/ Mark Loughridge

Trying to Get our Morals Back

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and a whole pile of other celebrity accusations, it has been sadly fascinating watching the west trying to claw its way back to some form of morality. At the Golden Globe awards earlier in January actors and actresses wore black as a way to say ‘Enough’ or ‘Me too’.

This would be the same Hollywood that releases 50 Shades of Grey and a host of other films, that endorses a hook-up and casual sex culture—and then acts self-righteously shocked and surprised that the culture that they created isn’t what they want to live in. Society tried to disconnect the sexual revolution from morality, and seems shocked when people behave in immoral ways. We want to be free to watch, but kid ourselves that watching won’t shape us.

Cue frantic back-peddling, or as some more cynically might call it, ‘virtue signalling’—that quick rush to show that you are just as virtuous as anyone else, whether or not your adoption of these virtues is a recent acquisition or even genuine at all. I do wonder how many of the artists parading around in black have paraded around in a lot less when it suited them.

The cat is out of the bag, the horse has bolted, and popular culture did the opening. The problem now is that they are trying to remoralise sex without any external guidelines. They want all the freedom of the sexual revolution, but want few of the consequences—men (and women) who treat sex like an appetite to be satisfied, or a tool to be used selfishly (for advancement or gratification). Not to mention consequences like STDs, broken marriages and shattered family life.

Yet the consequences are an inevitable outcome of taking one of God’s gifts and removing God’s guidelines for use.

What we are seeing now is an attempt to conjure up a new set of guidelines—man-made guidelines; Heaven forbid that we would return to God’s guidelines, that can’t be done at any cost. New guidelines will be drafted that will give freedom, but only as far as society defines it. And then society will shift, and all those who went as far as society previously permitted will be the new pariahs. And more black dresses will be worn, and more victims named.

When we get rid of God, it’s not that we have no standards, it’s that our standards have no foundation, and constantly shift. This frantic remoralising of sex will not lead to greater chastity, but it will lead to a governing by fear—fear of transgressing ever shifting boundaries.

What we need is a rich, safe, beautiful, trust-filled environment for sexual intimacy with fixed and sacred boundaries. Sound familiar?

If sex is to be remoralised, we need to do it God’s way. We need to teach our sons and daughters that it is for the sacred haven of marriage where God designed it to be. And we need to practise what we preach.

We are made in God’s image, and life runs best when we live according to his rules. The ancient promise and warning to Israel sounds remarkably relevant to our day:

This is what the Lord says:

“Stand at the crossroads and look;
    ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
    and you will find rest for your souls.

    But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
I appointed watchmen over you and said,
    ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
    But you said, ‘We will not listen.’

Therefore hear, you nations;
    you who are witnesses,
    observe what will happen to them.
Hear, you earth:
    I am bringing disaster on this people,
    the fruit of their schemes,
because they have not listened to my words
    and have rejected my law." (Jeremiah 6:16-19)

Hence why the Biblical writer says, “Remember your creator in the days of your youth before the days of trouble come” (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

(PS - I had another article ready to go this morning, and then I noticed Jared's post - A Meditation after Violence - and thought I would post what I had written for the newspaper this week. I agree wholeheartedly with Jared's meditation and conclusion - 

"We are the problem, not the solution.

Until we accept this, it will only get worse.
Until we see the problem in the mirror and the answer somewhere outside of us, it will only get worse.
Until a truly great awakening is sent to draw us to the Answer, it will only get worse.")


Mark Loughridge

Mark Loughridge

Mark pastors 2 churches in the Republic of Ireland. He is married with three daughters. Before entering the ministry he studied architecture. He enjoys open water swimming, design, and watching rugby.

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