Survey: Half of U.S. ‘Christians’ Say Casual Sex Is Acceptable

"According to a new survey by Pew Research, half of self-identified Christians in America say casual sex is sometimes or always acceptable. The survey defined casual sex as sex between consenting adults who are not in a committed romantic relationship." - TGC

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Mark_Smith's picture

I wish I could say I was surprised by this, but I am not. Many of the Christians I meet simply do not base their morality on a biblical foundation. Their morality is what they think is right, not the Bible. In the last two churches I attended it was well known that divorced or widowed adults were shaking up... in certain circles they talked openly about it. Neither pastor did anything about it.

Its not just sex either. Many people claim to be Christian yet are completely ignorant of the Bible. Most, yes most, of the evangelical "Christians" out there know next to nothing about it. I say that sadly, but make no mistake, that claim is not a guess on my part. I have seen it with my own eyes. Not just the Millennials mind you. I know plenty of 55-60 year old evangelicals who know nothing either.

If this is not a trend at your church, count yourself blessed.

 

 

Lee's picture

A Baptist pastor friend of mine retired from his church (independent) and interimed, then became pastor of a long time, conservative Southern Baptist church in the area. Shortly after beginning his pastorate there he affirmed that he did not have a single deacon or Sunday School teacher that had ever read the Bible all the way through even once though all had been part of that church for at least 20 years.

I see a lot of Christian schools over the course of a year. I think it would be safe to say on my own polling that there is not 1 senior in 20 that has been part of the school for most of their education that has read the Bible in its entirety.  Of course, some schools are better than others.  

It is very uncommon to find someone of the present generation that knows enough about Scripture to make sound scripture decisions day in and day out, much less think scripturally as a course of habit.  

Lee

Ed Vasicek's picture

I SO AGREE WITH MARK AND LEE!

Mark wrote:  Many people claim to be Christian yet are completely ignorant of the Bible.

Why the ignorance and disinterest in the Bible?  Pride.  People think they know all that really matters, the rest is for egg heads or religious nuts to fight over. They doubt, among other things, the clarity of Scripture. The idea of using their minds in church is taboo. It is mostly about music. They want simple sermons that inspire certain feelings or pop-psychology for self-help, or programs to give them a social life.

BIBLICAL IGNORANCE IS PANDEMIC IN THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY.  What Bible studies we do have are "What does this mean to you?" types.  Grrrr.

Then again, people who are not willing to do God's will certainly do not want to irritate their consciences, either. I am reminded of John 7:17, "If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority."

So, IMO, the problem is not mostly ignorance, the bigger problem is best described in Luke 6:46, "“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?"

The easiest way to disobey (as far as your conscience goes) is to intentionally keep yourself in ignorance and tell yourself that the Bible is too complex to understand anyway, even the experts can't agree. Then you can go on guilt free.

"The Midrash Detective"

G. N. Barkman's picture

Over the years, I've had the "That's your interpretation" response when explaining the meaning of Scripture to someone who was not willing to accept what the Bible says.  My reply:  "OK.  Then tell me your understanding of this text."  I have yet to have anyone give me their own interpretation.  They apparently don't have one.  They apparently are not interested in examining the test to see what it says.  The "that's your interpretation" response is their way of avoiding the claims of Scripture.

G. N. Barkman

Mark_Smith's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

Over the years, I've had the "That's your interpretation" response when explaining the meaning of Scripture to someone who was not willing to accept what the Bible says.  My reply:  "OK.  Then tell me your understanding of this text."  I have yet to have anyone give me their own interpretation.  They apparently don't have one.  They apparently are not interested in examining the test to see what it says.  The "that's your interpretation" response is their way of avoiding the claims of Scripture.

Very True, G.N. I can think of a couple of reasons. First, reading comprehension and desire has plummeted. People just don't read anything substantive anymore. Reading the Bible is just too big of a task for them to want to do, or to understand. We are in a post-literate society. Second, there is the thing I have harped on for a while. People have bought a twisted version of the "God loves you" claim. It dominates American Christianity right now. And not just the prosperity gospel. God wants the best for you. He loves you. That overrides EVERYTHING right now. Divorced? No problem. Want a divorce? No problem. Feeling conflicted? God loves you enough that you can forget the "law" and purity and holiness. He loves you and that trumps it all.  

