Escaping the Grip of the Sexual Revolution
All of us either grew up during the Sexual Revolution or have been living under its ever-expanding shadow. Whether through our own choices informed by its hedonistic ideology or through others’ selfish acts, its consequences have been devastating. Any honest assessment would lead one to conclude that it was all based on a string of lies.
The greatest lie at its foundation is one originally acted upon by Adam and Eve, that we humans could determine for ourselves right from wrong apart from trust in the Word of God. Echoes of Genesis are found in the Book of Job, which clearly informs us that we live our lives amid a larger spiritual conflict, one that escapes our ordinary view.
Every generation has had to choose sides in that unseen war, whether to live by faith in God’s Word, or to go one’s own way and suffer the consequences.
With the Sexual Revolution, today’s generations have gone their own way, ignoring God’s rightful place and leading in our lives. Romans 1:18-31 explains our idolatrous error and its consequence: God’s judgment, with Him turning us over to our lusts.
A Web of Deceit
We need to know the nature of the lies the Sexual Revolution is built upon. One of those lies was introduced with The Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries. Western culture dismissed the God of the Bible as the arbiter of truth and morals, trusting instead in autonomous man as the measure of all things. This is the same error made by Adam and Eve. Each of us has repeated it. Each of us is called to repentance.
A second contributing influence has been Marxist ideology. Marxism posits a completely materialistic universe. Humans are merely complex electrochemical beings. Our relationships are reduced to class struggles between oppressors and the oppressed. Human achievement is equated with imposing one’s will upon others.
The bulk of mankind serves as fodder for the next revolution. There is no grace to be found here, only one class exerting power upon another. The current version of the game is to claim moral authority tied to one’s victim status, and then to leverage that status toward solidifying as much political power as we can.
Ancient Gnosticism Rebirthed
A third lie of the Sexual Revolution is a resurgence of the 2nd century heresy of Gnosticism. Dr. (and Pastor) Donald T. Williams describes Gnosticism as:
The belief that the spiritual is somehow independent of the body. The body is either the enemy of the spiritual or irrelevant to it — which is why gnostic sects historically either were celibate and anti-body, or grossly immoral, because what the body did had no effect on the real person, which is ‘spiritual.’ … The more gnostic your world view, the harder it is for you to see that your chosen ‘lifestyle’ has any bearing on your standing with God.
Two modern lies built on this frame are:
- that our identity primarily stems from whatever our most base desires happen to be, and
- that our significance as individuals is found in our ability to impose our will upon the world, autonomously defining oneself irrespective of the “givenness” of one’s body.
Power plays flow from here as well, as we seek to force others to affirm us in our merely willful expressions of identity. Borrowing from the Marxist playbook, we take pride in our status as victims of a class of traditionalist oppressors. We create new victims of such people in the present. Again, no grace is to be found.
The Path of Repentance
The alternative is to repent of the life we have built upon such lies. We must give up treating others as sexual objects for our own gratification. No more regarding them as subhuman when their very existence stands in our way. Instead we can begin to view others as fellow image-bearers of our creator God, people who have an inherent dignity that demands our respect.
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And rather than define ourselves by our sexual appetites, we can first find our identity as recipients of God’s grace to us in Christ. We can accept His atoning death and resurrection as proof of His power over the consequences of our sin.
Then we can begin finding our identity and purpose in the talents God has blessed us with, and in the areas of service He has called us to. Whatever one’s past, Christ can transform one’s experiences into opportunities to help others escape the grip of sin upon their own lives.
Those who take this step should anticipate a life of spiritual battle. We live our lives amid a larger spiritual struggle. Yet God will ultimately prevail, as “…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
We can overcome if we pick up our cross and, like Him, die to the self. For our generation, this will amount to waging war against the tenets of the Sexual Revolution. This is a counter-cultural decision. We bow to the God of the Bible, not to the fads and philosophies of our day. So we can expect the secular powers to persecute us. It happened to Christ, too.
Reject the Bad, Share the Good
Most modern cultural inputs, whether in books, music or films, seek to reinforce the lies of the Sexual Revolution. We do well to reject them, choosing new and better ways to feed our souls. We dare not trust the messages of those who have built their fortunes cultivating human lust to keep our attention and sell their products.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)
Part of our calling is not merely to reform ourselves for our own good, but to help others in their journey as well. We do this in fellowship, seeking godly mentors to guide us along, and by offering ourselves as both repentant sinners and mentors to those whom God brings into our care over time.
Pursue What is True and Noble
Therefore, “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)
For further insight, here are several articles on the Sexual Revolution, its negative influence, and redemptive models to guide us on our paths toward what is true and noble and right.
Jim Kenaston graduated from Messiah College with a B.A. in History (1983) and from Miami University with an M.En. in International Environmental Affairs (1990).