Well, this is indeed a bit strange. With God all things are possible; with humans, all manner of eccentricity is possible. Texas Pastor Ed Young and his wife are having a "bed-in" at their church, meaning that they will hoist a bed onto their church roof and stay in that bed to discuss with their congregation the joys of sex and problems of married life. Certainly, they have brought a lot of attention onto themselves, but is it the right type of attention?
Ed Young seems to be no stranger to eccentric stunts. I wonder which his congregations focuses upon more - his stunts or the word of God? Do they think, "wow, what he did was fun to watch" or do they think with reverence "Truly wonderful and loving are the ways of God, so we must follow what He wants for us"?
This man and woman wrote a book titled Sexperiment in which they state "Christians tend to think that sensuality is carnality, but in actuality it’s spirituality,” and that "The role of sex in a Christian marriage is the superglue that holds it together,"
I admit that most churches refuse to discuss sex or sexual matters, a topic that desperately needs to be addressed. If congregations refuse to discuss it, then the sinful world will be the dominate world over the matter; in that regard, the sinful world would win by default through our silence.
Now, although they insist that sex must be between one man and one woman within marriage (I agree with them, there!), I disagree about the significance of sex as being spirituality or a special superglue for marriage. Sex is not spirituality but is an activity that comes with responsibilities.
Sex can be fun; some of my friends are married couples, so I have heard some things. However, many things are also quite fun such as hiking or visiting amusement parks and tourist attractions. Most happily-married couples can think of plenty to do besides sex. Sex is a physical activity. To claim this as spiritual does indeed lend itself to carnality and to valuing the flesh over the spirit.
When people think of sex as spirituality, they tend to indulge in it to an unhealthy level wherever they can get it. A New Age church in Arizona turned out to be a brothel, for example. When people think of sex as spirituality, the pursuit of sex itself becomes the dominant goal - not the lifelong commitment of marriage.
Nor is sex some superglue to hold marriages together. Regular mealtimes together where the husband and wife can discuss their thoughts and their views truly bring them closer together because through conversations, the husband and wife share who they are as individual people.
Now, God just might be using Ed and Lisa Young to spark a positive change - not necessarily in their exact message or in their views about sex: but more precisely, to make Christians aware that they need a healthy discussion about sex for the well-being of the younger generations.
Most men and women today have been exposed to a level of sexual knowledge, practices, and (yes) acts that other generations were not. Simply put, nothing is "unmentioned" and "unconsidered" anymore. It may shock you if you did not grow up with the Internet, but people have questions, and Christians need to drop their embarrassment and provide biblical answers and discerning thinking. In regard to sex, if people can't ask other Christians, they will get their answers from culture.
And culture is worldly. If the younger Christians cannot talk about sexual morals or sexual sin with the older Christians, then they will go to the world for answers, and they will become conformed to the world.
The apostles were never shy in talking about sex. Even Jesus discussed it (Mathew 19:1-12). Yet for most Christians today, the subject itself is entirely taboo. I attempted to engage someone in a conversation about how the apostles convinced the Greeks to repent from sexual sin. However, she seemed so disgusted with the idea of the apostles interacting with such sinners - particularly homosexuals - even in the context of the apostles convincing the Greeks that homosexuality is a sin! In the end, there was zero discussion whatsoever.
I wonder if and how many people skipped my previous article because the title had the word "striptease," even though the article itself spoke against it. But sexual sin runs rampant in our culture, and we need to discuss both the sinful uses and the proper uses of sex to convince younger generations of its sinfulness so that they can repent and be saved.
Which of the Ten Commandments includes sexual sin? Is it more than one Commandment? Of the two commandments that Jesus stated to refer to the entirety of the law and the statues "Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself," how does sexual sin go against love?
Modern culture has confused love and lust. Lust is coveting the flesh of your neighbor. Sexual sin flourishes due to lust, the coveting of what is not yours. Yet, because modern culture has a confused notion of love and lust, people believe wrongly that a person must lust over what he or she loves. These people believe wrongly that if there is no lust, then there is no love. However, love is an emotion in which one person enjoys the presence or companionship of another person. Love excludes lust because love champions the appreciation for an individual while lust covets the individual as an object or material thing to be possessed.
The need to separate love from lust is just another of many reasons why I personally feel called to advocate celibacy. A narrative on celibacy would return sex into its proper place. Separating love from lust would also lead to healthier emotions and to healthier sex for those who are married.
I think that Ed and Lisa Young harbor this confused notion of love and lust when they refer to sex as essential to holding marriages together. Strange as it sounds, they have encouraged their congregation and their audience "to have sex everyday for a week straight. After completing the challenge, Young advises that couples will be able to experience the power of marriage done God's way"
The sexual cravings of lust are materialistic, and Ed Young is no stranger to materialism. Early in 2011, he drove a Ferrari (borrowed or rented, I don't know) into his church to announce to the congregation that they are all Ferraris because they are made in the image of God. So, is the image of God a Ferrari? By comparing us and God to luxury materialistic objects, he has cheapened the spiritual value with a false idol. Material wealth can never equal spiritual wealth, so the two should never be equated together. Christians know they were created in the image of God without focusing upon what the materially-wealthy can afford, but more than that; due to the fallen nature of mankind, Christians can only regain the image of God by accepting Jesus as their savior.
And yet, they have sparked a discussion that we need to discuss sex. Sparking this discussion is a very good thing, even if I disagree with their overall message about sex.
Ending this with another quote by Ed Stetzer:
At the end of the day, gimmicks are not what we need-- solid biblical teaching and moral courage is. That does not mean we cannot have fun while talking about sex, but, in talking about sex, it does mean that we need not appear silly or salacious. As such, challenging people to have sex for a week may not be the best course of action-- but teaching them to both value the wonder and participate in the joy of sex in marriage is.