Sexual Ethics (Part 4)
Half- Truths. One thing we should recognize about our culture’s take on sexuality is that some pretty powerful assumptions undergird it. And these assumptions are true. One of my professors in seminary would often remark, “It takes a significant amount of truth to float an error.” He was right on. If pornographic material included a 90 minute documentary of the destruction it causes, we’d probably avoid most of it. If the same videos included behind-the scenes material that showed what women (and men) in the porn industry put themselves through in order to commit the acts they do (such as drugs, alcohol, etc), the bold-faced depravity would horrify most of us. But that’s not how our twistedness works. If a claim that’s 65% false can mix itself with 35% truth so many more people will be deceived than if it were a claim that’s 80% false.
Likewise, with the claims that the world makes about sexuality, we need to realize that a chief reason why they’re so appealing is because they’re not completely wrong. We should critically evaluate these claims and recognize the truth in them, so we don’t throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater. First, we need to recognize that sexuality is a powerful thing. Second, we need to recognize that sexuality is dynamic and indeed explosive. God uses sexuality as a way of drawing people together (of course, that’s not all that He uses). But, like all explosives, it must be handled with care, lest it blow up in our faces. C. S. Lewis points out the way pleasure is used by the Devil in his work, The Screwtape Letters (remember that this books is written from the perspective of a fictional demon, Screwtape, written to his young demon nephew, Wormwood):
Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s ground. I know that we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the human to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees which he has forbidden…An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula.