Sex Evangelism

There is a really amusing article in the NY Times this week about a Dallas-area mega-pastor, Ed Young, and his crusade to get his married parishioners to have more sex.

Probably not a bad idea, but I have to point out this quote:

“If you’ve said, ‘I do,’ do it,” he said. As for single people, “I don’t know, try eating chocolate cake,” he said.”

Mr Young and his ilk might find they have less problems with married sex if they articulated a richer sexual ethic for single people. I’ll give Young the benefit of the doubt and assume his “Seven Days of Sex” are not merely about personal emotional fulfilment, but about strengthening the covenant which exists between the couple and God. If that’s the case, then he ought to be able to spell out how single peoples’ sexuality also has covenental dimensions. I realize the “chocolate cake” comment is meant to be facetious–but much of the time, at least in the church, singles’ sexuality is treated precisely in those terms: as a sugary treat with no substance. For many evangelicals like Young, singles are simply supposed to refuse sexuality, as if it were optional–like dessert–and not an intrinsic part of human being-in-the-world. No wonder Young’s congregation (and scores of others like it) have trouble with married sex: eating cake as one of your main courses tends to make you sick.

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10 Comments »

  1. 1
    l. hollyfeld Says:

    actually, he’s being more realistic than you’re giving him credit for. “eating chocolate cake” is a new evangelical euphemism for heavy petting.

  2. 2
    John Says:

    Young brings new depth to that famous band, Sexual Chocolate!

  3. 3
    John Says:

    On a serious note, see the below article in the New Yorker, on how underage pregnancies among evangelical kids is more and more common.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/11/03/081103fa_fact_talbot

  4. 4
    elcaballo Says:

    That’s really a good article, illustrates the problem precisely.

  5. 5
    elcaballo Says:

    By the way, I’m proud to see that this article is the 3rd listed on Google when you search for “sex evangelism.” The masses will soon be reading my blog!

  6. 6
    wess Says:

    Jamie, I’m glad you reflected on this article. I too saw it and stopped at making snide remarks about it, you’re point is far more constructive and still includes the necessary remarks.

    I am really tired on these “macho” pastors working in testosterone overdrive, who by-pass any actual sexual theology, and instead give into our hyper-sexed culture and its ideology, which seems to believe sex is the solution to all that ails the world. It also seems to me that many of them become the ministers of the religion-of-sex, propping up rather than critiquing the way our society tends to understand and “worship” sexuality.

  7. 7
    Chase Says:

    “Sexual Theology” would be a great name for an album, Wess. Keep that in mind.

  8. 8
    Craig Says:

    It seems that the assumption is that sex facilitates intimacy as opposed to intimacy facilitating sex–which basically means that if you can get an errection you’re going to have a fabulous marriage. Brilliant–we have pills for that. Also, I’m not sure that he understand that the “eat some chocolate cake” response to unmarried sexuality is precisely why so many people enter married life with excessive sexual baggage.

  9. 9
    elcaballo Says:

    Well put Craig. Glad to see you on here!

  10. 10

    @Craig: This is a very late reply, but does “excessive sexual baggage” mean the same thing as “love handles?” Because either works with chocolate cake.


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