What is the deal with Chastity?

Hey there– So I am completely drowning in seminary homework, and I intended to flesh this post out more than I really have the time to do, but if I don’t post it I never will.

So here’s the “point” of the post– Karen Sloan and I met over coffee a couple weeks ago and had this amazing conversation about the church and about our struggles and journeys within the PCUSA.  Towards the end of the conversation, we somehow found ourselves on the subject of chastity.  I found myself confused by the term– what has it and what does it mean for the church today?  How has chastity been interpreted and reinterpreted within the Presbyterian Church over time?  Does it mean more that simple abstinence?  And if so, what is the “more”?

Perhaps this all stems from confusion over the meaning of “chastity in singleness, fidelity in marriage,” but ultimately I think there is more to it than that.  I feel both intrigued and challenged by the ambiguous concept of chastity, and my gut tells me that it has quite a bit to offer the church as long as we can save the term from becoming a synonym for abstinence.  So, with that very hurried and brief overview of my thoughts over the past month or so, I ask the question that has persisted for me: what does “chastity” have to offer the church today?

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