Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What Is the Purity Movement? {Heart Guarding Debunked: Intro}

Some of you know I've been working hard on an article about the Purity Movement. It's called Heart Guarding Debunked: Why I Don't Write about Purity Anymore. I actually mentioned writing it way back in this post, and have only just now gotten around to it. Can we say, Procrastination? :)
This is the introduction. For those of you who don't know what the Purity Movement is, or would like me to define exactly what I mean when I reference it. Tomorrow, we get to talk about the fun stuff. 

Be blessed.

             Introduction: What is the Purity Movement? For Those Of You Who Don't Know

Purity is a really interestingly beautiful word. It means spotless, clean, fresh. Purity is that cool drink of water. The glitter on a fairy's wing. The word of God. Hayley Westenra's voice. That feeling you get when you just can't help but love people.
In the Christian Purity Movement, we use the word "purity" to adhere to cleanliness specifically in our dating relationships. You are living in "purity" when you consistently guard your heart against lust and mental or emotional attachment outside of a courting or marital relationship. The Purity Movement focuses on training young men and women to keep their emotions in check and their thoughts grafted away from the early-year temptations of human interaction, and on the future ideals of marriage with the cherished "One" God has ordained. The goal and focus of the movement is to keep young adults unstained and undistracted--focusing in on (hopefully) just one courting relationship with the man or woman God has revealed to be the intended future spouse. 
In order to keep themselves unspotted, many individuals will seek to spend most of their time with their own gender, rather than risk falling into temptation, or a complicated, emotional relationship with a friend they don't want to become involved with. Others, specifically girls will spend their time writing letters to their future spouse, reading books about purity, how to remain unspotted for their man, investing in promise rings, and creating hope chests. They're encouraged to submit to their fathers, practicing submission to a future husband, not give their hearts away to any passing guy, and learn to be a keeper at home. Most attention--from both guys and girls--is focused on pleasing the future spouse. In fact, "What would your future spouse think if he was here?" is a question young teens are encouraged to ask themselves when their conduct with others becomes questionable or flirtatious. 

Please understand that I believe none of this is wrong. Our hearts should be clean in dating relationships and in the way we treat others, and we should practice that. (1 Timothy 5:2) According to Jesus, the way we treat others is one of the most important factors in our Christian walk. (Matthew 7:12)
However, despite the good will of the Purity Movement and the desire to love others, we live in a fallen world. A fallen world very often comes with....lies. Specifically, I have found a great many lies or half-truths in the Purity Movement, which is the reason I have chosen this subject to "debunk." Please understand that just because I say one thing, does not mean there can't be an exception. There can always be an exception. 
It doesn't mean I hate the idea of the Purity Movement, either. The idea is great. Many ideas are great! But the real test is when that great idea is put into action with sinful human beings.

So please be gracious with me and with your responses. And remember, that no matter what I say and no matter what anyone else says, it is always up to us to go back to the Bible. Above all, go to the Bible.


1 comment