Disciple of Thecla
4/30/13 at 10:39 AM 2 Comments

The Difference between Celibacy and Chastity concerning Virginity

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The new edition of Life&Style magazine features the virgin bachelor. This culture regards chastity, virginity, and celibacy as taboo with the same level of stigma that gay sex once had. When a person comes out of the closet to announce that he or she is a virgin, this fact immediately becomes major entertainment news and widespread gossip. Audiences await the conversion from virgin to non-virgin. The magazine headline goes on to say that he has "broken his vow of celibacy" because he is "virgin no more."

The headline misleads with misinformation. Sean appeared on a TV show called The Bachelor to find a wife. Each year features two men searching for a wife, and there have been seventeen bachelors so far. Apparently, since he is the only virgin bachelor out of seventeen, the other sixteen men's active sex lives failed horrifically to help them find the right woman. With their sex a horrific failure, these desperate men flee to reality TV to help them find love. Are love and sex the same thing? Does love require a sexual attraction? The end of each season is to feature a marriage proposal.

The very fact that Sean appeared on the show is clear evidence that he wanted to marry, give his virginity to a woman, and so on. The desire and anticipation of sex at a later time is contrary to the vow of celibacy. Sean was never celibate even while he was the virgin bachelor. Looking forward to marriage is contrary to the vow of celibacy, but it is perfectly in line to the vow of chastity.

Celibacy is the complete abstaining and personal denial of sex for a person's entire life from the moment that a person becomes dedicated to the celibate lifestyle. Celibacy is different from chastity. Chastity is waiting for marriage to have sex and is keeping sex within the marital covenant. Chaste men and women can have sex, and they can look forward to having sex within marriage. Celibate men and women cannot have sex, and they are perfectly fine without it.

Chaste and celibate people behave very similar in public. Chastity includes how a person acts and behaves among a group of people. With chastity, there are never any public displays of sexuality or other sexual behavior. Because the carnal act requires only two people, a husband and a wife - non virgins - can still be chaste as long as they keep it within their covenant. Women who publicize themselves sexually such as Beyonce, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga, clamor for a mass audience full of anonymous men to approve of their sex appeal. Because they desire a widespread audience to approve of them sexually, they are never sexually-empowered and are very much sexually insecure and inferior. Chaste and celibate women have no need for this approval. Chaste and celibate women are perfectly comfortable with their bodies and their self-image, so they have no need and no interest in seeking the approval of others.

Chaste and celibate people behave almost identical among a group of people, and they both have a strong positive image of their bodies. Chastity is different from celibacy because chastity involves the possibility of having sex within the marital covenant. Chaste men and women can have sex. Celibate men and women cannot. Chaste men and women can desire and anticipate having sex. Celibate men and women have no such interest.

Tim Tebow and Lolo Jones are both virgins, but they are not celibate because they want to marry and to have a family at a later time. The two athletes are chaste, waiting for the right one in their life. If they decide that marriage is not for them, they will go from being chaste to being celibate.

Now, here is a question that further separates chastity from celibacy: is virginity a necessary requirement for celibacy?

Paul of Tarsus wrote:

"to the unmarried and to the widows: it is good for them if they remain as I am," which is celibate (1 Corinthians 7:8)

Paul encourages celibacy for both the virgins and the widows. That Paul encourages the widows as well is a clear sign that virginity is not a necessary requirement for celibacy. The only requirement is that the celibate deny him or herself from sex for the remainder of the celibate's life. It is quite possible that Paul of Tarsus had been married and widowed prior to following Jesus. If the celibate is a virgin when dedicated to the celibate lifestyle, then the celibate must remain a virgin. All types of people - divorced, widowed, or never-married singles aka virgins - can be celibate.

Virginity is a necessary requirement for chastity if the man or woman has not been married. Unlike the celibate virgin, the chaste virgin has the option of giving it up within marriage. This is another difference between celibacy and chastity.

However, in today's society, there are simply not many virgins. Virginity is major entertainment news and a serious source of gossip. So, the question for today's culture is: if a person is not a virgin, can a person still be chaste and wait until marriage?

When I attended the secular high school full of this secular culture, there was a sex education course. I think it was mandatory. The teacher basically showed all these diseased sex organs and then talked about the concept of "renewed virginity" in which a person who had sex before can decide to wait until marriage for more sex.

"Renewed virginity" is complete nonsense. It is an absurd farce. All the talk about "renewed virginity" did was to make a classmate, who was a victim of child rape, fall into a depressive bout because she truly wished she could still be a virgin and get rid of that horrid experience.

The best answer to the question "if a person is not a virgin, can a person still be chaste and wait until marriage?" comes from scripture.

First off, there are many verses that state women should never be blamed for crimes done against their will. my favorite verse:

"Do not prostitute your daughter, to cause her to become a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry, and the land become full of wickedness." (Leviticus 19:29)

God never blames the woman for things done against her will. God places all the blame upon the men. The woman is innocent of sins against her will. Because she is innocent of sin, what happened is irrelevant to her waiting until marriage. A non-virgin can be chaste and wait until marriage when she is innocent of sin.

The big issue is if a woman has freely given up her virginity before marriage. Can a non-virgin become chaste and wait until marriage after she has freely sinned? The answer here is yes. Simply repent of the sin, have a spiritual cleansing, and dedicate yourself to God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) Jesus will not change your past, but He will cleanse you of sins.

"if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)

If you are already a Christian, and you understand fully the importance of being chaste, then stay chaste and do not stray away. It is pretty senseless to do something that you know you will repent of later, but if you have already done it, go ahead and repent. Then, you can be chaste and wait for marriage.

It is important to understand chastity and celibacy. Chastity is waiting until marriage for sex and is keeping sex within the marital covenant. Chaste men and women can be sexually active. Celibacy is a complete personal denial of sex. A celibate may or may not be a virgin; this depends upon divorce, widowhood, etc. Chaste and celibate women have no need and no interest in seeking the sex approval of others. Thus, they never have open displays of sexuality or sexual behaviors because they are comfortable with their bodies and their self-image. This self-confidence lends itself to maintaining chastity and celibacy.

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