Pat Robertson says ‘Virginity Has Nothing To Do With Marriage’ and Says (Paraphrasing) ‘Virginity Was Fine For Mary But Not Applicable For Any Other Christians’
This is the second or third time in the past year or so that Christian TV personality Pat Robertson has pretty much said that God or the Bible do not teach that Christians are to abstain from pre-marital sex.
Robertson tends to “gloss over” sexual sin committed by heterosexuals, as though it’s not a big deal, which makes it harder for hetero people who are still single and virgins in their 40s, such as me, to continue to hold on, to continue to find compelling reasons not to sleep around.
(But then, I’ve begun a slow drift away from the Christian faith the last couple years, so maybe some of this is not applicable to me, but it bothers me to see that it is impacting single people who are still squarely in the faith.)
I have noticed any time Robertson classifies homosexuality as sinful that left wing sites jump all over him, but they fall silent when he basically endorses hetero pre- marital sexual sin or writes it off as being a non-issue. (Nice double standard the liberals have there.)
I don’t see any Christian speakers or media personalities calling out Robertson on his anti- virginity views, and I have blogged about them before (like here: (Link): Christian TV Show Host Pat Robertson Disrespects Virginity – Says Pre-Marital Sex Is “Not A Bad Thing”).
(Robertson also sometimes takes a lax view towards men who cheat on their wives, which is also troubling.)
You can watch / listen to the video under discussion in this post here:
(Link): ‘Bring It On’ – Robertson Answers Questions From Viewers – CBN site (broadcast Feb 11, 2014)
-That same video is also embedded at the bottom of this post, via You Tube-
The question (viewer letter) we are interested in for the purpose of this post is the third or fourth letter in the video.
The letter from the married woman to Robertson in the video reads:
- I met my husband in church at a time I was a virgin.
He was divorced with two kids, having left his wife after she cheated on him. Within weeks, I was living with him and got pregnant by him.
We have since married and have been together three years, but now I feel like I betrayed God because I didn’t marry a virgin, had pre-marital sex, and had a child out of wedlock.
My husband and I get along great and never argue, but I feel like I should start over. Should I stay married, or leave him and become celibate?
I notice that Pat gets these sorts of letters with regularity, about once every 3 – 4 months; someone will say they were a virgin but then slept around, or whatever, then married the guy, then want to know if God wants them to divorce the spouse.
How can people be so ignorant and naive? Two wrongs don’t make a right.
While I don’t believe that the Bible teaches a “permanence” view of marriage (e.g., I don’t believe the Bible teaches an abused woman has to stay with her abusive spouse forever), it does hold marriage in pretty high esteem – which means, you would be heaping sin on top of sin to divorce the dude just because you had pre-marital sex with him.
Anyway, Robertson’s response to her was to diminish virginity, as is his habit when people write to him with questions about virginity and celibacy. Why is Robertson not being called out for this unbiblical position? Why are other Christians remaining silent?
Here is Robertson’s reply (this is my paraphrase, it may not be word- for- word; the site does not provide a transcript, so I’m typing this as I am listening to the audio; emphasis added by me to the text):
[Pat Robertson responding to woman’s letter]
Wow. You know it’s amazing this guy is a Christian yet… this man, he’s married and is seducing a woman two weeks after he met her, he’s having sex with her. Within two weeks? [Or weeks?]
He must have really put the move on you really heavy. You must have been pretty willing. All right, but.
But the subject, the fact that you weren’t a virgin or he wasn’t a virgin has nothing to do with marriage.
There’s nothing in the Bible that disqualifies somebody, ‘well you gotta marry and you weren’t a virgin.’ I don’t know anything in the Bible that talks about that.
That was fine for Mary, she was a virgin, but she was… what was in her was conceived by the Holy Spirit of God. All right.
So you’ve been married, you have a child, you have what is apparently a Christian husband, the reason for his divorce was infidelity of the spouse, so…. that’s okay; and I see no reason why you should not live a happy married life.
You’re doing OK together, so rejoice in what you have. Don’t be coming up with all these spurious problems.
I mean you now… so far, so good.
