In an unprecedented move, the Southern Baptists have dropped their True Love Waits program in favor of a grace and forgiveness project for gays and lesbians and others dealing with sexual sin, emphasizing that “perfect behavior” is no longer part of God’s design in marriage. Starting around December 15th, it will be known as the “True Love Project” with sexual health and healing also being on the ticket. According to Clayton King of Crossroads Ministries who wrote all of the new material, the new “product” will “communicate God’s design for relationships to a new generation of students and young adults who may be struggling or confused about love, dating and sex.” But the number one reason True Love Waits is being dropped is because it “elevated virginity as the ultimate goal” according to King. “Repeatedly, I say that the goal is not to be a virgin on your wedding day.” “I want people to know they are pure because Jesus purified them from sin, not because they have perfect behavior and have never had intercourse or looked at porn.” I’m not sure when the Baptists redefined virginity as perfection, but it does take the straw man to a whole new level. And more puzzling, the original True Love Waits did not include “ancient and unchangeable truths of God’s word.” It was never a Billy Graham evangelical crusade. This shift marks the first time the SBC has taken the position that there is no spiritual component within human sexuality. It is rather unfortunate to see the pledges of purity until marriage that millions of teenagers and young adults made belittled as “temporary physical pleasures.” TLW was one of the largest abstinence campaigns in the country, started some 20 years ago by Richard Ross and Jimmy Hester. These changes are in keeping though with Russell Moore’s (SBC Ethics Commission president) call for all Baptists to “love our gay and lesbian neighbors as Jesus did.” In a time when Christians are losing the culture war and teenagers need consistent standards of values, the Baptists continue their tradition of mixed messages. Answering the backlash that the new program has already received, the Project’s Ben Trueblood acknowledged “sexual purity is an important issue for students,” but “that alone cannot drive the conversation.” As it did with marriage and the DOMA debacle, the SBC is willing to affirm the Bible’s message on purity, but not willing to defend it. I wonder who is really driving the conversation? The SBC or the majority of teens who could not wait until marriage and feel uncomfortable with the idea of purity? The profit margins they contribute to Lifeway? I’m thankful I was not a teenager in the “new generation” and that I learned early from my parents that sexual purity is not a “temporary pleasure.” We can only pray that the “projects” don’t force American taxpayers to pay for more contraception and abortions.