Who would Jesus do?
I don’t buy into the whole no-sex-before-marriage thing. In my experience, the only virgin Christians these days are the ones too hideous to get a date. Plus, doesn’t the Virgin Mary story prove that abstinence isn’t 100 percent effective against pregnancy?
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I found a flier on light rail promoting a four-week series on “the truths about God’s design for dating, marriage and sex.” Normally, I don’t spend my Tuesday nights listening to pastors exhorting, “Sex is bad, m’kay?” But the series was titled “God Loves Sex.” How could this avid fornicator pass that up?
The series was held at The Remix, a college-age ministry of the Bayside of South Sacramento church near downtown. Inside a low-ceiling room that probably housed depressed office workers before converting to a church, a deejay scratches Christian hip-hop on turntables decorated with D12 and Outkast stickers. His T-shirt reads, “The devil’s a pimp. Don’t be his ho.”
For a series meant to curb sexual activity, there is certainly a lot of sexual advertising going on inside: Women wear tight hip-huggers and guys show off their biceps with short-sleeve T-shirts.
The opening worship song reminds me of a Tracy Chapman tune: “I know who I am / I am yours, I am yours / And you are mine.” We were singing about Jesus, of course.
After announcements, a slide show, a trip report and even more singing and praying, Pastor Bob finally takes center stage. Despite his backcountry name, he’s tall with a shaved head, sporting a dark long-sleeve Nike shirt, jeans and white tennis shoes.
“If you want proof that God is a good God, God invented sex,” Pastor Bob begins.
But he compares sex to taking Bayer: “Use only as directed.”
Pastor Bob cautions the rapt audience that professional, financial and personal difficulties almost always stem from sexual immorality. At least, I think he said that, because I’m distracted by the girl to my right, who keeps leaning forward in the chair, her baby tee and low-cut jeans exposing a long stretch of her back. Hallelujah.
Anyway, Pastor Bob reads from 1 Corinthians, reminding that our bodies aren’t really our own. They’re just on loan from God. Thinking back on the past 10 years of my own life, I don’t think God will getting his deposit back.
Near the end of his sermon, Pastor Bob drops a bombshell. “My wife and I didn’t live it right when we were your age,” he says, hinting at his own sexual indiscretions. I scribble in my notes: Have sex outside of marriage; end up a youth pastor.
We stand for never-ending praise songs. Low-cut-jeans girl keeps whacking me in the head with her raised elbows. The night ends with a mosh pit for Jesus, which rivals the Flogging Molly show I saw a couple of years back.
With hands raised and bodies jumping, the group cries out: “Freedom. Freedom. Freedom. Freedom.”