There is an article that is making the rounds right now that has a lot of people talking about singles in the church, sex, and the erosion of biblical standards.
Clearly, this is Old Fashioned territory…
Author Kenny Luck really goes after what he calls “sexual atheism” among many self-described Christian singles today and begins by including this little tidbit:
In a recent study conducted by ChristianMingle.com, Christian singles between the ages of 18 to 59 were asked, “Would you have sex before marriage?” The response? Sixty-three percent of the single Christian respondents indicated yes.
63%. Does this surprise you?
It does me. Or it did. Now that we are having some advance sneak peek screenings of Old Fashioned and I’m being involved in lots of conversations about this issue… I’m hearing more and more evidence to back up the stats from the study quoted by Luck.
I fully expected to get some push-back to the God-honoring approach to love and romance that we take in Old Fashioned (which includes, among many other things, the idea that sex is sacred and meant for marriage). I just didn’t expect to get so much push-back from others who claim the same faith and yet don’t share the belief that physical intimacy is exclusively for marriage alone.
It’s been an interesting, eye-opening experience to say the least. I was clearly naïve and not fully informed. Luck continues:
To say that professing or self-described Christians are becoming more liberal means that their reference point for assessing and practicing sexuality is more cultural and personal rather than biblical or spiritual. It means that they possess a low view of God and Scripture and a high view of self and culture as the key drivers of their moral and sexual behavior.
But why? Why such a seismic shift within the church?
Culture is indeed key here, I think. America has shifted… and it’s never easy to resist or stand against any avalanche of social change. Bottom line is that a majority of Americans no longer believe that sex—in nearly any fashion or expression—has anything to do with morality. It doesn’t mean we don’t still look to judge things as “good” (eco-friendly living, healthy diets) or “bad” (bigotry, racism)… we just don’t much include sex in that context (good/bad) anymore.
Ironically, it hasn’t made folks less judgmental at all… just judgmental about different things.
I personally know of a progressive, socially conscious pastor who refused to confront his worship leader—who was living with his girlfriend—because he didn’t feel it was his place to judge. Maybe you can relate to a similar situation in your own life with a family member or friend.
But, what if that worship leader (or family member or friend) was an outspoken racist… and yet claimed to be a Christ follower? Would that pastor, or you, hesitate to challenge or question that person?
Of course not. In fact, you might think it your duty to do so and it possibly a sin to not say something.
There’s no denying it, when it comes to chastity or purity or sex in general, I think a lot of us are very hesitant to take any kind of stand (about anything in any way) because we don’t want to appear judgmental and/or we don’t want to end up as a punchline on The Daily Show.
And over time, that slowly affects not only the way we think… but eventually our actions.
That is how good a job American culture as a whole (politics, entertainment, and social media) has done in repositioning the sexual discussion as it relates to morality, etc.
And the how it happened, why it happened, when it happened no longer matters. It happened.
I say this because I have great empathy for Christian singles today. It is not easy. In some ways, it’s never been harder.
But even with culture at large making a mockery of virtue… and often times confusing, conflicting messages coming from different branches of the Christian faith… the call of God on our lives remains the same.
Be still. Listen. Follow.
Check out Luck’s article in its entirety at Charisma Magazine.