Wednesday, October 17, 2007

ruminations on real sex (pt. 2)

so...to preface the major delay on this post...i actually found all the good quotes from this book the first night i read it...which was when pt. 1 was written. i finished the book the next day and promptly forgot about my promised next parts.

so, ruminations continue. quotes to begin:

“In contemporary society, sex is public...it is not communal...Americans consider sex a fine topic of public disclosure but we insist that sex is also private, nobody’s business but mine and the person with whom I’m doing it.” (47)

“We are called to speak to one another lovingly, to be sure, and with edifying, rather than gossipy or hurtful, goals. But we are called nonetheless to transform seemingly private matters into communal matters. Of course, premarital sexual behavior is just one of many instances of this larger point. Christians also need to speak courageously and transparently, for example, about the seemingly private matters of Christian marriage” (53)

i think the first quote really captures how not only the public views sex, but really how the church views it too. the second quote gets me because i think the church's failure (case in point: true love campaign was shown to only delay premarital sex, and only barely...) to adequately speak on this topic doesn't necessarily have to do with SEX per se as much as it has to do with our broken understanding of community.

one thing i've been wrestling with is the idea of how my actions affect others. i think i would like to believe that i function in a fully autonomous bubble where i can freely choose what and whom i interact with. but really, we're all interconnected.

when i spend $40 on a pair of jeans, my purchase affects the employees at the store i purchased from, it ripples down to the corporate headquarters of the store, to the manufacturers, to the laborers that make those jeans, to the children of those laborers. its easy to compartmentalize these "chain reactions" because they're so removed from us. but it doesn't change reality.

i wonder if our isolation on wrestling through issues of sex, money, and other things is out of a sense of believing that we are truly independent. in other words, we don't talk about it with others because we really think that it doesn't involve them or that our decisions don't affect them. but the reality is our secrets may not be apparent on the surface, but they will always show up later and they have community ramifications. the church's inability to healthily address how singles ought to be dealing with their sexuality gets uncovered when these singles get married are struggling to adequately understand this "newfound" aspect of their lives.

i long to see the church be able to wrestle issues of sexuality in healthier way than we do now. if we have a so called relationship with the God of the universe that created it -- shouldn't we have a unique insight on how this is all supposed to work together? i don't think we will be able to come into this maturity until we come into a greater realization that as a body of Christ we are to BE a body.

wouldn't it be weird if the hand suddenly stopped telling the brain what it was grabbing? i'm pretty sure the hand would be burned or picking up something wrong.

when i refuse to include my community in wrestling through LIFE in light of following Jesus, i am missing out. i'm attempting to function as a body outside the framework of how a body functions...

its unfortunate that the church at large has become a place that is unsafe to wrestle through controversial issues (money, sex, politics...). if the church doesn't have anything to say about those things...why does it have a say on matters of eternity?

The problem is not that we talk about sex. The problem is how we talk about sex. This matters, because the way we talk about sex reflects and forms the way we think about, and ultimately the way we practice, sex. (63)