Barna: Half of Pastors Worry They’ll Offend Someone if They Preach on Controversial Topics by T. G. Phillips

Barna: Half of Pastors Worry They’ll Offend Someone if They Preach on Controversial Topics by T. G. Phillips

This is actually nothing new. Over six years ago, I noticed that a lot of preachers, even conservative ones, are reluctant to address certain sins from the pulpit or online, in particular, sexual sins, for fear it may offend the audience.

Months after I began noticing that trend, I came across an article with an interview with a preacher (Link): who admitted to the fact that he’s afraid to preach against sexual sin lest it cause controversy – he did not want to offend his congregation or anyone else.

So this 2019 study is really nothing new. I am not surprised by this.

Many conservative Christians have actually (Link): given up on defending celibacy or virginity- until- marriage (which is in fact a (Link): biblical standard and expectation for bother sexes, regardless of what the evangelical feminists and anti-purity culture advocates argue), to the point, many of them now (Link): expect all un-married persons to fornicate.

Further, some conservatives actually express disdain that more people today are practicing celibacy – they’d rather see single adults fornicating.

(Link): Half of Pastors Worry They’ll Offend Someone if They Preach on Controversial Topics by T. G. Phillips

Excerpts:

April 13, 2019

New polling has revealed half of American pastors are too concerned they might offend someone to speak out on hot-button social and moral issues, but could that problem have a simple fix?

According to research from the (Link): Barna Group, the same issues pastors feel most pressured to preach about are also the ones they feel most uncomfortable addressing.

Continue reading “Barna: Half of Pastors Worry They’ll Offend Someone if They Preach on Controversial Topics by T. G. Phillips”

Is Premarital Sex a Sin? Bible Scholars Respond

Is Premarital Sex a Sin? Bible Scholars Respond

Before I quote the Bible scholars, here is my input on the topic:

I think it’s pretty damn obvious that the Bible condemns pre-marital sex.

Or, to put it conversely, the Bible supports celibacy, chastity, abstinence, and virginity (I more or less use all those terms interchangeably but recognize some have more precise definitions).

Based upon about every blog and forum post I’ve ever seen on this topic, the only people asking if the Bible really does forbid pre- (or extra-) marital sex are those who were brought up in the Christian faith at some point, want to have pre-marital sex, but would realize they would probably feel guilty if they did so.

Or, this topic is raised those who have already had pre- or extra- martial sex and feel guilty about it.

Then you have the folks who claim the Bible is totally VAGUE about sexual sin, whether we are talking about hetero pre marital sex or any and all homosexual behavior, or they insist they see absolutely no condemnation of pre-martial sex in the Bible.

Just like a car thief would probably claim not to see any biblical passages at all that say stealing is wrong, or claim that biblical passages of stealing are so vague that we can never really know for sure what the Bible says on the topic, I am sure. Convenient how that works, isn’t it?

All of these people are looking for loopholes to pork around and not feel guilty about it.

Hence, the astonishing, frequent obtuse claims I’ve seen increase in number online the last several years of, “golly gee, I’ve studied the bible extensively on this topic and see absolutely no evidence God is opposed to singles having sex prior to marriage.”

Some guy just dropped by this blog last night or early today in one of the posts to ask if the Bible really expects celibacy of everyone, and oddly, wanting me to define celibacy. I’m not just picking on him, because there again, I’ve seen so many similar claims come up on-line the last few years.

Of course you do not… because you don’t want to see it. Please stop deluding yourself.

Excerpts:

Is Premarital Sex a Sin? Bible Scholars Respond

    Dr. Jerry Walls:
    Recently, one of my students raised some fascinating questions that more and more people today seem to be asking, namely, “Is premarital sex a sin, and whether the Bible is really clear on the matter. Here is how he posed the question:

Student:

“I will qualify this to say that my girlfriend and I aren’t doing anything; however, we were both fairly surprised to discover that the “sex in marriage only” thing is not really there.

Everyone talks about it, but I have as of yet been unable to find it.

It’s a particular area of interest for me, because if the popular Christian notion of abstinence is wrong, we have been mentally and emotionally abusing quite literally millions of people.

In the Old Testament, sex before marriage leads to marriage (Exodus 22:16).

In the New Testament, we mistranslate the word porneos as “fornication,” which we take to mean sex before marriage, whereas this is clearly not the case.

The Bible uses the same word talking about reasons for leaving a marriage, which sex with a woman besides your wife is clearly not premarital sex.