Lee's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

 

Very True...Second, there is the thing I have harped on for a while. People have bought a twisted version of the "God loves you" claim. It dominates American Christianity right now. And not just the prosperity gospel. God wants the best for you. He loves you. That overrides EVERYTHING right now. Divorced? No problem. Want a divorce? No problem. Feeling conflicted? God loves you enough that you can forget the "law" and purity and holiness. He loves you and that trumps it all.  

And yet the one historic narrative that confirms the effect of the Gospel message in "turning the world upside down"--The Book of Acts--is completely devoid of any mention of the term love, God's or brotherly/Christian, at any level.  Certainly no evangelistic message involving love exists there, although messages on the resurrection, creation, law, idolatry, judgment, serving, etc. are all the way through.  I'm thinking we could learn from that some 2000 years after.   

Lee

Ed Vasicek's picture

Mark wrote:

The Book of Acts--is completely devoid of any mention of the term love, 

Like the Gospel accounts, Acts is a very brief summary of teachings that went on often for hours.  These summaries might not include the words love, but the messages themselves probably referred to God's love in sending Christ to the cross...probably quite often.  Acts is a brief description, not a detailed prescription. But the fact that "love" is not mentioned in these summaries also makes the point you were trying to make.

"The Midrash Detective"

Mark_Smith's picture

Ed Vasicek wrote:

Mark wrote:

The Book of Acts--is completely devoid of any mention of the term love, 

Like the Gospel accounts, Acts is a very brief summary of teachings that went on often for hours.  These summaries might not include the words love, but the messages themselves probably referred to God's love in sending Christ to the cross...probably quite often.  Acts is a brief description, not a detailed prescription. But the fact that "love" is not mentioned in these summaries also makes the point you were trying to make.

I didn't write the quote you posted. That was Lee.

Mark_Smith's picture

Of course the gospel message entails the love of God. The issue is modern evangelicals make the love of God into something the Bible does not. They center EVERYTHING on "God loves you and wants the best for you." They center their theology on love and not the biblical text or theology. The result is often the view that God's love covers every sin like it never happened at the expense of holiness, and your happiness is God's goal.

Lee's picture

There is no way that anyone in their right mind, and very few in their wrong mind, could ever present a clear Gospel message without fully embracing that it is the love of God that makes the message possible.  Paul, who was confronted with his need of the Gospel by Jesus Christ himself--a confrontation of sin, righteousness, judgment, and the revelation of the resurrected Christ (the traditional duties of the Holy Spirit)--and was subsequently  confronted with the Gospel by Ananias (Acts 22:16 "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.") is the same Paul who confidently affirmed "But God commendeth his love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8)". 

Yet this firm grasp of the foundational aspect of the love of God never made it into the inspired narratives of Peter, Paul, John, Philip, Stephen, Apollos, Aquilla, or whoever throughout the whole Book of Acts.  And Acts records the Gospel going to every imaginable stripe of person and people group--Orthodox Jewry, sincere religious practitioners, pragmatic religiosity, and abject paganism.

While I fully appreciate that Acts records mere snippets of messages that were exceedingly complex ("...many other words...[Acts 2]") it is clear that, at least as far as this apostolic era was concerned, it was not the message of the love of God that drove the mass conversions, either Jew or Gentile, and elicited the observation of "...turned the world upside down...".  It was repeatedly the message of repentance, of faith in and the Lordship of the resurrected Christ: preached with boldness; founded by Scripture; empowered by the Holy Spirit; confirmed through the exercise of spiritual gifts.  

It is not that I don't appreciate or utilize the message of the love of God.  However, it clearly was not the catalyst that converted huge portions of the Roman world and beyond in the first century.  And as long as the Scripture, the Holy Spirit, and spiritual gifts are available for the preaching of the Gospel the message of love should likely not be the go-to tool for spiritually affecting a lost and dying world.

Lee

Mark_Smith's picture

Bible version of God's Love: you are a sinner so lost without God's grace you will be forever lost and separated from God. Nothing you do even comes close to catching up with how sinful you are.

Modern Love: Love means accept everyone for who they are. Nothing is "wrong", its just opinion and perspective.

Evangelical Perverted Love: Love means Jesus died for everyone's sins so we are all good with God. Since Jesus paid for all sins your pornography addiction, no biggy. Your lust, no biggy. Your total lack of desire to read the Bible, no biggy. This goes on and on... Remember, God loves you...

You have to be VERY CLEAR what you mean by "God loves you."

G. N. Barkman's picture

Mark, you are right on target.  Thanks for posting.

G. N. Barkman