Having Sex Before The Rapture (Or Death Whichever Comes First)

Those of you who have been reading here for a while know that I don’t often shill for products or projects on this site unless they are of my own creation. But once in a while, a book or film comes along that speaks to some core experience of fundyland so well that I can’t help sharing it with all of you.

Unsurprisingly, Fundy Sex Week remains one of the most popular set of posts on SFL for the simple reason that people love to read and write about sex — especially if they were never allowed to talk about it growing up. Given the morbid fascination that surrounds sexuality in fundamentalism, I was intrigued when a few weeks ago I became aware of a filmmaker named Matt Barber who has teamed up with producers Chris Pack and Brittany Machado to raise money for a documentary entitled “Jesus, Don’t Let Me Die Before I’ve Had Sex.” It’s intended to be a conversation surrounding the attitudes and experiences of people in evangelical Christianity towards sexuality and all of the special awkwardness that goes with it.

As Matt explains:

I occasionally dated throughout college, often struggling with the clash between my desire for physical contact and my pledge to stay pure until marriage. Like many young adults, the one question I kept asking was, “How far is too far?” Growing up I was taught to preserve my virginity at all costs—for me, sexual purity equaled salvation; yet, I couldn’t bear the idea of going through life devoid of the experience of sexual pleasure. But the only path available to me was marriage and that seemed like an eternity away. It felt so distant that my evangelical soul was certain Jesus would whisk me away to heaven before I was able to even begin courting a female. And so, with this burning tension I would often turn my eyes and heart towards God and earnestly pray: “Jesus, don’t let me die before I’ve had sex!”

I escaped singlehood relatively unscathed having only stumbled my way to second base (I fled any opportunity to go further). Right before my 22ND birthday, when I thought my life as a celibate monk was surely sealed, I met a beautiful woman who rocked me to my core; I had met my soulmate. We dated for about 6 months, at which point I brought up marriage. She was hesitant to rush in—and she wanted nothing more than to spend her life with me. She made me promise that I would wait to propose until after our one-year anniversary. I complied by asking for her hand on the 366th day of our courtship. Once her surprise and amusement subsided, she said “Yes!” and we were engaged. And, unless the rapture happened within the coming year, I would soon be having sex. Real, live sex.

Imagine the surprise on my wedding night—after I had finally obtained the prize—when I realized I hadn’t changed.

“Where were the fireworks?”

“Why didn’t anything click inside me?”

“When does the ‘two become one flesh’ feeling happen?”

“Why, Jesus, didn’t I feel complete?”

Don’t get me wrong, many aspects of my wedding experience were great—but the reality of twenty-three years of false expectations hit me like a ton of bricks. Now, I’m still married to the same woman. We’ve struggled from time to time, built a wonderful home together, and the sex has gotten much better (for your information, it takes practice). But I couldn’t forget the feeling that I was misled in some way.

A few years ago, I told my story to some friends who had also grown up in the Evangelical Church. They, in turn, told me their stories. I was struck by how similar the sexual message from our churches were, how closely our expectations lined up and how we prayed the exact same prayer as teenagers.

Exactly. The. Same. Prayer.

Can you relate? I know I can. Although in fundyland the prayer didn’t actually contain the word “sex” but everybody knew that’s what was meant by prayers about “getting married” before the Rapture.

Now no matter what your beliefs are on sexuality, I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll find something about this film to disagree with — and that’s ok! But the larger conversation that this project will help start is one that I believe is long, long overdue both in fundyland and in the larger circles of evangelical Christianity where many of us have landed. I had the chance for a brief dialog with Matt Barber recently and I believe that he will treat this subject with both honesty and respect.

Given how difficult it can be to raise money for something like this I’d imagine that right now Matt is praying a new prayer: “Jesus don’t let my project die before I’ve had enough sex interviews.” The first phase of the “Jesus, Don’t Let Me Die Before I’ve Had Sex” project is over 60% funded via Kickstarter but there are only a few days left to raise the money needed to get it off the ground. I’d ask you to contemplate investing, even if it’s only a dollar or two. Even if you can’t contribute, it’s worth checking out the interviews so far, reading some of the comments, and spreading the word to others who might want to take part in this conversation.

105 thoughts on “Having Sex Before The Rapture (Or Death Whichever Comes First)”

    1. That is another thing that seems to be part and parcel of the institutionalized Religious mindset. If you pray about something then it will act as some magic talisman that will take away your desires and somehow purify you. It is the same works sanctification model: I can purify myself.

      Instead of dealing with real, honest human emotions and desires in the open the “Appearance of evil” Victorian mindset herds the conversation into the dark and beats it into a shameful corner. Then when anyone actually experiences those feelings and desires it is shouted down and made to be something ugly, evil and leaves people with an unhealthy view of what sex is. Then compounding the problem with some fantastic Isaac and Rebekah pie in the sky ideal of what their marriage will be like. 🙄

  1. I will never understand the compulsion to make something natural so seem so vile. a quote that sums up the fundy attitude was stated by a local indie musician artist Terry Allen “In Lubbock Texas growing up you are taught sex is dirty and disgusting so you should do.it with someone you love”.

