Picking through the fruit of the Purity Movement

An introduction to an upcoming series of posts which will be written in response to many points brought up by Richard P concerning the Purity Movement.

Readership: Christians; Those involved in the Purity Movement;

Author’s notes: Apologies to Spawny’s Space for rebutting here.  Richard P, Gunner Q, and Adam Piggott are encouraged to comment.

15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.  16 You will know them by their fruits.  Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?  17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.  19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” ~ Matthew 7:15-20 (NKJV)


In January, Farm Boy wrote a post at Spawny’s Space, By Their Fruits You Shall Know Them (16 January, 2020), in which he described his sister’s step-daughter’s oldest boy, who was adopted.

He struggled with anger issues, largely due to his true mother’s profligate behaviors.  His anger issues receded after adoption, but then recurred in his late adolescence.

“He is a big fella, who is wise to the system.  He threatens to call child protective services when there is an attempt at discipline.  He also understands what his size does for him.  Therapy doesn’t seem to be working particularly well.  Short answer — he can get away with it because the system effectively encourages him.

As for his real mother, she is undoubtedly really to blame.  Welfare and whoopee isn’t a recipe for success, for here or her children.

Who is ultimately to blame for all of this?  Lefties throughout the last 60 years.  This is the fruit that they create.  Will they take responsibility?”

I agree with FB’s identification of the sources of the bad fruit – his mother specifically, and Leftist culture in general.  Presumably, the boy’s mother is also a F-root of the sexual revolution.

On the same day Farm Boy put this story up, I had just finished a post covering one woman’s testimony about her experiences with the Purity Movement of the mid-90’s, The Sin of Prioritizing Purity above Marriage (2020 January 17).  By (divine?) coincidence, this post also discussed the concept of spiritual fruits.

Of interest to the following discussion, my study cited Gunner Q’s work, The Purity Movement In Review (2020 January 5).

I left a link to this post in the comments at Spawny’s Space, with the following quotage.

“By their fruits you shall know them…

My latest post takes a different perspective on this passage from scripture.

“When one can get out from under the umbrella of sin, one will naturally experience the showers of God’s blessing and grace.  Churchians with a superficial understanding of sin would be tempted to conclude that the fornicating is the sin, but it is not.  Fornicating is merely the fruit of the sin.  Kline’s sin, in this case, was not fornicating, but was in postponing marriage while believing that her sexual “purity” is what made her righteous, worthy, and would bring her blessing.  She compounded this sin by resolving to retain her purity under her own free willpower, instead of trusting in the provision of God (which came in the form of a high school boyfriend / potential husband whom she was originally crazy about).  Unfortunately for the sap who became her future husband, it required a bit of whole-hearted fornicating to wake her up from her deception and idolatry.”

“What no one is saying is the obvious – that the Purity Movement turned out to be, for some, a modern reiteration of the age old practice of S1ut Shaming.  Of course, s1uts don’t like S1ut Shaming because it makes them Feeelz ashamed and pressures them to adjust their behavior.”

I felt that the statement in bold face was one of the more important takeaways from this study, second to the fact that the fruit of the Purity Movement was anything but pure.

Richard P’s Response

I was disappointed that I didn’t receive any commentary on this statement (so far) underneath that post.  So I’m thankful to Richard P who wrote a lengthy response at Spawny’s Space.  As a teaser, here are his first two paragraphs.

“I’ve read through Jack’s and Gunner’s articles linked to above.  I’ve read Earl’s comments at Gunner’s thread.  All of it reminded me that folks cannot have useful conversations unless and until they have defined their terms and all agree on those definitions.  Without that, folks are simply talking to the wind, which is what seems to be happening at the writings linked to above.

Among some of the issues that jumped out at me are these – not intended as criticisms but as points that hinder clarity when not defined, and that help the faith conversation in the Manosphere when clarity is enhanced by definitions that all agree on.  All questions here are rhetorical, meant to trigger thinking, particularly thinking about the effect of writing when your terms are not defined.

Well said, and much needed.

In response, I will be dedicating an upcoming series of posts to address the issues that Richard P brought up.  For this discussion, I will break the content into separate topics and reorganize them for easier reading.

The purposes of this study include the following.

  • To identify what the Purity Movement did right, and where it went wrong.
  • To pinpoint problem areas in teaching the value of sexual purity to young people, and how this might be done more effectively.
  • To clear up confusion surrounding certain terms and definitions.

Stay tuned.

