Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fearsome links to a Relevant article that feels like some weird kind of rerun

I don't know why but I thought I saw Relevant run some article like this, like, a year ago.
Well, in the spirit of being green and all that in the Emerald City here's a link to a bunch of stuff I wrote reflecting on these kinds of stats earlier this year.  The essays are all printed and tagged in reverse order so you'd want to read the first essay, then scroll up, and so on.

And since I feel like linking to this again, too, here's another one.  If you grow up or live in an evangelical setting in which "adultescence" makes you a worthless nobody then what's the fastest way to not be a worthless nobody in such a cultural setting?  Getting a "real" job?  Where are those if you didn't have the foresight and intellectual competence to major in the hard sciences these days?

But I'm talking about single guys PAST their thirties who are or were somehow connected to evangelicalism. I guess the 18-29 evangelicals may figure that:
1) if God hates all sexual sin equally and all sexual sin is equally offensive then
2) fornicating must be a whole lot more fun than masturbating and
3) if even evangelical megachurch pastors can still be mightily used by God and say "We broke some rules, but God is faithful" then why NOT trust in the faithfulness of God, eh? 

After a generation of two of "true love waits" it appears the answer amongst the younger evangelical crowd is "True love waits ... for about fifteen minutes." I still suspect that evangelicals in their championship of "family values" may have actually gutted all the eschatological and economic arguments to postpone marriage and have altogether tossed off any argument for any kind of celibacy that isn't a case for some eventual marriage.  As Lauren Winner put it, the "wait for the wedding day" stops being a viable deterrent to people in their twenties, thirties, or forties who begin to suspect there may never BE a wedding day and that chastity needs a more compelling foundation than the narrative of the wedding night. 

Unbelievers like to say it's important to find someone sexually compatible but doesn't it seem that one of the points of Christian ethical teaching on sex could be that "sexually compatible" is a specious category?  If you can't be sexually compatible with person A switching to person B doesn't mean you're necessarily going to be sexually compatible with them, will it?  I wouldn't know from experience and my point is I don't WANT to know from experience.  I don't want a point of comparison from which to wonder who would be "more" sexually compatible with me than the woman I would be married to.  If the two of you wait and have no idea what you're doing then why would you be disappointed in each other or even yourselves? You would have no frame of reference from which to be disappointed anyway, right?

If evangelicals frame the goal of Christian ethics in terms of something like "legacy" the shadow of this legacy is that if marriage and parenthood are considered the optimal form of legacy then we're creating a surreptitious "Jesus plus X" that people will often see right through.  Then when there's the possibility of going with Jesus as the measure of being fully human or going with X because X is the real measure of functional adulthood it's not a huge shock to me that evangelicals ages 18-29 go with X.  But I digress, as usual.

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