As promised, I am writing my thoughts on gender and sexuality in light of the world we live in today.
I have also realized that I hardly know enough to be writing on the subject. There is one main thing I have realized as I have been looking into this subject over the past few weeks.
The problems within the evangelical church with sexuality and gender are not the root problem. The bigger problem is that Christians have no idea how to interact within modern society. Yesterday I put up this video
Christians are behind the times in the sense that they still believe there is a scientific method. Lee Smolin, in the video above, admits that schools still teach the above model as if we can somehow prove our hypotheses right or wrong. Smolin’s view of science is quite different when he says, “Both the scientific and the democractic processes require reasoning from shared, but incomplete, evidence to limited, but ever expanding, consensus.” The rest of the world has moved away from the idea that there is a “right” and a “wrong.” Christians, whether they agree with this model or not, have to engage with these types of philosophies on a regular basis.
What has this to do with sexuality? Everything! Teens today define sexuality based on consensus. In the overused church metaphor, students are entering into quite serious relationships at very young ages and, oftentimes, Christian teens have been taught in church about “the one.” These teens begin thinking (somewhat inevitably) that this other person they have met is “the one” because they have been taught, mostly by the tradition of their faith communities, that they will “just know” when the right person comes along. All this speech of “the one” and “just knowing” provide horrible advice for teenagers who are often more prone to make decisions based on feelings. Knowing someone is “the one” or “feeling right” about the person or “just knowing” are often based on subjective feelings of rationalization.
Because these students live in a society of consensus, they and their partner move further and further down sexual lines until it becomes normal for them both to consent to sex on a regular basis. Our culture of consensus has led to sex becoming something that is defined first within ourselves and then in negotiation with our partner. Our larger communities have no say in our sex life. Our parents are left out of the picture, as are the leaders in our churches, and it becomes something individualistic between the two in the relationship.
What then is the key?
Perhaps it is the rebuilding of Christian community so that teens do not enter into an island of individualistic love which often ends for them in heartache.