Christianity vs. the Playboy Philosophy – Program 3

By: Anson Mount, Josh McDowell; ©1984
Well, actually, it’s your mind, at least that’s what one of our guests suggests. So what role does your mind play in your sexuality??

Your Most Important Sex Organ

Ankerberg: Welcome. We’re talking with Anson Mount, who is representing Playboy magazine, and Mr. Josh McDowell, one of America’s leading speakers on the university campus. Gentlemen, we were talking last week about sexual relationships. And I said we would go right to one of the interesting chapters in Josh’s book which has to do with what we were talking about. You said that you have come to a different conclusion than Playboy, probably, on what is the most important physical organ in a person’s body. Why don’t you start us off with that interesting statement.
McDowell: I would say the most important sex organ by far is one’s mind. I believe probably 90 percent of sex is in the mind. This is why I like the Masters and Johnson sex therapy clinic where couples go, they’re having physical problems in the area of sex, less than 10 percent of the therapy is spent in the physical. Ninety percent of the therapy is spent in the area of self-esteem and communication that relates to the mind. This is why I guess, Anson, I am so emphatic that we have the right attitudes. I believe in preparing for a good sex life. And a fulfilled love and marriage relationship is not getting it off in between the sheets and having a lot of sexual contact.
Mount: That helps.
McDowell: Well, not near as much. That experience can come anytime. It starts with the mind. And the problem is too many people get experienced in the physical and they never prepare their mind and then they pay the price. I believe Playboy is guilty in a gross way of propagating that. And so are a lot of Christians, I have to admit too.
Ankerberg: Anson, I’d like to ask you this, what is the real purpose of sexual intercourse?
Mount: Well, two purposes. I think the primary biological purpose is procreation. But also God has made it so that it’s a very pleasurable experience and that’s why we do it. That’s why most people do it, for the pleasure involved. And it happens to result in children being born. Yes, the main reason that most people do it is because they enjoy it.
But I agree with him. I can’t tell you how much I agree with him. It’s a mental thing. And that’s why I’m saying, and I have said earlier, that the pendulum is swinging back from the extra permissiveness, the single one night stands, the group sex; because the young generation, the people who are now in their twenties and their thirties, have discovered that it’s more pleasurable, it’s more enjoyable, it’s more fulfilling within the context of a good caring relationship.
Ankerberg: Anson, is there reason that you could think of why a person should refrain from having sexual intercourse?
Mount: Yes, there are people who, the way that they’ve been brought up, their emotional makeup is such that it would be to them damaging.
Ankerberg: Is there any moral absolute that you would say?
Mount: Well, okay, let me give you an example, okay?
Ankerberg: Okay.
Mount: I have a very good friend who is an extremely famous publisher and has been known in some circles as a hedonist. He didn’t go to bed with his wife until they were married because he knew that it would be a disturbing experience for her. Now, I think that was a moral decision. There are people for whom it just doesn’t fit. There are people who wouldn’t get married without having established the sexual relationship first.
Ankerberg: The problem I see, Anson, is the fact that, I appreciate your friend the publisher, but I think that I would be correct in saying that he changed his mind after that. As well as that in Playboy magazine…
Mount: Well, everybody changes their mind when they get older.
Ankerberg: Okay, that’s what we’re talking about. Should people change their mind?
Mount: Well, I don’t know. You can’t make an exact moral statement in one context with one person and make it apply to everybody.
Ankerberg: So the situation determines the context?
Mount: You asked me a question. You said, “Should you or should anybody refrain from sex before marriage?” For some people, I’m sure that it makes sense. There are many other people who wouldn’t think of getting married until they did.
Ankerberg: I guess what we’re searching for is the fact of more than just the situation. We want to know “why” in any situation.
Mount: What I’m saying is a responsible and moral sexual relationship is possible inside marriage and outside marriage. I don’t think that having the Ayatollah Khomeini or an Episcopal Bishop or a Baptist preacher say words in front of you makes it a moral situation.
Ankerberg: Okay. Let me ask Josh those questions and get a response from him on that.
McDowell: I would say, “Yes.”
Ankerberg: Yes to what?
McDowell: There are always reasons for not.
Ankerberg: For not having sexual intercourse before marriage.
McDowell: Some are temporal and others, I think, are eternal. For example, temporal, I would say one would be infection. I think just the history of venereal disease. Everybody just keeps saying, “Well, now with enlightened man, with the medicine, we’re over it,” then all of a sudden AIDS, herpes comes along.
