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Synopsis

The book argues that the West, having drifted from Judeo-Christian traditions, has allowed radical feminism and sexual libertarianism to wreak extensive human damage. As the product of cultural Marxism, these forces have joined in a kind of diabolical synergism to suppress God’s design for sexuality. They have instead cultivated divisive, self-centered quests for meaning or pleasure.

In contrast, the creation narrative describes the original relational template as a sexual one: Adam with Eve as one flesh. Before sin, they knew profound communion with God and each other. After the fall, they find themselves struggling with disunion, division and death. Expelled from the Garden, they are now thrown back on themselves as their own center, negotiating a cursed life infected with conflict.

The longing for freedom from such judgment presses on the human soul. The book suggests that the disordered sexuality we see today represents futile attempts to recover that original experience of unself-conscious functioning – a subjective sense of complete harmony. Current research into the dynamics of sexual disorders is described along with data offering hope for change. Included are passages illustrating Jesus’ amazing and surprising approach to sexual sinners.

What follows is a defense of traditional family patterns, including an exposition of how the nascent self of each sex emerges vis-à-vis the mother. Included is an exploration of loving behavior patterns that reflect God’s nature as both initiator and responder. Exegetical summaries from biblical scholars argue for a view of marriage in which the role of the husband as the loving leader of his family is retained.

Anthropologists years ago warned that a growing distance from traditions that support sexual constancy and family stability presaged societal dissolution. Historical examples illustrate the correlation between sexual profligacy and cultural decline. The final chapters explore the personal and ideological underpinnings of those who would subvert healthy sexual traditions and taboos. Atheistic sociologists, following the “critical theory” of the Frankfurt school have joined with post-modernist thinkers to champion ideologies of openness and freedom. The implication is that oppressive forces of law and religion must be overcome to liberate the true self, that subjective, authentic reality to be discovered by each individual.

Reflections on a Christian response include the challenge to protect children and expose forces of darkness (Ephesians 5:11) as well as a call to seek out and love those who are lost in their search to find themselves.

Introduction

The mystery of sexuality reveals itself ... only when love – in this fullest sense of the word – is perceived to be the very theme of life itself.

—Helmut Thielicke [1]

Could love really be “the very theme of life itself”? John tells us that God is love (1 John 4:8). Genesis declares that God created humankind to be like himself; and that we reflect this nature as a duality of male and female (1:27). Clearly, then, we are fashioned to love each other and are like God as we do so. Together, male and female were given great purpose and possibility: to be fruitful, to fill the earth and domesticate it (Genesis 1:28). Tragically, sin soon infected the minds of Adam and Eve and confusion and conflict have colored the human story ever since. Today is no exception.

Monica Cline did not last long as a sex educator. After her uncle died of AIDS in the 1990s, she wanted to help teenagers avoid the horrors of sexually transmitted disease. So she volunteered for training with Planned Parenthood in Austin, Texas. Monica learned that “risk avoidance,” advocated by the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) movement, was the best way to help kids avoid pregnancy and STDs. She learned to teach students how to have safe sex using condoms and lubricants. This she did until the day she got a question that caught her up short. Monica had been describing which bodily fluids were more likely to carry HIV and other STDs when a girl asked, "How do I provide oral sex without gagging?" Stunned, Monica hesitated, unsure of how to respond. Finally, she stuttered, "It sounds like you don't enjoy it… maybe… have you ever considered not doing it?" At this point, the kids just turned in their seats and looked at her. It soon became apparent they were relieved to consider such a thing.

Monica explains, “Planned Parenthood had taught me that if I were to say something like that, they would be upset like I was judging them." When she asked the class if they had ever considered that they "don't have to do any of this stuff—vaginal, anal, or oral sex—they replied, 'no one ever told us that!'"[2]

Monica also learned that parents could be a problem, i.e., a "barrier to service." Therefore, this campaign thought it necessary not to tell parents when she would visit classrooms or inform them of the content. Now, Monica carries a different agenda: to spread the news that CSE sexualizes children, has swollen to global proportions and must be stopped.[3] Not content to push abortion and birth control, this crusade now requires teachers to inform first-graders that they themselves decide whether to identify as boys or girls.[4]

“Lisa” shares a different kind of story. She writes, “Last year, my brother Josh, a thirty-seven-year-old married father with five kids under the age of nine, announced he was becoming a woman.” After sharing how she just could not call him “Melissa,” he severed the relationship. Now heartbroken, Lisa misses her brother. She also chaffs at being labeled “transphobic.” She simply cannot accept an ideology that denies reality: the proposition that one’s inner truth trumps all realities. This “True Self” must be celebrated, an authentic identity that only harsh, archaic societal structures would deny. To doubt such a discovery is mean-spirited and makes Lisa an “unsafe” person. However, she is neither of these. She writes, “I love my brother. But love does not mean supporting him as he slowly destroys himself... Love means speaking the truth.”[5]

