Churches need to stop saying our culture is so sex saturated, and that it’s getting so bad we are in the end times

This is a big misconception that needs to go die. It makes it seem like our generation(s) are way worse than any others. I’ve had to bring this up several times in the past year in different contexts, the most recent one here.

The New Testament epistles were written to men and women in a MORE sex saturated culture than us. Men and women were openly banging temple prostitutes (1 Corinthians 6, 2 Corinthians 6), having sex with their father’s wives (1 Corinthians 5 – “even something pagans wouldn’t tolerate” per Paul), and things like that. Pederasty/pedophilia (men having sex with young boys) was common and even romanticized some in Greek and Roman culture.

The apostles and Scripture called these Christian men and women to avoid sexual immorality and save sex to marriage.

Yes, the backdrop for which the New Testament Christians was worse than we have it now. Yes, there are now groups that are starting to try to legalize pedophilia, but we are far from there yet.

God’s design and morality are universal, but it’s easy to think that we are always living in a culture that has it the “worst.” I believe this mentality more easily leads to compromise due to many Christians feeling like it’s inevitable. It is not. The early Church dealt with it and survived effectively. We can too.

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36 Responses to Churches need to stop saying our culture is so sex saturated, and that it’s getting so bad we are in the end times

  1. feeriker says:

    The modern Western church, having fully capitulated to the secular culture, is clearly clueless about how to address the subject of sex within a Biblical context, or how to foster a church culture that puts it in its proper perspective. Unless or until the church regains its spiritual grounding, it’s a case of the blind leading the blind.

  2. professorGBFMtm2021 says:

    DEEPSTRENGTH
    I don’t beleave were in the end-times, that most churchians,talk about!
    Every time,they need more money mainly for the republican-democrat oligarchy, they yell it!!
    The end I’m talking about is the end of people’s(Mainly christian parents of course!) expecting any men(secular or christian!) to step up/man-up in large numbers anymore,mainly,of course, in western civ!
    You must have read the vox.com ”covid-china making it hard on wimminz getting dates&weddings” article right?This is the end I’m talking about.that is going to speed up even further this decade, as churchians still don’t understand whats happening like dal’also use to say on almost regular basis by 2012.8 years ago!

  3. Eric Francis Silk says:

    I don’t think our current age is “better” or “worse” than the 1st Century. That’s really not something you can quantify.

    But is our time different? Certainly.
    1st Century Greco-Roman culture (and its attendant view of sex) was patriarchal and based on a honour-shame paradigm. Marriage was based on economics, not romantic love.

    By contrast, our culture’s view of sex is gynocentric and individualistic. Personal fulfillment is everything.

    The mistake many people make is to assume that the New Testament authors are writing in a context that resembles ours. They weren’t. Christianity’s triumph over Greco-Roman culture was so total (at least when it came to sex) that most people can scarcely imagine how alien Greco-Roman sexual ethics truly are.

  4. fuzziewuzziebear says:

    In this up is down culture, women are reliant on denying sex to men and are going to claim that the culture is saturated with it when the reverse is true. What should men do? Quit feeding their delusions would be a good place to start.

  5. @ Eric

    But is our time different? Certainly.

    1st Century Greco-Roman culture (and its attendant view of sex) was patriarchal and based on a honour-shame paradigm. Marriage was based on economics, not romantic love.

    By contrast, our culture’s view of sex is gynocentric and individualistic. Personal fulfillment is everything.

    The mistake many people make is to assume that the New Testament authors are writing in a context that resembles ours. They weren’t. Christianity’s triumph over Greco-Roman culture was so total (at least when it came to sex) that most people can scarcely imagine how alien Greco-Roman sexual ethics truly are.

    Look, I think you’re a smart guy but you’re definitely being misled onto the wrong path here.

    Read Revelation 2-3. Jesus calls the Churches to His standards of holiness else He will discard them like the virgins without oil. I don’t think you can get to a position like yours with proper exegesis and hermeneutics.

