Hardly a week goes by without another social media parade marching by in celebration of the sexual revolution. Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner, Kim Davis, Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, Obergefell and on and on –the talk of sex is everywhere (and not a drop you should drink). It’s almost impossible to turn on the tv or scroll through your phone or open the paper (what are those?) without being bombarded by pictures and stories and headlines that all have to do with sex–not just sensuality (which would be bad enough), but the castigation of those who uphold traditional sexual boundaries and the applauding of every permutation of sexual activity (“infinite diversity in infinite combinations” as one political fundraising letter put it).

How should evangelical Christians and evangelical churches respond?

Here are five suggestions:

1. Do not be shrill. Remember: at any time, anyone can listen to almost anything you say. There are no “private” thoughts on Facebook. Any post or comment you write or share or like or pass along can be read by friends, opponents, and strugglers. This doesn’t mean we can’t speak clearly or strongly or with passion. But if you just need to emote, go on a long walk and pour your heart out to God. Let’s show the world that Christians are reasonable and unwilling to revile in return. Happy warriors not shrieking sirens.

2. Do not be silent. If you said “Amen” to the first suggestion, don’t miss this one. I suppose giving up is one way to end the culture war, but it hardly seems consistent with the whole salt-and-light business Jesus talked about. There are more people who agree with you than you might think. Every time we speak up–thoughtfully, respectfully, winsomely–we help others see that the revolution has not overtaken all of us. If all the Christians remain quiet and refuse to defend the truth (or themselves), we will not only do future generations a disservice we will inadvertently lend credence to a lie that says traditional views are no longer possible or plausible.

3. Do not neglect singles. The sexual revolution rests on two mutually exclusive propositions: sex has no meaning and that meaning must be expressed. On the one hand, we are told that there is no “essence” to sexuality, nothing inherent in sexual activity that gives it a natural shape or meaning. And yet, we are told that the worst thing we can do to anyone is repress their sexual expression. So sex is nothing and everything at the same time. Sex is essential to our identity, but the essence of sex is arbitrary. Into this mess, the church can speak a better way. Sex is a divine gift, but it does not define us.  The church must grow as a place of welcome, hospitality, and purpose for single people. We must show that even if the world thinks there is something cruel and unusual about celibacy, Christians know that the fullest, most deeply human existence is not inimical to this path. After all, we worship a single man who never had sexual intercourse.

4. Do not outsmart yourself. I’ve often been asked, “How should we minister to the sexually broken? How can we reach out to gays and lesbians? What pointers do you have in talking to friends and family members who are same-sex attracted?” There are plenty of people with far more experience in these areas, but my humble advice is not to overthink things too much. No doubt, there are unique challenges in ministering to gays and lesbians, but the way we phrase the question can unintentionally place such persons in a category outside the bounds of normal human existence. Whatever the particular struggles, let’s not forget that we are more like each other than we are different. We are all created in the image of God. We all struggle with a sin nature. We all need a Savior. We are all idol factories. We all want to know we are loved. We all need to repent and be forgiven. Ask questions, listen, share, pray, turn to the Bible, show compassion, point people to Jesus–that’s the basic charge for all of us with anyone.

5. Do not be scared. God has seen tougher stuff than this. God has a plan. God will accomplish his purposes. No matter what the President or the Supreme Court or Apple or ESPN decide, Christ will keep building his church and the Spirit will keep doing his work through the Word. Turn every thought of panic into a commitment to plan and an attitude of prayer. Our God tends to do his best work when the odds are most stacked against him.

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21 thoughts on “Five Suggestions for Christians in the Midst of the Sexual Revolution”

  1. WoundedEgo says:

    What do you make of the “virgins without number” in Song?

    Son 6:8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number.

    Are the virgins what I think they are? One night stands?

  2. P Hicks says:

    “Inimical “? You couldn’t just say hostile or some other synonym.

  3. P Hicks says:

    Great advice however!*
    *this didn’t make it in my first comment above.

  4. Neville Briggs says:

    In point no. 2, Mr. De Young seems to be connecting ” salt-and-light business Jesus talked about ” with ; what good people agree with, or with “traditional views “. What tradition would that be ? I think there is more to the issue than he has mentioned.

    I suggest that the Christian witness is not to do with tradition but with the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven.
    Not looking back; looking forward.

    I wonder if the world takes no notice and Christian witness is apparently not effective because it is thought that the Christian message is about old things. Maybe it would make a big difference if it was clear that the Christian message is not about old things but about new things; the new creation, the New Heaven and the New Earth.

    Mr De Young’s urging to speak up, is fine I suppose, I wonder if our behaviour is more important to sort out than what we might try and say. The apostle Peter’s advice in the face of worldly immorality was this ” keep your behaviour excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation “

  5. MJVT says:

    Yes! I’m seeing Christians change their minds and decide that homosexuality isn’t really a sin and that we should support gay marriage, mostly because they are disgusted with what they see as the hatred so many Christians show toward the LGBT community. In speaking “shrilly,” as you say, we not only turn the unsaved away from the truth, but we also push Christians toward untruth.

  6. no thanks says:

    “How should we minister to the sexually broken? How can we reach out to gays and lesbians? What pointers do you have in talking to friends and family members who are same-sex attracted?”

    Don’t. Just leave me alone. I’d rather do without your toxic form of love, thanks.

  7. Cody says:

    Then don’t bother to read his blog posts, o self-torturer.

  8. Neville Briggs says:

    Well done Cody, is that what Mr DeYoung meant by ” talking thoughtfully, respectfully and winsomely “.

  9. Tom Magness says:

    Point 3 is important. We must avoid teaching singles that contentment can’t be experienced without marriage. In the church I attended as a teenager, it felt like singles needed “looking after”. The life of active church family membership wasn’t really expected of you until you were married. Looking back, I can see how I wasted many years because I thought being single meant my life was essentially self-directed.

  10. jess says:

    nice post, Mr DeYoung. thanks for the encouragement. hopefully, Christians living as singles who are being both real about sexual desires but receiving God’s grace to deal with them, will show an authentic witness to Jesus’ love and power in their lives. Praise Him – he lived a celibate lifestyle without sin!

  11. Charley says:

    There is no thoughtful, respectful and winsome way to tell another that, while it’s fine for me to have sex and take a life partner, they may never have sex and must live alone forever. It is an inherently loathsome, disrespectful message.

  12. christy says:

    Why would you treat a gay person any different than how you treat any other friend? They are human too, put their pants on the same way as the rest of us, who are also seeking love and acceptance.

  13. Cody says:

    I don’t think so Neville but I suppose I couldn’t say for sure. Do you think anything I said was untrue?

  14. James says:

    In the midst of this sexual revolution and the infection in the church with bad doctrine and unfaithfulness to scripture, to the danger of our destruction, is there a good reason why gospel-centered teachers are praising Nadia Bolz-Weber and promoting her new book? Why are we not repenting of error that denies the authority of scripture and the Lordship of Christ?

    “Beloved…I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
    ‭‭Jude‬ ‭1:3-4‬ ‭

  15. Neville Briggs says:

    Truth is not the issue here. Cody.

  16. Cody says:

    Well Neville, I thought No Thanks made it clear that if a Christian spoke kindly and gently about their beliefs to him/her, it would only sound condescending and offensive because those beliefs are so opposed to his/her lifestyle and philosophy. To speak kindly and gently, when specifically asked not to do so, sounds like it would be really disrespectful to me.

  17. Neville Briggs says:


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Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church (PCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He and his wife Trisha have six young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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