Habemus Altare

The current debate over same-sex marriage in many churches gives me a feeling of déjà vu. We are running to third instead of first. How can we talk about same-sex marriage or homosexuality for that matter without talking about sex and sexuality first? In my humble opinion we are running in the wrong direction. Christians are a people of the book, and that book, the Holy Bible, never shies away from talking about sex. The language about a husband and wife becoming one flesh found in Genesis is a euphemism for sex. Ruth uncovering Boaz’s feet is a euphemism for sex. No euphemism is needed for the voracious sexual appetite of King Solomon or the tragic sexual appetite of King David. Prostitution, concubinage, rape, and incest permeate the scriptures. Speaking of rape and incest, when was the last time you heard a teaching or a sermon on the rape of Tamar and her cries for justice after experiencing the unspeakable? How might congregants be healed by an excellent exegesis of that passage amidst all of the hurt and pain that molestation and rape have caused in our communities? And this is not just a Hebrew Bible affair. Christians at Corinth were not known for their Victorian sexual mores.

The church shies away from frank discussions about sex while claiming to be Bible-based and scripture centered. You cannot be those things and not talk about God’s good gift of sex and how it is to be used to God’s glory.

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