his explanation for this loss of interest. It is not that such exposure to television makes men think their partners are less physically attractive. Instead, men think, My partner is fine, but why settle for “fine” when there are so many beautiful women out there! I can do a lot better than this! (p.175)

In our empty lives we are driven to and lured by pop-psychology to fulfill ourselves; and high on that list according to all you see in the media is sexual fulfillment. This idea that we are repressed and inhibited is a miss-interpretation, according to C.S. Lewis, in The Problem of Pain, where he writes;

…The effect of Psychoanalysis on the public mind, and in particular, the doctrine of repressions and inhibitions. Whatever these doctrines really mean, the impression they have actually left on most people is that the sense of Shame is a dangerous and mischievous thing. We have labored to overcome that sense of shrinking, that desire to conceal, which either Nature herself or the tradition of almost all mankind has attached to cowardice, unchastity, falsehood, and envy. We are told to ‘get things out into the open’, not for the sake of self-humiliation, but on the grounds that these ‘things’ are very natural and we need not be ashamed of them. (p.391)

Do we really think its a “wink-wink-nudge-nudge” joke the struggle even Augustine had over chastity?

Let me turn this another way; when you chase after your own need for sex, who are you hurting? You are not just indulging yourself; you are using another human being as an object, nothing more. You devalue, objectify, and outright use a person made in the Imago Dei as a means to an end—your sexual satisfaction. There is no “romance” about it, no matter what the songs, movies, books all try to tell you other wise. C.S Lewis writes;

A recovery of the old sense of sin is essential to Christianity. Christ takes it for granted that men are bad. Until we really feel this assumption of His to be true, though we are part of the world He came to save, we are not part of the audience to whom His words are addressed. (p.392)

So without an understanding of the sinfulness of sin, especially sexual sin, you can see how we devalue Jesus’ sacrifice into nothing more than a story that may make you cry, but in the end you dry your tears and walk away unchanged.

C.S. Lewis (2002). The Complete C.S Lewis Signature Classics. (HaperSanFrancisco)

J.P. Moreland (2009) The God Question. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers

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