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Current Page: Church & Ministries | Thursday, November 29, 2018
Liberal Lutheran pastor to melt purity rings into vagina sculpture to 'take down' church teachings about sex

Liberal Lutheran pastor to melt purity rings into vagina sculpture to 'take down' church teachings about sex

Controversial Lutheran pastor and author Nadia Bolz-Weber. | (Photo: Facebook/Nadia Bolz-Weber)

 

Liberal Lutheran pastor and author Nadia Bolz-Weber has encouraged women to send her their purity rings to be melted down and recast into a golden vagina in protest of evangelical purity culture.

 

On Twitter, Bolz-Weber, founding pastor of Denver’s House for All Sinners and Saints, issued a call for people to send her those rings “for a massive art project.”

 

“Beginning November 12th, until December 17th, you’ll have the opportunity to send in your purity rings to be melted down and recast into a golden vagina,” she explained on her website. “This sculpture will be unveiled at the 2019 Makers Conference.”

 

The website states that those who send in their rings will then receive a “certificate of Impurity as well as a SHAMELESS, impurity ring.”

 

In some evangelical Christian circles, purity rings, also known as “promise” or “chastity” rings, were given to young girls as symbols of a promise they made to abstain from sexual activity until marriage.

 

The controversial pastor first announced her art project at the 2018 Makers Conference, where she explained she wants to “take down” the “church's teachings around sex” and evangelical purity culture.

 

“This thing about women that the church has tried to hide and control and that is a canvas on which other people can write their own righteousness ― it’s actually ours,” Bolz-Weber told HuffPost. “This part of me is mine and I get to determine what is good for it and if it’s beautiful and how I use it in the world.”

 

Pastor Tom Brock, who left the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America over its stance on abortion, homosexuality and universalism, has denounced Bolz-Weber's comments and the ELCA for not disciplining her.

 

Bolz-Weber said she has never been criticized by her denomination.

 

She is scheduled to have a new book published next January titled Shameless: A Sexual Reformation, in which she argues that church teaching on sexuality has caused harm to many people. Earlier, she sparked controversy after she said there should be no shame in consuming pornography, especially if it is "ethically sourced."

 

The purity movement of the 1990s and 2000s was spurred in part by Joshua Harris’ 1997 book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. The book, which sold millions of copies worldwide, argues that romantic relationships should exist only as a means to preparing for marriage and highlights the problems with contemporary "recreational dating," presenting "biblical courtship" as an alternative.

 

Harris has since apologized for his book and discontinued its publication, explaining that while it promotes some good ideas — like the fact that "you don't have to be in a dating relationship to be a whole person" — it also presents a damaging and unhelpful view of sexuality, relationships and dating.

 

"I didn't leave room for the idea that dating could be a healthy way of learning what you're looking for in a long-term relationship, that it could be a part of growing personally," he admitted.

 

"I gave the impression that there was one formula that you could follow, and if you followed that, you'd be happily married, God would bless you, and you'd have a great sex life and marriage. Obviously, the real world doesn't work that way."

 

"Fear is never a good motive," he said, adding, "Fear of messing up, fear of getting your heart broken, fear of hurting somebody else, fear of sex."

 

Tim Challies, an author and pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto, Ontario, recently praised Harris for his apology and urged the Church to find ways to address sex and purity in a “healthier” and “more biblical” way.

 

There are times, he said, “when a kind of weirdness settles over evangelicalism, when for a while people are swept away by strange and flawed ideas.”

 

“This usually happens when Christians are attempting to counter ideas that are prevalent outside the church. Instead of reacting in a measured way, we collectively over-react. I think the purity and courtship movements were two examples — or perhaps one example, since they were so closely aligned,” he said.

 

Challies concluded: “The dating and courtship movements represented a weird phase in evangelicalism and, as they finally fade, I think we are in a position to speak in much healthier and much more biblical ways about sexuality, about purity, about marriage, and about relationships. This time, let’s try to do so with wisdom, balance, and discernment instead of those radical extremes that simply lead to more error.”

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