First, the “what.”
Then, my stab at the “why.”
The “what”: According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, half of all U.S. Christians say that casual sex (meaning sex outside of a committed romantic relationship) between consenting adults is okay. Take away the “casual” label, but still unmarried, and it climbs another 10 percentage points.
Now for the “why”: I would contend that this response is because most professing Christians have exchanged the true gospel for what Christian Smith once termed “moralistic therapeutic deism.” A mouthful, I know, but so spot-on. It means a faith of being good and feeling good.
Applied to sex, it means the “purity culture” that makes abstinence before marriage everything, as opposed to being in a relationship with Jesus that leads you to want to honor Him sexually. There really is a difference.
If you make faith and sex all about how not to have sex outside of marriage, then you set people up for despair. They intuitively know that they will not be able to keep that “rule.” So what do they do? They either abandon the faith or, as we see evidenced by this recent research, they simply amend their faith to no longer condemn sex outside of marriage.
This loses the gospel entirely.
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Source: Church Leaders