I want to start this post by divulging at the start that I feel strongly both ways. While that may sound confusing, I assure you, it is not. I will explain here shortly. The second thing I want to say is that I am not questioning anyone's intentions or salvation. This isn't a post about focusing on the right and wrong of the situation as much as it is focusing on a solution. Let me say this again. I want to focus on a solution. Now, to give you the problem.
Mark Driscoll, a pastor at Mars Hill Church, has posted a link to a series he is doing entitled "Ask Anything." If you click the link there is a portal to the discussion for the question asked "Is birth control a sin?" The portal warns you that the content of the discussion is rated MH-17. They mean it. Clicking the link is entirely up to you. Running around cyberspace you can find a mix of reviews on the aforementioned posted material. I am adding a link to a blog that I read that does endorse Mark Driscoll and one from a blog that does not. Again, click if you want to.
Now, why I feel strongly both ways. I lived and worked with college students for seven years. I have had the great honor and privilege of mentoring and sharing my life and my walk with Christ with them. I have seen the damage that is done when young men and women of God are not given the platform from which to have their questions, even their questions about topics like sex, answered openly and honestly. Young adults walking around with half truths and misconceptions turn into older adults with the same problem. Let's face it. We make bad choices even when we have the truth given to us but the odds of making better choices are slightly increased when we have accurate information. So I am an advocate of this sort of discussion being held among God's people.
I am conflicted because of the manner in which the discussion was held. I understand that the discomfort of the people involved may have been high and so levity and laughter were used as tension relievers. I might have been ok with that had there been some indication of the reverence this topic is due. All I had was the audio file to listen to and I don't recall hearing anything that resembled reverence.
Sex is not just a physical thing, it is a spiritual thing. When we as believers treat spiritual things in a worldly fashion, we do them injustice and ourselves great harm. God did not give us something wonderful and so potential detrimental to our souls as sex without giving us many exhortations and warnings on how to treat it. There is even a 'how to' manual in the Bible. Read the Song of Solomon, folks that is not just an allegory.
I am also uncomfortable with the idea of sharing this sort of material in mixed company. Again, I listened to the audio. I do not know the demographic. I cannot tell you who was there (was it couples? adults only?) nor can I speak to why it was done this way. I would have been uncomfortable listening to this in mixed company and frankly, it takes quite a bit to make me blush.
Here is what I do know. I know that part of being a Titus 2 woman and a biblical counselor means I need to be willing to teach young women the biblical truth about sex, birth control, and all related topics of their femininity. How wonderful would it be if mature believers, men and women, lived their lives with a passion for mentoring and teaching the younger brothers and sisters? Men teaching younger men to be men of God and women teaching younger women to be women of God. And all of this couched in gratitude and reverence for the gift it is? Wouldn't that be wonderful?
That's my solution. Questions answered in reverence and the safety of women being with women and men being with men or couples only. You know, I might even advocate a mature woman in Christ talking to a group of young men, not about the mechanics of sex, but about the emotional differences between men and women and vice versa. I am reminded of this. - One of the most powerful things I have ever witnessed was a professor at the college I attended and worked for addressing his classroom of young women. The college is situated in a part of California that is extremely warm. I am talking routine temperatures of 115 or more during the summer. It was not unusual for young women to wear shorts and tank tops, modest by the world's standards but still showing quite a bit of flesh. In the middle of his lecture he stopped the class and said "Ladies, you need to give me and the men on campus a break. I stand up here to lecture and I have no safe place to put my eyes." He gave them a short, fatherly exhortation about the effect their clothing choices had on men and then continued the class. That life on life moment was priceless.