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Congregations are coming face to face with questions of just how central sexual ethics are to their religious life and message.
The new Nashville Statement on marriage and sexuality — and emotional reactions to it — newly demonstrates just how live and poignant the tension is.
There have always been forces that have pulled marriages apart.
Married people make up 68 percent of all weekly church attendees between ages 24 and 35. Baylor sociologist Jeremy Uecker, assessing longitudinal data from the Add Health study, concludes that cohabitation does not mix well with religious behavior.But Christians are hardly exempt from wider mating market dynamics.Sex has become cheap — that is, not hard to get — because it’s much less risky and consequential in the era of birth control.It’s able to poke holes in the “sacred canopy” over the erotic instinct, to borrow the late Peter Berger’s term.Perhaps the increasing lack of religious affiliation among young adults is partly a consequence of widening trends in nonmarital sexual behavior among young Americans, in the wake of the expansion of pornography and other tech-enhanced sexual behaviors.