Do Christian pastors think that premarital sex is morally wrong?

Glennon Doyle Melton in a church
Lesbian Glennon Doyle Melton in a church, surrounded by female Christian fans

My friend Wes posted an article from Dalrock’s blog about how Spain is trying to get people to make babies after repeated laws punishing men for marrying and having children, such as forcing men to do housework, assuming that men are guilty of domestic violence without any evidence, making no-fault divorce more unfair for men, and now allowing children to sue their parents for maintenance throughout their 20s. Spain is feminist, and no sane, intelligent man marries and has children there.

That article was fine, so I decided to run through his last dozen posts. In many of them, he talked about how pastors, confronted with the decreasing numbers of marriage-minded men, were blind to the root cause of the problem: radical feminism. In fact, the pious pastors continued to blame men for refusing to marry like they did before radical feminism removed all the incentives for them to marry.

Let’s just take a look at this one.

Excerpt:

[…][O]ver the past decades we have witnessed an explosion in out of wedlock births.  Feminists have been entirely open about their desire to make single motherhood an attractive option for women, and after decades of social and legal “progress” 40% of all children are now born out of wedlock in the US.

For feminist Christians this isn’t a problem, as they can simply celebrate their victory while pushing for even more “progress”.  But for complementarians and other conservative Christians, this poses a huge challenge.  How can they appear to take biblical morality (and the welfare of innocent children) seriously while avoiding upsetting women in our thoroughly feminized culture?  There is only one answer, no matter how absurd it is.  The answer is to pretend that feminists aren’t really in the final mopping up stages in the culture war, and assert instead that what we are experiencing is a sudden and mysterious change in men.  Here is how Glenn Stanton, the Director of Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family (FotF), explains the incredible increase we are seeing in out of wedlock births*:

Women want to marry and have daddies for their babies.  But if they can’t find good men to commit themselves to, well…  Our most pressing social problem today is a man deficit.

The level of denial here is astonishing, and would be laughable if it weren’t entirely commonplace.  Even more astounding, often times the denial of feminism is expressed using feminist terminology, and even includes calls to join feminists in their push to re order our society**:

Whatever our views on specific economic policies, we must recognize that much economic hardship of women in our age is the result of men who abandon their commitments. We should eschew obnoxious “welfare queen” rhetoric and work with others of goodwill to seek economic and social measures to provide a safety net for single mothers and abused women in jeopardy. We should join with others, including secular feminists, in seeking legal protections against such manifestations of a rape culture as sexual harassment, prostitution, and sex slavery.

The quote above is from Dr. Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

In the past, I’ve blogged about pastor Mark Driscoll, an otherwise excellent pastor, who was asked by a Christian woman in a premarital sexual relationship with a non-Christian man how to get him to commit to her. His answer was not to rebuke the woman for choosing a hawt bad boy because of her feelings of attraction. His answer was to bellow how dare this non-Christian man who signed up for recreational sex with this fake Christian woman not act as if he were actually a Christian man (even though she was not acting like a Christian woman). It’s rare (I mean really rare) to hear a sermon where the pastor actually says that prohibitions against premarital sex apply to men and women. Instead, you get people like Moore and Driscoll refusing to confront these sinful women, because that’s just too scary! It doesn’t matter if women’s choice of bad men has caused abortion, divorce, fatherlessness, etc. to skyrocket. Pious pastors can’t hold women accountable for putting feelings above the Bible – that would take courage, and the pious pastors don’t have that. Women need to be told that they should be focused on marriage when they are choosing men. They shouldn’t choose the exciting promiscuous binge-drinking bad boy with the spotty resume and the empty balance cheat. They should choose the man who can actually do the job.

50 Shades of Feminism

The refusal to apply the Bible to women’s decisions can be seen in the response from pious pastors to the widespread popularity of 50 Shades of Gray among Christian women.

Excerpt:

Christian women are just as enthralled with 50SOG as non Christian women are:

What is surprising is who is viewing the film and reading the book—and why in the world they even would. Many refer to the book as “mommy porn” because of its wild popularity among adult women. And ticket sales are briskest in the typically-conservative deep south…

…it’s also reaching our young daughters. According to IMDB (Internet Movie Database), the movie drew the highest reviews by far from girls under 18.

