One of the shows on television that has always given me the creeps is The Bachelor (and it’s girl-power counterpart, The Bachelorette). I would be lying if I said I had never watched it. The handful of episodes I have seen were more like opposition research rather than entertainment. The concept of speed-dating multiple partners, ditching the less desirable ones along the way, until you find the perfect match has all the makings for a trusting and fulfilling, lifelong relationship – especially when you throw in a lot of inappropriate physical contact with those partners, and when you document the whole ordeal in front of a national television audience. Note the sarcasm please. There’s just no way to spin the fact that The Bachelor is about giving some dude a harem and saying, “Go get ‘em tiger.” If you watch it because “it’s soooo romantic,” ask yourself if you would like to see your son or daughter on the show.
One problem with reality television is that it isn’t very real. Real life doesn’t have makeup artists, wardrobe consultants, multi-million-dollar mansions, or ABC’s bottomless wallet. Real life doesn’t have rose ceremonies where the broken-hearted can be whisked away in a limo to carry on with their lives, never to be heard from again. All of this television magic simply serves to mask the big, ugly monster lurking in the shadows. The biggest problem with almost all reality television is that it is a business designed to exploit human sin in order to make a profit. The Bachelor, in particular, makes a mockery of the biblical definition of marriage and the reality is that we may not even notice.
Now deceased, Senator Dan Moynihan coined the phrase, “defining deviancy down.” In sociological terms, if you can’t fix it, make it normal. Divorce, pornography, adultery – these things were once seen as menaces to a community are now seen as normal by everybody except some evangelical Christians. Enter the current push to normalize homosexuality. The reality is that 50 years ago, the concept of The Bachelor would have been terribly offensive to the culture, and any man behaving in such a way would be considered a womanizer at best or a gigolo at worst. Now, we see the whole thing as “romantic” and we consume it in droves. In reality of that reality show it is simply a man acting like an animal.
It is no surprise that Genesis offers a proper foundation for our understanding of God’s design in marriage. And as you guessed it, our current cultural trends do not reflect God’s design. In fact, like all human sin, the are an affront to God’s design. Genesis tells us that God created marriage to be between one man and one woman. There’s no room for homosexuality there. Remember, God’s mandate to mankind – be fruitful and multiply. There’s only one arrangement that makes that happen. That’s not intolerant or hateful, just biblical. Genesis tells us that God created man to leave their father and mother and become one flesh with his wife. That eliminates any opportunity for fornication prior to marriage. While the culture today believes that fornicating is completely normal, God says its beyond his design. It also precludes adultery. There is no way one can be one flesh with more than one person. In marriage math, 1+1=1. That’s why adultery and fornication are so damaging to marriage because it adds a variable to the equation that permanently skews the result. Genesis also says that man and woman are to “hold fast.” The divorce epidemic is also out of bounds. Genesis does not give an exit strategy to marriage. Oh yeah, all the other deviant behavior pertaining to marriage – all that is out of bounds too. Chauvinism and feminism, wrong. Emotional, verbal, physical abuse, wrong. I could go on.
Sometimes people accuse Christians of being intolerant of homosexuals. That’s not completely true. Biblical Christianity must reject all behavior that is contrary to God’s design, not just the one that appears to be the most flagrant. Perhaps we are more reluctant to treat fornication, adultery and divorce like we treat homosexuality because those are the sins with which we are the most complicit.