Sunday, 27 June 2010

Biblical sexuality in a pleasure-crazed world

This is my final post (for now!) on Biblical sexuality. In previous posts, we've discussed the need for a Biblical, Evangelical sexuality, how it'll be good for everyone and useful for evangelism.

When we're discussing Biblical sexuality with people - Christian or not - we'll probably need to do a lot of background work to unwind the presuppositions they approach sexuality with. These presuppositions come through uncritically absorbing the messages of our atheistic, materialistic, hedonistic, permissive, economic-utilitarian society.

Most people uncritically assume that if they feel a desire for something, they should seek to fill that desire, and that ‘repressing’ that desire is dangerous. The way to fill that desire is through the market: we ‘demand’ goods and services, and other people ‘supply’ things to fill those demands. For the right price, you can satisfy any desire. The market has no inbuilt morality; it is simply a meeting place for buyers and sellers. So we are caught in the infinite drive to increase material wealth, because the more money we have, the more we can satisfy our desires, and the ‘happier’ we will be. The unexamined anthropological presupposition at the core of this behaviour is that we are nothing but pleasure-seeking bundles of flesh and blood and neurons, whose highest purpose in life is to maximise pleasure and minimise pain, until we self-pleasure ourselves so much that our pleasure receptors stop working – which we call death.

Of course, that unexamined core presumption is wrong. We are not merely physical beings. Humans have been made in God’s image. There is an irreducible theological, God-ward aspect of our being, which we ignore at our peril. This is why Biblical sexuality is deeply healthy: it puts us back in touch with God, through his word; and through being in touch with God, it puts us back in touch with our very selves, including our sexual selves.

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