Most sites and sources I have found say that verses prohibiting “sexual immorality” are talking about sex before marriage, but the argument here is circular.

What is sexual immorality? Sex before marriage.

Why is sex before marriage immoral? Because the Bible prohibits sexual immorality.

My aim is not to say that we should all just go off and have sex with whomever we please, but the supposed Biblical prescription simply isn’t there, and I’ve done a good deal of research and asked some very knowledgeable people.”

Dr. Ben Witherington III responds:

As ought to be clear from 1 Cor. 7, virginity in a woman was highly valued before marriage. In that text she is called both the betrothed and a virgin.

In early Jewish law if you had sex with a woman you were considered married to her or you had shamed her. See the story of Mary and Joseph.

Porneia can refer to all sorts of sexual sin including deflowering a virgin.

What that whole discussion by your student ignores is: firstly, there was no dating or physical intimacy prior to an arranged marriage in the vast majority of cases.

The notion of dating doesn’t exist in Jesus and Paul’s world.

Second, honor and shame cultures placed a high value on sexual purity.

Notice how prostitutes were stigmatized. Women were mainly blamed for sexual immorality.

Finally Jesus gave his disciples two choices in Mt. 19— fidelity in heterosexual marriage or being a eunuch! This means no sex outside marriage.

Dr. Bill Arnold responds:

For the Old Testament side of things, it’s interesting that the only text your student interlocutor mentions is the Book of the Covenant stipulation that a man who seduces a virgin should pay her bride-price and make her his wife (Exod 22:16).

What the student fails to observe is that the premise of this legal stipulation is that the man has, in fact, gotten the process reversed. He should have negotiated the bride-price, then married her, then had intercourse.

The point of the law, as with many other laws in the Book of the Covenant, is that he has willfully done something wrong and must now make amends.

The text the student is citing in your discussion actually supports your position, and not his.

Continue reading “Is Premarital Sex a Sin? Bible Scholars Respond”

Horny Celibacy – Another Anti Virginity, Anti Sexual Purity Essay – Also discussed: Being Equally Yoked, Divorce, Remarriage

Horny Celibacy – Another Anti Virginity, Anti Sexual Purity Essay – Also discussed: Being Equally Yoked, Divorce, Remarriage

All right. This one is interesting. I am actually rather sympathetic with some of this lady’s views and her reasons for arriving at the conclusions she has arrived at, some of them mirror my own. However, I feel she has a few points incorrect.

I think I have linked to her blog before, many months ago, concerning another topic. The lady that writes this blog was a Christian for many years (I think a fundamentalist or evangelical?), but somewhere along the way she got a divorce. I am not sure if she still considers herself a Christian.

If I remember the story from her blog correctly (I visited her blog months ago), the divorce and subsequent maltreatment by other Christians because of her divorce status caused her to reflect (and reject? I don’t remember) some of her former Christian beliefs. She probably has an “about” page at her blog you can read to get the details about her current views of faith.

Here is the link to her blog post that discusses celibacy, including her term “horny celibates”, and which I will be commenting on farther below:
(Link): IR: SEX, DIVORCE, AND GOOD CHRISTIAN KIDS

Before I address her post itself, I wanted to discuss some of the issues it indirectly deals with, such as divorce.

I think most evangelicals, Baptists, and other Christians teach and believe incorrectly about marriage, divorce, and remarriage.

I do not believe the Bible teaches that divorce is applicable in cases of adultery only, or that re-marriage is sinful.

Some of these views are dangerous, in that the “permanence” view of marriage, which is taught by many Christians and preachers, can lead to some women being pressured to stay in an abusive marriage for years which is a waste of their time, and some of these ladies end up dead, murdered by their spouses.

You can read more about those topics at the following pages:

This site, A Cry For Justice, has many more posts about these issues, I am only linking to a small number here:

— EQUALLY YOKED —

Being equally yoked is a belief Christian single women need to abandon, because it is one factor of several as to why they are staying single into their mid 30s and older.

Additionally, as many self-professing Christian males are abusive or negligent, and some Non-Christian males are loving, ethical, and supportive, it is important to Christian single women to recognize they need to judge men on the basis of character, not on if the male in question claims to have accepted Jesus as Savior, or if he prays, reads the Bible, or attends a church regularly.

The fact is, getting married to a Christian male is not a guarantee that you are getting a man who is going to love you, stay faithful to you, and be a good provider.