Mount: AIDS and herpes have done more to promote sexual immorality than anything that has happened in the last century.
McDowell: Tell me about it! That’s right. Infections. Second, conception. Conception, the bearing of children. Third, the emotional problems is probably one of the greatest. And I don’t care what…well, I care what people say, because I’ve read what they’re saying about the emotional effects that premarital sex has had, not just in a few, but many people. And I believe that there’s no positive factors for premarital sex; but there are a lot of negative factors that can be built in that many couples, some can, but most couples cannot overcome.
But then I’d go further than that, I think, John. I think I would go to a theological issue. My ultimate conviction is not arguing infection, conception, emotional, psychological, everything else. I think it would go back to Jesus Christ being who He claimed to be. And with my deep convictions there, that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, has revealed the will of the Creator that depicts His nature in that man and woman was created to come together in the bonds of commitment and matrimony.
And one of the purposes, I agree with Anson, sex is pleasure. I sure do. And I believe sex is for procreation. I have three children. But, Anson, I go one step further, and I think God started out with this step: first, “the two should become one flesh.” [Gen. 2:24] I’ll go to the ultimate sacred or spiritual aspect of sex, that I believe one of the main purposes of intercourse is for a man and a woman to be able to express in the very physical the spiritual relationship that they have with God through Jesus Christ and each other.
I think when you take the pleasure, the procreation, and then you add the spiritual significance to it then you have a full sexual relationship. And so I would say I go on the authority, not to the Episcopal Bishop – are you Episcopalian? – I would say I’d go to Jesus Christ.
Mount: Well, I am sorry I cannot have a religious spiritual experience when I am having intercourse. I mean….
McDowell: Boy, I can!
Mount: Well, I am sorry.
McDowell: I think….
Mount: That leaves me out.
McDowell: I would say here this is why, take people like Dr. and Mrs. Philip Sarrell, on a faculty of medicine at Yale University. They did a study of 26,000 women to find out what produced a fulfilled sex/love marriage relationship. It’s interesting. One of the main things they found that those women who were deeply religious were the most fulfilled. And they found out those that had the most unsatisfactory sexual experiences were among those who were “anti-religious.” Doctors Amann and Stinett from the University of Georgia in Nebraska did a study to find the top ingredients to a fulfilled relationship, love/marriage and sexual relationship. It is interesting, they concluded that one of the key factors was spiritual oneness. McCall Magazine with 30,000 readers did the same thing and they concluded that those enjoying it the most were among those who were “deeply spiritual.” And I can see this with my wife.
Ankerberg: I got one even that’s more interesting for Anson. Let me tell you one that I have read in 1970 in Playboy magazine, where they found out that the readership that they surveyed, overwhelming majority of both men and women said that they were against extramarital relationships, premarital relationships, for others and especially for themselves. 1970, your own magazine.
Mount: I guess that proves that we are a very open magazine. We publish anything. Hey, listen! I don’t understand that study about the women who enjoyed sex the most were the most spiritual. I used to know a girl who was a devout atheist and she was horny as a tree full of owls. She sure must have been an exception.
McDowell: No, I wouldn’t say an exception. Listen to what I said, Anson. See, what the research was was not who enjoyed it, but they wanted to find out who had the greatest enjoyment and depth in it. And they said one, not the only factor, Anson, one of the main factors was being deeply spiritual. This is why I am convinced that any man or woman, Christian or non-Christian, anyone that draws closer together spiritually with the right attitude, they are going to have a better sex life right down to the orgasm.
Mount: Okay, and you tell me that the people who are really deeply religious always enjoy sex
McDowell: No, I am not saying that at all. I am not saying that at all. But I think I could say this, Anson, with the right attitudes they would.
Mount: With the right attitudes they would anyway.
McDowell: No, I don’t think so. I think….
Ankerberg: Okay, in order to answer that question….
McDowell:….if we take the right attitude and add the spiritual dimension of oneness….
Ankerberg: Alright, to answer that question it brings up something else. Josh, you said in your book, and I am going to quote you so we get right to it; if you had a few minutes to speak to a psychology class you would talk about love. Here is the reason why, because, “What you decide love is,” you write, “the attitudes you have about it, how you express it, how you respond, all the psychological games played in our society in the name of love, all of this will determine whether you will ever find sexual fulfillment in your life.” Why? And define “love.”
