October 22, 2009
Professor Dale Kuehne is a professor of politics at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. At least once a semester, Kuehne can count on a certain question always being asked when he teaches a class called "The Politics of Diversity."
"Professor Kuehne," a student will say, "are you seriously going to try to persuade us that if we forgo [sex] outside of marriage we can have a fulfilling life, even if that means we never have a sexual relationship?"
Well, that's a pretty tough sell these days.
Kuehne is the author of a new book, Sex and the iWorld. He says that the traditional world, or tWorld, as he calls it, has been largely supplanted by the iWorld, in which "the immediate desires of the individual have been deemed paramount." In the iWorld, complete sexual freedom is a given, as long as all parties consent. Sexuality is considered essential to human happiness.
This is why iWorlders are scornful of the biblical view that sex should be reserved for marriage between one man and one woman. What about single people? What about gays in a committed relationship? they ask. Are they to be condemned to lifelong misery?
Even churches have bought into the iWorld belief that sex is essential to happiness. The idea that one cannot have relational fulfillment without sex "has been a largely unquestioned assumption of evangelical psychology, if not theology, for decades," Kuehne writes.
That's why many Christians now accept the iWorld teaching that anything that stands in the way of sexual fulfillment must be wrong. God wants us to be fulfilled, they reason; sex is an essential component of relational fulfillment, thus the Bible can't really mean what it says about restricting sex to marriage.
Well, Christians who accept this idea need to open their eyes—and dig a little deeper in the Word. Scripture teaches that humans are made for relationships, and that we crave intimacy and love more than anything else, Kuehne writes.
For instance, in his teachings about sex and marriage in 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul makes clear that we can have deeply fulfilling lives without sexual relationships. And some of the richest relationships in the Scriptures are non-sexual ones. David and Jonathan. Jesus and the disciples. Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
Moreover, where biblical writers viewed sexual relations within marriage as a wonderful good, they considered sex itself to be an appetite—something that was potentially enslaving. Tragically, many iWorlders have become enslaved by their appetites.
True intimacy and happiness are found in loving God with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and loving our neighbor as ourselves. The greater our intimacy with God, Kuehne writes, the greater our ability to share that love with others.
For those who think that sex is essential to their happiness, Kuehne has a question: Does the iWorld view of sex and relationship make them happy? The sad truth is that promiscuity inhibits our ability to cultivate the love and intimacy God designed us to enjoy.
Read Sex and the iWorld to learn how to make the case that the happiest people are those who make relationships—not sex—their highest goal. Visit our website, BreakPoint.org, and we'll show you how to get a copy.