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Covenantal, Not Casual: The Cultural Significance of Sex

We must understand that all of the culture exists downstream of our perspective on sexual ethics and marriage, hence why every false religion, cultural movement, or sociological phenomenon has a sexual dimension to it.
 

 

Fully Saturated With Sex

One fact of modern existence that all Christians should be painfully aware of is that we truly live in a hyper-sexualized culture. Most do not need to be convinced of this, from the ads on television to the increasingly gratuitous sex scenes in movies, or the apps which exist for people to meet up for sex to the unconscious assumption that couples who have been together for more than a few weeks must be having sex. We are immersed to the point of full saturation with sex.
 
Most Christians bemoan these phenomena, and rightfully so. We should be grieved that the intimacy of sex has gone from the privacy of the bedroom to the public square. However, one thing we fail to realize is that our culture is not unique in this. I do not mean to suggest that history has not seen plenty of sexualized and publicly profane societies—of course it has—but rather that what we generally fail to recognize is that sex always creates and drives culture. Fundamentally, culture is the practice and propagation of a particular worldview, and necessarily basic to every worldview is the act that continues to produce people that create a culture to then inculcate and live out that worldview.
 
This is a case where we must affirm the principle of “not whether, but which.” It is not whether a culture will be driven by sex but rather which sexual ethic will drive culture. With that said, we ought not be dismayed by the fact that our society is “sex-driven”, this being the necessary state of things. Our consternation is that the worldview which gives us our sexual ethic is truly a neo-pagan death cult. It is my sincere conviction that the chief battle of the church in our generation is being fought, and must be won, in the realm of sexual ethics and marriage.
 

Pagan Sexual Ethics

When Christians pause to consider the great ailments of our culture, several immediately come to mind: abortion, transgender ideology / propaganda, the broader LGBTQ+ movement, and pornography, among many others. All of these are genuine concerns and are worth pouring great amounts of energy into combatting individually, yet we must also recognize that these are all symptoms of the same underlying disease, sexual immorality—or perhaps better stated, pagan sexual ethics. If we are to effectively counter these grave cultural sins then we must understand what comprises the pagan sexual ethic.
 
According to this abhorrent worldview, the self is the ultimate object of worship and sex is the primary act of praise. The highest aim is personal pleasure, satisfaction, and fulfillment, therefore the individual is free to engage in any sexual activity (so long as consent is obtained). It is moral therefore to pursue sexual relations with however many partners one wants, as often as one likes, with whichever gender one pleases and increasingly, at whatever age appeals.
 
This is the inescapable logic of the neo-pagan worldview which has come to dominate our culture. If personal satisfaction is the highest religious aim then any infringement of this pursuit is a violation of the individual’s perceived freedom of worship. There can be no restrictions on sexual expression, and we see this logic prevailing at a disturbingly rapid pace as every passing day seems to mainstream a new sexual perversion, decrying any who would dare oppose it as hateful and bigoted.
 

We Must Be Relentless

Christians agree that we must oppose this unyielding march as it prevails not only in the culture at large but is also being taught with increasingly explicit boldness to our children, yet how we are to effectively mount opposition remains the great dilemma. Our starting point at the very least ought to be clear. The culture is relentless in signaling their sexual ethic of personal satisfaction in every corner of existence; we must be just as relentless, yet with a sexual ethic that has its roots, its body, and its branches firmly planted in Scripture. This means that every area in which we have compromised with the culture must be reformed after the Word of God.
 
One particular element of the enemy’s sexual ethic that is often tacitly assumed is that the cultural sexual ethic hangs on a category that is wholly fictional—casual sex. Although genuine, morally upright, faithful Christians do castigate casual sex as sinful, and sexually immoral, we nonetheless, at least passively, assume it as being a legitimate category. This series of blogs is intended to get at the root of our cultural cancer by laying the ax to the unbiblical assumptions, such as casual sex, that often taint our thinking about sex, setting forth a reformed sexual ethic derived from the principle of Sola Scriptura, one that challenges the corrupt cultural model.
 
We must understand that all of the culture exists downstream of our perspective on sexual ethics and marriage, hence why every false religion, cultural movement, or sociological phenomenon has a sexual dimension to it. We must also be reminded that marriage is not only the fundamental means of transmitting the gospel to the next generation but is also itself a picture of that gospel, of the covenant relationship between Christ and His Church, and when we faithfully live out a biblical sexual ethic, the culture is blessed.
 
Let us determine to be a blessing to our culture and a glorifying force for our God.
 
Luke Griffo is an Elder and member of Leadership at Redeemer Church of South Hills in West Mifflin, PA.  Click here for more RCSH Blog posts. 
 
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