If you need examples (proof) of Christian men who misbehave, who raped women, had affairs on their wives, were into pedophilia, serial killing, stole from others, were drug addicts, or abused their wives, please see (Link): this partial list of such examples.

Given that so many genuine Christian women marry such abusive men makes the “maybe they (the abusive husbands) weren’t REAL Christians” argument moot.

Plenty of sincere, honest- to- goodness Christian women ended up with abusive, cheating, or negligent slobs who CLAIMED to be Christ followers and who had the outer trappings of what most would consider to be an actual, true Christian – whether these men who turned out to be abusive were truly “saved and regenerated” or not is beside the point and irrelevant to the women they were once married to.

We are talking about sincere, born again believers in Jesus who prayed, waited, hoped for, and expected to marry a CHRISTIAN man who would cherish them. But they ended up with Christian men who beat them, or who cheated on them repeatedly.

I do not know of any Christian single woman who sits about and day dreams, “I sure hope I marry a Christian man who beats me daily and tells me I’m worthless!”

I actually think teaching women that they can marry only other Christians is un-biblical, because it is placing an undue burden on them, and Christ said his burden is light.

But how Christians love to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.

Many Christians would rather Christian women remain single indefinitely in the guise of upholding “being equally yoked” as a doctrinal purity point…

Than realizing those women are entitled to some happiness and companionship while here on earth, even if that means them marrying an atheist.

The blog I linked to above, A Cry For Justice, has numerous examples of Christian women who married Christian men – they were “equally yoked” – and their Christian spouse
– I wrote their CHRISTIAN spouse there; that does not say “atheist,” “Jewish,” “Hindu” or “Muslim,” but CHRISTIAN spouse –
gave them daily verbal assaults that drove some to deep depression (and I’ve read of women who have been driven to suicidal impulses after enduring years of emotional abuse off a spouse), or, they received broken ribs and black eyes weekly or monthly – from their Christian spouse. Some of these Christian men are pastors or attend church weekly, too.

There is no rhyme or reason in telling a Christian woman she may only marry another Christian when there is no advantage to her in that, and it may in fact be a limitation and a burden, see (Link): Matthew 23:4, where Jesus discusses the Pharisees on a similar matter.

God created marriage for man, not man for marriage.

I want to write that again, but in a bigger sized font:

God created marriage for man, not man for marriage.

Too often, those who insist on a slavish devotion to “equally yoked,” or to no divorce or no remarriage, not ever ever!!!!!111!!! (or only in the most narrow of circumstances), appear to be placing rules and institutions above human beings (see this link, Luke 6:1-11).

Here are a few excerpts from the page by Hannah:
(Link): IR: SEX, DIVORCE, AND GOOD CHRISTIAN KIDS, by Hannah

    Here is my best advice for good Christian kids looking to get married: have sex already.

    I’m watching too many couples play Russian roulette with their lives because they aren’t listening to their gut instincts about who they want or need to spend their lives with because they happened to have found one person somewhat enchanting and willing to play the Christian marriage game and the stakes are: your whole future on this decision, made in the worst possible state of mind, horny celibacy.

It appears to me she is confusing the topics of virginity and celibacy with early marriage.

I have said on this blog time and again that pushing early marriage, as evangelicals have been doing for the past couple of years, is not the solution for halting pre-martial sex.

Hannah continues:

    Hermeneutically speaking, St. Paul’s “it’s better to marry than to burn with passion” was probably not about what you think it’s about. All my books are in storage in boxes, so I’d love to have someone with an accessible library help me out with citations here, but it’s pretty widely accepted in schools of theology that he was talking about couples disturbing idealistic celibate communities by sneaking off to have sex and making everyone feel either jealous and upset.

    As in: don’t be Gnostic, early church! It’s okay to not require celibacy of all Christians. C.f., Reasons why no one should ever be forced into celibate living against their will. Not a lot of people have that gift, and that’s what Paul was acknowledging in that well-worn passage.

Celibacy is not a “gift.” The Bible nowhere teaches that God chooses who will remain single (celibate) and who will marry: in the New Testament, both are choices left up to each individual. I can only assume that is how she is intending the usage of that phrase there.

If I am not misunderstanding her here, I am afraid that Hannah is making the mistake that preacher Mark Driscoll, Doug Wilson, and a million other Christians make: they assume the only persons capable of remaining celibate are those who have been granted some kind of Sex Superpower by God, that God sprinkles magic dust on a baby at the time of her birth, and makes her magically able to resist sexual desire or sexual behavior.

