Christians Who Attack Virginity Celibacy and Sexual Purity – and specifically Russell D. Moore and James M. Kushiner
(Note: the specific mentions of Moore and Kushiner and how both are attacking the Bible’s teachings on virginity / sexual purity come farther down in this opinion piece, after my introduction)
Jan 1 2015 update:
I just noticed today that Moore has blocked me from his Twitter account, which I never followed to start with (the notice on his page says I cannot follow his Twitter feed, which I never did. I don’t know when he blocked me, but it was sometime over 2014).
I only tweeted at him a handful of times over 2014, with links to this blog page you are reading. And he blocked me over THAT?
Edit: See the update after you read this post: (Link): Anti Virginity Moore Opines on Dirty Web Sites * Irony Alert *
(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): Southern Baptists (who don’t TRULY support sexual purity) Announce 2014 Sex Summit
I am still amazed by emergents, liberal Christians, and even a strain of conservative Christians, who feel as though Christendom has made an “idol of virginity,” when I see so many self-professing Christians these days mocking or questioning the very concepts of virginity, celibacy, and sexual purity, concepts which are taught in the Bible.
Oh sure, I hear the occasional sermon on marriage where the preacher tosses out the obligatory “sex is for marriage only” sentiment (just today, TV preacher Jack Graham delivered such commentary in his broadcast sermon on marriage).
However, in practice and in reality, many Christians do not believe in virginity, celibacy, or sexual purity, and many of them do not practice it.
See: (Link): No, Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity By extension, most Christians do not support Christian singles, who are told in the Bible to practice celibacy. Most Christians today, their churches and organizations, are too busy worshipping marriage and the traditional, nuclear family and lamenting the decay of “traditional marriage.”
Singles get overlooked in all the marriage and family worship, or all the hand-wringing over the fall of the nuclear family. Churches and the Christian community as a whole do not support Christians who are never- married, past the age of 30, and who are still virgins.
I became a Christian before reaching the age of ten (lately, though, I have considered leaving the faith, over the sex and singles issue, among other reasons). From a young age, I took Christianity and its teachings on sexual purity to heart.
I made a choice at very young age that I would wait until marriage to have sex. When you are below age 25, the church will applaud you for being a virgin.
Once you get to to your late 20s or into your 30s, the support you see in this area disappears. It dries up. (You will actually be attacked by Christians for being single and a virgin into your 30s and beyond.)
Other than Christianity, I did have one or two other reasons why I was determined to remain chaste (which I will not get into here).
My decision to remain chaste in adolescence coincides with the repeated sermonizing I heard in the 1980s and part of the 1990s of preachers ranting and raving against the sexual immorality of the day, and how a Christian should remain sexually pure. I also read the Bible as a teen, and I could not help but notice all the passages saying sex was for marriage only. I also heard or read works by authors such as Christian apologist Josh McDowell about how sex was for marriage only.
Works such as these, and sermons I heard, were one reason of several, I did not have sex.
Much of Christian dating, sex, and marriage articles and books I read as a teenager, and many of the sermons I heard on those topics, either stated out right, or implied very strongly, that if a Christian female remains sexually pure, seeks after God, stays skinny and pretty, prays to God, and has faith in God for a spouse, that God will send that young woman a “Christian Mr. Right” by the time she reaches mid or late 20s. I did all of those things and still find myself single in my early 40s.
I have seen other never-married Christian ladies in their 30s, 40s, and 50s give the same witness on other blogs: they too were sold a false bill of goods.
They were told by preachers, Christian relationship books and so forth, that if they trusted God for a spouse and did not have sex, that God would grant them, or reward them, with a spouse, and that the spouse would likely also be another Christian virgin.
However, in the last few years, I’ve seen Christians on TV shows, radio shows, and on blogs, declaring that all of us are sexual sinners (i.e. fornicators, who have literally had sexual intercourse).
Or, there is this understanding among some Christians that all people have had sex outside of marriage (or else are porn addicts), so, their philosophy is to present an “Easy Forgivism Sex Gospel” to soothe any guilt or shame feelings sexual sinners may have.
I find these constant appeals of “let sexual sinners off the hook and be all forgive-y to them, because all of us have sexual sin” confusing and discouraging, because I am in my early 40s and have not had sexual intercourse. It is simply not true that “all of us are fornicators.”
These easy forgivism attitudes towards sexual sin amounts to telling Christians they should not judge people’s sexual pasts, or hold their sexual pasts against them, nor should they adhere to biblical sexual standards, or expect others to live by them. Christians are further given the message – by other Christians – that they should not make an idol of virginity, and if you yourself have fornicated (had sex outside of marriage), to forgive yourself and move on.