Posts in this Series

  1. Σ Frame: On the Definition of Virginity (2020-4-22)


About Jack

Jack is a world traveling artist, skilled in trading ideas and information, none of which are considered too holy, too nerdy, nor too profane to hijack and twist into useful fashion. Sigma Frame Mindsets and methods for building and maintaining a masculine Frame
This entry was posted in Purity Culture, Questions from Readers. Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Picking through the fruit of the Purity Movement

  1. Lance Roberts says:

    No, they’re both sin. The fruit of sin is more sin {Romans 1). Not using the godly plan of marriage when you have lusts is a sin, but giving in to the lusts themselves is also a sin. The purity movement unfortunately just focused on the resulting sin and didn’t point out the root.

    Liked by 1 person

    • larryzb says:

      Of course, we need to agree on an accurate definition of “lust”. I find it hard to believe that lust (which really involves covetousness) can be stretched to mean almost anything in the sexual area.


  2. ramman3000 says:

    “…his sister’s step-daughter’s oldest boy, who was adopted. He struggled with anger issues, largely due to his true mother’s profligate behaviors. “

    There are many things wrong with this.

    First, Farm Boy is not the adoptive parent, as such he clearlyy does not understand the dynamics of adoption (e.g. “As for his real mother, she is undoubtedly really to blame. “).

    Second, nearly all adoptive children have behavioral issues. The older they are when they are adopted, the worse and longer-lasting those behavioral issues tend to be, but it occurs across the age range (even with toddlers!). This is true regardless of family situation prior to adoption.

    Third, an adoptive child’s “true mother” or “real mother” is the mother who adopted him. Of you want to communicate intelligently, it behooves you to use the correct, unambiguous term: “biological mother”.

    Fourth, adoptive children often regress in their teenage years.This is a time when “you are not my real mother!” is most likely to be shouted in anger.

    Fifth, children do not need to be told that they are not being raised by their biological parents. They react subconsciously in many ways. Girls reach sexual maturity sooner when they are around non-biological family members. Academic performance generally suffers. They are much more likely to suffer from mental health conditions. God intended children to be raised by their birth parents. Any time this does not occur is suboptimal. Parents can’t just be blindly replaced without consequence. Doing so should be a matter of last resort.

    Sixth, I’ve adopted three children and currently experience these things firsthand. Moreover, I’m part of a distributed community of adoptive parents and have run into dozens of these types of situations. Besides these things, we’ve sought out professional pshychological/psychiastric help and also had psychometric testing performed (for the hard data).

    Lastly, Farm Boy’s conclusion is logically invalid:

    “Who is ultimately to blame for all of this? Lefties throughout the last 60 years. This is the fruit that they create. Will they take responsibility?”

    This simply does not follow from the anecdote. You and he appear to have an agenda and are (falsely) using this to support it.


  3. Scott says:

    All of it reminded me that folks cannot have useful conversations unless and until they have defined their terms and all agree on those definitions.

    There have been several “ages” since the beginning of recorded history. Prehistoric. Stone.Bronze, etc. More recently, The Middle Ages. The rennaisance/enlightment. The age of reason.

    I have dubbed the current age, the age of subjectivity.

    This age has come upon us for many reasons. Some obvious, some not so much.

    But one thing is for sure. “Marriage” is whatever the intended user of the word means for it to be.

    Christians are in this boat with “them” because we have not even made the slightest effort to maintain a defense of objective Truth and the world around us is very alluring. Therefore, if you ask 1000 Christians what IS a “marriage” (and by implication, what IS NOT a marriage) you will get a 1000 blank stares, differences of opinion, etc.

    At this point, you have to “sell” your version of it, and hope that 1), yours is at least remotely congruent with Gods, and 2), others will join you willingly.

    Because at the moment, as soon as you point to any particular arrangement and declare “that is not a marriage” your life could be ruined.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Scott says:

    Off topic.

    Also, the conventional wisdom is that after all the stay-at-home orders clear, there will be an uptick in divorce, as couples grow weary of each other. Here’s to hoping the opposite happens.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. lastmod says:

    the purity movement was a show and gladhanding by the church in general to show they were “going against the culture” but the reality was, the ones who really did want to follow god and followed this nonsense and got the shaft, and the ones who didn’t still got all the fun……and god still rewarded them.

    now, in hindsight of course….christians will claim from day one “they never bought this” and it was pastorbators and cucks who did this.

    where were all these men in the faith who were against this from “day one” speaking out against it?

    Yeah…….Mr. Wheelchair general / Monday morning quarterbacks they all are.

    But boy…now everyone now knew how bad it was! How harmful it was! And shame on the men who followed this!!!


