Benjamin Kerns on the Importance of Virginity as an Indicator of Deeper Christian Character

I recently read a book where the author criticized the church of her youth as seemingly only caring about her virginity. My friends who also have read the book read that critique and resonated with it. In fact almost any millennial upon reflection of their time in student ministry has the same critique.

I actually think that this is an unfair critique. This is because youth ministry five to 10 years ago was about maintaining a particular culture, a Christian culture. The problem is that virginity seemed to be the highest goal, rather than a discipline that was an indicator of much larger Christian virtues and culture.

Virginity was an indicator of deeper Christian character such as temperance, prudence, justice, courage humility, selflessness and self-control. These virtues, not virginity, used to be what marked Christians and is what built strong Christian culture, strong Christian families and strong Christian youth ministries that helped re-enforce these virtues.

To simply put it, virginity is an indicator of mature Christian culture. It is like calculus. In order to understand calculus you need to know and understand rudimentary math, algebra, geometry and trigonometry.  

But in case you have not been paying attention, those days are long gone! Out kids don’t even know rudimentary math.

Not only has the church, and specifically those in student ministry, given up on the value of virginity, but we can’t even expect our students to even wrestle with the foundational Christian values and virtues. All of them seem so antiquated to this grouping of students.

This cohort of kids is truly amoral. They only know what is right in that particular moment, making decisions based on what is expedient and what will cause the least short term pain. There is no foundational principle or ethic other than avoiding pain in the moment.

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Source: Church Leaders