I have been co-teaching a Sunday School class on American Idols. The idols we have in America are usually very subtle, because they are woven into the fabric of our culture. The reality is that we don’t even stop and question these things, we just mindlessly accept them as the way life is supposed to be. An example of this for many Christians in America is patriotism. We don’t stop to consider how closely what we call patriotism resembles the Imperial Cult of ancient Rome.
Another example is that of romance. Our culture worships romance and sees it as the highest form of love. It is what drives the music and movie industries, Valentines Day, and even the wedding industry. It is also the reason why the American Church is losing the debate on same-sex marriage.
Dalrock has this excellent post on the idol of romance.
The American Conservative has an article by Rod Dreher discussing gay marriage titled Sex After Christianity (H/T Masson). Dreher asks:
is sex the linchpin of Christian cultural order? Is it really the case that to cast off Christian teaching on sex and sexuality is to remove the factor that gives—or gave—Christianity its power as a social force?
He makes a strong case for answering this in the affirmative, and ties the abandonment of biblical marriage by modern Christians to the surge in public opinion in favor of gay marriage:
Conservative Christians have lost the fight over gay marriage and, as we have seen, did so decades before anyone even thought same-sex marriage was a possibility.
Dreher’s argument here is certainly not unique, but it is well made and the entire article is very much worth reading. However, there is one area where I have at least partial disagreement with him:
By the 1960s, the conviction that sexual expression was healthy and good—the more of it, the better—and that sexual desire was intrinsic to one’s personal identity culminated in the sexual revolution, the animating spirit of which held that freedom and authenticity were to be found not in sexual withholding (the Christian view) but in sexual expression and assertion.
Our post-Christian culture, then, is an “anti-culture.” We are compelled by the logic of modernity and the myth of individual freedom to continue tearing away the last vestiges of the old order, convinced that true happiness and harmony will be ours once all limits have been nullified.
While there is much truth to this, it isn’t entirely correct. There is a new sexual morality which modern Christians and non Christians alike have embraced in the place of biblical marriage, and it isn’t centered around overt hedonism. The new sexual morality is centered around romantic love.
Finish reading Lovestruck…