Church & Sex...

Dear Christians…

I wish we would stop talking about it so lightly.



Sexual impurity.

I wish we would stop joking about it.
I also wish we would stop condemning it.
Offering no hope of forgiveness.
Showing no mercy.

I know I’m not the only one who has heard it...

That message from the pulpit.
That comment in the small group.
If you haven’t heard it, it’s probably because you aren’t listening for it.
It’s probably because you are a virgin.
It’s probably because you never had sex outside of marriage.
It’s probably because it doesn’t completely grip you in shame.

Here’s some things I have heard…

“You do it with someone other than your husband and you will never be fully satisfied ever again.”
“What good man wouldn’t want a virgin wife?”
“Have you heard about _________ ? She is off sleeping around again. She CLEARLY needs Jesus.”
“Hosea, he didn’t have it easy. The Lord had him marry a prostitute. And who would ever want that?! Hey, at least this awful thing happening in my life is not THAT awful!”
“I know that [sexual impurity] is a part of your story, but if you are going to staff at this Christian camp don’t tell your students that. I mean, think about if they go home and tell their parents your testimony? What kind of example is that? They might not let them come back.”
"You have disappointed me. Go read the Bible. I have nothing else to say."

You feel it yet?
Let me help you.

It feels like being shrunk down to nothing.
Being engulfed in a shadow of shame.
But that sin, those memories, those nights, those men,
Are all blown up and it feels like everyone around you can see it.
You feel like you are hopeless.
"You are fooling yourself by saying you are a believer."
"There's no way you can ever belong in a church or a small group where everyone else is happily married and not unclean like you." 
"Why are you still here?"
"Don’t come back."

Do you feel it now?
Are your bones shaking?
Is your heart racing?
Are you sweating?
Is your face red from embarrassment?
Is your face red from anger?

Anger that a people preaching Jesus,
Have forgotten who Jesus actually is?

Instead of throwing rocks, He forgave her.
Instead of casting her aside, He let her weep on his feet.
Instead of ostracizing her, He approached her kindly at the well to offer life.

I just wish the shaming would stop.
Married people, enjoying sex for all the beauty that it is…
Condemning someone for wanting to enjoy it as well…
(Just not in the righteous or obedient manner prescribed in the Bible).

So to the one’s cowering in shame or running out during a sermon.
To the one’s silent while the others laugh in small group.
Jesus does not shame you.
Jesus does not laugh at you.
He is a God of understanding and compassion.
And a whole lot of forgiveness.

And church.
I hope you stop laughing.
I hope you stop condemning.
I hope you start noticing those broken.
I hope you realize the difficulty they have coming to church and encourage and congratulate their efforts.
I hope you can come alongside them and say,
“This gospel, is for you as much as it is for me. Let’s learn about it together.”
Is that not what fellowship is about?

And please don't hear me say sex outside of marriage is okay.
I just think people mess up.
I have messed up.
Others have messed up.
And I think church should be a safe place for messy people to come.
I think it should be welcomed.
I think it should be healing.

And maybe one day it will be.

. . . . .

All too often I hear verses quoted like these in 1 Corinthians 6...

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  

And most often it stops there.
But PLEASE don't stop there. 
In just the next verse it says this....

11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

There is no shame.
Only beautiful washing, sanctification, and justification.
Let that be our cry from the pulpit and our plea in the small group.
Let us beckon newness of life.
For what else should be flowing in our veins if not that life-giving mercy of our Savior?
Let's love a little like Christ.
And let's see a bit of that life shine through dark and desperate places.

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