10 June 2007

Good, Clean, Christian Sex

I hear that sex is supposed to be fun. Like, a lot of fun. This comes from parents, friends, family, TV, the radio, and the movies. And I don't doubt that it is. I have a question, though. Why is it that what I hear from most churches is that sex is God's gift to married couples? Why do we leave it at that? It's either this one line about how good sex is or a long list of "thou shalt not's" that if thou doest, make sex bad. Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling for "free love" along with communion (though that would make for a catchy church sign and a great double entendre), but if sex is so great, why don't we discuss it more in church?

Sex is the greatest level of physical intimacy that humanity can have, yes? So it's no wonder that the Church is called the Bride of Christ, with the obvious intimate connotations that come with this, the description of Love that is inherent in this term. There's a reason we have an entire book that is little more than a love letter between two people in our Bible, despite the fact that this is often looked over (part of me is glad about this, as a sermon on the Song of Songs would be incredibly awkward). I know I'm just stating the obvious here; this is the same stuff you always hear in the obligatory youth group relationship talks. So why in the world are we not applying this?

The Church is going through something of a sexual revolution right now. By this, I mean that some on the progressive side of ministry are discussing sexuality as it pertains to faith. Not a list of what you can and can't do, but actually taking a look at how sex ties into our relationship with God. Rob Bell's new book has one of the most provocative titles in modern Christian writing: Sex. God. I was quite literally speechless when I first saw it. "Surely he can't have written a book about that!" I picked up a copy at the book store and was flipping through it. The first section is titled, "This Is Really About That". Then there is this little article from the Burnside Writers' Collective, which prompted this post, simply entitled "Sex, God, and Rock & Roll". Then there was the most awkward month of middle school youth group. It was our frank discussion on sex. This was meant to educate us. In public schools, discussions in sex ed are limited to talking about the basics. Nothing controversial (oddly enough, this is because of the Christian Right). So, to make sure that we weren't going blindly into the world of high school and sex, my youth pastor decided we would have four sessions of no-topic-off-limits sex talk. I assure you, this was quite unheard of in the suburbs of Columbia, SC, and most of my friends were quite shocked. Come to think of it, I think most people would still be shocked if this were to come up at most youth groups. All of this, I think, is for the better.

This leads us into the important question: What impact does it have on the world when the Church is afraid to discuss a gift from God? Well, it means that other people have to do the discussing. As the author of the article, Steve Simpson, points out, the porn industry is not afraid to talk about sex. The media is not afraid to talk about sex. This is where, then, people will go to learn about it. MTV and Ron Jeremy. I see in the dorms how good of a job they do in instilling good sexual values (or values of relationships in general). I thank God for those progressives in the Church that are not afraid to talk openly about sex because it's too important of a topic for Christians to not be involved in.

Rock on.

Edit: Something I thought and hoped I would never see - a Christian sex advice site. Somebody left a comment advertising for a web site "For Christian Husbands Only". And when I mean "sex advice site", I don't mean topics like "I struggle with lust/pornography/whatever", but "Keep Your Erection as Long as You Desire". This is another example of slapping the label of Christian on anything to make it all right. Sites like this, whether done in the name of God or not, still turn the focus of a marriage towards sex. Again, sex in marriage is a great thing. But it should not be the focus. And if there are sexual problems in a relationship, I would hope that the couple in question would have friends they could turn to for such advice.

1 comment:

Nietzsche's Downfall said...

Intriguing to say the least, though I do agree. There needs to be more sex talk in the church. Like, why not a class on how married Christian couples can improve their sex lives? That would rock.