Abolish Abstinence-Only Sex Ed

That’s right, I’m against abstinence-only sexual education.

That should make the liberals and “progressives” happy.

Before the conservatives and “obstinate, backward, Bible-thumping fundamentalists” (or whatever other labels are applied by the lib-progs) get all defensive, let me explain why.

First off, not only do I think “abstinence-only” programs should be eliminated, I also think the term “Sex Ed” should be eliminated. This implies that kids are being educated about the “noun,” the “act” of sex. Sexual education needs to be about the “adjective,” educating our children about everything that is sexual, every component of life that relates to our sexuality. (In this regard, I’m advocating for comprehensive sexual education, although not the way it’s presented by the lib-progs.)

Sexual education needs to be much more than just the mechanics of sexual intercourse, the pitfalls of STD’s and unexpected pregnancy, and how to minimize/avoid those pitfalls. Sexual education should teach healthy sexuality, which is a lot more than just the avoidance of disease and unwanted pregnancy. Sexual education should teach boys and girls how to be men and women, how to be husbands and wives, and how to be parents.

Sexual education should emphasize purity, not abstinence. What does it mean to be pure in your thoughts, in your actions when you’re alone, in the words that you say to others, in how you dress, and in how you relate to members of the opposite sex? These are the questions we need to help our children answer.

Does sexual purity involve abstinence? Certainly! But it’s much, much more than simply not having sex until married. (Speaking of which, the “stay pure until marriage” pledges have got to go too. What, once you’re married, purity goes out the window?)

Unfortunately, the lib-progs don’t like purity-based sexual education any better than abstinence-only. (If anything, they like it even less, because it dares to instill “values.”) Also, the proponents of abstinence-only programs really want the same things I’ve advocated.

My issue is really the terms of our engagement as Christians. Sometimes we try to “soften” our ideals to make them more palatable to the world.

“You don’t like our idea of ‘sexual purity’? Okay, how about ‘abstinence’?”

It’s a cheap substitute, and they’re not buying it.

You don’t like ‘creation’? Okay, how about ‘intelligent design’?”

Now the argument shifts from “is there a Creator?” to “is Intelligent Design repackaged Creationism?” I’m not sure that’s a worthwhile argument. But, that’s a topic for another time.

As Christians, we need to raise our standards. We need to define our terms appropriately, and make sure we’re pursuing the right goals. “Pro-life” is not just a positive spin on “anti-abortion.” It’s much bigger than that. “Purity” is not the same as “abstinence.” It’s much bigger than that. Let’s pursue purity, and health, and wholeness, and do so without reservation.


I’ve been thinking a little more about the distinction between “homosexual identity” and “homosexual activity.” I’m confident that the latter is wrong, and trying to figure out what the correct response should be to the former. However, I think it’s a mistake to try to shape my beliefs about identity solely based upon my beliefs about activity; that strikes me as a backwards approach. Our identity in Christ is not defined by a list of do’s and dont’s; rather, the commands that God gives to us are a result of our identity.

So, I don’t want to reach the conclusion that homosexual activity is wrong simply because the Bible condemns it. I would like to first ascertain what God’s intention is for our sexual identity, and then see what that tells us about proper sexual activity.

The Bible tells us right from the beginning that God created humans as either male or female (Gen 1:27), and it was intended that they be united as one (Gen 2:24). Jesus confirms this in Matt 19:4-5 and Mark 10:6-8, and Paul repeats it in Eph 5:31. Both Paul and Peter give instructions for proper husband and wife relationships on numerous occasions (I Cor. 7, I Cor 11, Eph 5, I Tim 2, I Pet 3, etc.). We also see marriage touched on in Proverbs and Song of Solomon; and through the prophets, some of Jesus’ parables, Revelation, etc., we see the symbolism that marriage gives us of our relationship to Christ.

Based on what I see in the Bible, it seems pretty clear to me that God has distinct roles for men and women, and intends for our sexual identity to be heterosexual in nature, and for marriage to be between a man and a woman. To behave otherwise distorts the proper view of ourselves, each other, and God. Hence, the verses that condemn homosexual activity are consistent with the sexual identity the God intended for us.

Continue reading