The Church’s Answer to Immorality – Part Twoby Mark Gungor
In the last post I began discussing the way most churches handle teaching their young people about sexual purity (or not teaching it as the case may be). While many Christians use purity rings and pledges to ensure right living, they also throw in a healthy measure of the world’s view making concessions for masturbation and what I term “non-sex” sex to tackle the question of sexual immorality. But we are giving the wrong answer.
It’s time that The Church starts acting like The Church, time to start giving the right answer to immorality and that answer is this: Get married.
We rarely, if ever, hear that! Far and few between are the pastors who preach from their pulpits to get married, like the apostle Paul writes in I Corinthians 7. Seldom is the answer the biblical one, rather what we Christians are spewing is the same twisted answer of the world: No, no, no! You can’t get married! You need to wait! I will not go on my rant regarding this topic but you can read my post on Young Marriage to get the full story.
This whole stupid idea that young people must delay marriage is what I believe to be the single most detrimental thing that we do in Christian culture today. It reminds me of the C.S. Lewis novel, The Screwtape Letters, where a senior demon named Screwtape writes a series of letters to his nephew, a young demon, Wormword, basically memos from hell on how to destroy the humans and their culture. I think in our modern day version, Satan would be thrilled at the success he’s had in getting Western culture to delay marriage because in doing so, it virtually guarantees nearly everyone will mess up sexually. And it all goes in the toilet from there. People marry with all the baggage, it leads to divorce, which destroys families, is destructive to lives, and leads to a continuous cycle of dysfunction. So much rides on this one thing and it’s a big stinking deal.
It’s the reason why I’m so hard and heavy on it and beat the young marriage thing to death, preaching it wherever I go. As Christians, if we believe purity and morality are good things, then The Church needs to get this right. We have to realize that our answer is young marriage. We have to stop saying put a purity ring on, listen to the abstinence speaker, and since you won’t be able to control yourself we can make allowances to let you masturbate and mess around, but good heavens, whatever you do, don’t get married until you are 30!
I truly believe that people have no idea of the consequences of this kind of thinking. They go right along with the world’s ideas of “you’re not ready for marriage, be free, live your life, get a job, make money, then settle down” and don’t realize that what we are doing is creating entire generations of porn addicts, men who are stuck in cycles of lust not having a clue how to make love to a real woman and young women who have screwed all these guys never knowing the value and importance of sex once they marry. (For more information read The Damage of Sexual Promiscuity.)
People also don’t realize there is a connection between what they do sexually in their younger years and the state of their marriages down the road. But research has been proving, and continues to show, that the two are inextricably linked. People who marry as virgins—and by virgins, I mean any type of sexual activity, not just “technical” virgins who have done everything else but penile/vaginal penetration—have a fraction of the divorce rate. I won’t go into detail on all the studies, but check out these links:
To show you how bad this has gotten, look at a recent email I received from a young, Christian man:
I am a 21 year old born again Christian. I want to ask sir, is it wrong to date at my age? Am I too young to marry?
First of all, what on earth are pastors teaching that people think it’s wrong?! The obvious answer is one of two things, either they are not teaching anything on dating, sex, and marriage, or they are teaching the world’s bunk that it’s bad, you shouldn’t be dating and you have to wait until you are 25 or 30 years old. Only what are these young people doing in the meantime?
My advice here is three-fold: to the pastors and leaders in churches, start teaching on this stuff! Get a pair and preach the biblical standard on this and knock off the nonsense of following the pagans!
To the parents out there, get a clue, if you can’t get one from the church you are in, get it from what I’m saying. Realize that purity rings and pledges have a place, but not for ten or fifteen years! Do the research, investigate and look at what this concept of delaying marriage really means, how it really fails your kids. Be supportive, help them to do life right rather than picking up all the sexual and emotional baggage that will hurt their marriage.
And finally to our Christian young people, stay pure, date and marry the way God intended. If your church or your parents are not teaching you this, if they are telling you to wait, allowing you to make bad compromises on your purity just so you won’t get married too early, then listen to me. Read my other posts and the links provided. Watch my DVD series “Sex, Dating and Relating” to arm yourselves with the ammunition you need to fight for your own future marriage.
Make no mistake, it is a war we are fighting. A war against a culture that imposes its immorality on us 24/7; a war that we will lose to the enemy if we don’t change how we, as The Church, think about this battle and engage it. The stakes are higher than most people realize. It’s time to start connecting the dots to what we do, how we do it and the tragic and broken results we are getting. This one thing—sexual purity and the importance of young marriage—and how we choose to address it can be a pivotal point for the Christian church. Will we turn the key that could make all the difference in whether we impact this culture…or as people of faith, will we be swallowed up and become just like the world around us?