Monday, December 17, 2007

A modern day Cassanova

Lechery and Its Fruits

Denny Burk
December 12, 2007

Denny Burk serves as the editor for The Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and he posts regularly at Denny Burk.

The so-called sexual revolution has given to the culture more than it bargained for. At least that's what I thought recently as I watched Paul Janka being interviewed on NBC's "Today Show."

Janka is a case-study in sexual libertinism gone to seed. He is a self-confessed "Cassanova" who claims over 100 "conquests," and now he's telling other guys how to do the same. Here's how Janka says he approaches "dating":

"Let me say I have a dual aim when I spend time with a woman: to have fun and to maintain my integrity as a man. Maintaining my integrity means honoring what I want in the process and not being manipulated by a woman's agenda. This has to be an active process because I've found that women in the City - consciously or not - operate by a societal script that doesn't incorporate my interests as a man."

Now this is astonishing. Masculine integrity has nothing to do with truth, rightness, or even what one's obligation is to one's fellow man (or in this case woman). Rather, Janka turns his "integrity as a man" into a prop for his own self-centered desires. He does it with a straight face and in a forum that implies his behavior is in the cultural mainstream.

What was remarkable about the interview, however, was the inability of anyone to make a definitive condemnation of Janka's behavior. Meredith Vieira gave hints that she disapproved of his behavior, and a "sex addiction" therapist was brought in to show that Janka's exploits could possibly be hurtful to women. Junka's response was simply to say that he's up-front with his intentions and that the women he "dates" are on board with his lechery.

Janka styled himself as living out authentic manhood, and neither Meredith Vieira nor the therapist could express an ounce of moral outrage, even though it seemed to be simmering beneath the surface. Their secularism and moral neutrality gave them no resources for doing so. In a culture that says that the only moral requirement of human sexuality is that it occur between consenting adults, there really isn't any consistent basis for censuring Janka.

How different all of this is from the ideal of manhood presented in the Bible. The paradigm of masculine integrity in the scriptures is King Jesus, who for love set aside his own rights and privileges in obedience to His Father and who laid down his life for His bride (Philippians 2:5-8; Ephesians 5:25). Likewise God intends marriage as a reenactment of Christ's love for his bride. Just as Christ lays down His life for His wife, so husbands are called to lay down their lives for their wives.

Would that Janka might see another ideal of manhood-the one that was embodied by Jesus Himself, who alone can free men from the enslaving moral confusion of our day.