Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sex, Spirituality, Dog Food and a Halo

If you were there Sunday for the sermon, you know exactly what the subject is about, if not, then let me explain.

In Rob Bell's book Sex God there is a chapter called Angels and Animals. In it, Rob Bell discusses two extremes in how we treat sex. The first extreme is to treat it like we're animals. To just let our natural cravings control us. To just give into to our animal like urges. Obviously, when we treat sex like we are animals, we are failing to recognize that we bear the image of God.

The other extreme is to treat sex like we are angels. Angels do not have a physical body, five senses or sexual desires. So the angel impulse is to deny and stuff our sexual desires. To either ignore sex or simply claim that sex is evil.

He goes onto to say that to deny the spiritual dimension to our existence is to live like animals and to deny the physical and sexual dimension to our existence is to live like angels. Both extremes are dangerous becuase God made us human.

As I talked about in the sermon, from God's perspective, the truth about sex lies in the space between animals and angels. I even ate "dog food" from a dog bowl (they were actually cocoa puff knockoffs) and soon after that I wore a Halo to illustrate the two extremes. I degraded myself in hopes of making a point stick. That point is that sex the way God intends it is a physical represenation of a spiritual reality. Much like bread and wine (or juice) used in communion are physical representations of the spirituality reality that Christ gave his body and blood on the cross to free us from sin. And much like water used in Baptism is a physical representation of the spiritual reality that God has cleansed us when we claim Christ as lord and savior.

In the same way, sex in marriage is a physical representation of a spiritual reality. That reality is connected to our relationship with God. Just as sex creates a oneness in marriage, God wants us in union with Himself. Just as sex in marriage involves trust and faithfulness, God wants us to trust in His faithfulness. Just as sex in marriage involves vulnerability and nakedness, God wants us to be open and vulnerable and "naked" in our relationship with Him. Just as sex in marriage involves serving one another, God wants us to commit our lives in service to him. Just as sex in marriage involves pleasure and joy, God wants us to live lives full of joy and celebration. Just as sex in marriage often involves waiting and anticipation, God wants us to anticipate and look forward to the future He holds for us. Just as sex in marriage sometimes involves procreation, God wants us to remember and live as though we were created in His image.

I'm sure there are other connections. If you can think of other ways sex from God's perspective is a physical representation of a spiritual reality, please post it in the comment section of this blog and I will share some of them in my next blog entry.

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