Tuesday, June 18, 2024

To love pure and chaste. . .

One of the things that has undermined nearly all Christian moral teaching is the idea that the goal is unattainable and therefore unrealistic and only imaginary.  The presumption is that it is impossible for people to live chaste lives -- whether single or married -- and so the only realistic option to deal with it all is to find a way to normalize the unchaste and unfaithful lives of the people.  While it was once said routinely of teenagers who shacked up in the back of the family Chevy on Friday night after the game, it is now being said of nearly everyone.  Indulgence is normal.  Chastity and faithfulness are not.  In this game, porn is normal, too, and so is every other perversion once prohibited.  And that is about where we are at as a nation and culture.  We have normalized what every other generation before us labeled aberration, immorality, or sin.  What is even worse than this is that when we suggest to people that either chaste obedience to Christ in singleness or lifelong sexual fidelity to the spouse is simply not sustainable, we are saying exactly what the devil has said.  Sadly, this kind of reasoning has come from the highest quarters of Rome and the cutting edge theologians of Protestantism with equal vigor.  Christianity must find a way around this impossible expectation of sexual indulgence.  So, Jesus, change or die!

Anywhere and everywhere we are hearing that the problem lies with the Biblical view of Christianity and not with the sinners or their sins.  Maybe it was always that way -- at least the temptation.  But now more and more voices from within Christianity are insisting that it must be this way or Christianity will die.  Of course, any one and every one ought to be suspicious of those who say Christianity will die.  That said, however, the truth is that even conservative Christians are presuming that divorce is impossible to stop so it must be regularized, that every divorced is owed the right to remarry, that no age or gender should be expected to nor required to refrain from living out their sexual desires, and that this version of Christianity has to change.  The other way to approach this is to suggest that the traditional morality regarding sex, singleness and marriage was never really Biblical at all.  This view puts the words we want to hear in the mouth of God's Word and God's Son so we do not have to feel bad about indulging ourselves.  Sin does not need a Savior -- sin just needs not to be called sin and we are fine.

As long as we presume that marital fidelity and faithfulness over the lives of the husband and wife is exceptional, it will be exceptional and rare.  As long as we presume that it is impossible for the single to practice any sort of self-control, they will not feel obligated to try.  As long as we imagine that sex is about pleasure without commitment or children, that is all it will be.  In the meantime, chastity will become a relic of prudish past and nothing noble or virtuous at all.  When this happens, Satan will have won and we will have lost all that God in His mercy made known to us and gave us.  The reality is that among some churches this is already the case.


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