Norfolk Police Chief Constable Simon Bailey is also troubled by changes in sexual behavior in recent years. He is Great Britain’s national officer in charge of child protection. A new group of young men who have grown up with pornography has become so desensitized that they are now “getting their kicks” from child porn. Every month, his police arrest 500 people possessing this material, but the “scale and level of depravity” just keep growing. “We’ve got to start coming to terms with the fact that there are some appalling things taking place online... We have to start looking at that, and we have to start genuinely asking the question, how much more are we going to tolerate.”[6]

Children are having sex, and adults teach them how. Fathers decide they are mothers. Instead of protecting the innocent, young men exploit them. One wonders: what would our grandparents say? Since the so-called sexual revolution took flight back in the 1960s, did anyone predict how a culture so open and preoccupied with sex would impact children?

Changing sexual modalities

Today, it would be difficult to overstate how profoundly attitudes toward sex and its meaning have changed. Nevertheless, old-fashioned stories still surface. For example, Kevin James stars in a movie called “Mall Cop.” Too fat, too short, and not handsome, this hapless hero, having been turned down by the police academy, had settled for a job as a security guard in a large shopping mall. Bumbling but dedicated, he faithfully makes his rounds until one day, a lovely redhead sets up her kiosk. Stricken to the point of stuttering, he knows she is way out of his class. Fortunately, she is kind enough to talk to him and wise enough to rebuff the other potential suitor—a handsome, but arrogant guy. Then the entire mall is taken over by terrorists, and she is one of the hostages. As you might guess, our man finds courage and, in his fumbling way, risks life and limb to rescue everyone and save the day. Seeing his good heart and bravery, she agrees to marry him. Happy ending, yes? But is it realistic?

Since the “women’s liberation” of the ’60s and ’70s, many females appear not to want to be rescued. Many young men hesitate to embrace a heroic role. Further, many males fail to discover any significant role for themselves. Warren Farrell and John Gray identify a severe “boy crisis.” They cite data, for example, that 70 percent of valedictorians are girls while boys achieve most all of the Ds and Fs. They rightly decry the horrible way the media depicts men “… a perpetual bombardment of Father Knows Less.”[7] But their solution, aside from urging dads to become more involved, is to mimic feminist attitudes. They scorn traditional sex roles as “social bribes.” They believe we should relieve our boys of the idea they should stand out, be tough, and go for some protector or hero role.

      The degree to which our sons become as free to be who they wish to be as our daughters are is the degree to         which we will have taken a huge step—from women’s liberation to gender liberation… a gender liberation                movement freeing both sexes from the rigid roles of the past toward more flexible roles for our future.[8]

In other words, “From killer/protector to nurturer/connector.”[9] Cute, but it will not happen. Males and females are not the same. Farrell and Gray ignore crucial developmental, psychological, and biological differences.  However, the question indeed lingers: Are the old ways of women and men outdated?

Mark Cherry, in his comprehensive analysis, Sex, Family, and the Culture Wars, concedes that a “liberal social-constructivist theory” of the family has gained broad ascendance in the Western world. This view denies any essential difference between the sexes and assumes that intra-family social roles ought to be interchangeable. Cherry presents a disturbing argument that such beliefs—increasingly enforced by the state—fly in the face of sociobiological realities, deny any place for God, undermine morality, and are rapidly forcing us to the brink of nihilism.[10]

Cultural progress?

The position that people should just be who they are regardless of what their parents, their society, or their genitals tell them reflects the attitude of many feminists and sexual libertarians. Blinded by the myth of inexorable cultural progress, these believers assume human advance parallels technological advance. Regressive traditions that would bind sex to biology, marriage, or progeny must not be allowed to impede the quest for personal expansion. But are we progressing? Are we witnessing self-actualization or self-destruction? In his prescient monograph, The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis, in 1943, had already discerned a growing trend toward subjectivism in education.[11] Feelings supplanting truth. A kind of soft, emotion-driven attitude toward life was being taught by those he called “men without chests.” Today, this drift away from empirical realities in favor of subjective experience has grown to universal proportions. Today, we find a tragic counterpart to Lewis’ image of chestless men: the 16year-old girl, now a breastless woman, after a “top surgery” obtained without her parents’ permission.[12]

How is it that a society fails to protect the innocence of its children? Or pretends that sex differences do not exist? Or remains indifferent to the fact that thousands of pornographic videos cheat millions from real relationships? We might also inquire as to whether the turnaround in sexual attitudes in the last half-century has brought more peace or joy to our world? What about love? No society, of course, has ever provided an ideal platform from which to satisfy these needs.

