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Archive for November, 2013

The “marry a virgin” movement in evangelical circles is misguided

Posted by Chance on November 4, 2013

When I was in junior high and high school and listening to church talks about purity, a major theme was the idea that you should try to marry someone who saved himself or herself for you.  Sounds like a great idea.  After all, aren’t you and Jesus worth waiting for?

But here’s the problem.  People who didn’t wait till marriage, what are they supposed to do?  What does this mean for people who aren’t virgins?  Are they supposed to marry the backsliden Christians, for whom purity isn’t important?  The whole idea of the “marry a virgin” movement is that, if you made mistakes in the area of sexuality, you aren’t worth it.

I also feel that this idea gets across the message that the past means everything.  This whole idea is that, once someone sins in this area, they have reached a point of no return.  I don’t believe that’s the case.

Most importantly, I feel that such a message tries to limit God’s plan for our lives.  Who says that God doesn’t have a partner for someone who has sinned in this area?  In the Bible, we seem to see an opposite idea.  We see one of the Israelites marry the former prostitute Rahab.   We see the story of Hosea, who marries an unfaithful woman, yet takes her back, and this story is an illustration of how God takes us back when we are unfaithful to him.

The Bible is full of stories of redemption and second chances.  Yes, we can make choices that have life-long consequences, but the “marry a virgin” idea seems to go against the Biblical theme of redemption and second chances.

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On troubled wide receivers, the Nuclear Family, and the Genealogy of Christ

Posted by Chance on November 3, 2013

Two wide receivers from my alma mater, Oklahoma State, made headlines this week.  Justin Blackmon is entering rehab and is suspended indefinitely from the NFL, and Dez Bryant has emotional outbursts on the sideline.  The interesting thing, to me, is that these two people come from, what seems to be, radically different backgrounds.  Dez Bryant was born to his mother at the age of 14 and lived a very troubled childhood.  Justin Blackmon came from what seems to be a stable two-parent family with a Christian faith.  When Justin Blackmon came out to the NFL I thought he would be different from the somewhat troubled Bryant.  That perception ended quickly when Blackmon received a DUI before his first NFL snap.

A stable family goes a long way toward helping someone on the straight and narrow, but it is no guarantee.  And just because certain boxes are checked in a person’s life (Christian, parents never divorced) doesn’t mean that everything is just great.  We cannot honestly speculate about a person’s life.

This whole thing has made me think about the value we place on the stable nuclear family, especially cultural conservatives like myself.  We focus a lot on how things should be, but I think we sometimes forget that great things can happen out of the non-ideal situations.

When we look at the Bible, especially the genealogy of Christ, we see a whole history of non-ideal situations.  One of Jesus’ ancestors, Rahab, was a prostitute.  David was an ancestor to Jesus, but it wasn’t through the virtuous Abigail, it was a woman with whom he had an affair and killed her husband.  Even Jesus was born as a sort of stepson of Joseph, with step siblings.  I wonder if the family dynamics were awkward there.

I don’t know if all this stuff really relates.  All I know is that bad stuff can happen with people arising from a stable family, and that God does great things out of messy situations, including broken families.  And don’t forget, the story of Dez Bryant and Justin Blackmon is far from finished.

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