Pictured: Sean Lowe
You wouldn't expect to hear the word "virgin" and ABC's The Bachelor in the same sentence. But it's been happening often lately, thanks to the show's latest season and a "Sean Tells All" special episode, ABC announced to the world that this season's bachelor is a "born-again virgin."
Born-again virgin. Although this phrase might not ring a bell with the average TV viewer, plenty of Christians will find it familiar. There are some who, in hearing the words, will flash back to a youth group abstinence pledge night.
It should be noted first of all that "born-again virgin" is grammatically misleading: the term does not refer to someone who is a "born-again" Christian and a virgin. Instead, "born again" is a description of virginity itself. Consider it a restart button--in the case of Bachelor Sean, for instance, the story goes that he had sex years ago but now practices celibacy before marriage.
Let's move past the syntax and definitions, though, because the real issue with born-again virginity is not a matter of what or even who. The real issue--the problem, too--is about why. Why do we have this term and justify using it? Why does the Church, which the Bible insists is made of all broken people, think that lost virginities need their own particular fix?
Of course, virginity is a big deal to Christians. And the heart of this is an entirely good thing--God has made His design for marriage clear, and Scripture shows us a beautiful picture of a man and a woman who are "one flesh"--exclusively and only with each other. This is to be celebrated, preserved and respected.
And yet, perhaps the fact that we put it linguistically on par with Gospel transformation--something lost, needing to be "born again"--indicates we have misunderstood something foundational about not just sex, but purity at large.
Most of us prefer spiritual parameters that add up more neatly than grace does. We like standards that can be striven for and adequately met. This is why we're prone to hold to our labels tightly, especially the labels that are so nicely cut and dried. For instance: Are you a virgin? Circle "yes" or "no."
But in the Gospel, it does not matter which labels our obedience has earned or which ones our disobedience has lost. No amount of abstinence can save me, and no amount of extramarital sex can put me beyond God's capable reach. Is is our very idea of purity, in fact, that derives itself not from our own moral abilities, but the Person of Christ--who alone is purity personified.
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SOURCE: Relevant Magazine