Monday, October 26, 2009

It's All About Sex

I'd like to clarify something I wrote at twitter today. That 140 limit doesn't allow for a lot of clarity sometimes. Before I do that however, let me preface this by saying this is not a slam against anyone's favorite Christian blogger. This is a legitimate concern that has been a concern for a few years now as I see the increase of sexual images and sexual language and content being used in society in general, but even moreso (language, anyway) among Christians and Christian ministry.

Sex sells, and we all know it. Sex gets attention, and we all know that too. I know full well that simply using the word sex in this post, is going to generate much more traffic than the average post, because people are actively and constantly looking for sex and this post will just be another that shows up in the search results that people will click on. Meh. Sorry to disappoint.

Sex is everywhere, from sitcoms to movies, video games to sidebar ads all over the web, tv commercials and magazine ads. No matter where you go or what you're doing, sex and sexual images are being shoved in your face, in your spouse's face, your fiance, your kids, your parents, and even your dog. While leaving the grocery store parking lot the other day, I stopped to check for oncoming traffic, and on the telephone poll right at the entrance to the lot, was an ad stapled to the poll. I don't know what the ad was for (the ad copy was unreadable) but the backdrop of the ad was a very well endowed woman with the skimpiest undergarments on that you could get away with, without it being full frontal nudity. I've seen this ad before, and everything in me wanted to fly out of the van and rip that trash off that poll. I probably should have. I just might, the next time I'm there. If it prevents one kid's innocent eyes from seeing that image, then it's worthwhile to do. The only 2 people on the planet that should ever see that much skin on that woman are her husband and her doctor. Not little kids walking down the sidewalk, for crying out loud.

Point being, sex is literally everywhere and everything about that is SO wrong. It would seem as an attempted answer to this topic being shoved in our faces, that even many Christian churches and ministries have taken up the sex-theme and are even becoming known by this topic. Someone mentions this or that ministry or pastor, and someone else is first to say "oh yes, the guy obsessed with sex talk?" Some have commented (and I would be one to agree) that when a Christian ministry is known for their in-your-face and over-the-top approach to teaching on sex, something is very wrong.

I fully understand that there is a very twisted message being given to young people about sex. Likewise, I understand the desire for older, Christian people to want to make certain that these younger people have the right message and the right understanding about marital intimacy. That's what prompted my first tweet on this today:

"Curious, are blogs the place to teach Biblical values on sex and marriage? Or, should this be taught in a different venue?"

I firmly believe this topic of intimacy should be taught and discussed in a private setting. Maybe I'm old fashioned, maybe I just think private things should remain private things, but every time I see an open, graphic (and they always get graphic) conversation online about sexual matters, I wonder "how would his wife feel about him reading this lady's comments about sex?" I'll be totally honest and admit that I know right this minute there is possibly a man (who is not my husband) reading this and that makes me feel uncomfortable for his wife. I also know that if she is honest she will admit that she doesn't feel entirely comfortable about the whole thing either. There is a reason for this, and that reason is because this is a private, intimate matter and should stay that way. I believe deep down we all know this... yet, here it is, in our faces all the time. The lines have been blurred by the depraved and sinful culture we live and work and raise our kids in every day, and now we have to deal with that, somehow.

A few of the comments to that tweet led to my second response:

"Going off the last tweet, if it's ok to teach about sexual things via blogs, is there a Biblical precedent for making private things public?"

Some of the comments suggested that yes, it's entirely okay to teach Biblical truths in any setting. So I wonder outloud, is there a Biblical precedent for this (i.e., anyone in the early church engaging in public teachings & discussions about sex between husband and wife, or sex acts in general?), and if so, where? I've read my Bible and just in case I missed it I asked my husband and he said no, there is no such example given in Scripture for engaging in that sort of thing. I think this is important, since the Scriptures are our foundation on how to conduct ourselves both publicly and privately, and the last time I checked, blogging and tweeting is fairly public.

While I do not question the motives (of most) for wanting to do this, and I do not question the intent (I get it, I really do) I definitely question the method. While I've read some very well-written material on this important topic (Challies post today was very tactful I thought) I think we've (in many ways) contextualized ourselves out of sane, sound thinking and just jumped on the cultural bandwagon trying to use the vehicle and turn it around. Oh I know full well there are going to be people to testify that so and so preached this open and graphic message or posted this or that at their blog and it really turned their life around, and so on, but that still doesn't make the method Biblical, or appropriate. It's just us, latching on to what the culture is obessed with, when we have no Biblical standard for doing it.

I'm well aware that this position makes me out of touch, old fashioned, out-dated and probably even prudish. Oddly enough, I'm entirely okay with that. Just a suggestion but, maybe the answer to this is for those who are intent on addressing this to prayerfully consider addressing it in their local churches with the young men in a discipleship type of weekly meeting?

Just thinking outloud here. I don't pretend to have all the answers.

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