  2. My Preecher says you shuld worry bout getting merried rather than sex Aman. Amen my thots are that merrage is about more than just sex and yo backsliders and Calvansts shuld be worried about finding a wifes and serving her. It says somethng bout the reprobate mind of a person what watchs movees that there even gong to them thinking about sex aman. Probly trying to sit in the back two rows of movee theeter making out and trying to get there hands up there girlfriend cullots. Beside its bad testimony to go into one of them palases of the devil becuse you never know is your neyghbor see you go in there and thing your watching a porn site.

    Aman if there any belevers out there thats still got standerds pray for me aman that I mite find a wife thatll help me in the minstry. Ive been looking and hoping I get one before the rapture but more and more with this wore in Iran its looking like the angles could blow the trumpt at any minute. Amen Id almost wont to get left behind if it ment I could get married amen. Its hard being prececher these days what with the harts of girls waxed cold and reprobate aganst whats rite.

    1. Bro. Dr. Phil, it’s been a while since my husband & I have had a date night. It shouldn’t be a problem choosing a movie we don’t actually want to see, either. Thanks for reminding me how much fun the back 2 rows of the theatre are! :mrgreen:

  3. Aman I wish I culd say the same for you you librale reprobate punk what makes fun of grate preechers in are fundamentle churches today what stands in the gap and makes up the hedges. Makes me sit that your married and Im still strugglin to find a wife. All the girls seem to chase after bad boy librale panty waste these days.

    1. Thay allways have Dr Pheel. Gurls have allwayz got awl wet and gushy over the bad boiz. Ifn ewe wanna git murried then ewe gotta prey for a Rebekah, Aman! You gotta have sumone ewe no go nad find hur fur ya, Aman? -george

    2. OR (and this is just a thought) try and be a bad boy long enough to get a girl to get all wet and gushy over you. You can always repent and return to your calling once you have captured her. (I mean, captured her affections.) Now I am not saying go all the way out and be a SUPER bad boy, just a little bit ought to do it. If you tie your tie a little looser and maybe just allow your hair to be long enough over your ears to cover the skin above your ears (still not touching your ears though, that would be sloppy looking)that ought to do it for appearance. Then when having a conversation, try to avoid the urge to tell her what she ought to be thinking about certain subjects. There will be plenty of time for that AFTER the wedding. This will give her the impression that you are quite relaxed and laid back. Girls like that. If you must comment on what she is wearing, try to say something nice, not telling her that her culottes are too form-fitting or her collarbone is showing. Those things aren’t as helpful on a date as one might think they would be. I hope these suggestions help you in your quest. 😀

      1. You mean, be yourself? 😎 REALLY yourself, I mean, not waht you wish you were or think you should be? After all, the chief thing marriage cures is unfamiliarity. Your spouse will know you at least as well as you know youurself, anyway. MAYBE, just maybe, you two could together learn how to discard the masks and finally have faces. And then the angels will rejoice.

  4. I will begin to sound like a broken record here. I am SOOOO glad that I didn’t become fundy til I was grown and married. But I have heard so many sermons and gone to enough of those stupid women’s meetings to understand somewhat what it must be like to grow up with this garbage. 👿 As bad as it must be for the young men it is worse for the young women because remember we are not SUPPOSED to have sexual desires. It’s all about not letting the boy touch you, not letting him do this or that, but nothing is said about the fact that you may want him to touch you and this and that because you’re not supposed to have feelings and urges. If you do, there must be something wrong with you. Hence all that talk about modesty, etc, to stem some guy lusting after you, never mind that you may be lusting after him! Girls don’t feel that way! 👿 A female is only taught that someday when you get married you have to submit sexually as well as in every other way so you will have to give in to your husband’s sexual demands. To you as the woman, your only pleasure comes from knowing you’re pleasing your husband. This is of course a load of crapola! 😈

    The double standard is alive and well in fundyville just like everywhere else. While it is emphasized more in fundyville for a young man to be pure it is triply, quadrupally emphasized for the girl. I guess because she’s not supposed to want to have sex to begin with! Why else is the girl the one wearing white on her wedding day? Hardly anything is said about the young man remaining pure.

