Much has been written about the “sexual revolution.” Evidences of it have been repeatedly pointed out. There is a greater freeness with “love” and marriage. There is the display of the human body. There is greater permissiveness with respect to sexual deviations. And have you glanced over the magazine racks lately? Both the cover pictures and the titillating titles leave nothing to the imagination. The same may be said of both movie and television.
Very simply stated, there is nothing that can shame man anymore.
We, perhaps, do not notice much of what has been taking place. The transformation covers quite a number of years. The change is gradual. We tell ourselves that history shows repeatedly periods of licentiousness—and what we see today will soon pass as one more silly fad of sinful man. We may even convince ourselves that there is something good in the current “revolution.” We are rid of the prudery of the earlier generations. We can now speak more freely of sex; we can be less concerned with dress (or lack of it), than our forefathers were.
I would not maintain, as some have, that this “sexual revolution” is part of a dark communistic plot to undermine our society. Nor would I want to suggest that our age is entirely unique. But I do want to emphasize that we are seeing one more of the signs of the end of this age. We ought to recognize this.
The new revolution
The “new revolution” involves the rapidly changing attitude toward “sex.” There is the pre-marital sort—when the bond of marriage has little or no significance. There is the post-marital sort—when infidelity is commonplace and divorce takes place in one of every three marriage unions.
We read of churches, even, established to administer to homosexual members. We hear of increasing laxity with regard to punishment of all such sins: both in state and in church.
One can read, almost without becoming shocked anymore, of the trend toward nudity. According to a recent report in Time, this has become rather commonplace in Europe. They write, “So far, however, only nudity has reached epidemic proportions. The monokini, which first appeared in St. Tropez two years ago has spread this year to the beaches of tonier Antibes. . . .” (Time, Aug. 28, 1972). One has only to visit our own beaches to recognize that in this country we are not very far from the above either.
Dress is designed today to provoke lustful thoughts and desires. Often the schools today are forced to adopt dress codes to regulate the matter of dress to a degree. This has become true even in some of our own schools. (Such is not, as some might suppose, an infringement upon our “Christian liberty,” but is rather a sad commentary upon the fact that we have not always learned to use “Christian liberty” aright. Paul warns concerning this in Gal. 5:13, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”)
And all of this current lust of man is glorified in book, magazine, radio, television, and movie. People “devour” all of this. Over a period of time, it does not appear even all that wrong.
The sad consequences of this are so obvious that even the world takes note of it. One consequence is “the spiraling rate of pregnancies among unmarried girls. . . . Per thousand teen-agers, the number of illegitimate births has risen from 8.3 in 1940 to 19.8 in 1972. Of an estimated 1,500,000 abortions performed in the U.S. in 1971, it is believed that close to a third were performed on teen-agers.” (Time, Aug. 21, 1972) Nor is this all. The Presbyterian Journal, in an article entitled, “The Sexual Jungle,” (Aug. 16, 1972), states, “Venereal diseases are now classified as endemic—a step beyond the epidemic stage. Over 1,700,000 cases of gonorrhea were reported in 1970 by the American Social Health Association. Syphilis, far more serious, attacked 80,000 sexual violators last year. And the ASHA says doctors report only 12-19% of the infectious syphilis cases they treat and 11-17% of the gonorrhea cases. The editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry says premarital sex has greatly increased the number of young people in mental hospitals . . . .'”
Much more could be quoted. But perhaps this is enough to show that one does not, with impunity, violate God’s laws. Reports indicate not only physical, but also mental and spiritual consequences for those who follow this path of “revolt.” The “new” morality still has the old consequences.
The Testimony of Scripture
The “sexual revolution” began, in fact, at the time of the fall of Adam. Before the fall, Scripture states: “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Gen. 2:25). Sinful, lustful thoughts did not cross their minds. These two dwelt in the state of perfectness. The fact of their nakedness was not itself sin.
But immediately upon disobedience to God’s command, man’s entire position changed. That which had been pristine and beautiful, now became the occasion for shame. We read in Genesis 3:7, “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” Adam later hid himself because of his nakedness (Gen. 3:10).
Also, nakedness became associated with idolatry. For when Israel made the golden calf in the wilderness, we read in Exodus 32:25, “And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:). . . .” Adultery, too, has repeatedly in history been associated with the worship of idols. When Israel departed from their God, these sought both the idols and the adulteries of the heathen about them.
Nor has the situation basically changed today. The more man places his trust in present-day idols (science, medicine, wealth, learning, etc.), the more he boasts in his “new” morality, the more also is seen his lewdness: nakedness, adulteries, and all manner of evil acts. These go hand-in-hand. When man denies God, he seeks to do that which is most offensive to Him. And God, in His wrath, punishes man by giving him over to all of this corruption to his temporal and eternal condemnation.
But Scripture also indicates that children of God can learn from all of this. First, Scripture emphasizes that the adulteries and the nakedness of man is not only sin, but itself is the sign of man’s great sinfulness. We read, for instance, of that “lukewarm” church of Laodicea in Rev. 3:17, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”
It is God Himself Who exposes the shame of the sinfulness of man by exposing his nakedness. God threatens Judah in Ezekiel 16:36-37, “Thus saith the Lord God; Because thy filthiness was poured out, and thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers, and with all the idols of thy abominations, and by the blood of thy children, which thou didst give unto them; behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness.” See also passages as: Nahum 3:5; Is. 20:2-4; Ezek. 23:29.
Finally, we must remember that the growing sexual perversions of man represent at the same time God’s judgment upon the wicked. God gives over the wicked unto the very lusts which they crave. Rom. 1:26-27, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature; and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.” God is obviously so judging the world today in giving men over to vile affections.
Another Sign of the Times
It seems to me that any discerning Christian must recognize that what we see going on about us is another clear sign of the end. Yes, these perversions were present throughout history since Adam’s fall. But never before has this corruption so pervaded the whole earth by means of mass media as we see this today. Christ reminded His disciples that iniquity would abound as a sign of the end (Matt. 24:12). Peter too, in reminding of the indications of the end, states, “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; . . . having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin. . . . For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error” (II Pet. 2:12, 14, 18).
Do you see the sign? Do you see it as you pick up that magazine? As you listen to the radio? As you watch your television?
Beware lest we assume the attitude that all our forefathers were prudes, and that we are of the more enlightened and intelligent generation. Beware of that ever present danger of attempting to imitate the world in all of its lusts. We are sometimes inclined to do that. We desire to see how close we can come to the practices of the world. Let us in no way seek to be one with them in their godless corruption. Let us in no way imitate them, nor enjoy their godless walk.
On the contrary, children of the light, dress and act with proper and spiritual modesty. Children of the light take care lest they be found “naked” before the eyes of the Judge of heaven and earth. These understand well that they must be “covered”—covered with the garments of light and white which are the righteousness of Jesus Christ our Lord (Rev. 16:15).
And, clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ, these look up, for they know that “the Lord is at hand” (Phil. 4:5).