Here are some things on my mind this Friday morning:
- The Super Bowl has taken on the role of national holiday. Some churches are quite freaked out by the Super Bowl’s mushrooming prominence. What’s the church’s response to this? Let’s think like missionaries. We should embrace it in an appropriate way…and grab some chips and queso. I doubt Latin American missionaries get far by railing against the World Cup.
- The 10U Girls Softball team I coach had our first full practice. I can’t believe I was dumb enough to join them in the sprint drills.
- Ray Lewis isn’t helping Christianity much this week. However, Kurt Warner and Drew Brees are.
- Props to this coach for getting the assist in this Russian basketball game.
- If you’re interested in becoming a better writer or blogger, check out Here’s How Seth Godin Writes. He says his High-School teacher wrote this in his Yearbook: “You are the bane of my existence and it’s likely you’ll never amount to anything.” Nice.
- Now for some more serious stuff:
- I have three daughters Emily and I are raising to follow Christ as best we can. A series of blog posts this week from different female bloggers on the question of whether the church “idolizes” virginity made the rounds. You can read Rachel Held Evans’ take here.The others were written by Sarah Bessy, and Elizabeth Esther.
- The good part about these three blogs is they call the church out of self-righteousness and speaking ill of those who sin through fornication before marriage. You’ll notice, however, the language I just used is far from what’s used in these blogs. I found the theology of these blogs to be more feminist than biblical (though the two are not mutually exclusive).
- As they seek to combat what is a grievous wrong–demeaning and writing off those who lose their virginity prior to marriage, these blogs are peppered with caricatures of Christian ministries that do what they can to help young women and men avoid the sin that so easily entangles when you are young. The reason is these ministries, these bloggers believe, do more harm than good.
- I grew up in the church, preach in the church, teach university courses at a Christian college, speak at conferences and consult with churches all over the country. I’m an avid reader of blogs and books, and served as a Youth Minister and Youth Camp Director. and I’ve never once heard anyone say what these bloggers claim is a relatively common Christian teaching-if you aren’t a virgin, you’re permanently damaged goods, no one will want you, God doesn’t love you and your marriage will be terrible. I’m not suggesting they didn’t hear it. I’m saying I have never heard it. I have (albeit rarely) heard people describe the implications of sin, in a non-demeaning way unlike what’s described in the blogs. Perhaps I’d have felt better if they hadn’t run the headline “Do Christians (i.e. “all”) idolize virginity?”
- What concerned me was that in thousands of words over three blogs by Christian women on the subject of pre-marital sex and virginity, the term, “sin” is never used by the authors. I could only find the word one time–on the lips of Jesus in the story of the woman caught in adultery.
- I was waiting for one of them to talk about what it means when Paul says we are not our own, but were bought with a price, so, we should glorify God with our bodies. From a Christian standpoint, before we are women or men, we are Christians–and we aren’t our own.
- Rachel, Sarah, and Elizabeth, your writing is superb, and I’m thankful for your insights as a father of daughters. However, I will teach them to honor Christ with their body because it isn’t theirs to begin with–it’s God’s. I will teach them to wait until marriage for sex because it’s what God wants for both men and women. I will also smack any preacher I hear telling either women or men who sin sexually they are permanently damaged goods (I’ll smack them in a Christian way). Perhaps that’s what you believe as well–it just didn’t come across to me in the blogs.
- No preacher (or blogger) of the gospel should say, imply or think a person shouldn’t repent of the sin (any sin) they’ve committed. Fornication is a sin. Adultery is a sin. Christ is more than enough to redeem it, but He died to do so. Thus, we must understand it’s seriousness even as we protect our young ladies (or young men) from the sense Jesus can’t or won’t redeem it.
- My Super Bowl pick (i.e., the way it’s going to be): Baltimore 27, San Francisco 20.