    Oh yeah, and some fundy pastors will say over and over and over again in a wedding that the couple has remained pure to their marriage. They will emphasize this ad nauseum, which makes me glad I didn’t have any of them perform my wedding. How humiliating to have him say this over and over! 😮

    The female version of this is not so much “Don’t let the rapture happen/me die before I’ve had sex” as “Don’t let rapture/my death happen before I grow up, get married and have children. I remember teaching on the rapture when I taught Sunday school, to grade 5 and 6 girls, and them looking sad when I talked about how Jesus could come at any moment and take us to heaven. 🙁 They wanted to grow up, get married and have children. It wasn’t the sexual aspect, they were too young to think along that line, but in their romantic little minds they didn’t want to miss out on the adult stuff. Other kids can’t wait to get old enough to drive, etc., it’s really a matter of them wanting to grow up before the rapture so they miss out on none of the adult experiences. 🙂

    1. As I explained to my nephew awhile back (about a year ago), white wedding dresses actually have nothing to do with symbolizing purity. They came into vogue because Queen Victoria chose white for her wedding. Prior to that, they were not common. If Catherine of Cambridge had turned up at the Abbey in purple or green last April, the whole thing could have changed.

      As for the whole purity thing affecting women. The worst example I have ever witnessed is when my college best friend, raised in a good fundagelical family complete with purity ring before they were popular, confessed to me two months before her wedding that she was really struggling with the “sin” of having feelings of physical attraction toward her fiance. I told her that it was not a sin and if she did not have those feelings, she should be reconsidering marrying him.

      1. Before I met my husband I “dated” a guy (I put the word dated in quotes because in college what we did didn’t even remotely resemble dating) but there was a guy who I liked and he liked me and at some point he “broke up” with me (after all that “dating”) and the reason was because he was physically attracted to me, so obviously it couldn’t be right.

        Whew. Dodged THAT bullet. 🙄

        1. Those stories are both so incredibly…perverse. It’s just as if their “hedge about the Torah” had become the only important thing. Oh, wait.

        1. Its fear; fear that once you give in to those ‘sinful’ feelings, you won’t be able to stop until you’re naked, sweaty, and probably pregnant.

        2. Which is the core motivation behind all of the contraception hysteria in the Republican party right now.

    2. What I’ve always found disgusting is the double standard fundies employ when it comes to people in their congregations who do have sex before marriage.

      If it’s a man, then he only has say that he’s “confessed to God” and with most fundy churches that’s the end of it. It’s “under the blood” and he can go through the rest of his fundy life without it hanging over his head, without anyone in the church making him feel ashamed of it, and without it having a negative effect on his future dating prospects (and now he has a “cool” testimony 👿 ).

      If it’s a woman, she’s shamed for the rest of her life. It doesn’t matter if she’s confessed to God and begged for forgiveness from her parents, his parents, the pastor, the church, etc. They’re basically viewed as irrevocably stained, while men who commit the same sin go free. I guess it comes from that ridiculous idea that fornication/adultery is always the fault of the woman.

      1. That’s one of my biggest beefs Mandy, the double standard. It’s not only fundy, but fundys sure accept it like anyone else. But one time it worked in reverse.

        One of the pastors we had in Michigan had a son who backslid for a while and got involved in some sin but I never knew what all he’d been involved in, but some involved sexual sin. Later he came forward and got right with God (fundy style I guess as his dad was our fundy pastor) and eventually decided to go to fundy college, I think HAC. He met a girl there and started dating her but later on her father forbid her from going out with him again once he learned the young man had a past. He was a preacher and no daughter of his was going to date or marry a guy with a past. 😮 This irked me because he had confessed his sin and it was under the blood. I guess to that pastor though the blood of Jesus was not sufficient to cleanse the young man’s sins. 😕

        Of course I’d feel the same way if the situation were reversed. I am an ardent foe of the double standard anywhere I find it, but killing that thing dead seems to be an impossible task. 👿

  5. The subject of sex has been taboo in the church except for jokes or slander. Because of that it came across as something vile when God created it in its proper boundaries for good. Our young people can handle and desperately need an open and honest dialogue in this area.
    I would very much agree that sex was meant for marriage in the biblical context of one man and one woman. I am troubled that we want to make homosexuality part of the conversation of proper sex and marriage when the Bible clearly teaches differently.

    1. I don’t see how we can possibly have a conversation about sex without talking about gay issues.

      That doesn’t mean we all necessarily have to agree but gay people aren’t going to disappear just because we don’t want to talk about them. I would hope that there’s a way to approach the topic with grace and love even if people disagree.

      1. Totally agree that we should talk about the subject but I was just looking at it in the light of the context.
        Homosexuality is an issue that needs to be discussed by the church and not ignored and just hope it goes away. I did not mean to come across seemingly otherwise. I personally deal with people that are in homosexual relationships and demonstrate the love of Christ to them in every way possible. We shouldn’t treat them as if they have a plague and don’t need to know the love of Christ personally.

      2. Exactly. How would you like to be brought up in a fundy church and told all through your childhood that homosexuality is the most heinous perversion of all — that even to think same-sex thoughts is a sin? No wonder so many gay teens commit suicide.

    2. Reading the Old Testament kinda messes with my mind with the idea of one man to one woman. It seemed to me the only ones really not allowed more than one sex partner were women, undless their husband died.

      1. The reeson women are held to hire standerds are becuse there created with no sex drive like a man has. They only want to have sex so they can have kids and to plese there man but the dont get any plesure from it. Thats why preechers have to remind the women not to withold becuse husbands need it aman.

