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Featured The Negative Impact of Purity Culture

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by Tetra, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. dayhiker

    dayhiker Mature veteran

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    This has been replied to in the negative many times in this thread!
     
  2. Tetra

    Tetra Active Member

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    I was waiting to reply to this because I was thinking how to respond. May I ask what makes them less "good" in your opinion? Does committing sins in other areas make a person equally less "good"?
     
  3. dayhiker

    dayhiker Mature veteran

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    I th9ink the reason the Orthodox church as well as others wouldn't ordain men who have remarried is because of Paul's comment about elders being the husband of one wife. Some churches are very strict with this and some not so much. My personal belief is that Paul says this because Rome had a law that a man can only have one wife. So Paul was saying this to keep the church from going afoul of Roman law. Only the Jews had an exception to this law and were allowed to have more than one wife. Of course we will only know Paul's reason when we get to ask him.
     
  4. THE W

    THE W Your friendly neighborhood vagabond

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    if you were taught that sex in and of itself is wrong, then that's an unfortunate error.

    if you were taught that sex is a beautiful gift from the LORD that is reserved for a man and a woman in marriage, then you were taught what is right, proper and...well...pure!

    certain distinctions need to be made.
     
  5. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Oh! So THAT's what that means!!! Supporter

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    Hi Tetra,

    Interesting that you and I seem to be on separate sides of the same parallel ethics rail (since one of my agendas is to dismantle the Playboy Philosophy, as much as is possible). I'm also raising my son, and I try to impress upon him--with sagely advice--the virtues of virginity and a firm commitment to the Lord, especially since there is nothing wrong with being a virgin. I suppose you need to impress upon your daughter that there's also nothing right when a woman is a "floozy" or a male is a "loose-cannon."

    Why do I impress this upon my son? Because when I was 7, I began to be impacted by "impurity culture." And, because of that, I'm not a happy camper. :mad:

    2PhiloVoid
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  6. AlexDTX

    AlexDTX Well-Known Member

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    I know you want women to answer, but as an elderly man who lived a wanton sexual life before becoming a follower of Jesus in my middle age I can attest to consequences of sexual sin.

    For men, fornication outside of marriage and love, turns women into sex objects. It took me decades to experience love making with my wife without her being a sexual object. She always knew it and resented my subconscious attitude.

    Also, the two become one flesh in sex, of which Paul cries out that the body of Christ should not be joined to a harlot. This has been called soul ties and all those sexual encounters become baggage that impacts one's marriage. I destroyed every letter and photograph of women prior to my marriage and renounced my connections to them in prayer to try and free me from their influence in my marriage.

    On the negative side, though, any time you make something a law, you increase the probability of breaking those laws. The law magnifies sin. Years ago Promise Keepers was a national event that countless denominations supported. And yet, when they were over many of those men who made those promises broke those promises and suffered guilt and shame.

    Purity is probably something that should be taught from the point of view of wisdom and folly. Not as a rule not to be broken. We live in a fallen world with encouragement to have casual sex on TV and other media. We overcome evil with good, not with more evil. Boys and girls need a constant example and encouragement in the good.
     
  7. chaela

    chaela I'm a Demopublican Republicrat

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    I think I can relate to that. I may have been a virgin till marriage physically, but that didn't mean I wasn't already ... um ... aware? ... of a few things. [​IMG]


    -
     
  8. Tetra

    Tetra Active Member

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    You're absolutely correct, those distinctions do need to be made. The church tends to not focus on making those distinctions though... it liked in purity culture to focus mainly on the negative. I heard far more about what someone shouldn't do, and less about when they can do it.
     
  9. shanethetheologian

    shanethetheologian Seminarian

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    It is my observation that the Protestant culture in which purity culture originated has, as with so many issues, an inadequate black and white view of intimacy. They put out the message that fornication, adultery, and homosexual behavior are wrong. The only suitable forum for sex is a monogamous heterosexual marriage. They forget a third option: celibacy. There were at least two respondents earlier in this thread that probably would have been well served to hear of that before entangling themselves in marriage. I think this is probably because celibacy is viewed as some kind of weird Catholic ascetic practice. However, I am sure I have met people who were genuinely suited to be celibate.
     
  10. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Oh! So THAT's what that means!!! Supporter

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    It also might be good to make the historical distinction as to the when, where, what and how the Church has taken an over-wrought approach to purity. Shall I drop the name of St. Augustine into the mix, here? My intention in dropping names is not to discredit Augustine so much as to give us a historical point of reference. We could compare his approach to 'human sexuality' with that expressed in, say, the Song of Solomon and/or the book of Proverbs.

    However, even though we should critique Augustine's overbearing sexual prudence, bringing some Enlightenment sensibility to sexuality within the Church would be, dare I say, insensible.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  11. Tetra

    Tetra Active Member

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    I don't know the exact point, some date purity culture back to the late 1800's when slavery ended. I recall when studying that some thought, by father's controlling their daughters sexuality, it would help prevent having interracial relationships. So some do belive purity culture is tied to racism in its history.

    You're probably right regarding Agustine, but I just don't know enough about the history.
     