    • Jack says:

      Jason, I don’t feel that your statements are an accurate description of the purity movement. I believe most people who got into it really had sincere intentions, including myself. But a lot of people were mislead and hurt in the long run. It did not bear the expected fruits. Only recently, people are looking back and are coming to the conclusion that something was amiss. Very few are questioning what really happened with the view to learn what the errors were.

      Are your statements based on your own experiences with the purity movement? Do you have some inside knowledge about it?


    • ramman3000 says:

      “christians will claim from day one “they never bought this””

      To this day I’m still grateful for the purity movement and its impact on my marriage and faith.

      When Joshua Harris announced his divorce he also publicly recanted his role in the purity movement. In doing so, he explicitly promoted proponents of non-biblical sexuality. It has always been clear to me that the purity movement was a threat to sexual immorality and Harris confirmed that.

      The majority of people in the media saying there were harmed by the purity movement are women. These are the ones writing articles condemning it. These are the ones who rejected the damage of the movement and have recovered by rejecting it, embracing liberalized sexuality, and rejecting God.

      Ultimately I think the underlying concepts, including “I kissed dating goodbye” were sound. The problems with the purity movement were always, IMO, with its misapplication, which took a number of forms. Different people with different axes to grind used it for different purposes.

      I look forward to reading the rest of this series. It will be interesting to see how you approach the topic.


      • Jack says:

        Derek, since you had a positive experience with the purity movement, I expect that you might be able to point out some missing pieces of the equation in the next few posts. I’m also looking forward to what Ed has to say.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thedeti says:

        Harris not only recanted the purity movement, he renounced Christianity, thus calling into question all his guidance in God’s name.

        Liked by 2 people

      • lastmod says:

        Wasn’t surprised at all. So much was put on him when he published that book. So much expectation. So much hope. So much pressure. So much expectation. When churches, pastors, “real men” and women began to turn on him………especially in the faith……

        What did anyone expect? Him to apologize, humbly serve and get creamed by the likes of the man-o-sphere? Get suddenly blasted by churches and their large female congregations that were left totally unhappy? By men who were followed, left to burn, and then embittered about how they were still not man enough?

        When the foundation of the “evangelical church business model” suddenly crumbled for support of his “amazing works”….out came everyone from the ‘sphere, to christian women’s groups, to pastors, to priests, to everyone saying “they never thought this was a good model to follow”

        His own marriage failing….no help from really anyone…the secular world indeed became the place that was forgiving…….and actually helpful. No, not the answers……..but at least an attitude of acceptance. Not that the secular world has corned the market on anything moral either………

        Where else could he go? To the ‘sphere? Lo!. Be called a cuck and attacked in a comments section. He would have been murdered here. The men would have been like sharks out for blood.

        To the church? No way. Who is gonna pray with the man who arote a book that “ruined” christian relationships and made everyone mad?

        To his own prayer closet? God doesn’t answer prayer, he gives you more questions.

        To friends and family? No way…these people in the fake christian family of the church would be the first to jump ship and turn on him

        So I wasn’t surprised


  6. lastmod says:

    I remember Josh Harris on talk shows (secular) and people talking about this “amazing book” in 1998 or thereabouts. It was even semi-popular in the secular world. I never read it. I found it a bit strange that a man who wasn’t even 20 or barely entering his twenties was garnering so much media attention for this “amazing new, revolutionary way to date”

    When I entered the faith in 2007, I heard this spoken about in The Salvation Army, and it was a “model” that was being followed and advocated by this Holiness Movement. What I immediately noticed about it was it make people “stuck”

    For christian men, can’t approach unless “god” has put it on your heart to pursue, and if your pursing was “wrong” or the woman didn’t like or doesn’t want you pursuing her……god obviously didn’t lie of course….but you didn’t “listen” to what he was really telling you. I noticed for women it seemed (perhaps I am wrong) but it really upped the ante for them. It made them wait for “the one” and then the complaints all over the place “how come christian guys don’t ask us out?” and the real question that was implied was “how come the church doesn’t have hot guys who are asking us out”

    It seemed to make everyone stuck….holding out for “the one” and in many ways, stifled men to “trust jesus” and women into “you are the perfect daughter of the king, and blow off any man who doeesn’t fulfill this princess fantasy”

    Men seemed to get the blame for it not working, women complained loudly on social media and other areas that “no decent men were in the church”

    The pastors / priests and married men of course being the “hero” and “real men” always admonished the christian guys to “go ask them out, they don’t bite” while at the same time offering zero help on how to do this, “just trust jesus and pray, volunteer, serve, christian women have told us they just want a man who loves jesus more than anything.”