        Now men need to be ware that women are turned by touch and not by site aman and to help there wifes get in the mood. But men are turned on by site and its the womans responsbilty to never ware close that arent moddest. but these last days were living in is days when women just ware whatever they want and shake there buts in public and bruthers I dont care how strong you are in the fathe its hard to live the victoryous life with women drest the way they are any more aman.

        Thats why Im looking to get merried becuse its hard to be sanctfied without a wife to be your help mate amen. ITs hard finding wife as preecher becuse girls today only wants to merry for money and are gold diggers. But thats part of the curse aman. All girls Ive talked to are after the money and wont marry a man unless he makes at lest thirty thousand a yere and Ill tell you that kind of money aint in the minstry unless you get hed pastor at one of those big churchs amen.

        1. Even though I know you are fake, I still feel compelled to call you gross in so many ways. 👿

  6. :sigh: I’ll be brutally honest – even after SFL:SW, I’m still confused. This is the “final frontier;” this is the last thing I need to completely deconstruct and reassemble somehow. And frak, is it hard. Probably because this is the one area of teaching that consistently surrounded me since I was a kid. All the other stuff, the more advanced nuances of grace, forgiveness, law, etc…all that stuff was newer, and hadn’t had as long to soak in. But this…this requires undoing a quarter century of taboo and outright misinformation. All the other stuff I was content just to throw away everything and start from scratch because in the end, if I screwed it up, it would only affect me. This…not so much.

    Bah. Depressing way to start a Thursday morning. 🙄

  7. I remember being at a few weddings where the preeecher said “and this couple here has remained pure…”. I always wondered, how does he know? And more importantly, how is it any of his business?

    If anyone would have said something like that at our wedding I would have been supremely PO’d and probably interrupted them. (plus he would have been saying something that was not true, but thats a completely different story).

    1. And Scripturally ridiculous. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. This public proclamation of virginity is just like Bedouin bedsheets, and just as repulsive.

  8. This topic is a difficult one for me. So much damage done in the name of Christianity. So many missed moments and wrong attitudes and sad reflections. Now it is less of an issue for me as it is a concern that I am accurately reflecting God’s idea for marriage and sex on to my own children. It is almost impossible to do it right since I am so damaged in that area. 🙁

  9. Wow, who would have thought that scolding people to “just don’t do it” and making an idol of conformance in this area could go so wrong? 🙄
    Yeah, focussing on purity in this way is no more a proper teaching of the role of sex than the message of “just go roll in it” that the evangelical church imagines the culture is saying. By refusing to give God His sovereignty and grace in this matter, we become anti-hedonists, just as harmful to some as the true hedonists. Sexual sin is sin, yes, but it’s just sin. Not some horrible stain which can never be erased; it’s covered by the Blood they love to sing about just fine.

    1. Not just screaming, “DON’T DO IT” but also making kids feel guilty for having feelings like they want to do it in the first place. I remember our pastor screeching from the pulpit that there was more respect for a hooker than for a girl who would make out in the back seat of a car because at least the hooker was getting something for it rather than just giving it away for free. So many bad bad memories. So much guilt and shame. So sad.

      1. Oh, that’s straight from Hell. 😯 Happy to have NEVER heard anything remotely like that. I grieve for everyone who’s been poisoned by this sort of rot. A millstone around his neck would indeed be better for him, but that’s cold consolation when we look at the devastation around us.

  10. the problem is- we worship sex… sex has become a god for most of us because that is the culture.. It’s the air we breathe. Even people’s identity is now wrapped up in sexual orientation. I am a Christian, so that means that I worship a guy that was tempted in every way, yet lived and died as a virgin. The issue ultimately is idolatry… who and what we choose to worship.

    I think a lot of the time there are no ‘sparks’ on the wedding night because we have associated the feeling of an adrenaline rush from ‘doing something wrong’ with sex… so every time we have sex we feel like we are supposed to have this adrenaline rush because that is the feeling we got when we did something we weren’t supposed to before marriage and now that it’s permissible we no longer get that adrenaline rush that our flesh loves when it is gratified in a moment of sin. The problem is- sex was never supposed to give us that feeling. We have turned sex into something that it was never supposed to be…. and our culture has come so far from what God’s intentions for it were that it’s almost engrained in us…. so I don’t have all the answers of how to get back there…. back to where sex is what it’s supposed to be. Our society has ruined it…. every bit as much as the church has had a negative impact on it….

      1. Ha! Absolutely nothing is wrong with that. I wasn’t trying to say there should be no excitement. My husband and I have a great sex life and the feeling I have with him is far better than it was when we were teenagers and doing the wrong thing outside of marriage. What we have now…after working through some very difficult issues in this area and going into our 7th year of marriage is amazing and what God intended it to be true intimacy between a man and a woman within marriage that also includes physical pleasure. Far more rich and gratifying than simply having the need to just satisfy an urge. It is different than the feeling of short term pleasure the flesh gets when committing sin.

