In the midst of a battle with cancer, Pastor Tim Keller stands before a congregation that has missed and prayed for him. He used the sharing of his battle to also invite his congregation to step into the place where he was currently living: a place of peace. “How do you face troubles like this with peace?” he asked. “The ultimate way to handle the troubles of life with peace is not through petitionary prayer, but through worship.”
His body weak from treatments and eagerly anticipating a vacation, he musters the strength to stand before his church for just one sermon. He tells the story of a woman who has inherited an old brooch, which has been thrown into a pile of other bobbles with little consideration.
One of my single, twenty-something team members returned from Christmas break with something of a epiphany having occurred. “I’ve made purity an idol in my life,” she confessed.
Memories of multiple blogs inserting this thought into the online Christian conversation ran through my head. Blogger Elizabeth Esther seemed to have started this snowballing conversation rolling. Rachel Held Evans, Boundless, and a number of others soon posed the question on their own blogs to perpetuate the debate. Before we knew it, we were reading grandiose claims such as “Virginity: Christianity’s Main Idol.”
Of all the myths birthed and nurtured in last year’s critique on the purity movement, this one brought the strongest response in my spirit. It is both the most truth-founded and most deceptive of the myths. A tricky one to be certain. While I believe it’s possible that purity may be an idol in your life, it is a myth that purity is an idol.
Myth #2: Purity Is An Idol
Before I reveal the logical fallacy in this trendy conversation, let me give you a few test questions to see if purity has become an idol in your life.