This topic was of concern regarding Christians popularizing romantic dance events between two genders, unmarried to each other, oaths/covenants/pledges such as ones taken by teenagers with their parents, as well as the general topic of “how then should we learn about purity”.
Note 1: Re: the example of “purity dances” – If you haven’t heard of these before, there are various concerns specific to this from years ago – of using the symbol of Jesus’ cross in such a demeaning manner, of thinking that parents (e.g. fathers) should have their child’s heart, that a father’s role is to somehow be a “high priest” of his family and be the “boyfriend” of his daughter until she marries, that “courtship” is decided instead of “dating”. For reference purposes, one of the easier-to-read articles to describe what purity balls began as, can be found at the Daily Mail (UK news) website. There were a few other decent posts from professing Christians that I read too.
While these dances might not be as popular now in the same sense in which they were introduced by Randy and Lisa Wilson, we notice similarities when we go to their son’s (Logan) website to see what programs/events have recently been offered to our generation of homeschoolers (or other Christian kids/teens). Logan Wilson’s website is called “School of Honor” and he was a recent speaker at a large Christian homeschool online event which is influential throughout several countries in the world. His promo video we looked at this spring sounded quite strange for both the sake of the dances and for the sake of the sword-fighting topic (mentioned at this link), to the extent that we did not participate as a business at that conference this year. It seems this method of how purity is taught or battled for (with events and pledges), is continuing (or resurfacing).
The World History encyclopedia website (worldhistory dot org) explains that the sword in Medieval times symbolized power and status for the knight. And typically, in his initiation ceremony, a priest had blessed this item and so it was often used as a “crucifix for prayer”.
Speaking from a Christian perspective, it seems odd to us that we should want to use a sword for any symbolic reason or activity in events which are to teach our young people about Biblical manhood and womanhood. Power? Status? An item to pray on? Whenever are these notions to be a part of godly relationships involving humility and dependence on the God Who knows our thoughts and needs no object to hear our prayers??
Note 2: The usage of pledges/declarations of loyalty is also a characteristic found within other matters too. Some kinds of oaths/agreements can breed a unhealthy mentality of “if you’re not joining us in this way, then you’re against us” and/or of aligning one’s life purpose with an organization’s purpose, rather than retaining Christian liberty to commit to Christ and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in an individual or individual family while joining and sharing in a local church/body of believers.
Note 3: Yes, of course, we strongly agree with the principle of purity in relationships as the Bible teaches. A Christian’s behaviour should reflect obedience to the Holy Spirit and desire to live a holy life to honor their Lord and Saviour, in all things.
Why Do We Mention This Page?
Note 4: This topic does seem like a small, minor issue for some but for others, it’s not. Our intended focus for this page is about how we as Christian parents then should teach our children and young people about having a life of purity. So this page might be helpful to some families in our audience.
Some Christian parents just ignore the issues and hope that their teens will figure out what it right on their own and some go to the other extreme of signing up them for a program of some sort. I’d like to say that all we really need as parents to teach on the topic of purity to our children/teens for honoring the Lord, is simply found in the pages of God’s Word when we put His principles into practice. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Keep stuff simple, relevant, and pointing back to the love and holiness of God.
- There would seem to be a warning against having children/teens (and even anyone) to make vows for what it might mean if they break the oath(s) because such was made under compulsion of attending an attractive event and/or also when of an immature age, not necessarily as a believer in Jesus Christ yet.
- And then there is the concern about the actual events, not just the ones which are given as examples above, but rather events in general of the kind which lead to romanticizing relationships and thoughts which are Biblically not to be part of the kind of relationships the people who are involved in the situation, are to pursue.
- God promises to give wisdom to those who ask Him.
Bible verses relating to wisdom, purity, and making oaths:
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
James 1:5-8 KJV
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.”
James 1:13-16 KJV
“So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, And find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, And preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, Equity and every good path. When wisdom enters your heart, And knowledge is pleasant to your soul, Discretion will preserve you; Understanding will keep you…” Proverbs 2:2-11 NKJV
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones. Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase.” Proverbs 3:5-9 NKJV
“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 ESV
“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.” Proverbs 30:5-6 ESV
“It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,” and to reflect only after making vows.” Proverbs 20:25 ESV
“Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words. When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear.” Ecclesiastes 5:2-7 ESV
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.” Matthew 6:7 ESV
“There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness” [pollution]. Proverbs 30:12 NKJV
“Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”?” Proverbs 20:9 ESV
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your word.” Psalms 119:9 ESV
“All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; Nothing crooked or perverse is in them. They are all plain to him who understands, And right to those who find knowledge. Receive my instruction, and not silver, And knowledge rather than choice gold; For wisdom is better than rubies, And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her. “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And find out knowledge and discretion. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength. By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, All the judges of the earth. I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me.” Proverbs 8:8-17 NKJV
“For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of hell. Lest you ponder her path of life—Her ways are unstable; You do not know them. Therefore hear me now, my children, And do not depart from the words of my mouth. Remove your way far from her, And do not go near the door of her house.” Proverbs 5:3-8 NKJV
“…holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught….that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” Titus 1:9-16 NKJV
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 ESV
“Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.” 1 Timothy 5:1-2 ESV
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 ESV
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.” Matthew 23:25-26 ESV
Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:1-2 NKJV (“offend” here means to cause a child to sin)
“Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:19-22 NKJV
“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the Word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.” 1 Peter 1:22-25 NKJV
“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27 NKJV
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2 NKJV
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.” Ephesians 5:1-21 NKJV
“…Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” 2 Timothy 1:9 NKJV
“For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.” Titus 3:3-8 NKJV
“And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.” Titus 3:14 NKJV
“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:13-21 NKJV (then onto verse 22 as mentioned above)
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 NKJV (purpose in life and testimony in shining for Jesus)
“…that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” Philippians 2:15-16 NKJV
“Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:11-18 NKJV
“… Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any…. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power…Flee sexual immorality… do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-20 NKJV
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17 NKJV
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.” Proverbs 4:23, 26 NIV’84