You made some mistakes, you did something wrong, but you have rectified that and now you’re living according to God’s law, so enjoy.
Forgive yourself, God will forgive you, it’s over, no you don’t want a divorce and start all over again, that makes no sense at all.
— end —
True enough, the Bible does not say that non-virgins are not “marriage material,” but, the Bible does make a case for virginity in being the expectation for singles, in passages that discuss that the marriage bed should not be defiled, the penalty for fornication in the Old Testament was stoning to death (which indicates God is not fine with people having pre-marital sex, only that the penalty changed in the New Testament), and the Bible says if one cannot control one’s sexual passions, one should try to get married – which suggests having sex prior to marriage is frowned upon by God.
In other words, the Bible may not declare “non virgins are not marriagable” but the assumption still seems to be, “followers of Christ are to remain virgins until marriage.”
It’s rather disingenuous, therefore, for Robertson and other Christians to teach, in a round about way, that virginity is not a “requirement” for marriage for Christians – because it still is.
Fornication is a forgivable sin, yes, but still remains a sin never-the-less, and no matter how many fornicators feel shamed, guilty, or dirty over that knowledge.
The Bible may not “disqualify” a fornicator from marriage and forbid virgins from marrying non-virgins, but the Bible still teaches that Christians are to remain virgins until marriage.
Your shame or guilt feelings do not negate that the Bible classifies some behavior as sinful.
Perhaps one of the oddest views Robertson spouts in the video is where he seems to imply that virginity- until- marriage was a quality and discipline and state of being which God expected only of Mary (who was betrothed to Joseph) and no other human before or since; that is simply not biblical.
There ARE Christian adults, who are over 30, 40, and older, who are still virgins, who have never married – there are also some adult, divorced Christians who are staying celibate after they have divorced.
How do you suppose it makes such Christians feel to be surrounded by a Christian culture that just shrugs its shoulders about pre- or extra-marital sex, as if fornication is not a sin, and God winks at it?
I’ll tell you, and as I said above: it makes it harder and harder for adult celibates to hang in there.
What is the point in me staying sexually pure, when so many Christian talking heads say, “Nah, God does not REALLY expect you to abstain. If you slip up and fool around, just forgive yourself. God created you to be sexual. Just get over it and move on. Virginity is not for marriage.”
This type of rationale, meant to soothe the guilty feelings of fornicators, removes any incentive for an adult virgin to remain a virgin.
Doesn’t the Bible say don’t do or say anything that may cause a sister in Christ to stumble?
I’m not asking for Christian fornicators to be bashed in the heads with rocks by church- going mobs, but I’d like to see a little more accountability in this area, instead of an, “aw shucks, we all fornicate, don’t worry about it” lax attitude from Christians.
You see where Robertson said,
- That was fine for Mary, she was a virgin, but she was… what was in her was conceived by the Holy Spirit of God. All right.
I have noticed that the usual evangelical or conservative Christian response to singleness, virginity, and celibacy is to respect all three conditions ONLY when discussing certain Bible figures, such as Jesus or Paul, or in the case of Robertson today, with Mary.
As to those Christian adults who are singles and virgins in this day and age, there is no support for us; we are expected to fornicate.
(Or, in other branches of conservative and liberal Christian thought today, hetero singles are expected to abstain, but homosexual singles are not, which I have blogged about before as well).
Anyway, I blogged about that odd and frustrating phenomenon before, where virginity and singleness are respected only in regards to Jesus, Paul, and Mary, here:
(Link): Ever Notice That Christians Don’t Care About or Value Singleness, Unless Jesus Christ’s Singleness and Celibacy is Doubted or Called Into Question by Scholars?
Feb 11, 2014 video of Pat Robertson saying that virginity is not for marriage, and only for Mary (Mother of Jesus):
Related posts, this blog:
(Link): Liberty Counsel Fears Prom, Losing Freedom To Be Abstinent Before Marriage – their marketing has been jeered by ex Christians, atheists, liberal Christians, and secular left wingers / Re: Day of Purity Campaign
(Link): Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias, Has Incorrect and Unbiblical Views about Celibacy