The Imploding Sexual Revolution

While our society hears more about the dangers of pornography, at 6:30pm while my children were watching the Winter Olympics, Channel 7 promoted pornographic scenes from the new film,  ‘Fifty Shades Freed’.

While more allegations of Hollywood’s sexual harassment culture came to light in December, in France, there was public outcry because 15 minutes of sex scenes were deleted during televising ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.

Persons send out rage tweets about Barnaby Joyce’s adultery while waiting in line to buy tickets for ‘Fifty Shades Freed

Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull bans Government Ministers from having sex with their staff, to the shrugs and disapproval of Senior members of Parliament including, Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek.

“Does anybody genuinely believe that writing a clause into the Prime Minister’s code of conduct – which the Prime Minister has shown he’s completely unable to enforce already – is going to make a difference to people’s behaviour in private?…Honestly, are we really the country that starts sticking long lens cameras in people’s bedrooms?” [1]

Princess Kate wore a dark green gown to the BAFTA’s last night, and was savaged by the #timesup movement because near black is not black enough. Nothing like an anti-sexual abuse movement ripping into a woman for the colour of her dress! [2]

The sexual revolution has not given us the freedom and life it promised, but has instead delivered confusion and harm to millions of Australians. Of course there was sexual abuse and harassment before 1962. Yes, the last 50 years has seen some positive progress and good accomplished, in terms of fighting against misogyny and various stereotypes. However, the liberation of women and of sexuality in the 1960s has not resulted in the elimination of sexual harms, but its escalation.

The difference between before and after 1962 is that the former defined certain sexual behaviour as immoral and unacceptable, whereas in the post 1962 world, much of it became a moral possibility and even a celebration. Hollywood, the music industry, and magazines racks have modelled and enticed new generations of men and women to leave behind the shackles of marriage only sex.

We know that marriage is not always the safe and loving relationship it ought to be. We also know how sexual intimacy can be difficult, even in the most loving of marriages. But the very nature of sex requires the profound trust, kindness, and patience of two who have committed for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.

When the measure of sexual right and wrong is one’s hormonal levels, it is no wonder we experience disaster.

When our culture, and even our schools, teaches that the boys and girls are no longer boys and girls, and that sex among children is morally acceptable so long as they say “yes” and use a condom, what do we expect to happen?

If ‘consent’ is the only precondition for sex, do we really believe that all will end well?

As universities across the country kick off O-Week, we all know the kinds of parties and initiation ceremonies 17 and 18 year olds will be participating in.

The thing is, you can’t strip sex of its natural and best boundary markers, anymore than you can remove the brakes from a car and then expect no one to get hurt.


Proverbs Ch.4 presents us a very different paradigm for living. The author suggests that the best way to live is not to ignore wisdom and to dismantle sensible parameters, but to remain within their direction.

“My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.

Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;

for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.

Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.

Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.

Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.

Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4:20-27)

Whereas the Bible urges us not to turn to the right or to the left, our culture has declared, ‘don’t turn to the right but turn to the left. Today, we are told not to guard our hearts but to follow our hearts. Our society prefers immediacy and temporary gratification, rather than patience and self control. The narrative is, try first and commit later, as though the man or woman we’re sleeping with is a piece of fruit in the supermarket.

The sexual revolution has been an overwhelming failure, and the harm is everywhere around to see. Since when was no fault divorce ever a good idea? Since when is adultery ever something to be lauded on the screen? Has the death of millions of unborn children been worth with the experiment?

Sex may be private and no one’s business, and we should not be obliged to keep it to marriage, and yet the story of Barnaby Joyce is telling us otherwise.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said,

“I’m saying that from today, this change is being made in a way that is very, very clear …

In ministers offices ministers must behave accordingly, they must not, I don’t care whether they are married or single. I don’t care. They must not have sexual relations with their staff, that’s it.”

Sex is deeply personal and even private, but our Prime Minister has made it abundantly clear that there are also public, social, and even political ramifications. Consider this, imagine if Barnaby Joyce had honoured his marriage covenant and fought against the values of the sexual liberation movement?

I am not suggesting a return to the 1950s, but  a return to something far older and far more enriching and freeing: modesty and fidelity, self control and giving in love, in that mutually covenanting and exclusive relationship known as marriage.

No doubt there will be some who read this article and will congratulate themselves because of their own perceived righteousness

There will be others who are only too conscious of poor choices they have made in life.

Others have been crushed and left scared because of another person’s disgusting sexual appetite.

The truest resolution is not going to be found in ourselves, no matter our disposition and history, but in the one who promises fullness of life. I love how the Lord Jesus would both affirm marriage, speak against sex outside marriage, and also minister alongside those who were sexually broken. Jesus could explode the self-righteousness of those who pretend they are without sin., and without diminishing God’s design for sexuality, he would also befriend and love those whom society had deemed sexual outcasts. Jesus believed, taught, and practiced an uncompromising truth and unconditional love.

In his book, The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller helpfully summarises this point,

“Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it. God’s saving love in Christ, however, is marked by both radical truthfulness about who we are and yet also radical, unconditional commitment to us. The merciful commitment strengthens us to see the truth about ourselves and repent. The conviction and repentance moves us to cling to and rest in God’s mercy and grace.” 





One thought on “The Imploding Sexual Revolution

  1. there seems to be a conviction among modern evangelicals that any sex out side of marriage is wrong. My objection to this is that it seems to be elevating sex itself to the level of God and therefore we worship it, instead of God. Thing is, even dogs have sex, it is not unique to man, but it is only Christians that elevate it so much that it becomes the one and only principal of concern. An example of this which affected me greatly, was that my minister decided I was not to be allowed to keep having communion in my church because I was in a long term relationship with my girlfriend and I had admitted to having sex with her. apparently I wasn’t repentant enough for his liking. The other point I would like to make is about marriage itself. Marriage, seems to be such a fluid concept these days that it also begs the question, who decides if two people are “married” enough, before sex between them is ok?
    Finally, Proverbs 4, as you so conveniently quoted does not actually say anything about sex at all…but you try to use it to justify your position. Yeah…not very convincing.


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