In my humble opinion, it’s the biggest mistake made by today’s churches and is the number one contributing factor to our society of sexual immorality — assigning the virtue of sexual purity to youth while dismissing its importance for never married adults. This stereotype is so all encompassing that it makes me dizzy thinking about all the layers that have to be peeled off to expose the biblical truth. There’s been a lot of talk about sex lately in the news which, unfortunately, shines a bright light on this hypocrisy — thereby weakening the church’s stand on social issues such as same sex marriage, abortion, adultery, etc. The Bible never puts an age limit on sexual purity and never mentions youth groups, youth pastors, college churches, purity balls for teenage girls, sex education for teens, etc. But they are so engrained in church tradition today that it’s hard for most people to separate tradition from obedience. You may be tempted to ask: “But does it have to be in the Bible to be used today?” My answer is – when it comes to teaching and modeling sexual values in the 21st century, all of them have to be based on the Bible. What this limitation does, in effect, is add to the bible. God’s word clearly tells us we cannot do that: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.” Revelations 22:18. The addition of age-based purity is just as grave as adding another disciple to God’s word. The consequences of this have been devastating over the last 20 years. It reinforces the notion that sexual purity is not possible in adulthood. It denies that many of the saints reached adulthood. It denies that Jesus reached adulthood. What we have left is strictly an adolescent Bible, one that is cute and cuddly and friendly to women and children. One that is politically correct and comfortable to all. A Bible as palpable as cotton candy. What we don’t have is an adult Bible, the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, slicing through contemporary debates. God’s infinite wisdom and truth gets no deeper than children’s church, no deeper than the golden calf of marriage and family. Standards are lowered, expectations are lowered, and the cycle continues.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the written word today. The subject of sexual purity in books and magazines is almost always approached from the perspective of a concerned parent (True Love Waits, etc). And in the blogosphere world, 90+% of all articles related to purity are covered by young emotionally charged Catholic girls, 20-somethings who see themselves as experts on all things purity. Even the negative phrase “purity culture” has been coined to describe them. It has it’s own language, mindset, and personality. Since they don’t know what purity is in the adult world, these young writers are typically judgmental, distrustful of all older single men, and bash single men every chance they get. Most pervasive is the distrust of older single men. On these blogs, men have been reduced to no more than a drunken bloat sitting at a bar looking for his next skirt to chase. The patience and self control of older chaste single men has become . . . fantasy. There are exceptions, of course. One blogger even remarked that: “If we lower the bar, he doesn’t have to exist.” In many ways, we don’t exist today. Some of these young writers have even stated that it’s inappropriate for 50-60 year old single adults to date. Many churches have left the job of setting standards of virtue to women. That’s the main reason so many churches are feminized today, driving real men away, older single men who are just as pure as the purity ball queens. If these double standards are brought to their attention, their number one defense is numbers – “There are just so few of these men.” I know I’ve said this before — God’s power and faithfulness is not limited by statistics and numbers. All of us who are living lives of purity must allow for the supernatural and number-defying workings of God. We must respect and trust each other, whether it’s in day to day encounters or in the digital world.