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Is the Gospel of “More Sex” Really Good News for All?

Dec 10, 2008 — Categories: , ,

So Pastor Ed Young of the Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, got the attention of the media. And his church members. He called for a week of “congregational copulation” to take people’s minds off the economy. Pastor Young has added his blessing to our already highly sexualized culture.

So Pastor Ed Young of the Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, got the attention of the media. And his church members. He called for a week of “congregational copulation” to take people’s minds off the economy. Pastor Young has added his blessing to our already highly sexualized culture.

I have no problem with supporting consenting adults to engage in sexual intimacy. All the research suggests that sexual intimacy is good for body and soul. I have no problem with Pastor Young reminding his people that they need to remember to take time to be with their partners.

I just wish preachers would stop and think about the possible unintended consequences of their preaching. In his flock of 20,000 members, there are probably 14,000 women. Among those women, probably 4,000 were sexually abused as children. Among the 6,000 men, probably 1,000 were sexually abused as children. At least 500 of these women are living in an abusive relationship where marital rape is often part of the pattern of domestic terror.

What is the unintended message to those who are survivors of sexual abuse or are currently victims? For some survivors of sexual abuse, sexual intimacy is not uncomplicated and a sense of safety and consent are very important. For those currently being abused by their partner, coercive sex and use of pornography are part of the domestic terror.

Perhaps this gospel of “more sex” could be nuanced with a discussion of the importance of respect, consent, choice, family planning. Or a Bible study that focuses both on the Bible’s affirmation of sexuality (e.g. Song of Solomon) but also the expectation of respect for each other which we find in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. “For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” (1 Cor. 7:4) Just to be clear: this means that sexual intimacy requires mutual consent. It is not license for the husband to decide when and if to have sex. It is not justification for marital rape.

Sexuality is a gift from God to all people. But it is a gift that can cause great harm when it is misused. I just wish preachers would stop and think about the possible unintended consequences of their preaching.

Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune
FaithTrust Institute

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