    I certainly sympathize with the vast majority of young men and women in the Church right now. My goal is the same as yours: help young men in the Church today. I was single myself several years ago, and I detailed my journey from singleness to marriage right here on this blog since 2013 or so. It can be done, but these men need to be mentored and discipled and that’s what I’m doing.

  6. cameron232 says:

    I think what they mean is the popular culture is saturated with sexual images and depictions and that it’s very in-your-face. From the time you’re a boy, you’re tempted daily with barely dressed women in media and in person, sex on TV and now the internet, etc. It’s not that people didn’t fornicate, it’s that the visual and often verbal temptation is overwhelming for men.

    My impression is that day to day, Greek and Roman women dressed more modestly than our women do. I don’t know for sure but I know e.g. pagan Viking-age women dressed more modestly than modern Western women.

  7. Eric Francis Silk says:

    The big difference isn’t the level of modesty. There are Roman coins with pornographic images on them and Roman girls even wore something very similar to a modern bikini when engaging in athletic activities.

    The difference is the ease of access to sexual activity. If you were a man and you wanted it then you could easily get it. Prostitution was ubiquitous, men were free to take advantage of slaves (many prostitutes were slaves go begin with) , and marriage was easily available. In that environment it makes sense for Paul people that if they wanted it then marriage was the acceptable option. Prostitution, raping slaves, pederasty, or marriage? Seems an obvious choice.

    In our own age our problem is the opposite. There’s a lack of access to sex. Traditional marriage is dead and actually existing marriage is prohibitively hard to obtain. Prostitution and prostitution-adjacent activity still exists but is nowhere near as ubiquitous as it was in Ancient Rome. Slavery isn’t around anymore. Yes, there’s still human trafficking, sex slavery, and that. But you won’t see brothels full of slave prostitutes on every street corner. Hookup culture is only a realistic option if you’re in the top 20% of men.

    Porn may be everywhere, Onlyfans may share some features with actual prostitution, sex may be used to sell everything, but the notion that everyone is having free sex is an illusion. We’ve increased desires to unbearable levels whilst making the fulfilment of them more and more difficult.

    Current conditions are an almost complete inversion of the ones that the New Testament writerd were addressing. Even the stuff that has a superficial resemblance was arrived at from the opposite direction. You won’t see the Gay community espousing the view that it’s fine to be the “top” but shameful to be a “bottom”. Sexual ethics simply aren’t based on a Honor-shame paradigm or a dominance hierarchy. Instead the words of the day are human rights and individualism. When it comes to heterosexual relations, women now hold the power not men.
    I just don’t think the NT can be used as a guide except in the most general sense. We need to ask ourselves what someone like Paul would have advised if he had to deal with conditions like the ones we now have. We can’t just blindly follow advice given under conditions that are the complete opposite from our own.

  8. cameron232 says:

    “We’ve increased desires to unbearable levels whilst making the fulfilment of them more and more difficult.”

    Eric, that’s a good way to state what I guess I was trying to say.

  9. Eric Francis Silk says:

    I can’t take credit for it. It’s a slight paraphrase of a line from a Michel Houellebecq novel.

  10. @ Eric

    When it comes to heterosexual relations, women now hold the power not men.

    This right here is the crux of why many men today fail with women. The fear of man (or rather woman) rather than the fear of God.

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2021/03/26/the-fear-of-women-leads-to-failure/

    I just don’t think the NT can be used as a guide except in the most general sense. We need to ask ourselves what someone like Paul would have advised if he had to deal with conditions like the ones we now have. We can’t just blindly follow advice given under conditions that are the complete opposite from our own.

    To use RP terms, you’re in the frame of the world rather than the frame of God.

  11. Oscar says:

    @ DS

    The fear of man (or rather woman) rather than the fear of God.

    Eric has abundantly demonstrated that he has zero fear of God. One who fears God fears nothing else. One who does not fear God will fear pretty much anything else.

  12. Eric Francis Silk says:

    I’ve shown that the Frame of Greco-Roman culture and the Frame of today are vastly different. They are almost polar opposites. How is it wise to use a set of guidelines written in reaction to the Greco-Roman Frame without any adjustments to the Sexual Revolution’s Frame?