    1. I would have to disagree that while that may have been your experience it was certainly not mine. I had casual sexual partners, and I had my husband, and there was a world of difference between the two. Casual partners may have been thrilling at the time, but there was nothing like the intimacy, love, and intensity shared during sex with my husband.

        1. Well, fwiw, I had sex with my husband before marriage, too, and there wasn’t any real difference before and after marriage. There was a deepness and love there that wasn’t involved in other relationships.

  11. My uncle told me about this many years later. 1950s. Pastor was from C&MA lineage. My Granddad was head of the board of deacons (in our church, spiritual leaders). I was just a kid and never paid much attention to the pastors teenaged daughter, and didn’t really miss her when she disappeared from the congregation. People that age often graduated and moved on.
    My uncle was there when the pastor arrived at Granddad’s with his sobbing daughter in tow. He was a failure, he should resign, he couldn’t control his own daughter, how could he lead a congregation? Note that this wasn’t about her, it was all about him. My granddad talked him into staying, which he did into my mid-teen years. And he scarred me for life!
    Pre-pill era. Condoms hidden behind drug store counters where teens couldn’t get them. Little or no sex education. And the poor girl could only sob “But we used Saran Wrap. We used Saran Wrap.” 😥

    1. Should have used a layer of tin foil in there. It de-magnetizes the sperm and disrupts their molecular structure before any damage can be done.

  12. on the other end of that is the way I was raised, my parents modern as can be, let me run around with whomever (yeah, whosoever will, come and have her. Since in my childhood there were no hugs, kisses, or kind words of appreciation, that was my way to receive it. All it took was a guy being interested, I could not get over the fact that someone wanted me, so that’s what my relationships back then were based on. When I got into church, and attended the first Christian wedding, preacher stating the obvious, the couple had remained virgins, my eyes were opened to the beauty of that. Oh, how I wished my parents would have protected me. I don’t think there’s a lot to gain from early sex, or endless partners, but I hate that you can’t be open about any part of it. Say “breastfeeding” in public, and Fundies around you will faint. Leave alone actually breastfeed in public, haha. I used to, back in Germany. My line was, that’s what these things are for, dude. My son has been clued in by me about “that time of the month.” First he was embarrassed, but now he appreciates it. He still won’t go to the store to buy my personal item’s, haha. 😯 😆

  13. I had a dream once that the rapture was happening (but slow-mo style) and I grabbed my boyfriend and said “Hurry! Let’s have sex before we get pulled up!”

  14. Ok, so your post shows up in my Google Reader along with an advertisement at the end of the post (which I’m sure you have no control over).

    The ad is for Kelly who is a new single in my area who only lives 3.5 miles away from me. She’s young and blond and showing just a peak of cleavage and wants to know if I want to meet her!

    Can someone ask Brother Dr Phil Armenik how I’m to respond to the ad.

    p.s. That particular ad must have been triggered by all the sex words in the post.

  15. Now what if you’re having sex when the rapture hits.. and you are the one left behind?
    “Hey, was it THAT bad? Where’djah go?”

    Or… what if you were the one taken? All that Cialis and Viagra wasted. Arriving at the Pearly gates, Peter is very hard on our intrepid traveler.
    “Thou canst not enter heaven with “THAT! How long hast thou been sporting that?”
    “All my life…”
    “Nay, I meanest in that condition?”
    “Since, like, forever!”
    “Yea, well if it lasts more than four millenia get thee to an infirmary, immediately.”

    Finally, imagine the poor sap who is just about to finially hit that homerun then BAM! they’re gone. 😯

    I ponder these things… *for i have not a life*.

    1. Ok, this is long, but I think it’s worth it.

      There a line of people who have died waiting to see St Peter before they enter into Heaven. The first man in line says to Peter, “Peter, I believe there has been a mistake. I don’t think I was suppose to die yet. Here’s my story. I came home early from work to surprise my wife. We live on the 10th floor of an apartment building and I thought that she and I could enjoy a nice romantic afternoon. When I started to unlock my apartment door I clearly heard a man’s voice inside my apartment. I burst in and found my wife in bed, but there was no one else to be seen. I demanded to know where her lover was. It was then that I turned and saw a man’s hands hanging over the edge of our balcony. In jealous rage I went over and pried his fingers up until he fell from the balcony. However, he only fell one floor before he was able to grab onto the balcony on the 9th floor. I was so enraged that I grabbed our refrigerator and pushed it off my balcony in order to knock him off of the one directly below. It did. The fridge hit him and knocked him to his death, but as it went over the edge the cord wrapped around my leg and pulled me over as well.”
      St Peter replied, “It does seem as if though there was a mistake made and righteous indignation does have its place. I’ll see what I can do.”
      The second man says, “Peter, I believe there has been a mistake. I lived on the 11th floor of an apartment building and I decided to fire up the grill on my balcony. When I lit the grill, the flame jumped out and startled I slipped backward and fell over the railing. Fortunately, I was able to grab the balcony on the 10th floor, but right after I grabbed on this crazy man ran out and pried my fingers up causing me to fall. Fortunately, again, I was able to grab onto the balcony below me on the 9th floor. I thought for sure I was safe, but unfortunately the crazy guy pushed his fridge over the balcony and hit me and now here I am.”
      St. Peter said, “Oh dear, this clearly seems to be a mistake.”
      The third man in line says, “So Peter, picture this. I’m naked. In a refrigerator . . . “

