Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sin and Sex, or "Love" Pt. 3: Its Greatest Distortion


Sin is in essence playing God by self-centered self-service, with a mind-set that grabs rather than gives, especially where pleasure is concerned; so it was inevitable that in a sinful world God’s delightful but delicate arrangement for the simultaneous joy-getting through simultaneous joy-giving of married couples would suffer. And so it does.
Because sin is self-indulgence, and the pleasure level of sexual action is high, exploitative sex, in which one partner uses the other in order to get a good feeling, abounds both within marriage and outside it, in the world of prostitution, where feelings become in effect a commodity for manufacture and sale. Again, because sin is lawless greed, the passion to possess sexually someone who is not your mate keeps recurring; lust joins hands with the equally sinful desire to dominate, and fornication, adultery, and child sexual abuse take place, if not in the flesh, then in the heart. Once more, because sin is egoism and sexual pleasure is a short-term ego-booster, rapists and seducers force sexual action on others by physical and psychological violence, anticipating a grand euphoric glow when it is done (which glow, be it said, does not always come: see 2 Samuel 13, especially verse 15). Victims of sexual violence are sometimes called sex slaves, but that phrase would apply even better to its lust-driven perpetrators.
So many moderns are ‘sexually scarred’ either as practitioners or as victims of sexual egoism and callousness, the ‘love’ that is really self-absorbed lust, and it would be ‘sexual hypocrisy’ (denial of the truth about ourselves) to pretend otherwise. Today’s sexual mess is universal, and one way or another we are all in it together.
From Personal Standards by J.I. Packer

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