So, earlier today...
I was reading an article on Salon.com entitled, "The Joy of Judgmental Christian Sex". Yeah. I know, right? HERE. WE. GO. AGAIN.
It was talking about two relatively new books, one that I actually think I've referenced in one of these blogs before: "Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse". Anyway, as I'm sure you can tell from the title of piece, it wasn't singing the praises of sexual purity and physical intimacy's true purpose. And, of course, being what the (main) focus of this website/ministry is about, I'm sure you can understand why this particular portion caught my attention:
Enemy No. 1 of both of these books is pornography. “Sexperiment” spills pages of ink on the subject, but the message throughout is consistent and unwavering: “A husband and wife who see sex and marriage as God sees it also see the math of marriage as 1+1=1. There is no room there for a third party. Pornography is a third party.” “Real Marriage” is similarly one-note: “The purpose of pornography is clearly lust. And throughout both the Old and New Testaments, God repeatedly condemns – as a grievous evil – lust for anyone but your spouse.” But the Driscolls go so far as to compare hardcore pornography to the “Twilight” series:
In the lust category, along with sexual nudity and pornography, we also include women’s romance novels. They commonly entice sinful lust and cause women to fantasize about sexual sin with all the alluring power of visual pornography for men. This kind of sinful lustful fantasizing extends to such things as the Twilight phenomenon, where older women, many of them mothers, openly fantasize about sexual desires they had for the young actors in the film.
They also lump in women’s magazines like Cosmo, which “fills its covers with pornographic article headlines shouting to the world that lust is a good thing.” They suggest that “lusting eyes” start with a sexy magazine and move on “to orgies, voyeurism, exhibitionism, pedophilia, and wherever else a crooked human heart can venture.” (You heard it here first: Cosmo causes pedophilia?) They also deliver this gem: “Sure, the naked people you like looking at are hot … but so is hell.” However, my hands-down favorite line from the Driscolls on the subject of porn is: “Clearly, while not everyone who looks at porn will end up doing such evil things as Ted Bundy, they will do evil things even if less intently or frequently.” Way to be generous, guys!
Oh...I guess I should go back a few paragraphs to provide some insight on the writer of this piece just to give a foundation to her perspective:
Now, I may not be the most impartial judge — I’m an arrogant, unrepentant atheist and fornicator, after all — but throw my sex reporting credentials in the mix and I am specially poised to sniff out the most anachronistic and bigoted sexual beliefs espoused in these books.
Arrogant. An unrepentant athiest. And a fornicator. Yeah. I'm sure she would just *love* what we talk about on here (LOL). And yet, what I was really processing as I was reading how, from her perspective, *ridiculous* (my word not hers) those authors and their views are, honestly, it didn't cross my mind to challenge how "crazy" she may be; yet, it did cause me to wonder, "Now, she made the time to read these books and as someone who used to be a music critic, I am more than aware that even the things that you detest, they still have a way of staying with you. Therefore, some things in those books...resonated. Therefore, when it comes to seeing sex differently, the "door" has been opened, even if it was with the "key" of a byline and a paycheck (as a writer, I *hope* she got a paycheck!). Now how can we walk into it to give her even more to think about?" So that perhaps she will consider transitioning from sarcasm to actually taking the topic seriously?
Cause here's the thing: By her saying that she's doesn't believe in God, being that many of us that come to this site do, it's pretty much the equivalent of a person fluent in Spanish trying to enjoy a conversation with someone who only speaks Japanese: yes, we are coming from two vastly different places. And it's really challenging to relate to one another because of it. HOWEVER, when Christ was on the earth, he spoke *Hebrew* AND *Aramaic*. He was able to reach the Pharisees AND the demon-possessed (although sometimes I do wonder if they were one in the same---whole 'nother message!). He spoke Scripture and in parables (Matthew 13:13). HE REACHED EVERYONE.
*And as disciples, that is what we are commissioned to do as well*.
Yeah. It was probably easier for her to tear those books apart than actually look for the good in them (the fact that people seem to be so relentless about being against covenant continues to intrigue me). And yet, isn't it often just as preferable for us to turn around and tear her to shreds for her views rather than thinking, "OK, those books are not what's going to work. What else can we do?" To reach her. To expand her perspective. Her beliefs.
Because if we're the light of the world (Matthew 5:14), how can we spread that light if we're always shutting those in the dark...out?
You know, someone once said, "Those who can't, judge." Hmph. Let the world tell it (and some believers too), some of the most judgmental people *are* Christians (makes me think of that YouTube entitled, "Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus" that everyone blasting out). Is it that a lot of us are so much *not* like Christ that we'd rather spend our time (and resources and energy) pushing non-believers away rather than looking for ways to reel them in? Is it because we are too prideful to admit that we are doing a really poor job of reaching (other) sinners like Christ did: compassionately, consistently...*effectively*?
Hey. I'm just putting it out there. After all, something I said that I was going to do this year was be more *solutions-oriented* and darkness is a *real problem*. Anyway, it's just something to think about from a broader perspective than, "She's an athiest. *Of course*, she would be that way."
If she's a non-believer, whether that's in God or sexual purity or marital covenant, yes, her (current) resolve makes a lot of sense.
Yet, what do we have to be so cynical about? I bet someone can get her to reconsider her stance. If they really wanted to.
Faith moves mountains (Matthew 17:20). Hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5). All things are possible to them that believe (Mark 9:23).
Even in the power of transitioning an arrogant, atheist fornicator into...something else. Something better.
So much more.