  16. Sexual Taboos.

    You know, the mere idea that a god of billions and billions of stars cares whether my kiss to another person is longer than three seconds, or whether it was to a person of the opposite sex or not, or whether the other person is of the right race, religion or whether the kiss happened after the right ceremony was performed, or what part of the other person’s anatomy was being kissed.

    Please! My God is way bigger than that! My relationship with God is one of possibilites, one of life in abundance, of Galatians 5:22.

    Humans grow physically, mentally emotionally and spiritually.

    The fact most of us played “doctor” when we were kids is not something that God is going to care about. The fact that we did something or saw something or felt something when we were at the pool as kids is nothing. The fact that the NATURAL ups and downs of hormonal levels during our teenage years prompted us to do some things impulsively… Would any of this make me reject MY kids? Why would god show less mercy, compassion or understandoing than me?

    Our churches have sold us a bogus set or rules.

    1. Well, He does care about some of those things, Ricardo, because He’s told us in His book. I think where fundies get it wrong is the same place the Pharisees get it wrong – they think God’s words are about the rules. But, man was not made for the Sabbath; the Sabbath was made for man. God instituted the Sabbath to protect the working class, poor, and slaves from being forced to work 24/7. In the same way, the yoke of Jesus (which is light and easy, but is still a yoke) is designed primarily to help and protect us. Kind of like when I tell my kid not to play in the street or lick the electric outlet.

  17. Protection of slaves. Right.

    WE were the ones who had to extrapolate from scripture in order to work on abolition of slavery.

    No thanks to the institutional churches.

    As soon as you say: “He’s told us in His book,” we are into a power trip.

    We know what is right and what is wrong. Rom 1:19-20. As soon as we start looking into scripture, we are proof-texting.

    There is no consensus about what tells us through “His” books. Not even among Fundamentalists.

    The “unequal yoke” concept has been used and abused to encompass whatever is bothering the current MoG.

    1. But it’s either Scripture or my personal feelings, which I admit vary a lot depending on how much rest or nutritional food I’ve been eating. The fact that people have twisted God’s Word to support any number of terrible things is not going to stop me from attempting to discover what it is really saying. And for the parts I’ll get wrong – because I know I will – I will live in love and grace toward others as much as I can.

      1. “Scripture or personal feelings”

        How about “Revelation through Scriptures or Revelations through personal feelings”?

        Both depend on what you ate, AND who you are studying with, AND what version, and what translation AND, AND, AND. (Just about anything goes.) Compared with Personal feelings, where most definitely Anything goes. (Except, for those of us who pay closer attention to our feelings, many times we “know” just about immediately what the issues are, rather than have to study, analyze and study some more.

        I don’t mind people saying “This is what I feel God is asking mes to do,” or “This is what I feel Go’s scripture is telling us.” (Notice that in both constructions, it is ME, MY opinion.

        The problem is when someone claims that THIS is what GOD requires of us, either from quoting scripture or their own feelings.

        1. So then what you have said here may or may not mean the same thing to everybody who reads it… depending on their feelings at the time. So then, no one can know what it is you are really trying to say.

        2. “So then, no one can know what it is you are really trying to say.”

          How is that any different from the malabarisms we all do with Scripture? From Scripture we can support Capitalism as well as Socialism. We can support Non-violence as well as “just” war. We can support law and we can support grace.

          By the time we are done applying our own unique form of exegesis, sure enough, Scriptures end saying exactly what we want them to say.

        3. If everything is in such flux and open to such a varied assortment of interpretations, how can we ever know anything? How can we believe anything science has to say if we all interpret according to our feelings? What was Ghandi really trying to tell us? Even Mulder conceded that the “Truth” was out there, somewhere.
          It’s hard to live a consistent life of doubt and skepticism. Or are you just applying this skepticism to the Bible and the Truth it contains?

