Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Return to Sexual Purity?

Dr. R Albert Mohler has written an interesting blog article on young women's return to vows of virginity until marriage. He is (as I am) very supportive. He also examines the Feminist Nona Willis-Aronowitz's view of the situation; that the movement is reversing all the work that Feminists have done to gain equality with men. A main element to her argument is that these virginal women are holding themselves responsible for men's actions, thereby letting men off the hook. She writes, "Most retro about the call for modesty is that it once again implies that women's actions are somehow responsible for men's. Since men simply cannot control themselves, poor things, women should shroud their bodies in cloth and desperately guard their virginity so as to quash men's dishonorable intentions."

There is something disingenuous about this reasoning as it either overlooks certain facts or purposefully ignores them. Here are a few considerations about feminism and Christian purity.

First, the Feminist culture opened the doors to the overt sexualization of our country, and the clothing industry has responded. This is important to note because the clothing industry seems to understand perfectly what Ms. Willis-Aronowitz does not mention, that men are visual creatures and are sexually attracted to exposed skin.

Second, with the dismissal of the Christian tradition and embracing of the individual ideal, our society has lost any concept of responsibility for our fellow individual. Any woman, and a Christian woman especially, should dress in a way that will not tempt or harm the men around her. This is not removing the burden of responsibility from men, but rather easing the already maxed-out burden that lies upon them. Also, this protects the individual woman's own virtue, as she is not attracting sexual attention from those men who do not control themselves.

Third, Feminism does not hold men to responsibility for sexuality, but removes responsibility from women as well. Effectively, it brings all of humanity to the lowest common denominator because it assumes that all men are rakes and that women should become the same. This is a similar leveling as humanistic socialism (communism). Rather than focusing on an ideal that all should be brought up to, it forces all to lower their standards to the common denominator.

Last, men should be held responsible for their actions. But who should hold them responsible and to what standard should they be held? Scripture is the only source that can hold men to a higher standard across the board. Its specific and unalterable guidelines governing sexual ethics are designed to protect both men and women and allow for a deeper and more meaningful life. Men (and women) must police themselves. One sinful individual cannot rightly hold another sinful individual to a higher standard. Rather Christ must hold all to God's standards. When we divorce society from God's instruction and plan, we lose any ability to define a right standard and must necessarily go down the path of humanism and post-modernism (that is deconstructionism). Everything loses its meaning.

A true return to a society where virginity is valued and honored must start with a return to the valuing and honoring of Scripture. Without a sinless and unfailing witness/standard, we are rudderless. virginity becomes merely a "lifestyle choice" with only subjective significance and little to no true long-term meaning if Christ is not the moral authority. If women really want equality with (or superiority over) men in any meaningful way, they should hold themselves to the standard of the Bible. Men must do the same. This is not easy, given our present culture, and requires a group of believers in accord. Let us remember 2 Tim. 2:22 which is helpful although it deals with sexual purity only through inference, "Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

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