Week 41 in the year of our Lord 2021

Satan hates sex (and marriage)

10 minutes to read

Satan hates sex.

This might sound absurd to you. Everything in our culture would have you think otherwise. George Carlin once joked, “The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.” In the same vein, Woody Allen quipped, “Is sex dirty? Only when it’s being done right.” The world and its ruler would have us believe that sex is best when it’s dirty, best when it’s with the bad girls.

By natural contrast, then, Christians are fastidious prudes, drawing up from our “puritanical” and Victorian roots an embarrassment about sex, and an ethic that teaches us to be naked and ashamed.

On the face of it, the devil is all about sex; the church not so much.

As we have mentioned, there is some truth to the church’s ambivalence toward sex. But there is actually no truth to the devil’s love for it. It only seems this way because he is obsessed with sexual license. The devil is for fornication, adultery, and every kind of devious sexual immorality. He loves sex like tin-pot dictators love foreign aid. He hijacks something meant for good and twists it for his own purposes. The foreign aid was meant to buy food to feed a starving people; the tin-pot dictator uses it to buy weapons to subjugate them. Sex was meant to knit two people together and fill the world with more servants of Christ; Satan uses it to alienate people and fill the world with more slaves of lust.

In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul warns married couples not to forgo sex for long, “lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control” ( v. 5).

Sex, rightly ordered, is unitive and fruitful.

Sex, perverted, is a source of division and barrenness.

The latter is the sort of sex that Satan loves, because the former is the sort that he hates. And his hatred goes far beyond mere intercourse. He hates the whole system of biological sex. He hates the whole righteously embodied expression of it that we call gender.

He is an enemy of male and female. Why? Because he hates the divine structure of the cosmos. He hates God’s kingdom, and the millions of atoms it is built up from: households.

—Excerpted from It’s Good to Be a Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity, Chapter 4, “The War on Sex,” now available for preorder from Canon Press.

It’s Good To Be A Man cover image

Preorder hardcover

Or preorder digital »

What business does the state have in marriage?

Oakville, Canada, requiring proof of vaccination to apply for a marriage license

It’s tempting in light of these kinds of events—as it was in light of the legalization of gay mirage—to say that the state has no place administering marriage at all.

A lot of Christian guys want to know why they need the state’s permission to enter into a religious institution.

But, as always, we must keep it between the ditches.

Such men are often surprised to discover that the modern marriage license originated with the very religious Puritans.

How can that be? Well, the Puritans weren’t developing their doctrine and practice in reaction to an evil state. So they were able to see more easily that marriage is not actually a religious institution. It is a creational or natural one.

After all, if marriage were religious, then only Christian marriages would be valid. This is a difficulty that Catholics have, since they treat marriage as a sacrament. But the Puritans knew that Scripture recognized gentile marriages as legitimate. God simply hasn’t made marriage to be a covenant that must be administered by his Church.

A marriage is formed for the purpose of creating a productive household. This will result in children, and in various forms of property. Thus, if one or both parents were to die, there is the potential for disputes between those children (and any remaining parent) about that property. This is directly and properly the jurisdiction of the state. Similarly, in the event of adultery, under God’s law that is a capital crime—the prosecution of which is only given to the state. Hence, the state has a legitimate interest in the validity of a marriage.

The whole get “government out of marriage” thing is woefully ignorant of church history, and operates from a libertarian sexual ethic foreign to Scripture.

This doesn’t mean that the Church cannot administer marriages, or that we shouldn’t want marriages to be under the discipleship of the Church; obviously we do. But we want that because we want the benefits that are only available through the Church: sanctification, discipleship, fellowship and the like. We want marriages to be “under” the Church because we want husbands and wives to be under the Church—because we want everyone to be under the Church.

But in terms of the recognition of a marriage covenant in itself, and in terms of the administration of justice if that covenant is violated/dissolved, the state must have a legitimate interest, because the state’s very purpose is the administration of justice. If two children want the same inheritance, the state must adjudicate. If a husband cheats on his wife, the state should be the one to execute him; the Church cannot do that, because the Church does not bear the sword. But then, for the state to prosecute the case, it must be able to recognize the marriage in the first place—which means there must be some kind of publicly-agreed method for doing so. Call it a license, or a certificate, or whatever you like, but it has to exist as a legal document.