  18. Growing up in Fundy churches typically involved a couple of trips a year to “Bible Camp.” Bible Camp for me was usually a week of hearing purity lifted up higher than Christ, or anything else in our lives. As a guy, I never picked up on the huge guilt trip the girls got about even having feelings of desire. I just knew before we even got off the bus what was coming ALL WEEK LONG. And being on a Bible Quiz team for 4 years, we read a LOT of the Bible a LOT. I could never figure out why we didn’t hear much about Solomon’s 900 women on the side. A guy that prayed for wisdom, who God made the wisest and richest man who ever lived. From what I read, sex outside of God’s plan led to big problems for Solomon and David. But it wasn’t the end of their relationship with God. That’s not what was preached though. I actually think their hyper-sensitivity to it, wound me up even more. Being 15-18, my blood was a river of testosterone. To this day, I feel bad for my girlfriend then, who I cared about very much, but she and I spent a lot of time messing around, feeling bad about it, then doing it again. I think teaching that was much less intense, with more of an atmosphere that allowed discussion, would have made me less obsessed with it. If you constantly tell a teenager to NEVER EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, EVER, bite the bark on the tree in the back yard enough, someday they’re gonna go out and chomp on it when they’re home alone. When I was 15, my step-mother told me she was going shopping in Wisconsin, we lived about 15 miles from the border in Illinois. I waited about 30 minutes after she left, hopped on my bike and started the 15 mile ride into town to go to my girlfriend’s house. She told me she was gonna be home alone all day. 10 miles into the ride, my step-mom passes me on the road. She sees me, pulls over, and asks me where I’m going. I told her “just for a ride.” She made me throw my bike in the trunk, took me home, and then left. I waited 30 minutes, got back on the bike, and rode 15 miles to my girlfriend’s house. I spent about 4-5 hours at her house, insanely aroused because I’d never gotten to be alone with her before. We didn’t have sex, but there was some “heavy petting” to use a favorite term from the 90’s. After I got home that night, after riding 40 miles total, I had the most excruciating pain ever in my groin area. I had no idea what “blue balls” were, and thought I had a hernia or something. Total agony for 12 hours. I wish I knew then, what I know now. I could have fixed it. I say all of that to demonstrate what hormones do to a young guy. Hormones, and hearing years of “NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!” from all of the authority figurs are a bad combination.

    When I have kids, they’re going to know that they can discuss anything with me. I’m going to try everything I can to give them a healthy view of sex, keep them out of trouble, and make them want to do what’s right. I think that’s where Fundy’s make their biggest mistake. It’s an attitude of pride that they “make their kids obey” instead of making their kids want to obey.

    1. “It’s an attitude of pride that they ‘make their kids obey’ instead of making their kids want to obey” — such a good point. It’s the difference between law and grace, between justice and love. If they could give us a picture of Christ and our total forgiveness and acceptance in Him, we could see His beauty and be filled with His Spirit to be empowered to obey Him. But instead the emphasis is on our own righteousness in following moral commands (and, as you pointed out) their own pride in having us obey them, so the Holy Spirit is completely discounted.

      We were told that we’d let God down if we failed sexually but we weren’t encouraged to develop a relationship with Him that would make us DESIRE to please Him. (This fits with the first chapter of C. S. Lewis’s book “The Pilgrim’s Regress” and the way the children were taught to fear the grim Landlord.)

  19. Teaching sexual purity, from a Biblical viewpoint instead of hyper-conservative viewpoint, is a good idea, but a lot of Christians simply don’t do that. They’re so busy telling horror stories of people who have fallen to temptation and trying to make sure that teenagers are terrified of having sexual urges that Christianity now tends to have this warped view of sex. What about focusing more on the positive reasons for waiting until marriage? I’m not saying that nothing should ever be said about the consequences, but can’t we focus on the good at least as much as on the bad?

    We live in a culture that is obsessed with sex, and in reaction, Christianity has become just as obsessed with sex as well, just from a different perspective. Maybe if the church taught that, while sexual urges are a natural part of life, there is much MORE to life then sex, it wouldn’t be as much of a problem as it is (but then again, maybe it still would be). I think it would also lead to a healthier view of marriage since marriage is also supposed to be about more then just sex.

    1. Teaching sexual purity is setting up kids for failure.

      How about teaching kids what happens to the human body when puberty hits? How about explaining the wild hormonal fluctuations that happen naturally to all teenagers? How about explaining the REAL differences between sexual reactions of Boys and girls.

      How about having some REAL conversations with and between kids going through all this.

      Most of these kids are smarter and quicker on their feet that we are. What they do not have is proper knowledge and experience. What many do not have is control of their own bodies or feelings.

      Teaching PURITY from scripture is really a bad idea. Even worse teaching it from the IFB-approved books.

      1. Teaching kids purity dependent on themselves is setting them up for failure. But teaching them purity from Scripture based on the power of the Spirit of God within them is right: “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”

        I believe Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for instruction in righteousness which includes God’s teaching on the sex being honorable and joyful within marriage.