I am still a virgin, and I am over 40 years old. I was engaged for several years and sometimes spent time alone – including over-night stays with my ex at his home – and we never had sex.

I experience sexual desire.

I did not choose to remain single; I had wanted to marry. God did not choose me to stay single or be single. God did not sprinkle me with Magic Sex Dust that makes me immune from sex or from having sexual desire.

My celibacy is due to this:
It’s good old-fashioned will power, and up to now, my former devotion to Christ and the Bible’s stance on sexuality, that kept me from caving in and doing the deed.

Every time Hannah, preacher Mark Driscoll, Doug Wilson, or other Christians chalk my celibacy up to The Supernatural, the Gifting of God, or God’s Grace, they are cheapening and making a mockery out of my hard work.

Mine. Me, me, me. God did not wave a wand and take away my sex drive, folks. It’s not God who kept me from engaging in pre marital sex, it was my own will power. It was my dedication.

There is nothing easy about being a virgin past your 20s, but it is possible.

I know Calvinists love to chalk everything, and I mean everything, up to God (I am not saying Hannah is a Calvinist, only I have seen this view expressed in their works), but the fact is I am a virgin because of me and my hard work – not due to Jesus Christ, grace of God, the glory of God, or any super power from on High.

The glory of my sexual purity goes to me…. me me me meeeeeeee. Not God.

Me. Me. Me. Me. I’m the one who has done the hard work of abstaining. God did not blow magic fairy dust on me at my birth or in eternity past to remove sexual desire. I do not feel any special “peace” about sex anytime I get sexually tempted.

An angel never did appear in the home of my ex when he and I were alone together when I was tempted – but I did not give in. It was all me. Me me me me me.

I was, and am, responsible for whether or not I cave in to sexual temptation. Choice and Personal Responsibility is what it’s all about, not God’s gifting or empowering.

That idiotic “gift of singleness,” and moronic “gift of celibacy” teaching unfortunately have these false views embedded in them: that God supposedly “chooses” someone to remain single, choosing them in eternity past to stay single; and that God supposedly gives such a person Special Powers and/or erodes all sex drive from them to make life as a celibate bearable. This sort of teaching (which is false and not biblical), removes Personal Responsibility, Free Will, and Choice from the equation.

And I’m no Calvinist: mankind has free will, and the will to choose to do what is good and right, not only evil.

Hannah continues:

    But what that passage doesn’t say (and honestly, what no passage in the Bible says) is “God’s best plan for your life is to be a virgin when you get married.” Seriously. Look for it. It’s not there.

Well, no, it does not say that explicitly, but the Bible does teach that one is to remain a virgin until marriage. The Bible may not tack on the phrase “it’s God’s best plan for your life” before the teaching, or after it, but the notion of “having pre marital sex is sinful” is still in the Bible.

Remaining celibate is a wiser life style choice, in that the individual who is not fooling around does not have to worry about getting STI’s (STDs), or getting pregnant, or being used.

But I think that’s all beside the point. While I can see how it is of benefit to a person to remain celibate until marriage, the Bible presents sexual sin as being a sin against God and against your own body.

Hannah writes,

    So we started searching the Bible ourselves and we haven’t found a much biblical basis for Christian purity culture and how it treats virginity and sexual experience.

The concept of sexual purity is indeed in the Bible, regardless of how screw-ball and legalistic fundamentalists treat the topic. And good Lord knows many conservative Christians are weird and legalistic about sex, I realize that.

But fundamentalists, Reformed, evangelicals and Southern Baptists being mean- spirited, kooky, or crazy about how they teach about such topics and present them to kids, women, or singles does not legitimize trying to argue away texts in the Bible that do support the notion of virginity until marriage, or in trying to find loop holes for them.

Hannah writes,

    Therefore I believe, based on my research, that it’s possible to have consensual, safe, and private sex* outside of marriage and not be transgressing any of the basic ethical guidelines for sexual behavior as laid out in the Bible.

This strikes me as quite similar to homosexuals who claim to find loopholes in the Bible that pardon homosexual sex. Homosexual apologists will argue, for instance, that the Sodom story was not condemning consensual homosexual sex, but only the forced variety (i.e., male- on- male rape). I provided links on a previous post to material that argue against such points (see that list of links here, they are listed about half way down the page).

