Seductive power of ‘the goddess’
Many people would say that we live in a secular society with no room for gods and goddesses. But, I see millions of Canadians devoting themselves to a goddess they do not openly own. No, they don’t see themselves as religious, yet they pursue diligently after ecstasy, fulfillment, satisfaction and even the chance to be fully human. In this very month of February, secularists of all stripes delight in the hoopla surrounding Valentine’s Day. Yes, Feb. 14 is the approved yearly celebration of one of the major deities in Western society.
I speak of the goddess of love, or more bluntly, the goddess of sex. She’s been around from time immemorial, plying her seductive wares on the foolish and capturing many in her train. Romantic sexual morality beguilingly whispers that if you feel love for someone, that’s full justification for carnal coupling. Debby Boone captured it in her hit song, “You Light Up My Life,” by saying, “It can’t be wrong when it feels so right.”
The Playboy philosophy that deified sexual pleasure is still around. One can still find Hugh Hefner, even at age 80, with a couple of bunnies on either side. Ironically, he actually truly came to deeply love one of these bunnies and married her. But, she couldn’t live with him coming home from dates with “sweet young things” claiming that he had been thinking of her the whole time he was out. She divorced him, leaving a very sad, but apparently not much wiser, man.
Therapeutic sexual morality popularized by people like Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud and Eric Fromm has unblushingly hawked the notion that people fulfill or actualize themselves through sex. Another researcher, Abraham Maslow, taught that sex was necessary to become fully human. These ideas have profoundly entered our culture and provided justification for rejecting wholesale God’s good plan for sexuality.
More recently, there has been a pagan resurgence that connects sex with spirituality. Proponents of these notions actually believe that one connects with the divine through sex and then uses it as a form of empowerment. In this view, traditional marriage is seen as oppressive and children regarded as burdens. Elements of these ideas are rapidly spreading through society by means of seminars, conferences, books, university courses, etc.
The Bible teaches clearly that there is a great Creator God who made all things. This glorious God not only made the cosmos, but made men and women in his image and designed a world for them to rule and enjoy. This triune God invented sex and declared it good in the book of Genesis. If, perhaps sometimes, Christians give the impression they are prudes about sexual issues, God certainly isn’t. However, He gives clear and careful guidelines as to how sexuality is to be expressed. The Bible from beginning to end teaches that sex is a gift given to men and women who are lawfully married. All expressions outside of this are sin and rebellion against God. His guidelines are not burdensome; if followed, they cause sexuality to be a great gift rather than a curse.
The goddess of sex promises much to her devotees. But she cannot deliver. For those people caught in her web, who spurn God’s good laws, there can only be varying degrees of tragedy. There will not be longlasting, fulfilling relationships, nor can there be stable families with children living at home with mom and dad. There will be plenty of disease-ridden followers as STDs strike at random, there will be plenty of people dying with AIDS, there will be heart-wrenching abortions aplenty as passion conceives “inconvenient” children. And when Christ returns, there will be judgement for those who have unrepentantly indulged in sexual sin.
O, that men and women would turn from worship of created things. Though a great good, sexuality was never meant to be worshipped. It is a fake goddess, as are all the little gods.
For all the lesser, imaginary gods promise much, but cannot deliver. Jesus Christ calls his followers to chastity before marriage and rigorous faithfulness to one’s spouse during marriage. Lives so lived will shine light into a darkened world. Moreover, those who live beneath this blessed duty are likely to experience much of the abundant life that all seek, but so few find.