Friday, February 06, 2009

Sex at Church

Shocking as it sounds, everyone's talking about it. Is it the church's latest gimmick, or is the church redeeming sex from a culture that's used it as its own gimmick?

The latest headline-making sermon series is from NewSpring Church in South Carolina with its own website, iwantanewmarriage.com. The pastor, Perry Noble, is a famed blogger and has been revving people up in anticipation.

Another church is "Bringing Sexy Back." (HT:JT?)

But NewSpring and Revolution Church aren't the first churches to promote sex from the pulpit. There have been others paving the way. For example, "Pure Sex" is a sermon series that has been franchised around the country, with websites like MyBestSexLife.com or Iamturnedon.com. They've even been advertising on billboards.

At Mark Driscoll's Mars Hill in Seattle, they talked a whole lot about sex during their peasant princess series in Fall 2008.

Other churches encouraged all their couples to have sex every day for a month.

And it certainly has gotten people's attention, including the media (NBC, CBS, FOX).

If I were married, I'd be all about this too. I'd be happy if my church mandated sex for a month too. "Honey, remember what the pastor said."

While I'm certain that these series included very valuable, marriage-changing sermons, it's hard not to feel pushed aside, relegated to the sexless minority. I'm not the only one, either. The Search posted a 3-part series on his site: 1, 2, 3. She Worships offered her own thoughts on it too a while back.

For a minority already painfully aware of their Facebook's relationship status--and reminded of it every week looking around the church lobby--the church isn't helping. No, we don't want to be recognized and pitied like we have a handicap. We don't want the pastor to say, "Now, singles, where are you? Raise your hands. Let me say talk to you specifically for a moment...." But being ignored isn't what we're asking for either--that just magnifies the loneliness (and I'm speaking as someone who's part of one of the best young adult ministries in Chicagoland).

When the church narrows its focus to segments and demographics, its gospel shrivels. The robust embrace of the Gospel should be magnified in the church's radically inclusive message. For "the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself." That's more than we can say for sex.

2 comments:

Bryan and Meggan said...

I remember thinking the same things in my pre-marriage days, but what's interesting is that I forgot all about it! I remember sort of pledging to myself that I wouldn't leave out the single crowd in my sermonizing, but wow... I actually forgot! Thanks for the reminder, and be sure to remind me again when I forget please.

Adam said...

Bryan -

Thanks for the consideration. Glad I reminded you. I certainly don't want to be a vocal minority, but "you'll always have the single with you." I heard Piper once say how singles remind us that the family of God is not flesh and blood. I think that's a good reminder too--for everyone in the church.