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Will Christianity Survive the Sexual Revolution?

Would gay marriage be a symptom or a cause of its demise?

by
Paula Bolyard

Bio

April 6, 2014 - 7:00 am

Gay-wedding-cake-figures-007

Rod Dreher at The American Conservative has a thoughtful analysis of the state of Christianity in the United States as we plunge forward into our brave, new cultural revolution. He explains that historically, the Christian views of sex and marriage were good for the culture and improved the lives of slaves and women:

It is nearly impossible for contemporary Americans to grasp why sex was a central concern of early Christianity. Sarah Ruden, the Yale-trained classics translator, explains the culture into which Christianity appeared in her 2010 book Paul Among The People. Ruden contends that it’s profoundly ignorant to think of the Apostle Paul as a dour proto-Puritan descending upon happy-go-lucky pagan hippies, ordering them to stop having fun.

In fact, Paul’s teachings on sexual purity and marriage were adopted as liberating in the pornographic, sexually exploitive Greco-Roman culture of the time—exploitive especially of slaves and women, whose value to pagan males lay chiefly in their ability to produce children and provide sexual pleasure. Christianity, as articulated by Paul, worked a cultural revolution, restraining and channeling male eros, elevating the status of both women and of the human body, and infusing marriage—and marital sexuality—with love.

Dreher discusses the theories of 1960s sociologist Philip Rieff who said that cultures are defined by what they forbid. They impose moral demands in order to serve communal purposes. Rieff — an unbeliever — wrote that the sexual revolution signaled the imminent demise of Christianity as a “culturally determinative force” in the West.

Rieff, Dreher says, explained that “renouncing the sexual autonomy and sensuality of pagan culture was at the core of Christian culture—a culture that, crucially, did not merely renounce but redirected the erotic instinct.” He said that the West’s rapid “re-paganizing around sensuality and sexual liberation” was a sign of the end of Christianity. According to Dreher,

In the 20th century, casting off restrictive Christian ideals about sexuality became increasingly identified with health. By the 1960s, the conviction that sexual expression was healthy and good—the more of it, the better—and that sexual desire was intrinsic to one’s personal identity culminated in the sexual revolution, the animating spirit of which held that freedom and authenticity were to be found not in sexual withholding (the Christian view) but in sexual expression and assertion. That is how the modern American claims his freedom.

In contrast, Denny Burk argues in his book, What is the Meaning of Sex?, the purposes of sex according to the Bible are consummation of marriage, procreation, the expression of love, and pleasure. But even those ends are subordinate to the “ultimate end of glorifying God.” Burk says that,

“The four subordinate ends are not discreet goods but are inseparably related to one another in the covenant of marriage, which itself exists for the glory of God. The morality of any given action, therefore, must be measured by its conformity to these ends.”

Dreher says that gay marriage is the final triumph of the 1960s Sexual Revolution and the “dethroning of Christianity.”  He rightly points out that gay marriage stands in opposition to a core concept of Christian anthropology. “In classical Christian teaching,” says Dreher,  ”the divinely sanctioned union of male and female is an icon of the relationship of Christ to His church and ultimately of God to His creation.” He says that Christians lost the debate about gay marriage long before most people imagined that we could go down that road, in part, because Americans had devalued the cosmological meaning of sex and marriage in the post-’60s Sexual Revolution.

Clearly, our culture has floated quite a distance downstream from the goal of “glorifying God” in all areas of life, including sex and marriage. Today’s accepted cultural norms elevate the glory of man over the glory of God.

“The question Western Christians face now is whether or not they are going to lose Christianity altogether in this new dispensation,” says Dreher. He adds that “If the faith does not recover, the historical autopsy will conclude that gay marriage was not a cause but a symptom, the sign that revealed the patient’s terminal condition.”

In addition to writing for PJ Tatler and PJ Lifestyle, Paula also writes for Ohio Conservative Review, and RedState. She is co-author of a new Ebook called, Homeschooling: Fighting for My Children’s Future. She is a member of the Wayne County Executive Committee. Paula describes herself as a Christian first, conservative second, and Republican third.

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All Comments   (11)
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"Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits, who prowl throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen."

Exactly 33 years to the day prior to the great Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, that is, on October 13, 1884, Pope Leo XIII had a remarkable vision. When the aged Pontiff had finished celebrating Mass in his private Vatican Chapel, attended by a few Cardinals and members of the Vatican staff, he suddenly stopped at the foot of the altar. He stood there for about 10 minutes, as if in a trance, his face ashen white. Then, going immediately from the Chapel to his office, he composed the above prayer to St. Michael, with instructions it be said after all Low Masses everywhere.