And just in case you’re wondering, a Barna survey found that women who identify themselves as Christians are reading the books at the same rate as the general public. It’s captivating women everywhere.

Christian women are reading these books for the same reason as non-Christian women: because they like the sociopath man.

What is the solution to this? To tell Christian women that their feelings of attraction are morally wrong? Oh no, that’s too frightening to the pious pastors. Women are protected when we tell them not to be responsible with alcohol, responsible with their choice of man, responsible with their sexual choices.

You would think that pious pastors would confront women about their attraction for 50 Shades, but they don’t. The solution is always to get the sane, moral men have to bullied to “man up” so that women don’t act badly. The pious pastors simply refuse to see what the problem is: women being taught that their feelings are a hotline to God’s will for their happiness, so that the rules don’t apply to them, and they can choose godless men and try to make things work out by giving them recreational sex. Pious pastors are flat out teaching women in their churches that God’s job is to make them happy, that their feelings are God speaking to them, that the Bible doesn’t apply to their decision making about men and marriage, and that if their crazy, emotional selfishness blows up in their faces, then it’s somehow the innocent male bystander’s fault that it happened.

6 thoughts on “Do Christian pastors think that premarital sex is morally wrong?”

    1. Moore wants to raise taxes to provide a social safety net for single mothers. Then he wonders why men cannot afford to marry. I’m losing 30 K a year in income taxes. But then you don’t expect a Soros-connected open borders communist to understand basic economics.

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  1. I have a long and a longer response for you. I’ll start with the shorter one. 😉
    I see many an article e.g., Driscoll et al, and then even Family Life (?!?!?! that’s Cru): http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/marriage/getting-married/choosing-a-spouse/single-men-its-time-to-step-up
    I don’t think it’s only that single men are not stepping up. Sure, there are some shy types.
    In sharing our ‘war stories’ (well, dating stories) with one another [I might add I’ve been married for the better part of a decade], I’ve found many Christian men who ran into our fair share of crazies. Women with issues. Lack of quality women. Women with whom we tried to befriend and some that rejected our politely asking for coffee so as we might chat with, “But I hardly know you.” Some told us we needed to do more group activities together to get to know them, others told us we didn’t move fast enough to ask them to do things individually and got friend-zoned. I remarked to a close friend that dating almost felt like running through a minefield hoping not to trip up on random mines (the woman’s issues).
    I’ll quote some of the more poignant comments (referencing the comments in https://winteryknight.com/2013/12/30/woman-who-slept-with-18-guys-shocked-that-no-one-wants-to-marry-her/):
    “Many women complain that they can’t find a good man. Men have to wonder whether simply saying “Hi!” can land them in trouble as a sexual predator, and is guilty until let off by technicality. Never innocent.
    If a man brings this up, he is a hater. Christian women need to deal with those who are giving them a bad rep.”
    One woman commentator:
    “The women whining about “unattractive” men speaking to them (!!!!) are the same ones kvetching that no one will “man up” and marry them. Am I the only one suffering from dissonance?”
    Wintery said in the past:
    “Everything that you might think makes sense for a man to be into from a marriage point of view is viewed as creepy and weird by these church/campus-club unmarried Christian women, in my experience. I am a colored guy, so I always put their messed up standards down to the fact that I was colored and therefore was not allowed to talk to them, period. I was also surprised to see how little the command to “love your neighbor” was implemented by the unmarried Christian women. Here I was, struggling through a tough engineering program, and obviously coming from an unchurched background, yet these woman never had a supportive word for me. My interests in theology and apologetics and moral issues and politics were viewed by them with suspicion.”
    In any case. If I could summarize a bunch of stuff based on what I’ve seen of churches (and I’ve traveled quite a bit in the North America and some in Western Europe) —
    If unsanctified and left to their own devices, women, even Christian women, will go to what their evolutionary biology — in other words carnality — tells them to go for: rich men, alpha males, those with power (e.g., in politics, portfolio managers, etc.) In a popularity contest, some of these men might even be voted to be class president or small group/Bible study leader. If Mr. Darcy or Charles Bingley of Pride and Prejudice were poor, lower class, lower-middle class, or a bit rough around the edges or not as refined or (gasp) weren’t Caucasian, would we think that Elizabeth or Jane would have been as interested?
    One Christian blogger has noted that many women want the “low risk, high reward” man — http://ijustmetme.com/2014/07/9-reasons-you-may-not-know-why-christian-singles-ladies-cant-find-their-boaz-david-or-joseph/ — quote: “They want the man to take ALL the risks…to be utterly convinced he wants to be with them before they open up about who they really are. You know who you are…You act like YOU are the ONLY prize in the equation. He doesn’t know anything about your background but you turned into a private investigator to make sure he is good enough for you.”
    And not saying things are “easy” for Caucasians. I know a very fine Christian gentleman, a former business professor. Wintery, you would be proud of the man — he has two STEM degrees (Master’s and Bachelor’s in Physics) plus A.M. (Masters) in Economics, MBA in Finance and Economics, and Ph.D. in Business Economics (Finance). Let’s just say all of these degrees were earned at the top institutions. This man’s parents I believe were missionaries; he is a strong Christian. When he was a Ph.D. student, he and another person from my church (a physician) who were friends with a Christian psychiatrist — the three of them worked together to put together a study guide contrasting statements from one major Christian figure and one major non-Christian figure about life, meaning, purpose, etc.
    This man had the hardest time finding a suitable wife. Some of it was that he was publicly soft-spoken and could be seen as shy (not timid though). It’s not that he is bad with women — quite the opposite. He co-led a Bible study with a very attractive (but engaged) Christian lady. He is a very good ballroom dancer and competes a bit — so he is exposed to women. But he has had a hard time dating and even finding a high quality Christian woman.
    Yes, in response to FamilyLife: it’s not just that women are frustrated. In fact, we could put it this way: Both [Christian] men and [Christian] women are frustrated. Christian women are frustrated that the man/men they like won’t ask them out. (Of course pointing out that Ruth did the initiating [twice] doesn’t get you very far with these women. Oops.) Christian men are frustrated that some Christian women are crazy, have issues, turn them down and so on.
    (Of course, thinking about all these things, I am thankful for my wife. She at least was willing to go out with me, to be vulnerable and to risk getting to know me for some time to see if there was any potential. Dates became dating exclusively. Dating exclusively eventually became engagement and marriage.)

