In the present day and age, no political passion surpasses that exchanged between sexual liberals and sexual conservatives. Even within the buildings known as Christian churches, division permeates an already splintered people into smaller shards, the whispers growing into shouts, indignant people preaching sermons which do little to convince, and much more to infuriate. And when both sides reach that fevered pitch, what are we to decide? Aren’t we to call every sinner to Christ? What authority do Christian standards have beyond the church? And if God judges the nations, what kind of law does He call us to support?
Before any sense can be made of this subject, it’s first important to consider the God Christians worship. In Him is all destiny; every nation, every person, every situation in which we can find ourselves converges to fulfill His purposes, for the good of those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28). Secondly, He is the God of order, having designed the entire universe according to His rational blueprint, a plan to which every planet, every ocean wave, every molecule dances in predetermined formation, giving us our temporal existence. Third, He is a God of righteousness and Law, the master of His church, bringing every person before His judgment seat to account for their every thought and behavior according to His personal standard (Rom 2, Matt 5:17-48).
Seeing that Jehovah is a God of purpose, order, and rationality, it then becomes not only sensible, but necessary to question why He created the sexual instinct to be so powerful. For romantic urges, being some of the most troublesome and joyful of the human experience, don’t exist for just any reason, and if their true purpose is made known, the object of sex itself becomes clear as daytime. In short, sex is pleasurable because it saddles both men and women with obligations and circumstances entirely unfavorable upon first consideration. Though years of Godly marital commitment and child-rearing bear results anything but unfruitful, a girl, had she imagined the pain of childbirth, or had she solely considered the totality of motherly obligations without an instinctually romantic passion, would be unlikely to embark on such a perilous and arduous journey. And a boy, imagining his future full of adventure and glory, would be unlikely to settle down for a lifetime of toil with a woman he frequently misunderstands, for expenses which are to the common man anything but affordable. Men can barely eat if they lose their hunger; some have wasted away for lack of an appetite. Even the more so for family without romance (this is not to say that romance fuels the entirity of a Godly relationship, but rather to say that it begins what something else must finish).
There is, of course, a natural sense of accomplishment which accompanies familial peace and joy. But, while sons and fathers, mothers and daughters all partake in the felicities of a harmonious union, that sense of accomplishment is alone reserved for the seasoned parent and spouse, and unknown to the inexperienced: it can’t alone be relied upon to spur men toward the propagation of species, or the establishment of an institution so crucial as family. Man’s vision is limited, his duties seem insurmountable; he requires a heavenly nudge into pain and struggle, the rewards of which often exceed the price of purchase, but are unfavorably skewed and inconsiderable when man looks from the starting line. For this reason, we may conclude that sex was not made for pleasure, but rather pleasure made for sex.
The instinct toward sexual pleasure, then, if it’s to serve any purpose valuable to the human race, must be molded and confined so that it fits within its proper boundaries, and drives men to divinely intended ends. This is really the heart of social conservatism, that man’s urges — like man — exist for a purpose (Eph 4:26) and that civilization requires man’s inner stallion to be bridled and broken, to not be driven about by its own lusts, but to achieve in adulthood a mastery in application, winds captured beneath the sails of reason and order.
And consider what power the sexual being has to build or destroy, once instinct and duty become strangers! His urge drives him to mate, but then what? He has within his hands a woman’s heart; shall he cherish it, or treat it like garbage? He has in his arms a child; shall he nourish and educate him, or abandon him to the state and the streets? He begins with cleanliness and poetic words; shall he spread disease and make beauty despised? He has made a natural promise, a contract before God, friends, and the state; shall he breach it?
Every second that instinct and duty remain alienated is a second too many. Men whose instincts are believed to be an end in themselves will be ruled by urge, reducing purpose to nihilism, duty to licentiousness, and honor to shame. They’ll believe liberty to consist in an increasingly insured exploration of vice, reducing free citizens to slavish subjects, stumbling over themselves in a drunken haze and mistakenly professing to be struck by another, hoping in a blind stupor that someone will pay for their and their children’s injuries. This pleasure without responsibility, Americans, is what today passes for liberty.
