A New Patch on Old Cloth

Were the ethics and expectations of the Purity Movement reasonable and realistic?

Readership: All;

This post is the fourth in a series of articles that examine several aspects of the Purity Movement.  For an introduction, please read the first post, Picking through the fruit of the Purity Movement (2020-4-20).

16 No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse.  17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins.  If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.  No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” ~ Matthew 9:16-17 (NIV)

This passage takes on a fresh new meaning if we interpret the new, unshrunk cloth and the old garment as follows.

The new, unshrunk cloth is a fresh new teaching, or an ancient one, such as sexual purity before marriage, which has fallen out of use, and has been relegated to “social theory”.

The old garment is the socio-sexual/marriage marketplace in western society, in which “dating” is characterized by serial monogamy.

Thus, sewing a new patch on an old garment is like trying to instill Biblical teachings of sexual purity within a cesspool of sexual dissipation.

But this is exactly what the Purity Movement attempted to do in the late 1990s.

Something has to give.

Underneath the introductory post, Jason made the following noteworthy statements (revised for clarity).

“What I immediately noticed about [the Purity Movement] was that it made people “stuck”.

I noticed that, for women, it seemed like the expectations of purity really upped the ante for them.

Women were led to believe “you are the perfect daughter of the king”, and they were told to “trust Jesus” in holding out for “the one”.

It made them wait for “the one”, and then came their complaints all over the place, “how come Christian guys don’t ask us out?”  The real question that was implied was, “How come the church doesn’t have hot guys who are asking us out?”

This essentially encouraged women to blow off any man who didn’t fulfill the princess fantasy, which was 90+% of all eligible men.

The expectations of purity also stifled men in many ways too.  For Christian men, they couldn’t approach a woman unless “God” had put it on his heart to pursue her, and if his pursuit was “wrong”, or the woman didn’t like it, or she didn’t want him pursuing her… God obviously didn’t lie of course… But it was presumed that the man didn’t “listen” to what God was really telling him.

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”

It seemed to make everyone stuck…

Moreover, Christian ethics and expectations were being imposed on young people, but the sexual marketplace (SMP) and the marriage marketplace (MMP) had never changed to accommodate these expectations.  So Christians who pursued a more God fearing approach towards marriage were like a fish out of water, and were left in the dust.

Larry wrote a similar sentiment.

“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.  […]  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.

To leave no stone unturned, there were many problems that came out of superposing purity onto the secular SMP.  These have been summarized in a post at Cornerstone, The “Purity” Movement (2020 February 22), which lists the main aberrations as follows.  (Please visit Cornerstone for the full descriptions.)

  • Maintaining the Feminist Life Script
  • An overemphasis on “purity”
  • The emotional bonding between father and daughter was overemphasized
  • Ridiculous standards for suitors
  • Lack of social infrastructure
  • Girls who really wanted to be sluts
  • A difficulty of making a break from “dating” in the form of serial monogamy
  • Women living alone

But the most pressing dilemma about superposing the Purity Movement onto the secular SMP setting was the extended postponement of marriage.  This has been discussed before by Jack (Σ Frame) and Sharkly (Laughing at Feminism).

“According to the US CDC the mean age for first vaginal sexual intercourse is 17 for both males and females.  By age 23, 95% of women interviewed claimed that they’d had sexual intercourse.  Meanwhile the average age of first marriage in the US is 27 for women and 29 for men.  The average girl has had a full decade of fornication before she ever marries, while average men have been screwing around for a dozen years prior to marriage.”

How could we possibly expect any young person to endure 10 years of temptation during peak fertility and still remain pure?  That’s just unrealistic, if not impossible.  It’s a horrible spiritual abuse just to lay this expectation on a young person – that’s the kind of abuse that will surely jerk one off to ћәll in a handjob!


Concluding Statements

Christian ethics and expectations were being imposed on young people who were not mature enough to take life by the horns.  To make matters more difficult, the SMP and the MMP had never changed to accommodate these expectations.  As a result, the Purity Movement was a witches brew of legalism, unrealistic expectations, frustration, and temptation.

If you think about this, it would take an act of God for a young person to have the wits and wherewithal to come through the worldly western SMP while maintaining sexual purity until arriving in a God-ordained marriage.  They are totally different paths, leading to different outcomes.  Yet, those in the Purity Movement had the gall to make such a presumption on the mercies of God.


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
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13 Responses to A New Patch on Old Cloth

  1. lastmod says:

    A whole bunch here in the church. A young person? How about any man who is christian or of the faith who burns and is pushed into a corner of “waiting on god to tell you to pursue”?

    And then one side of many men in the church or who are / were christian who had sex, dated, and “quoted scripture with the best of them” and married and had “gods favor” of some amazing christian life.

    Then add into this, pastors, elders, deacons, the praise leader, the pastors son (who deflowered just about any of the higher SMP women in the church) and other deemed “alphas” in said church who would lecture the first bunch above on how to be manly, how to ‘meet cute’ (at the age of 35 or older….really easy, just be alpha bro), how to date, how to this, how to that……but wait on god, pray, serve, tithe, serve, tithe, serve, volunteer, wait…..

    and then it suddenly became when most of these younger people became middle aged, or cresting into it: “well, god doesn’t owe you a wife / did you know there is no marriage in heaven? / with all your service and helps…….women probably assumed you were called to celibacy / god’s timing is best / I know plenty of men who married later in life, there is no difference / ummm…..you need to leave the women alone (younger) / maybe you should ask out divorced mom / single mom / mom who is really overweight but loves jesus more than anything

    The frustration of this movement really hurt more than helped. To the men who had “it” from day one in the faith (looks, the ego, the alpahitude, met ‘cute(s)’ at the right age and time) probably worked for or better for in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. larryzb says:

    “How could we possibly expect any young person to endure 10 years of temptation during peak fertility and still remain pure? That’s just unrealistic, if not impossible. It’s a horrible spiritual abuse just to lay this expectation on a young person – that’s the kind of abuse that will surely jerk one off to ћәll in a handjob!”

