Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Gospel of Shame-Free Sexuality by W. Hill

Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Gospel of Shame-Free Sexuality by W. Hill

I recognize there are flaws with Christian “Purity Culture,” but the response to those flaws (usually by liberal Christians) is just as bad.

The liberal Christians, or others who are opposed to Christian sexual purity teachings, want to reject about any and all sexual boundaries, in the process of rebelling against Christian purity teaching.

However, not all of Christian purity teaching is bad – something the anti-Purity Culture advocates don’t want to admit or discuss.

As I’ve pointed out in older posts, the anti-Purity Culture movement ends up alienating and marginalizing any adults who do choose to remain celibate or virgins until marriage.

We’re living in an age and culture where a lot of us are demanded to respect any and all sexual behaviors, except for virginity and celibacy; those are mocked, as are those who practice them. The tolerance goes only one-way with many Anti-Purity Culture adherents.

(Link): Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Gospel of Shame-Free Sexuality 

By W. Hill, Feb 2019

Excerpts:

We can’t defeat shame by whittling down God’s law to fit our behavior. We need the good news of God’s forgiveness instead

….Doing Away with Absolution

Unfortunately, the pastor who talked up the liberation that comes from admitting you’re in the wrong now seems more interested in helping people understand why they don’t need to.

In her new book, Shameless: A Sexual Reformation, Bolz-Weber is out to set Christians free from the angst and humiliation churches have often foisted on them because of their sexual proclivities and behaviors.

But the way the book goes about doing so is by rejecting wholesale the idea of “sexual purity” and, with it, the need to confess sexual transgression.

In one of the book’s most straightforward moments, Bolz-Weber sums up her message like this:

I’m here to tell you: unless your sexual desires are for minors or animals, or your sexual choices are hurting you or those you love, those desires are not something you need to “struggle with.” They are something to listen to, make decisions about, explore, perhaps have caution about. But struggle with? Fight against? Make enemies of? No.

The message of Shameless, in short, is that feeling like a transgressor never bears the seeds of redemption, and the way to flourishing lies in throwing out any standard that isn’t giving you life.

….What happened in between Bolz-Weber’s insistence that the gospel means recognizing that we’re all sinners and her new drumbeat in Shameless that, so long as the sex we have is consensual and marked by mutual concern, we have nothing ever to be ashamed of?

….But the harder task would be for more conservative, traditionalist readers like me—who still think that sexual purity is a scriptural (and therefore indispensable) category and that the biblical rules against, say, premarital and extramarital sex are still binding on believers today—to take Shameless as an occasion to practice some self-scrutiny and ask ourselves whether our own failings and hypocrisies might be part of what gives a book like this its powerful appeal.

Towards the beginning of the book, Bolz-Weber tells a story that will be familiar to anyone who was reared in an evangelical youth group.

Tim and Sara, two of Bolz-Weber’s parishioners, had grown up hearing that if you follow God’s blueprint for sexual holiness, marital bliss will be your reward.

According to Bolz-Weber, “They had been told that if they followed the rules, they would have more satisfying and exciting sex than couples who’d had sex before marriage.” But when that turned out not to be the case, both Tim and Sara experienced disappointment, frustration, and self-doubt.

“Let us consider the harm that has been caused in God’s name,” Bolz-Weber urges in light of stories like Tim and Sara’s. Why has the church so often made false promises of amazing sex to people who “do the right thing,” while ignoring, scolding, or even rejecting those who don’t?

You can read the remainder of that essay on (Link): Christianity Today.

I’m have never had sex. I have obeyed the Bible’s teachings to abstain from sexual activity prior to marriage, but no, Christians, the church, does not respect my virginity.

I have blogged often on not only my experience as an adult virgin, but that of other people’s experiences who are in my situation, and the church does not value single adults, whether those singles are sexually active or celibate. But there seems to be special scorn or incredulity aimed at people like me who are over the age of 30 and still have not had sex.

I was brought up in the Southern Baptist, evangelical context that taught if I was virginal, if I trusted God, and waited on God’s timing, that God would send me a great Christian husband. That turned out to be an absolute falsehood.

So yes, conservative Christians need to reconsider how they are teaching sexual purity, because they do have some aspects of it wrong, and those teachings can hurt people.

