Saturday, February 09, 2013

Virginity: No Shame in Christ

I’ve seen a lot of talk about virginity the last few days. Articles ranging from the good, the bad, and the ugly. One point to be made: virginity isn’t a Christian term nor should it be. It’s sterilized. It breaches the gospel herding Christians into spiritual concentration camps. If you’ve had a certain biological experience at a certain time in your life, you’re out. Get ready to live your life in this ghetto. If you haven’t you’re in. Pat on the back. It says nothing about the grace of God or the power of the Spirit to kill sin. Nothing about the heart of the serial pornographer (broadly used). You can’t shame people into sexual purity and preach the forgiveness of the gospel. The two are antithetical.

The term virginity removes sexuality from the redemptive story--in terms of fall and redemption. In the fall Scripture tells us we are all sinful and fall short of God’s glory, not just the non-virgins. There’s solidarity. Virginity also constrains the redemption focus defining sexuality by a single act. Instead realize that none of us are sexually clean. Jesus has some strong words about lust and adultery. We all live with sexual baggage. Let’s preach the sinfulness of sin (the fall) but let’s center on the radical offer of peace through Jesus Christ (the redemption).

This emphasis doesn’t discount the different consequences for sins. Having premarital sex will impact your life differently than cheating on your wife with whom you have kids and masturbating to porn as an adolescent will have its own consequences (although some of the consequences of these sins may bleed together).

Here’s the good news: God saves sexual sinners of all stripes. Stop identifing yourself so closely with your sin. Recognize your sin by bringing your sexuality into the light of the gospel and repent of it. Pursue Christ more than you pursue sex even (especially?) if you’re married. Rejoice in God’s good gift of sexuality. Don’t under estimate the power of the Spirit in the gospel to transform hearts. Put your lustful thoughts to death in Christ. Identify yourself with Christ so closely that sin no longer holds sway on your heart. You are not in your sin. You are in Christ. He’s your virginity.

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