A YTH Leaders Response To The Sexual Revolution
Like the proverbial ‘ant in front of the train’, we will not be able to stand against The Sexual Revolution and its tsunami of influence and change washing over our society.
But, even though one generation has brought a tsunami of unrighteousness crashing over our culture, I believe another generation can start an equally powerful tsunami of righteousness crashing over our culture. With the same kind of influence and overwhelming change.
An Opportunity Of A Lifetime
As YTH Leaders, our approach to sexuality in this generation is critical. With the ever-changing sexual revolution in our world comes a chasm of distance between the Church and Culture. This separation can be avoided. And it must be avoided. Especially by YTH Leaders who are shaping the NXT Generation of Millennial’s and GenZ who will be leading the Church into its greatest days ahead of us.
This tsunami called The Sexual Revolution is undeniable in its influence and voracity.
| The Sexual Revolution can be defined as the redefinition of once held common sexuality beliefs such as marriage between a man and woman, censorship of language and behavior in media, and gender identity as male and female. That redefinition now looks like open marriage between gender, un-censored media expression, and gender additions such as gender transition and gender neutrality. |
The Sexual Revolution has given us an opportunity. An opportunity that YTH Leaders must not miss. It is the opportunity to create another tsunami of change. To revert back to once held common sexuality beliefs. And to reverse the redefinition and revolution that has created the chasm between Culture and Church.
To help remove this chasm and distance between the Church and Culture, let me help to give some clarity to the problem.
By using the terms ‘unrighteousness’ and ‘righteousness’ I am not trying to bring an ‘us versus them’ mentality. Just simply an understanding of right and wrong as it relates to the Church and its morality system, and, the Culture and its morality system.
As it relates to sexuality, the Church has a certain set of principles that are based in the scriptures. You can reference them by chapter and verse. On the other hand, outside of legislated laws, the present Culture we are living in really has no written moral principle or code. You cannot reference it by chapter and verse. It is generally personal. Or, what many have called ‘relative’.
Just the fact that cultural principles, law, and behavior is changing before our eyes is proof of this. What many years ago in America was considered anathema, has become commonly accepted. And if this continues, where does it end for the Millennial and GenZ offspring?
Look at the following recent shifts in our society today: The Marriage Amendment, the loosened media censorship, and the redefinition of gender. Let’s deal with that last one quickly. Next week we will look at the PRACTICAL approach of YTH Leaders to this issue. This week we will look at the THEOLOGICAL approach of YTH Leaders to this issue of gender identity.
Owning The Middle
A persons gender has always been elementary to their existence and identity. It has been sacred. Until now. In the last few years we have seen a redefinition of sexuality. As we stated last week, maybe some of the depression and suicide that we see in our GenZ set is caused by identity confusion.
From Canadian doctors in July 2017 reportedly trying to create a ‘neutral-gender’ fetus, and, parents who have attempted to have the first gender-free child, there are many shifts taking place in this discussion. (CNN, July 2017)
When government forms are being challenged to include a ‘third way’ or middle ground in sex designation I think we can safely say that gender identity in America is under review and ultimately redefinition. In one study by the Barna Organization, only 48% of GenZ believe that sexuality is defined by the birth sex designation. And 33% believe that sexuality is determined by how a person feels. (Barna, GenZ 2018)
And with the proliferation of this narrative on television, in the media, print, music industry, pop culture, and movies, no wonder The Sexual Revolution has been like a wave crashing over America.
In a 2013 ESPN interview and article by Kate Fagan, WNBA star Brittney Griner was asked a culture-shifting question. Asked whether she was male or female, straight or gay, she replied, ‘If you’re in between, they say something is wrong with you. I don’t need to be fixed. Why can’t we just own the middle?’
And this sentiment and moral shift took place right before our eyes. There are other examples of this, but, the point is simple. Our culture is trying to get away from defined principles that place us in a definite box. Rules and regulation are now seen as binding and oppressive. At least morally. Because I don’t believe anyone in the country would want to do away with civil laws such as traffic lights and speeding limits.
| Maybe we really need a box. I know it is popular to ‘get out of the box’. I understand that thinking. But, there is also safety under ceilings, within walls, and between fences. And there is order with laws, moral code, and commandments. |
A society that is always looking to recreate or redefine morality becomes like a ship on the ocean - without a sail or rudder or engine. At the mercy of the wind and the currents. That society becomes like a sojourner who wanders into a city and behaves with their own moral codes. We have lost our moral and values anchor in America when we try and rewrite morality with every passing fad or personal whim.
A Biblical Definition of Sexuality
I contend that what we really need is a box. A code, or ceiling, or walls, and fence. Instead of moral relativity, what about moral absolutes? What about we as a society learning to adjust our lives to a set of common principles or code? Sure, we then would have to decide who writes that.
Maybe it is already written for us. I believe that code began for every human being as the Old Testament ‘10 Commandments’ were given to us by Moses from Jehovah God. To help a society in Israel know a way of life and practice with each other and nature. And then we have another moral code given to us in the New Testament ‘Sermon on the Mount’ given by Jesus.
Let me define briefly the Old Testament and the New Testament principles of sexuality. Specifically as it relates to gender identity. I can do this with two simple points.
The Genesis Intent (Genesis 1-4) - This is Moses’ account of the beginning of humankind. The first mention of the created nature of man and woman. There is no mention of a ‘third way’ or ‘gender transition’, or personal option to mark other than male or female. Or, in that case, a need for it. The simple understanding of this account in Genesis is that two opposites were created to perpetuate the human race, and, to become the model for how humanity will do family. It really is simple and doesn’t need parsing. It is like math. One plus one always equals two. It did in 100 B.C. and it does in 2018.
Any culturally created substitute for this first order is not God’s intent. Just because something becomes prevalent in culture over time doesn’t make it relevant (or right) for culture. Whatever replaces the Genesis Intent then becomes a substitute breaking from original intent.
The Matthew Intent (Matthew 19.1-6) - These are Jesus’ words on this issue. And in these words He continues the creation intent of male and female by defining the natural family order. He does this by quoting Moses from the Genesis account and intention of the Creator, ‘He made them male and female for the reason of leaving father and mother to become one flesh.’ He didn’t feel the need to change the wording thousands of years and many generations later. Same language. And every other writer in the New Testament, when dealing with sexuality, includes the common order of creation with the male and female gender.
When we wander from this biblical intent, we create secondary un-natural order. Cultural order and not scriptural order. Which creates the problems we have in culture today. And the problems that are created outside of God’s boundaries are many. Thus, whatever replaces the Genesis Intent then becomes a substitute breaking from the original intent.
5 Approaches To Sexuality For YTH Leaders
With this theological understanding, next week we will list 5 practical principles that YTH Leaders must model to this generation living in The Sexual Revolution. A language that includes words like ‘binary’ and ‘non-binary’, and, a life that includes a love that is needed in our society to address The Sexual Revolution. Principles that will help us bring both truth and grace to the discussion. Principles that I believe will help remove the chasm between the Church and the Culture. Join us next week right here.