Thoughts About Christine Ford’s Accusation

The Senate confirmation process for Judge Kavanaugh and the accusation of Dr. Christine Ford have been playing out in an excruciating way. I have been paying attention and musing about the effect of the sexual revolution on our culture.

If the incident Dr. Ford described took place I am sad about the trauma she experienced. I am sad that it wasn’t dealt with earlier in her life.

Even still I wonder about the expectations of young women in a culture that has removed all boundaries for sexual behavior.  What might happen when a fifteen year old girl goes to a party where alcohol is available, unsupervised by parents?

Certainly boys should be respectful of women.  It should be modeled at home.  At  the same time we need to acknowledge the effects of alcohol on teenage boys in a culture where sexual activity is promoted. I hope that one result of this accusation will lead to discussions with young people about the situations they should avoid.

Another area worthy of discussion is the goals and expectations of the feminist movement which has led to #MeToo.

The feminist movement has allowed women to move into positions once held mainly by men.  I  believe the strides forward  in  education  and  opportunity for women are a great achievement. In fact, the number of young women going to college now exceeds the number of young men. The Atlantic published an article titled Why Men are the New Minority in College.

It seems to me that feminists want equality with men in every area, on every level. Men and women are different physically. Their hormonal system is different. The way they think and process things is different. The differences need to be acknowledged and respected.

The relationships between men and women have been tainted with sin since Adam and Eve. The gift of sex is a deep bond between a man and woman that may conceive new life. But the gift can be misused and women have suffered when men have not shared the responsibility for pregnancy and children.

What if women and men could enjoy sex equally without fear of pregnancy? The birth control pill, made available in the 1960s, has given sexual freedom. But when sex is separated from its original design for family bonding, less thought about commitment in a relationship and potential pregnancy takes place. Boundaries for sexual behavior erode.

The feminist movement has been focused on making life better for women. But what has happened?

The #MeToo movement displays anger and rage. The expectations of the feminist movement have not been met. The truth is that both men and women are sinners who need to repent and forgive. It is my prayer that wounded women will seek healing instead of revenge.

When the News is Bad

Newspapers have been running stories about the sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church. The Chicago Tribune has had a series of articles about sexual abuse at Willow Creek Church. The lead article in the current issue of World Magazine addresses sexual abuse in Protestant churches. It is all around us.

It is grievous that that there is so much abuse and confusion about sexuality. I know that many Christians and Catholics are deeply saddened.   It is tragic that  God’s  plan  for  sex,  marriage  and family is torn and distorted in our culture AND the church.

What can we do? We must rush to the Lord in prayer. We can pray that the abusers acknowledge their sin and repent. We can pray for healing for the victims. We can pray for those in church leadership to be wise and establish boundaries of behavior that are enforced.

Prayer
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If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

As people of faith we can pray for our families  and  be willing to discuss sexuality with our children and grandchildren. The family is God’s foundational unit for passing along truth.

The prompt for Five Minute Friday is: RUSH.  Visit this writing community by clicking here.

Memories of Another Festival and A Book About Sex

My sister-in-law invited me to the Festival of Faith and Writing many years ago, and it has become a regular event where we meet for a few days. I have kept the programs from every Festival that I attended. In 2004 Lauren Winner was a presenter—just 26 years old by my calculation. A couple years older than my daughter. She had written Girl Meets God and was speaking about memoir.

This year I saw her book, real SEX: the naked truth of chastity with books offered for sale. My thoughts turned back to the memory of the bright, sophisticated young women I had heard speak many years ago. This book was published in 2005, but the title is relevant today. I bought a copy.

Lauren became a Christian as a young adult. In this book she reveals her promiscuity and premarital sex. As a new Christian she began to study scripture and realized that it was sin.

She laments that the Church has not had a strong voice in the culture.

Turn back time to the sexual revolution; some key events took place.//

The birth control pill became available in the 1960s.

In 1972 The Joy of Sex was published.    It was a popular book  and  my husband I both read it.

In 1973 abortion was legalized.

The pleasure of sex was increasingly being extolled, separated from procreation. Sex is pleasurable but it has a deeper meaning. It is a sacred bond between a couple. It unites them and provides  the  potential  for  establishing a family.

Married couples in our generation were encouraged to limit family size to avoid over population in the world. My husband thought we should have just two children. God had other ideas when my second pregnancy was twins . . . lol.

Even though we had both grown up in Christian homes we were influenced by messages in the culture.    And the messages  have  become  louder and more confusing since the 1970s.

It is so important to study God’s word and understand the full text, New Testament illuminated by the Old Testament.

The Bible does not contradict itself.

Lauren Winner writes that it is important to start with Genesis. God made us with bodies; that is how we begin to know that He cares how we order our sexual lives.   There is—and  we  will  walk  through it here—evidence aplenty from both scripture and tradition about how God intends sex, about where sex belongs and where it is disordered, about when sex is righteous and when it is sinful.*

The pain and confusion about sexuality nibbled at the edges of the Festival. Jen Hatmaker was interviewed about  the  stand  she  has taken on homosexuality and the criticism she has received.

In a discussion group, a woman pastor talked about the distress and anger she experienced when her church did not support her lesbian daughter.

The Church is divided and struggling with the confusion in our culture over sexuality. How do we show compassion and yet uphold the truth of scripture? I think about Jesus. He received the sinner but also said, “Go and sin no more.”

As believers we all need to do some soul searching. We need time in the Bible. We need to pray and look for guidance from the Holy Spirit. May our words be gentle but true.

This post is shared with Five Minute Friday. Our prompt is: TURN

Also linked with Faith on Fire.

*Lauren Winner, real SEX: the naked truth about chastity, Brazos press; Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2005, p. 32-33