Christian Gender Complementarian Group (CBMW) Anti Virginity and Anti Sexual Purity Stance – and their Anti Homosexual Marriage Position
This is one of those pieces that seems to seek, at least on some level, to affirm virginity, celibacy, and sexual purity, but in the end scheme of things, somewhat undermines all of it to say Christians need to soften their stance on all these issues, because, gosh durn it, don’t you know that some women (who have engaged in consensual pre-marital sex) get really hurt feelings when they hear that the Bible condemns sexual sin, and such teachings makes them doubt their self-worth?
Sexual abuse victims are also tossed into the mix, which is one of my huge pet peeves in these discussions about sexual purity and virginity.
Folks need to keep these issues separate.
Bringing up rape and sexual abuse in conversations about the Bible’s standards on consensual sexual activities unnecessarily muddies the waters, and has the effect of Christians saying,
- “These purity and virginity discussions make abuse and rape victims feel just awful, so let’s just water the Bible’s sexual standards down, and even pretend like the Bible does not demand that all people remain virgins until marriage. This will spare the feelings of so many sexual abuse victims.”
The Bible’s teachings on sexual ethics in regards to consensual sex become negated, in other words.
It’s really kind-hearted, nice, and considerate to care about people’s feelings, but to the point where one’s sense of compassion and kindness over-rides definite standards of right and wrong as laid out in the Bible, and to say, “Aw shucks, let’s just explain away or ignore the Bible’s teachings on ‘Topic X!’,” to spare that person’s feelings, no. At that stage, I think you have tip-toed over into heresy.
Notice, too, that even in the headline that the notion of even defending the Bible’s view on sexuality is termed in a derogatory manner: if you are someone who defends the Bible’s position on sex, you are referred to as a “purity pusher.”
I have provided some excerpts from this much farther below; for now, here is just the link:
This is all the more odd considering this comes from a Christian gender complementarian group, C.B.M.W. (Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood), who promote an un-biblical, 1950ish American culture, very traditional, “June Cleaver” view of marriage and the nuclear family.
I have long suspected that the knuckle heads who support this GC (also known as gender comp. or gender complementarian) nonsense don’t really care about men, women, or women’s roles, but are instead motivated by fear or disgust of homosexuality, homosexual marriage, and secular feminism.
They are not “pro,” they are “anti.” Gender complementarians are not “pro marriage” or “pro woman,” they are “anti homosexual marriage” and “anti secular feminist.” Yes, there is a difference.
Lo and behold if this suspicion was not borne out by this:
- David Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., says “sexual complementarity” in marriage represents the relationship between Christ and the church.
By Bob Allen
An Alabama pastor recently told Southern Baptist seminarians that defending male headship and wifely submission is critical in a culture increasingly accepting of same-sex marriage.
“We defend sexual complementarity in marriage for the sake of the gospel in the world,” David Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., said March 20 in chapel at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
…Platt, a leader in the “young, restless and reformed” Calvinist movement closely identified in Southern Baptist life with Southern Seminary President Albert Mohler, said it’s particularly important to defend the notion that men and women are equal before God but created for different roles “in light of the current climate concerning so-called same-sex marriage.”
….“Are we going to trust a culture of feminism that says personal worth and personal role are inextricably linked together, and if you have a different role then clearly that diminishes your worth?” he asked.
…Platt’s sermon coincided with a call for the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, the group credited with coining the term “complementarianism” with offices located on the Southern Seminary campus, to repent of teachings that opponents say are harmful to women.
It is not necessary to support the sexist, unbiblical position of gender complementarianism (really, male hierarchy) to argue against homosexuality, homosexual marriage, or secular feminism, but that isn’t quite the point of this post.
Excerpts from (Link): Purity Pushers and the Value of Virginity by Katie McCoy – with more comments by me below this long excerpt:
- The Purity Myth
According to Valenti, upholding virginity isn’t about women’s health or well-being. Instead, it’s about a regressive, socio-political agenda from conservatives and evangelicals to restore “traditional” gender stereotypes. “What the virginity movement really wants from women is submissiveness. There’s a reason why their goal for women is only marriage and motherhood. The movement believes that that’s the only thing women are meant for.” The Purity Myth claims that the abstinence-only movement, within both government-funded education and Christian-based organizations, is a grand conspiracy – a programmatic means to a social end.
