The church in a sexualised culture

Aug 31, 2021 by

By Olof Edsinger, Evangelical Focus:

There is probably no other area where Europe’s Evangelical Christians so often clash with the secular humanistic culture as the area of sexuality.

On the one hand, this is certainly nothing new, as also the early church clashed with the Greco-Roman culture on this matter. On the other hand, this type of friction has become an increasingly troublesome phenomenon. Our view of sexuality in general, and LGBTQ issues in particular, has in many cases become the great stumbling block of the Christian message today. Furthermore, in relation to the state and authorities, it has become something of a litmus test determining whether you are considered “in” or “out”.

However, this is not an article about how to get out of this dilemma. Nor is it an argument for us as Evangelicals to change our theology in the area of sex and relationships. The more I have researched these issues – and I have written a handful of books on the subject – the more convinced I have become of the relevance of classical theology in our own day, especially in the area of sex and relationships. Instead, I want to reflect on what the sexualised culture actually stands for. Linked to this, I want to stimulate a conversation, not primarily about evangelical sexual ethics, but rather about what is going on beneath the surface. What lies behind the slogans of secular culture?…

…The relationship between body and soul also forms the basis for another important exploration of our time and culture, and it has to do with the great identity project of our time. It is clear that sexuality has become more central to many Europeans’ identity than it used to be. This is particularly obvious within the LGBTQ movement, which to a large extent speaks of sexual orientation as a basis for every person’s identity.

Here too, one can say that the two different stories challenge one another. The Christian narrative of identity is tied to the belief in God as our Creator…When one severs, like the secular humanist society does, both the beginning and the end of this story – the belief in God as Creator and as ultimate destination in life – it is inevitable that we try to fill our identity with something other than the rest that we find in Christ, and which is the great gift of the Gospel.

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