  12. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Sinning Boldly

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    No, that's not really what I meant. If anything, your response points to the problem. If you have lived your whole life in evangelical or charismatic religious culture, it would probably be hard to grasp, because it is filled with so many contradictory and absurd messages about sexuality, and a general immaturity when dealing with matters of the flesh. There is no realistic respect for the power of eros. As a result, it's not surprising that there's so many sexual p

    Some of the ancient and medieval theologians, like Augustine, for instance, viewed prostitution as necessary for a society. Sort of like how we need sewers, even if they aren't pretty. It might not fit the Christian ideal, but they recognized it was unrealistic to expect everybody to live as they did. And they knew about the weaknesses of the flesh. So in non-Protestant cultures, they tend to have a more mature approach to sexuality, realizing that expecting everybody to live up to a monastic ideal is not realistic (whereas your average evangelical imposes it on everybody until they get married, then it magically disappears). People have sex before marriage, that's reality- just like people routinely tell little lies or drive over the speed limit. In the grand scheme of things, premarital sex is a peccadillo hardly worth the enormous weight given to it by some Christians.

    Augustine gets a bad rap by modern, (relatively) liberal Protestants. But his ethic towards sexuality was relatively fair and even enlightened, by the standards of the time, as compared to some Eastern fathers that sanctioned a wife leaving her husband to take on religious vows. His harsh views on sexuality was to point to the depravity and self-centeredness inherent in the human condition and our need for redemption.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  13. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Oh! So THAT's what that means!!! Supporter

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    I'll just say it all goes much further back, Tetra. This kind of "ownership" language of fathers over daughters can be seen in the New Testament when Paul gives indication about his awareness of the purity mores of his his own time (as seen in 1 Corinthians 7), which in turn reflects older traditions. So this whole issue is 'bigger' than just that some smug white dudes in the 1800s began to attempt to prevent their modern white daughters from becoming involved with men of a different ethnicity.
     
  14. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    The reason the Orthodox Church does not ordain remarried priests is indeed because of Paul's instructions.

    But before one assumes this makes a person "damaged goods" or somehow lesser, please allow me to point out that this is not the whole story, and it's not a simple black-and-white view.

    One of our most prominent Saints is St. Mary of Egypt. She lived for 17 years as a wanton woman - "worse" even in a sense than a prostitute - she didn't act in this way because she had to support herself, but simply because she liked it. As a result of an encounter with the Divine which she had pursued out of curiosity, she deeply repented of her previous lifestyle, and fought spiritual battles with sexual desire, desire for wine, and immoral acts for many years. She eventually became greatly sanctified. She is a favorite Saint of MANY because she reminds us that, through repentance, God forgives. She has a Sunday devoted to her as part of the Lenten cycle, which helps us focus on repentance each year.

    As I said, sanity is needed.

    When I was growing up, it was the opposite of "purity culture". Young girls were made to think that there wasn't even the option of remaining pure, and to try on one's own was very difficult and isolationist. We need to allow that chastity IS the expectation, is possible, is valued, and give young people tools to succeed in this. We also need them to understand that whatever failures we experience in life (we all have them, of one kind or many), that God will receive us back and forgive us. And as Shanethetheologian said, I think we need to let young people know that there are more options, including celibacy. ALL of this needs to be known, and applied to real life in sane and helpful ways.

    There is much more to the question of marriage and being ordained in the Orthodox Church, which shows a wider perspective and much wisdom on such matters, but I don't think it is necessarily relevant to this thread. I just don't like to see misunderstandings about Orthodoxy.
     
  15. Root of Jesse

    Root of Jesse Admiral of the Fleet/First Sea Lord Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    I wonder where you got your definition. It would be wrong to attach some sort of idolatry to remaining a virgin. Rather, I believe it is right to show why virginity is right and why un-chastity before marriage is wrong. Show the reason why it is best to wait until marriage.

    I realize that some, maybe most, of our American culture that reveres virginity makes it sort of an idol, but that doesn't really work. By the way, for any such discipline to work, the individual has to understand the value of it. Take, for instance, the discipline required to play sports. If the kid doesn't want to play sports, or sees no value in it, he's not going to succeed. Likewise, if someone is taking piano lessons because his parents want him to be a virtuoso (and not doing it of his own free will), he will not succeed. I remember that I smoked for 40+ years, and thought I would/could never quit, but when I did it because I wanted to, I didn't even need a stick of nicotine gum. Same way with chastity. When one is brought up with the understanding of the value of chastity as a discipline, one will more than likely succeed.
     
  16. Root of Jesse

    Root of Jesse Admiral of the Fleet/First Sea Lord Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    To answer your question at the bottom, I do. With gusto.
     
  17. Root of Jesse

    Root of Jesse Admiral of the Fleet/First Sea Lord Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    I can agree that this would be the wrong way to look at it. Show the positive aspect, rather than the negative.
     
  18. Root of Jesse

    Root of Jesse Admiral of the Fleet/First Sea Lord Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    No, it's funny how the government tries to (generally succeeds, too) usurp what is the Church's domain. Vowing before God that you will love each other is the key. And having God in your life as long as you live.
     
  19. Root of Jesse

    Root of Jesse Admiral of the Fleet/First Sea Lord Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Bishop Ignatius of Antioch, writing around 110 to Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna said, "t becomes both men and women who marry, to form their union with the approval of the bishop, that their marriage may be according to God, and not after their own lust."
     
  20. Root of Jesse

    Root of Jesse Admiral of the Fleet/First Sea Lord Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    I know of specific case where a daughter requested that her dad get her a chastity ring and asked him to do a ceremonial vow of chastity in front of the Blessed Sacrament.