    “To use RP terms, you’re in the frame of the world rather than the frame of God”

    How? What does that even mean?

    Recognizing that the current arrangement benefits women over men isn’t fear, it’s accepting reality. Sure, individuals might be able to overcome this. And if that’s you then congratulations. Collectively speaking it is undeniably true that women control the terms of Sexual relations.

  13. @ Eric

    I’ve shown that the Frame of Greco-Roman culture and the Frame of today are vastly different. They are almost polar opposites. How is it wise to use a set of guidelines written in reaction to the Greco-Roman Frame without any adjustments to the Sexual Revolution’s Frame?

    Huh? We’re talking about how God’s morality is unchanging through time. The Bible is pretty clear on this. Saying how cultures are different doesn’t show anything.

    “To use RP terms, you’re in the frame of the world rather than the frame of God”

    How? What does that even mean?

    Recognizing that the current arrangement benefits women over men isn’t fear, it’s accepting reality. Sure, individuals might be able to overcome this. And if that’s you then congratulations. Collectively speaking it is undeniably true that women control the terms of Sexual relations.

    Yes, it is. It’s living according to the principles of the world valuing things the cash and prizes someone can get from divorce over obedience to God.

    However, I do want to hear you out. Although I think you are wrong, what scenarios are you suggesting?

    That men fornicate until they find a woman who is absolutely loyal to them like an alpha widow? Legal prostitution? Masturbation/porn is OK?

  14. @ Oscar

    Eric has abundantly demonstrated that he has zero fear of God. One who fears God fears nothing else. One who does not fear God will fear pretty much anything else.

    Yup. The one way honors God anywhere throughout the Bible is inevitably going against the culture and walking according to God’s way.

  15. Oscar says:

    @ DS

    We’re talking about how God’s morality is unchanging through time. The Bible is pretty clear on this. Saying how cultures are different doesn’t show anything.

    And Chinese culture is vastly different than American culture, which is vastly different than Nigerian culture, which is vastly different than Persian culture, and yet there are Christians living in each of those cultures right now, and God will judge all of them by the same moral law.

    1 Corinthians 10: 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

    Except for Eric. Eric is special.

  16. professorGBFMtm2021 says:

    OSCAR
    Thats what I don’t get about guys like eric.We are not his lawgiver or judge!So why is he making his case to us?He needs to read EPEPHESIANS1:21-23 with this in mind!

  17. Eric Francis Silk says:

    @ professorGBFMtm2021

    Anybody can rationalize things to themselves. Developing a rough concept into something more rigorous is greatly helped by discussing (one could say arguing) it with others.

    @ Oscar

    Maybe you should ask yourself how I could be right instead of telling me all the ways I’m wrong. I don’t think we even share the same vocabulary.
    What do I mean by Crisis?
    What do I mean by a State of Exception?
    Can you demonstrate that you understand those concepts? I think we would be on a much better footing if you read Political Theology, especially the first two chapters.

    How do Greco-Roman views on sex differ from the views of the Sexual Revolution? How are biblical teachings written in response to Greco-Roman culture applicable to Sexual Revolution culture? How do you adapt biblical teachings in a way that takes into account feminism, the death of biblical marriage, the extension of the domain of the struggle, the increasing age of marriage, and other realities which were not factors in the 1st century?

    Do you have any solutions that go beyond “just move to Missouri bro”? Not everyone can do that and not everyone should. That won’t fix the systemic problems. It’s mere behaviour modification. Some people will have better chance at finding a wife that way but it won’t fix the overarching crisis.
    Any others that aren’t “just pray and read the Bible”? As if people don’t already do that.
    Any solutions that aren’t “just dont have sex bro; the Bible says it’s wrong”, as if that itself will get anyone any closer to marriage?

    If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?- James 2:16
    (Yes it’s not comparable to food or shelter but you get the point. It’s about offering hollow words instead of concrete solutions)

    They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace- Jeremiah 6:14

  18. Eric Francis Silk says:

    Sorry to double post, but I think another point thay ensures we’re talking past each other is that we have different underasandings of morality.

