I thought Christians “worshipped” virginity? Guess not: TLW (True Love Waits) Spokesman Says TLW Will NOT “Elevate Virginity” – LifeWay to Relaunch “True Love Waits” Campaign
And the Rachel Helds Evans-es (well known Christian blogger) of the online community keep saying or implying Christians have made an idol out of virginity and sexual purity teachings, LOLOLOLOLOL! 😆
(I like Rachel Held Evans, I really do, but on this celibacy/ purity/ virginity topic, I do believe she and some other Christian bloggers who discuss wanting to do away with sexual purity teachings are a bit in error.)
It’s quite the contrary. Christians are trying to downplay celibacy and virginity, if not out-right attacking either or both.
Where is all this Christian worshipping of virginity or esteeming of celibacy going on, by the way, because I am not seeing much of it (outside of fringe, kook, cultic, Quivering type families and churches)?
I keep seeing these feminist, emergent, or liberal Christian women say on the internet that churches have idolized virginity, and some conservative males have said so, too.
Tell me where these churches are that have turned virginity into an idol, so that I may attend! 😆
I think I would enjoy a church community that values or respects that fact I am a virgin in my forties, instead of dismissing it or treating me like I’m a weirdo over it, or behaving as though I am a failure for not marrying and not popping out a litter of rug rats.
Another indication of failure is that this spokesperson in this article about TLW is assuming all Christian teens will marry at some point.
He repeatedly mentions marriage and the role of sex in marriage, as though he assumes all teens that his TLW campaign talks to will marry some day.
Yeah, hi, hello, so did I when I was a teen, totally thought I’d be married by at least my mid 30s, and yet, I find myself single in my 40s. My spouse that I was promised by Christians, as long as I waited, prayed, and sexually abstained, never did show up.
Christians need to stop falling for the error that “only a few are gifted with singleness,” or, “only a few are called to celibacy.”
Nowhere does the Bible say or promise that all or most Christians will marry, or that singleness over a lifetime is a rare thing. Christians just assume lifelong singleness is rare.
The Bible does not teach that “singleness is a gift” or is “a calling”: it is taught to be a personal CHOICE. God does not force or choose singleness or marriage on, or for, anyone.
(By the way, wanting to be married, and choosing to be open to marriage, does not guarantee that you will be: I wanted to get married but am still single.)
You’ll notice in this page linked to below that LifeWay T.L.W. employees do not present singleness or celibacy as being possible, positive, or admirable over a lifetime, or for adulthood.
Staying single as a goal or merely as a possibility is not even broached by TLW / LifeWay (ha ha, I accidentally typed that as “Lie way” at first).
If any positive vibes are given for celibacy at all in this page, it is only in the context of someone’s teen years.
Can I let you in on a fact of life that never seems to cross the minds of Christians who give lectures and brochures about sex to 15 year old teenagers?
Okay, here it is:
People do not stay 15 years old forever. Shocking, I know.
But that 15 year old kid you give a celibacy lecture to today may find herself celibate and single at age 25, 30, 40, or 50. You have to give the same amount of concern and support to a celibate 30, 40, 50 year old as you do to a 15 year old.
And, here is the page:
(Link): LifeWay’s ‘True Love Waits’ Movement to Launch New, Updated Sexual Purity Campaign
- BY JESSICA MARTINEZ, CP REPORTER
- December 4, 2013
LifeWay Christian Resource will relaunch their “True Love Waits” program later this month in honor of its 20th anniversary along with a revamped curriculum for its international campaign designed to challenge young adults to make a commitment to sexual abstinence until marriage.
The new initiative was undertaken by Clayton King, an evangelist and founder of Crossroads Worldwide, who rewrote the entire program with the goal to introduce a modern focus on the same message that has been encouraged onto millions of youth for the last two decades.
King hopes to inspire them to steer away from society’s idea of sexuality while encouraging them to defy the stereotype of over-sexualized teenagers by living for God instead of their own temporary pleasures.
“The True Love Project seeks to communicate God’s design for relationships to a new generation of students and young adults who may be struggling or confused about love, dating and sex,” said King, to The Christian Post.
“In a culture that has largely abandoned a traditional view of marriage, our hope is to communicate truth in a clear and winsome way, encouraging young men and women to follow God’s plan for their relationships.
… With the new program set to launch in time for Christmas, he says his message is not an attempt to say anything new but rather to draw attention to the unchangeable word of God and emphasize that He is the creator of people’s bodies and sexuality.