It’s easy, these days, to keep silent of evils and pretend oneself brave, to take a stand against sexual morality and proclaim oneself tolerant. But every nod of permission, every acceptance of romance without commitment, of urge without duty, isn’t charity toward people harmless and individual. It is against every father whose daughter has been deprived of innocence. It is against the woman used and disposed like a piece of garbage, whose future husband receives a scarred and calloused heart. It is against the fatherless child raised and shot by gangs on American streets, and against the man dying of AIDS. It is against every poetic profession ever spoken between lovers, and against every marriage vow spoken before God and countrymen. Sexual liberalism reduces honor to shame, and truth to lies, paying with something beautiful for something inhumanly ugly, and destroying the very value of the instincts men claim to protect, but render clean of all reason and goodness.
If this is love, then let us be done with it. It would be better to have no love at all, than to take something precious and tarnish it beyond recognition, to be left with a faint notion of something which should have been, but yet will never be, like the scent of one’s wife remaining on a pillow after she’s left him for another man. But love can’t simply be thrown away. It’s been so deeply intertwined with our very identity as human beings, that men and women will pursue it until they find it, or until they ruin themselves in the process. The question, then, is not whether love must go, but whether duty, honor, chivalry, and romance can be brought back.
There are men who will say it can’t be done, that society has gone too far in a direction from which it can’t return: to them I say — stand back. If there existed a time when America’s men were noble and women were fair, when families were stable, when poetic professions were meaningful and the sexes coexisted peacefully, then it is time to reclaim what’s been so thoughtlessly discarded and war not against the evils of today, but against the evils of yesterday, a fight for the foundation instead of the building. For upon that first concession that sex could be an exercise in pleasure without irrevocable duty, Americans — not simply homosexuals — destroyed marriage. Believing ourselves loving and tolerant, we tolerated the castration of love. By this point, every Christian should realize that enough time has been spent, enough years have been lost. Let us return to the Creator’s standard, a vision of romance with purpose, and reclaim a love which should have never been sold.
A question of utmost importance then remains: how shall this be accomplished? It was asked at the beginning of this essay whether men should welcome all sinners to repentance, a question to which only one righteous answer suffices: yes. And when the true Gospel of condemnation and grace has been preached and accepted, then we must conform ourselves to church authority and discipline as required by Christ and the Apostles.(Matt 18:15-19, 1 Cor 5:11) Sin may be battled, but must never be openly permitted within the church, lest we like disobedient Israel be said to blaspheme God’s name among the nations (Ezek 36:22).
Secondly, a question remains about the institution of Christian legal standards upon peoples unregenerate. To this, we must sincerely inquire whether or not Christians should be able to influence governments at all, and if the answer is that we shouldn’t, then Christians who believe so should simply remain silent in all legal matters (as Thomas Paine wisely noted in his open letter to the Quakers). However, if it’s decided that Christians should have an effect upon governments, that Christians have a responsibility, for instance, to fight against sexual slavery, then we imply that God’s standards of justice and Law aren’t simply for Christians alone. We are then required to formulate, through careful Biblical examination, what exactly comprises a Godly legal system (this has been left to another essay).
In addition to this second point, another similar question must be raised: does law exist for those who act according to righteousness, or for those who act without restraint? It has been said that sexual liberalism is loving, a statement which has above been thoroughly and ironically disproved. But if love for sinners ever comprised an absence in laws and penalties, then Christians should be against all laws, and not simply those pertaining to sexual evils. Therefore, unless we would be wholeheartedly devoted to anarchy, we cannot necessarily say that love equates with sexual liberalism.
Consider, brothers and sisters, that Christ permits us liberty (Gal 2:16-21). But if we’ve been born of the Spirit, if the promises of the New Covenant have been kept by God, and our hearts have been transformed by the power of the Almighty (Jer 31:31-34), then a path lies before us which we’ve been born to tread (Eph 2:10). Let Christians agree about several matters: marriages are not temporary (Matt 19:9), a child’s welfare is not an option for unwilling parents (1 Tim 5:8), sex is only permissible within the boundaries of marriage, marriage is only between a man and a woman (Matt 19:3-5); and these matters are not matters of peculiar preference, but of universal justice. Our father runs a heavenly kingdom, and as the Lord’s prayer overtly mentions, He’s not shy about its implementation (Matt 6:9-10). Let us follow in His footsteps, and bring, inch by inch, the Kingdom of Heaven to earth.