When 87 yr old Tiwari, a former senior politician, was put to shame for fathering a son out of wedlock and then denying it, his unwitting remark was, “This is my personal matter. The country should not waste its time on this.” A reputed music channel in its website has a guidebook titled ‘It’s Your Sex Life’ for its young music lovers. The introductory note says, “Fundamentally, it’s your body and it’s up to you what you do with it. Remember that having sex is a choice (not just the first time, but every time) and your decision is your own.” People who subscribe to this belief candidly tell others not to burden them with traditional or religious moral standards. The belief that Sex is strictly a matter of one’s choice or preference is a dangerous one. It inevitably fosters sexual permissiveness.
Sexual permissiveness in Indian society may not be as widespread as it is in some of the western cultures, but there are ominous signs. Consider this: A majority of the voices that vented their anger following Nirbhaya’s rape and killing were in fact voices against sexual violence and discrimination of women. The protesters and media deserve our admiration for awakening our collective consciousness in condemning injustice done to women in our nation. Nevertheless, what intrigued me was the unwillingness of the majority to relate this incident as an indicator of moral deterioration in our culture. Anyone who raised the issue of sexual morality during public discussions was immediately ‘shot down.’ The unsaid words of many protesters were, “Don’t preach to us about sexual values or code of conduct. Rape is unacceptable to us. That’s it.” Not long ago, along with rape, much other sexual behaviour was considered unacceptable by the society. Now, it seems the only unacceptable sexual behaviour is rape and everything else is a matter of one’s choice or preference. Indian outlook on Sexuality and Sexual behaviour is rapidly changing. Addressing this, Dr. Shekhar Sheshadri, assistant professor at Bangalore-based NIMHANS says, “The assertion of sexuality as a personal expression by today’s youth has nothing to do with their otherwise pro-social compassionate behaviour. The whole business is about treating sexuality as just another experience like going to different restaurants.” (http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?204376-1).
For the followers of Jesus Christ, the discussion above begs the question: Is Sex really a matter of personal choice or preference? Answer to this question will determine our sexual behaviour. First let me raise some more questions. Does it matter to God if I sleep around with others? Does it matter to Him whether I remain a gay or lesbian? Does it matter to Him whom I marry? Does God care about my marriage? Does it matter to Him whether I divorce my spouse and remarry another? Does it matter to Him whether I remain a virgin until marriage or not? The biblical answer to these questions is a resounding YES! God does care about our sexual life! He created man and woman his own image (Gen.1:26-17); Sex is God’s idea – it is a gift to us from the creator! God expects us to handle this precious gift according to His guidelines, not according to our preferences. In the OT, we clearly see God setting a moral code in matters of Sexuality (Lev.18:1-23). He strictly warned his people not to follow the sexual patterns of the ancient near eastern cultures surrounding them (Lev.18:24-29). Though we are no more under the Law, God’s sexual standards in the New Testament era remains the same (I Cor.6:12-20, 10:6-12). Biblical sexual morality has God’s holiness as its foundation and does not change with time or place.
For more on this topic, please refer to the latest issue of SOUL CONNECT magazine.
By Sam K John.