Archive for December 1, 2009

In Credo #89 I wrote what looks to me to be real-life biblical common sense: The idea that purity is delivery from your old nature, not from your masculine nature. Elsewhere I have commented that Christ’s teaching that a man who looks at a woman lustfully has committed adultery with her “in his heart” is to be parsed out properly as an explication of the nature of the law and the human heart rather than a grid for describing adultery.*

I have been troubled to hear some preachers act and speak as if the God-given, God-created, and God blessed nature He has put within us – both men and women — is “the problem.” That desire to seek out one of the other gender for a life of companionship and physical and emotional intimacy is not “the problem.” No one will come out and say this very directly, though. In extreme examples singles will be pressured to not interact outside of church “authority” — even in ’08 I have heard a date talk to me about “authority” to be dating, and in other benign forms there will simply be confusion about what the official “script” is about all this. It is both amusing and horrifying to come across speakers – they exist – who simultaneously are able to condemn in across-the-board fashion the kind of socializing the leads to romance, and as well, the single Christian man for not being in a relationship headed towards marriage.^ And yet in other, healthy fellowships it is recognized for the gift He has put in us.

I have ventured to put my foot into the bit about “adultery” not to “soften” the idea of “purity” but rather to attempt to make the reader think. Sister: Do you want to be married to a man who is not interested in women by definition because the only approach his teachers and pastors have had towards his masculinity is to make him feel guilty for being attracted to them; and by extension to you?

*If you are willing to say publicly that a man can divorce his wife, or a woman can divorce her husband for a “lustful look” then you have the standing to rattle your gums at me for this. If you can’t, won’t, or don’t, put a cork in it while you reflect on this awhile. We are so used to using this as a “club” rather than “an explanation” that it seems we balk at thinking about this.

^It is noteworthy that they tend to lean Calvinist.