    I believe that the Sabbath was made for man, not that man was made for the Sabbath. In short, morality is for man’s benefit. The purpose of morality is to foster peace, order, and good government. Morality isn’t arbitrary. God didn’t set the moral norms because He felt like it. It has a purpose. So what happens when a point of morality no longer serves the purpose for which it was originally intended? You have to start with the purpose and then figure out how to achieve that purpose, which may involve adjusting the rules. You’re doing the opposite. You think the rule is eternal and you follow it even if it no longer has a purpose.

    If we want to use fancy terms for this, my view of ethics is Teleological and yours are Deontological.

  19. Oscar says:

    @ Eric

    Do you have any solutions that go beyond “just move to Missouri bro”?

    I never said “just move to Missouri bro”.

    Any others that aren’t “just pray and read the Bible”?

    I never said “just pray and read the Bible”.

    Any solutions that aren’t “just dont have sex bro; the Bible says it’s wrong”, as if that itself will get anyone any closer to marriage?

    I never said “just dont [sic.] have sex bro; the Bible says it’s wrong”.

    Got anything other than straw man arguments?

    In short, morality is for man’s benefit. The purpose of morality is to foster peace, order, and good government. Morality isn’t arbitrary. God didn’t set the moral norms because He felt like it. It has a purpose.

    We’re not talking about “morality”. We’re talking about God’s Moral Law. Do you understand the difference? Do you know the purpose of God’s Moral Law? Because what you wrote above is not it.

  20. Eric Francis Silk says:

    There are many systems of morality that humans have devised. God’s Moral Law is the correct morality. That’s the important distinction. There’s nothing metaphysically different about it other than it being correct.

    So, I stand by my previous assessment of the purpose of morality.

    I ask again: if a point of moral law no longer serves the purpose for which it was originally intended then what is to be done?

  21. Elspeth says:

    I ask again: if a point of moral law no longer serves the purpose for which it was originally intended then what is to be done?

    In what way does God’s law no longer serve its purpose? What do you think its purpose was/is?

    I’m curious why man’s sinfulness and rebellion against God -and our reaping the fruit of that- demands that we arbitrarily declare God’s law null and void and so accommodate the sin and rebellion.

    The assertion that Biblical morality is fungible with something more tolerable to what our flesh desires denies both Scripture’s holiness and inerrancy.

  22. professorGBFMtm2021 says:

    ERIC
    You know when you brought up exception& missouri,what I was thinking, right?Rush limbaugh!His well-connected grandfather{Rush limbaugh sr.), was the one who gave this ”self made-man” all his self-madeness!Rush did’nt care about education or ethics,just about getting on radio,to hear himself talk!So guys like myself,can only tell others what they don’t want to hear!That life is rough&mean(Like ac/dc said in the mid-70’s on ”its a long way to the top”!)!We don’t have no easy anwsers for anybody,not born with a well-connected grandfather like rush limbaugh(Who lead a easy-pleasy life while insisting others pull themselves up by their bootstraps!)I&oscar both know,you better watch your back,because almost no one else will!P.S.Did I use any fancy terms or a certain metal bands name?I hope this can help you eric,cause what else can anybody tell you?

  23. Oscar says:

    @ Eric

    There are many systems of morality that humans have devised. God’s Moral Law is the correct morality. That’s the important distinction. There’s nothing metaphysically different about it other than it being correct.

    You’re wrong. And that’s a big part of the problem. You’re starting from a wrong premise, and therefore asking the wrong questions and therefore will never get to the right answer.

    So, I stand by my previous assessment of the purpose of morality.

    Which is wrong.

    I ask again: if a point of moral law no longer serves the purpose for which it was originally intended then what is to be done?

    You don’t even know the purpose of God’s Moral Law, and therefore you’re asking the wrong question.

    God’s Moral Law always serves its purpose, because the purpose of God’s Moral Law is to convict you of sin, make you aware of your need for a Savior, and then sanctify you. Your desire to screw with God’s Moral Law, and circumvent its purpose is the problem.

