Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
September 4, 2000
Devout faith leads to good sex
Bible-believers think sex is one of God's greatest ideas
SPECIAL TO THE WCR
The National Post recently published a letter from the Rev. Mark Woods of Winnipeg, who describes himself as "a conservative, evangelical Bible-thumper," and Baptist clergyman for the past 25 years.
Woods was commenting on the popular but ignorant notion that Christians believe "sex is 'filthy" because the Bible and all small "o" orthodox Christian denominations insist that sexual relations be conducted within the ordered bonds of matrimony, and that all pre or extra-marital sexual activity is morally and ethically deficient - that is, sinful.
On the contrary, Woods wrote: "We Bible-believers think sex is great. It's one of the best ideas God came up with. My wife and I derive a great deal of pleasure from it, and the Bible says that's the way it should be.
"It says sex is something to give God thanks for, that husband and wife should not withhold themselves from each other under any pretext, that there is total sexual expression within marriage, and that it is one of the most awesome experiences available to men and women."
"In fact," Woods continued, "we think it's so special and great and, well - sacred - that it shouldn't be plastered on the fronts of glossy magazines in supermarket checkouts so publishers and advertisers can profit by it. . . . But if I or others object to the merchandising of something holy and honourable, please, don't just assume that we think sex is filthy."
Scientific evidence backs up Woods' contention. Studies consistently find that Christians have better marriages and more fulfilling sex lives than non-believers. (Christians are also substantially happier, enjoy better mental and physical health, are four times less likely to commit suicide, recover faster and more fully from serious illness, and live longer.)
Liberal-humanist conventional wisdom caricatures Christians variously as self-righteous hypocrites or naive and repressed sad sacks too obsessed with sin and guilt to enjoy life. On the other hand, "free-spirited" secular hedonists who scoff at external moral constraints on their pursuit of pleasure and sensual satisfaction are purported to be living the good life.
However, a Royal Bank/Angus Reid poll found that people in supposedly "free" common-law relationships were the most unhappy of all demographic groups studied, closely followed by separated and divorced individuals. Married people were happier than singles by an 18-point margin.
A 1989 British government study found that couples who lived together before marriage are at least 40 per cent more likely to divorce within 15 years of their weddings, and 60 per cent more likely to divorce or separate at some point.
Other studies here in Canada, Sweden, and the U.S. also point to higher risk of divorce among couples who cohabit before marriage. The British survey also found that couples married in church were significantly less likely to divorce than those married in civil ceremonies.
While researching his book The Sexual Man, psychotherapist Archibald Hart discovered that religious men overwhelmingly describe their sex lives as excellent or good. This is especially true of men brought up in religious households. Hart says a majority of his subjects affirmed that their religious values increased their sexual self-control, respect for women and understanding of the appropriate role of sex in human life.
The 1994 University of Chicago study: Sex in America: The Definitive Survey, found that monogamous conservative Christians reported the most physical satisfaction from sex. Several other studies show that married couples who attend church at least once a week are the most sexually contented segment of society.
What gives? Aren't devout, traditional Christians supposed to be prudish, repressed, neo-Victorians, obsessed with neurotic guilt about sex? Isn't it the emancipated children of the "sexual revolution" who lead satisfied, fulfilled sex lives?
Not so, according to Anglican Catholic suffragan Bishop emeritus Robert Crawley of Ladysmith, B.C. Sexual libertines, says Crawley, have "abandoned the idea of creation as a natural order, to be enjoyed, but also to be obeyed. So then they've gone off in pursuit of their own limitless sexual possibilities, whoever, however or whatever, and now they're finding that sexual liberation is self-defeating."
Regrettably, post-Christian popular culture has embraced the notion that sexual activity is just another "natural" bodily function - sort of like scratching or going to the bathroom.
People have been willingly brainwashed with the dangerous untruth that to restrain, inhibit or discipline one's sexual urges in the way prescribed by Christianity and other major religions is "unhealthy" and unnecessary. STDs and AIDS demonstrate that the opposite is true. Sleeping around was never "healthy," but now it's sick-making and sometimes deadly.
The idea that sexual activity is an acceptable form of recreation, outside marriage is a recipe for disease and social breakdown. The irony, as the surveys show, is that sexual "freedom" isn't even temporarily satisfying.
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