Why do church leaders so rarely talk about sex? Did Mark Driscoll ruin the subject for all preachers?
Most churches ignore Valentine’s Day, except for a nod during Children’s Time — use those red paper hearts, maybe, or some candy — but then back to business because Valentines Day is non-liturgical and we’ve got a Transfiguration, folks!
But 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 address (though I wish we could stop legislating them). The topic of sexual violence is also important — and that subject is too frequently silenced in faith communities despite an abundance of resources in our texts.
As for 50 Shades of Grey, I’ll admit I was unable to read past the first chapter because it so badly needs an editor. I keep editing as I read and it’s 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. But because the topic of sexual violence is important to me, I do intend to cycle back to this phenom after I see the movie (which won’t be until the DVD is available, because I’m not giving them my money). [ETA: This review has 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 about this before. Nothing about 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?