    No one was happy in the end. It worked if you were like Scott, or others who did have some better than looks, a stronger social IQ, or a leadership position that was deemed “good” by the church and women in it proper……..

    I don’t have a problem with christians being pure and striving for this….but to muscle it up in this fashion probably did more harm than good.

    And so many churches today “disavow” ever supporting this today

    Liked by 1 person

  7. bee123456 says:

    “To this day I’m still grateful for the purity movement and its impact on my marriage and faith.”

    I agree with Derek on this. Encouraging young people to flee from fornication was a good idea.

    One Christian mistake was encouraging delaying marriage while also encouraging purity. Not realistic.

    The MSM article about Kline was not new. I see an article like that every 3 to 5 years. Wicked people love to promote moral failings and sinful behavior.

    Liked by 3 people

    • larryzb says:

      “One Christian mistake was encouraging delaying marriage while also encouraging purity. Not realistic.”

      Yes, we really need to rethink child rearing and education in the West. How about year round schooling to get young people out of high school by 16? And, then a trade school or college and into the adult world by age 20? Our parents and grandparents married often in their early 20s, or even late teens for females. It could work again. This delaying marriage to the late 20s is not good for individuals or for society.

      Liked by 3 people

      • bee123456 says:


        “How about year round schooling to get young people out of high school by 16? And, then a trade school or college and into the adult world by age 20? ”

        I appreciate you trying to solve this problem. Your solution moves the needle a little on the male side, it means many men can financially support a wife at age 20 instead of the present age of 22. But the real & key problem is with the females.

        Currently, many men can begin to support a wife at age 22. But that has not caused women to want to marry at age 22. They don’t care that men can support them, the women still want to go to grad school, travel, and not marry until age 29 to 34. This includes most Christian women.

        Effective solutions need to attack the female side. In our current social/cultural system, this is a difficult problem to solve. I do not have any easy answers.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jack says:

        Larry’s idea might not affect the larger societal disease, but it’s still an excellent idea to get young men on the fast track.

        Liked by 1 person

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  10. bee123456 says:


    I have read part of Daniel Kahneman’s book, “Thinking Fast and Slow”. He discusses the “intuitive heuristic”. From the book,

    “This is the essence of intuitive heuristics: when faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead, usually without noticing the substitution.”


    • Jack says:

      So to apply the idea of intuitive heuristics to the purity movement, the easier question is how to reduce promiscuity, and the harder problem is remaining sexually pure? Or are you thinking of something different?

      Liked by 1 person

      • bee123456 says:

        I was thinking of something different. I was thinking of larryzb and my comment above. (I am not being critical of larryzb, he is offering a solution and I don’t have any easy solutions.)

        The solution to ending the delaying of marriage is to focus on the females. Answering the question of getting men in good paying jobs at age 20 instead of age 22 is to answer the easy question. Currently, men being able to provide financially at age 22 is not causing young, Christian women to stop delaying marriage until ages 29 to 34.

        The hard question, which is also the key question, is how do we get females to be willing to marry at ages 18 to 22? Part of the answer is to socially change young females, but we also need to socially change their fathers and mothers. Their Christian parents are encouraging them to be independent, and career oriented. Their Christian parents don’t trust young Christian men to be good husbands. Their Christian parents don’t think their daughters can be content and fulfilled at home with babies.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. larryzb says:


    Yes, how do we coach Christian parents to do the right thing and not instill worldly values into their daughters. That is a challenge, and made more so by the fact that many daughters rebel from such teachings. We see this in many families, sorry to say. But, good articulation of the harder question.

    Some time ago, I heard on a radio program that young women in the US suffer from such ego inflation that even high school grads strongly believe that they cannot settle for less than a college educated man for a husband. That is a problem given that more than half the college grads these days are female. Many decent young men, who would like to marry, are suffering rejection and frustration even though they are gainfully employed in the trades and make reasonably good livings. We often hear various Christians bleating on the radio that the reason young folks are not getting married is that the men are having fun fornicating with every girl they can get. The reality is that the young women have unreasonable expectations and lack in humility – but, few of these moralists are willing to say so openly.

    Liked by 2 people

    • bee123456 says:


      “Many decent young men, who would like to marry, are suffering rejection and frustration even though they are gainfully employed in the trades and make reasonably good livings. We often hear various Christians bleating on the radio that the reason young folks are not getting married is that the men are having fun fornicating with every girl they can get. The reality is that the young women have unreasonable expectations and lack in humility – but, few of these moralists are willing to say so openly.”

      Good points.

      Thanks also for blogging. Your blog gives useful, practical advice.

      Liked by 1 person

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