On the other hand, the progressives who take issue with Christian sexual purity also need to reconsider their sexual hedonism, because it’s in error as well.


Related Posts:

(Link): Some Researchers Argue that Shame Should Be Used to Treat Sexual Compulsions

(Link): Sex & The Single Pastor by Rod Dreher

(Link): No, Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity (they attack both concepts)

(Link):  CDC Report: Virgin Teens Much Healthier Than Their Sexually Active Peers (2016 Report)

(Link): The Christian and Non Christian Phenomenon of Virgin Shaming and Celibate Shaming

(Link): Slut Shaming and Virgin Shaming and Secular and Christian Culture – Dirty Water / Used Chewing Gum and the CDC’s Warnings – I guess the CDC is a bunch of slut shamers ?

(Link): Anti-Porn Activist: ‘Ethically Sourced’ Porn ‘Sounds Like an Oxymoron’

(Link): Christian Preacher Admits He Won’t Preach About Sexuality For Fear It May Offend Sexual Sinners

(Link): ABC Won’t Let Us Forget That the New Bachelor Is A Virgin. Is That A Problem? by L. Bonos / Lily News

(Link): ‘Bachelorette’ Star Shamed For His Virginity Defends Himself

(Link): I Notice It’s the Fornicators Who Want to Ignore or Downplay the Bible’s Teaching that People Are To Stay Virgins Until Marriage

(Link):   Some Atheists Are Just As Ignorant About Adult Singleness and Celibacy as Progressive Christians, Secular Feminists, and Protestant Evangelical or Conservative Christians

(Link):  Salon Author Amanda Marcotte Thinks Media Shouldn’t Judge Women’s Sexuality But She Has Mocked Women Over Their Sexual Choices Before (To Remain Virgins)

(Link): Secular, Left Wing Feminist Writer Marcotte on Anyone Choosing To Be a Virgin Until Marriage: “It’s a Silly Idea” – What Progressive Christians, Conservative Christians, Non Christians, and Salon’s Amanda

(Link):  When Adult Virginity and Adult Celibacy Are Viewed As Inconvenient or As Impediments

(Link): Pat Robertson [Christian TV show host] says ‘Virginity Has Nothing To Do With Marriage’ and Says (Paraphrasing) ‘Virginity Was Fine For Mary But Not Applicable For Any Other Christians’

(Link): Douglas Wilson and Christian Response FAIL to Sexual Sin – No Body Can Resist Sex – supposedly – Re Celibacy

(Link):  I Shouldn’t Need An Excuse To Be A Virgin – (Secular Editorial Defends Virginity – More Rare Than a Unicorn Sighting)

(Link):  Christian TV Show Host Pat Robertson Disrespects Virginity – Says Pre-Marital Sex Is “Not A Bad Thing”

(Link): Editorialist at WaPo Argues That Single Christian Adults Can Have Sex So Long As They are Chaste About It – Also Speculates that Jesus Was “Probably” Celibate

(Link): Why Are Young People Having So Little Sex? America is in a Sex Recession –  by K. Jullian – via The Atlantic

(Link): Study (from 2016) Claims Pre-Marital Virginity is Now ‘Antiquated’ – Is Virginity No Longer Virtuous?

(Link): Living Myths About Virginity (via The Atlantic)(Link): On ‘Late’-In-Life Virginity Loss (from The Atlantic)
(Link): An Open Letter to Male Virgins by A. Broadway

(Link): People Were Asked to Guess A Virgin From A Group Of Strangers. The Results Were Unexpected

(Link): Christians Who Attack Virginity Celibacy and Sexual Purity – and specifically Russell D. Moore and James M. Kushiner

(Link): Annie Murphy’s Sex and Relationship Column Gives Some Fantastic Advice About “Losing Your Virginity” by Princess Weekes

(Link): Why Aren’t Millennials Having Sex Anymore? via Relevant Magazine

(Link):   More Than 40 Per Cent of Japan’s Adult Singles are Virgins, Says Study

(Link):   Young, Attractive, and Totally Not Into Having Sex by K McGowan

(Link):  Teens Too Busy Playing Video Games to Have Sex

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