“‘We are sliding backward’; STDs hit record high in US as resistant gonorrhea emerges. The US saw a record number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases in 2017, marking the fourth straight year of sharp increases in gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Sixty percent of teens have had sex by graduation. The average “American loses his or her virginity at age 17. Virgins make up 12.3 percent of females and 14.3 percent of males aged 20-24.” Yet, don’t try to teach young people to be virgins until marriage or you will be blasted even by other Christians! Ridiculous. I aim to obey God rather than man (or woman).
God’s ways are perfect. He made sex to be between one woman and one man in the covenant of marriage. It’s not to be tried out before marriage to make sure the parts fit. The parts will fit! It’s not to be played around with before marriage. No, we are called to be chaste before marriage meaning no sex whatsoever before marriage; for the marriage bed is to be undefiled.
The consequences of not obeying God in this area are deadly. STDs can cause “infertility, stillbirth and an increased risk of HIV.” Besides the physical consequences, there are emotional consequences, too. We weren’t created to have sex like animals. No, we are made in the image of God and God calls us to take care of the temples (our bodies that He has given to us).
Did you notice that more males are virgins between 20 – 24 than females! While only 40 percent of high schoolers are virgins, only 12.3 percent of females are virgins after college. College is a breeding ground of sexual immorality with the drugs, alcohol, and hormone levels at an all time high and it’s only going to get worse. We live in a highly sexualized culture and we are not to see the things that most young people are seeing. We are to dwell on the lovely and the pure for a very good reason and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
After my freshman year of classes at Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan, I returned home to my mother’s palatial palace — also known as a trailer — on U.S. Hwy. 6, five miles southwest of Bryan, Ohio. I had come home to work, hoping to earn enough money to pay for my next year of college. I accepted a first shift machine operator position at Holabird Manufacturing, a manufacturer of cheap furniture — cheap as in trailer show furniture. Holabird would close its doors and file for bankruptcy in 1983. I also worked a second shift job at Bard Manufacturing, a maker of HVAC units. I was attending First Baptist Church in Bryan at the time. One of the church’s deacons was a manager for Bard. He graciously arranged for Bard to hire me for the summer.
I was twenty years old in the summer of 1977, strong, fit, and full of energy. Had I not been, I would never have been able to work eighty hours a week: 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM at Holabird and 4:00 PM to midnight at Bard. I didn’t catch up on sleep on the weekends either. Oh no, weekends were for running around with friends, going to one of the local lakes, or trekking to Newark to visit Polly for the day. That’s right, for the day. Polly’s mom did not like me and treated me like a rash she hoped would go away. I would get up early on Saturday, drive three hours to Newark, spend as much time as I could with Polly, and turn around and drive three hours back to Bryan. (Under no circumstances would Polly’s mom let me spend the night.) On more than one occasion, I was so exhausted that I pulled off along the road and slept for several hours. The things we’ll do for love, right?
I followed the aforementioned schedule for twelve weeks. Come late August, it was time for me to return to Midwestern to begin my sophomore year. I packed my belongings into my car and headed in the general direction of Pontiac, Michigan. As I neared Toledo, I decided to take U.S. Route 23 to Pontiac. Ninety minutes into my drive, I exited the highway into a rest stop. I needed to stretch my legs and use the restroom. As I walked towards the restroom, a 30-ish large-breasted woman wearing revealing clothing came up to me and said, Do you want a date, Hon? Confused, I replied, excuse me? The woman repeated, Do you want a date? I smiled and said to her, no thanks, I already have a girlfriend. And with that, I continued walking to the restroom. As I walked back to my car, I saw the woman walking with a man towards a parked delivery van.
I was quite naïve when it came to matters of sex. My sex education consisted of reading an Evangelical book titled Almost Twelve and six years of locker room sex ed. I knew the fundamentals, but as far a broader understanding of human sexuality and its darker, seamier side, I knew nothing. And as ignorant as I was, my fiancée was even worse. One warm day in the spring of 1977, Polly was in the college parking lot, sitting in her car — a 1972 AMC Hornet. Purchased new in 1972 by Polly’s father after the family car broke down in California, by 1976 the car was already worn out, a piece of junk. This car is a story unto itself, one that I will tell another day. For now, picture sweet, naïve Polly sitting in her car, AM radio blaring, singing along with Starland Vocal Band’s hit Afternoon Delight. I came up to the car window and asked what she was listening to. She replied, Afternoon Delight. I said, you know that song is about having sex! Polly replied, IT IS NOT! The song is about having fun in the afternoon. Slightly less naïve Bruce took the time to educate sheltered Polly about exactly what it was they were having fun doing in the afternoon. This lesson would pay dividends after we married and we experienced a bit of afternoon delight ourselves.
