I, like many of you, have been waiting for more “verified” names to come out and condemn the destructive and toxic teachings of purity culture. Beth Moore is one of those names. And I am not here to suggest that it’s too little, too late, like many would prefer to do out of spite. I applaud all of those who are willing to rip up the sad sex scripts that have been acted out throughout Churchanity.
Words matter and to an extent, a social media post can definitely help change the mind of someone. I know many people like to insist that a social media post won’t change the world, but I disagree. I know that it takes real courage to stand up and tear down the Christianese boxes we all actively choose to place ourselves into. I know that others see that and it impacts them. I know this because so many people reach out to me every day to let me know that my erotic embodiment encouragement sparks vulnerable conversations in their lives. Conversations that lead to changes in behaviors and practices that bring couples closer together.
I want to encourage others to speak the truth to the sexual environment that the Church has created. Some do it subtly, for instance, by commenting on how the teachings of complementarianism are a “doctrine of MAN” and have been misused as a litmus test for where one stands on inerrancy and biblical authority, as Beth Moore did. This very blunt distinction is necessary, reminding followers that the systems and doctrines spearheaded by church authority were crafted without the consideration of women.
The late (and great) Rachel Held Evans used the power of words in her book Inspired, to remind readers that the Bible says very little about same-sex relationships. Before her passing, she was a fierce advocate for discrediting the patriarchal purity prescriptions that run rampant in our church systems and an ally to the Christian LGBQ community.
Others, like former pastor Nikole Mitchell, strip away the cloaks of Christian condemnation to reveal a more sensuous God. On Instagram, Mitchell describes herself as a “Pastor-turned-Stripper/Life Coach/Model.” It was the Church’s attempt to take power away from her words—sermons that revealed her bisexuality—that contributed to her decision to ditch the pulpit and reach for the stripper pole.
Though some do remain anonymous in their encouragement of erotic evolution, they still have an impact and spark genuine discussions within and outside of the church. Pornstar Pastor, for instance, advocates for ethical porn consumption by way of ensuring that you pay for your porn. He uses his Twitter account to advocate for sex workers and to remind Christians that God loves all, even porn stars. (He was also an excellent conversation partner on episode 81 of Recorded Conversations.)
Others do it more blatantly and from outside the church spectacle, like my girls Beyonce, Cardi B, and Megan Thee Stallion. It’s done through the power of words, nonetheless, and again, words matter. Whether you consider these women Christian or not, they have heft and influence and are encouraging others, especially women, to seek inner sexual empowerment that shatters the purity prescriptions of our forefathers.
Words carry significant weight. One word can send a person reeling with guilt and shame. I work with many individuals and couples whose only desire is to relinquish the power that words have had over their sex lives. One tweet from one influential voice is enough to send an individual down an erotic epiphany that leads to healing. We should all encourage such glorious proclamations, no matter how long it takes someone.
Lil Nas X stands among the crowd of celebrities that can help heal our culture from the wounds of the bigoted doctrines. After the release of the controversial video “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)”, Lil Nas X responded to the criticism in a vulnerable tweet,
“i spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the shit y’all preached would happen to me because I was gay. So I hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have toward ourselves.”
It may be taken too literally by some underdeveloped thinkers, but depicted in vivid expressionism, LNX kills Satan and all the damning doctrines that coincide with crappy theology.
I realize he’s unorthodox, but so was Jesus, in case you needed that reminder. Jesus did things back in his day that would have made Candace Owens and Ben Shapiro blush. Take, for instance, washing the feet of his friends, befriending prostitutes, edifying a Samaritan woman at the well—even flirting with her to help heal her of her broken confidence. (A recent conversation partner and I discuss this angle on episode 82, featuring Suzanne DeWitt Hall.)
I only implore you to consider that there is a collective erotic epiphany taking place. If there’s a conversation about sex taking place, let us participate in it. If it seems as if someone is repenting from their previous purity culture prescriptions, encourage them to keep digging, don’t kick the dirt up in their face. It would be lovely if we could all come to these erotic realizations at the same time so that we are all always on the same page, but that is not we operate. But what we must acknowledge is that the more people are having healthy, positive, and genuinely curious conversations about the ever-mysterious phenomenon of sexuality, the fewer people are being abused, exploited, and manipulated by damaging and toxic practices that rob sexuality of its spirituality.