McDowell: This goes back to the main sex organ. And I say this in university, if I had five minutes in a biology class, this is what I speak on if they ask me to speak on orgasm or climax, is the love attitude. I think there is three types of love attitudes basically. One is, “I will love you if…. “I will love you if you put out.” In other words, it is based on doing something to be loved. “I will love you if you satisfy my desires.” “I will love you if you go to bed with me.” “I will love you if you marry me.” This is demonstrated by a graduate student. He said: “Why should I want love when I can have sex?” He said: “Man, love is surrender, sex is conquest.”
Second attitude of love that I see is what I call, “Love because of….” “I love you because of…” In other words, this is based on you being someone or being something. It is conditional. It will sound like, “I love you because you are pretty.” “I love you because you give me security.” “I love you because of….” This type of love says, “I love me, I want you.”
I believe there is a third kind of love and I think it is the one Christ talked about and demonstrated, an “agape” love in the Scripture. It is where it says, “I love you, period.” Not, “I will love you if…”; not “I love you because of…”; but, “I love you. Period.” In other words it thinks of the other person first. Not so much what you can get, but what you can give. And I think this is the key to a really fulfilled love/sex/marriage relationship to the ultimate.
And this is another reason why I take issue with the Playboy philosophy, the area of the initial emphasis in self-gratification first over against the other. In fact, Anson, as I really read the Playboy philosophy, basically the reason you think of someone else is to satisfy yourself. And I kept reading over it and I kept saying, “Hefner’s not saying that. Anson didn’t research that out.” And the more I read it, it is basically denying of everyone else for self, and using other people for self. And I don’t think that’s healthy. And if that’s not what the Playboy philosophy is saying, then, boy, Hefner better get a writer and rewrite it.
Mount: Well, I agree with you. I don’t like that idea either.
Ankerberg: Why? Why don’t you like it?
McDowell: Well, I think he sees the results of it.
Mount: Not personally. We are talking about a definite….
McDowell: I think you do personally.
Mount: We are talking about a definite…. Hey, listen, you…
McDowell: You told me what a wonderful relationship you had with your wife; and I think that is because you have a giving love.
Mount: Yes, but I didn’t… well, that’s not because I had a hard experience from that. I mean, maybe there are people who look at….
McDowell: No, no. I am not saying that. I am saying you do have that attitude, Anson.
Mount: You just gave your definition of what love means. Let me give you mine. Love is an unselfish concern for a fellow human being. And you don’t have to be a Christian, committed Christian, or a Buddhist, or anything else to have that. It can also be, maybe, unselfish love for your dog, I suppose. But we are talking about human love and that is what love is.
Other kinds of love that you are talking about are simply a form of con game or a form of coercion, and “I will love you if….” That’s not love. No, that’s a con game. The only rational definition of the word “love,” as far as I am concerned, is that you love somebody, whether it’s your mother, your wife, your son, your daughter, your neighbor or whatever, an unselfish concern for a fellow human being.
Now, Hefner didn’t go into that because that’s not what the Playboy philosophy is about. He was writing about the people who were criticizing us, why they were criticizing us, and defending us. And he was saying that there is nothing wrong with self-concern. There is nothing, by definition, wrong with personal pleasure. There is nothing, by definition, wrong with seeking good things for yourself, financially, sexually, or otherwise. It can be perverted and it can be overdone obviously. Sometimes, in many cases it is hard to do, but sometimes it is easy to lift things out of context. Those statements stand on their own. Or, you seem to indicate they do. I haven’t read what comes before them or what comes after them. But if they indeed say, as you seem to indicate, that the only good in life is self-indulgence, that’s the conclusion you are drawing, then it is wrong. But I don’t think it says that.
McDowell: If you know me, Anson, read any of my works, I am very careful about not taking things out of context. That’s why I said I read the Playboy philosophy four times and I kept reading this saying, “I am reading it wrong.”
Mount: Well, you have me at a disadvantage. I haven’t read it in 20 years.
McDowell: Well, yes, it is 20 years old, Anson,…
Mount: It sure is.
McDowell: …but do you know how many people this has affected over 20 years?
Mount: I don’t think anybody reads it. I don’t think anybody reads it anymore.
McDowell: How many people has it affected today? Not that, but it comes up. It is the philosophy that comes out in the attitude about people.
Mount: Well, what affects people? What are you talking about?
