Thoughts on John Piper’s “Walking the Wedding Aisle Without Your Virginity” and T. Fall’s Rebuttal
Please understand that when I discuss things such as virginity and fornication on my blog, I am always discussing consensual sex, unless I explicitly state otherwise.
I am not discussing sexual abuse in this post per se (the main focus is on consensual sex), and the majority of other posts on my blog, unless it’s really obvious I am doing so, or give a disclaimer. Sexual abuse is another category altogether.
Most of my posts also deal with the topic of sexual purity from the vantage of a never-married adult getting married for the first time, not divorcees, remarriages, or widows.
Over at the “Desiring God” site, one can find this page, which contains a transcript of a podcast by John Piper:
Here is some of what Piper had to say:
- I think the main thing I want to say is this: Virginity is a precious gift that you cannot give to your fiancé, nor she you. That is a great sadness and a great loss.
- But there are gifts you can give her and God will multiply those gifts so wonderfully that the loss will not be destructive.
- You said that you have heard people say, Save yourself sexually for marriage and it is a terrible thing to squander that. Well, I say: Yes, yes, yes — that is exactly right. That is exactly what I think Paul and Jesus would counsel any virgin: “Flee fornication” (1 Corinthians 6:18).
- Your body belongs to God as a single person, and it will belong to your future spouse. It would be good to think about 1 Corinthians 7:3–4: “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights” — that means sex — “and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”
- ..That is a gift you don’t have to give. And you will want to teach your children to have it.So what is the gift you do have to give to this fiancé with whom you have had sexual relations? What gift can you give her that God might be pleased to make so wonderful, the gift you can’t give her will not destroy?
- [Piper then instructs the young man to apologize to his future wife for the fornication]
Blogger Tim Fall wrote a critique of Piper’s page here:
Regarding Tim Fall’s rebuttal to Piper’s “Walking” post.
I happen to like Tim, so this is nothing personal. But I find myself disagreeing with portions of Tim’s page, or its basis.
Tim makes a few decent points on his page, but his overall premise is similar to the “diminishing-of-virginity” perspective I’ve seen bandied about by a lot of Christians the last few years, which I find disappointing and view as a personal discouragement to maintain my own virginity (more about this below).
I’m not a fan of Piper’s. I disagree with him quite often.
I also find Piper very weird. HIs Twitter account is so earnest and wacko, I sometimes wonder if it’s not actually a parody account, but no, it’s real.
I read Piper’s page, “Walking the Wedding Aisle Without Your Virginity” and actually don’t find much wrong with it.
I find Piper’s “Walking” response to be a refreshing change of pace from the usual conservative Christian malarky about sexual sin and virginity I’ve seen in blogs, podcasts, interviews, and books the last few years, in that conservative Christians have been attacking the concepts of virginity and celibacy, or else drastically minimizing both lifestyles or disciplines quite a bit.
Piper is unabashedly defending virginity in the “Walking” broadcast, which is a rarity these days among Christians. So kudos to Piper for being on Team Virgin here.
Really, anyone defending virginity is so rare these days, Christian or no, I found a secular essay by a Non-Christian young lady who was asking society at large to back off about her virginity quite surprising and unexpected – and these types of defenses are not common:
How sad. The young lady who wrote that should be able to find a plethora of “pro virginity” articles on Christian blogs and sites (no surprise she cannot find them on secular sites), but I am afraid all she will find on Christian sites are essays that say “beware of virginity idolatry,” “virginity is not a big deal,” or, “God is down with sexual sin, he will wipe your slate clean” (implying one might as well fornicate).
My impression is that Conservative Christians have mainly backed down on supporting virginity because the progressive Christians, who were apparently influenced by secular left wing feminists (it would appear), think it’s wrong or mean to judge anyone’s sexual choices.
To do so, to hold negative views about someone’s sexual choices, is referred to by secular feminists as “slut shaming.”
So, the conservative Christians now believe that even conservative Christians should delicately tip toe around the feelings of fornicators, which includes down-playing virginity, assuring fornicators to the hilt that God loves and forgives them in spite of their sexual sins, and in the process, we are told that virginity doesn’t have much, if any, value.
Nor is virginity a gift to one’s future spouse, according to many of these same writers – at least the ones I’ve come across.
If that is so, if virginity has little to no value, is only an invention of the patriarchy to keep women down, and is not a gift I would be bestowing on a future spouse (should I ever marry), there is no point in me, a 40 something virgin, holding on to her virginity.
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