2.08.2010

Sex, Lies and Religion by Randy Elrod


I just finished reading Sex, Lies and Religion, Enjoying the Freedom of Unconditional Sexuality and I highly recommend it. I grew up in the whole church scene and sexuality was not something that was discussed openly.

This book is bringing the discussion out of the closet. Elrod proposes that all longings that we experience (including sexual longings) are deep cries from within reaching out towards God. It’s all interconnected. He also talks about the fallacy of separation of body and soul, how we tend to see the nourishment of the soul as sacred and the nourishment of the body as profane.

This book exposes the sexual politics at play in the church today in relation to women in leadership and points out that men and women are both, and equally, created in the image of God.

This book isn’t a sex manual, and it doesn’t get down the nuts and bolts description of the plumbing, but it does talk in depth about the emotional and spiritual component of sexuality that so many of us miss when we focus solely on the physical.

Elrod talks about the bedroom being a place of surrender and mutual respect, and not a place of control or manipulation. He writes, “In a kingdom where grace is the currency, there is no room for a language of control. The wonderful truth is that when we accept and enjoy what is true and beautiful—we are free. Free to give love, not spend lust. Free to share ourselves, not possess others. God is enthusiastically for all that we are as whole beings as we enjoy the freedom and communion of both soul and body.”

This book is challenging without being crass, and open, honest and direct without being lewd.

Sex, Lies and Religion is a breath of fresh air. God never intended for our sexuality to be a dirty little secret.

CLICK HERE to purchase a copy of Sex, Lies and Religion

2 comments:

Beverly said...

Nice. This may be the next addition to my library. Do you have any further comments on how sexual politics plays out as far women in leadership roles?

jimmy said...

Hi Beverly. I've always found it fascinating that men in power in a church situation could justify excluding women from roles of leadership (that is, unless they need leadership in the nursery) especially in light of Paul's words in Galatians 3:28,

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus".

The command that Paul gave for women to remain silent in I Cor. 14:34 is the most commonly used verse to say that women should not be in roles of leadership but the text needs to be read in context. The 14th chapter of Galatians deals extensively with tongues and it appears that it had become disorderly in the Galatian church. Some scholars say that the women were trying to spread the latest religious fad, and some say that the women were using the forum of the church to spread "prophecies" about how lame their husbands were. And of course, either one of these situations would be wrong, and should be spoken out against.
In any case there are plenty of scriptures that fully support the role of women in leadership. There are several examples of women in leadership in the Old Testament:

(a) Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her (Exodus 15:20).

(b) And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time ... and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment (Judges 4:4,5).

(c) So Hilkiah the priest ... went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum ... and they communed with her (2 Kings 22:14).

These women were exercising authority in a public capacity, and even the priests and the king were subject to what they said.

And in the New Testament?

(a) And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel ... which departed not from the temple ... and spake of him (Christ) to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem (Luke 2:36-38).

(b) The apostle Peter, on Pentecost, cited the Old Testament Scriptures which prophesied that in the times of the new covenant, "Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy" (Acts 2:17).

(c) Paul writes "Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was" (Romans 16:7) Junias was a female name, and Junias is the only recorded female apostle.

And of course the passage in Galatians that I mentioned.

So, I guess it's safe to say that I have no problem with women in leadership.