King also says the current project is unique in comparison to other abstinent-focused campaigns including the original ‘True Love Waits’ because his intention is not to “elevate virginity as the ultimate goal.”
…”If Jesus is your Lord, then you will gladly do what He says, trusting that because He loves you and He knows what’s best for you,” said King to CP. “His standards of abstinence before marriage and fidelity within marriage are for your own joy and happiness. Submitting yourself to the Lordship of Christ in the area of your sexuality is also a witness to the world that you belong to Jesus.”
It is to laugh. It really is. That was the same exact tripe I heard as a teen.
Related posts this blog:
(Link): No, Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity – [they either downplay both or attack both]
(Link): Some Researchers Argue that Shame Should Be Used to Treat Sexual Compulsions
(Link): Sometimes Shame Guilt and Hurt Feelings Over Sexual Sins Is a Good Thing – but – Emergents, Liberals Who Are Into Virgin and Celibate Shaming
(Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy” or (also false): God’s gifting of singleness is rare – More Accurate: God calls only a few to marriage and God gifts only the rare with the gift of Marriage
(Link): Christians Who Attack Virginity Celibacy and Sexual Purity – and specifically Russell D. Moore and James M. Kushiner
(Link): Anti Virginity Editorial by Christian Blogger Tim Challies – Do Hurt / Shame Feelings or Sexual Abuse Mean Christians Should Cease Supporting Virginity or Teaching About Sexual Purity
(Link): Christian Double Standards on Celibacy – Hetero Singles Must Abstain from Sex but Not Homosexual Singles
(Link): Are Most Churches Too Judgemental About Sexual Sin? (of the hetero variety)
(Link): Christian Gender Complementarian Group (CBMW) Anti Virginity and Anti Sexual Purity Stance (At Least Watered Down) – and their Anti Homosexual Marriage Position
(Link): To Get Any Attention or Support from a Church These Days you Have To Be A Stripper, Prostitute, or Orphan
(Link): Virgin – and Celibate – Shaming : Christian Double Standards – Homosexuals Vs Hetero Singles – Concerning Thabiti Anyabwile and Gag Reflexes
(Link): Dude Arguing for Legalization of Prostitution Uses Same Rationale as Christians Concerning Celibacy and Sexual Purity
(Link): The Activist Who Says Being Gay Is Not A Sin – double standards for homo singles vs hetero singles
(Link): Students Discuss Dissatisfaction with “Hookup Culture” [Casual Sex, Fornication, Pre Marital Sex]
(Link): The ol’ Christian myth that married couples are impervious to sexual sin but singles have lots of sexual sin
(Link): Why So Much Fornication – Because Christians Have No Expectation of Sexual Purity
(Link): Rare Reminders from Christians on Recent Broadcasts that Fornication is Wrong and That Older Celibates Exist
(Link): The Trivialization of Sex (a post by A. Hamilton)
(Link): Confessions of a 25-year-old Christian virgin (article) – and related info
10 thoughts on “I thought Christians “worshipped” virginity? Guess not: TLW (True Love Waits) Spokesman Says TLW Will NOT “Elevate Virginity” – Life Way to Relaunch “True Love Waits” Campaign”
My question is this: Is anything wrong with fellow Christians praying for the involuntarily single and involuntarily childless among us to receive Godly spouses and have children? Most Christians I’ve encountered seem to think it is wrong, even with the Bible telling us to boldly approach the throne of grace and that nothing is too hard for the Lord. I deeply desire marriage again after the untimely death of my spouse 3 years ago, and, even in my late 40’s, I desire to become pregnant and give birth to my own children (since my 4-year marriage didn’t produce any offspring). But I don’t receive much support. This issue has become a full-blown spiritual crisis for me. Instead of drawing me closer to God, being involuntarily single (twice in my lifetime) and childless by circumstance has pushed me farther away. What would the problem be with other Christians gathering to pray for God to draw us closer to Him AND to provide much sought-after gifts for us, rather than wringing hands and saying “Oh well, it’s God’s will, He is sovereign, it’s wrong for us to pray this way…” Who knows, God actually providing the things we ask for in prayer just might be what draws us into a closer relationship with Him.
@ Martha Irvin Hankins
Thank you for the comments. I remember you left another comment here on this blog previously, and I think I left you a reply.
I’m sorry about your situation.
