Lewis continues foundational arguments on Christian behavior, and then begins with specific categories, the first being sexuality.
It is remarkable how contemporary he is, and yet that should only give us confidence in the principles he has found in God’s Word. Jesus, who is the Word, is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Man nor culture can change God’s standard for sexuality. Because God’s plan for sexuality is true, only harm, monstrous harm, can come from flaunting His boundaries.
Remembering that these were radio addresses originally, Lewis does repeat himself, for the benefit of listeners who have just tuned in, and because, as he says: “People need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed.”
He reminds us that morality, including sexual morality, is not a matter of personal preference, but a design of our Creator. Yet man wants to be sovereign over his life. Still, I suspect Lewis would be shocked to see how sexuality is viewed today. Many feel allowing a baby in the womb to live is a matter of personal preference, and many, in just the last decade, have decided gender is also a matter of personal preference. A snowball rolling down a hill begins slowly, but as it gains girth, it gains momentum. Now, how fast this all seems to be happening!
To exemplify this, in June, the Supreme Court in Canada ruled against a Christian Law University. They refused to accredit them because they asked students to sign a covenant not to steal, cheat, swear, or have sex outside of a biblical marriage. The court agreed with the first three, but not the fourth. That sexuality was a private matter of personal preference was the ruling of 7 of the 9 justices. One of the justices said, “One of the things is not like the other,” implying that the first three were not a matter of personal preference but the last was. I can almost hear Lewis saying, “On what basis do you feel any of these are right or wrong?” This virtually means the end of this university, so there will be no Christian law university in Canada. If you are interested in reading about this case here is one write-up:
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
On Monday and Tuesday we will be reading or listening to (and many prefer that as they were originally radio addresses) chapters 3 and 4 of Book Three. If you want to get started on listening, here they are:
Monday: Book 3, Chapter 3: Social Morality
I think the heart of this chapter, or perhaps the most convicting and intriguing to me, begins with Lewis’ description of what a true Christian society would look like: with the economic structure socialistic and the “manners” (meaning the way people behave toward others, more comprehensive than how we think of “manners today) being old-fashioned and aristocratic. I think he’s right — and when I read how in the early church “there were no poor among them” I do feel convicted, for I am blessed with a beautiful home. I have to ask myself — am I one who Lewis describes who deceives himself and has made Scripture say what I want it to say?
3. Read or listen to Chapter 3 and then share your comments here.
4. What “bits and pieces” of God’s laws do you struggle with and might have a tendency to ignore?
Tuesday: Book 3, Chapter 4: Morality and Psychoanalysis
I see how clearly this chapter leads into specific subjects, such as sexuality and marriage. It is easy to be judgmental when circumstances for you are easy. Right now I have four families at my home for several weeks — and I love each one. Three are my children’s families, and also a pastor and his family. But I find i lose my temper with so many little children — I overeat with so many temptations surrounding me. I make side-ways comments. And though I have been previously patting myself on the back a bit for doing so well, these weeks show me I am not so strong, just blessed with easier circumstances most of the time!
5. Read or listen to Chapter 4 and then share your comments here.
6. Why does Lewis say we should leave the judging of others to God?
Wednesday: Book 3, Chapter 5: Sexuality
7. Read or listen to Chapter 5: Sexuality and comment here on what stands out to you and why.
Thursday-Friday: Reflections on Sexuality Chapter
8. Lewis says chastity is always the same for all Christians in all cultures, but propriety varies. Can you give an example?
9. What is the Christian rule of chastity?
10. Do you agree it is the most unpopular virtue? Why or why not.
11. What evidence or illustrations does Lewis give to support his thesis that it it not the thing (the rule of chastity) that has gone wrong, but the instinct? Comments?
12. Lewis says appetites grow through indulgence. Can you give an example?
I just finished Christopher Yuan’s Out of a Far Country — he illustrates so clearly how indulgence in lust inflames the desire for more.
13. Lewis says that if man had not fallen, sexual pleasure would be greater. Comment.
14. He also says restraint leads to happiness. How have you experienced this?
15. Why does Hollywood and the world prey on those who are obsessed with sex?
16. What point does Lewis make about how God views those who try and fail versus those who don’t try?
17. What sins does Lewis believe are worse than sins of the flesh and why, do you think? Do you agree?
18. What is your take-a-way and why?