Trying to get back into the blogging habit and there's always room for a good old rant!
I spend a lot of time reading stuff about young people and the statistics on sexual activity just really frightens me. Teens are having sex younger, they have distorted ideas about what is and isn't "sex" and our culture holds up sex as the ultimate form of expression. It's all about gettin' your jollies as we used to say.
Through all of this the church seems amazingly silent. When we do say something it's usually in a form that it guaranteed to turn off the hearing of the young people. Lot's of "Thou shalt nots" and talking about rules. Very little actual discussion of what a proper faithful response might look like, why we value such a response and what forms the basis of our belief. More often than not in the Episcopal church we don't talk about it all, or even worse bypass the discussion of sex for another donnybrook about sexuality. So let me make clear what I want us to do:
Separate sex from sexuality
We can actually do this because we are dealing with them as theological issues. This church needs to discuss how we "use" our sexuality no matter what it is. If we don't separate the issues we will continue to not speak clearly and our young people will continue to flounder in this arena.
Get Over It
It's time to stop being all squeamish about talking about sex. God gave us sex, it's a gift. It is a normal part of our functioning beginning with puberty. Sex is the single most discussed/thought about/spotlighted human activity in our current society. If we remain silent then our youth will believe that we don't have any trouble with the version of sex (cheap, disposable, totally recreational) that is presented in our culture. If it's a choice of our comfort level versus helping our young people and we choose our comfort we should be ashamed of ourselves. And new parents/ministers should be found for our kids. If we don't speak out THEN WE HAVE FAILED
Address the issues that we are strongest on
We can eliminate a lot of the squeamish factor by simply deciding that we don't need to educate our kids on how the plumbing works. The schools are better equipped to talk about equipment. The strength of the church is talking about how we use that equipment and why. I believe that explaining the why part may be the most important part.
We have no choice, we MUST enter into this discussion. We need to stop blushing and stuttering and look our young people in the eye. The subject needs to be faced squarely and explained clearly. The images of the culture must be confronted and exposed for the shallowness of life that they are. This is the prophetic voice calling to the world from the wilderness, this is the counter culture nature of Christianity demanding that we remember that we're not SUPPOSED to be in the mainstream, we're supposed to fight the power. Because it is a power that destroys and can kill. How we continue not to pick up the challenge and the burden? How much longer can we ignore the ministry we are called to do?