I agree with your views. No, there is nothing wrong with an unmarried person praying to God for a spouse (or to have children). I certainly do not recall the Bible saying anything against it.
There is even a verse that says (of prayer to God), “You have not because you ask not.”
Christians have a perverse, hypocritical habit of deeming prayer for everything perfectly fine BUT for marriage.
As far as the childlessness issue, I see reaction to that as being split.
Some Christians will indeed pray for infertile women to get pregnant, while some pull the ol’ “sovereignty of God” card, refuse to pray for the infertile / childless, saying,
(a) if God wants a woman pregnant, he will get her pregnant (so it would seem sinful or wrong in their view to pray for this for a childless woman),
or choice (b),
“No, I won’t pray for you a baby, because God must be calling you to serve orphans and the like. Or go teach kiddie-garten classes. If you had a child of your own, you would not help other children, maybe God wants you serving other children”
Christians believe it is fine to pray for physical healing, for financial help, for a new car, for a new job, for in-grown toe nails to be healed – anything BUT marriage, or to have kids.
I blogged about this before in this post:
(Link): The Right One?
(scroll down that page to find the section with the sub heading, “Pray For the Right Car – But Not For the Right Spouse?”)
There are several reasons I am wandering into agnosticism, and the singleness issue is one of the several, so I am with you there. It’s tied into unanswered prayer and the crud I heard growing up – I was told growing up so long as I was a Christian good girl, did not have sex before marriage, prayed real hard, and trusted God, that I would get a nice, Christian spouse.
So, I was a nice, good Christian girl my whole life and my prayers to God for a spouse (and a few other things) have been totally ignored.
Meanwhile (also as I have blogged about before), I have seen oodles and lots of Christian women admit to having been very sexually active in their younger years, yet now they are married to great Christian guys and living nice, comfy suburban lives.
Why do these women get rewarded with spouses despite their sinful pasts, but I, who have been a goody goody and prayed for years get didley squat?
The only explanation I see from Christians is “well, God never promised you anything, not even for being good,” which, IMO, makes a mockery out of my sacrifices, or it raises the question, why then bother being good?
(BTW, I agree in principle now that being a goody goody Christian is not a guarantee of getting a spouse or what not, but the way in which this is conveyed by Christians can be insensitive.)
My good deeds / being good, trusting God, etc, is NOT being rewarded. I see no point in keeping up the charade. Most Christians (preachers) do not honestly wrestle with these confusing, painful issues, but just toss out small, quick, pat answers.
I also have a category / tag on this blog pertaining to the hypocritical nature of Christians to hype marriage and parenting all the time, but then they have the nerve to shame or scold the childless or the singles from pursuing those very things.
I have so far only done 2 to 3 posts with examples of that, how Christians scream and yell at singles to get married, but when we admit to trying dating sites or asking friends to set us up with single men, those same Christians who yell at us to get married tell us we are being selfish, un-Christian, unrealistic, or whatever, for actually taking steps TO get married.
Thank you again for your comments. I’m sorry you are struggling.
I have many more blog posts like this one you see here, or ones that discuss similar ways of how Christians are neglecting the single and childless, or treating us like dirt, if they do notice us.
I’ve had it up the wazoo with Christianity. I believe Christ died for my sins and rose from the dead, but other than that, I have given up on the faith.
Living as a Christian all these years has not helped me accomplish my hopes and dreams in life
~(I do have a right to be happy, or at least chase after my dreams; Christians that shame you for having needs, and not, in their view, making Jesus number one all the time infuriate me – you’re not supposed to have personal goals and dreams, according to those idiots)~
and has actually held me back-
For example, that stupid “be not yoked to a Non Christian” teaching Christians like to use to lecture Christians singles that they should not marry Non-Christians.
I think I could have been married years ago if not for that. I passed up a perfectly good Non-Christian man or two who pursued me, all over that stupid teaching.
Yes I would like to find her other reply as well because I remembered she said something about being a goody two shoes and never being rewarded for it but bad women were being given families like candy. I would like to that by saying that I knew girls at my school that had three abortions on purpose, these girls slept around like crazy and killed their babies not one but more than three times and now they found a wonderful husband in a beautiful ranch in texas with three wonderful kids, while women that kept the rules now have nothing and are actually rejected for being virgins how is that possible? Could it be that Satan not god is actually rewarding certain people for their atrocious behavior? Everyone is blaming god but it is well known that there are pacts made that give people money, fame,ect, maybe through their killing acts of their babies some kind of energy is activated ……I dont know anymore but the world is messed up…
And can potentially draw others closer to Him too. That’s gotta be our first mission field.
