Sunday, August 5, 2012: Hot Summer Sex 5

Posted on : Aug 2nd, 2012 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

For Reflection:

This Sunday, we conclude our Hot Summer Sex series with “Just Sex – Moral & Ethical Responsibilities to One’s Self and The Other.”

During the last four weeks we’ve explored:  How the Christian Church took all the fun out of Sex.  How sex in many Christian traditions is rooted in control over others.  How God obviously created sex to be good and pleasurable.  And how what makes sex “right or wrong” is not whether it is within marriage or not, but whether it is an expression of God’s love and justice or exploitation.

In 1991 when the Human Sexuality Task Force of the Presbyterian Church released our study document:  “Keeping Body and Soul Together:  Sexuality, Spirituality and Social Justice,” all hell broke loose.  Admittedly, it was a bit “outside the box,” but it wasn’t all that outrageous.  The spin that was used against our report was unbelievable.  But one of the hardest things for me to believe was how few Christians could really comprehend what it means to love in the way in which Jesus teaches us to love.  I mean, this was just unbelievable.

Sadly, what I saw and experienced in many Christians’ lives was not just about sex, but about their primary understanding of who God is and how God is present in their lives.  It was stark.  The vast majority of people had a fundamental view of God as judging, and far fewer experienced God as loving.

This past week I attended a training event about “conflicted Christians.”  Conflicted Christians are those who are trying to reconcile their thoughts and feelings of supporting gay and lesbian equality and equal marriage rights with Christian teachings against homosexuality and marriage equality.  Most of these folks either know and love someone who is gay or lesbian and/or have a lesbian or gay family member or child.  The presenters had done research with such folk and found they fell into two groups with two very different views or experiences of God.  One group experienced God as loving (“God is love.”).  The other group experienced God as Judge or judging.  The “God as Judge” view was taught that God opposes evil and if you allow evil to persist without challenging it, your salvation is at risk.  This same polarity of religious experience was what I experienced 20 years ago, and it still holds true today.

So, what does it mean to Love as Jesus loves us?   In John’s Gospel beginning with John 13:33 Jesus gives us a new commandment, “To love one another as I love you.”  Some translations use the past tense, “to love one another as I have loved you,” but I like it better in the present tense.  Jesus then tries to clarify that with a little cross talk with the disciples.  He uses language, which for the longest time made no sense to me.  It’s that conversation where he says “I am in God and God is in me” (John 14:11).  The way the language is used is a bit confusing.  What Jesus is trying to teach is that the love in him is actually God.  “Who I am is who God is.”

A few weeks ago I came across a blessing.  It’s meaning is expressed in these words:  “May the God in me meet the God in you.”

“Just Sex” is that combination of knowing that God is in me and God is in you and therefore there is great moral & ethical Responsibility to One’s Self and The Other whenever one enters into a sexual relationship.  That my friends, is far from anarchy, or “anything goes” or “if it feels good, it’s ok.”  I do believe one of the reasons Christians have so many hang-ups about sex is that we have our God-relationship wrong.  If we get that right, sex and a whole bunch of other things in our lives will be JUST (and) RIGHT.

More on Sunday!




~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

John 13:33 – 14:11

Jesus gives a new commandment

[Jesus said to the disciples:]  “My friends, I won’t be with you much longer.  You’ll look for me, but what I said to the Temple authorities, I say to you:

Where I am going, you cannot come.

I give you a new commandment:  Love one another.

You are to love one another the way I have loved you.

This is how all will know that you’re my disciples:  that you truly love one another.”


Simon Peter said, “Rabbi, where are you going?

Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you’ll follow me later.”

“Rabbi,” Peter said, “why can’t I follow you now?  I will lay down my life for you!”

“Lay down your life for me?”  Jesus exclaimed.  “The truth of the matter is, before the cock crows [Peter] you’ll have disowned me three times!

[Jesus continued:]  “Friends, don’t let your hearts be troubled.

You have faith in God; have faith in me as well.

In God’s house there are many dwelling places; otherwise, how could I have told you that I was going to prepare a place for you [if this were not true]?  I am indeed going to prepare a place for you, and then I will come back to take you with me, that where I am, there you may be as well.

You know the way that leads to where I am going.”

Thomas replied, “But we don’t know where you’re going.  How can we know the way?”

Jesus told him,

“I am the Way,

I am truth,

I am Life.

No one comes to God but through me.”

“Rabbi,” Philip said, “show us God, and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Phillip, and still you don’t know me?  Whoever has seen me has seen God.  How can you say, ‘Show us God?’  Don’t you believe that I am in God and God is in me?

The words I speak are not spoken of myself;

it is God, living in me, who is accomplishing the works of God.

Believe me that I am in God and God is in me,

or else believe because of the works I do.”

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