Puritan or Pedophiliac?
The Catch 22 of Biblical Sexual Morality in the 21st Century
HYPOCRISY IN THE CHURCH
This subject cannot be approached from a Christian perspective, without an open acknowledgement of hypocrisy which has filled the rank and file of conservative Christian pulpits around the world. Of particular note in the last 20 years have been the fall of Pentecostal television evangelists to adulterous affairs, and the rash of pedophilia among Catholic clergy. Such activities have made the church unable to accurately address the issue of sexuality without appearing to hold a type of "do as I say and not as I do" double standard.
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL STANDARDS
During this same time, sexuality has entered into the fray of freedom battles as the first front of action. Issues from gay rights to abortion rights have continued to make discussions about the bedroom personally sacred ground. Our bumpers are adorned with "Keep Your Laws off My Body" and rainbow colored bumper stickers supporting and celebrating these new freedoms.
For the church to enter into the discussion of sexuality, and offer its strict moral codes based upon conservative Biblical interpretation, not only appears to be hypocritical, but an invasion upon these fought for freedoms.
This tension is further exaggerated by the tendency of evangelical Christianity to place sexuality at the forefront of the battle for morality in American society. The battle lines have been drawn, and society has taken their places on the field. To one side conservatives holding to old-time sexual morality, and to the other side those who celebrate today's new found freedoms.
Although the battle lines are clear, those who form these philosophical lines do not always appear to be people you might anticipate belonging on the side they support. The arguments have been so compelling from so many voices, it appears that our society is confused as to how much we should fight for. Middle class working mothers are just as likely to be choice or gay rights supporters, as they are to be right to life or traditional morality supporters.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Does the conservative Christian church have a voice in this current sexually charged atmosphere? Is it appropriate to establish a dialogue on sexuality, after appearing to have lost our ability to authoritatively discuss these issues?
I believe that the conservative Christian church does have a voice, but I also believe that the terms of engagement have changed.