“That if gold rust, what shall iron do?
For if a priest be foul, in whom we trust,
No wonder is a lewd man to rust.”
Have you noticed the growing trend of "sexperts" in the pulpit? How in the world have Christian couples managed to achieve intimacy in their marriages over the years without the "sexpertise" (sorry – couldn't resist!) of two high-profile couples — Mark and Grace Driscoll and Ed and Lisa Young?
In case you missed all the hype leading up to the release of these salacious books, they are now available. Maybe the Driscolls and the Youngs have wagered a bet to see who can sell the most books.
The countdown is on for Ed and Lisa Young to go "up on the roof" of Fellowship Church and jump in bed for a full 24 hours! They have concocted a publicity stunt that is sure to draw lots of attention — TV interviews, Facebook updates, Tweets, Skype sessions, and live streaming. Ed had made it patently clear that this is NOT a publicity stunt, and Lisa confirmed that every penny from the book sales will go to Fellowship Church. Here they are promoting their Sexperiment book: Ready to Strengthen Your Marriage?
I'm sure some of the attention they would rather not receive, like the scrutiny of Christianity Today. An online article entitled The Trouble with Ed Young's Rooftop Sexperiment: Yes, the church needs to talk more about sex. But pastors may need to talk about it less includes this important remark:
"Evangelicalism's current fascination with sexuality, then, may be important for a season. But as a movement, we should consider carefully what our stunts and our salacious sermon series say about us."
It is hard to believe that the "bed-in" stunt by the Youngs has upstaged the Driscolls, but that seems to have happened, at least for the moment. Check out "What's to Come" with the Driscolls, as revealed on The Resurgence website. There you will find this explanation:
"On January 15, we’ll begin the Real Marriage sermon series at Mars Hill Church, and over 2,000 churches and ministries will join us through the Real Marriage Campaign, which gives away hundreds of pages of research from Docent Research Group, all our marketing and branding materials, worship and counseling guides, my personal preaching notes, DVD downloads of my sermons, and more—all for free.
In February, we’ll kick off the Real Marriage Tour in Corona, California. We’ll then be visiting a number of cities around the country to share the Real Marriage material. We pray that many lives and marriages are changed.
We’re doing all this for one reason. We really want to help marriages by God’s grace, and we believe some of these tools will help that happen."
Based on what those who have reviewed the Driscolls' book have said, it's no telling what will slide off the lips of Mark Driscoll during the Real Marriage sermon series. Rest assured, there will be much more to discuss when his mouth gets in gear.
As "sex talk" among pastors becomes more and more prevalent, it only encourages the Driscoll and Young wannabes to emulate their revered leaders. Here is an example. During a recent sermon on marriage, one of Driscoll's disciples (who leads an Acts 29 church) made this remark to a mixed congregation:
“If (my wife) and I aren’t getting along, I think, well, let’s just have sex and forget about it. Let’s just start over. Sex is like the reset button. It’s like reboot. It’s like taking a hot shower after a long day. You just kinda you know wash all the stress off of you and the difficulty. That’s how most guys work. Unfortunately, that’s not how she works. For her sex is like the topping on a sundae. There has to be a lot of sweetness under it building up to it. Guys, that is a great analogy, O.K. you gotta write that down and think about it. It’s gotta be a lot of sweetness building up to it all day for it to be the right topping on that sundae.”
As a wife and mother of two grown daughters, I find it startling that a pastor would talk so freely about this topic to his congregation. My first thought upon hearing it was — were his young children present when their dad said this? Perhaps the church members were forewarned about the message and made provisions for their kids, but I heard it on a podcast and there was no warning (like James Dobson sometimes gives) about the sermon's graphic nature. What if a mother had been listening to this message via the internet with young children in her presence?
For those who are as disgusted as I am with pastors who openly share their "sexpertise", Wade Burleson has written a timely article which addresses the overemphasis on sex from the pulpit. It is appropriately called Evangelicals and Excessive Sex: Mark Driscoll and Ed Young from Augustine's Perspective.
Burleson begins his post with these wise words:
"There is a proliferation of sex manuals, sex sermons and sex talks within the evangelical Christian community. From Mark Driscoll's sometimes crude and vulgar discussions of sex in his 'exposition' of Solomon's Song, to the extraordinary theatrics of Ed Young in promoting his new book Sexperiment, modern evangelicals seem infatuated with sex. If you intituitively feel something is not quite right with such an overemphasis on the pleasures of sex, but you are not quite sure how to define what you are feeling, then I refer you to St. Augustine."
I want to encourage you to read the entire post and join me in praying that more Christians will speak out against the actions of these so-called "sexperts".
Finally, here is a song dedication to Ed and Lisa Young as they brave the elements during their 24-hour "bed-in".
Up On The Roof – The Drifters
Lydia's Corner: Isaiah 1:1-2:22 2 Corinthians 10:1-18 Psalm 52:1-9 Proverbs 22:26-27