Yes, that Clayton King blog. As expected, they didn’t post my comments. So I know at least one person read it 🙂 I noticed one of yours was also taken off of another blog. I just happened to be on the site and saw your comments disappear.
Of course shame and guilt are not always bad. They can be consequences of sin (i.e. premarital sex). Unfortunately, organized religion today is about expression, freedom, acceptance, as comfortable as a pink Twinkie on a pile of marshmallows.
Test for CP.
CP – I had the same thoughts. I was involved with TLW when it first started and there was no “elevation of virginity.” And it certainly didn’t encourage them to “live for temporary pleasures.” That is really insane. The only real problem was those who had already fallen complaining about being “uncomfortable.” They can’t accept that premarital sex has permanent consequences, no matter how much forgiveness you get, and one of those consequences is guilt. I noticed too that he also said that all persons were “sexual sinners.” So by this, I guess he means nobody waits anymore in this “over-sexualized” culture. It really is laughable. On singleness being a gift or calling — It will have to be if that is the life a person chooses. And it is described in 1 Cor 7 and Matt 19. I think we’ve already gone around that road. It probably comes down to the English language being so inadequate to describe biblical concepts. Oh, of course you noticed Clayton King is as happily married man. Truly bizarre. I just wonder if the SBC knows how many people is laughing at this? But who am I to know anything about this, right? I’m just been waiting 52 years. No big deal. Yep, just throw that on in the water. We’ll just get a good laugh and move on with our lives. (Let’s see if he posts my spicy comments)
“Oh, of course you noticed Clayton King is as happily married man. Truly bizarre.”
Do you mean on this blog,
True Love Project, C King blog
I did not know if he was married or not. I just assumed he was, because Christians ALWAYS trot out married people to lecture everyone else, single or married, about anything, including singleness.
On singleness being a gift or calling — It will have to be if that is the life a person chooses. And it is described in 1 Cor 7 and Matt 19. I think we’ve already gone around that road.
But I did not choose to be single.
Sometimes people end up single due to circumstance, not via overt choice – but the Bible does not teach that God “calls” or “chooses” anyone to be single or married.
The Bible does not teach or even contain the phrase GOS.
I deeply resent GOS because it does not fit me and makes a mockery out of my desire to be married.
Dropping GOS would be to your benefit, because most Christians misuse, whether out of ignorance or malice, GOS to marginalize singles or to excuse marriage-worshipping.
1Co7 and similar only says being single has advantages and that marriage is a pain in the ass at times. Such verses do not say singleness is a gift or a calling.
The typical GOS view makes NO ROOM for a woman like me who DESIRES MARRIAGE but still finds herself unmarried in adulthood.
But because of GOS, I am told, “God wants you single, be content in your station, learn to accept it, do not even seek a spouse, do not use dating sites” etc.
GOS is used to forbid marriage from singles who want marriage. The Bible forbids this, or says it is in error, see 1 Timothy 4:3.
One fallout of several from GOS is the faulty assumption that GOD CHOOSES who marries and who does not.
It is assumed by default if you are single it is because God chose it, ergo, you must be THRILLED with it, and only a TINY portion of adults will ever be “called to” or “gifted” with singleness – which is false.
Upwards of 44% adults are single in today’s culture. Being married is no longer the norm.
If one believes in GOS, then God is calling a ton of people to be single today, not to marriage, but GOS thinking is so associated with the idea that marriage is the norm, that ergo, God will only gift singleness to a tiny fraction – this idea persists even though we are close to 50/50 single/married.
Churches still use GOS to justify why they will not fund singles ministries or help adult singles.
When marriage is viewed as the norm (and GOS = only a tiny few are called to life long celibacy, remember), we end up with marriage-worshipping churches, where every other sermon is about marriage and singles and singlehood are IGNORED.
Christians do not believe in catering to the perceived minority (adult virgins) but to the perceived majority (marrieds).
In the minds of Baptists, Neo Reformed, evangelicals, and fundies-
GOS = only one out of ten billion Christians will be single and stay single and virgin, so no need to spend money on them or give them attention, when 99% will get married and have kids.
You are only shooting yourself in the foot by defending GOS.
GOS is used by the wider church community to oppress singles and to justify why churches can ignore their needs and issues and focus on marriage.
