Wow, that’s a lot of W’s, relatively speaking.
Anyway, right. I was deciding, via, “Should the Christian I Am Condemn the Sins of the Non-Christian I Used to Be?”, whether or not I should repent of the not-exactly-what-you-want-to-put-at-the-top-of-your-resume-when-you’re-applying-to-get-into-heaven things I did back in the years when I was but a shallow callow youth.
So. Sex and drugs. Reasonable ways for young people to find out who they are, or reason for Satan to chorkle and throw some more coal on the fire?
Well, I think we can all agree that drugs are bad. No one questions that. It’s not really immoral to get high, though. It’s also not immoral to jam a hot dog up each nostril and sink your head into a five-gallon vat of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Not a brilliant thing to do, but not immoral. If someone wants to be a chocolate-covered weenie-face, that’s their business.
You know what is immoral? Making drugs, or selling them, or even kindly volunteering to share them with another. Anything anyone does to facilitate another person getting hooked on drugs—and especially a young person—is a bad, bad thing. But actually taking drugs? That’s just ignorance and weakness. And it’s no (particular) sin to be human.
As to sex.
I don’t like writing about sex, because I have a lot of Christian readers. And Christians are insane about sex. You know why? Because they’re human. And regardless of race, gender, or marital status, all humans are insane about sex.
Sex is an equal opportunity crazy-maker.
But you know that. If you’re human. Which you are. So you do.
The fact that we all know we’re absolutely out-of-control bonkers about sex—which is to say, basically, that when we’re actually doing it, we’re Not Exactly Ourselves (or so much ourselves that it’s … worse)—also makes us crazy. In every last sense of the word we’re crazy about sex. And since it’s the only thing in life that we cannot help but have overwhelm us, every single time—we’re crazy about the fact that sex makes us so crazy.
Now, we Christians have an extra layer of sex-craziness, because we’re supposed to be so spiritually fulfilled that we’ve essentially risen above being affected by sex and thoughts of sex in the same fully abandoned way that your typically partying pagan is. We’re above the obsessive animalism of sex. We’ve been delivered from our baser natures. Christ has made us deaf to the siren song of sex.That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.
And I barely want to try writing about … um, unsticking us. Talk about swan diving into quicksand.
I’ll tell you what, though. Not writing about sex—and particularly about premarital sex—has lately been a good deal on my mind. Because about two weeks ago I got an email from a young man asking me to do that very thing. (Oh: the other day someone wrote to suggest that I might sometimes fabricate the letters I share here. I don’t, ever. Not even a little.) This Christian kid wrote me to say that he was so frustrated at having to remain a virgin that in a lot of ways he was thinking about the wisdom of even remaining a Christian.
Here’s some of what this young man wrote me relative to his struggles with Christian sexual mores:
Like anyone who has ever been raised in the church, I’ve been to True Love Waits seminars. I certainly have been. I’ve also read all the purity books and been to guilt hell and back about things like lustful thoughts and whatnot. But I’m wondering whether this “true love waits” is all it’s cracked up to be. I mean… is that what Jesus really says? What I mean is, doesn’t God want us to love people unconditionally?
As a 20-something red-blooded male, I have a nearly insuppressible desire for sex (which I’ve been taught to never, ever act upon – and so far I haven’t. The farthest I’ve gone is kiss a few girls here and there). Yet I honestly can’t help but feel like I’m missing out on the party because of archaic rules built up to support a social structure.
I read somewhere that 95% of individuals aren’t virgins on their wedding nights. So what, in all honesty, are my chances of finding someone compatible with me who is not only a Christian, but also a virgin? I mean… that’s miniscule odds!
I can’t help but feel like I’m being psychologically damaged by waiting so long … It is so frustrating! Am I really going to be a 30 or even 40-year old virgin?? I can’t do it!! I just can’t! If God’s not going to provide a way for me to be normal and healthy, what am I to do?!
In the end I often feel like I’ve adopted the moral and religious systems developed by wandering tribesmen 4,000+ years ago… I feel like I’m losing time and just not getting joy out of life… In other words, Christianity is making me miserable! I just want to be happy, but at every turn it seems like God wants to literally block me from good things. But if God doesn’t exist, than this becomes a non-issue and I can be much happier, you see?
Am I wrong on the sex subject? Can Christians have sex without marriage? With the wide range of birth-control available, I fail to see why this is a big deal nowadays … Everyone, pretty much literally everyone (95%, remember?) else doesn’t seem to think so ….
And so on. It was quite the long email!
Now what am I supposed to do with an email like this? What would you do with it?