It’s almost genius the lengths some will go to in order to find excuses to practice or defend behavior that the Bible forbids.

My stance is this: if you are an adult, you are free to make whatever choices you want to, including some pre- or extra- marital nooky.

But please don’t try to argue for it on the basis that the Bible is really hunky dory fine with it, when in fact, it’s pretty clear ((Link): yes clear) it’s not.

Have all the extra marital sex you want, but please, don’t try to insist the Bible is fine and peachy with it. That is just lame and intellectually dishonest.
– (Says someone who is a virgin at age 40+, who fully intends on getting into pre marital boinking whenever she gets in a serious relationship but who will not blog and argue that the Bible is really okay with it. Do what you want, but be honest about it.)

Hannah writes,

    Christian culture over-values virginity at marriage so much that it heightens to an unreasonable degree the tension of an already momentous and risky decision.

Oh stop it, you’re making my side split from all the laughter! As in tee hee hee, 😆

If there is one thing Christian culture does NOT do is over-value virginity, not at marriage, and sure as heck not over a lifetime. That is what this whole blog is about. (And Hugh Jackman photos. This blog is also about the occasional (Link): Hugh Jackman photo.)

Examples of what I am talking about (I have many such stories on this blog, this is only a partial listing):

Er, yeah, I am not seeing a lot of judgment there and not much over-valuing, either.

These days, Christians, even ones who claim to be “biblical,” who say they are conservative, who claim to value “traditional marriage” and “the family” now attack virginity and celibacy and keep reassuring the fornicators that they are fine and dandy in their fornicating.

Hannah says,

    1) we are required to take them at their word that sex is life-changing and terrible (in both senses of that word)

I’m not sure what this is about. Most commentary I have seen, heard, or read from Christians who advocate celibacy until marriage say how AWESOME sex is, not how “terrible” it is… it’s said to be “mind blowing” if one waits until marriage to have sex. Frequently, Christians say how great sex is, but that God intends for it to take place in marriage only. I’ve not heard Christians bill sex as “terrible.”

Unless she means the standard Christian scare-tactics of, “You can get an STI (sexually transmitted infection) if you have sex before marriage.”

But then, you can be a virgin woman on your wedding night, stay faithful to your spouse, and if your Christian spouse starts having affairs, he can pass an STI on to the wife. Food for thought.

Hannah continues,

    The bogey of sex thus becomes a looming question mark for us and the already-significant risks of choosing to get married to someone become exponentially more risky because there’s a huge piece of the marriage-choice puzzle that we are required to leave up to chance (which our good mentors have named God’s Will to keep us quiet).

    … we have to not question what our parents and pastors have told us—which is, essentially, that everything I just laid out in layman’s hermeneutics about biblical sexual ethics is lies and that God’s best plan for sexuality is total ignorance and total commitment to one person and one form of sexual experience forever and ever, amen—and to jump through all the Christian social hoops to land in bed with someone and not get ostracized or shamed for wanting to have sex in the first place.

    … and you got married because that was the only way to explore your sexuality and stay sane in the face of such overwhelming social pressure and potential shame, and if you’re really lucky you’ll both be moderately happy and mostly sexually compatible

I sincerely hope she is not attempting to utilize the typical ex-Christian, Non-Christian, or liberal Christian argument that you should have sex with someone (ie, your boyfriend) prior to marriage to find out if you are “sexually compatible” with the person. Could be wrong, but that sounds like what she is getting at.

If that is what she was hinting at, I addressed that in a previous post:

Hannah writes,

    But the chances of ending up with that ending to your story are pretty slim—and after my marriage ended, the stories of unhappy marriages launched on these terms started coming to me out of the woodwork. Our pastors and parents may adore Dannah Gresh, Josh Harris, and the Ludys, but those relationship and purity gurus are the lucky ones selling their stories through books and speaking events. They do not represent the vast majority of American Christians, and while they mean well, their idyllic solutions have shortchanged most people who bought into their system out of blind trust.

    So, as a divorced woman who did everything right by the assumptions of that system and found that it was full of empty promises…

I do think she is on to something here, in a sense. When I was growing up as a Christian, I had many other Christians and their publications telling me, or strongly implying, that if I stayed a virgin, prayed, had faith and simply waited, that God would send me a Christian spouse. But that never happened.

I remain single in my 40s, despite being sexually pure, despite praying, having faith, and so on. Christian singles, the women especially, were sold a bill of goods when younger. We were misled.

