It turns out that Susan Boyle has been kissed. But her earlier claim that she hadn't was met with disbelief. So, too, are pre-20th century European mores, when premarital kissing was forbidden. Can you think of a recent historical movie where the hero and heroine didn't kiss before their wedding? Is it even possible?
Well, yes. It's more than possible. Some people have never been kissed without ever having decided against kissing. Others, like theVirgin Lips Movement, which The Tennessean recently profiled, are saying that premarital kissing is a morality issue for Christians.
The article starts off with Katy Kruger's wedding day, where she kisses for the first time in front of 200 guests. "I wasn't sure what to do … I thought I would mess up," she told The Tennessean. It turned out just fine.
The University of Missouri's student newspaper also published an essay on the movement, which emphasized that the idea isn't that weird.
Al Mohler writes that not kissing before wedding is an admirable decision, given our culture:
In the space of little more than a single generation, we have seen the breaking down of virtually every social and cultural support for sexual abstinence. Arousal and intimacy come with the romantic longing that marks the deepening relationship between a man and a woman. Young couples no longer court on the porch swing with the girl's parents sitting inside and very close at hand. Now, most young couples face the temptation of romantic contexts in which intimacy - and this means sexual intimacy - is a likely outcome.
The Virgin Lips Movement represents a serious effort to push back against this expectation and to create boundaries that will protect virtue and honor marriage.
The Tennessean's article mentions the usual objections to purity pledges: if you haven't, you won't know whether you and your fiance? have chemistry; if you try and fail, you'll feel terrible; purity shouldn't be a goal the way earning a bachelor's degree should. Idealists are unlikely to base their decisions on arguments like that.
Instead, they are likely to respond to I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. The Tennessean calls it "the Virgin Lips Movement bible."
None of the non-kissers mentioned seemed to require that others not kiss. They all presented it as a personal decision. And so it is. But it's also their concrete answer to "how far is too far?" when it comes to the sexual immorality the Bible forbids.
Would premarital kissing get a "no" from the apostles if they were writing today? Neither dating nor premarital kissing come up in the epistles - unless you count the five exhortations for Christians to greet each other with a kiss.
D. A. Carson also didn't address kissing in his talk, "That By All Means I Might Win Some" (his discussion focused on alcohol). But he did spend a while talking about what it means to consider the weaker believer. The point is, he said, that you not violate a new believer's conscience (although it doesn't correctly distinguish between right and wrong) or lead someone into acute temptation, not that you always submit to all possible restrictions. In fact, legalism itself can fit under the category of acute temptations.
What do you think? Is premarital kissing wrong? Or is condemning it the result of a misfiring conscience? Is Virgin Lips praiseworthy purity? Or is it just making up new rules?
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