The philosophy has a direct effect on the current birth control debate. Valenti claims that conservatives and evangelicals have impeded the use and accessibility of emergency contraception like Plan B or the HPV vaccine for fear that birth control will “promote promiscuity,” causing women to throw off the conventions of “the purity police,” and society losing control of women’s roles. On-demand birth control is not only considered a woman’s right; it’s considered a self-declaration.So how do we engage young women who have bought into the “purity myth?”
Surprisingly, both Valenti and secular abstinence education share a common paradigm: Sexuality exists for the individual.
….Contrary to cultural myths, purity isn’t about conforming to social standards, pleasing parents, avoiding adverse physical consequences or the risk of unplanned pregnancies. Purity isn’t even primarily about our own emotional wholeness and psychological well-being. Purity is about worship.
Our colleges and churches are filled with young women who need to hear that their sexuality is not primarily about themselves; That the expression of their sexuality apart from its created purpose is a self-destructive distortion of what the creator gave to communicate himself to his creation; that while their value is not in their virginity, their virginity was given to reflect something valuable.
So how can we counter the cultural messages like The Purity Myth?
Consider some of the ways that we may be miscommunicating purity in our churches and families:
Have we presented a woman’s virginity as an indispensable aspect of her worth?
While many have rightly taught that one’s virginity is a gift to one’s spouse, a reverse message often accompanies it, which denies the power of God’s grace to heal, forgive and transform.
The result is the false message that a woman’s worth depends upon her virginity.
…Have we equated virginity with purity?
Do we emphasize refraining from sexual activity at the expense of communicating a lifestyle of purity that is created, guarded and decided in the heart? Do our high school and college students know that, while they may be abstinent virgins, they may not be pure (Matt. 5:27-28)?
Have we established our perspective of sexuality in the gospel?
Is our new identity in Jesus Christ the foundation for understanding the purpose of sexuality, for having the power to live out its purpose as God designed it, and for walking in the peace of a redeemed past?
Countering the myths of our hyper-sexualized, “hook-up” culture won’t happen with trendier marketing of abstinence, greater government funding for abstinence education, or more alarming accounts of the dangers of pre-marital sex.
Only when we see and deeply know the Lord for whom every aspect of our lives – especially our sexuality – was designed to worship, will the myth of moralistic virginity be replaced by the truth of Christ-exalting purity.
There may have been a few decent points here and there in McCoy’s editorial, but it still comes across in spots (to me) as being a little too dismissive of virginity.
I’m not entirely against the idea of telling Christian people their sexuality is rooted in God or what have you.
However, it sounds just as vague and unsatisfying as similar religious talk I’ve read in books by and for Christian adult singles… books that tell adult, celibate Christian singles that they are still sexual beings even though they are not having sex – which is a fine argument to make, and one I’ve made – but, such books go on to tell sexually frustrated singles (you know, those of you who do experience sexual desire and want to marry and have sex) to express your sexuality by sharing it within the context of the larger Christian community.
Seriously, I’ve read such phrases or logic in books and other Christian content.
It’s just such a spiritually nebulous, vapid notion that it doesn’t mean much.
Telling a single adult who wants to be having sex but who is abstaining some religious-y sounding gobbledy-gook about expressing their chaste sexuality among the body of Christ sounds just as meaningless as telling a Christian man (or woman) dying of thirst in the middle of a desert to find a church in which to meet with other believers to express their thirst for water, rather than go get a drink of water. This analogy will never be perfect, of course, because a person won’t die without sex but will die without water.
I find it mystifying that on the one hand, these gender complementarians want to downplay, soften the message of, virginity and sexual purity, but then turn around and argue male hierarchy is needed in marriages to defeat sexual sin (i.e., homosexuality, homosexual marriage).
I don’t see what male hierarchy has to do with defending traditional marriage or warding off homosexuality and other forms of sexual sin (both hetero and homosexual), but I do see the possibility that supporting adult celibacy and virginity for all (homosexual and hetero) adult singles can place a dent in homosexual strides made within Christendom.
Edit. I wrote a “Part 2” to this post above, because I didn’t feel I was clear enough. Here is Part 2:
(Link): Christians Speaking Out of Both Sides of Their Mouths About Sexual Sin – Choices and Actions and How You Teach This Stuff Has Consequences
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