An Open Letter to ‘Rev’ Ed Young and his new ‘Challenge’ (Updated)
**UPDATE** For more on the drivel coming from “Pastor” Young’s Challenge, see the New York Time’s Online edition: Pastor’s Advice for Better Marriage
There we read this gem:
It is not always easy to devote time for your spouse, Pastor Young admitted. Just three days into the sex challenge he said he was so tired after getting up before dawn to talk about the importance of having more sex in marriage that he crashed on the bed around 8 p.m. on Tuesday night.
Mrs. Young tried to shake him awake, telling her husband, “Come on, it’s the sex challenge.” But Mr. Young murmured, “Let’s just double up tomorrow,” and went back to sleep.
Aren’t you glad that you live in a culture where the pastor of a church feels comfortable sharing the intimate details of his sex life with the world! I know I am!!
It seems that, from time to time, a local church ‘pastor’ comes up with a ‘novel’ idea that is supposed to turn the world upside down and bring forth the next revival, the next wave of Holy Spirit renewal to the lost land of America. *Yawns* *Shakes head* It is terribly frustrating when the idea has nothing to do with the actual Gospel of Jesus. What one must do nowadays is preach stupidity like this: “God may have rested on the seventh day, but the Rev. Ed Young wants married couples to have sex all week long.” This is what ‘church’ is in some parts of the world. Frankly, it makes me sick.
So I have decided, in the interest of the Gospel, to write an open letter to ‘Rev’ Young. I realize that he is successful in ministry, and that I am not. I realize that he has a very large congregation, and I do not. I realize that I am a nobody, and that he is a somebody. That’s exactly why I am writing to him.
Dear Pastor Young,
The reason America is in such decline, morally, spiritually, etc., is because we are thinking too much about sex, not because we have somehow been deprived of it. We are deluged with it. We are being suffocated by it. Sex is everywhere. It’s hard sometimes to think about anything but sex. It’s in the cartoons. The movies. The magazines. The last thing we need in the pulpit is sex. It’s in the music. It’s on the internet. I can’t tell you the last time a woman was shown on television as a wholesome woman who loved her husband and family or a man who worked hard, took care of his family, and didn’t suffer the angst of unfulfillment because he didn’t have hot, younger woman to satisfy his sex-drive. I’m no Puritan, but please. Worship is not about sex. It is about God. Worship is not about anything but the Lamb who was slain from the foundations of the earth (Revelation 4-5).
I just saw, while I worked out this morning, on the Today Show, an interview with Tyra Banks about an upcoming show Ms Banks is doing. She will have young, teenaged girls who have, and I quote, ‘had multiple sex partners.’ One, 15, has had nine different sexual partners. I’m just thinking, and of course I admit that it is none of my business what you preach at your church, you might want to tackle a subject a little deeper than getting the married couples in your church to ‘do it’ God’s way or otherwise. Maybe what we need is a little abstinence and fasting? I don’t know, maybe, holiness, righteousness, sacrificial living, purity, marriage as an image of the relationship between Christ and His Church–you know, something that might actually benefit the hearer. Something that might actually exalt Christ instead of the flesh. Sex doesn’t make the Gospel attractive. Jesus does.
If you would like to do something really, really innovative try this: Preach the Gospel. Tell people what it means to ‘take up your cross and follow Jesus.’ Want to do something risky? Tell your congregation to abstain from sexual relations for seven days as a sign of repentance in preparation to meet the Lord in worship (See Exodus). Tell them to abstain for seven days so that they might pray and fast. (See 1 Corinthians 7:5) Want to get really, really crazy? Stand up on Sunday morning, or whatever day you preach, and open your Bible and tell the people that marriage is more about perfecting holiness and grace than it is about perfecting sex or tell them that even marriage is more of a sign pointing in the direction of the Messiah and his relationship to the Church. (See Ephesians 5)
Yes, yes. Sex is, uh, important in the marriage. Yes, yes. Married people should do it. But isn’t there far more to even sex than merely satisfying the flesh? Is this all your training taught you? As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, don’t you think that you ought to take that calling a little more seriously? I’m sorry, I’m being far too general in my comments. Of course you are preaching the gospel.
