By Derik Hamby
Mega-church preacher Ed Young Jr. is challenging married couples in his church and beyond to conduct a “sexperiment” – to have sex for seven straight days as a way to improve their marriage.
Videos promoting Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse look more like commercials for a TV reality show than an inspirational book and sermon series and would raise eyebrows in most churches.
One video shows seven different rooms in a house from kitchen to garage and declares, “Think outside the bedroom.” Young and his wife and co-author, Lisa, are planning a 24-hour “bed in ” to promote their new book on the roof of their Dallas-area Fellowship Church.
Then there is controversial Reformed pastor Mark Driscoll, who with his wife has co-authored their own book on sex and marriage. Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, Friendship and Life Together includes a chapter describing all types of sexual activities permitted by Scripture. Some are too graphic to discuss here, but suffice it to say readers will find the usual Driscoll shock value.
What is going on here? For years mega-church pastors have claimed to be experts on politics and social policy. Now preachers like Driscoll and Young are experts in all things sexual.
I don’t remember taking any courses that dealt with the best location in the house for intimacy when I went to seminary. Maybe I missed that chapel service? Discussing my wife and the bedroom in the same sentence would probably earn me a one-way trip to the Ukraine. I suspect most of our church members would also prefer to not have those mental images, either.
I have never grown a church from zero to 10,000 members, birthed an organization that starts churches and is seen around the world or written any bestselling books. No one is paying big bucks to come hear my advice on anything. I admit that. One could surmise I write from ministerial envy, but I’m just calling it like I see it.
I think it’s wonderful when a pastor can grow a large church. I go to conferences, and I enjoy reading well-published authors. I don’t mind it when a minister achieves success. I’m a huge N.T. Wright fan, but I don’t want him to do a book titled Love Making and the Bishop.
When did the pastor become the resident expert in everything? As pastors do we sometimes delve into areas that really are not our place?
Folks turn to us about all kinds of problems, and if we aren’t careful we might think we can dispense financial, legal, medical and all kinds of advice.
Thinking back I’ve had people ask my opinions on borrowing money, what to do about legal matters and if there is life in outer space. What in the world do I know about any of that? I’ve listened to Dave Ramsey, watched Law and Order and loved the X-Files, but outside of that I am as clueless as anyone else.
To be honest I have a hard enough time doing what I have been trained to do — preaching, teaching the Scriptures, visiting the sick, loving others and being a pastor to hurting people.
I really don’t have time for a “bed in,” unless it’s sleeping in until at least 8 a.m. on Saturday before my kids wake me up to put on Dinosaur Train.