Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Christians against the sexual revolution: sexual sin versus positive focus on marriage and family

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With few exceptions, Christians have not been successful in combating the sexual revolution: indeed there is little evidence that some of the major Christian denominations make any difference at all to the sexual behaviour of their self-identified adherents - if statistics of pre-marital sex, abortion, divorce etc. are any guide.

It is easy to understand why - at a psychological level.

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The sexual revolution offers (so says the mass media) intense short-term, here and now, selfish pleasure - or, if not pleasure, then at least intense distraction and a pseudo-purpose in life in a nihilistic and hope-less secular world.

But what does mainstream Christianity offer against this?

1. There is the sinfulness of the sexual revolution - which at a psychological level is negative since it means here and now feeling limited, guilty, under attack, negative, bored, left-out, and without a life project.

2. The eventual positive hope of greater long-term and altruistic happiness from a successful marriage and family (but they might not be successful...) and an overall-better society based on sex in a context of marriage and family.

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In sum, mainstream Christianity offers the hope/ possibility of a better long-term personal and societal happiness; in return for the certainty of less short-term and selfish happiness and more misery for persons and societies...

but this truthful equation is in fact denied and opposed by a vast and unrelenting mass media which dishonestly claims (explicitly, but more importantly as an inbuilt assumption) that 'you can have it all' and on easy terms - you can indulge your short-term and selfish wishes AND get a better (kinder) society in which both you and more other people are happier...

(...the evil ones being the negative Christians who want to thwart your legitimate and indeed virtuous desires and reduce people to abject misery so that they can may better be controlled.)

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The mainstream Christian offer is too weak - what is necessary is an honest conceptualization of the benefits of marriage and family which is so strong that it leads to here-and-now happiness, hope and a direction in life.

An honest vision of marriage and family which can fill the present mind with joy, meaning, purpose and anticipation. 

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A positive and powerful advocacy is, in my opinion, the number one priority (but not of course the only priority...) for mainstream Christian churches in the secular West.

This is where they should be putting their best efforts - not least in drawing-out the scriptural and traditional and doctrinal links between marriage and family and the Christian life - there is works for everyone in this endeavor:

Marriage and family are the basic units or building-blocks of the Christian life.

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