God's plan for human sexuality is unchanging. Not so the culture. So how do we make an effective case for the truth?
If you're even a semi-regular listener to BreakPoint, you know that John Stonestreet and I talk a lot about the sexual revolution and its consequences. Divorce rates up, marriage rates down. Fatherless homes, sexually transmitted diseases, the pervasiveness of pornography. A revolution that promised sexual liberation has instead brought slavery and left a trail of victims, not the least of which are the 50 plus million babies who lost their lives in their mothers' wombs.
Trust me, it's tough to talk about these kinds of things. Especially since the last thing John and I want to do is obscure another message that we try to articulate again and again: Yes, the cultural moment we live in is difficult. But the cultural moment is just that: a moment.
History, the story of creation and its redemption, belongs to God. As we read in 1 Peter, God has given us "a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade."
And even though, as Peter writes, we may "for a little while" have to "suffer grief in all kinds of trials," we must never say, "It's over, we've lost." The Truth is always, "It is finished. Jesus has won."
That's why I'm excited to tell you about a new book coming out in March called A New Kind of Apologist. The point of the book is to apply timeless Christian teaching to this cultural moment in new and practical ways.
God's truth has not changed. The times have. Radically. So how do we engage with those who are outside the church in a way they will understand? In a way that is gracious and relational?
What I'm really pleased about is that our very own John Stonestreet has contributed a chapter to the book called "Telling the Truth about Sex in a Broken Culture." John makes the case that the scare tactics our parents used when we were growing up (you know, "Don't mess around because you'll catch a disease," or "you'll get pregnant.") do not cut it any more, because adults and even minors have unlimited access to things that can prevent disease and pregnancy.
And arguing the rightness or wrongness of sexual behavior leads most often to just that: an argument. After all, as John writes, "Ours is a culture that considers God optional, authority self-determined, and morality relative. More importantly, human identity is reduced to sexual preferences and inclinations. To deny someone their sexual freedom is tantamount to denying their dignity. The church must understand that, given this cultural framework, biblical sexuality is not even taken seriously. Instead it is dismissed as unbelievable from the start."
Then there's the problem of fearing to come across as judgmental or "mean." But John reminds us that love and truth are not incompatible — especially when it comes to sexual orientation, marriage, divorce, and gender identity.
"Only the gospel promises forgiveness of sin and reconciliation with God, ourselves, and others." John writes, "By caving where the Bible is clear, we stand in the way of sinners finding what they need most."
So, in the midst of the wreckage wrought by the sexual revolution, John urges us to redouble our efforts to give people a vision of the God-given beauty and goodness of human sexuality as expressed in the self-giving relationship of husband and wife. In a world of sexual brokenness, we offer the hope of sexual wholeness.
And here's some more good news. You can read the chapter that John's written for free before the book comes out. All you have to do is go to BreakPoint.org/free, and request a free, downloadable copy of John's chapter, "Telling the Truth about Sex in a Broken Culture."
Originally posted at breakpoint.org.