We live in the age of The Sovereign Self. Phrases heard throughout the culture like, “Just be true to yourself,” or “As long as it makes you happy” are common. Such ideas reflect the triumph of the subjective, which basically asserts that each individual can determine their own reality. This almost ubiquitous mentality could not have been put any better than by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in a decision from 1992:
At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.
Actually, this is more like a recipe for anarchy. What if I define my concept by taking away someone else’s liberty? On what basis could Justice Kennedy say that is not valid? After all he said It’s my “right” to define reality (“the universe”) as I wish. No, the Justice’s sentiments are sentimental nonsense. Realty will never bend itself to my wishes, no matter how hard I wish. And if we let our kids drink this dangerous cultural Kool-Aid, they will suffer for it because as I often say, reality doesn’t take any jokes.
Take the ever present, it seems, issue of homosexuality. (The number of self-professed homosexuals in America is 1.6 percent of the population according to a massive CDC study a few years ago, but popular culture makes it seem like that number is 25 percent or more. Even the new iteration of Prison Break has to have a homosexual plot line.) The secular culture narrative is that homosexuality is just as normal and natural as heterosexuality. To think otherwise, we are told, is sheer bigotry.
But Scripture is clear that God made man and woman to become one flesh, and that sexual complimentarity is built into the nature of the created order. This union of man and woman should only be enjoyed within the confines of marriage, but even when it isn’t we can tell from the way God designed male and female human bodies that there is something “natural” about such a union.
The word “natural” is just another way of saying that God made reality a certain way, and if we want to be fulfilled and flourish we’ll live according to that reality. The Ten Commandments, which assumes marriage between a man and a woman is the “natural” state of things, would be a good place to start.
I was reminded of God’s ordering of creation when I read a sad piece at Breakpoint on “The Silent Suffering of Gay Men.” John Stonestreet is commenting on a piece by a gay man where he describes an “epidemic of loneliness” in the gay community. Stonestreet asks a series of rhetorical questions:
Could it be that this lifestyle cuts off this community from the natural family, from children, and—according to years of statistics—from monogamous partnerships? Could it be the disparity Hobbes sees between what he wants and what he got is a result of a broken lifestyle? Could it be that this behavior naturally isolates people? Could it be that God didn’t design His image-bearers to live like this, and when we do, it actually destroys us?
Yes it could.