  24. believe that the Sabbath was made for man, not that man was made for the Sabbath. In short, morality is for man’s benefit.

    Okay, sure. But the context of that was Jesus healing — doing good — on the Sabbath. Same with David eating the shewbread.

    The purpose of morality is to foster peace, order, and good government. Morality isn’t arbitrary. God didn’t set the moral norms because He felt like it. It has a purpose. So what happens when a point of morality no longer serves the purpose for which it was originally intended? You have to start with the purpose and then figure out how to achieve that purpose, which may involve adjusting the rules. You’re doing the opposite. You think the rule is eternal and you follow it even if it no longer has a purpose.

    This doesn’t really make sense in the context of Jesus explaining the above either.

    Matthew 15:17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

    If you’re claiming we should say sexual immorality / fornication / pre-marital sex is OK then you’re literally at odds with what Jesus is saying.

    There’s no law against doing good (either on the Sabbath or other times), but at least Jesus claims that what comes out of a man including sexual immorality is defiling before God.

  25. Eric Francis Silk says:

    “the purpose of God’s Moral Law is to convict you of sin, make you aware of your need for a Savior, and then sanctify you”

    True or not, that’s an abstraction. It has to have a concrete, practical purpose too. What use is a law with no bearing on day to day life?

    Let’s go back to step one. Why does the Bible restrict sex to monogamous marriage? Why is it a sin to do it anywhere else? God didn’t just arbitrarily declare it a sin in order to prove a point about people needing a saviour.

    The original reason was to regulate the sexual market which ensured that sexual access was as evenly distributed as possible, children were produced who could inherit the family name and property, and that those children would have a stable upbringing.

    Those concerns are mostly null at this time. The Sexual Revolution deregulated the market. Sexual access is not evenly distributed and following the old rules under present conditions only shuts you out further than you already are. Contraception is ubiquitous and unplanned pregnancy can be reliably avoided.
    Our atomized culture has no time for concepts like the household. So why follow the old rules as written?

    If every piece of a ship gets replaced over time, is it still the same ship? That’s where we are at in regards to sexual ethics. The New Testament has advice on how to navigate the sexual market in the Greco-Roman world but is of limited use in how to navigate the current sexual market. When the parts of the ship were replaced, not all of them were identical parts. As a result the old owner’s manual is no longer adequate as written.

  26. Oscar says:

    @ Eric

    True or not, that’s an abstraction.

    Is it true, or not?

    It has to have a concrete, practical purpose too.

    Are you saying that being convicted of sin, understanding your need for a savior, and being sanctified has no concrete, practical purpose for you?

    What use is a law with no bearing on day to day life?

    Being sanctified is a day to day process, and it’s God’s will for you.

    1 Thesalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality

    What is more important; your priorities, or God’s?

    I answered your question the first time you asked it. Now, please answer mine.

  27. Eric Francis Silk says:

    I’ll repeat: the purpose of restricting sex to marriage was cto regulate the sexual market which ensured that sexual access was as evenly distributed as possible, children were produced who could inherit the family name and property, and that those children would have a stable upbringing”.

    If the old rules no longer achieve those goals then what purpose do they serve?

    1 Thessalonians 4:3 is too vague to be of any use here. How are we defining sexual immorality? Who decides what sanctification means?
    If some of the laws that define sexual Morality are now suspended then what relevance does that verse have. Certain expressions of sexuality outside of marriage were a sin during that particular context and they may return to being a sin at some point in the future. We aren’t going back to the normal state of things in our lifetimes.

  28. Oscar says:

    @ Eric

    You didn’t answer a single question, as usual, Eric. You expect others to answer your questions, but you evade questions every time someone asks them of you.

    Please answer the question, Eric. What is more important; your priorities, or God’s?

  29. Elspeth says:

    The original reason was to regulate the sexual market which ensured that sexual access was as evenly distributed as possible, children were produced who could inherit the family name and property, and that those children would have a stable upbringing.