Overall, she wrote a decent post there that you may enjoy, but I’m not buying the notion that the Bible is peachy fine dandy with pre-marital sex.
———————————————-
Related posts, this blog:

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

(Link): When Adult Virginity and Adult Celibacy Are Viewed As Inconvenient or As Impediments (including by self professing Christians)

(Link): Weak Argument Against Celibacy / Virginity / Sexual Purity by the Anti Sexual Purity Gestapo – Sexual Compatibility or Incompatibility – (ie, Taking Human Beings For Test Spins – Humans As Sexual Commodities) (Part 2)

This post discusses, among other topics, Rev Mark Driscoll’s false views of adult singlehood 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

(Link): The Nauseating Push by Evangelicals for Early Marriage

(Link): Decent Secular Relationship Advice: How to Pick Your Life Partner

(Link): Why Christians Need to Uphold Lifelong Celibacy as an Option for All Instead of Merely Pressuring All to Marry – vis a vis Sexless Marriages, Counselors Who Tell Marrieds that Having Affairs Can Help their Marriages

(Link): More Married Couples Admit to Sexless Marriages (various articles) / Christians promise you great frequent sex if you wait until marriage, but the propaganda is not true

(Link): Gender Complementarian Advice to Single Women Who Desire Marriage Will Keep Them Single Forever / Re: Choosing A Spiritual Leader

(Link): Celebrity Deems Herself A Born Again Virgin And Vows to Stay Celibate “For A Year” – Oh Puh-leaze

(Link): How About Using Celibates as Role Models For Celibacy? (Oddity: Christians Holding Up Non-Virgins [Fornicators] As Being Experts or Positive Examples on Sexual Purity)

(Link): Being Equally Yoked: Christian Columnist Dan Delzell Striving to Keep Christian Singles Single Forever

(Link): Christian Single Women: Another Example of Why You Should Abandon the “Be Equally Yoked” Teaching: 21-Year Old Christianity Student, Children’s Minister Charged With Murdering Fiancée He Was to Wed in August; Made It Look Like Suicide

(Link): Wife of Preacher Shoots, Kills Him, Recounts Years of Physical and Sexual Abuse – So Much for the Equally Yoked Teaching and the Notion that Christian married sex is Mind Blowing

(Link): Pro Ball Player Convicted for Kid Diddling Three Kids (Pedophilia) Claims to be an Outstanding Christian (and he’s married with a kid of his own) – again, why should Christian single gals limit themselves to only marrying Christian men? The Whole “Being Yoked Equally” thing is irrelevant and unduly limiting for singles

How About Using Celibates as Role Models For Celibacy? (Oddity: Christians Holding Up Non-Virgins [Fornicators] As Being Experts or Positive Examples on Sexual Purity)

How About Using Celibates as Role Models For Celibacy? (Oddity: Christians Holding Up Non-Virgins [Fornicators] As Being Experts or Positive Examples on Sexual Purity)

((DISCLAIMER. This post is addressing consensual sex, NOT sexual abuse or rape.))

As one regular blog visitor, John M.(*) has noted on a prior post or two, Christian culture has a very peculiar habit of holding up Non-Virgins as role models on virginity (or celibacy, sexual purity), and I’m not talking about married Christian people who have remained faithful to their spouse (which is also a tad annoying as far as using marrieds as spokes-persons for singles or for issues singles face), but also people who had sex before they were married.

Often in these stories, the so-called authority on sexual purity had sex as a teen or 20-something, but then decided to stop having sex until marriage. So technically, these sorts of individuals are not virgins.

Some of these individuals, ones who committed fornication, like to call themselves “spiritual virgins,” “secondary virgins” or “born again virgins.”(No, I’m not kidding about that, see this older post at this blog.)

Some Christian organizations, such as Ron Luce’s, teach kids about a concept called “Emotional Virginity.” (Yes, they do. (Link): See this post.)

I can only assume there is a corollary teaching in such groups, something called “Born Again Emotional Virginity,” or “Spiritual Emotional Virginity,” for those teens who have failed to keep “Emotional Virginity.” (Not that I believe in such a concept of “Emotional Virginity” myself; it sounds ridiculous and unbiblical.)

God certainly does forgive people their sexual sin, but coming up with terms such as “born again virgin” and the like to denote that you are forgiven for your fornication, and to ease your conscience on some level, cheapens honest- to- goodness virginity.