        1. ^This^
          Scripture is more than just a work of literature. In it there is Truth and life. Yes, talk to your children, tell them all the wonderful things that God had designed in the human body. But also show them God’s commandments regarding how we are to conduct ourselves. In his words there is life:

          Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)

      2. No, “teaching” sexual purity by yelling “DON’T DO IT DON’T DO IT” from the pulpit and refusing to talk about issues like sexual urges, puberty, hormonal changes, etc. is setting kids up for failure. That’s what too many Christians (and not just IFB either) are doing. Teaching the Biblical way, and being honest and open when questions and concerns come up, is the best way. Kudos to Pastor’s wife’s comment 😛

  20. Twenty-one, about to get married this July 😀

    I’ve more thought of it in terms of “faithfulness” rather than purity… that is to say, you pick someone, and stick with them 🙂

    I’d say I’ve had more than my fair share of struggles with emotions and desires, and I’ve never exactly been popular with the ladies (bit of a nerd…), but I’ve always thought of sex as something very very special, but only part of the whole of that one special relationship… it’s only one aspect, but it’s an aspect of that relationship that belongs only to that relationship.

    It’s special, and tears me up inside personally to see it degraded outside of that special relationship… I know it’ll be exciting, but I’m also well aware it may very well be awkward at first lol. You just take the bad with the good, be content with what you have, ya know? Just keep on doing what you know is right, and keep a smile 🙂

    Easier said than done, I know, but I think people sometimes get too picky and selfish. That’s my take, more of a ramble really, and it may not even particularly apply to anything else discussed here lol. Maybe that’s the point of the documentary. I was never taught it was a “shameful” thing though… just a really really special one.

  21. The double standard that a lot of you are talking about here infuriates me. Been thinking a lot about it lately what with the Limbaugh mess going on. As far as I’m concerned, no man has the right to preach on birth control or abortion until men are held up to the same standard of purity as women and are held just as responsible for children that come from premarital sex.

    Knocked a woman up? Sorry, son. You’re getting married and supporting that kid for the next 18 years. Hope you enjoy buying diapers and baby formula instead of video games. Get another woman knocked up while married? Good news! You’re moving to Utah to live with the Mormons, because you’re becoming a polygamist. Hope your wives like each other. Better find a good paying job. And if the second wife has to bring a first husband along . . .

    Yeah, I know that went a little ridiculous there.

    1. Well I partly agree with you Rose. I definitely believe a man ought to be held to the same level of chastity/purity as they hold a woman to. Any man who would demand his bride be a virgin when he is not, is a lying hypocrite and ought to be flogged.

      I believe abortion is just as much the man’s responsibility as the woman’s, unless he simply didn’t know about the pregnancy, but even then if he had unprotected sex, he knew there was the possibility of a pregnancy. There would be very few cases in which the woman alone was responsible.

      But I don’t think the couple necessarily HAS to be married, as long as that man pays child support for the child until the child is grown, sometimes a marriage wouldn’t be a good thing. 😕

      As for the polygamy thing, I hope you were joking. Remember the internet doesn’t give us anything but words so you probably were. If you read about the fundamentalist mormons you’d know what a miserable life that has to be for the women of the cult. Read a book called “Escape” by Carolyn Jessop, I just finished this book. She married Merril Jessop and was his fourth wife. She told of her experience of sharing him with the other wives. Luckily she never loved him, after all he was more than twice her age, when she married him. She went on to have 8 children by him before she escaped the cult with all 8 of the children, one severely handicapped, which was no easy feat.

      Ha ha, I’ve always thought it would be better for women to have more than one husband than a man to have all those wives. He has to work to support them all and all those kids. A woman could stay home while both husbands worked. She may have twice as much laundry and cooking but there would be other benefits… :mrgreen: 😉

      1. Yeah, I was joking about the polygamy thing. But not about the guy having to pony up for any kids he fathers along the way. And if there’s no marriage, the father should have to take care of the kid at least half of the time. It’s WAY too easy for men to weasel out of their responsibilities. I know there are a thousand arguments about why this wouldn’t work, but SOMETHING needs to change in the current system.

  22. I and several other guys at a local fundamentalist college were all, as we said, members of the “bachelor to the rapture club.” Our biggest fear: that we would get married in the morning and Christ would come at 2:00pm before we could consummate the relationship. Eternally Virgin-oh NO!

  23. ” As far as I’m concerned, no man has the right to preach on birth control or abortion until men are held up to the same standard of purity as women and are held just as….”

    I don’t think any fundamentalists, that I’m aware of, has ever taken the time to preach on birth control. Why waste time preaching on some silly subject that is not even part of the Bible when there are actual helpful and instructive things to preach on?

    Does this site turn more Roman Catholic on a daily basis?

    1. There are at least some fundamentalists groups (my fundy U, for example) even outside the quiver-full movement that do disapprove of birth control of any type, though they may not be as public about it as the Catholic church. The reasoning being that by taking birth control you don’t trust God to give you the “right” number of children. Because we all know that its totally impossible for a woman using birth control to become pregnant, even if the Creator of the universe really wants her to be. 😆

  24. I remember my husband’s best friend asking him something along the lines of, “Dude, how bummed would you be if Jesus comes back just as you get to your hotel room on your honeymoon?”

    We still joke about that.

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