I’ve wrestled all week-end as to whether or not I was going to weigh in on this, but I guess I’m going to go ahead and do it knowing full well that I’m probably going to get blasted for some who will think I’m an old fogy or out-of-touch or being unnecessarily critical. I’m really kind of interested to get some sort of measurement as to what others think of this new “trend” as well, so feel free to weigh in on it.
Ed Young, Jr. is the latest, and perhaps highest profile, pastor who has decided to challenge his audience to commit to seven consecutive days of sex. (Note: this challenge is for married, heterosexual couples we can all safely assume.) Here’s the link to the story HERE. Ed, of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, TX and who has satellite campuses across the country — including here in Miami — is just the latest to do this. In fact, while I lived in Charlotte, one couple blogged and later wrote a book about their 365-Day Challenge (yes, you read that correctly), but it wasn’t part of a church context.
I personally find this kind of trendy, flavor-of-the-month, pop-psychology type of “religion” distasteful and immensely irritating. To me, this fits in with other “trends” in emergent-driven churches like wearing too much gel in one’s hair, wearing shirt tails out, giving away shot glasses with the church name on them out in bars, shocking signs (Flamingo Road Church recently had a huge banner on their building asking people to “Flip Someone the Bird” this Thanksgiving. It was part of a Thanksgiving food drive. Please excuse me while I roll my eyes.), Starbucks franchises in the lobbies, one-word church names and worship franchising. None of these, on their own are intrinsically evil or always unBiblical — it’s just that if I were an unsaved person watching all these gyrations to get me to give them some attention, I’d be laughing hysterically at the antics and the seeming desperation. In fact, I do laugh hysterically at it sometimes. Other times, I just throw up a little bit in my mouth.
Should Pastor’s address sex as part of their ministry of the Word to believers? Yes. Have we always done a good job of that? No. In the process, have we made sex a “dirty word” and somehow damaged the psyche of married people everywhere? I don’t know….I think the birthrate of evangelicals would argue otherwise. And yes, I know that sex is a gift from God for Procreation AND recreation, but I don’t think any one’s suffering from a lack of encouragement and education in the latter department either. Otherwise, why would I hear my youngest son running around the house singing “Viva Viagra” at the top of his lungs from hearing that stupid commercial all the time. (And he’s clueless about Viagra, I might add.)
From my perspective (and note that I’m going into personal opinion mode here), this kind of trendyism just irritates me to no end. Sex happens. It’s not bad; it’s good. Yes, the world pollutes the beauty and sanctity of it. Do I think that being pressured to take some sort of week-long love fest is going to solve the problems in most marriages? Not on your life. In fact, in many cases, it will make it worse. It just adds more pressure into an arena that is far too delicate for mass therapy.
To me, this trivializes something that is private and personal and more than a little sacred. I question the value for putting such a specific emphasis on the “act” in a group setting. I wonder how this fits into the admonition from Scripture that warns us that it is better not to talk openly about those things done in secret and a reminder that the marriage bed is to be considered holy.
Do I think there are occasions when frank discussions about sexual matters are appropriate in a church context? Without a doubt. Are marriages under stress because of sexual dysfunction and unfilled sexual relationships? Absolutely. Does a lack of sex in a marriage lead to temptation that may drive one or both spouses to infidelity, pornography, anger, depression, etc…? No question about it. Is the quick and appropriate fix for it to do some sort of gimmicky sex challenge. I think not.
So I’m disturbed — not just about the whole sex challenge thing, but about the tendency we have in evangelicalism today to jump on the latest “hot idea” and now, we’re going to see a thousand other hip pastors with too much gel and untucked shirts, grab a cup of Starbucks and scoot back on their stool (which is painted flat black, of course) and tell audiences that making a commitment for sex for a week will do a body good.
Sorry….I’m just not buying it.
What do you think?