three crucial social changes have rocked Western Culture. All three are related. The first was the sexual revolution that began in the late sixties. The second was the gender-feminist movement. It emerged as a significant cultural force in the mid seventies. The third was growing social momentum to mainstream homosexuality. Gay rights first gained serious traction in the mid eighties. This article is about the first two, the sexual revolution and feminism, and their affect upon the church.
The mixing of secularism, pluralism, relativism, the sexual revolution, and feminism has produced a toxic brew. The effect has been an unprecedented social disaster. We should not be surprised. Neither relativism or pluralism can provide a lasting basis for social flourishing. Without ultimate meaning and value— moral absolutes— we have no basis for social order. We can expect only social chaos on the long run.
However, my concern is not Western Culture. It is a subset of Western Culture, one highly influenced by Western Culture, the church. Jesus calls his people to be “the light of the world…a city set on a hill” (Matt. 5:14-16). In other words, we are to be different. God’s people are to be holy, and behind the word “holy” is the idea of separation. The behavior, motivations, and attitudes of holy things are to be separate from what is common to fallen culture. I contend that in terms of the family and male-female roles the word “separate” does not describe us frequently enough or sufficiently enough. The siren call of “political correctness,” the pressure to fit into the world’s agenda, is powerful. God’s people have drunk this toxic brew, and the moral, spiritual, and social indigestion has been significant.
We are locked in a mortal spiritual conflict, the roots of which go back to Genesis chapter three. Human sexuality has always been fundamental to this conflict. We are currently in a life and death struggle over the nature of family, what it means to be male and female, the willingness to have children, and God’s intention for human sexuality. The flourishing of the church rides on the outcome. Although the conflict has raged since the beginning, the intensity has differed from generation to generation. I contend that its current ferocity is unparalleled in human history.
The church does not exist in a vacuum. We live in the crucible of a fallen world. So, in order to understand the pressures that seek to conform us into its image, this post, and those that follow in the next few days, will explore the fruits of this”toxic brew,” the degree to which the church has imbibed its poison, and the cost of compromise…