There’s an important implicit point that I wish to now make explicit. Some activities are sinful, not because they are unloving when tested at an individual level, but because of the harm occasioned by these activities when applied to an entire congregation, community, or country.
For example, premarital sex between consenting adults with proper birth control may not do much harm to that couple. It might. It might not. There certainly have been many cases where such sexual activity has not resulted in much in the way of harm or proved to be very unloving.
But when a society decides that sex outside of marriage between consenting adults, with proper birth control, is okay, terrible things happen. In the US, the illegitimacy rate is now approaching 50%. Countless children are being raised with only one parent, the abortion rate is in the tens of millions, and the data show that social pathologies are higher in single-parent households than otherwise.
Obviously, there are single parents — moms and dads — who’ve done marvelous parenting and raised great kids. But the odds are stacked against them; and in large numbers, kids get hurt.
And this is not at all the expected result because we were assuming proper birth control. Sex with proper birth control should produce virtually no illegitimate children. But people aren’t entirely rational beings, and once sex outside of marriage loses its stigma, then sex without protection outside of marriage loses its stigma.
Worse yet, as sexual license has been granted, divorce rates have increased, and this has also resulted in more single-parent households and more children being raised without fathers.
Poverty is on the rise in single-mother families. More people are falling into the lowest-income group. …
The number of Americans in poverty remained largely unchanged at a record 46.5 million. Single-mother families in poverty increased for the fourth straight year to 4.1 million, or 41.5 percent, coinciding with longer-term trends of declining marriage and out-of-wedlock births. Many of these mothers are low income with low education. The share of married-couple families in poverty remained unchanged at 2.1 million, or 8.7 percent.
This 2012, Obama Administration U.S. Census Bureau report states, “Married parents were the most economically advantaged of all the family groups with children under the age of 18” (p. 13). Indeed,
The economic advantage of married families is consistent with research showing that marriage is associated with greater wealth. Married parents were more likely to be college educated and to be homeowners compared with unmarried parents and with mother-only and father-only families. Nine percent of married-family groups were living below the poverty level and 9 percent were receiving food stamps compared with 4 times as many mother-only families who were living below poverty or receiving food stamps.
So maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the sexual revolution hasn’t hurt children or left countless women to raise their families without fathers, mired in poverty. Logically, it shouldn’t have happened because the sexual revolution was triggered by the invention of the Pill. But people aren’t logical.
I think God is entirely right when he insists that heterosexual couples only have sex as married couples. I think our rejection of God’s wisdom on this point has done great harm to children and to many of their parents. Even if it hasn’t harmed everyone who’s engaged in sex outside of marriage, the impact on society has been devastating.
I suspect that we’re going to find that God is just as wise in telling us that normalizing and approving homosexual sexual activity is bad for society.
So even if the theological arguments don’t convince you, surely the evidence of 50 years of the Sexual Revolution demonstrates God’s greater wisdom when it comes to marriage and sexuality.
And in both cases, the church needs to learn one lesson: You can’t fix these problems politically. The solution is found in the church being the church Jesus died for — a community of believers committed to the cross, to lives of service, submission, sacrifice, and even suffering for the sake of following Jesus.
It’s not easy, but neither is it complicated.