Here we are again, diving into Vaughn Ohlman’s thin tome on the subject of how courtship just makes people sin sexually. To hear him tell it in this particular chapter most everyone, even good kids at church, are just a small step from turning into horny sailors with a pocketful of money in Amsterdam or Hamburg’s red light districts. Orgies ahoy!
This was a chapter too far for me on my beach week. The waters off Virginia Beach were mostly closed except for one day due to high bacterial levels. Had I broke down and read this chapter last week I would have added to the bacterial load, I would thrown up in the water like some land lubber suffering from seasickness off the starboard side of the boat.
Alright, enough of bad nautical puns. This chapter starts off saying that Mr. Knowitall Sakal Davidson and convenient plot device/echo chamber youth pastor Charles Williamson are sitting together talking. Von does not say if it’s at the Picnic Table of Confession or in that strip of park between the highrises and houses. He just describes it as sitting together. I know where I’d like to place these two characters and it involves padded rooms or walking the plank aboard a ship plying the Atlantic.
The recurring theme of this chapter is the same as the one before, if you do not marry those adolescents off the second their genitals start functioning then there will be sin, lots and lots of sexual sin even if it is only ‘mental fornication’ – translation for the non-fundamentalist that thing most of us call sexual fantasies.
Chuckie is complaining that Andrew crashed their pious perv party to Sakal, saying how icky it make him feel. Sakal tells him to suck it up buttercup because he believes they should be talking about sex and marriage to all young men and women to prepare them for early fruitfulness.
Charles is also protesting the fact that he thinks Sakal isn’t fair to courtship.
CW: You seemed to be implying that they were deliberately exposing their children to the temptation of fornication and lust.
SD: I see those as the same temptation, but putting that aside, you use a word, ‘deliberately’ which can mean at least two different things. Firstly it can mean ‘slowly’; and secondly it can mean ‘intentionally’. You must at least admit that the method is slow.
Whoa, whoa, hold it! Sakal’s understanding of the word ‘deliberately’ does not line up with Websters. It does not mean slowly specifically, but slowly can used as an adjective. There are better definitions of the word. Here’s what it does mean:
- 1.consciously and intentionally; on purpose.“the fire was started deliberately”
synonyms: intentionally, on purpose, purposely, by design, knowingly, wittingly, consciously, purposefully; Morewillfully;with malice aforethought“he deliberately hurt me”carefully, cautiously, steadily, evenly“he walked deliberately down the aisle”
- 2.in a careful and unhurried way.“slowly and deliberately he rose from the armchair”
Being careful and unhurried can be slow or slowly done but not necessarily the same thing as the word ‘slow’. Besides, at least with courtship the two people get a chance to get to know each other, figure out if there is any attraction or commonality so that they aren’t complete strangers by the time they marry, giving them a better chance at having a successful, happy and fulfilling marriage. At least a better shot than marrying some stranger your daddy picked out.
In some cases doing something slowly is not a bad thing. Better to be sure of the person you are marrying, as sure as you can be at least, before you marry them. You save yourself a lot of heartache that way.
All this is followed by discussion of how there are all these unmarried older ‘young’ people that have failed at courtship and obtaining a spouse. No discussion on consent or the wants and needs of those young folks.
SD: I doubt there is anyone out there (except Satan) who is saying to themselves, “I like this courtship system because it promotes lust.”
OH THANK YOU VAUGHN OHLMAN FOR SAVING US FROM SATAN by exposing the horny lust of kids going through puberty. It’s disturbing that a grown man has spent so much time and effort thinking about the lusts of teenagers. I don’t buy it that courtship increases lust or promotes lust in any way. Most courtshipping couples are carefully chaperoned so it’s not like any of them have much of a chance to see a naked knee much less bump uglies.
Sakal goes on to mention Doug Wilson, a pastor that purposely married a child molester in his church, agrees with the idea that courtship ix a sexual relationship. Then he goes on to give a historical definition of what courtship started in medieval times between knights and aristocracy at court. Hence ‘courtship’. Here’s what he claims:
SD: Courtship, as it was originally practiced, was where a variety of vain young men convinced other men’s wives to commit adultery with them.
SD: The system was designed, from the beginning, to encourage lust, and no amount of changes can take away that essential character from it.
Let’s examine this:
Courtly love (or fin’amor in Occitan) was a medieval European literary conception of love that emphasized nobility and chivalry. Medieval literature is filled with examples of knights setting out on adventures and performing various services for ladies because of their “courtly love”. This kind of love is originally a literary fiction created for the entertainment of the nobility, but as time passed, these ideas about love changed and attracted a larger audience. In the high Middle Ages, a “game of love” developed around these ideas as a set of social practices. “Loving nobly” was considered to be an enriching and improving practice.
Courtly love began in the ducal and princely courts of Aquitaine, Provence, Champagne, ducal Burgundy and the Norman Kingdom of Sicily at the end of the eleventh century. In essence, courtly love was an experience between erotic desire and spiritual attainment, “a love at once illicit and morally elevating, passionate and disciplined, humiliating and exalting, human and transcendent”.Sexual satisfaction may not have been a goal or even end result, but the love was not entirely Platonic either, as it was based on sexual attraction.
I guess that type of love and courtship would be considered ‘mental fornication’ more than physical. It’s not primarily created to get married women in bed with callow youth like Sakal claims.
The rest of the second page of this chapter is a bunch of shilly shallying around the idea that if you struggle with lust under the courtship system then you are disqualified for getting married. Again, the only function Charles Williamson serves in this chapter is for Sakal to bounce his ideas/lecture the you know what out of.
SD: It means that the young man… or young woman, but most of us focus on the young man, who finds himself tempted, or even finds himself sinning, in a sexual area, is obligated to not only repent in the usual way… admit his sin, be sorry for it, etc. but he is also obligated to turn to the remedy that God himself has designed for that sin. His very seeking of a wife is an act of repentance.
That type of logic is like giving an obese man that ate all the pizza his own pizza store. It makes no sense at all. Giving a drowning man his own sea. I suggest if someone is wrestling with sexual sins they might want to work on that for awhile, WITHOUT involving anyone else, an innocent anyone else that might not have a clue what you’re struggling with, that you might traumatize with your attempts to master your own personal brand of sexual weirdness.
And I’ve only covered two pages of this stale bilge water of a chapter. It’s four pages longer and I cannot unpack this crap any faster. You could say my review of this chapter is ‘deliberate’ in a slow and sarcastic way.
Join me on NLQ’s Facebook page Sunday night at 7:00 pm est for a Live Video reading of this single vile page.
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