Tag Archives: sexuality

Faith and Sexuality Dialogue in Philly: Oriented to Love

Thursday through Saturday I’ll be in Philadelphia for Oriented To Love: a dialogue about Faith and Sexuality. The dialogue is sponsored by Evangelicals for Social Action.

The event aims to bring various people and perspectives together to listen and understand. More details about the event are here: http://www.evangelicalsforsocialaction.org/oriented-to-love/

I would really appreciate it if you kept me in your thoughts and or prayers this weekend!  I’m continuing my efforts of engaging churches and communities on the intersections of race, sexuality, and reconciliation.

– Darren

Busy Days…

In what seems to be the story of my life, things have been quite busy for me – which in a lot of ways is still a good thing.  I’ve got two great church clients that have been a steady stream of work for me, my two new business web sites are creeping toward a launch, and I’ve been in a plethora of things at church this week.  Just to recap, here are some highlights from the last two weeks or so (yes.. I’m a bit behind in my blogging!)

Photos, videos, and links after the jump Continue reading Busy Days…

Sex, Convictions, and Honor

I’m thinking about this wonderful thing called life and that wonderful topic that for various reasons is filled with shame, wonder, awe, passion, joy, hurt, and a whole host of other emotions.  I’m thinking about sex.  (Ok… stop giggling).

Now, let’s do a little background:   I’m looking at how its becoming unpopular for believers to have convictions.  It’s one thing to simply believe something or hold it as true.  It’s another thing to be convicted about that same thing.  The conviction caries with in that this must be adhered to.  In our society, the only absolute seems to be that we must adhere to nothing. So often when one acts according to their convictions, they are chastised as being “extreme” or “too religious” or whatever.  There are some people I’ve run across on 360 who’s beliefs I’m not in agreement with, but who’s conviction I admire and realize a need to step up in my own life.

In Romans 1, the people were in the wrong because they had no conviction… they didn’t feel that what they believed about God was important enough to alter or curb their behavior, they did whatever they wanted to and God let them.  A lot of times we only hear this passage in relation to homosexuality, but it’s truth in the text is applied to everyone reading!  We have to do more than just believe!

What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. (Romans 1:21 , The Message)

How many of us have felt this way: that there is no sense of direction… or at least no significant one?  That somehow what everyone is chasing after (a hot body, a good sex, etc…) isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.  That happiness isn’t nestled in the pleasure sensations that rise from between ones legs.  Then we ‘evolve’ into the relationship model, but we still don’t go for it God’s way.  We come up with a list (albeit simple or complex) of what we would like in our relationship, but we don’t consult God in what we seek for.

I’ve often seen this pattern heterosexual or homosexual… sex is ok as long as both of you want to do it.  That’s about the extent of our convictions (and even that is a blurry line with all the manipulation we throw into the equation).

I’m not criminalizing sex at all.

However I am concerned about our abandonment of God and his desire for our lives (not just sex).

Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. A number of you know from experience what I’m talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list. Since then, you’ve been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, The Message)

And this is the point of all this discussion:  God has given us a fresh chance in Jesus… so often we take the grace and mercy, the love and kindness and run out with full of belief but low on conviction.  We believe that God loves us, that sex is good, and that he wants us to be happy.  But we don’t have any conviction that he cares how we live and wants a say in our lives.  At the very core of this is our bodies and what we do with them.

Since the Master honors you with a body, honor him with your body! – (v.13b, The Message)

Where has the honor gone?  Why is it that the most honor we can muster is for the physical appearance of the body… we’ll worship a hot body or a sexual satisfying experience, but we won’t honor our selves any higher than that.

…remember that your bodies are created with the same dignity as the Master’s body. You wouldn’t take the Master’s body off to a whorehouse, would you? I should hope not. – (v.15, The Message)

I’m not saying I’ve been perfect in this avenue, but I feel a conviction to do better.  It’s an inward thing, that’s working its way into my actions.

There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever–the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another.   (v.16-18, The Message )

SEX IS GOOD

It’s our God given desire to become one with another.  I think it comes from our desire to become one with Him… it’s a shadow of the most personal intimacy that we experience in true fellowship with God—that closeness where two become one.

Sex is Good, God is Good, now it’s time to be Good and Godly in our sex.  Remember he redeemed us so that we could have a chance to get things right and really live.  And who could make sex better than the one who made it?  Who could show us how to be pleased and fulfilled better than the one who created you, your hot spots, and every part of your body?!  God wants us to enjoy sex, but he has a prescription for how to do it right.  Let’s seek him and get this thing together!

Tuesday February 21, 2006 – 07:04am (CST)

To Deny Myself… Dumb or Divine?

Why do people get so “caught up” in being “true” to themselves? I so often hear people criticize when someone chooses to make a change in their life/behavior. They often argue, you’re not being true to who you really are. Then they’ll pose the question: What if you still feel the same way or want to go back to what you used to do?

Then I thought about who we are in God. We are made in God’s image and likeness… God makes choices… we do too. God didn’t make us like the animals in that we are NOT ruled by instinct. Yes we have some natural instincts, but we ultimately have the uniqueness of an intelligence to choose to go with the instinct or to do whatever else we can think of.

We use the power of our intelligence in all kinds of ways. We decided that we should be able to fly. We decided that we should be able to communicate over thousands of miles. We decided that no matter what the environment is, we should harness it and make it conform and become liveable to our tastes. Man has great power and we do what we will with it. God noted this in Genesis when man was building the Tower of Babble… he basically said whatever we set our minds to do, we’ll eventually do it. (Gen 11:6 )

We exercise this same liberty in other areas of our lives. We choose to ingest things that we know aren’t good for our bodies. We indulge in activities that we know put us at risk for long-term health problems. We do all kinds of things that we know are contrary to our nature. I’m not going to even get into what’s good or bad but I want to focus on the fact that we constantly choose what we will do above our natural instinct.

So why is it that when someone chooses to “deny himself” we get so staunch on being “true to yourself”. Making it clear that to deny oneself isn’t to pretend or ignore the facts, but rather in light of these things being true or real to make a decision to do otherwise.

Most who’ll read this agree that Jesus is the Son of God come down to save mankind (short version). And just look what he did… (Phil. 2:6-7 Amp )

6Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained,

7But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.

Jesus denied himself to choose to do what he felt was important. He became like me… so I could become like Him. So often, people say… “well you’re only human” as an excuse to just live ‘however you feel’ but I say to the contrary, because I’m human, I can choose to live the way God made possible for me to live through Jesus. So what if I have desires that aren’t like God… I’m going to choose to let Him transform those desires and allow myself to conform more to His image and likeness.

I believe that in making an intelligent decision to conform to what I know to be God’s will for my life I’m indeed honoring who I really am. That is I’m empowered with my choices to do more than my nature dictates. I’m honoring God by using my choice to become more like Him.

So what if I still feel the same way? So what!?! People who take anti-depressants don’t always feel “up” and just because someone in anger management class has an outburst, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t keep work on managing their anger. Let’s be real… just because air-planes crash doesn’t mean we stop flying… and obviously because certain sexual practices carry the risk of STD’s we haven’t stopped having sex!

Let’s move past this fatalistic and naturalistic limiting of who and what we can be. This isn’t a big statement of faith… it’s quite a small one. I’ll just believe it’s possible!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the wrold. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.” – Original Author Uncertain, Quoted by Nelson Mandela

Thursday January 19, 2006 – 06:23pm (CST)