Where many Christians err in sexuality issues

February 25th, 2012 by kevindawson

From Mere Christianity, Chapter 15, by C.S. Lewis:

Though I have had to speak at some length about sex, I want to make it as clear as I possibly can that the center of Christian morality is not here.

If anyone thinks that Christians regard unchastity as the supreme vice, he is quite wrong. The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least bad of all sins. All the worst pleasures are purely spiritual: the pleasure of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronizing and spoiling sport, and back-biting; the pleasures of power, of hatred. For there are two things inside me, competing with the human self which I must try to become. They are the Animal self, and the Diabolical self. The Diabolical self is the worse of the two. That is why a cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of course, it is better to be neither.

Commentary:

I can see why sexuality gained a predominant position in Christian thought. Throughout history, there has been little in the way of birth control, cures for sexually transmitted diseases, etc. Throw into the mix St. Paul, who, in my opinion already had a profound anti-sexual bias, and I can see why sexuality — part of the animal self — became central in its focus.

On the other hand, the diabolical self had biological utility. In primitive societies, being ruthless certainly had survival value.

Even today, we see this still at work. Not to condone it — quite the contrary. Sex is everywhere, even in our young, with disastrous consequences to the fabric of the family and society.

Yet violence is also everywhere, from thugs on the street, to thugs world-wide, who use their militaries not only to judge other nations, but to punish them as well. Sometimes it’s justified. Many times it’s not.

Even the socialist Isaac Asimov got it right one time: “Violence is the last resort of the incompetent.”

Truth be told, I don’t condone the animal self or the diabolical self. I condone the cognitive self, and the spiritual self. But both take a measure of maturity, and transcendence from the distorted view of the world we’ve all grown up in.

 

2 Comments on “Where many Christians err in sexuality issues”

  1. Leoma says:

    Excellent post. I am dealing with many of these issues
    as well..

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