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Showing posts from August, 2016

Never Tell Someone They're Wrong

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Tell them that you're hurt.

I wish people confronted me more often. As a writer, I say lots of things hoping to generate learning and understanding through lively discussion. I don't try to hurt anyone, but I do try to provoke. Unfortunately, sometimes the two go together. I only know this because someone told me.

A few months ago, I wrote about what I believed were some terrible reasons for becoming a Christian. One of those reasons was hope. And with my usual blanket-sized polemic, I generalized everyone in need of hope as a wishy-washy Christian running from difficulty rather than learning from it.

That's when I heard from the mom who had just lost her 7-year-old daughter to cancer. Admittedly, compassion was never my strong suit, but having a little girl of my own brought this lady's pain home for me. She was hurt and angry because, for years, she watched her precious one suffer and, for years, she hoped for a miracle--only to have it ripped away by the God she tru…

Why You Should Have Consensual Sex

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Guest post by Michael Kuffel in response to my blog "How to Have Christian Sex". Michael is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, adjunct professor, clinical supervisor, and doctorate researcher in Spokane, Washington. Like his page on Facebook (he's a personal friend, so just do it).




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Alex and I agree more than we disagree. But I do not wish to pin "Christian" and "consensual" against one another, as if they are mutually exclusive. Quite the opposite, I believe Christian sex is consensual sex. While our perspectives similarly begin and end with "selflessness" as a position and orientation of heart, I wish to offer another view of the journey between (the sheets).

Defining Consent

If history has taught us nothing else, it's that humans have an intimate, comfortable way of violating the domain of others. In the throes of a relentlessly evolving rape culture, we are surprisingly adept at ignoring, normalizing, or trivializing consent viola…

How to Have Christian Sex

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It starts by not wanting it.

The only appropriate sex position for Christians is missionary. So says the sufficient, inerrant Word of Puritans--I mean, God:
His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me. (Song of Songs) This is what my childhood home church taught. No, it wasn't one of those a cappella-only Churches of Christ--just a normal, non-denominational evangelical church with a bad case of self-involved hermeneutics and historical ignorance.

Hundreds of years ago, the mortality rate was much higher, especially for pregnant women. Procreation was still an absolute necessity and the infertile were treated like faithless vessels of God's judgment. So in fairness to a time we'll likely never understand, sex had to be pragmatic for humanity to survive.

But the downside of any sexual ethic borne out of peril is that it creates artificial ontological imperatives. Meaning that it imprints circumstance and environment onto our being as truth, even though they…

Don't Lust After Your Wife

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Oneness is not possession.

Everyone knows what lust looks like. If you've ever seen a teenage boy at a beach surrounded by bikinis, you've seen lust. Eyes wide, jaw dropped, perhaps a little drool, and an expression so blank you know that neurons have ceased firing everywhere except in his pants.

It's pure, unbridled desire. And it's not particularly attractive.

Lust drove kings like David in the Bible to murder one of his own soldiers so he could add another trophy wife to his collection. It drives successful young athletes like Brock Turner to rape a young woman and then shame her in front of his friends. Few would contend that lust has any redeeming qualities in our society.

Except Christians.

Lust is a lot like sex: before marriage, it's demonic and evil and makes you second to Hitler. But once you're married, most Christians will tell you that it's game on, no holds barred, banging for Jesus time. He may have washed our sins white as snow, but marriage…

How to Hate Abortion and Support It Too

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Pro-abortion is anti-Christian. Pro-choice is not.
I'm pro-choice but anti-abortion. I don't think a fetus should be included in women's rights but I can't support the belief that life begins at conception either.
The truth is we don't know when life or personhood or whatever you want to call the threshold to murder happens. Neither science nor religion can tell us.
Religious evidence is unimpressive

Christians have mustered an impressive list of unimpressive Bible verses to prove otherwise. They'll cite David who spoke of being formed by God in the womb, which only proves that God is sovereign over fetal development. Next, they'll quote Jeremiah who talks of being known by God before the womb, making it even clearer that the biblical writers were speaking about divine omniscience not biology.
It gets weirder. Some Christians will go to Hebrews and the author's description of Levi paying tithes while in his great-grandfather's loins. If that verse su…

Christians Should Swear More

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Caring about the words we say blinds us to the feelings we hurt.
Dear younger Christians,  You don't have to say "fuck" to be authentic. This is what I think every time I read another impassioned angst piece by one of my fellow post-evangelical writers. Even worse is when the younger evangelical ones throw in the milder "pissed off" as if this somehow validates their indignation and scolds those crotchety old souls who don't care enough about whatever it is that matters to say the not-as-naughty words.

It's childish and all for effect. In a culture where swearing is as ubiquitous as breathing, no one wants to be the prude who says "ticked off". But it's deeper than playground acceptance and the ever urgent need to be cool. Younger Christians swear to distance themselves from their parents.

Whether it's their culture or their faith or both, many of us don't want to be anything like the previous generation. We saw through the thin ve…