For Your Discernment

In a recent blog on teenagers and abstinence (found here), I was simply concerned by what I was reading from this man. His post has received many comments and opinions, and I’m no different. This guy claims to be a Believer, which may true, but his view of Scripture is poor in my opinion. His basic thrust comes down to what I believe is his thesis for the post; he writes:

What does all this hiding get us? Psychological reactance. A need to lash out against the rules and to disobey them to an extent we never would if the rules weren’t even there in the first place.

He is basically saying that teenage and young Christians engage in sexual impurity before they are married because they feel the need to go against the rules. He calls it “Psychological reactance,” when in reality, it’s called sin. I amazed at what I read anymore from people are claiming Christ. I understand if the news misses the boat about sin, because the people reporting are not claiming the name of Christ. But this guy is. And furthermore he explains how he grew up in a “conservative Christian church”… and that he is now a “liberal Christian.” Interesting self evaluation. Let me get back to my point.

Be discerning young people. The reason you desire to have sex is good in it’s nature. The Lord has placed that in the heart of man, but when we decided to take that desire and act on it outside of the will of the Lord (which is marriage), it is sin. There’s not other word for it. By trying to call it “Psychological reactance,” you are simply trying to justify your sin. Let me be clear. The writer of the post doesn’t claim to believe that pre-marital sex is OK, but he never explicitly says its wrong. Yet, if we read the Scripture we know that sex is something that is saved for marriage. It is exclusive to marriage.

Young people are being targeted every day by the media, commercials, marketing, and others to engage in sexual impurity. It’s all around them and the pressure is definitely not letting up. But what does Psalm 119:9 say:

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.

Be pure and be discerning. Never let the world’s thoughts change your view of Scripture or tempt you to engage in this sin.

By Shay

A little bit, a little bit more.

7 replies on “For Your Discernment”

Hi Shay,

I’m the person that wrote the blog. Thanks so much for your linking to my blog and for your insightful comments.

Please allow me to make some clarifications on what I believe to be facts:

1) It is a sin to have sex before you get married. It’s wrong. I’m explicitly saying that’s what I believe right now. I thought I made that clear in the post, but I’m sorry if I didn’t.
2) I don’t think psychological reactance is the ONLY reason why people have sex when they’re not supposed to (although I think it may be part of it). Other things contribute to this, including hormones, or sinful desires, however you want to refer to it.
3) Although psychological reactance may partially EXPLAIN why people have sex when it’s not appropriate, it does not excuse it. There’s a big difference here, and I think you assume that I conflate the tow.
4) Abstinence-only education is a disaster in the United States. This is statistically proven by many studies. It propagates inaccuracies and it doesn’t accomplish what it sets out to do (namely, it doesn’t reduce sexual activity among teens).
5) Given #4, I don’t think we should close our eyes, cover our ears, and keep screaming at teens “PREMARITAL SEX IS WRONG.” What does this accomplish except make them feel bad?
6) I think our response should be the same as that of Jesus and the adulterous woman. When the Pharisees dragged her in front of him, there were two distinct parts to his response:
a) He was not judgmental. He said ‘he who has never sinned should cast the first stone.’ And everyone just walked away.
b) He told that woman to leave her life of sin.

I think this should be our response to sexual sin. Start by loving the person, without judgment (As we are all sinners). Then, tell them to go and sin no more.

Thanks for reading.



Thanks for making some clarifications to my response. I appreciate your first 3 clarifications immensely and I think that will help those who read your post.

As for your 4th clarification, I can’t really say I have done a lot of reading on “abstinence only” education, but as a Christian, abstinence is the only option given in Scripture. I would say that it is hard to ask non-believers to live in accordance to the Word of God when they don’t have the Spirit living within them. In fact, it would be impossible for them to do so without the Spirit. But teaching abstinence altogether isn’t wrong or going to “make them feel bad.” It is one of the options if your goal is not to get an STD.

I agree that our response to sin needs to be like Christ, but we are not Christ. We can not forgive sins. But we CAN confront our brothers and sisters in their sin and pray that the Lord will work in them. We can encourage them, and bear it with them and help them. These are the saints. They are called to righteousness.

And as for those who are not saved, we need to share the Gospel with them. We need to pray for their salvation and trust that the Lord will use his people to share the Gospel with them.

Thanks again for the clarification. Continue to love Christ more each and every day.

Funny how everything seems to always funnel into The Word as the answer! I like it that what HE says goes, bottom line. Some explanation may be needed, but a lot of the time none is needed. That verse is really convicting, but encouraging at the same time.



I like your post. I always find it interesting when liberal Christians say they want us to be like Christ, but really only want us to emulate the “love” aspect of His being. We have to remember that the same Christ that showed the woman at the well love and compassion also turned over the money changers tables in the temple. He was wholly able to exhibit righteous wrath as well as righteous love.

As for the question of “abstinence”; without saving faith abstinence can and more than likely will fail. It takes a faith that seres your conscience and makes you desire a Christ-like lifestyle to be successful when it comes to the purity issue. No “Band-aid”, like what the “Abstinence Only” group uses or other preventative measure with help you succeed at this. Only a true confession of faith in our Lord and Savior will do that.

Keep up the good posting Bro!

ok, I had to “click” on the “Tom” who left the last comment before saying I’d like to add to my “hunny’s” comment. Turns out he’s the one so I’m good here.Ok, focus, Suzi.
See, your right, the Bible says sex before marriage is wrong, point blank. The Bible calls it fornication. If your are saved and you have crossed that boundery, it is sin and disobedience to our Holy God. Why do Christians also stumble in this command? Because of disobedience and a high view of self, which yes plays out in sin.
The Bible does not need “sugar coating” for a generation of today and that’s where many “Christians” are going astray. That’s a whole other topic though.
Tom and I find that so much compromise is a direct result of where your personal relationship is with Christ and we see it directly related to time in the Word and prayer. That’s where arming ourself starts.
Well, just my thoughts attached to my husbands. Thanks for letting us have the opportunity to share as well.

Nice Post!

To Tom,

When Jesus overturned the money changers tables, it was because they had transformed his Father’s house into a marketplace. Jesus was railing against their ungodly opportunism and their lack of respect.

I encourage you to find me an instance in the Bible in which Jesus showed the type of righteous wrath you are talking about towards a prostitute, a tax collector, or a thief. At least the kind of wrath that is shown upon sexual sinners by the Christian church, at large, today.

Jesus was an ass-kicker, this much is true (not my own words, but the words of a pastor I read). But not against those the downtrodden, the rejected, the pariahs in society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.