Does Man’s Virtue Have Any Value?

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An interesting phenomenom I’ve noticed lately in the world of singleness is that nearly all personal testimonies include a sordid tale of sexual sin and redemption.  No stories about self control and righteousness.  And it seems the more selacious the story the bigger the audience.  It all falls in line with a morally corrupt society, one where a story of purity becomes more and more uncomfortable.  Where does purity fit in a society that worships sex and marriage?  Purity today is seen as emptiness, immaturity, self righteousness, lack of responsibility, adolescence.   Not worth much for the masses.  It won’t sell car insurance, can’t express your freedom, doesn’t need protection, and doesn’t sell on a street corners.  In short, it doesn’ have a story to tell a sin filled world that would rather hear about adultery, fornication, pedophilia, homosexuality, and all other kinds of perversion.  And unfortuately this trend has worked its way into churches and other religious circles.   Here’s a sampling of singles’ “testimonies” from the internet:

Then all of a sudden one day our eyes were opened and we realized that our bodies began to notice things about each other physically and that’s when sex happened.”

“I had PRE MARITAL SEX I AM CONDEMNING MYSELF and I can’t forgive the guy. After I gave everything to him , he dropped me and choose the other girl.”

“I’m pregnant and I don’t know what to do. I intentionally sinned when I made the decision to let my desire control me and have sex last month”

” . . . my boyfriend who i met in church is also active in church we have managed to remain pure until today the temptation was so much and we gave in . . . “

Apparently many people today think that a tragic story of downfall is required to become a Christian, that you’ve got to go through Sodom to get to heaven.  Of course that is not a requirement.  It is possible to accept Christ at a young age and live a life of self control and righteousness.  Consider the story of Joseph in the Bible.  He committed his life to God and purity at a young age.  Even after being sold into slavery to Potiphar, his committment to sexual purity did not change.   According to Genesis 39:12-20:

“When Potiphar’s wife “came and grabbed him by his cloak, demanding, “Come on, sleep with me!” Joseph tore himself away, but he left his cloak in her hand as he ran from the house.  When she saw that she was holding his cloak and he had fled, she called out to her servants.  Soon all the men came running. “Look!” she said.  My husband has brought this Hebrew slave here to make fools of us! He came into my room to rape me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream, he ran outside and got away, but he left his cloak behind with me.  She kept the cloak with her until her husband came home.  Then she told him her story. “That Hebrew slave you’ve brought into our house tried to come in and fool around with me,” she said.  “But when I screamed, he ran outside, leaving his cloak with me!”  Potiphar was furious when he heard his wife’s story about how Joseph had treated her.  So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained.”

Three powerful words – tore himself away.  Imagine that, a man rejecting sex!   Notice though that Joseph didn’t get to tell his story.   Potiphar believed his wife with no questions asked.  Men’s virtue in those days didn’t have much value either.  Just as today, it was a woman/child worship society where women were expected to set the sexual standards.   How many testimonies do we hear from men today who tore themselves away from seducers and defended their purity?  Unfortunately, men of character today have to deal with false accusations just as well – from homosexuality to irresponsibility.  Not only is their virtue considered worthless, it has fallen onto the negative side of the balance sheet.   Virtuous Christian single ladies – I encourage you to listen to the stories of men of honor, set aside your suspiciousness and listen to the Josephs in the real world today.  Not all their testimonies sound like sex in the city.  There are men today who accepted Christ at a young age too and are saving sex until marriage.  Potiphar’s wife screamed to the masses and they believed her.  You are going to have to communicate to the world the value you place on virtuous men and stand up to Potiphar’s wife and say “shut up and sit down woman!”  Should stories of brokeness and forgiveness be worth more than stories of self control and righteousness?  Who have you listened too lately?  How much is a virtuous man worth to you?

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True Love Waits No More

clayton_king191
Clayton King

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.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2943018.Clayton_King/blog
http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/6955173061.html
http://www.christianpost.com/news/lifeways-true-love-waits-movement-to-launch-new-updated-sexual-purity-campaign-110046/
http://www.claytonking.com/blog/TLP/‎
http://www.tnbaptist.org/BRARticle.asp?ID=4639
http://www.sbclife.net/Articles/2013/12/sla12.asp‎
http://http://baptistcourier.com/2013/11/king-true-love/