Saturday, September 16, 2006

Money, Sex and Christians

Time Magazine wonders if God wants us to be rich.
"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God. ... But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Jesus of Nazareth, Luke 12:20,21,31-34

Hmm. Jesus seems to want us to be rich toward God.

Joe Beam suggests that married Christian couples could have much better relationships through less-inhibited sex.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church - for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." - Paul the Apostle, Ephesians 5:21-33

Hmm. Paul seems to think that husbands and wives should love and respect each other as deeply as we love our own bodies, and submit to each other's needs in everything - even in something as intimate as helping with a bath - just as Christ and the church relate to each other.

Seems to me that both items involve our demonstration of love for God and for others that His Son died for.

And that they have nothing to do with what we as individuals want.

Selflessness. Christlikeness.

Could it really be that simple?

6 comments:

mark said...

I don't remember all the Time articles said, but don't feel you're accurately representing what Joe Beam says. IIRC, our Marriage Dynamics material emphasized selflessness in the way we treat each other more than uninhibited sex. This is the second time I've seen online that Joe Beam's materials are somehow about Great Sex, yet what I remember from our classes (we took Marriage Dyanamics and some follow up) was that we addressed ways in which we can hurt each other by our selfishness.

I know we *did* talk about sex in the class, but it was minor enough that I don't even remember what we said. Well, either it was minor or Laura and I were already so good... Ahem...

Keith Brenton said...

I think Joe has gotten more explicit ... see the article at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13834042/page/2/ and the Lester Holt interview on this morning's Today show.

David U said...

Great post Keith! Simple is as simple does.

DU

Keith said...

Reminds me of the story of the song leader who got up and announced in closing that he would lead the first verse of "All Of Self, And None Of Thee!"

Keith Brenton said...

Yeah, that's one of those songs where you've just got to sing all of the verses.

Gem said...

We had Joe come to our church -- the seminar was OK, but 98% about sex. He did a little bit about personality types, but left us hanging "buy my book and you can find out more" type stuff. When it was done, my husband and I were left feeling like "where's the rest of the stuff -- you know, outside the bedroom?" It was very explicit and techical which didn't bother me in and of itself, but frankly, we've had that stuff down for a while now (we've been married 16 years), you know?

Then about 6 months later, the elders invited Jerry and Lynn Jones to do their Marriage Matters seminar -- oh, it was night and day. Substantive material we could apply to our marriage -- out of the bedroom and in. Relationship explanations, advice that could be applied to any relationship, but especially meaningful in marriage. Personally, their seminar spoke volumes more to me than Joe Beam's. It seemed more salesmanship and flash.