Thursday, February 22, 2007

MTV's Saving Sex for Marriage?

MTV’s telling people to save sex for marriage? Well, not exactly. There is a new reality entitled “Engaged and Underage” which chronicles the lives of couples who are young, in-love, engaged, and abstaining from sex until they are married. This should cause evangelicals to jump for joy. At first glance it could look like MTV has turned the tide and steered away from its usual endorsement of promiscuity. But a recent article in the New York Times, which discusses this new show, saddens me and causes me to think about the abstinence movement as a whole.

You see, this television show is not looked at as a model to live by. Like every other reality show out there, it offers caricatures of people who choose to remain chaste until marriage—because, let’s face it, normal people aren’t all that interesting. The author of the New York Times article likened it to “a clever inversion of a rape thriller. Rather than pray that the virgin escapes the glowering lecher, you pray that the young sweethearts surrender their high ideals, go all the way and postpone their terrifying wedding.” Have we so cheapened abstinence that we now joke about it in the context of rape?

I think the most telling, and saddest quote comes from Bre, one of the “brides to be” who says that she actually got the idea of abstinence from Jessica Simpson, and thought “what a great idea.” And now, the Bible is not even our guide for moral living.

As I read this article this morning I asked myself, is God honored in these young couple’s obedience to His command to abstain from sexual immorality? Is MTV contributing to the glory of God in their marketing of these people’s love lives? No. Abstinence for the sake of abstinence is not abstinence at all, and in no way does this show help the wider Christian movement. Abstinence separated from the teachings of Scripture, and most importantly, void of a regenerate heart changed by the Gospel, is still going to send people to hell. We don’t save sex for marriage because we want an MTV show devoted to our moralistic efforts, but because our hearts have been transformed by the power of the Cross and thus made us obedient to God. All of the commands of God to flee from sexual immorality (Leviticus 18:20, 1 Corinthians 6:18, Ephesians 5:1, 1 Thessalonians 4:3 and others) do so not because it is hip and cool, and not even because Jessica Simpson is doing it, but because once we were dead and now we are alive. Once we walked in darkness, and now we walk in light. Once we walked in debauchery, and now we walk in purity. May the Word of our God go forward in a lost MTV generation.

2 comments:

stellerblue32 said...

MTV sickens me! for so many reasons, and now for this. im very thankful that i do not watch it, or WANT to watch it anymore. i hadnt even heard about this new show, but im not suprised. it just makes me so sad to think about the thousands of young (and old) people who watch MTV every day. i used to watch it, and even tho i knew it was sinful (because there is honestly absolutely nothing beneficial or Christ exalting on that channel) i found myself taking in what i saw and applying it to my life. it seems like the world is getting tired of watching things that give them guity pleasures or show them how they want to be, but now they want to watch other people struggle and try to fight for something that they truly hope they fail at, just for the fun of it. it seems like the whole point of the show is to give people the satisfaction of seeing these couples fail at staying abstinent. the viewers are going to be VERY disappointed if each of those couples stays pure til the end.

i guess that it just makes me really sad. it feels like everything in this world is turning into a game and a joke, even abstinence.

cdt said...

Katie,

Here is a link to the article I read.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/22/arts/television/22heff.html

It is even sadder to read the whole thing. The article makes fun of abstinence and these couples. But I think the thing that is most disheartening is that abstinence is made to look like a mere lifestyle choice, a smart decision, instead of obedience to the Scriptures and a fruit of holy living rooted in the Gospel.

Thanks for your post!