Sex sells.

The very statement implies that sex is an object that you can purchase and play with, like your first Lego set. This commodity of sex has created a cultural customer with a ferocious appetite that has yet to be satisfied. In hopes of appeasing the hunger pains, we’ve concocted a cultural sex soup. The three main ingredients are fame, power, and money with the added spices of lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. This combination has only managed to strengthen the consumer​'​s desire for more and bolstered entitlement to demand it.

Even though this is an ancient recipe, the amount consumed in the past several decades has been unprecedented. Never before in history has the business of sex been such a hot commodity. There’s no escape from the constant bombardment of sexual images. It comes in your mailbox, ​TV, computer, billboards, shopping malls, sporting events, phones, music videos, daytime talk shows, beaches, public pools, and sadly, even in church. There is no escape. No cultural “safe place” for men to go. Even in moments of visual relief the conversation typically turns into a type of locker room banter. From the White House to your house, ​i​t’s everywhere.

Are we really surprised by the onslaught of sexual harassment accusations and unwanted sexual advances by Hollywood hierarchy, politicians, media personalities, and others?

We shouldn’t be. This sexual concoction has been on the American cultural stove for decades with a multitude of chefs ensuring the pot is stirred and temperature is maintained.

Men like Dr. Alfred Kinsey, who in the 1940’s and 50’s was considered an expert in sexual behavior. The godfather of the sexual revolution. H​i​s reports, known as the Kinsey Reports, on sexuality claimed that we are sexual from birth. Therefore what we deemed immoral sexual behavior was normal. In other words, how could anything that was normal be immoral? We’re just responding to how we have evolved as a species. He even stated that rape victims enjoyed the sex. In order to come to his “from birth" conclusion, he hired sexual predators to “experiment” on hundreds of babies and children and record their findings. (You can learn more on Dr. Kinsey here)​.

Kinsey’s reports helped change our belief about sex as a society which ultimately changed our sexual behavior. This became evident in the life of a virgin college student who after reading the Kinsey Report stated that he would become Kinsey’s “pamphleteer." Soon after, this young man named Hugh Hefner started a little known magazine called Playboy and a new era in the consumption of sex was underway.

With Kinsey’s teachings and Hefner’s drive, everything from sex education to pornography to abortion has been altered, legalized, and normalized. In a sense, it’s ironic that culture suddenly seems so appalled at the behavior of those that it regularly feeds garbage disguised as a gourmet meal. They go to extreme measures to appeal to the eyes by using beautiful table settings with porn laced centerpieces while filling their bellies with a life​-destroying​,​ toxic cuisine.

With that said, do I blame culture for those who have crossed the line and sexually harassed or assaulted another person? Absolutely not. That responsibility lies solely on the perpetrator, and they should be dealt with appropriately. Society's​ rules are changing at a rapid pace, and I’m grateful for it. Maybe we’ll begin to realize that the heartbreak many are facing today is, in part, due to the abuse of what we’ve deemed acceptable by society's standards.

Even though society's​ rules have normalized many forms of sexual immorality, as men who are on the journey to authentic manhood, we must choose to live by a higher standard. Appropriate sexual behavior for us should not be limited to the work place, but in every place of our lives. As our culture is awakening to its self-inflicted sickness, let’s offer a different meal. One that brings healing not hurt. A meal full of grace, love, and forgiveness to those who have betrayed and those who have been betrayed.

» This is the first post of a 2 part series. View Part 2 . «

Fear Not: Fight Well

JT McCraw is the men’s pastor at Bethel World Outreach in Brentwood, TN and the founder of the BE MEN Movement, where he provides oversight for this multi-ethnic, multi-site men’s ministry, focusing on engaging and equipping men to serve Christ. Presently they have locations in Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Ohio, Louisiana, Alabama and Arizona. JT lives in Franklin, TN with his wife of twenty-four years and their five children. You can follow JT on Twitter @jtmccraw.