Such terminology and such attitudes (and it comes up regularly in secular and Christian feminist, anti- purity/ anti- modesty writings on the internet, too) makes a mockery of those of us who have literally held out past the age of 35 or 40 and are still virgins – not figuratively, allegorically virgin, but really- and- truly- we’ve- never- had- sex variety type of virgin.

-Churches and Christians Hold Up Fornicators As Paragons of Sexual Virtue-

Things get a little stranger when one realizes that in the Christian blogging, television, and magazine world, and on the speaking circuit, Christian fornicators (those who had sex before getting married) are held up as experts or as role models for sexual purity to teen-agers and young adults.

(I’d like to pause here to say, for the billionth time, celibacy and virginity are not just for Christians under the age of 25 or 30, when will the church address the needs and concerns of unmarried celibates past the age of 30? Most Christians continually assume that nobody is strong enough to resist the urge of sex past the age of 25 / 30, which is incorrect, since some of us have in fact done so.)

I just blogged the other day about an article from “Christian Post” online magazine about a woman, Gresh, who is hired to speak to teens or write literature for them concerning sexual purity, yet she had sex when she was 15 years old, and she was not married at the time. She says she regrets having been sexually active outside marriage.

I am not sure why the Christian community likes to hold up failures at sexual mores as pristine examples for youth to follow.

Maybe most Christians assume one who has failed at sexual purity but recommitted to celibacy at a later date is more relateable for teens. Maybe the thinking is such individuals have more insight because they made a mistake but conquered it or learned from it.

Here’s a novel idea, preachers and Christian community:

How about holding up Christians who have not failed at sexual purity as role models for sexual purity? If a Christian did not yield to sexual pressure as a teen or 20 something and is still an actual virgin (not a “born again virgin” but a genuine one) past the age of 40, Christians can learn from them.

The Bible contains advice in the Old Testament along the lines that if you want to know how to become wealthy, hang out with, befriend, and talk to wealthy people. The Bible does not say to hang out with people who are living in poverty or take financial tips from spend thrifts, or to take monetary advice from welfare recipients, now does it? No, it doesn’t.

The Old Testament also says, if you want to find out how to be wise, then associate and question wise people, and learn from the wise. The Bible does not say, “If you want to find out how to be wise, befriend and take advice from the biggest idiots you know, or people who regularly make foolish choices.”

So, wouldn’t it make sense for churches and pastors to point to Christians who are still virgins at age 35 and beyond as experts or role models for sexual purity?

I’m afraid one reason many churches do not is that there are several stereotypes about never-married celibate adults. The truth is that most older celibate Christians are HETERO sexual and have normal sexual drives.

(Please click the “read more” link to read the rest of this post)

Continue reading “How About Using Celibates as Role Models For Celibacy? (Oddity: Christians Holding Up Non-Virgins [Fornicators] As Being Experts or Positive Examples on Sexual Purity)”

Preacher Greg Laurie on Celibacy: the Good and the Bad

Preacher Greg Laurie on Celibacy: the Good and the Bad

I watched part of Greg Laurie’s show last night. In the midst of giving a sermon on the End Times and the 144,000 evangelical Jews of that time period, Laurie paused to say something like,

“I shouldn’t have to say this, but unfortunately in this day and age, you have to: Sex outside of marriage is wrong. You should have sex within marriage, married to someone of the opposite gender.”

Laurie said now- a- days, a lot of people want to rationalize their fornication (sex outside or marriage – he also mentioned adultery), and basically said the Bible is clear on the issue. Laurie says it doesn’t matter if you love the person, or if the sex is between two consenting people and all the other usual excuses people use to justify their fornication (or adultery), it still remains a sin.

I applaud him for that. Good job.

However, where I depart from Laurie on this matter was when he a moment later quoted the part about “fornicators and adulterers [etc] not being permitted into the kingdom of God.” Bear in mind he seems to mostly be directing this message at a Christian audience (ie, people who have already accepted Christ as savior).

If you are a Christian and commit fornication, tell a lie, or commit some other sin, God can and will forgive you, if you ask Him to. Your name does not get removed from the Lamb’s Book of Life. I don’t think it’s biblical or appropriate to tell Christians that their salvation will be forfeit if they fornicate.

Perhaps Laurie is a proponent of the false teaching of “Conditional Security,” which is a works-based form of salvation (Christ grants you a possibility, and gets your foot in the door of salvation, but you have to be good to maintain your salvation – your salvation ultimately depends on you, your works, your goodness, and your effort).

