Author, LGBTQ activist, and “pastor” Nadia Bolz-Weber is asking women to send her their purity rings. Bolz-Weber will then have those rings melted down and, with the help of Sweet Bird Studio, the melted gold will be crafted into a golden vagina sculpture that will be revealed in 2019 at a conference for Makers, a feminist branding agency.
ANNOUNCEMENT: I'm inviting women to mail in their purity rings for a massive art project. @SweetBirdStudio is collaborating with me to melt them into a sculpture of a vagina, click here to join in and get your certificate of impurity! https://t.co/tbaJJdbxeJ #shamelessbook
— Nadia Bolz-Weber (@Sarcasticluther) November 26, 2018
Bolz-Weber hopes the purity ring project will show that the symbols used to shame women can also be used for their liberation.
The idea is to tell former purity ring wearers that they are holy because of the life that God has breathed into them, the pastor said, and that this holiness isn’t something that can be taken away by another human being.
“To me, to be able to have the self-determination to take symbols and words and actions that might have harmed me at a different time in life and to reclaim and redefine and rework those into something healing and humorous ― that’s a powerful thing,” she said.
Over the last few years, much has been made out of the purity movement that grew out of the youth group culture of the late 1980s and 1990s. While there is much to criticize (you can read some of my thoughts here and here), the flaws in the purity movement pale in comparison to the flat-out idolatrous rebellion of Bolz-Weber’s coming golden vagina.
Speaking to HuffPost, Bolz-Weber, the founder of the progressive and queer-inclusive House for All Sinners, explains, “The difference between purity and holiness is that purity is always about separation ― separating ourselves from people who are less religious, separating ourselves from our sexual natures, from our desires. But holiness is always about connection ― to God, to ourselves, to our nature.”
That’s not what holiness is. At all.
Holiness is an attribute of God. Theologian Wayne Grudem writes in his popular Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, “God’s holiness means that he is separated from sin and devoted to seeking his own honor.”
In the quote a couple of paragraphs above, Bolz-Weber claims that “holiness is always about connection.” Except, the story of the Bible supports Grudem’s definition. Because God is holy, He cannot be in communion with sin. This is the reason for the many purity laws in the Old Testament. And God’s holiness is why we need Jesus. Without placing our faith in the work of the Son of God, we all stand condemned before God because we are all sinners: we are all unholy.
As opposed to the misleading words of Bolz-Weber, holiness has the aspect of separation intimately wrapped up into it. What’s more, God’s children, those who are repenting of their sins and placing their faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, are to pursue holiness through the power of God’s Spirit. God’s people are to pursue personal separation from sin for God’s glory.
In 1 Peter 1:14-16, Peter writes of holiness, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.'”
Now contrast Peter’s divinely inspired words with those of Bolz-Weber when she says that holiness isn’t about separation “from our sexual natures and desires.”
Like the serpent-Satan in the Garden of Eden, Bolz-Weber is giving people the freedom to ignore God’s command to “not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance.” This “pastor” is leading people down the path of rebellion — a path that will end in the eternal destruction of those who refuse to repent, believe, and submit to the Lordship of Christ.
Nadia Bolz-Weber’s actions are eerily reminiscent of the Israelites’ rebellious actions as they waited for Moses to come down from meeting with God on Mount Sinai. At the behest of the sinful people, Aaron collected gold rings, melted them down, and then fashioned a golden calf for the people to worship. Moses had to plead with God to not destroy the Israelites over that act of rebellion. Like the Israelites’ golden calf, Bolz-Weber’s coming golden vagina is nothing more than an idol that explicitly reveals what she and her followers worship.