Tuesday, September 25, 2007

ruminations on real sex (pt. 1)

i got this book in the mail couple days ago per the recommendation of jameschoung.net's library page. very very fascinating book so far - the author, lauren f. winner, has made a really conscious effort to challenge the way the christian church (evangelical, western church) talks and engages on the topic of sex. imma post thoughts as i read through it...

“Indeed, one can say that in Christianity’s vocabulary the only real sex is the sex that happens in a marriage; the faux sex that goes on outside marriage is not really sex at all. The physical coming together that happens between two people who are not married is only a distorted imitation of sex, as Walt Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort is only a simulation of real wilderness. The danger is that when we spend too much time in the simulations, we lose the capacity to distinguish between the ersatz and the real.” p.38

i laughed out loud when i read this part. the walt disney parallel just brings the point home.

its true though isn't it, if we spend enough time with the counterfeit, we forget what the real thing is? there's the anecdote that if you want to learn to detect the counterfeit - become deeply acquainted with genuine.

i'm assuming that the sex that is often portrayed by mainstream media is definitely not the real thing. even so-called "pagans" understand that what hollywood or the tabloids tell us about sex is very much removed from the reality of what happens in between the blankets or what really happens between two consenting adults.

but i also think that the mainstream western church also has a whacked out perspective of sex, how we view our bodies, sex in the context of marriage and what it means to be a sexual being. part of the reason why i'm reading this book is that all my life i've been told that i shouldn't look at porn, think about sex, blah blah. which all ends up insinuating that sex is bad as a single male and then somehow after i get married sex is something good?

i'm not quite getting the message of what it means to function as a human being that God created with sexual desires. somehow we're supposed to keep those desires under wraps when we're single, and somehow "we don't have to worry about it" when we get married?

i'm not being terribly fair with the last statement - but i hope you get my point. i feel like society AND the church has ripped us off in terms of what true sexuality looks like.

isn't it about time we start dealing with this issue in a way that honors the fact that God's original depiction of sex is in the garden of eden - where everything God created was good.

anyhow - first thoughts, lots more good stuff to come along the way.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

thinking new thoughts after God

i browsed through some of my older posts today. i'm not sure i remember the person that wrote them. i see myself in them, but at the same time its reading someone else's thoughts.

was talking with the girlfriend about how my blog has basically died :). we talked about how it was a good outlet for me to chew through things i was going through, life, love, God, why. people say things in writing or on the internets that they wouldn't say in person. and thoughts get fleshed out differently in writing.

so if i'm not posting now - does that mean i'm not really chewing through stuff anymore? i ruminated on it today when i was driving around doing some errands.

at some point i think around my senior year in college - i stopped the reflective posts. i think it had a lot to do with the fact that i realized that i didn't have much to say. when you're young and idealistic (not to say i'm no longer these things), there's a tendency to put things out with a "so what who cares" attitude. somewhere along the line of realizing i didn't have answers or tidy conclusions - i think i lost my voice.

the biggest thing post-college was my black and white world blowing up into shades of gray. certain things weren't so certain anymore. this wasn't a bad thing - but i began to be suspicious of people (or rather, myself) or came across as having the whole God and life thing figured out.

i also began to realize that i spent a lot of time acquiring information and knowledge about God but came to the startling conclusion that i really didn't KNOW God.

when i was in college i used to devour books on spirituality. i listened to sermons, was inspired...and the wrote a blog post about it ;) then around my senior year, i read "blue like jazz" and everything went out the window.

the culmination of all these "oh schnaps" revelations was that i just shut up. part of it was also that i began to have outlets of processing that i didn't have before, the girlfriend, good friends.

i stopped reading the new testament for a season because i just didn't have the appetite for it. i dropped reading "God books" too. i've had a hard time "re-learning." its just been easier to read about things i know i don't know anything about than to read about things that leave me confused.

now its been a two-ish year journey in and out of uncertainty, bitterness, skepticism, cynicism, anti-religion, and apathy. i think i still have many of those things, though i'm hoping those feelings and emotions mature into something good.

i'm trying to redefine what it means for me to go hard after God without all the legalistic trappings of before. i'm going hard after relationship, and wanting to go out into deeper water instead of playing around in the certainty of shallow shores.

the conclusion i reached today was that i think its time for me to get into those things again. one of my strengths is input - i suck in new information like no one's business. anyone who's seen my rss feed list in google reader knows this. but part of the redemption of this information vacuum is that it enables me to think new thoughts after God. i need to be stimulated, i need new angles to see God's Kingdom, Satan's kingdom, and just plain life. in part of my effort to love God with all who i am -- i need to continuously think new thoughts after God.

so does this mean i'll start blogging again? i hope so.