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Thank-you, Jordin Sparks

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)–Jordin Sparks could have ignored the jeering of sexual purity. The winner of the 2007 American Idol competition could have shirked the crass putdown. The popular recording artist could have remained silent as fellow Christians were mocked.

But she didn’t.

At the recent MTV Video Music Awards, show host Russell Brand — a vulgar comic from Britain — ridiculed the Jonas Brothers singing group’s vow to abstain from sex until they are married.

Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas, who are age 15, 19, and 20 respectively, profess to be Christians and choose to wear purity rings — also known as promise rings — to signify their commitment to sexual purity.

Due to the nature of Brand’s purity putdowns, only one can be referenced here. “They can have sex with any woman they want but they choose not to,” Brand gibed. “That’s like Superman just deciding not to fly and to go everywhere by bus.”

While many in the audience seemed to think Brand’s crass comments were funny, Sparks did not.

Sparks, who professes to be a Christian and also wears a purity ring, took issue to Brand’s ridiculing remarks. Later during the MTV program, when she was on stage to make an award presentation, Sparks declared, “I just want to say, it’s not bad to wear a promise ring because not every guy or girl wants to be [promiscuous], OK?”

How was Sparks’ comment received? Later in the program Brand returned to the stage and apologized, sort of. “I didn’t mean to take it lightly,” the host said about purity rings. “I don’t want to [upset] teenage fans.” Brand muted his apology by adding, “Promise rings, I’m well up for it. [But] a bit of sex, it never hurt anybody.”

Later, Sparks expressed regret for her choice of words in defending sexual purity and the Jonas Brothers. Sparks said she did not mean to imply that the absence of a purity ring indicates someone is sexually promiscuous. However, she stood by her decision to affirm purity and for supporting the Jonas Brothers.

Jordin Sparks is to be applauded for taking a public and vocal stand for sexual purity and those who commit to remain chaste until marriage. It is past time for Christians to follow her example and challenge a coarse culture by speaking up in favor of what is right.

On any given day, Christians find themselves in situations where crude and crass remarks are made about people seeking to live principled and moral lives. And far too many of us respond with silence.

I am not advocating arguing and debating with people who wish to poke fun at morality. You don’t have to be contentious, but what about simply asking a question or two of those who ridicule principled choices based on faith?

For instance, if around the water cooler someone quipped that the Jonas Brothers were foolish for practicing abstinence, simple ask the person, “What makes you say that?” or “Why do you believe that?”

Many people talk without engaging their brains. Just the simple act of posing a question will cause some people to stop and think about what they actually are saying.

Jordin Sparks could have remained silent when sexual purity was mocked during the MTV awards show, but she didn’t. As a result, she made Russell Brand, and many others, stop and think about what was actually being said. As a result, she not only defended the concept of purity but also those who choose abstinence until marriage. She should be applauded.
Kelly Boggs, whose column appears each week in Baptist Press, is editor of the Baptist Message, the newspaper of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, which is online at baptistmessage.com.

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  • Kelly Boggs