Recently a young woman I know received a letter from her doctor encouraging her to come in for a pap smear. For those unfamiliar with this test, it is used to detect cervical cancer. Along with the letter came an FAQ page designed to answer questions and handle any concerns or objections to this “routine” screening. The questions that were presented and then answered included:
- Who should get a Pap test?
- How common is cervical cancer?
- Do I need a Pap test even if am feeling well and have no symptoms?
- Does it have to be so embarrassing?
- I have not had sex in a long time. Do I still need to have a Pap test?
- What happens if my test comes back positive?
- I am in a monogamous relationship. Do I still need a Pap test?
One question missing from this list is one most applicable to anyone who subscribes to godly sexuality and has lived a life accordingly, namely,
- What if I am a virgin and have not had sex?
Why was this question left out?
It is wrong to assume that only Hollywood pushes a lifestyle of promiscuity. The modern medical community promotes sexual behavior outside of marriage, so much so, that those who honor God by reserving sexual relations until marriage don’t even merit a category in this information sheet.
Add to this omission the vigorous campaign to have all young people (boys as well as girls ages 9–26) vaccinated to “protect” them from the human papilloma virus (HPV) that causes cancer in females and genital warts in males. In these ads and public service announcements, abstinence is not even mentioned. By its very omission, it is dismissed as impractical and not normal. Yet, throughout the media, birth control and abortion-on-demand are presented as benefits to young, sexually-active women. What is also missing from the info sheet is the fact that one cannot contract these diseases and problems in the absence of sexual activity; HPV is a sexually transmitted disease.
Young people need to be alerted to the reality that their stand for purity and godly living will not only be deemed inconsequential and naive, but they are likely to be ridiculed for their adherence to Biblical standards. However, they must be reassured that, Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4b)
Since much of the modern medical community is hostile to Biblical standards and practices, the people of God are left with blind guides who do not understand and often dismiss the concerns of young Christians. This is just one of many reasons why medicine needs to be reclaimed by faithful Christians and our young people encouraged to study to understand health, wellness, disease prevention, etc., from a Biblical perspective. Understanding God’s law as it pertains to these areas is the starting point to being able to bring the area of medicine into captivity to the obedience of Christ. These are vital areas of study even if one doesn’t intend to pursue medicine as a career, because one almost has to be a medical professional to deal with issues regarding the health of oneself, one’s children, and aging parents.
As in all areas of life and thought, it is important to consult He who fashioned us in the first place.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;
that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor,
not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; (1 Thess. 4:3-5)