Thursday, July 2, 2009

sex as the new apologetic

Anyone else over this?

Here's how the argument goes:

Many people don't want to become Christians because it would interrupt their sexual activities. Sex is the most important thing in life, so this is unthinkable.

So we argue back: Becoming a Christian will make your sex life even better. Look, Christians are all for sex, God made it, God knows best, he tells us how to have really good sex. See here? We've got a whole book of the bible about it. Song of Songs. Christian erotica. (And guys, it talks about things you only dream about...)

Now, I'm into sex as much as the next person. I enjoy it. I enjoy talking about it. I enjoy writing about it. But.

I think we come at the whole apologetic thing from the wrong direction. Why not help people to see that sex is not the goal of life? Life people's eyes up, away from themselves and towards something bigger. Is the good-sex gospel going to cause us as many problems long term as the much-money gospel?

A few points.
  • sex outside marriage is fun because of the adrenaline rush it gives. It's fun because it's dangerous. If people (particularly christian people) are mucking around outside marriage chances are that when they get married sex will be worse. They will need to learn to get a kick out of sex alone, not out of the adrenaline rush.
  • Sex can take ages to get good at. Women have to get over their hangups with their bodies, guys need to learn patience and control. They need to trust each other. This is probably going to take years and years. The true-love-waits stuff which promises perfect wedding night sex is going to lead to disappointment. Trouble is, couples (and particularly women) blame themselves for their fumbling and even link it to godliness. 'If I was a better wife I'd be more willing/able to....' Ideas about submission get thrown into the mix and pain and guilt and despair escalates.
  • Pressure to have great sex is a passion killer for women. It makes great sex (or any sex) unlikely to happen.
  • Have we stopped talking about patience and kindness and joy and self control in marriage? Perhaps these things matter too...
  • Sex is not for everyone. Apart from being untrue, a good-sex gospel is unkind to singles.
Have I overstated? What do you think?


  1. No overstatement whatsoever. It is and I am sick and tired of youth literature that doesn't talk about anything else. Really, "You probably haven't heard this before but sex is good!" is the cliche of the decade. The point is not to idolise any form of anything - whether it's a "Christian" version or a pagan version.

  2. "It is" the new prosperity gospel, that is...

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I'd say that I agree with you, but 2 other people have already, and I can't just be going around inflating the ego of every Presbyterian blog I visit, now can I?

  5. They were really excellent and thoughtful... thoughts.

  6. Thank for those comments. Nice to have a rant agreed with!

  7. this is a great article by christopher ash that offers simailr thoughts to inadequcy of sex as apologetic
    (how do you insert hyperlink?)

    its a summary of much of his book (p13 to top of 14 most relevant)


  8. that's pages as per the pdf copy you can download


  9. I just worked it out and now it's gone again. Anyway, I might just stay silent ...