The War Was Lost, But We Must Battle On
During the 1960s a bitter war was fought. Right and wrong seemed clear to many as they fought hard against the forces of evil. But despite the valiant efforts of so many, evil triumphed and the loss of that war continues to have a great impact on American society. Any good student of history knows we are talking about...the Sexual Revolution.
The Sexual Revolution led to tremendous change in the standards of right and wrong and it was not a change for good. Sins upon which God has pronounced His condemnation have become acceptable to many mainstream Americans. Society as a whole will now accept people living together without being married, and if they do choose marriage, they may divorce and remarry time after time without dis-approval, censure, or scorn. Though the acceptance of homosexuality has taken longer, with the increasing political protection and media glorification, can mainstream acceptance be that far away? American society has certainly changed, but God's word has not-fornication, adultery, divorce, and homosexuality are still condemned in Matthew 19:3-9; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Galatians 5:19-21; Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 21:8; et al.
Not only did the Sexual Revolution change American society, the resulting cultural changes have affected Christians in many ways. While fornication, adultery, and divorce are still verbally condemned by most Christians, there can be little doubt but that they are more widespread now than they were 40 years ago. But those are not the products of the Sexual Revolution I want to focus on today, for the most obvious impact on Christians has been in the realm of dress.
There was a time when people as a whole knew that sexual lust was sinful (Matthew 5:27, 28), and lust-inciting dress was condemned as immodest (1 Timothy 2:9, 10) and to be avoided lest another person be caused to sin (Matthew 18:6-9). When miniskirts and bikinis began to be popularized in the '60s, there were widespread condemnations from many sources. Denominational pulpits frequently condemned the decline in morals that was evidenced by the scandalous attire of people, and were even joined at times by some in secular news organizations. By contrast, today you can drive by many "places of worship" and see car washes being conducted by young people wearing things which would have been condemned from their own pulpit a few years ago.
This kind of thing saddens me, but it bothers me even more when I see Christians doing the same things. All in the Lord's church have not surrendered, but far too many have. You know the arguments: "No one pays attention to shorts anymore. Everybody wears these low-cut shirts and people don't think anything about it. Times have changed and these simply are not immodest today." Times certainly have changed, but it is not that scanty attire no longer stirs up lust-the problem is that as a result of the Sexual Revolution few people still think of lust as a problem. When we seek to justify shorts, bathing suits, revealing tops, short skirts, shirtless men, etc., by saying that times have changed, let's recognize that they have actually only returned to the way it was in Judah 600 years before Christ: "Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush" (Jeremiah 6:15).
It is imperative that we develop within ourselves and our children an awareness that fornication and lust are sinful and then add a sense of modesty that will keep us from dressing like the children of disobedience upon whom the wrath of God is coming (Colossians 3:5, 6). America as a whole lost the war, but as children of light, we must continue fighting the good fight of faith, standing for purity and letting our lights shine in the midst of an increasingly dark world. (See Matthew 5:13-16; Ephesians 6:10-20; 1 Timothy 1:18-20; 6:11, 12; 2 Timothy 2:22; 4:7)