Seven Big Lies About Sex

A discussion between John Stonestreet and Sean McDowell.


John Stonestreet

A few weeks ago, professor and apologist Sean McDowell asked a group of high school students to identify the biggest lies about sex that are prevalent in our culture. He then invited me on his YouTube podcast to talk about them.  

Lie number one is, “If it feels good, do it.”  

I took this to my students. I said, okay, so the basis of right and wrong here is feelings. Should we decide what we do based on our feelings? I said, “Can you think of any examples of feelings that we have that we shouldn’t act on?” Well, if you just come up with one example, then you realize we should gauge our feelings against another standard.  

You can do the right thing and it not feel good. And the wrong thing can feel good. 

Another lie is, “You are missing out.”  

I thought, okay, wait a minute, as a teenager, I feel like I’m missing out. Sex is everywhere. I’ve got to wait all these years. Like, that’s a natural feeling to have. But also, I thought, wait a minute, there might be other people who are missing out on something better because of their actions. 

A third lie that Sean and I discussed was, “It’s weird to save yourself for marriage.”   

It is weird. And maybe that’s okay. In other words, maybe being weird is not the worst thing ever, is what I’m saying. Because when you say something like, “it’s weird to save yourself for marriage,” you’re actually not saying something necessarily about the Christian in this case. You’re saying something about the norm of that cultural setting. 

maybe it’s better to be weird than to be normal in a cultural moment like ours. 

Another prevalent lie that doesn’t just tempt the younger generation but all of us is, “Sex is not a big deal.”  

We all know it’s a big deal. It’s not the biggest deal, but it’s a lie to say that sex is everything, and it’s a lie to say that sex is nothing. In fact, the whole MeToo movement, if sex is not a big deal, we should have just told the whole people, “Hey, suck it up. It’s not a big deal. What are you whining about?” And, of course, we didn’t because sex abuse is serious and damaging, and people feel violated in the deepest way.  

Another lie, one that goes all the way back to the Garden and our first parents is, “God is keeping you from all the fun.” 

I really think when it comes to sexuality, the root of the question is, “Does this generation and all of us believe that God is good, and are His commandments for my good?”  Because when we believe that, and we go, “It doesn’t make sense. I don’t get it. But maybe God knows something I don’t know. I’m going to listen to him.” That’s really the difference. We saw it in the Garden, and it’s the same question today.  

A lie closely related to that one: “Do what you want. You are the boss of your life.”  

You have to understand, this idea that you’re free to do whatever you want—as if there are no consequences and rules and boundaries—assumes that you weren’t designed for a purpose. But if there’s a designer and there is a purpose, then there are boundaries to life: moral boundaries, physical boundaries, actions and their consequences. It’s just built into reality. It’s like you’re banging your head against the wall and going, you know, why do I have a headache? 

A lie that predates this generation but is still quite prevalent is, “If you don’t ‘go all the way,’ you’re fine.”  

First of all, if you think you can pull the brakes, you’re a fool. That won’t happen for very long. Secondly, the state of your heart is really, you know, where Christ locates sin. Your heart’s already there, even if you haven’t actually gone “all the way.” You know, Jesus was pretty clear about this one. He wasn’t up in the air on this at all.  

The entire conversation between Sean and I will be aired again on a special episode of the Breakpoint Podcast. Listen online at or wherever you download podcasts. 

Also, hear more from Sean McDowell over at the Identity Project, the world’s biggest library of resources that unpack the biblical truth of who we are. Go to to subscribe.  

If you’re a fan of Breakpoint, leave a review on your favorite podcast app. For more resources to live like a Christian in this cultural moment, go to 


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