Pagan Sexuality at the Center of the Contemporary Moral Crisis -- By: Daniel R. Heimbach

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 17:2 (Spring 2000)
Article: Pagan Sexuality at the Center of the Contemporary Moral Crisis
Author: Daniel R. Heimbach


Pagan Sexuality at the Center
of the Contemporary Moral Crisis

Daniel R. Heimbach

Professor of Christian Ethics
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, North Carolina 27587

Faculty lecture presented at Binkley Chapel
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, North Carolina 27587
September 14,1999

Sexual scandals threatening good order and discipline in the military appear in the news with increasing regularity.1 Cohabitation among unmarried college students is now so normal the national media is incredulous when students at Yale ask to be exempted from a campus policy requiring unmarried students to live in housing where men and women are not only assigned to the same dormitory but must share toilet and shower facilities as well.2 Hollywood entertainment, no longer satisfied with sexual flirtation and marital infidelity, makes its disdain for traditional lines of sexual restraint ever more explicit, and its taste for sexual deviancy is pushing past the normalization of homosexual conduct to explore the entertainment value of pedophilia, bestiality, and the sexual dimensions of murder.3 The mainstream news media, deadened to what once caused shame and embarrassment, now brazenly laud the nation’s leading purveyor of pornography as a hero worthy of admiration and respect.4

Both the government of the United States and leaders in the world of business are moving rapidly toward a radical redefinition of “family” in which a father and mother with children living together as a social unit is treated merely as one of numerous options.5 No longer a core ideal deserving special respect and protection, the traditional family is being marginalized as nothing more than a variation perhaps no worse but certainly no better than any other living arrangement. Ideological feminists push past issues of spouse abuse and equal pay for equal work to attack the significance of any gender-based distinction whatsoever and to denigrate the intelligence of women who make a full-time commitment to raising their own children.

Finally, the church in America is rife with schism, nearly all of it driven by contrary moral agendas having to do with sexual issues of one sort or another. Sexual norms upheld by the church for centuries because no one thought to question the obvious reading of Scripture are now treated as uncertain, contentious, or even un...

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