Chasity doesn’t really seem an important issue to me. It is a wholly under reported fact that all top sex researchers have shown for many decades that High School sex education classes do great emotional damage (that no later therapy or drugs can ever undo). The damage can be seen in how kids provided such classes are twice as likely to get STDs and have unwanted pregnancies (see Constructing the Sexual Crucible by Dr. Schnarch, 1989). The CDC says today’s sexually active teenagers have roughly a 50/50 chance of contracting an STD (and due to “safe sex” education, usually done orally) and it is thusly the 7th leading cause of death in America (nothing new, it’s how Franklin died). But chasity is not a core “issue” - it is instead a core symptom. And so, “dealing” with it doesn’t really solve anything. Problems have been shown to occur when human sexuality is discussed without mentioning intimacy. When I ask other parents how they’ve discussed both emotional and physical intimacy with their teenagers, I only get blank looks. Personally, I prefer the Biblical “know” over any other term for physical intimacy. But, talking about chasity, like any discussion of human sexuality, seems to me to only gets us off track.
The Bible contains quite a collection of great misfits. Abraham was a liar, Jacob (which literally means deceiver) was also anxious, Leah was unattractive, Joseph was abused, Moses had a speech impediment and was disobedient, Noah often got drunk, Gideon was underprivileged, Samson was codependent and wholly self-absorbed, Rahab was depraved, David was an adulterous murderer, Elijah was afraid and suicidal, Jeremiah was depressed, Jonah was unwilling, Peter was impulsive (and often in denial), Zacchaeus was unpopular, Thomas was doubtful, Timothy was timid, and Paul was overweight and of poor health (and some believe even homosexual). Even though the Bible heroes I mentioned were chastised for their sinfulness, they never lost their intimate relationship with God. God loved them just as they were - he just didn’t leave them there. God had a use for each of them that justified them (without “fixing” them but still not letting their sinful nature get in the way). One of the best examples of a sinfully distracting idol is prayer. Gideon destroyed himself, his family, and his nation by worshiping the idea of prayer over the ideal of prayer. But, prayer, like Chastity, isn’t really the problem. What use by God justifies you? The problem I think was Gideon couldn’t say. Can you?
Being called untalented, unintelligent, unattractive, unfaithful, or unpleasant seems naturally far more offensive than hearing that we are unsure of our beliefs, unclear of our goals, disorganized in our efforts, uncertain of where we would stand, are without a long range plan, or incorrect in our world view. Those things we hold most personal are those things we have little or no control over (and since they are of God are by definition and design already perfect). In WWII, a soldier who couldn’t quickly identify their mission was shot on the spot. But, could any of us be brought to tears by the suggestion that we are unclear of our holy mission? How much easier to feel pain if told we are stupid, ugly, and crude.
Do you not realize Christ Jesus is in you, unless you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13:5) How many people have you converted and baptised? It’s not the “good” commission, we are called to do great things. In John 14:12-14 Christ says, “In solemn truth I tell you, anyone believing in me shall do the same miracles I have done, and even greater ones.” In Mark 16:17-18 Christ said, “these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Paul did all these things. So, don’t tell me these things are too hard … man up! (ha ha) How can we understand what intimacy with others should be like before we know intimacy with God? Now, that seems like a real issue to talk about.
Anyway, that’s my 2 cents.
Oh, Tucson Jim, I think that was way more than 2 ¢ worth The point you made alone about discussing intimacy is worth at least $100
Welcome to CAF!
If it is not too hard to avoid sin, then why has no man been sinless since the time of Christ?
He’s making the mistake of putting other people in his shoes instead of putting himself in other’s. We shouldn’t praise ourselves for something that we didn’t and can’t do ourselves. If he is able to be perfectly chaste he should thank God and pray that others receive that gift as well. No amount of “manning up” will free us from our sins, only Christ can do that. Also, it implies that chastity is only something men have to deal with.
Also, very nice post TucsonJim.
Fascinating. I’d like to know if you can recommend any articles, for a popular or academic audience, about those studies. (They’re more accessible than a print book, and are you sure the title you mention is still up to date?)