Literally the Worst…

This post is not a reflection on my time here in Hong Kong, although I leave exactly 10 days from today. EEK! This post is one that I’ve been meaning to write for about six weeks now when I was reading a blog about Christianity and the importance of marrying the right person, and I (mistakenly) decided to read some of the comments below. (I went down the blog-sphere rabbit hole). One comment caught my attention and angered me because it said that engaging in premartial sex is “literally the worst” thing that we can do as Christians. Umm? No. Wrong. Engaging in premarital sex is NOT literally the worst thing that we can do as Christians.

Literally the worst thing that we can do as Christians is to IGNORE the suffering of humanity around us. Jesus did not preach about refraining from premarital sex. Jesus healed the sick, ate with prostitutes and preached about genuine social change. He challenged those in authority and called on his followers to do the same. Jesus preached far more about the rich selling all their possessions to reach the kingdom of heaven than he ever discussed premarital sex.

To me that comment reflected a problem of focus. The church is dead focused on controlling and condemning peoples’ sexuality and sexual choices. The church is obsessed with sex instead of being obsessed with helping the poor and oppressed.

Almost every denomination is locked in a political battle over homosexuality, abortion, birth control, etc. Jesus never preached about any of these things, and the Bible only mentions “prohibitions” against homosexuality in a few rather obscure passages that also include prohibitions against eating shellfish. While the church engages in seemingly endless debate over these topics, it is LOSING people in the United States. We are alienating those around us because rather than preaching radical inclusion and love, we spread hate, hypocrisy and judgement.

So what if the church took sex out of the equation and refocused itself on the actual teachings of Jesus like radical inclusion and love? What if the church stopped policing sexuality and instead truly welcomed everyone into the congregation? The church should fight for the rights of peoples and support those engaged in the struggle for those rights. I firmly believe that only once we drop the obsession with sex can the church truly begin to live out its calling.

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One thought on “Literally the Worst…

  1. Amen. Wonderfully written. And, you nailed it. I am horrified right now by what’s going on in the UMC with pastors on trial and the marginalization and often persecution of our LGBT friends. It’s just wrong – and a distraction from the actual teachings of Jesus. We’ve started a group at Mount Olivet to consider where we are and what might be done. I hope it turns out well. Will we truly live up to the “inclusiveness” named in our mission statement? Or is it just an empty platitude?

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