Reformed Reflections

Christians Do Not Have A Price

Winston Churchill was said to have asked an actress, "Would you marry a man for a million dollars?" "Of course, "came the reply. "Would you marry one for five hundred?" "Of course not. What do you think I am?" "We have already established that, my dear," said the great statesman. "Now we are only trying to determine the degree," The woman had her price. A Christian does not have a price. He is willing to risk his all for keeping the values held as true and valid for all time.

Morality has some basic norms. "Morals," says David Redding, "mean that a man has established a point beyond which he will not go at. work or at play." To promote Christian standards of morality is difficult as the whole Christian ethic is under attack. It is not only the Christian faith that people want to abandon but its norm for behaviour as well.

In our time, to encourage Christian standards of sex and marriage is a very unpopular course to take. Christian ministers are told to face reality.

How can you teach strict standards in a permissive society? The tide is against you! Young people won't listen.

True, the situation in regard to pre and extra marital sex is more difficult than it has ever been in history. Some statements made by prominent leaders have not been conducive in the maintaining of Christian standards.

The controversial educator A.S. Neill, long director of Summerhill, an ultra-progressive school, has advocated heterosexual play in childhood and stated, "When children have no moralistic training in sex, they reach a healthy adolescence" He added that, "’Every' older pupil at Summerhill knows from my conversation and my books that I approve of a full sex life for all who wish one, whatever their age."

In 1959 the British Medical Association published a handbook, entitled "Getting Married'. The following sentence is not particularly helpful either for the understanding of the role of sex in the life of youth. "Chastity is outmoded and should no longer be taught to young people."

Of course, the enormous changes in the methods of contraceptives and the clamor for conception has been taken away by the birth control methods. What are we to say to all this?

In the first place sexual permissiveness is not a road to freedom, but a road fraught with grave danger. The facts are alarming. Venereal disease is rapidly spreading. More than 100,000 persons have the disease in Ontario, 2,500.000 in the U.S. VD is spread only by sexual contact. From "love­making", that is where venereal disease got its name so many years ago, from the name of Venus, the goddess of love.

Most of the infected cases are between the ages 15 to 30. That means that among young people of "VD age" about one in 25 contracts VD each year. This is alarming. Many are worried. What to do about it?

The disease itself is a result of playing around. It is paying the price of being permissive.

Many girls apparently no longer fear pregnancy as they used to. Birth control advice and the pill are easy to obtain. Yet none of the new contraceptive methods offers one particle of protection against V.D.

Secondly, no one can read Scriptures without seeing the strict teaching on purity and chastity. Sex is within the bond of marriage. Chastity may be the most unpopular of all Christian virtues, yet there is no getting away from it.

The Biblical standard is, in the words of C.S. Lewis: "Either marriage, with complete faithfulness to your partner, or else total ab­stinence".

Thirdly, the Bible views marriage as God given. And it follows from this that marriage be governed and directed by Biblical principals.

Marriage is seen as a spiritual and physical union of two people deeply and totally committed to each other for life. Sexual. pleasure as in the one man, one woman life time relationship is never downgraded. The love relationship within this marital bond is sacrificial, the seeking of the best in­terest of the partner. Love seeks not self but the other. It is not silent but com­municates.

Love in a Christian marriage is reinforced by grace and sustained and uplifted by prayer. Marriage is for keeps; in sickness and in health, in trials and in joy, husband and wife share and stick together. The Christian ethic has not changed. Jesus' words are still binding:"

Have you not read that the Creator at the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man must leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two of them must be one?' So they are no longer two but one. Therefore, what God has joined together man must stop separating." (Matthew 19:46)

Johan D. Tangelder
March, 1974