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Damaged Goods

08 Feb

This is the theme over at Sarah Bessey’s latest post

http://sarahbessey.com/damaged-goods/

and in reading her words I found some similarity between her words and Rachel Held Evans’ post which I addressed here

https://theologyarchaeology.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/i-am-disappointed-2/

There are some differences and first off I will admit to the fact and agree that there are and were adults who could not address sexual issues correctly. I understand why but I do not think Ms. Bessey does or even tries as she condemns rather quickly those who had a very uncomfortable time talking about sex and the Christian. Not everyone can handle that topic especially when it is discussed with other people’s kids.

#1. Oh, he didn’t call me up to the front and name me. But he stood up there and talked about me with suchdisgust, like I couldn’t be in that real-life crowd of young people worshipping in that church. I felt spotlighted and singled out amongst the holy, surely my red face announced my guilt to every one.

I am sure her guilt made her feel like she was standing out but I would agree that the person doing the talking handle it very badly. According to her words, he certainly did not address the main points about pre-marital sex and I use the words ‘according to her words’ because we are only getting her side of the story and her recollection may not be the same as his or other attendees.

#2. And he stood up there and shamed me, over and over and over again.

I do not think he did the shaming. I am sure that what she felt was her own shame for sinning but she decided to not accept her responsibility for her actions and failed to repent of her sins. At least she doesn’t tell us that she had repented and asked forgiveness for her sin.

#3. Over the years the messages melded together into the common refrain: “Sarah, your virginity was a gift and you gave it away. You threw away your virtue for a moment of pleasure. You have twisted God’s ideal of sex and love and marriage. You will never be free of your former partners, the boys of your past will haunt your marriage like soul-ties. Your virginity belonged to your future husband. You stole from him. If – if! – you ever get married, you’ll have tremendous baggage to overcome in your marriage, you’ve ruined everything. No one honourable or godly wants to marry you. You are damaged goods, Sarah.”

Again I will agree that there is some very bad thinking in that paragraph on the part of those scolding Ms. Bessey BUT there is a lot of truth too. The bad thinking, of course, is where the people are omitting Christ’s restorative work, his redemptive work in the hearts of men and women who do repent of their sins and obtain forgiveness. They will be free of the baggage, etc., and can have a good marriage because they obeyed God’s process to get free from sin and changed their behavior and thinking.

I do agree that  virginity belongs to the future husband BUT that sentiment also applies to the boys in the church. Their virginity belongs to their future wives and just as the girls robbed their future husbands by doing pre-marital sex, so do the boys rob their future wives. This issue isn’t a one-sided affair and the arguments against the women apply to the men as well.

#4. In the face of our sexually-dysfunctional culture, the Church longs to stand as an outpost of God’s ways of love and marriage, purity and wholeness.

Following biblical teaching about sexual encounters is not being ‘sexually dysfunctional’ but being obedient to God’s teaching. Ms. Bessey shows us that she did not and does not want God’s way but her own. Not only in her teen-age actions but in her words in that post. She doesn’t want to be obedient to God because she thinks she knows better than he.

If you want sex, then go get married but do not marry just for sex, be biblical in your actions but at no time has permission been given for people to participate in pre-marital sex or adulterous affairs. The secular world does not abide by God’s morality and all she is advocating in her post is for the church people to follow the secular world into immorality and sin.

#5. We, the majority non-virgins in the myopic purity conversations,  feel like the dirty little secret, the not-as-goods, the easily judged example.  In this clouded swirl of shame, our sexual choices are the barometer of our righteousness and worth. We can’t let any one know, so we keep it quiet, lest any one discover we were not virgins on some mythic wedding night. We don’t want to be the object of disgust or pity or gossip or judgement. And in the silence, our shame – and the lies of the enemy – grow

She may think it is a dirty little secret and that is probably because a majority of church people view do not know how to apply forgiveness or compassion or even understanding to the revealing of the secret.  But the problem does not lie only with those type of people. The problem lies with people like Ms. Bessey who do not consider their actions sin or sinful. It remains a dirty little secret because they refuse to repent of their sin and feel they have done nothing wrong.

If the opposite sex spouse is loving and understanding then your wedding night and marriage will be okay but you need to be honest with your mate before you get hitched. You owe it to them to make their own decisions about marrying you instead of hiding it from them and lying to them about yourself. Hiding sin is not the correct way to start a marriage.

No matter what you do, you will eventually be the object of gossip, disgust, pity etc., it is a part of life because people just aren’t perfect so focus on doing what is right and not worry about what others think for you can’t control their thoughts.  As far as I am concerned, the only people whose business it is concerning your virginity is God’s, yours, your prospective mate and the pastor or person you go to in order to get help in obtaining forgiveness of your sins. Other than that, it is no one’s business unless you make it so.

Then remember, you have to worry about God and his feelings toward you so what other humans think really does not matter. If God has forgiven you then you are not damaged goods and you have no more shame because HE has forgiven you.

#6. So, you had sex before you were married.

It’s okay.

Really. It’s okay.

