Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sermon series on sex, dating, and marriage

This is a very christian centered post so....just saying that up front. So the current sermon series in my church right now is on sex, dating, and marriage. So here is what a lesbian christian thought while sitting in a super packed out church listening to a relatively hetro-focused sermon. You'd be surprised, I actually enjoyed it and I think I can translate most of it to my life as well.

First I really appreciate any church/pastor that has the balls to preach on something as tricky as sex. It's risky. And it's not just tricky because christians don't ever talk about sex in church beyond "Why wait sermons" or what I call "Idolatry of family over singlness sermons" because it's controversial. It's tricky at my church because the demographic is average age 26 and single, so pretty much all of us are thinking sex, dating, and marriage. He did ask if anyone in the church was called to celibacy. No one raised their hand and everyone laughed.

Here's what I loved. The pastor celebrated and praised singleness. And not like most other sermons I've heard that end by talking about family in the end anyway. Nope. He talked about how singleness is good. He praised it. He talked about the pain of being in a church where family and marriage is put on a pedestal. Which is true in a lot of churches. He talked about how impossible it was for people to be single in the early church (almost impossible actually). It was unheard of. So therefore for Paul to say "staying single is good" was revolutionary because they actually had a choice. Previous to that women/widows were legally requred to get married in two years. (Can you imagine!)

But then the part that he didn't give any closure to was this. He read a letter from some girl talking about how painful singleness is. Great so you acknowledge it's hard. That's great! But that's about where the helpfulness ended. It was sweet of him anyway to try. Most pastors don't.

Then he went into dating. An odd transition but, ok. He was so animated that sometimes I thought his points weren't fully solid, but he sure was fun to listen to anyway. I wrote down a few of the points. 1) Marriage is for friendship (Some genesis passage was quoted). He talked about how it's not just because he/she's hot! (duh!) but I guess that people must be confused about that. 2) It's sharing all of you... emotional intimacy matching physical intimacy.... which if you don't match that up in a committed relationship he says it can impact your ability to trust. There was more stuff here but I don't remember it. 3) And he asked people to consider if their callings/vocations dreams line up. And ask the question "Do you impact each other for the better?" Good questions for anyone thinking about a committed relationship.

OK so... bonus points for valuing singleness for it's sake. Negative points for being unable to do anything with the heart wrenching letter he read in front of the church. He gave no solution to that besides the oft said "Just trust Jesus and go to God with it." Like she's not doing that?! Bonus points for some great points about marriage and relationships. And yes, I was thinking "If I married a woman would I ask all these same questions?" Yes I think so.

So that was my morning. Then I went out for lunch and half way outed myself. It was really awkward conversation that vered from the sex sermon series into homosexuality. I was with two girls and one of them said something like "I don't think there is anyone from that lifestyle at our church and if someone was from that lifestyle was at our church they could just go to one of those other churches." To which I said, "Um. There are several of us though who like our church and don't want to go to another one." And then it was super awkward and we changed the topic. I am pretty sure I shocked her.

Seriously people I am not in a lifestyle. And for another thing don't ever assume there's no one gay in your church. Because it may be that I am having lunch with you and you don't even know it.


~Dawn said...

It appears the definition of marriage that the pastor passed along is the perfect definition of marriage that ALL people should remember - gay or straight.
Too bad so many people just can't understand that and still see gays as 'icky'.

Zuzu said...

And what about people who don't find being single painful? I loved being single and dating when I was single and dating. Were there times when it was lonely? Sure, but there are also times that being in a relationship s difficult and lonely too. Sounds like it was a good sermon. If more people "came out" - it would be hard for heterosexuals to feel like their lives were so insulated and it would be more difficult to perpetuate hate when they realized that they were talking about their friends, children, parents, etc. Anyways. - Zuzu

just me said...

Dawn, yes. Thanks for the comment.

zuzu, true - good point. In this context single meant single and celibate. He did however talk about how much less trama single people have. Sooo. yes.

And true on the coming out thing. AND - Woo hoo I'm out. :)

(no subject) said...

hey, i was just reading back through some of your posts and stumbled upon this one. i REALLY like it. the sermon sounds like it was good. i definitely like the definition of marriage. and i liked your half coming out at at the end. =)

Anonymous said...

Can you help me unnderstand how a person can claim to be gay and a christian? I'm just trying to figure this one out. Also, do you feel that homosexuality should be condoned or condemned in churches? I'm just interested in your point of view.


Daniel Catania said...

Doesn't the bible preach in several places, both the old and new testament, that being homosexual should be condemned, not condoned?