Legalism in purity culture produces shame, which in turn can cause internalized self-hatred. Addiction, mental health issues, and self-harm are all a result of this internalized self-hatred.
In this episode, Rebecca talks about the scars we carry, whether they are physical or mental, and introduces a new way of thinking about our permanent marks. Jesus has scars just like us, and ours serve as a perfect way to point us to Him.
Many purity culture “graduates” experience hangups when they get married when it comes to their sexual lives and relationship with their spouse. The fear and shame learned from purity culture often leads them to stay silent about their private thought lives and other intimate details that should be freely shared with their spouse.
In this episode, Rebecca addresses a few of these hangups and encourages spouses to love one another fully by working together to overcome these hangups.
“After being raised in legalistic purity culture, Rebecca experienced the loss of many friends walking away from the Christian faith. In this episode, she details her journey in dealing with friends apostatizing and what she has learned to do (and what not to do) when this happens.”
“Secular culture and Christian purity culture both push certain narratives about pornography, but are they correct?
In this episode, Rebecca discusses the social scripts on both sides of the spectrum and identifies issues she finds with both. Her belief is that we need a new approach to pornography, one that is truly empowering.”
“Keith and Ben sit down and talk with Rebecca Lemke and talk about her new book, The Scarlet Virgins. Listen as they dive into this idea of purity culture and the harmful effects that it can actually have on young people.”
Spiritual abuse survivor speaks out on the suppression of sexuality within the Christian purity movement in book The Scarlet Virgins released June 1st, 2017.
“Spit-in water”, “de-petaled flower,” and “a chewed up piece of gum.” Homeschool alumni Rebecca Lemke and her peers heard these cringe-worthy phrases from Christian purity culture throughout their childhood. A push for purity by thought leaders like Joshua Harris was spurred on by cultural sexual permissiveness and high teen pregnancy rates in the 1990s. The enormous reach of this movement began to pervade Evangelical circles, even reaching the tiny Oklahoma town where Lemke grew up.
While the movement got its start as an effort to promote virginity, it quickly morphed into a legalistic and spiritually crushing agenda. Proponents of the purity movement drastically overstepped the bounds of theological soundness, causing a generation of young people to suffer from the crushing weight of being told their worth was found in whether or not they had kissed, hugged, held hands, or had sex.
In her new book, The Scarlet Virgins, Lemke addresses the spiritual, social, physical, and emotional consequences of the purity movement. While she regularly encounters backlash from openly discussing the issues that proceed from purity culture, such as sexual suppression, self-harm, and apostasy, she is firm in her desire to take a stand. “I don’t believe talking about something sensitive makes is de facto taboo,” Lemke says. “It simply means it needs to be discussed with empathy and respect.”
The Scarlet Virgins serves two purposes: To tell survivors of the purity movement that they are not alone, and to promote healing for those who have been wounded. The book can be purchased by going to the author’s website, scarletvirgins.com, or Amazon (digital and physical).
Growing up in purity culture, Rebecca and her female friends always heard phrases like “men are visual”, “boys will be boys”, etc. These phrases taught that men were perverted sex beasts due to their interest in sex and that women were more prim and proper, and naturally disinterested in sex.
In this episode, Rebecca talks about ladies who struggle with lust to let them know they aren’t alone and assures all who struggle that our identity is not found in our failings, but in Christ’s sacrifice!