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  2. Chaste god fearing Chrisitian men are so few in numbers that it pales beyond comparison to the # of non-Christian bad boys (your average American single male).

    I guarantee you the # of chaste Christian women outnumber chaste Christian males 10 to one easy. These pastors are referring to this gap. They’re not attacking folks like WK at all, they’re attacking the Christian bad boys and the churches are chock full of them. Like it or not there are more chaste Christian women than men and that is the problem.

    And yes modern feminism is also a problem but it doesn’t compare in comparison to the growing #’s of fake Christian womanizing men. They are a dime a dozen. As a father of three adult single Christian women, I know.

    So the solution, is to tactfully influence these good chaste Christian women to wait it out for the good Christian men like WK but to also bring back the bad fake Christian men back to a traidiotional biblical lifestyle which ain’t easy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sectancos314159:

      There are not as many”CHASTE” Christian women as you think. They may want you to think they are, but they are not! They have mastered the art of fooling mentalities like yours.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I think a single solution is insufficient and “wait it out” sounds very passive. Plus as Hegelian noted, there are plenty of ‘Christian’ women who put on a good show and may seem like they are chaste but are not. And I don’t think it’s 10:1.
      Sources: http://waitingtillmarriage.org/4-cool-statistics-about-abstinence-in-the-usa/
      http://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-dating-culture-part-1-majority-of-single-christians-reject-idea-of-waiting-for-marriage-to-have-sex-114422/
      http://www.christianpost.com/news/are-most-single-christians-in-america-having-sex-56680/
      (I’ve also noticed that more “Christian Progressive women” and “Mainline Protestant women” also have a less than biblical take on this ethic.)

      Part of the solution is to teach discernment. Good relationships are not just about “da feelz” or “having the hots” or being obsessed with some guy. Christian women need to be taught discernment. Can they answer how they might be able to identify good Christian men, or where they might find good Christian men? Have they developed a repertoire of skills to be able to discern the man’s values (and morals and goals)?

      Besides, there are many actions that one can take to change these feelings. When I was single, I could be attracted to a non-Christian woman (duh, I’m a heterosexual man). But I would remind myself that the non-Christian woman didn’t share the most important thing (a common faith). I would not ask her out ever; I would also try to limit my time and interactions.

