If Rev. Jerry Lawson wanted to make a name for his church, he did it by having a few billboards promote his latest sermon series. You see his church is in Northern Alabama—Bible Belt, Ten Commandments country, etc.—and his topic is “marital sex made better.” The website “GreatSexGodsWay.com” on billboards around Alabama rankled the very conservative base, not because it was coming from a Christian perspective, but the fact that those parents would have to talk about sex to their children a little earlier than they wanted. Good.
Sex Talk In The South?
God knows everything else is talked about in that part of the state (i.e. the economy, the new president, etc.) maybe its high time sex can be talked about in the deep south of Alabama. It’s bad enough residents of the state have to cross state lines to get an adult movie or a dildo. Haven forbid someone will have to talk to their friends and family about sex. Those few who don’t want it to come out (gasp) that Alabamians are sexual beings will make a stink about it. Marketing ploy to get more people in the pews, yes; billboard campaign to get the tongues wagging, probably; worldwide coverage over the outrage to really drive home the point you are trying to come across to your congregation, priceless.
Pastor Lawson’s Daystar Church in Cullman, Alabama started with 100 members and grew to about 2,000 people. It is your new school style mega-church complete with a hip pastor and a timely word. Only the word about better marital sex in the bedroom may be a bit too hip for the conservative folks of Alabama. From other ministers to city officials, the topic is raising eyebrows about the approach to delve into this subject. But it’s not the first time this topic was taken on in recent months.
Marital Sex - It’s Okay By The Book, But Why Can’t We Talk About It?
In Dallas, Texas, Fellowship Church pastor Ed Young challenged all the married couples in his congregation to have sex for a week. This was used to instill a closer marital bond between husband and wife. In Florida, Georgia, and other states there is a push among Evangelicals to “take back” the sex message from the “world” and bring it back in the pews. This effort is made to try and “cleanse” sex from the evil talk the world has regarding the subject.
My question is does this means ministers are acknowledging the need to talk sex to the married couples? What about single people? Will it still be “no sex for you” like some Sex Nazi or will we finally have a reasonable debate/discussion on what the Bible really says to single people regarding sex? That discussion is for another debate at another time.
I do think there should be some high praise to big city and small town churches where preachers like Rev. Lawson boldly acknowledge the needs of his congregation. Although some ministers think preachers should stick to preaching the Gospel and nothing else I think this type of talk is in the bounds of the tradition of the church. When needs among widows came up for first century believers the leaders of the time (Peter, Paul, John, etc.) delegated authority and raised leaders to take care of their needs. If believers needed clothes because there were some lacking they would do the same thing as well clothing the naked.
Talking Sex, The Modern Way
In the case for many churches the sex therapist and advice makers (thank you Dan and Jennifer) are making inroads into many couples and singles lives giving timely advice and proper direction in and out of the bedroom. Church leaders desperate to reach to the needs of their audience and seeing the growing concerns raised over sexual issues in their pews ( adultery, variety in the bedroom, etc.) realize they are behind the curve. So in order to “save” the message they try and bring it upon themselves to get the message out to where its needed.
I applaud Rev. Lawson’s approach to getting sexual help to his congregation and stand with him when people in his North Alabama region makes a big stink about sex. The good people of the region should get a grip and start talking to their family about sex. If they don’t know enough about the subject of sexuality then this is the time to delve on line and in the bookstores and libraries to find out. There is enough good material to get any parent ready to have “the talk” with their children.
Where I differ with him is that this talk should have happened ages ago. Fancy marketing may be good for a time, but this must be a talk for the long term. There needs to be healthy debate and discussion coming from both sides of the issue. I long for a minister with the moral guts to take on each subject of relationships, dating, and sexuality without the prepackaged agenda stamped on every minister coming out of seminary (or cemetery as one of my minister friends puts it). A frank talk about sex is one I think teens and adults in Christian and non-Christian circles could use in a big way.