Vol.V No.X Pg.5
December 1968

Anything Goes---Where?

Robert F. Turner

In a college speech class, working on oral interpretations, a meek mousy student fumbled through a rather robust passage, killing the sense of the lines. The instructor blew her top. Jumping up from her seat, she climbed atop her desk, threw her arms wide, and shouted at the top of her voice. She scared the wits out of all of us, but I suppose she made her point — no inhibitions!!

Turn loose, let go, open up!! That was the teacher's favorite theme; and perhaps it had its place in dramatic work. At that time I thought it somewhat radical, but I could see that a certain freedom from inhibitions was necessary in order to give free flow to feelings in the interpretation of dramatic parts. Such teaching may have encouraged my more casual approach in preaching — to get next to people, right where they live.

But this philosophy has gone far beyond interpretive reading. It became a part of child psychology, and fostered the idea that parents must not restrict their little darlings. Let them write on the walls, kick the visitors, break the windows. But do not scold or punish; do not say "No!" You may curtail their free expression of themselves, and develop those nasty old inhibitions. Tsk, Tsk!!

It has become the justification(?) for the "new morality" with "freedom" the pseudonym for obscenity. Will Durant, the Historian, wrote: "Our ancestors played this sexual impulse down, knowing that it was strong enough without encouragement; we have blown it up with a thousand forms of incitation, advertisement, emphasis and display, and have armed it with the doctrine that inhibition is dangerous. Whereas inhibition — the control of impulse — is the first principle of civilization.

Inhibition, "the control of impulse", is not only essential to civilization, it is an essential part of Christianity. Respect for authority external to man, calls for control of one's impulses, subject to the divine will. Such control, developed to the point that it practically becomes a part of one's character, is little different from a conscience that is properly adjusted (See 2PE.1:4-f).

"Reveling" (GAL. 5:21; 1PE. 4:3) is the removal of restraints, and is a work of the flesh. It is associated with and encouraged by wasteful, luxurious living (See LUK. 15:13). We have so often "translated" the word into "dancing" (and it will include that) that we may have lost sight of many other things covered by "reveling". Look up "revel" "riot" "delicately" "wanton" and other like words, in Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words — and then decide the importance of inhibitions in the Christian life.

There are, of course, unjustified restraints, urged in the name of religion. Fear of Hell may be developed out of proportion to "the peace that passeth understanding;" sex may be taken out of its God-approved place and made "dirty"; and such unwarranted "inhibitions" may adversely affect one's life. But the "anything goes" philosophy will damn our souls.