    That is a correct assessment. Possibly due to the hormone residues in meats and dairy products, young people, really children, are going through physical sexual maturation at an markedly earlier age than just 2 generations ago. Combine this with the delay in marriage to later ages for both men and women in the past 2 generations, and you have a situation that is quite problematic. Perhaps, it requires an integrated or comprehensive approach that addresses many factors and possible courses of action to make this situation better for the long run. This sexual frustration and consequent fornication causes many problems – physical, sociological, emotional and spiritual for the individuals and in the aggregate for society as a whole. Yet, very few are even addressing it or talking about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • okrahead says:

      I don’t know if it’s really that much younger… Shakespeare had Romeo at 15 and Juliet at 13 in his famous tragedy. I have seen studies that suggest that girls with absent fathers do experience menarche at a younger age. Considering the fast rising tides of fatherless children in our culture that might explain what you are seeing.


  3. okrahead says:

    The most hilarious take on the “purity” movement has to be the “born again virgin” ripoff. Girl goes out and rides the carousel. Girl realizes it’s time to move on to Next Life Phase. Girl proclaims religious experience, is once again a virgin (complete with purity ring!). Girl finds thirsty beta to wife her up, refuses to have sex with him before marriage because she’s once again a virgin! Thirsty beta figures it will be worth the wait, because he knows how many guys she’s had sex with and figures she’ll still want lots of sex after wedding. Thirsty beta wifes her up, discovers he’s getting the same amount of sex after the wedding as before.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Did we ever discuss the women that were told to wait for their man till marriage (step1)
    (Step2) Our guys were sold, sex will be great when you get married…(she’ll be your whore)
    Then, (Step 3) the women were scared of sex and the guys were sold a defective bill of goods?
    (The churchian/purity people seemed to weasel their way out of it by quoting scripture and absolving themselves of it. Now those women are 30s-40s and the guys might be divorced)

    Liked by 2 people

    • lastmod says:

      freematt….oh these men should have just prayed more, seeked gods guidance more, should have worked out more, should have read rollo…..should have done this, should have done that………(sarcasm)

      women were overall given a pass for the expectations in a man that went to the level of god himself because of this movement and for many women….it backfired on them too.

      it worked if you had something to begin with, for some it probably did give a framework to guide themselves here…..there was a huge void in the christian world that needed ‘something’ (anything) to try to ‘fix’ this problem that has now been amplified further in the faith after the dust settled from this movement.

      in the end it just caused more singlenesss…..and Matt you’re spot on, The pastors, the real men in the room so-to-speak got a pass for this mistake they passed off as divine.
      The problem was entrusted a kid to tell a generation and half how to do this in a christian sense.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jack says:

      A lot of different testimonies have surfaced since I started this series. It seems that the purity movement affected different people in different ways. Some people went wild, some turned frigid, and for a small few, things went well as expected.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Scott says:

    Off topic but I found this fascinating.

    Here is a guy who starts his article by informing the reader that he has an iron clad rule:

    “Don’t feed the trolls.”

    And then he goes on to describe his trolling behavior (offering a trolling comment in the form of smart ass false dichotomy to a group of commenters on a conservative Op Ed)

    The lack of insight on the part of boomer/leftist activists is breathtaking.



    • Jack says:

      Interesting… He trolled, and got trolled in return, and somehow, he takes it all so seriously and way too personally, never realizing that the Constitution has nothing to do with his immediate risk of contracting the virus. Does he honestly expect to receive sympathy in response to his insincerity?


      • Scott says:

        The tread on FB where this was shared has gone crazy. Here is where I left it.

        The writer, immediately after stating that he does not “feed the trolls” shares the story of his ACTUALLY BEHAVING LIKE A TROLL. That is, he goes into a comments section of a conservative op-ed and starts a flame war with a stupid, unsophisticated false dichotomy and draws fire on himself, thereby confirming his already held belief about “cold-hearted, thick-headed right wingers.”

        The lack of introspection and self-awareness of this writer is breathtaking.

        There is no one–absolutely no one–who is a part of the actual mainstream dialogue or policy making who “wants” him (or anyone else) to die so they can “go shopping.” This is his own internal, psychological process taking over so he can feel self-righteous and bestow himself with victim status.

        There is a huge difference between that hyperbolic argumentation and the actual risk calculating that is going on right now.

        There are many competing interests in this chapter of world history. The economy is not a non-issue, and neither are the lives of the vulnerable. But there will be no disability checks without an economy so people who are dependent on the system better start to realize that. In that regard, the powers that be are debating infection curves, risk algorithms and matrices, masks, no masks, hospital capacities, vaccinations, rural vs urban environments, genetic loads, and so on until we thread the needle just right.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Only God can grant a successful marriage | Σ Frame

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