That does not mean that the state itself has to have issued this document. It just means that the state has a legitimate interest in being able to recognize the validity of the marriage.

A valid marriage requires:

  1. Covenantal vows exchanged by an unmarried man and an unmarried woman within the proper level of consanguinity;
  2. Consummation of that covenant by sex;
  3. Normatively, the approval and witnessing of the vows by members of the family and community.

It is perfectly reasonable for the state to keep a record that at least items 1 and 3 were observed (item 2 is generally taken as given, for obvious reasons). If the state were righteous, doing so would be helpful in the event of divorce court or estate settlement.

So what should we make of the ridiculous vax requirement in Canada, then? What do we do when the state requires something which is neither required by Scripture, nor of any use to the public good?

Is a couple simply not able to get married now, if their consciences forbid them getting vaccinated?

No. The state has plainly fallen so far from maintaining God’s natural order, that a couple could certainly be married by their pastor—or by any valid witness if a pastor wouldn’t do it, but we typically choose pastors because of their authority as ministers of God—and that would be a valid marriage in God’s eyes. It would remain so, regardless of whether the state recognized it as such or not; just as gay mirage is never a valid marriage in God’s eyes, even if the state recognizes it as such. In a situation like this, the couple simply has to recognize that the state has become so lawless that, should one of them violate the marriage covenant, seeking justice will probably be impossible. So they should look into alternative methods to safeguard themselves and God’s law, until such time as the state regains its senses and they can confirm their marriage in the typical way. Perhaps private legal remedies are possible instead. It is possible to arbitrate not only through the magistrate, but also through an agreed-upon council. It’s not the ideal option, because it is properly the jurisdiction of the state—but when one sphere of authority becomes deranged, other spheres (church and family/community) have to step in to help as best they can until the situation can be resolved.

New content this week: #

Notable: #

Prof. Mattias Desmet - The Psychology of Covid-19 (Mass Formation and Totalitarian Thinking) One key takeaway: Four things need to be in place if you want a large-scale mass phenomena—i.e., irrational mass belief in obvious falsehoods:

  1. Social isolation
  2. A lack of sensemaking in individual lives;
  3. A lot of free-floating anxiety (i.e., not connected to anything specific);
  4. Similar free-floating psychological discontent.

Here’s a money quote:

You have to know that free-floating anxiety is the most painful psychological phenomenon someone can experience…so what people want in this situation is something to connect their anxiety to. They are looking for an explanation for their anxiety. If free-floating anxiety is highly present in a population, and the media provide a narrative which indicates an object of anxiety, and at the same time describes a strategy to deal with this object of anxiety, then all the anxiety connects to this object, and people are willing to follow the strategy to deal with this object no matter what the cost is… A new kind of social bond emerges, and a new kind of sense-making. Suddenly, life is all directed at battling the object of anxiety… This leads to a kind of mental intoxication… When people experience this mental intoxication, it doesn’t matter any more whether the narrative is correct or wrong—even blatantly wrong. What matters is that it leads up to this mental intoxication…and that makes it so difficult to destroy it, because for people it doesn’t matter when the narrative is wrong, and what we all try to do, is we all try to show constantly that the narrative is wrong, but for people that is not what it is all about. It’s all about the fact that they don’t want to go back to this painful state of free-floating anxiety.

In other words, men without a mission, and women without men on a mission, are highly anxious and susceptible to being drawn into a fake mission, to the extent that it becomes a kind of mass delusion that they are willing to engage in just to alleviate the built-in need to fulfill the creation mandate. Maybe now is a good time to review how to develop a masculine mission for your life.

The only way to solve this problem, as Desmet goes on to say, it not to present facts, but rather an alternative solution to the anxiety. We are a society in the end stages of terminal gospel deprivation. The solution is obvious.

And because of this, God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth, but delighted in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:11–12)

Read and share this email on the web: #


Talk again next week,

Bnonn & Michael

This email is archived, but you can receive new ones free every Saturday.

Subscribe to Notes on Manhood

You’ll get the newsletter every Saturday morning, Eastern time.


You’re now subscribed to Notes on Manhood. You will get the next newsletter in your mailbox on Saturday.

You can safely close this dialog and keep browsing now.