What if we could all agree that sex is no more evil than a bag of potato chips? Well, then I wouldn’t need to be writing the current non-fiction book that I’m nearly done with. It’s had the totally unsexy working title ‘An (Unapologetic) Apologetic Theology of Sex’, but since that’s actually a terrible title, I’m open for better suggestions. (I’m currently considering, ‘SEX: What would Jesus do?’) Here’s a fun excerpt from about the middle of the book:
Loving Our Neighbors as Ourselves
Now that we’ve got a grip on what it looks like to love ourselves in the fullest, most complete and most genuinely healthy way (also known as ‘the well differentiated person’), it is time to revisit what it means to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Though Systems Theory has quite a bit to say about how to love your neighbor as yourself, this isn’t the book that is going to teach you how to do that. But this is the fundamental, or should be the fundamental, part of all Christian life – the trial and error practice of learning to love ourselves very well and learning to love our neighbors just as well.
The need is great. We need to learn to do this, and the need goes beyond any conversation about sex. A great man once wrote, “We shall either learn to live together as brothers and sisters, or we shall perish as fools – the choice is ours: chaos or community(1).” And this is just as true when we are discussing sex as any other conversation about being in relationship with people. Healthy sex is part of the intimate relationships that we share with our partners. And there is nothing wrong with healthy sex, so why can’t we talk about it? Why can’t we depict it in our fiction without censure? Particularly Christians, and any who take Jesus seriously, ought to be celebrating depictions of healthy sex in the media, shouldn’t they? As good examples of what it means to ‘love neighbor as self’ within the context of an intimate relationship? Because isn’t it a good thing to set an example for others? As a moral leader, I’ve been told that’s what I’m supposed to do(2).
If loving our neighbors as ourselves is, in fact, the fundamental Christian action, don’t we need to be exploring what that looks like in absolutely every part of life? Our social life, online and off, our civic life, our work life, our home life, everything? Can we love someone and bring shame on them at the same time? Can we love someone and tell, or imply, that they are evil at the same time?
And because I’m a great fan of amusingly used footnotes, here are the ones for this section:
(1) Said great man was the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and he wrote it in his last book, Where Do We Go From Here.
(2) Actually, I gave an oath at my ordinations to do just that, and I renew that oath to my bishop, annually. During Holy Week (that bit right before Jesus dies). Draw your own conclusions.
And after this, the first novel, which is currently being edited in it’s fifth draft and is clocked in at 90,000 words at the present time. It is the story of an ancient alien who escapes to Earth only to fall in love with his soul-mate, who happens to be the first woman he sees. The alien’s name… is Loki.
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