Thursday, April 7, 2011

{yet another homework assignment}

(from Old Testament... We watched a sermon from Mark Driscoll on Song of Songs and were asked to respond about our experience with frank talk about sex in the church.  We were also asked if we thought talk about sex in church was a yes a no or a maybe.)

Sermon link:  http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/the-peasant-princess/let-him-kiss-me


My personal experience with frank talk about sex in the church is…absolutely none.  It was always treated as taboo and “hush hush.”  I think part of it had to do with my age, but I know that sex is treated as extremely private in my church.  I am not sure I have ever heard anyone in my church say “sex”, let alone talk about it.  When I was about 12, my parents led a Sunday School class about “preparing for adolescence.” That was basically my only experience with talking about sex that is related to the church.  Because it was so private, sex seemed almost like a negative thing.  I have always believed that I shouldn’t have sex outside of marriage, but when I started dating in high school, there were a lot of question marks and blanks left because the topic had never been addressed.  I feel like some of those blanks could have been filled in a little if my church family had been more willing to address the topic.  Also, I would have felt much less confusion, fear, and later, guilt if I had felt free to discuss sex and physical relationships. 
I definitely think there should be frank talk about sex in the church.  Sex is a healthy part of any marriage relationship, and I fully believe God created us to become one with our spouse in this way. It is important, especially for young people/couples, that sex is not treated as something that is bad or wrong.  Obviously, there is a time and a place to discuss sex within the church body.  Watching Mark Driscoll’s sermon on Song of Songs really got me thinking.  His sermon was not graphic or inappropriate.  It simply brought to light the fact that sex is a gift – not a god and not gross.  So often the church, whether on purpose or not, makes sex out to be gross or bad.  So many young people feel as though they cannot discuss sex or anything about their physical relationships with anyone.  I know so many young girls who are like I was – so na├»ve and so scared to mess up.  I also know women who are married that still struggle with feeling guilty and feeling like sex is a negative thing.  This is so tragic because as Christians we are supposed to reflect Christ.  Jesus would not brush this subject under the rug, so as the body of Christ, I think that we have a responsibility to young people to provide a safe haven – a place where talk about difficult topics is welcomed.  Young people and adults alike need to see that sex isn’t something to feel dirty or wrong about, but something that God created for us to enjoy within the context of marriage.
I think that addressing the entire church body, like Mark Driscoll does in his sermon series, is appropriate at times.  Other times, it is better to just create that safe atmosphere and foster trusting relationships.  Simply providing an environment that is free of judgment is so important.  Youth groups, smaller Sunday school classes, one on ones, and accountability partners are all ways that this topic can be approached.  Obviously you don’t want to start talking about sex in detail with every 10 year old in the church body.  However, it is important to be aware that our culture is extremely sex-saturated and that most people have a misled view of sex.  Most of our culture is so bent on immediate gratification and the desire for physical pleasure that they miss the fact that sex is a gift and that it is meant for marriage. There are others who are so turned off to sex because of the church, a negative experience, or the culture we live in that they also miss the fact that sex is a gift.  Neither of these situations is positive.  Perhaps the body of Christ should get away from inadvertently giving young people negative concepts about sex, and focus more on encouraging a Godly view on physical relationships.  

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Changes

Recently, I've been thinking about how nothing ever works out you thought it would.  Everyone always says that God has a plan and that things will work out even better than you thought.  This is all true, but it's really not easy to believe when you are in the middle of it all.  Just when you think that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, just when you think you have things figured out... Something happens.  Something changes.  And then you are back to struggling to stay above water.  It is exhausting to constantly be changing plans.  I, for one, am not the most adaptable person in the world.  I don't generally see change as a good thing.  I don't like it when my life shifts and things get confusing and complicated.  I like knowing that I have a plan.  Now, I'm not saying that I have everything figured out all the time.  I'm just saying that when I do finally have things figured out (and feel like God has me where He wants me) and things change - I get discouraged.  I get frustrated.  I start second guessing.
Like right now, for instance.  I am going through a ridiculous amount of change.  Most days I can handle each little wave as it comes.  But this week feels like I keep getting smacked by a giant tidal wave. In addition to some issues back home, normal school annoyances, and sickness, I really don't feel like GC is what it used to be anymore.  I chose this school because I felt like God wanted me here.  I felt at home; comfortable.  I love my program and my classes, but lately things have been changing in how the college is run.  I chose GC because they claimed to be different.  And they have been different. Up til now.  I used to know that I was more than a number - that the school really wanted what was best for me and was committed to what was best for me as a student.  It was one of the main reasons why I chose GC over other state universities.  Now I feel like all I am is a dollar sign.  There is no Christian character shown anymore in my opinion.  I know that everyone needs money - and the college does too.  However, I feel like there are more ways to accomplish this than to flat out tell students that they can't live anywhere but on their campus, not eat anything except their food, buy any books but theirs, etc. simply because they need money.  My personal financial hardship means nothing to this school anymore.  The fact that there are no more GPA standards means nothing to this school anymore.  The fact that they are ruining their Christian influence/witness seems to mean nothing to this school. I love this campus, and my program, and what GC claims to stand for.  I just don't feel proud to be graduating from a school whose main purpose seems to be sucking money from it's students no matter the situation.
So, this leaves me timidly looking for other schools to finish my Senior year at... Hopefully things work out and I can stay here at GC.  I really do want to finish here...but things are getting crazy!
Sorry for the rant, but I would appreciate your prayers.