Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

"The Real Thing": A Perspective on Sexual Revolution and a Challenge to Christian Professionals

Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

"The Real Thing": A Perspective on Sexual Revolution and a Challenge to Christian Professionals

Article excerpt

Grounded in a consideration of what constitutes "the real thing" in contrast to various counterfeits where human sexuality is concerned, the issue of sexual revolution is examined along with the challenges to the community of healers. The thesis presented is that, in contrast to the typical definition, true sexual revolution consists of spiritual influences that have called humanity back to the nature and function of sexuality as created and intended by God, relying on Scripture for guiding precepts. It is proposed that there have been three universally significant sexual revolutions in human history initiated by (a) the giving of the Decalogue, (b) the teachings of Jesus and the writings of the Apostles, and (c) the writings of the Puritans, grounded in the work of the great reformers. Following a consideration of the state of sexual views and behaviors in today's society, including those in the church, a call is issued to all who serve in helping roles to do all that can be done to promote a return to a bal anced position, which was held throughout history regarding sexual beliefs and was practiced by those committed to faithful application of God's revelation.

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It is commonly understood that when currency agents are trained to recognize counterfeit bills, they do not spend time examining and becoming familiar with the vast array of the best samples of the counterfeiter's art. Rather, they spend many hours developing an intimate acquaintanceship with "the real thing," to quote a familiar advertising phrase. Literally, every "jot and tittle" are scrupulously examined and pored over to the point that agents develop an indelible and finely detailed mental image of both sides of the various bills that make up the U.S. Treasury issue. Having developed such a thorough knowledge of even the most minute details, they are prepared to spot the incredibly subtle variations from the standard of perfection, "the real thing." No aspect of these bills is ignored. Thus, when these agents encounter a counterfeit bill, a careful examination can typically result in the ready identification of the fake item, even though its degree of match with the real might be so close that most who r egularly use these bills would never suspect the truth.

When it comes to arriving at a firm and valid conclusion regarding the true nature of human sexuality and the ideal means of experiencing and expressing sexuality, there is a similar need to clearly know the nature of "the real thing." Typical considerations of what might be considered "normal" or "healthy" in the field of sexology apply a variety of criteria drawn from several sources. For instance, comparative psychology offers observations from the sexual behavior of lower life forms, while evolutionary psychology proposes legitimate motives for human sexual behavior based on evolutionary assumptions (see Van Leeuwen, this issue, for a critique of this approach). Behavioral and social examinations give consideration to what is normative behaviorally in general and within specific cultures (Duvall & Duvall, 1961; Milligan, 1993; Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, & Michaels, 1994, 2001). Humanistic psychology is concerned about things that will contribute to increased self-esteem and feelings of personal well-being , seemingly more concerned about immediate feelings than long-range implications (Broder, 1988; Vertefeuille, 1988). And many psychologists today, appearing to be more concerned with what is "politically correct" than what is scientifically verifiable, make claims that have little scientific validation, such as the conclusion that homosexual orientation is strongly biologically based and unresponsive to change efforts (Jones & Yarhouse, 2000; Spitzer, 2001). Furthermore, the postmodern approach does not offer any absolute standards against which to evaluate specific conclusions (McDowell & Hostetler, 1998), which leaves everyone in a position to essentially "do what is right in their own eyes" (Judges 17:6, 21:25). …

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