In case you haven’t noticed (with a personal addendum)

Posted: 14/03/2012 in Christian hipsters, Christian living, confession, gender issues, sex, sin
Tags: , , , ,

The kickstarter Documentary <a href=http://givemesexjesus.com/?>Jesus, don’t let me die before I’ve had sex</a> is now fully funded with a day to spare.

Estimated release is mid 2013.  I’m looking forward to it.  Hurrah.

Anyway, I suppose it is worth adding a little bit of personal reflection on this.

I did not date in high school nor to much or my early twenties.  There were a lot of reasons for this, but it wasn’t for lack of opportunity.  It wasn’t even for lack of attention or interest.  It was largely because I didn’t know how.  I did not even know that it was a skill to be learned.

Unfortunately what filled the empty space in my mind was not practical, secular -yes secular– wisdom but fundamentalist folk teaching that was taught to by an amalgamation of church camps and bible bookstore best sellers.  All of it kept the party line of abstinence, seeking God first, praying for your future spouse, and not wasting time dating but courting -whatever the fuck that is.  I feel overall that the teaching was relationships were to be delayed until God brought a spouse to you and that romance was to be disconnected of sexuality.

The church “just guy times”-at least when it came to sexuality and relationships- were pretty much condemnation fests.  There was a lot of emphasis placed on not lusting with your eyes, even though physical attraction was okay.  So basically we were allowed to be physically, but not sexually attracted, to anyone.  Additionally, we were taught, that way-ward women would (as my friend cleverly put it once) “steal our souls with their vaginas.”  Risk and vulnerability were also things to avoid.  A friend of mine once told me that he didn’t want to give his future wife “a scarred up heart.”  Never mind that God still loves a scarred up heart.  Also that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

Most of the guys who were teaching us to repent of our sexuality were married and with kids.  I.e. they were “successful.” so most of us clueless 15-18 year old guys believed them.  Sadly, those moral paragons turned out to have feet of clay.  How else can you describe it though when what is alleged to be “biblical teaching” is little more than a social convention? It is  only “right” because of how often it is repeated and taught.  In fact, I’m fairly well read Christian, but I had to read something written by a pyscho-balls atheist woman before coming across a very thoughtful affirmation of male sexuality.

The biggest irony of all this is that most of that dogma actually caused me to sin.  Not that I blame it, per se, but the dogma certainly did not help me with handling relationships very well.  How?  Well getting into a relationship is a little bit like water flowing down a hill.  The evangelical dogma is like a overly complicated system of dams, buckets, and pipes to ensure that the water flows down the hill exactly as its supposed too.  Also, if you’re taught that a “scarred up heart” will fuck-up your relationship with your divinely appointed future spouse, what does that say about every casual date?  In Azusa Pacific’s student newspaper, year’s ago, there was an article written by a girl encouraging (borderline begging?) guys to be more open to casual dating.  On behalf of all guys who didn’t know better, I apologize.

I repented of that behavior in the most literal sense -changing of the mind- long ago.  Things have been a lot better over the last several years.  Specifics will of course, not be listed here.  I am not concerned about the evangelical dogmas these days, although they still show up in blogs like this one.  Now,  some might say, “oh, but if you don’t date the Christian way you’ll never have a nice upstanding Christian girl to marry and put babies into.”  The subtext there is that “Christian” actually means “Evangelical.”  To those nay-sayers I reply that it’s a good thing that I feel comfortable with high-church Protestants, Catholics, and outright pagans.

Thanks for reading.

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Comments
  1. Brandilyn Drake says:

    I hope I do not overshare here and make anyone feel uncomfortable, but since this is about sex, I’ll be talking about sexual things.

    “I feel overall that the teaching was relationships were to be delayed until God brought a spouse to you and that romance was to be disconnected of sexuality.”

    I hate that teaching! It’s a crock of nonsense! How are you supposed to transition from “brother and sister in Christ, pure, and holy” to “married and fucking like bunnies”?! Well, ok, I suppose to some it’s easy, but don’t you also want the sex to be good? Yeah, we all want good sex, not just sex. My first marriage failed for many reasons, but one was we felt like we were living in sin, even though we were not being “physical” simply because we WANTED to have sex with each other! And you know what, six years in the marriage, the sex still sucked. I can count how many times I actually experienced orgasm, and that’s awful.

    I was reading a blog for a while of a girl who was courting a guy, and her father went on every date. And after dating FOREVER guy gets down on one knee and proposes to dad, who gives the ring to the girl, because she promised God she would not so much as touch a man who was not a blood relative until she was married. Can you imagine the culture shock she went through? Poor girl. I stopped reading, it just depressed me.

    “Now, some might say, “oh, but if you don’t date the Christian way you’ll never have a nice upstanding Christian girl to marry and put babies into.” The subtext there is that “Christian” actually means “Evangelical.”

    You hit the nail on the head! I dated so unsuccessfully in the Evangelical circle, and not being able to find “a match” is what made me stop and think, “Perhaps I am not Evangelical?” I really analyzed my beliefs and sure enough, I’m not remotely one! I have no idea WHAT I am, but my fiance calls himself an “enlightenment rationalist” and so sometimes I steal the title for sake of classifying me as something in moments such as these. But noticed I said “a match”: I don’t believe God had ONE special someone out there created just for me, and if I married the wrong one I’d be unhappy and screwed forever. (Though the fact that I was married before might have shaped that belief.) I feel like there can be many potential matches out there for you, with differing degrees of “matchness” but each relationship could be perfectly happy and productive, no matter which one you chose, as long as both parties are giving into the relationship.

    The Evangelical church doesn’t like dating, they think it leads to sin and sex and babies, and LIBERALISM. I dated many a man I never even kissed. I kissed many a man I never had sex with. It boils down to self-control and critical thinking. Though, at least when it came to meeting my wonderful Aaron, critical thinking lead to shedding my self-control, because I wanted to share every part of myself with him. And I didn’t feel like it was “sin”, because love is not sin, and by accepting his marriage proposal, I accepted him for the rest of my life. The marriage certificate means jack diddly squat to me. He is mine and I am his, we’ve each already made the decision. The church also wants you to believe if you’ve had sex you’re used goods and a “godly” wife/husband won’t want you. That’s not true, either. A person who is a potential match for you, won’t care because they’ll accept you for who are as well as every event that’s shaped you into who you are.

    I would love to get into the topic of dating and sex after divorce, I just have no idea how to start! The church made me feel like I would always be broken and no one would want me. They didn’t help me recover or heal, and they certainly did not encourage me to go out and find someone who I could be healthy and happy with. My pastor told me it would be dangerous to remarry, because in the church 75% of all second marriages fail. Perhaps they wouldn’t if actual genuine help was given to divorced Christians on how to be happy and healthy and how to date with the goal of REALLY getting to know your partner and setting a good foundation for marriage. (Which may or may not include sex and co-habitation, but for me, those two things aided in helping me make my decision. After my miserable marriage, I dated a guy for a while and we eventually lived together, and only after we lived together did I discover he did drugs and was addicted to porn. Can you imagine if I had been already married to this, by the way CHRISTIAN guy, and THEN discovered that?!) I think my ex-pastor is wrong. You should date, you should know what you want and what you don’t want so you can either run from it when you encounter it or run to it, You can do through many resources, and dating is one of them. There is so much more I could say, but I’ll take a break and let others share their thoughts.

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