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“The Chastity Cult” by Tyler Blanski

The Chastity Cult

When it comes to sex, many Christians confuse the fences for the playground. We’ve created what I call the Chastity Cult. Married and single Christians alike put sex on a pedestal. We’re more serious and obsessed with the rules than we ought to be. Young people wear “promise rings,” march hand in hand under the banner of “courtship,” and won’t kiss until they’ve walked down the aisle. Married couples pray before making love or sometimes even feel guilty about the joy and sensuality of it all. Like the heretics of yore, we are so wary of sensual pleasure, we put up so many rules, rigmarole, and warning signs that we’ve made sex unrecognizable. We forget that sex is playful.

Ever since I was twelve, the conversation of choice for Christian guys has been to confess addiction to pornography, habitual masturbation, and unbearable guilt. All the while, pastors warned us against holding hands, kissing, or, even worse, cuddling.

By the time I had my first girlfriend, twenty-years-old, I was so guilty, so prudish, and so certain of what I thought was “Christian sexuality,” I lived in fantasyland. When I finally learned how to love and kiss and date a real, live woman, I realized that most Christian books about sex are as unreal and abstract as pornography.

It took a real girlfriend for me to discover the principles that lay the groundwork of what Christ intends for our sex-lives: the best sex-life possible, in marriage. Through dating a real woman, and not just reading Christian books on chastity, I learned that “chastity” isn’t firstly about rules and guilt, but about intimacy and joy—at the right time, and in the right way. It’s an expression of being created in the image of a relational God. Ever wonder why the middle of the Bible is filled with sexual love poetry? Ever speculate why God created the clitoris? Or why human beings have almost always and everywhere celebrated marriage? Christian sexuality at its best is actually an expression of what church-goers call the Trinitarian Life—a holistic, all-encompassing, committed love, the kind of love we reach for in marriage.

A single person’s sex life does not have to mean the sex act itself. It can be a harvesting of all that sexual energy and directing it towards something bigger than sex itself. The “sex-life” of a Christian single person is not having sex—yet. It’s prayer. It’s dating and learning how to love and listen better through relationship. It’s the foreplay, so to speak, to the sex-life God intends for us in marriage.

Marriage invites you into the life of another, to know and to be known. Marriage can be an invitation to become more fully human. For Christians, becoming fully human means becoming Christ-like. This is what the process of “spiritual transformation” is all about. And you’re sex-life, your marriage, even your singleness, can be a part of this journey.

God made us as sexual creatures. It’s a good thing. You can be prudent without being a prude. You can be holy without being holier-than-thou; and in this case, we would be trying to outdo Christ Himself. Christ never ignored or denied his humanity. We shouldn’t either.

Our sexuality, like any other part of the Christian life, is a function of our spiritual transformation, of becoming Christ-like. And spiritual transformation isn’t firstly about what we cannot do; but rather, what we can do. Holiness is a serious thing, yes, but it’s also playful.

The Chastity Cult’s obsession with boundaries clouds the meaning and mirth of Christian sexuality. The sooner Christians leave the Chastity Cult, whether we’re dating or married, the sooner we will discover the kind of sex-life God intends for us. It’s earthy. It’s erotic and playful. It’s deeply intimate. And it’s 100% orthodox. In fact, I’d wager it’s the best sex out there.

Tyler Blanski is the author of Mud & Poetry: Love, Sex, and the Sacred

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This entry was posted on Monday, January 24th, 2011 at 7:21 am and is filed under Industry News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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