This is what really bothers me about her post. She is NOT GOD and has no authority nor right to say such a thing for it contradicts God’s word. It is NOT  okay to have sex before marriage BUT it is also not the unforgivable sin. People may not forgive you and they may  judge you but God will forgive if you truly want to be forgiven and you truly repent of such actions. Pre-marital sin is NOT okay especially if you do not repent of it but continue to practice it or use repentance as an excuse to continue to fail in this area of your life.

#7. There is no shame in Christ’s love. Let him without sin cast the first stone. You are more than your virginity – or lack thereof – and more than your sexual past.

Here Ms. Bessey continues to go off the rails and apply her own thinking to God’s people. There is shame if you do not repent and ask forgiveness. He will take the shame away but you need to follow His rules in order to get rid of that shame. You do not follow the words of Ms. Bessey or some other feminist for as you can see, they are not teaching the biblical way nor encouraging you to follow God’s way in life.

She is trying to ’empower’ women with those words but it won’t work in God’s world.  You cannot get over it until you follow the correct procedure and it will be a thorn in your side until you confess it and get rid of the sin. Ms. Bessey wants others to accept those who have committed and continue to practice pre-marital sin but she leaves out  the important details on how to get that acceptance and she forgets that the church cannot accept sin into the church. Why she refuses to call pre-marital sex sin, she doe snot explain but it is and you have to take care of it in the biblical way not by abusing scripture as Ms. Bessey does.

#8. Your marriage is not doomed because you said yes to the boys you loved as a young woman. Your husband won’t hold it against you, he’s not that weak and ego-driven, choose a man marked by grace.

I do not see how she feels that she can speak for all men when she is not a man but I can tell you that she is wrong, very wrong. It takes a very strong, understanding, loving man to be able to handle this news but if they truly love you , they will ask Jesus to help them deal with it. It is amazing how people like Ms. Bessey wants everyone else to be full of grace yet she has none for those who disagree with her sexual decisions. Her lack of grace comes through loud and clear. Notice how she gives no thought to how the man will feel. It is all about giving grace to her and others like her even though they do not want to humble themselves and make themselves worthy of such grace.

#9. Virginity isn’t a guarantee of healthy sexuality or marriage. You don’t have to consign your sexuality to the box marked “Wrong.” Your very normal and healthy desires aren’t a switch to be flipped. Morality tales and false identities aren’t the stuff of a real marriage. Purity isn’t judged by outward appearances and technicalities. The sheep and the goats are not divided on the basis of their virginity. (Besides, this focus is weird and over-realized, it’s the flip side of the culture’s coin which values women only for their sexuality. It’s also damaging, not only for you, but for the virgins in the room, too. Really, there’s a lot of baggage from this whole purity movement heading out into the world.)

I wonder who she thinks comprises the category of goats? Yes, if you practice pre-marital sex and do not repent you are one of the goats because you disobeyed God. He i snot going to turn a blind eye about this issue.Now I do not really support the idea of purity rings, purity balls and other christian fads linked to this issue. We do not need these games to help people remain pure for their wedding day. We do not need to make a big issue out of it but we should be teaching our children that God does say wait till marriage and it is a good thing to wait not a punishment.

Then we should teach them how sex can be good, what to look for in a mate, how to treat a mate and so on.  The secular world applies a lot of pressure about sex, we need to counter that with proper teaching done in the correct manner so that our children know why they are waiting and why they do not participate in sex as the secular friends do. This means we do not do as that preacher did, according to Ms. Bessey’ words, but find loving, kind, understanding, wise ways to teach our children about sex and remaining pure.

We also do not single out the girls but apply the teaching to both genders correctly.

#10. For I am convinced, right along with the Apostle Paul, that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any other power, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.* Not even “neither virginity nor promiscuity” and all points between can separate you from this love. You are loved – without condition – beyond your wildest dreams already.

Here she misapplied Paul’s words in order to feel good about telling others to sin  and not repent. Along with trying to feel good about her sexual past. But again, have you noticed that she doe snot talk about sin, repentance or forgiveness here? What it tells me is that she wants to say she is the person who has the authority to say what is or isn’t sin, instead of God. She is misleading people and very wrong.

#11. I would say: Sarah, your worth isn’t determined by your virginity. What a lie.

Not your total worth but part of it yet that stained part can be restored if you follow God’s rules and not Ms. Bessey’s ideas or words.

#12. you are not disqualified from life or from joy or from marriage or from your calling or from a healthy and wonderful lifetime of sex because you had – and, heaven forbid, enjoyed – sex before you were married.

Again, no pointing to God’s way, his view of pre-marital sex, the need for repentance and forgiveness. Sure you can have a great life without doing that BUT you won’t have a great Christian life and you will be separated from God until you follow God’s rules and repent, seek forgiveness and then receive the grace you desire. The key is obeying God in recognizing what is sin and follow his steps to become pure once again.

Ms. Bessey is wrong. You are damaged Christian goods until you make things right with God.

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Posted by on February 8, 2015 in Bible, church, controversial issues, faith, family, leadership, theology

 

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