It’s becoming vogue to attack “purity culture.” I suspect many who are caustic and critical about what they label “purity culture” are really resisting God’s commands to live holy, pure lives.
We are created by God. Marriage and married love are created by God. God is devoted to human flourishing and has given us truth to guide us to the highest possible experience of human joy and pleasure. When we reject or resist his ways and his laws we diminish our own joy and well-being.
Conversely, creating a culture of adding to God’s law is a distortion of God’s law. It is a subte form of sin. Manipulating behavior is damaging to people, not helpful. It does not produce purity and holiness it disfigures holiness into something shallow and powerless and ugly. If that is what you mean by purity culture, you are right. It is not helpful. It is harmful.
When we sin sexually and we are not shown the way of the gospel, the good news of cleansing and forgiveness, and the way out of shame—great damage comes to the soul. When we try to manipulate behavior and not motivate genuine godliness we do great harm even when we label it with high-sounding religious terms and biblical words.
But those who worship God in the beautify of holiness, avoiding sexual sins or confessing them at the foot of hte cross are healthy, happy, and whole.
Teaching in the 90’s on Christian betrothal and “courtship” mixed biblical teaching and extra-biblical prohibitions. When we went beyond Scripture we erred and that was not helpful. For some it was harmful, as it always is when we add to Scripture. But when we faithfully teach what the scriptures commend and forbid we are blessed by God.
Hear what Jesus said, “…whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teachers other to do the same will be called least in the kindgdom of heaven, but whoever does and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19)
Every church and every Christian family should be a culture of love, joy, peace, holiness and purity.
A book I found sound and balanced and helpful as we were raising our own children was this somewhat autobiographical book by the late Elisabeth Eliot.
July 19, 2023
July 19, 2023