I have been watching current social and political debates on sexuality issues with some degree of curiosity, horror, and shame.
Last week I re-read C.S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity”, which was first published in 1952. It was taken from a series of radio addresses he gave at Oxford from 1942-1944. At the end of the section titled “Sexual Morality” he writes,
“Finally, though I have had to speak at some length about sex, I want to make it as clear as I possibly can that the centre of Christian morality is not here. If anyone thinks that Christians regard unchastity as the supreme vice, he is quite wrong. The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least bad of all sins. All the worst pleasures are purely spiritual: the pleasure of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronising and spoiling sport, and back-biting; the pleasures of power, of hatred. For there are two things inside me, competing with the human self which I must try to become. They are the Animal self, and the Diabolical self. The Diabolical self is the worse of the two. That is why a cold, self-righteous prig who regularly goes to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of course, it is better to be neither.”
Timeless wisdom. Convicting.
2 thoughts on “Sex – The Central Issue in Christian Morality?”
Convicting indeed, but as he ends, “better to be neither.” Helping encourage others to lead a holy and chaste life isn’t about denying them “pleasure,” it’s about preserving their lives so they might experience true joy.
I think Lewis would agree… it was a long chapter and this was merely the summary!