I hear a lot of people talking about the need to save the church and there are plentiful ideas presented about how we should do that. There are a lot of great ideas out there but none of them scrape the surface of sex. That’s precisely what is missing from the sermons on Sunday—sex.
Before you go prematurely reacting to the idea, I don’t mean that we should literally have sex during sermons.
We should be having discussions about sex, our sexual identity, and what kind of spiritual powers we can utilize from understanding our sexuality. Sex is a superpower, but with great powers, comes great responsibility.
Jesus hardly spoke on the issue and Paul did not give the final say on the matter. And I would go so far as to say the reason Paul did not is because he did not understand Eros or the erotic phenomenon in a way that we do now. For this very reason of evolution of thought; if there is a desire to save the church, to revitalize it- we need to get naked in the pulpit and have serious, intimate discussions that we have been avoiding for thousands of years.
It’s even more evident that we need an erotic education thanks to the power of technology. We are becoming ever more aware of the sexual abuse/misuse entangling itself in every denomination. It seems like every day there is a new story revealing the ways in which the glorious temple that is our body, has been molested, perverted, and abused by someone in church authority.
The way we begin healing in the church is to start by acknowledging that no matter which walls surround you, whether they be political, religious, or other; the power of sex is abused. The sacredness of the body is soiled. It’s the most unfortunate fact about the entirety of sex—the gift from God can be turned into the vilest cruelty.
I acknowledge that these things can happen, but I beckon you to focus on what spiritual things can happen when you look at sex under a different lens. Some view sex as a form of prayer. Others are healed from sex with their partners.
The church must act quickly. The next generation of Americans are not easily wooed by ancient ideals that regard sex as concession to the continuance of life. They are not swayed by concepts that maintain sex is only sacred and holy so long as a piece of paper is signed between one man and one woman. We have evolved past the idea that a relationship needs to be validated by the State. This is not Rome, after all.
Leaders must be willing to address the most awkward questions from their parishioners.
“Will I go to hell if I have anal sex with my husband?” The answer is no, of course.
“Is oral sex a sin?” God no!
“Is watching porn a sin?” No. But I caution, this is a question that needs individual unpacking and does not have a one-size fits all answer.
“Will God forgive me for cheating on my partner?” Always, absolutely, every time.
“If my husband wants to have sex, and I do not, what should I do?” Never tell a partner to submit. Love and coercion are contradictory.
Over the next few months, I will be prodding these types of discussions on my podcast Recorded Conversations. I will be dialoguing with a variety of different walks of life, asking the question:
How do we provide an erotic education in the church and what does that look like?
I want to hear from you. What do we need to be addressing? The purity culture mentality that is devastating relationships as well as individuals?
- What about the shameful ways in which the church covers up sex abuse?
- What are the questions you want answered?
- What do you want to see as a result of a new sexual integration with the church?
- Why do you think the church should take a stand on sex?
- What more needs to be unveiled about sexual identity?
- How do we incorporate a healthy sense of sexual self without relying on labels and categories that divide us from Oneness?
- Does the church need to speak on polyamory?
- What more can the church do to integrate the gay community without making it stupidly awkward?
- Which churches do you see taking steps to further this erotic education?
- What is making a difference in your community?
Are you interested in joining the discussion? If you would like to be a guest on the show, contact me directly at: Danielle.firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to your feedback and I cannot wait to share what I have been working on.
Recorded Conversations is also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher