The Sex Wars

It is no secret.  Sex is a BIG deal in our culture today.  You can’t live in America today without having sex of some kind thrown in your face.  It is everywhere.

Peter Kreeft in his book How to Win the Culture War argues that Christians will never win the world without winning the battle over sex.[1]  At bottom, Kreeft argues that this war is not about politics…it is a spiritual war.  This became clear to Kreeft during a conversation with one of his professors at Boston College years ago.  In the book he re-plays the conversation with this openly gay professor.  Near the end he gets the professor to admit that homosexuality was, effectively, his religion.

After telling the rest of the story Kreeft says “One of the things I learned was that we cannot win the culture war unless we win the sex war, because sex is the effective religion of our culture, and religion is the strongest force in the world, the strongest motivation there is.”[2]  He contends that sex and religion is such a strong cocktail because it changes “not just lives, but life—life itself—at its origin.”[3]

So, abortion is about sex.  Our views on abortion are merely a by-product of our thinking about sex.  “Nothing less than a false religion could so overcome the natural moral law and nature’s deep instinct of motherhood.”[4]  I agree.  And all of this flies in the face of so much talk of neo-Darwinists today who claim we are the product of nature and nothing more.  Well, if one of nature’s most fundamental “instincts” is survival, why are so many mom’s killing their children?  Isn’t that counterproductive?  I could understand the argument if maybe one mom here or there decided to abort her baby, just like maybe one animal here or there managed to commit suicide somehow (or eat it’s children).  But how do you explain over 50 million American women aborting their children in the last 30 years?  When was the last time you saw 50 million monkeys jump off a cliff or throw their babies into a fire?  And that’s just in America!  There are millions and millions of other babies worldwide that have been murdered by their mothers.  Maybe this is another clue that the American war that is raging over sex is profoundly spiritual in nature.

Kreeft gives a few guiding principles to help Christians who are wondering what to do about it all.  I thought they were insightful.  For the faint of heart, keep in mind, his book is not the most politically correct one out there!:

(1)    Be realistic.  Don’t expect the victims of the sexual revolution to be objective and rational.  You are challenging their god.  You are waging spiritual warfare.  You are condemning their ecstasy.

(2)    Always put the negatives (no to sins) in the context of the positives (yes to sinners).

(3)    Make clear (first of all to yourself) the reason sex is holy: like conversion and like the Eucharist, it brings God himself to earth.  Conception is a divine act, a miracle.

(4)    Recognize and affirm the presence of genuine human love even in sinful relationships.  Human motives are usually mixed, and very unholy things are sometimes done with almost holy intentions or with intentions in which charity and cupidity, love and lust, are closely and confusedly intertwined, like cancer cells and healthy cells.

(5)    Use your imagination.  Remember, “there but for the grace of God go I.”  Suppose you were confused and victimized by a sexual perversion…Invoke the Golden Rule: What would you most deeply want the Church to do for you?  You would want the Church to deliver you, certainly, rather than either simply condemning or simply condoning your perversion.  But how?  What kind of deliverance?  Decide this, then “go and do likewise” (Lk. 10:37).

(6)    Make heroic sacrifices for the spiritually poor, the enslaved.  Be a humble and anonymous hero of purity and chastity.  Sacrifice your ”freedom of thought” first of all.  “Take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).  In other words, “Don’t even think about it,” or about yourself.  Do it simply for the love of God and God’s lost children.[5]


[1] It is not my personal conviction that Christians will ever “win” the culture war.  Christians have always and will always be hated by worldly culture (John 15:18-19; 16:33; Gal. 1:10; 1 Jn. 3:13).  Fundamentally, Christ’s claims are against the world’s claims.  The two cannot be reconciled.  However, I value Kreeft’s book greatly and think his points extremely relevant for today because Christians do need to be concerned with engaging the world and lovingly responding to the challenges posed to them and the church.  Paul says “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).  But he also became all things to all men so that by all means he might save some (1 Cor. 9:22).  One must enter into the world’s hurt, brokenness, and irrationality and meet it head on there.  We must engage the world in conversation, dialogue and meaningful relationship in order to “destroy” its arguments and win some for Christ.

[2] Peter Kreeft, How to Win the Culture War: A Christian Battle Plan for a Society in Crisis (Downers Grove: IVP, 2002), 95.

[3] Kreeft, How to Win the Culture War, 88.

[4] Kreeft, How to Win the Culture War, 96.

[5] Kreeft, How to Win the Culture War, 97-98.

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