Extinct Emotions

November 6, 2006

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Preaching through II Peter, seeing the warnings against immorality, and at the same time reading of current movies, I’m reminded that the immorality of Peter’s day is alive and well in our own time.  Our secular friends view our Christian morality as a losing proposition–we lose out on experience and pleasure, all for rigid, legalistic rule-keeping.

A couple of years ago, I read an interesting rebuttal against this idea.  Christianity wasn’t in view.  Rather, it was a less morally controlled present pitying a more morally controlled past.  And this is what one character in John Fowles’ novel The Magus says in response.  It’s worth considering.

“We lay on the ground and kissed. Perhaps you smile. That we only lay on the ground and kissed. You young people can lend your bodies now, play with them, give them as we could not. But remember that you have paid a price: that of a world rich in mystery and delicate emotion. It is not only species of animal that die out, but whole species of feeling. And if you are wise you will never pity the past for what it did not know, but pity yourself for what it did.” (John Fowles, The Magus, p. 149).

A whole species of feeling lost:  the price of the loss of innocence.  That’s a lot more expensive than even the over-priced movie tickets of today.