Anderson Cooper's 60 Minutes interview with Stormy Daniels drew the highest ratings for the show in ten years. Reaction was divided afterward, with some commentators criticizing her as "not credible" and others using the interview to disparage President Trump.
Here's the question no one seems to be asking: Should they have had an affair?
"Whatever consenting people choose to do"
The alleged affair would have been between a married man and a porn star who was herself married at the time. I'm old enough to remember when pornography was widely understood to be immoral in all its forms. Sexual relations were to be reserved for heterosexual marriage.
If two married people, one a porn star, were alleged to have had an affair, the immorality of such an act would have been a major part of the story. But as they say, that was then and this is now.
The legalization of birth control in 1960 made sexual relations less likely to result in unwanted pregnancy. Roe v. Wade gave women the legal right to terminate such a pregnancy. The popularity of relativistic ethics has caused many to reject the notion of objective morality or absolute truth.
"Whatever consenting people choose to do" is the moral standard of our day. This mantra is applied to same-sex marriage, LGBTQ rights, and all manner of sexual behavior.
For instance, a former American Idol contestant returned to the competition last Sunday night as a drag queen, to the support and affirmation of the judges. Sixty-six religious leaders from a variety of denominations recently signed a letter advocating for abortion on demand. Actor and singer Ricky Martin told a reporter that he wants to "normalize" same-sex and open sexual relationships, claiming that they are "good for the world."
Why God's standards are best for us
Each of these stories stands in stark contrast to biblical morality. The Bible says that "a woman shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak" (Deuteronomy 22:5). According to Scripture, life begins at conception (Psalm 139:13-16) and is sacred until natural death (Genesis 1:26-27; Job 12:10). God intends sexual activity only for monogamous, heterosexual marriage (Matthew 19:4-5).
God's word established these standards because they are best for us.
Premarital sex is strongly correlated to higher incidence of divorce. The physical and psychological risks for women who choose to have an abortion are very significant. And more than sixty million babies have been aborted since Roe v. Wade.
Scripture forbids adultery (Exodus 20:14) and all other sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18-20; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5). Jesus warned us that "everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).
Imagine a culture in which we lived by these principles. Imagine a society without pornography, homosexual activity, or sex outside of heterosexual marriage. Think of the results for our marriages and families. Think of the legal consequences of such morality.
Does such a society seem impossible? The early Christians' ministry in their decadent culture "turned the world upside down" (Acts 17:6). How can we do the same?
Three steps toward biblical morality
To help our culture live by biblical sexual morality, you and I can take three steps today.
One: Seek personal character.
Solomon warned us: "Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out" (Proverbs 10:9). We cannot lead people further than we are willing to go. Have you prayed for the Holy Spirit to manifest the character of Jesus in your life today?
Two: Pray for moral and spiritual awakening.
Psalm 85 begins: "Lord, you were favorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob. You forgave the iniquity of your people; you covered all their sin" (vv. 1-2). Then the psalmist prayed, "Restore us again, O God of our salvation" (v. 4). What God has done, we can ask him to do again.
God has brought transformative spiritual awakenings to America several times in our history. Will you join me in praying every day for the moral and spiritual awakening we desperately need?
Three: Use your influence for morality.
Today is Tuesday of Holy Week. Jesus spent this day teaching in the temple courts, giving the people opportunity to hear and follow biblical truth for their lives.
Like our Lord, each of us has been entrusted with influence. If you have children, teach them to spot cultural lies and live by biblical truth. Speak the truth in love with your friends, fellow students, and colleagues (Ephesians 4:15).
You're not imposing "your" truth – you're offering the Truth (John 14:6). You can give no greater gift to our world.
Originally posted at Denison Forum.