McDowell: I think basically what affects most here is looking at people for self-gratification, looking at people as the means to an end.
Mount: You don’t think Playboy invented that?
McDowell: No, no! I think Playboy is reflecting it. Remember I said at the beginning, it didn’t create it, it didn’t start it, it is reflecting it. But because that isn’t society, I don’t believe it’s right.
Mount: You can say the same thing about Wall Street Journal. Get rich and too bad if other people don’t.
McDowell: Hey, I agree with you. That’s why I speak out against that. But like it says here, “For ourselves any doctrine is evil if it teaches that self-denial is preferable to self-gratification.”
Mount: Let me point out something that you haven’t pointed out yet. We live in an increasingly mature society – by “mature” I am not just talking about emotionally mature, but mentally mature – far more sophisticated society than we once lived in. Far more people are not just getting educated, but they know more about what’s going on in the world. As elementary as television is, it has done an awful lot to educate a lot of people. They’ve learned a lot. They’ve learned that there are other people in the world who live differently, who have different ideas and different life styles and different values than they do. So we live in an increasingly more mature, intellectually mature and sophisticated society. So, there is a lot less tolerance for these things – I am talking about people who use people – now than there used to be. I think.
McDowell: See, the problem is we are more educated intellectually. We know how to make a cleaner bomb, so we kill people with a blast and not….
Mount: That’s not what I am talking about.
McDowell: Well, no, but this is what is happening intellectually.
Mount: Sure, sure!
McDowell: This is why Playboy is calling upon a worldwide army and a worldwide government.
Mount: I am talking about the average blue-collar worker is eminently more sophisticated, and is much less likely to be ripped off by con men than it used to be.
Ankerberg: Okay, let me enter into this.
McDowell: Wait, wait a minute. I want to say, you know, I disagree with that. I think coming right down, for this reason; right down into sex intellectually, our young people, intellectually are way ahead. People in society, say when you and I were a kid, are way ahead. But I am convinced from all the research I have done, what I see in society, intellectually they are here: in a knowledge of sex, world problems, everything. But emotionally they are way back here. I believe today people are further back emotionally than 20 years ago. And intellectually they are ahead.
Mount: You mean emotionally. What do you mean far back? You mean emotionally….
McDowell: Far back in being in touch with their emotions and their feelings.
Mount: You are talking about emotionally less mature?
McDowell: Yes, I am saying people today are less emotionally mature than they were 20 years ago.
Mount: I don’t think so. No. No.
McDowell: They are being exposed to more and are not able to cope with it.
Mount: No, no, no. I have a daughter in college and I have gone to see her several times. I have a son who was recently in college. He is now 25. I associate with their friends a lot. And they are so much more mature; they are so much more put together. If I could be reincarnated at the same age as my 25 year old son, he wouldn’t have anything to do with me, he’s so much more mature than I am. He’s so much smarter than I am. He is so much more put together than I am. I think the kids nowadays are so much more put together, so much more in control of their lives, understand things, understand human conditions, understand the pitfalls than we were, than certainly I was and my contemporaries were. I went back to Sewanee not too long ago and milled around in the student body. Those kids are so much more mature than they were when I was a student at Sewanee.
McDowell: Here I will say more mature intellectually. This is what you….
Mount: No, I am not talking about intellectually, I am talking about emotionally.
McDowell: Anson, I am talking right down in the area….
Mount: They are more in charge of their lives, they are more capable of handling themselves. They are more capable of making rational decisions. I am not talking about intellectually. I am talking about emotionally. I really believe that the kids nowadays, kids in their late teens and early 20’s, college age kids, are infinitely more mature, infinitely more put together than my generation was at the same age. Maybe my memory is faulty.
Ankerberg: One final statement, Josh, and then we have got to go.
McDowell: Okay, I would say here probably the biggest indicator of where so many people in our society, not just young people, I am talking about older is, Anson, the area of self-esteem and self-image. Which I think any psychologist would testify to as probably one of the greatest personal problems we have today is the area of self-esteem: how a person perceives him or herself. Second, I think an effect of it is what has happened with the breakup of the family and the children that have grown up from the breakup of the family. Not in all cases, but I think the stats will show and society will confess, the majority of them….
Ankerberg: Okay, let’s hold on to it until the next week and we will pick up that discussion and talk about the stats on the family. We will talk about the emotional character of students as well as other people. Join us next week. Thanks..

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