      Moreover, we do not date within a hermetically sealed space. While on the downside, there is the “fishbowl effect,” on the other hand, there are benefits of being in a community of believers. So how can Christian women find good Christian men? One way is to talk with wise Christians, like pastors or Christian leaders or ministry leaders or older Christian couples who are exemplars of the faith and see who they would recommend. I would also contend that if you find one good Christian man — treat him well, even if you don’t date. Chances are good that good Christian men know other good Christian men. (And on the flip side, if one is a Christian man, even if you don’t end up dating a certain good Christian girl, it is possible that the girl knows some other good Christian women or gives you a good reference. It happened to me. I went on a couple of dates with a woman but the chemistry was a bit off. About a year later, I went on a date with my wife and it turned out that the previous woman is the best friend of my wife from high school. Despite not having a romantic relationship, I always treated the first lady with respect and with purity and she had nice things to say to my wife about me. This lady is now married and has a couple of kids and there’s nothing weird about getting together for our kids’ birthday parties or play dates.)

      Seminary is not bad for finding some high quality Christian men (and only about half of those in the Master of Divinity program are headed to the professional pastorate). I knew at least a half-dozen very high quality single Christian men quite well when I was in seminary and most of them married later. However, getting to meet seminarians can be a bit of a challenge and not every woman is signing up to be a pastor’s wife. Of course, it’s pretty easily discerned through questions whether a man is called to be a pastor and he is headed that direction …

      Barring seminary, many churches offer adult Sunday School classes or mid-week small groups/Bible studies. (Even looking across divorce statistics and various articles, it indicates that those who are serious about their faith — like regular church attendance [more frequent than twice a month], and especially if [roughly] weekly worship were accompanied by some other Christian activity such as Bible study/small group, and/or adult Sunday School classes — this significant cut the descriptive divorce rate.)

      Or I’ll raise another possibility. There is a very little known Christian men’s prayer breakfast in the highly Evangelical heavy bastion of Boston. Not. Boston is <= 5% Evangelical. Yet there is a very early (7:15-8:30am) men's prayer breakfast where Christians of all denominations (Evangelicals, Catholics) — and largely Christian businessmen — go for fellowship and teaching. As it is at the Union Club in Boston, which is a couple of doors down from the high Evangelical Park Street Church, you can imagine that there's a core contingent from Park Street.

      Here's the link: http://www.thursdaymorningmensbreakfast.com/

      I might contend if there are single men attending this prayer breakfast, they probably have a stable job and they're quite serious about their faith. Isn't that a good starter? Then you can go from there.

      Another part of the solution is not to be desperate, but for those women who want a life partner to modify their lifestyle to be able to meet people and to have some free time — i.e., actively search for a partner. I'll steal a line I was going to use on a different post. Although the book of Proverbs is primarily written in androcentric language, women should not think that it is not written with them in mind. Proverbs 18:22 ESV says, "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." It is also true that "A [godly Christian] woman who finds a [godly Christian] husband finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord."

      Dr. Phil was once had a show in which three single (and highly professionally successful) women who were complaining they could not find a significant other. Upon some good discerning questions, he found out they jam packed their schedules with all kinds of interesting and fun extracurriculars (aerobics, zumba classes, horseback riding, women's book club, etc.) but largely excluded men or meeting anyone new.

      Even if they did meet someone, they had no time in their schedules for dates!

      Now I know some women might retort, "Well, if I find a guy who is more exciting/interesting than zumba or aerobics or horseback riding or the women's book club, of course I'll drop the latter." I would probably counter with: And how will you know if a guy is more interesting than that if you aren't getting to know him?

      Even when I was at seminary, I was working in high tech and even at one point with a startup. But I made sure I made time for socializing and dating. So it is possible. One key is to have a bunch of "flexible activities", ones you can pick up and put down or that you can move around (e.g., exercising, reading, etc.) in addition to regularly scheduled activities (worship, small group, etc.)

      And finally, let's back to the original point: premarital sex.

      By having the biblical ethic, which I know is the minority these days — you can focus on other things. You get to know each other and connect on other levels (emotionally, intellectually, spiritually). You get to know each others' friends.

      And if any Christian man (i.e., married or single) asks a single Christian woman for sex or wants to spend the night or whatever, well … 1) dump his rear on the curb and 2) report it to a pastor.

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