When asked what had happened, he explained that, as he was about to leave the foot of the altar, he suddenly heard voices - two voices, one kind and gentle, the other guttural and harsh. They seemed to come from near the tabernacle. As he listened, he heard the following conversation:

The guttural voice, the voice of Satan in his pride, boasted to Our Lord: "I can destroy your Church."

The gentle voice of Our Lord: "You can? Then go ahead and do so."

Satan: "To do so, I need more time and more power."

Our Lord: "How much time? How much power?

Satan: "75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service."

Our Lord: "You have the time, you will have the power. Do with them what you will."

In 1886, Pope Leo XIII decreed that this prayer to St. Michael be said at the end of "low" Mass (not "high", or sung Masses) throughout the universal Church, along with the Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen); and the practice of the congregation praying these prayers at the end of Mass continued until 1965 with the introduction of the new rite of the Mass.

Christianity and the Catholic Church will survive.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Let no man seduce you, willing in humility, and religion of angels, walking in the things which he hath not seen, in vain puffed up by the sense of his flesh, And not holding the head, from which the whole body, by joints and bands, being supplied with nourishment and compacted, groweth unto the increase of God." Colossians 2:18,19 DRB

Or, as the HCSB puts it more clearly:

"Let no one disqualify you, insisting on ascetic practices and the worship of angels, claiming access to a visionary realm and inflated without cause by his unspiritual mind. He doesn’t hold on to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and tendons, develops with growth from God."

Praying to angels is a pagan practice, not Christian.


32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm betting true Christianity will survive. All those people who profess Christianity may not survive in their so called belief because they are not all true Christians. A true Christian will remain a true Christian until he meets the Lord Jesus face to face. Period.... He or she will not bow to "political correctness no matter how much in the minority he or she becomes. He will do as Jesus did and tell the truth in love and compassion for the sinner, hoping for repentance. He will not push the sinner away by being crass or vulgar but lovingly and compassionately try to direct the sinner toward repentance. It is not the sinner that is hated, but the act of sinning. We're all guilty of some kind of sin. Chasing someone away because they sin doesn't tell them you love them. While WE were still sinners Christ died for us.
End of argument...
End of discussion.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you are using the word, "gay", in place of "homosexual", you are playing into the enemy's hands, and you are part of the problem.


Paula, you should know better.

32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Christianity dies out then it should never have existed to begin with. If it is able to die out that would mean that Jesus was not who He said He was - and that would make Christianity not just wrong but almost downright evil.

I'm betting in the end Christianity will bury the sexual revolution, not the other way around.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jesus said, "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). God will preserve the church. Period. But the Christian church in the United States may lose the prophetic witness it has had in the country and around the world since its founding. Unless God sends a revival I think we are entering a time where God will separate the wheat from the chaff -- the true Christians from the poseurs. The numbers of the true Church may be much smaller than many of us have believed as many will likely fall away as persecution comes to Christians who refuse to compromise on biblical truth. Nevertheless, history has shown us that the church grows through persecution. Not that any of us would hope for that, but whatever happens, God is ultimately in control.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Christianity has seen tougher persecution that what is happening now - it will survive and possibly grow as the truth is revealed. The Christian church survived the fall of Rome and will do so again even if America wanes in strength and influence...
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, indeed. I have seen some estimates that only 10% of professing Christians are actually Christians. I don't know how one goes about estimating that - probably by comparing lifestyle to profession. But regardless of the accuracy of that estimate, it's got to be clear that actual Christians are in the minority in the professing church. Always have been, since Constantine's days.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'll give you the same answer I gave the entire group.
All those people who profess Christianity may not survive in their so called belief because they are not all true Christians. A true Christian will remain a true Christian until he meets the Lord Jesus face to face. Period.... He or she will not bow to "political correctness no matter how much in the minority he or she becomes. He will do as Jesus did and tell the truth in love and compassion for the sinner, hoping for repentance. He will not push the sinner away by being crass or vulgar but lovingly and compassionately try to direct the sinner toward repentance. It is not the sinner that is hated, but the act of sinning. We're all guilty of some kind of sin. Chasing someone away because they sin doesn't tell them you love them. While WE were still sinners Christ died for us.
End of argument...
End of discussion.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good words, Mark v and aniv0214! I appreciate your thoughts!
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
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