Why do church leaders so rarely talk about sex in an open and honest way? Did Mark Driscoll and the other blowhards ruin the subject for all preachers?
Have you noticed that people talk about sex everywhere except in church? When the church talks about sex, it’s usually to debate homosexuality or abortion, or some spin-off of those. Those may be important topics for the church to discuss — but I wish we would stop legislating them, as if that’s the relationship between church and sex: heavy-handed rules. We humans are sexual people, and that encompasses many areas of life. The topic of sex encompasses much more than problems to preach against.
The topic of sexual violence, for instance, is also important, and that subject is too frequently silenced in faith communities. This is true despite an abundance of resources in our texts.
As for the current hubbub about “50 Shades of Grey,” I’ll admit I was unable to read past the first chapter. My internal editor kicked in, and that made the reading no fun. So I don’t have a position as to whether the work is harmless erotica or a sign of the degradation of America. Maybe I’ll wait until the move comes out. [ETA: This review convinced me that the movie is a disturbing portrayal of domestic violence. Nothing funny or sexy about that! In a sense it strengthens my position. The church needs to present a healthy view of sexuality to a world that thinks domestic violence is sexy.]
But even Target is selling the merchandise! My grocery store has a sign up: “50 Shades of Love” by their flower display.
All this interest makes me wonder: Can a church simply celebrate the gift of healthy sexuality within a loving relationship?
What would that look like? Is it even possible? I’ve written in praise of romantic love before. Nothing about preaching this is easy. But I continue to believe that it’s important.
I’m curious. As a preacher, what would you like to say to your congregation about love and sexuality, and what keeps you from saying it?