You may have seen in the news that a man recently “married” a hologram. Yes you read that right. A hologram. Now before you get all judgmental here please listen to the man. Akihiko Kondo points out that, “I believe that the shape of happiness and love is different for each person.” Does this sound familiar?
I’m not here to bash Kondo today. What I want to do with this post is discuss a couple of things. 1. We are careening off the rails as a culture and 2. What should it look like as the church to stand in the middle of it.
Our man Kondo is not alone here. There is the story of the woman who decided to marry a Pirate Spirit. Now apparently this didn’t work out as she has just divorced him. We are also advancing the sex robot idea (called it). We even have a sex robot brothel opening. This is leading to both secular and Christian responses to sex robots.
Here’s the reality. As a culture we have pretty much completely separated the sex act from marriage. Not only that though. We are now in the process, if we are’t there already, of separating orgasm (or maybe sexual fulfillment is a better term) from sex with another person. Porn is rampant. A recent list of most popular websites is insane. Three of the top ten are porn sites.** They beat out ebay, twitter, wikipedia, instagram, netflix, walmart and ESPN.com. Think about that.
In addition we’ve separated having children from marriage. We celebrate divorce. Basically, the chickens of the sexual revolution are coming home to roost.
Now I’m not an alarmist. My point isn’t that “things today are worse than ever”. But I think we need to acknowledge that western culture is heading in a very particular direction. What is it then that we as believers should do about it. How should we stand. Christians who are unmarried in particular.
First, we need to realize is that this is not new. The technology is new, sure. But sexual immorality is not. In biblical times things were also very crazy. There was bestiality, prostitution, temple sex, pedophilia, pederasty, homosexuality, incest, etc. This is why God in both the old testament and new gives commands to avoid these things. He separates His people out from these behaviors.
Now as Christianity grew it became sort of ingrained with a lot of western societal law. Therefore these things became illegal or at the least taboo. But now, in a sort of slippery slope way, secular culture is bringing them back to the mainstream. But if we are going to navigate this, we should first realize that this isn’t new – just a different expression.
Secondly, we need to have moral clarity. We need to have a robust theology of singleness, marriage and sex. And by robust I mean that we need more than one liners from the Bible. Here’s why: Find in the bible where it says that sex with a robot is wrong. How about pornography. For that matter show me the verse that says premarital sex is a sin.
Now some of you are thinking, “It may not say it, but it says it.” Well, yes, it does. But it says it in an overall way. And we need to get ahold of this idea. The scriptures as a whole point toward sexual purity. They point toward a God that created sex for marriage. We see a creation story that points toward one man and one woman being united through sex in the marriage covenant. We see every instance of sex outside of this being sinful in one way or another. We see celibacy also being lifted up as another way to holiness.
Now this is not to say that all Christians have lived up to this standard. However, the standard, and more importantly the theology of it, has been there from day one.
Here are some things we don’t need to do. We don’t need to change our sexual ethic. In fact I would suggest that by not changing it, we will stand out and improve our witness. If we change it, we become just like the culture and there would be no reason for anyone to join us. We need to stand on what we know sexual morality is. Or a better way to think of it in my opinion is that we need to stand on what we know is the right theology of sexual morality.
We also need to not freak out and act as if we haven’t handled this before. In addition we don’t need to speak or act as if we are above falling into it. Not only that, but we need to call each other out when we do – both individually and corporately. We need to love all the people that don’t agree with us.
I’ve written before about the fact that our sexual morality is not just about us. It is a witness to the world. When we live out the theology of sexual purity that God has called us to we end up drawing others towards God. When we don’t, it leads us and others away from God. Again, this is true both individually and corporately.
So we need to do all we can to live into this truth, stand our ground and show the culture something different. And in case you’re wondering: this includes not marrying holograms or having sex with robots.
** I have decided not to provide the link to the source so as to not indirectly lead anyone into temptation.