I am curious to know exactly what will be different about this campaign. It appears they are reacting to the criticism that has come about in the last year towards the purity movement, because the creator of the new program, Clayton King of Crossroads Worldwide, mentions the idolization of virginity:
"King also says the current project is unique in comparison to other abstinent-focused campaigns including the original 'True Love Waits' because his intention is not to "elevate virginity as the ultimate goal."He says it will have a greater focus on grace and mercy for those who carry shame from abuse or past mistakes, and that it is more important to focus on being found faithful on judgment day than to be a virgin on your wedding day. My hesitance to be happy at that news derives from my assumption that not only would I disagree with what qualifies as a past "mistake," but more importantly I fear that the program's definition of "being faithful" includes "being a virgin at your wedding."
Maybe this program will focus less on the supposed negative consequences of premarital sex than they did when I was young, not shaming females into feeling dirty and worthless if they have been touched by a male. Maybe they will stop doling out the empty promises of having better married sex. Either of those things would be vast improvements.
But some of the language King uses makes me think it won't be different enough, particularly that he says he wants to draw attention to the "unchangeable word of God" and argues "If Jesus is your Lord, then you will gladly do what He says, trusting that because He loves you and He knows what's best for you." Both of those sayings are reminiscent to me of the type of Christianity I used to be a part of, where there was only one way to interpret scripture, and it would be used as a weapon against you to enforce conformity. Purity programs like this have already determined what they believe God wants from us regarding sex and marriage. Interpretation is not up for debate. They are there to convince young people to conform to their standards.
I never liked the name "True Love Waits," because it heavily implies that those who do not wait do not have true love. Now it is being called the "True Love Project," which I hope is an attempt to focus on God's love, rather than qualifying the worth of a couple's love. Mostly, though, I wish campaigns like this didn't exist, because it skews the relative importance of sex in a Christian's religious life. Why aren't there campaigns focusing on teaching young Christians to be charitable or to demonstrate love to all of God's creation? Perhaps those things wouldn't make them "set apart" from the world enough, since those values are already shared by most non-Christians.