Cultural Revolution

Written by R.C. Sproul |
Thursday, June 6, 2024

We are to seek to live transformed lives and to have our minds informed not by what other people are doing in the secular culture, not by what is deemed acceptable in television episodes or movie scenes of extramarital sex or by homosexual relationships, but we are to have our minds informed by the Word of God. I know of no other antidote for us to heal our sick souls in the midst of this crisis.

In the early years of the 1950s the phenomenon of broadcast television was beginning to sweep America. In these early days, however, it was still a small minority of American households that proudly owned a television set. At this time, a ban was executed by the networks prohibiting the use of the word “virgin” in television broadcasts. The censorship of this word was explained in light of the term’s close connection to matters of sexuality. So sensitive were the original producers of television towards offending the ethics and mores of the American public that words as seemingly harmless as the word “virgin” were banished from the airwaves in order to keep at arm’s length all possible sexual innuendos.

Obviously, we have come a long way from the days of Ozzie and Harriet and the dawn of television broadcasting. However, since that time, the American culture has gone through its most radical cultural revolution in its history. The cultural revolution of the decade of the sixties contained within it a major cultural upheaval with respect to sexual mores. The old taboos against premarital and extramarital sexual relationships were destroyed by the new sex ethic. The new sex ethic was heralded by social scientists such as Alfred Kinsey and later by the Chapman Report and other chroniclers. What society now accepted in practice and in the arts showed a dramatic shift from an earlier time when chastity was regarded as a virtue. Every aspect of the media, in terms of cultural expression, made massive use of the new morality. Today one can hardly read a novel, watch a television program, see a movie in the theater, or even look at the advertisements in magazines and in stores without being acutely aware of this radical shift. Sex is the number-one seller for every conceivable sort of consumer product from razor blades to automobiles. If it’s sexy, it sells.

The cultural revolution brought in its wake a completely different climate with respect to casual sex, extramarital sex, and, in more recent times, homosexual practices. This new climate has produced a level of erotic stimulation that no generation in human history has had to deal with in the past.

Because of this shift in cultural acceptability, young people particularly are bombarded every single day of their lives with every conceivable sort of erotic stimulation. Of course, as long as there have been men and women, there have been biological urges and sexual appetites to deal with in terms of seeking to live chaste and virtuous lives. There is a sense in which fallen humanity has always had to struggle with the erotic impulses of the human heart, but at the same time there has been a massive escalation of temptation brought in the wake of the explosion of erotic stimulation in our day.

The advent of the computer and the use of the Internet has rapidly increased this escalation. Though I am technologically challenged—

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