Insight on the News
Like a voice in today’s permissive wilderness Dr. J. Mostyn Davis of Pennsylvania State University speaks out for chastity. Writing in a recent issue of Medical World News, he notes that the medical profession “has been curiously silent on the side effects of the sexual revolution.” Youths who want to remain chaste can find no encouragement to do so from the media, where “sex equals sales,” or their parents, who have “largely lost the talent for a good heart-to-heart” talk, or the counseling agencies, in which “one detects a subtle bias in favor of premarital sex.”
In contrast, Dr. Davis points out that “chastity offers a kind of freedom that may easily rival the freedoms associated with sex. You don’t have to worry about unwanted pregnancy, venereal diseases, side effects of the pill, and complications from abortion,” and, he adds, “it’s the cheapest form of birth control known to man.” He also reports that “there’s no study showing that premarital sex improves marriage or marital sex,” and, above all, “chastity promotes self-discipline,” says the doctor.
The Bible speaks of “the wisdom from above” as being chaste and self-discipline, or self-control, as a ‘fruit of the spirit.’ (James 3:17; Galatians 5:22, 23) And it admonishes young people to “flee from the desires incidental to youth, but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, along with those who call upon the Lord out of a clean heart.”—2 Timothy 2:22.
A sure sign of the shaky state of today’s marriages is the growing popularity of prenuptial contracts. Before a couple is married, they can have their lawyers draw up an agreement setting out the details on division of property, visitation of offspring, alimony, and so forth, in the event of a divorce. Such contracts are now upheld in fourteen states in the US, and since 1980 they have increased about fivefold in New York. Participants are mostly previously divorced persons who have money, property and business interests they wish to protect. “They’ve been burned once and now they want it all spelled out on a piece of paper,” says Lester Wallman of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Love and concern for one’s mate is the backbone of a lasting marriage. (Ephesians 5:28, 33) But when individuals enter into marriage preoccupied with the idea of maintaining and protecting their own interests they become, not lovers of their mates, but “lovers of themselves, lovers of money, . . . having no natural affection,” as the Bible foretold. (2 Timothy 3:2, 3) Their prenuptial contracts may save their money and property but surely not their marriage.
Science and God
In an article on the inner workings of the prestigious Bell Laboratories, The New York Times provided a profile of a mathematician and electrical engineer, Misha Buric, who specializes in microcircuits used in advanced computers.
“How do I organize 17,000 transistors [in a quarter-inch chip] to do something useful?” Buric asks. Could he learn something from the brain? “It’s absolutely amazing,” he says. “One realizes the complexity of it and that it is not understood at all. . . . We shouldn’t try to build a brain, because we don’t know how to do it.” That was not all. “He came to discover something other scientists believe but rarely discuss,” says the article. What is that? Buric, who does not claim to be religious, comments: “One sort of realizes our notion that we can do just about anything is incorrect. There are some things we cannot do as beautifully as nature or God has done.” What then? “Realizing there is something more powerful than us,” he confesses, “you sort of peacefully live with that.”
One detects here a very imperfect echo of what the psalmist wrote thousands of years ago: “I shall laud you because in a fear-inspiring way I am wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, as my soul is very well aware.”—Psalm 139:14.