By Bill Cavender
“The doctrine that pleasure is the sole or chief good in life and that moral duty is fulfilled in the gratification of pleasure-seeking instincts and dispositions; living for pleasure” (Webster). Hedone: “Pleasure, is used of the gratification of the natural desire or sinful desires” (W. E. Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words).
“For we also once were foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures (hedone), living in malice and envy, hateful. hating one another” (Titus 3:3). “Whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not, even of your pleasures (hedone) that war in your members? Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may spend it in your pleasures (hedone)” (James 4:1-3). “Men that count it pleasure (hedone) to revel in the day-time, spots and blemishes, reveling in their deceivings while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; enticing unsteadfast souls; having a heart exercised in covetousness; children of cursing” (2 Pet. 2:13-14).
Who would deny that hedonism reigns supreme everywhere? The “Playboy Philosophy” is the moral and spiritual fashion of the day. Plain old decency, discreteness, purity, honesty, truthfulness, morality, manners and modesty are as out-of-date and “old foggyish” as the horseless carriage, and mother’s brass scrub-board and number three washtub. With the bikinis, short shorts, mini-skirts, skin-tight and ultra-thin garments, pornographic movies and magazines, topless and naked entertainment, sex education in schools and illicit lust affairs on every hand; with the overwhelming emphasis on sports (more brutal and cruel than ever), fishing, hunting, camping, traveling, weekending; and with the corresponding de-emphasis of worship, Bible study, prayer and spirituality, who would deny that ours is a pleasure-mad, hedonistic world?
Wars, murder, lawlessness, divorce, drugs, alcohol, thievery, hate, malice, envy and strife will remain as long as hedonism is our god. The only answer is faith in the one true God, in His Son Jesus Christ, in the Scriptures, in true repentance and deep contrition for sin, baptism into Christ for the remission of sins, and a faithful life in worship and service to God from henceforth.
Truth Magazine XXI: 17, p, 258
April 28, 1977