But I agree on another point you made, which I hammer on frequently on this blog, and I find it really freaking annoying: many Christians assume nobody can resist sex for more than three seconds.
They assume all singles are sexually active or will be or have been, even though there are virgins over 30 years of age out there. This assumption that everybody is sexually sinning is very insulting to people who have abstained into adulthood.
Also, your other point, which I have blogged about before:
Supposedly, Christians are supposed to shut up about fornication being a sin because some 26 year old woman who had pre-marital sex when she was 19 might get offended, feel shamed, or hurt, to hear that consensual sex prior to marriage is sinful.
This gets harped on A LOT on feminist / emergent blogs, and even some conservative Christian blogs that yak about sex.
Every one gets very “Oprah” about it, very touchie feelie, crying and weeping, or indignant, in the comments section about how listening to a sexual purity lecture using the used- chewing- gum or spit- in- a- glass- of- water analogies makes them feel cheap.
I have no idea why such people think whether or not to teach biblical morals should be predicated upon how hearing them make me feel. If you have sinned or are sinning, you should feel ashamed or guilty. God gave humans a conscience.
I’m always troubled by news stories that talk about how someone horribly tortured a dog or cat or raped a woman or beat a child, but then the person expresses no feelings of shame or guilt about it. I sure as hell want such a person to feel remorse and guilt and shame over what they did.
I don’t think shame and guilt are always bad.
Oh, yeah, I’m with you, ChristianPundit on the whole GOS ideal. I think that the whole GOS idea was started because they were afraid of people who were afraid to expand their mindframe to see there are people who will remain single despite expecting marriage like you were. I think they want to make people feel better about themselves by presenting this “2nd place silver medal” called gift of singleness. I don’t know if they want to pat people on the back who aren’t married or if they want to forbid certain practices like sexual sinning because of this, but I do think it should stop.
I never was a fan of the “virginity” campaigns because they only want people to basically marry quicker so that they can in a sense “stop the waiting”. That marrying young idea is such a dangerous idea because they are basically saying you will lose your virginity and start “living in sin”. They cite statistics, like a stat that says 96% of people will have lost their virginity by the age of 25. What good is that statistic but to shame those virgins 25+ into feeling abnormal? It sure makes this one who hasn’t even been on a date and had a kiss feel so weird! Yay, Me! All despite my still present sex drive!
So the result that we have now in churches are virgins only as long as they can wait. This is not a good rubric for purity in my eyes. If it were, why is there such a high divorce rate going on there? I tend to think that they don’t know what marriage means only that it’s a place for me to finally have sex. So superficial! So I could see what the emergents say in that. However, it still doesn’t take away that virginity is very important to the Lord all the way. It is so silly that they could possibily say that we should get away from virginity. I just want to encourage you, CP and every other virgin like I to stay strong in the midst of outside pressure (in-Church & out-Church & biologically).
How about instead of teaching things like young marriage or true love waits, we teach that singleness instead may be a better alternative for the sake of the Gospel being preached? We still want that occurring, right? It all comes down to proper priorities if the Church wants to get off the ground, including inside my life. I can sit on sidelines and talk all I want, but I need to have the Gospel 1st place. With that, I think singleness comes back too.
The church doesn’t have a plan for the possibility that you could be a virgin until you die. I think they feel the way the world does, in that a life without sex is a waste. What a shame!
I’m not a role model for singleness, but what I would love to see created is like a forum or place virgins past age 25 to talk about this. Being transparent, when it comes to having sex, it is like a mystery to me. Men and women are just so different in every way. It just weirds me out a little bit how their differences can work together into something “Good”. There have been tons of stories where sex or romance have led to murder basically. One story in my state had a wife and her lover kill her husband and take the kids afterwards. With so many affairs and murders that penetrate news media, you would assume romance to be a sinful thing. It’s like staying away from others is the only way to stay alive, because you never know about your significant other.
Relationships are already complicated for me, adding sex makes it more complicated (at least to me)! Maybe it’s because I have never had a girlfriend that I say this: sex basically freaks me out. I know sex is supposed to be good so long as its in marriage, but even there I would find myself freaked to be that close to another person. And nude to boot! Yet with all that, I am very tempted to it still, and it fascinates me. However, with so many sexless (and possibly deadly) marriages, the possibility of a life without sex doesn’t sound so bad in the end. Enough of that tangent.
I have honestly found myself alone in that boat, but I do in a sense like being different. I can accept being single if it draws me closer to Jesus.
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