After I returned to college, I told my roommate about what the woman had asked me at the rest stop. She asked me if I wanted to have a date! Why I didn’t even know her. Why would she want me to go on a date? I already have a girlfriend. My room-mate laughed and said, she was a prostitute and was asking you if you wanted to have sex with her. Really? I relied. Yes, really. I would receive many more such lessons over the next year. These are stories left for another day.
About Bruce Gerencser
Bruce Gerencser, 61, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 40 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.
Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.
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This is the one hundred and thirtieth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is video clip of Pam Stenzel trying to scare the sex out of a group of teenagers.
This is the one hundred and twenty-eighth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a video clip of an unnamed Irish Catholic woman instructing teenagers the physiology, nature, and purpose of sexual intercourse.
Bethany Baird is a writer for the Lies Young Women Believe website. In a post titled 8 Ways to Fight For Purity, Baird gives sexually aware young women eight ways to sex-proof their lives. If young women follow Baird’s advice, they can be certain that they will never get laid until their wedding day. Isn’t that good news? Here’s Baird’s prescription for a sex-proof life:
Get in the Word.
Pray for strength.
Take up your shield of faith.
Confess when you fail.
Get rid of the bad.
Fill your mind with good.
Find a solid group of girls.
Girlfriend, are you dating a young man who wants to get in your pants? Read the Bible, pray, and take up the shield of faith. How does this work? Evangelical Suzie is out with Billy Bob and Billy starts getting frisky. Should Suzie call a time out for Bible reading and prayer? In what universe would this EVER happen? As study after study tells us, Evangelical teenagers and young adults engage in sexual intercourse at roughly the same levels as their unsaved counterparts in the “world.” Instead of teaching sexually aware young women to be responsible for their sexuality and to plan for sexual intercourse, Baird presents a voodoo-list of spells she hopes will extinguish raging hormones. Spells, by the way, that do not work.
Baird should be honest with her readers. The only sure way to make certain young Christian women never, never do the dirty is to avoid any contact with the opposite sex, the same sex, or their index finger. If young men are the problem, shouldn’t young women just stay away from these horn dogs? Why not cut the temptation off at the source? Of course Baird won’t suggest this because she knows that young women want what young women want: boyfriends.
Baird, thanks to her fundamentalist indoctrination, lives in denial of basic human biology. Instead, she suggests that young women spiritually cross their legs, blocking access to their vagina. The minds of young women, honed by evolution, naturally desire to mate. If this wasn’t so, our species would have perished long ago. Instead of preaching the failed gospel of purity, people like Baird would better serve their readers if they talked honestly about human sexuality. Of course they can’t do this because the Bible says that any and all sexual activity (fornication) before marriage is a sin against God.
I’m all for teenagers understanding everything there is to know about sex. From biology to contraception, teenagers need to know the facts. Far more effective than Baird’s eight steps is sexual knowledge. Equipped with this knowledge, young adults can then determine when or if they want to have sex. Telling them to Just Say No (and No including masturbation) is setting up young adults for failure. Baird knows this, but she has to justify the continuation of her ministry, so she continues to guilt young women unto ignoring their sexual desires.
Let me finish this post with several of the comments that appeared on Baird’s 8 Ways to Fight for Purity. I think most readers will find these comments heartbreaking illustrations of what happens when young women buy into Baird’s guilt-inducing purity gospel:
(All grammar errors in the original. Each paragraph is a new comment)
I had sex outside of marriage. I feel so ashamed even if I prayed. Please pray for me. I know our God is a good and forgives but the guilt inside me is killin’ me and making me feel unworthy of God’s love.
I don’t know what to do… i masturbute. I know its wrong but I don’t feel sorry when I’m done. I don’t feel anything. I feel like I can’t stop. Pray for me!!!!’
Do you think that God still might call some young women/girls to be like Jephthah’s daughter and be dedicated to God to never marry and remain abstinate?
Love it! Sadly for me I have no Goddly girls in the area! I do have some that I have met, who are close with the Duggar family! A year ago I decided to come out of public school, and do an online school, and I am so thankful God put opportunity in my life. After a while, with all the time I had, I found the show 19 kids and Counting! They helped me to change my life (before I started to date because everyone was doing it!) So glad!!!! They helped me to realize that you don’t HAVE to do everything that the world does. God loves you, and you need to think about the future. Then I started a CHRISTIAN online school, and boy did that help! Anyway, excuse me for the long backstory. I, one day decided, to get one of my special rings that my Grammie gave me, and have it be my “purity ring!” Every time I look at it, I remind myself that God DOES care what I do and think about!!! The kind of purity I keep for myself is more on the moral side, and less on the physical purity side (because I don’t plan to date for a while, I’m 15!) So maybe you could just have your own purity ring, and wear it as a reminder! Mine isn’t fancy or anything! Hope it helps someone!