Nevertheless, despite drowning in information and technological brilliance, our own culture in the 21st-century garners no stars for fostering love or joy. This book presents evidence that a freefall from tradition has produced a freefall in happiness. In particular, we discern a correlation between the jettisoning of attitudes and customs allied with our Judeo-Christian roots and a decline in mental and spiritual health. Despite an insatiable quest for freedom and self-fulfillment, we have become a troubled and confused society.

Naming as culprits the relentless campaigns of radical feminism and sexual libertarianism, Chapter One underscores the personal costs wrought by these anti-establishment movements. Thanks to these forces, traditional attitudes about sex and the sexes have all but disappeared. Despite promises of freedom and equality, these movements have done no favors for boys or girls, men or women. Drifting from the moorings of faith and tradition, our people have become lonelier, sadder, and sicker. The next chapters explain how, according to the biblical narrative, the human race fell to a terrible mistake: while the God of the universe provided a design for the greatest self-actualization possible, the humans turned away. Away from God and away from each other. Representing the relational nature of God, the man and woman together were called to fill the earth and domesticate it. They were to reflect together his very nature of compassion, joy, and creative love. This was the original formula for human flourishing.

Repudiating the Creator’s design, the humans fell into a dark hole of sin and self. Civilization has ever since stumbled along, wrestling with division and disorder. Emotional symptoms of such disorders have always included anxiety, loneliness, strife, and depression. Such personal pain cries out for relief. Chapters Four and Five describe the futile descent into sensuality and identify common disorders of sexuality, none of which are new today. These represent private efforts to resolve deep divisions within a soul cut off from its Maker. Chapter Six reminds us of the central role females hold as life-givers and nest builders and argues for a more traditional understanding of sexuality that better fits the data of personality development.

Chapter Seven proposes that the male of the species also possesses an essential role in the family and society. Complementary forms of love are described. As creatures fashioned in the likeness of a triune deity, we find our freedom within an ordered hierarchy and “reciprocity of being.” Specific passages of Scripture elucidate the doctrine of male initiative as the two become one flesh.

Chapter Eight highlights the differences between a generative, future-oriented sexuality and the individualistic mentality of social progressives. Chapter Nine offers practical insights as to why traditional attitudes better prepare the young to face adult sexuality. In Chapter Ten, we discover several “secular prophets” who sounded early warnings that the social fabric of the West was beginning to fray. These include George Gilder’s forecast that a wholesale capitulation to sexual license and the feminist agenda would lead us to a kind of “sexual suicide.” We should have listened to these thinkers. Can we hear them now?

Diabolical and destructive ideologies do not show up like crop circles overnight. Rather more like rats chewing through wooden planks, subtle and insidious forces have long been eating away at the floorboards of our society. Chapters Eleven and Twelve examine key philosophical underpinnings behind the assault on traditional values. The final chapter invites each of us who has fallen short to follow the one man who got it right. As believers in Jesus, can we engage with a secular world with gracious understanding and wisdom to stand for truth as we know it? Most importantly, can we share the love of God and his Son, the one who shines in the darkness, the hope of the world?

           

[1]References

Introduction

 

 The Ethics of Sex (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House,1964), 51-52.

[2] “Comprehensive Sex Education 101” July 16, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsSxdDre4oM (accessed May 12, 2020)

[3] See Gabriele Kuby, The Global Sexual Revolution: Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom (Lifesite, 2015).

[4]Ibid.; See also, www.stopCSE.orghttps://familywatch.org/resources/family-policy-resource-center/#PRC-sex-ed

[5] Ibid.

[6] “Rise of paedophilia among young men desensitized by Pornhub,” Metro, April 13, 2020.

[7] The Boy Crisis: Why Our Boys Are Struggling and What to Do About It (Dallas, Tx: Ben Bella Books, 2018), 193.

[8] Ibid., 397.

[9] https://citaty.net/citaty/1723780-warren-farrell-in-the-past-socializing-men-to-become-the-best-ki/

[10] New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2016.

[11] “The Abolition of Man,” in The Complete Works of C.S. Lewis (N.Y.: HarperCollins, 2002). Originally published, 1944, 1947.

[12] In Oregon, the age of consent for minors is 15. https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYPEOPLEFAMILIES/YOUTH/Documents/minor-rights.pdf

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