The thinking is that nobody but nobody can hold out and resist sexual urges into their twenties and beyond, that we’re all guilty of fornicating, or habitually visiting X-rated sites.
Even though all of us are not guilty of these things – it is wrongly assumed all of us are, though.
The liberals and emergents think that Christians should cease with the virginity teachings and sexual purity teachings because some women, who chose to have sex as teens or as college students, feel guilty, ashamed, or dirty when they hear in sermons or Christian programs that sex outside of marriage is a sin.
Then your sexual abuse victims, who were fondled at age six by their Uncle Harry, say these sexual purity teachings hurt their feelings.
According to this “sensitive, delicate flower doctrinal” view point, Christians are to allow their emotions to dictate and influence which doctrines and morals Christians should accept, teach, and practice, and specifically, shame and guilt emotions should regulate how, when, or if biblical standards of sexual behavior are discussed, taught, or maintained.
Christian author and journalist Julia Duin is among one of the few who I’ve seen speak out or about the devaluing of sexual purity teachings and the mistreatment of Christian virgins.
Here is one post where Duin discussed the issue, and where she was rightfully critical of Russell D. Moore’s easy dismissal of virginity:
(Link): Where are America’s virgins? Discouraging the virtuous, by Julia Duin Here is an excerpt, the part where she mentions Moore:
This past spring in Touchstone, a conservative Christian publication, Russell Moore, a Southern Baptist minister who is dean of Southern Seminary’s School of Theology in Louisville, penned “Like, A Virgin?” His essay criticized a chaste female who wanted her husband to be a virgin like she is. He hinted she was being unrealistic and judgmental for judging a potential mate on his sexual history rather than his Christian commitment. This hapless woman resisted the spirit of the age and yet, her Christian leader denigrated her values. So much for seeking out a pastor’s advice.
If I’m not mistaken, Duin was responding to this column by Moore (or one similar to it):
(Link): How Much Do I Need to Know About My Potential Spouse’s Sexual Past? My Response – By Russell Moore
That Duin piece above, was, in turn criticized by this James Kushiner guy:
(Link): Doesn’t Like “Like, a Virgin?” by James M. Kushiner
Here are excerpts from the page by Kushiner, who is critical of Duin for criticizing Moore’s views:
He [Moore] is clear throughout the article about the Christian teaching about sexual activity, that fornication is “damnable”, and the sad necessity that couples even have to have “the conversation,”….
The problem, my dear Mr. Kushiner, is that Christians speak out of both sides of their mouth on the celibacy and virginity and all related issues (eg, marriage/ singleness/ gender roles, etc etc). It’s all fine and good if Moore mentions in passing that ((Link): source)
What’s important for you to know is how he [the letter writer’s fiance] views sexual immorality. A man who will brush off past fornication as “no big deal” from which he’s “moved on” is a man with a conscience trained to do the same thing with future adultery.
But then Moore’s next commentary betrays a true support of sexual purity when he condescendingly lectures this young woman that,
On the other hand, your dismissing him automatically on the basis of immorality is also dangerous. If he is repentant, seeing his past sin as hell-deserving but crucified, then you should receive him (all else being equal), just as you have been received.
You are not “owed” a virgin because you are.
Your sexual purity wasn’t part of a quid pro quo in which God would guarantee you a sexually unbroken man.
Your sexual purity is your obligation as a creature of God. And you have rebelled at other points, and been forgiven. If you believe the gospel, you believe the gospel for everyone, and not just for yourself.
It’s very easy for those who have fornicated themselves, or who are currently married (they were a virgin when they wed, but are currently getting their sexual needs met in marriage), and I am guessing Moore and Kushiner fall into either one of those groups, to be so blithe and dismissive of sexual sin, and/or to lecture a single virgin who wants marriage that it is selfish or unforgiving to be concerned about a potential partner’s sexual past or to desire a virgin to marry.
Really, Mr. Moore, if a person’s sexual past is basically “no biggie,” as you make it out to be (despite your “fornication is not good” spiel in the same column), and a person should just drop the matter and let it go as though it’s nothing, if the person has repented of it, what then, is the point in me personally staying a virgin?
The message I receive from these views is that I might as well be having sex right now with various men, or just one steady boyfriend, since according to Moore, if I do get a marriage proposal from a Christian man in the future, he should just overlook my fornication with some other guy. Continue reading “Christians Who Attack Virginity Celibacy and Sexual Purity – and specifically Russell D. Moore and James M. Kushiner”