It’s no secret that one of the predominant cultural attitudes towards sex lives by the motto “if it feels good, do it.” But sexual license isn’t just from the Woodstock era. It has mutated to form dozens of strands: bi-sexuality, same-sex sexual intimacy, transgenderism, and more. The pervasiveness of sexual license hasn’t been part of the ambient culture since the dawn of time. So how did we get here?
Andrew Walker wrote an incredibly helpful book entitled, God and the Transgender Debate, in which he isolates numerous “streams” that flow into transgenderism. But these “streams”, as he puts it, aren’t just salient for the issue of gender dysphoria, they are pertinent to the issue of sexual license altogether.
Stream #1: Relativism
Within Christian circles, relativism used to be one of the most frequently used words. It’s not now. Not because the notion of relativism has disappeared, but because it’s the air we breathe. Relativism is the idea that truth is relative. What’s wrong for one person may not be wrong for another. Relativism rejects the idea that there is a right way to understand the world.
Stream #2: Post-Christendom
By almost all statistical analyses, Christianity is in decline in the West. That is, Christianity’s cultural influence is diminishing. Church attendance is dwindling and with it biblical illiteracy is on the rise. So if the only truth is that there isn’t one truth and fewer people are falling under the influence of biblical Christianity, the question then becomes: who’s “truth” will govern?
Stream #3: Radical Individualism
Walker states, “What an individual wills or wants is the highest good…” Radical individualism is the inevitable result of relativism. This is why the statement “don’t judge me” may be the only acceptable doctrine.
Stream #4: Sexual Revolution
Sexual fulfillment is the highest good. Two rather predictable results of the sex as the highest good are declining marriage rates and escalating divorce rates. Sexual fulfillment as the highest good doesn’t require marriage nor does it require faithfulness to a spouse.
Stream #5: Gnosticism
Gnosticism is an ancient idea. It teaches that our self-awareness is more important than our true selves. That is, who we think we are may not be the same thing as who we really are and who we think we are or who we want to be is what counts.
When relativism, post-Christendom, radical individualism, sexual revolution, and gnosticism all merge, the result isn’t surprising. Walker sums up these five streams nicely, “And all this means there are two unforgivable sins…The first is to judge someone else. The second is to fail to fulfill your desires.”