HOLY HEDONISM
Sex Has Come Out of the Christian Closet

by Stanley J. Leffew

When I, a concerned father of three wonderful children, began this journey of proactively engaging the voices crying out in our culture today about the body, sex, and love, it never occurred to me that I would someday write an article like this one.

Definition of hedonism: The self-indulgent pursuit of pleasure as a way of life

HEDONISTIC CULTURE

Just a casual look at Amazon.com and you'll find listed over 423,482 books alone about sex. Here are just a few of the titles:

101 Sex Positions
The Low Down on Going Down
Blow Him Away
Daily Sex - 365 Positions and Activities for a Year of Great Sex
Ride 'Em Cowgirl! Sex Position Secrets for Better Bucking
The Position Sex Bible
The Orgasm Bible
Tickle His Pickle

I even found several wrist watches at Amazon that have a different sex position shown for each hour on the face of the watch. We live in a very hedonistic culture.

HEDONISTIC CHRISTIANS

As excessive as all this may seem, we have many noted Christian writers sharing much the same message. My INBOX gets flooded with different offers from faith writers all the time and the Internet is inundated with this line of reasoning from people of the Christian faith.

Sex has come out of the Christian closet.

You almost get the feeling that as Christians we have been denied something for a long time, and now that we can have it we are expressing our new found freedom with overkill. It's kind of like the counterculture tones of the 1960's, only now we are seeing them in the church. Church Lady meets Madonna, if you will.

While I have great respect for many of these writers, here is my rant.

Are we trying to infiltrate and even impress the world around us with what we know about heat and technique more than with what we know about heart and togetherness? Are we making our message more about methods than meaning and getting hung up on the hang up.? If all we are giving our culture is more of the same, are we really impacting our world?

"Sex is fun and exciting!"

"God designed it to be so!"

"Christians have great sex!"

So go the shouts of these cheerleaders of holy hedonism.

I don't think the world around us is losing sleep on whether or not believers are having great sex. I don't think they really care, nor do I think they are surprised to find out when Christians are having great sex.

WHAT WE ELEVATE BECOMES WHAT WE CELEBRATE

Yes, we are designed for desire, but we also desire for design. Instead of elevating design, believers seem to be spending just as much time elevating desire as the culture around them. My concern is that Christians today are focusing more on the URGE than they are the MERGE and are also missing DESIGN in this DESIRE-DRIVEN world.

If what we elevate becomes what we celebrate, is this really the message we should be elevating?

MORE OF THE SAME

I believe it is God's plan for Christians to have great sex, I just don't buy into the idea that the message the world or the church needs from people of faith is more of the same.

Honestly, my married Christian friends don't seem to be as confused about sex as all this material seems to suggest. They seem to understand that God permits them in their marriage to both enjoy and have great sex. They seem to grasp that sex is not something they have to be ashamed of and are welcomed by God to delightfully enjoy.

Much of this marketing material seems to suggest, though, that high-flying, tantalizing, chandelier swinging sex is the desired end for the God-given gift of sex, and anything short of this leaves our sex lives with more to be desired.

I denote a little over-selling and sensationalizing in it all.

Some of it seems to say if our sex isn't mind altering, mind blowing, heart pounding, mind numbing and roof lifting, we are cheating ourselves, missing what sex is about, and even being a poor reflection of God's truth to our children and the world around us. Some of it even seems to suggest our society's relational woes are the result of whether Christians are knocking the walls down every night of their married lives or not.

Will all this holy hedonism sell books?

Sure it will!

This overly sexualized culture we all live in has sex so much on the brain selling books like these is not rocket science.

My question regarding all this holy hedonism is, with all that is already out there, is it really essential for people of faith to add to the mix the same type message and offer more of the same?

MY CHILDREN NEED YOUR VOICE

I end this article with an appeal to Christian writers everywhere.

The next time you feel the need to spend all your creative energy writing another book on sexual desire, maybe considering sending your audience to one of the 483,482 that are already out there from just the one location I mentioned might be a good consideration. There are hundreds of thousands more at other locations if you run out of options there. If you are going to write about it, make certain that it elevates and leads your readers to design and that it is not just another morsel tossed onto the table of desire.

My children need your voice!

I just hope they can distinguish the difference between your influence and the influence of the culture around them by the time they are old enough to really start lending an ear.


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