How About Using Celibates as Role Models For Celibacy? (Oddity: Christians Holding Up Non-Virgins [Fornicators] As Being Experts or Positive Examples on Sexual Purity)
((DISCLAIMER. This post is addressing consensual sex, NOT sexual abuse or rape.))
As one regular blog visitor, John M.(*) has noted on a prior post or two, Christian culture has a very peculiar habit of holding up Non-Virgins as role models on virginity (or celibacy, sexual purity), and I’m not talking about married Christian people who have remained faithful to their spouse (which is also a tad annoying as far as using marrieds as spokes-persons for singles or for issues singles face), but also people who had sex before they were married.
Often in these stories, the so-called authority on sexual purity had sex as a teen or 20-something, but then decided to stop having sex until marriage. So technically, these sorts of individuals are not virgins.
Some of these individuals, ones who committed fornication, like to call themselves “spiritual virgins,” “secondary virgins” or “born again virgins.”(No, I’m not kidding about that, see this older post at this blog.)
Some Christian organizations, such as Ron Luce’s, teach kids about a concept called “Emotional Virginity.” (Yes, they do. (Link): See this post.)
I can only assume there is a corollary teaching in such groups, something called “Born Again Emotional Virginity,” or “Spiritual Emotional Virginity,” for those teens who have failed to keep “Emotional Virginity.” (Not that I believe in such a concept of “Emotional Virginity” myself; it sounds ridiculous and unbiblical.)
God certainly does forgive people their sexual sin, but coming up with terms such as “born again virgin” and the like to denote that you are forgiven for your fornication, and to ease your conscience on some level, cheapens honest- to- goodness virginity.
Such terminology and such attitudes (and it comes up regularly in secular and Christian feminist, anti- purity/ anti- modesty writings on the internet, too) makes a mockery of those of us who have literally held out past the age of 35 or 40 and are still virgins – not figuratively, allegorically virgin, but really- and- truly- we’ve- never- had- sex variety type of virgin.
-Churches and Christians Hold Up Fornicators As Paragons of Sexual Virtue-
Things get a little stranger when one realizes that in the Christian blogging, television, and magazine world, and on the speaking circuit, Christian fornicators (those who had sex before getting married) are held up as experts or as role models for sexual purity to teen-agers and young adults.
(I’d like to pause here to say, for the billionth time, celibacy and virginity are not just for Christians under the age of 25 or 30, when will the church address the needs and concerns of unmarried celibates past the age of 30? Most Christians continually assume that nobody is strong enough to resist the urge of sex past the age of 25 / 30, which is incorrect, since some of us have in fact done so.)
I just blogged the other day about an article from “Christian Post” online magazine about a woman, Gresh, who is hired to speak to teens or write literature for them concerning sexual purity, yet she had sex when she was 15 years old, and she was not married at the time. She says she regrets having been sexually active outside marriage.
I am not sure why the Christian community likes to hold up failures at sexual mores as pristine examples for youth to follow.
Maybe most Christians assume one who has failed at sexual purity but recommitted to celibacy at a later date is more relateable for teens. Maybe the thinking is such individuals have more insight because they made a mistake but conquered it or learned from it.
Here’s a novel idea, preachers and Christian community:
How about holding up Christians who have not failed at sexual purity as role models for sexual purity? If a Christian did not yield to sexual pressure as a teen or 20 something and is still an actual virgin (not a “born again virgin” but a genuine one) past the age of 40, Christians can learn from them.
The Bible contains advice in the Old Testament along the lines that if you want to know how to become wealthy, hang out with, befriend, and talk to wealthy people. The Bible does not say to hang out with people who are living in poverty or take financial tips from spend thrifts, or to take monetary advice from welfare recipients, now does it? No, it doesn’t.
The Old Testament also says, if you want to find out how to be wise, then associate and question wise people, and learn from the wise. The Bible does not say, “If you want to find out how to be wise, befriend and take advice from the biggest idiots you know, or people who regularly make foolish choices.”
So, wouldn’t it make sense for churches and pastors to point to Christians who are still virgins at age 35 and beyond as experts or role models for sexual purity?
I’m afraid one reason many churches do not is that there are several stereotypes about never-married celibate adults. The truth is that most older celibate Christians are HETERO sexual and have normal sexual drives.
(Please click the “read more” link to read the rest of this post)
However, a lot of Christians mistakenly believe if you have made it to the age of 35 – 40 without having sex, or have never been married, it must be because:
1.) You are homosexual, or
2a.) you don’t have a libido
(2b.) which is tied into the myth that God grants super, special, singleness powers and the “gift of celibacy” and “gift of singleness” to some, which they think erases all longing for a spouse and sex, but it does not. See for example this post about a pastor’s views on celibacy).
In my view, as long as stereotypes such as those persist, actual (as opposed to the symbolic-only “secondary,” “born again” or “spiritual” varities) Christian virgins won’t be taken seriously, considered, or utilized as resources on these issues (if it’s even acknowledged that we exist. Usually in Christian thinking, there is no such thing as a never-married Christian virgin past the age of 30. We do exist. However, in most Christian thinking, mature celibates are like unicorns, elves, leprechauns, or plaid rabbits, or more rare than a four leaf clover).
(Link): Past Sin Does Not Make You A Better Spiritual Leader by P Cooke
John M.’s Blog with material similar to that on this blog:
Update on the guy’s blog above – I eventually blocked him from this blog. You can read more about that (Link): here.