Yesterday I read an article in Vanity Fair about how social media has transformed the hook-up culture of millennials. The article is titled “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse.'” It is so sexually provocative that I am not going to post a link to it. While Jesse Singal has questioned Vanity Fair‘s reporting and the central claims of the article, Rod Dreher and Carl Trueman have both written some helpful reflections taking the article at face value.
I have to confess that I did not know how Tinder and similar apps have amplified the possibilities for promiscuity. This technology has put the hook-up culture on steroids. If the Vanity Fair account is correct—as I assume that it is at least in some places—then we are indeed standing on the precipice of something big. And you can draw a straight line from the apostles of sexual liberation to the darkness described by Vanity Fair.
And as a people, we are not the better for it. Technology has been manipulated to serve the whims of the male libido. It is a new social regime built around fulfilling the sexual appetites of men—appetites that have been shaped by ubiquitous and dehumanizing internet pornography. The result is not sexual liberation but the opposite. It’s men enslaved to their own lecherous sex-drives and women agreeing to submit to the same. As a culture, we have sown to the winds of sexual liberation, and now we are reaping the whirlwind of sexual idolatry. And the result isn’t pretty.
It is important for Christian leaders, pastors, and parents to know what children and young adults are facing today. The reality is ugly, and we do no one any favors by pretending that it doesn’t exist. On the contrary, we need to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves. We need to point out the pitfalls while pointing the way forward to real life, real freedom, and real love. The sirens of sexual liberation are enticing hapless souls into the darkness. We have to give them something better. And we have something better, if only we have the resolve to say so.
“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible– and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.'” -Ephesians 5:11-14