So brownie points to Laurie for clearly stating that sex outside of marriage is a sin, but a big demerit for suggesting sexual sin causes saved people to go to Hell.

(Hetero-) Sex outside Marriage debate – Radio Debate from 2010

(Hetero-) Sex outside Marriage debate – Radio Debate from 2010
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Here is an online audio debate between a Christian and a self-described atheist feminist, who debate about fornication (sex outside of marriage); hosted on the British Christian show “Unbelievable”:

(Link): (Hetero-) Sex outside Marriage debate – Radio Debate from 2010

I am in the midst of the show myself and have no thoughts about it at this time. If I have anything to say about it, I shall edit this post to add my comments below this paragraph and above the radio show description.

For now, the only comment I have to make is that I am not comfortable with Christians who stress that sex is for pro-creation, as the one lady did on this radio show. There are Christian married couples who have health problems and are incapable of getting pregnant, would you then claim they should refrain from sex altogether?

I don’t think sex is only about baby-making.

Update: After having listened to the entire program, I don’t have much to say about it. The only thing that stood out to me was when the atheist freethinker lady scoffed at the idea of “celibates” (her word) giving anyone advice about sex, and was tying this into context about religious leaders. (She seemed specifically to be calling out the Pope and Roman Catholic priests.)

As I have noted before in other posts, celibacy is not only a “Roman Catholic” thing. I was brought up a Baptist, am over age 40, and am a celibate. Let me repeat that: I am celibate but am not a Roman Catholic.

It’s hypocritical that someone who fancies herself a champion of “free thinking” and standing up for the oppressed, as she does, so easily and condescendingly dismisses celibates, and basically says we celibates are not entitled to give any one opinions about matters pertaining to sex.

My message to the Atheist lady on the radio show:
Atheist lady, I don’t have to have sexual intercourse myself to be able to discuss the topic or hold a view on it – and, by the way, I am still a sexual being. Most celibates are not devoid of sexual impulse, nor are we asexual. It’s incorrect, condescending, and rude to feel that celibates have no place at the table in discussing sexual mores and topics. (And like it or not, this celibate does indeed have opinions on these issues.)

Radio Show Description of the Debate’s contents (from their web page):

    Evangelical Christians hold that sexual relations outside of marriage are against Biblical mandate and have negative moral and social consequences.

    In modern society, as marriage becomes less common and most people are sexually active from their teens, is this belief outmoded and irrelevant?

    Sue Meyer describes herself as an “Atheist freethinking feminist”. She claims that Christian marriage has historically been used as a way of subjugating women. She says that the modern climate where people are at liberty to have sex with who they want, when they want is a welcome change.

    Faith Forster is one of the founders of the Ichthus Christian Fellowship network of churches in the UK. She says that the Biblical principle of keeping sex within the marriage bond is given for the good of both individuals and society.

Christian Response FAIL to Sexual Sin – Easy Forgivism

Christian Response FAIL to Sexual Sin – Easy Forgivism

On a recent episode of the Christian program “The 700 Club,” someone wrote in to their (Link): “Bring It On” segment to say she had an extra- marital affair, and her spouse divorced her as a result. She wants to know how to move on.

Basically, the host, Pat Robertson, said that she should forgive herself. He made some sort of remark about how we are all “sexual beings” and may slip into sexual sin from time to time-it’s totally expected and normal to commit sexual sin, he seemed to be saying.

While I am not advocating that this adulteress beat herself up over her sexual sin for the rest of her life, or that the church should line up to toss stones at her, I found Robertson’s tone, comments, and attitude about adultery a little too dismissive of sexual sin.

There was this underlying vibe in his reaction that all humans are going to slip and literally sin sexually (ie, actually engage in physical acts, not just engage in sexual fantasy). However, this is simply not true.

There are some Christians who remain virgins past their 20s. It is a very damaging assumption and fallacy to keep suggesting, as evangelicals, Neo Calvinists, Baptists, and fundamentalists do, that nobody can resist sexual desires for years or forever. People can in fact resist giving in to sexual desires and acting upon them- but they choose not to.

If God is so easy peasy to look past sexual sins, including in the case of adultery as Robertson is claiming, and if sliding into sexual acts outside of marriage is totally normal and to be expected, why should I remain sexually pure at my age (I’m over 40)? There is no reason to.
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Related post(s) this blog

(Link): Christians and Cheap Grace Concerning Sexual Sin

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