I read this in the article:
Jim Dale of Coppell said he figures the pastor is trying to create more buzz for his five-church mega-ministry.“Draw ’em in, no matter what or how,” wrote the Coppell resident in a posting on dallasnews.com. “Sex? You betcha. That’ll pack the pews (or theater seats).”
Mr. Dale, author of a book about individual relationships with God, said he has attended Fellowship Church a few times. And he offered some praise: “I’ve got to hand it to them, they are brilliant marketers.”
Then I read that you wrote at your blog, that God has a ‘pure desire for sex in marriage.’ Sir, can I ask you a real, not-in-any-way-sarcastic question? What the hell does that mean? Where in the Bible have you read about God’s ‘pure desire for sex in the marriage’ other than that we should ‘keep the marriage bed pure’ (Hebrews 13:40) and that it should be between a married man and woman (Genesis 2:23-24)? Do you really think that is what the Bible has been preserved for? Do you really think that is what God had on his mind when he told the prophets to speak ‘thus sayeth the Lord’? Do you really think that is what the martyrs were concerned with as they were burned alive? Do you really think that this is what Jesus had in mind when he suffered for our sins? Surely God’s great plan was for our sexual perfection.
Then I read: “The most exciting part of this right now is the potential that this challenge has to help heal and strengthen so many marriages and families.” So, what you are saying is that if me and my wife have sex for 7 straight days all of our problems, or even some of them, will heal; that my entire family will be strengthened? Shall I share this news with my sons? I’m not being snarky, I just want my entire family to get the most out of this that they can. Do you really think this is a matter we should pray over? Should we share this revelation with the Christians in the Middle East or in Asia or in Africa who are persecuted because of the Gospel? Have you really been able to discern, from Scripture, that God Almighty, the Holy One of Israel, the One who spared not His own Son but gave Him up for us all…have you really been able to discern that that God has a specific way that we should ‘do it’? Is that really in the Bible? Truly it must be divine, and I’m so glad that after 2,000 years of Gospel, Reformation, martyrdom, etc., that you have finally discerned the truth about God’s way of doing it. Thank you.
With all the, excuse me, shit going on in the world, do you really think that American Christians need to make this a matter of prayer?
Are you actually bragging, in your blog post, that the idea for this ‘challenge’ came from a woman in your church who got the idea from a ‘magazine article’? Did you really need a woman to say this in order to justify it to your congregation? Are magazines now really where we begin when preaching the Will of God? Seriously?
Well, that’s about all I have for you. I don’t imagine you will read this letter, and that’s OK. You have important things to do in your ministry and, in your bedroom. I will say this, I feel badly for your children. I’m sorry that you have decided to ‘practice what you preach’ in this instance and to make it public for the rest of us. I’m sorry your children have to be exposed to this sort of nonsense. I hope they are not to embarrassed about the private matter you and your wife have decided the rest of us need to be aware of. I’m sorry that in your effort to do something that will market your product, you have actually defiled the marriage bed instead of keeping it pure.
PS–Can you show me that verse in Scripture where we are told how to do it ‘God’s way’?
PPS–My wife, after hearing about this ‘challenge’ said, and I quote, “I think it is disgusting that a preacher would suggest this. How many times I ‘do it’ or ‘don’t do it’ with my husband is my own business. I don’t need a preacher giving me suggestions or challenges about my sex life. I don’t need a preacher telling me how many times to have sex with my husband or encouraging me either.”
PPPS–Said my son, whom my wife and I have decided to keep in the loop so that our ‘entire family will be strengthened’ through this challenge, added to my wife’s comment, ‘But what if your husband is a preacher?’
The ‘gospel’ at work my friends, at work!
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