Moral Adventurism

     Like my chronological peers I came of age in a time of tremendous societal change. One of the primary areas of that change was the realm of sexual morality. People were questioning what was right and wrong that area of behavior. Probably half the population (the male half) took the position that there was no right or wrong.

The sea change took place when the female half began to agree. It seemed to many of us that women served as the culture’s moral compass. From the Christian perspective it should not have been that way. According to the will of God everyone, all men and women, should behave themselves morally (Hebrews 13:4).

     But I am thinking about that period when things changed for a great number of people. We know the results of all of that. Marriage is rapidly faltering as the foundational institution of our culture. Too many kids think nothing of pre-marital physical relationships. The Biblical perspective concerning marriage and the home is ridiculed and folks do what is “right in their own eyes” (see Judges 17:6).

    From a perspective like mine, this situation is not good. I am concerned about the moral and spiritual direction of all young people including the great kids who grow up in the environment of the church. But in order to do anything more than be concerned about it we have to try to understand what’s going on. The problem may be understood as one of moral adventurism.

    What is “moral adventurism”? Well, remember when you were a kid and first started riding your bike away from the house on your own? Your mom or dad well may have laid down strict parameters as to where you could go and not go. If you were like I was that worked for a (very) little while. I had figured out about how long it was going to be before my mother would call me home and also how far away from the house I could be and still hear her. So the adventure would be to explore new areas early on in my bike trip and be back within earshot in time. In the town where we lived at that time I had covered the whole place using that method. It was an adventure.

    The dangers of moral adventurism are much worse than being caught too far away from home as a kid. I got what we called then a “whipping” for doing such things then. Today the consequences of moral adventurism include sexually transmitted disease, pregnancy before marriage, children growing up without both parents, the abortion of undesired children, adultery and destroyed marriages as well as the spiritual wreck of many adventurous souls. This sort of thing affects every family.

    The dangers we know about; what is the cure? In a word the cure is “history.” I encourage young people who are growing into physical maturity to look around at your peers and the people older than you are. You can see the problems people have that I mentioned in the previous paragraph. You can see the troubles that sexually adventurous people get themselves into. Back in my day people fell under the spell of “if it feels good do it.” It’s the same story today. Momentary pleasure is cheap. History shows that the long term consequences of moral adventurism are very expensive.

    So what is the wise thing to do? As Paul said to Timothy: “Keep yourself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22). No, it won’t be easy to do in this old world, not for young or old. But life will be much better if we reject moral adventurism and live by God’s will.