Christian Author Lauren Winner Discusses Pre Marital Sex
- RELIGION | Writer Lauren Winner once counted herself among the many young evangelicals who approve of premarital sex. Now repentant, she’s offering a roadmap for returning to a biblical sexual ethic
The sexual revolution continues: About 65 percent of American teenagers have sex before they finish high school, and the number of unmarried couples living together has shot up tenfold between 1960 and 2000.
Sexual morality has also collapsed among Christians, with one survey finding that two-thirds of single Christians have not practiced chastity.
A 2003 study of young people signing abstinence pledges found that, while the vows did postpone sex, 61 percent eventually broke their promises. Of the 39 percent who kept their pledges, 55 percent said they had oral sex, which they didn’t consider to be sex.
The problem is not just behavior, but changing beliefs to match behavior. One study of “born again” Christians distinguishes between “nontraditional evangelicals” (who have had a spiritual experience but who are less interested in church and doctrine) and “traditional evangelicals” (who go to church more and have a higher view of Scripture).
Among the nontraditionals, 46 percent say there is nothing wrong with premarital sex; 26 percent of traditionals say the same. Meanwhile, 19 percent of nontraditionals and 13 percent of traditionals see no problem with adultery.
Writer Lauren Winner, as a teenager and then a young adult, went with the flow, viewing sex as a normal part of dating and of premarital relationships. Then she became a Christian.
But, as with many others her age, conversion did not change her sex life: “I knew, dimly, that Christianity didn’t look kindly on premarital sex, but I couldn’t have told you very much about where Christian teachings about sex came from.” She read the Bible but thought biblical prohibitions against sexual immorality only applied to sex without love or a committed relationship.
… “In Real Sex,” she told WORLD, “I contextualize chastity as one of many ascetical spiritual disciplines, disciplines in which we renounce something in order to attend to God in a particular way.”
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