Unification News For February 1996
Is Sexual Purity Out-of-Date?
by Haven Bradford Gow
In Greenville, Miss., Lon Pepper serves with honor and distinction as a county government official; but he takes greater pride in the fact that he is a long-time member of and Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church in Greenville. In a recent talk at First Baptist Church, Mr. Pepper spoke about today's pernicious moral/sexual climate and the need to practice sexual purity.
According to Mr. Pepper, sexual permissiveness has hurt this nation badly; he pointed out that sex is used by advertisers to sell anything and everything, including cars, cigarettes and liquor. The rate of sexually transmitted diseases, he noted, has skyrocketed during the past three decades; and so have teen pregnancies and illegitimate births. Sexual license has led to broken homes and marriages, he observed.
Mr. Pepper traced the breakdown of sexual morality to the deleterious influences of the Playboy philosophy and to TV programs, movies and literature which promote immoral and irresponsible sexual activity. Because of the immense impact of the media and popular magazines, he said, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for Christian parents and grandparents to guide and protect their children and grandchildren.
In sharp contrast to the Playboy philosophy of sex and human beings is the Christian perspective; the Christian view celebrates and affirms the sacredness of sex, marriage, family and human life. As Mr. Pepper noted in his talk, the Bible firmly insists on the need to practice sexual purity; we know from the Bible that marriage of a man and a woman is for a lifetime, and that adultery is never morally justified. When a man and a woman marry, they become "one flesh" and their bodies must be presented to God as "living sacrifices."
Mr. Pepper pointed out that, even in the animal world, there are animals such as the eagle which have only one mate; God is using such examples from the animal world to teach us that a man and his wife must become as one in marriage as well.
Leotis Taylor, a Good Samaritan and member of First Baptist Church in Eudora, Ark., regretfully says that the concept of sexual purity has become out-of-date; he points out that young people today are adversely affected by what they see on TV and in the movies; he states: "Some TV shows and movies can be educational and helpful, but most of today's films and TV shows are destructive and devastating to the morals, minds and conduct of young people. Too many kids today imitate what they see on TV and in the movies, which have become sexually explicit. Kids today see beautiful actresses take off their clothes and then have sex with their lovers, and so it is getting more and more difficult to teach kids to practice purity."
Clearly, we need to teach young people to behave as good human beings, and not like animals, and let them know they possess the God-given ability to develop purity of heart, mind and soul; we must tell them that, if they really love someone, they must remain pure until giving of themselves selflessly and lovingly within the sacrament of marriage. By remaining pure until marriage, they will never have to feel guilty about past indiscretions, nor will they have to feel ashamed of looking into the eyes of their husbands and wives.
The beauty and wisdom of the Judeo-Christian perspective on sex and marriage is in its teaching that a husband and wife not only become two-in-one physically but also two-in-one mentally, psychically and spiritually. True love within marriage means we desire the genuine good and happiness of one's spouse, and there simply is no room for selfishness and the pursuit of a purely self-centered happiness.
Mr. Gow is a columnist who has published more than 1,000 articles and reviews in 100 magazines and newspapers; he is a graduate of Boston College and the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Joseph and Elizabeth Gow.
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