Sexual Atheism: Christian Dating Data Reveals a Deeper Spiritual Malaise by K. Luck
There are a few things I would like to say about the following editorial (the link to which is much farther below).
One reason the church has arrived here, at such a high rate of Christian singles having sex prior to marriage, is not primarily due to more raunch in secular entertainment and such, as the author also points out, but is due, rather, and in my estimation, that no attempt is made by churches to help and to minister to single adults.
As a matter of fact, some segments of Christianity, including famous Christians such as Al Mohler, Russell Moore, Tim Challies, and Rachel Held Evans (among others) either disparage singlehood (in the case of Mohler), or disparage and talk about the supposed un-necessity of virginity until marriage, celibacy, and sexual purity, and how Christians supporting virginity ought to be abandoned as it “hurts the feelings of” many fornicators.
Christians are doing nothing to defend the concept of virginity these days, nor are they doing anything to defend the adult virgins themselves.
When adult singles (and virginity) are not being out right attacked by Christians, they are ignored in favor of a never ending, nauseating stream of Christian babble about the sacredness or importance of marriage and reproducing and raising children.
This is one major reason fornication is a raging epidemic among adult Christian singles.
One other reason pre-marital sex has increased among Christian adult singles is due in part, I believe, to incorrect assumption about adult singleness and celibacy in the first place:
Many Christians assume God “gifts” or “empowers” adults to be celibate, by which they assume to mean, God removes all sexual desire from an adult. This is false.
Adult, single, Christian celibates still experience sexual desire and a desire for marriage. No where does the Bible teach that “only a few” will be single over a life time, either. That is another erroneous view Christians read into the text.
What happens is that most people, most singles, assume they do not have the “gift of singleness” or “gift of celibacy,” which is compounded by all the Baptists, Reformed, and evangelicals who bray about how that gift is “so rare,” how God only “calls a few to singleness,” and so these singles despair, cave in, and fornicate.
These singles do not believe they have the “stuff,” the will- power, or whatever you wish to call it, to keep them from caving in sexually. They assume they are not one of the tiny minority God has “called to life long singleness,” so they assume they are powerless from giving in to sexual temptation.
But even when these issues are brought to their attention, and they are told they need to start catering to adult singles, many of these same Christians only dig their heels in deeper and insist no, the only corrective that will do is preachers harping on the wonderfulness of marriage even more than they already are (which I have discussed in posts such as (Link): this one or (Link): this one).
Here’s the article:
(Link): Sexual Atheism: Christian Dating Data Reveals a Deeper Spiritual Malaise by Kenny Luck
The above page starts out with this:
- The guy sitting across from me is a professing and practicing Christian. He drops by my office unannounced today to talk to me about his new online dating life.
Specifically, he wants to talk about the over-willingness of Christian women he has encountered on several of his dates who want to jump right from a very public conversation and vanilla latte at Starbucks to very private whispers and physical exchanges between the sheets back at his place.
Er, yeah, and I was until the last year or two a full Christian, and I tried dating sites, and many men who claim to be “Christian” on these sites expect CHRISTIAN WOMEN to “put out” prior to marriage.
I had “Christian” men contact me, flirt with me on dating sites, who put in their profiles what their preferred sexual positions were, how often they wanted sex, that they preferred women who “already had sexual experience.”
This left me baffled… what is a Christian woman who is over the age of 35 and still a virgin supposed to do when most self proclaimed “Christian” men say they want non virgins, and the rest of Christendom says you, a Christian woman, cannot marry a Non Christian? It leaves a virginal Christian single woman in a bind.
Now that I am flirting with agnosticism myself and no longer give a crap about “be equally yoked” (nor will I care about it should I end up staying a Christian), this will no longer be a big obstacle for me, but I feel sorry for the Christian women who are still feeling they are “being true to God” by waiting for “Christian Mr Right” to enter their lives AND who are still virgins over 35.
Continuing with excerpts from the article Sexual Atheism: Christian Dating Data Reveals a Deeper Spiritual Malaise
- While Christian singles report praying and church attendance are highly desirable qualities in the dating matrix, a troubling and confusing dichotomy arises when the issue of sex before marriage presents itself.
Specifically, single Christians enter a sexual fog. That fog clouds and hides the reality that an identity rooted in Christ should manifest itself in intelligent and hope-filled sexual restraint based on God’s promises and instead replaces it with fear and pride-filled choices based on some other promise they believe more.
In a recent study conducted by ChristianMingle.com, Christian singles between the ages of 18 to 59 were asked, “Would you have sex before marriage?”
The response? Sixty-three percent of the single Christian respondents indicated yes.
In my 30 years of youth and adult ministry experience, this is as unfiltered, direct and honest as a question and answer can be.
It is equally honest to say that nearly nine out of 10 self-proclaimed single Christians are, in practice, sexual atheists.
In other words, God has nothing to say to them on that subject of any consequence or, at least, anything meaningful enough to dissuade them from following their own course of conduct.
It is the ultimate oxymoron. A person who at once believes in a wise, sovereign and loving God who created them and all things, can also believe simultaneously He should not, cannot or will not inform their thinking or living sexually.
It reminds me of those famous red letters in Luke’s Gospel where Jesus says, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46, NIV). There is disconnect between identity and activity.
If you let the paint mentally dry on the statistic above and the perception about God it reflects for a moment, perhaps my contention of sexual atheism won’t seem so far-fetched.
No amount of hand-wringing at the many-headed hydra of the entertainment world or raucous deploring of immoral political philosophies invading our nation can explain this one.
No, our life in God and for our God reflects our real view of God.
These are our adults who populate our weekend services, attend our Bible studies, download our podcast messages, pray often and who have Jesus Culture, TobyMac and Maroon 5 in their playlists.
Having tracked this trend among youth for decades, it is no surprise to me that the broad spectrum of single adults—yesterday’s youth—both feel and act this way. We should really make an effort to not be too shocked or surprised.
… We must graciously but prophetically call out the shortsightedness of Christians who are borrowing trouble sexually and sinning against God and others in the process through our messaging and ministries.
We must confront ourselves and our brothers and sisters with the veracity, authority and loving transparency of Scripture, which reflects God’s love and wisdom in life-saving and marriage-saving ways.
That is, we must point out the truth that if I am undisciplined sexually before marriage and willing to compromise my convictions before marriage, a wedding ring will not make me disciplined after marriage.
… The love, sex and dating forecast among adult single believers for the foreseeable future is this: cloudy with a chance of fear and pride.
Instead of believing that God knows better, Christian adults will believe they know how to meet their needs better or, on the more arrogant end, that they know better when it comes to sex and dating, period.
To say that professing or self-described Christians are becoming more liberal means that their reference point for assessing and practicing sexuality is more cultural and personal rather than biblical or spiritual.
It means that they possess a low view of God and Scripture and a high view of self and culture as the key drivers of their moral and sexual behavior.
… Practical sexual atheism among Christians says God can speak into some things but not sex.
Related posts this blog:
This post also addresses some incorrect assumptions Christians have about adult singleness and celibacy:
(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