Icons of comedy and some kings of creativity have been revealed as anything but funny and original. Women have been violated, families devastated, careers abruptly obliterated, and men we once looked up to now remain in a dark seclusion, out of the very limelight that once fueled their arrogance. They now stagger about, hungover from the intoxication of “power”, now reluctantly sipping from a goblet of shame.
As a culture, we are experiencing a poignant discovery. The prevalence of ongoing inappropriate sexual behavior has made its way into our public consciousness, again. Violation is its name. Manipulation its best friend. They have slithered about in the darkness long enough, just beneath the surface of awareness. These twisted roots burrow beneath the surface but are now being uprooted and pulled into the light where we can be aghast, and we can ask questions like…Who? What? Why?
How does a culture get to this point? Our culture is made up of institutions that help us define and understand our immense complexity. These cultural institutions are government, media, arts and entertainment, education, family, church, and the marketplace. If you think about it, each institution deals with inappropriate sexual behavior. Some of our anchormen, elected officials, entertainers, producers, CEO’s, teachers, priests, and our own family members violate others daily. Our whole culture is sick.
Sex is not the problem. Our ongoing corruption of sexuality is our issue. We are sexual beings, created to be so by God. God came up with sex. God is actually pro-sex. Our problem is that we pursue our sexuality in the wrong contexts. He gave us a great context for sex; it’s called marriage. Our culture doesn’t seem to be totally onboard with that. We seem to know better? We seem to know pain as well.
I think there are four root causes for the many problems we deal with in culture and these four root causes are definitely at work in the area of inappropriate sexual behavior. Understand the prevalence of these four root causes and we will understand the way out of these difficulties, culturally and personally.
In our culture we are, at present, intoxicated. Some tipsy, and others full-on drunk. We operate on a daily basis under the influence of a constant intravenous drip of inappropriate sexuality. The “drip” starts in childhood and we as a culture keep it flowing and even turn it up throughout life. The first thing to go when one is intoxicated is judgment. Because of imagery, verbal cues, modeled behavior, movies, television shows etc, we lack judgment when it comes to understanding sexual boundaries. We are intoxicated in the oval office, in the corner office, in the board room, and in the court room. Because of this constant drip, our standards are far too low. We settle for something so base when we can experience something so special.
C.S. Lewis put it this way… “we are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” The irony is that we are far too pleased with such a base sexuality that in the end only leaves us miserable, divorced, lonely, and wanting.
Start at childhood and keep sexual imagery at a consistent pace and you will produce a man-child with a wrongful definition of what it means to be a man. Simultaneously accentuate and reinforce the importance of power, money, popularity, and influence in that intoxicated man-child and you will end up with incredible ticket sales, staggering Neilson ratings, a false bravado, and numerous accolades and awards given by men. You will also notice a trail of manipulated, frustrated women longing for all they really wanted their whole life…a gentle-man who knows humility, sensitivity, romance, intimacy, and the basic assumption of faithfulness.
We want to reason with an intoxicated culture but reasoning with a drunk seems futile, because it is. What’s the answer? Rehab. When a once seemingly solid young man leaves his roots to later drug women in a serial fashion one can only conclude that his intoxication was so lonely that he by necessity had to have others join him. Our culture is sick and in need of rehab. Rehab begins when there is a sober admission of a problem and a powerlessness. Because we each live in this culture, we each are tipsy when it comes to sexuality, whether we admit it or not.
There are three other reasons for how we got to where we are and more on those is coming in subsequent posts. But for now, since God came up with sex and we seem to have corrupted it; doesn’t it seem reasonable to consult with Him as to how to deal with this wrongful, ongoing intoxication of generations of innocents that will one day walk in the footsteps of those oblivious to who they are called to be and equally oblivious to what true beauty is in a woman?
We linger about at a level so far beneath our potential while defining ‘potential’ as the approval and accolades of others who also linger about in their own immorality. We need a fresh perspective. We need the insight of a God who hates seeing His children in pain.
-Dr. Gary Hewins
Stay tuned for Part 2 in Dr. Gary Hewins new series “Understanding the Inappropriate Sexual Devolution.”
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