Scott Tibbs

A few thoughts about Purity Culture

By Scott Tibbs, April 1, 2021

The mass murders at massage parlors in Atlanta were monstrous acts of evil, and the man who murdered these women to eliminate "temptation" should be swiftly executed if convicted of the murders. Nothing less than the death penalty would be justice here.

What we should not do is throw out Christian sexual ethics because of one man's extremist and misogynistic take on "purity culture." While there are extremes that go beyond what the Bible teaches, Scripture is clear that God expects sexual purity from Believers. For examples, see Acts 15:19-20, Acts 15:28-29, 1 Corinthians 6:18, 1 Corinthians 10:8, Colossians 3:5 and 1 Thessalonians 4:3.

We must not go beyond what Scripture teaches. Sexual impurity does not make someone "dirty" for life. There are earthly consequences for sin, yes, but spiritually speaking all sins are forgiven and washed away once someone accepts Jesus as his Savior.

While encouraging modesty is Biblical, the idea that men cannot control themselves (something that is sometimes taught in Purity Culture) is not supported anywhere is Scripture. King David was not excused from his adultery because he saw Bathsheba bathing on a rooftop. In fact, that is closer to the teachings of radical Islam, which forces women into burkas to hide them from the male gaze.

We live in a hyper-sexualized culture, so it is good that Christians are teaching about sexual purity. But the temptation we face when we confront a sin or heresy is to veer off into the other extreme, imposing man-made rules and guidelines rather than sticking with Scripture and clear Biblical commands. We do not need a set of extra-Biblical standards and doctrines. We only need the Bible itself.

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