I thought of that parable when I read the headlines that announced the news that Playboy would cease the publication of nude photographs of women in its magazine. From any moral perspective, that should appear as good news. The headlines might suggest that Playboy has had a change of heart. A closer look at the story, however, reveals a very different moral reality. Playboy acknowledged that its decision had nothing to do with any admission that pornography is morally wrong. Instead, the publishers of the magazine were acknowledging that their product was no longer commercially viable as explicit pornography because pornography is so pervasive in the Internet age that no one need buy their product.
Scott Flanders, Playboy CEO, told the media that his product had been overtaken by the larger culture. “You’re just one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And it’s just passé at this juncture.”
That is one of the most morally revealing statements of recent times. Playboy has outlived its ability to transgress and to push the moral boundaries. As a matter of fact, it was a victim of its own sad success. Pornography is such a pervasive part of modern society that Playboy is now a commercial victim of the very moral revolution it symbolized and promoted for decades.
For the Christian, we must recognize that sexual identity is not consistent with the Word of God. Neither hetero- or homosexuality. The idea of sexual identity is a very recent concept. As Rosaria Butterfield says, sex is something you do, not a core element of your identity.
Instead of common thinking that our kids need to "sow their wild oats" when they are young, research suggests that the behaviors, addictions, and poor choices of our developmental years stay with us. God can always help us to overcome the baggage, but it's never an easy process.
Unfortunately more information has come out about Josh Duggar. The media loves to shred people and— using information from a website, specifically built to help people have affairs, that was hacked and published online— have jumped on the story of Josh Duggar having an affair. This is horrible and a major hit to his integrity has a Christian, even more for it to be happening in the public square. Often times, these things come out behind closed doors and families deal with them and no one ever hears a word.
We need to realize that this family needs our prayers more than anything. Our God is a god of mercy and grace, forgiveness and love. The desires of the Lord are that this marriage stay together, that forgiveness is sought and given. The lions are circling and waiting, pushing and prodding to make the opposite happen. We need to pray that this family circles around this young couple in prayer and as wise counsel.
As for us, we need to be reminded if our sin and the wages of sin over time when not confronted. Our children today are not only encountering sexual sin much earlier, but be encouraged by their elders to partake in it much earlier. We must talk with our children earlier than ever and warn them, coach them, and parent them. We will be the weird ones of the world, but we always have been.
None of us can afford to sit idly by. We must be diligent to coach our kids on healthy sexuality. We must tell them that it is precious, beautiful, and worth saving for marriage. We must share with them about the addictive dangers of porn. Beyond the "just say no" language of many, we have to have frequent, relevant and usually awkward conversations about what it looks like to choose God's best in a world that commonly chooses poorly.
Some people act as if it was the Duggar’s responsibility to have made this sad episode in their family public knowledge. They are to be praised for not hiding this from the appropriate parties and eventually the police, but they owed it to no one else to publicize the sins of a minor child and the court agrees with that assessment, the judge now ordering that the police report be destroyed. But the cat is already out of the bag. How many of you would broadcast the sins of your children to the whole world? Would you be willing to publicize your own darkest moments? It is miserable indeed that someone was willing to illegally obtain a police investigation involving minor children and publish it for whatever nefarious purpose they had in mind.
Great post from the father-in-law of Jessa Seewald (née Duggar) addressing the recent news about Josh Duggar. The media is swarming around this like flies.
Did Lena Dunham get this kind of outrage when she published a book including information about her sexually molesting her younger sister? No, in fact the media came to her defense.
The overreaction to incidents like this only serves to reinforce sexual shame in our culture. “It makes many adults ashamed of what was very normal sexual play in their childhood,” she says. “And it makes people buy into this idea that children themselves aren’t sexual, which is totally wrong.”
The media claimed that her groping her sister’s genitalia was normal childhood play, but the same publication says this of Josh Duggar:
“This is why I never use softening, minimizing language,” Field writes. “I say assault and rape and abuse. And, if it comes to light that Josh digitally penetrated his victims, I’m going to start saying Joshua Duggar is a rapist.”
So if feminist hero Lena Dunham “digitally penetrates” her sister, it is “normal sexual play,” but if right-wing Christian Josh Duggar does so he is a rapist. Got it. And we are the hypocrites. Christians say that both are wrong. Horribly wrong. In the case of Dunham, she plays it off as normal and shameless. In the case of Duggar, he seeks help from the Church and forgiveness from his victims and the incidents were reported to the authorities.
This teaching is admittedly unpopular in our late modern times. Yet Scripture shows no interest in being popular or relevant—that is, in being adapted, revised, or censored to align with ever-shifting times. We must remain countercultural wherever the culture and the truth are at odds. It is this posture that makes Christians truly relevant in the culture.