    Interesting! I don’t see any Scriptural support for the notion that God was interested in regulating the SMP/MMP.

    It’s an original idea though. Points for creativity!

  30. Eric Francis Silk says:

    Unask the question. Your question is based on a false dichotomy between God’s priorities and my own. God doesn’t arbitrarily decide something is a sin. There is always a practical reason for it.

    Now answer. If the laws on sex were instituted for the purpose that I claim they were instituted for and the laws no longer achieve that purpose then why continue following them?

  31. Eric Francis Silk says:

    @ Elspeth

    The Bible has all kinds of regulations on sex, marriage, etc. You’ll find them in the Law Of Moses, Proverbs, the Epistles and many other places in the Bible. That’s the evidence. Having rules around sex and marriage IS regulating the SMP/MMP.

    Do you think those rules are just a matter of individual behaviour, with no bearing on the collective?

  32. Elspeth says:

    No. I don’t think that. Of course they have bearing on the collective. I just don’t think making sure everyone has access to sex was the primary reason for the moral laws surrounding sexuality.

    The reasons are higher and holier and about 1) God’s righteousness and 2) His greater knowledge of what is best for man whom He created. Those things don’t change and bend according to cultural changes.

    The answer to the current dilemma however, isn’t, “Oh well. Guess I better condone sin as a way to mitigate the results of sin.”

    But here’s the thong. There are already significant numbers of Christians who are already doing what you propose for the same reasons you are offering. You are free to join them. Why insist that a specific subset of people agree with you that God must not mean what He said.?

  33. professorGBFMtm2021 says:

    I’m going to echo ,elspeth here!
    I,OSCAR&DEEPSTRENGTH,have showed you our brotherly love,but you keep telling us,don’t speak of the bible to me!What can we speak to you about then?Their was a documentary on earlier on PBS about sexual anarchist emma goldman,maybe you should look into her ethical writings,to help clear your mind,on gods word.P.S.If this can’t help you,what will?

  34. Eric Francis Silk says:

    I’ve repeatedly cited authoritarian political theologian Carl Schmitt throughout this. (And Michel Houellebecq, for that matter). That should clue you in that I’m about as far away from sexual anarchism as you can get. The old order is already dead and mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. I’m looking to create a new order that can meet the challenges at hand.
    My goals are totally different from the Sexual Revolutionists.

  35. professorGBFMtm2021 says:

    Why don’t you look for your new order&ethics from rush limbaugh?He out- did michel thomas holle becq by being ethicaly married 4 times,he’ll show anyone how to ”pull themselves up by their grandfather’s bootstraps”!You want authoritarians?They would chew you up fast &spit you out once you gave them the rules of your debates!You have been at war with oscar for at least 3 weeks now,where has it gotten you?Warning bible verse coming!ISAIAH30:10!After you read that,if you have anymore debating to do you could go to atheistforums.org,they like reasonable&ethical debates!P.S.Your not trying to provoke us to anger,right?Oscar has been though this type of stuff with jason for at least afew years right?

  36. @ Eric

    So you don’t want to answer what Jesus said on sexual immorality and how that’s different from doing good on the Sabbath thus nullifying your point?

    Even science doesn’t agree with pre-marital sex for building high quality stable marriages either. These points should be obvious as they are common talking points in the manosphere.

    https://ifstudies.org/blog/counterintuitive-trends-in-the-link-between-premarital-sex-and-marital-stability

    As I have noted in my recent post, we have theological -> science -> philosophical / cultural type of meta-realities.

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2021/03/29/unpacking-and-tying-together-the-meta-levels-of-christianity-reality-and-the-red-pill-into-a-hierarchical-understanding-theological-scientific-and-philosophical-cultural/

    Science agrees with Christian theological and moral ethics (as it should as God created both). We see the bad consequences of pre-marital sex regardless of whether you are a secular or a lukewarm Christian. There’s a ton that supports the common Christian position that is no pre-marital sex and no cohabitation.

    Do you have any supporting science that agrees with your “alternate” theological position?

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