“And there she was, like double cherry pie”. O.K., I know. This is a startling opening line for even a renegade Christian blogger/preacher-man such as myself. But now that I’ve got your attention, let me explain.
I can remember when this song came out in 1997 while I was entering into my 33rd year on this earth, already past a time where this type of song would have jostled too much of my attention, other than the catchy beat and some guilty reminiscence of a guy I used to actually know. Especially now as I was nestled down in Bible College for goodness sakes, learning how to compel a culture wrapped up in well… a “sex and candy” mindset, to somehow look in a different direction for alternative answers. The song was catchy nonetheless, and I was quite familiar with its word pictures, what it symbolized, and also with whose title had come to epitomize for me an adequate representation of the “sexification” of our American culture. Or to put it quite clearly, to now bring what happens in our bedrooms out into the public square and standing boldly in front of the door that once used to be at least a partially hidden closet. And though most of us have had our own satiation of this world on our past resume to which this song implies, those on the narrow path should equally know that it is no longer to be our permanent address. Something that at least used to be “crystal clear” to our now archaic community of Christ’ followers. Yet since our entrance into the “free love sixties”, we have been on a mad dash into this “sexification” world. A world with no apparent lock on this Pandora’s box now unabashedly wide open, which has now become a holy shrined replacement of anything that resembles a heteronormative sexual orientation within the confines of holy matrimony.
You Don’t Even Have to Put on the Red Light
My first reminder of where America was headed was when in 1995 on my way to India, when we stopped off in Amsterdam for a couple of days. As I checked into my hotel room (thank God with a roommate) and set my bags down, I reached over to cut the T.V. on to see what Amsterdam might have to say on its “boob-tube” as my dad “not so affectionally” used to call it. And as I did, lo and behold, the first channel I came to “proved” he had been on to something as its content included the most “down and dirty” pornography that one could possibly imagine. As I looked at my roommate (both of us now embarking on a mission to “save the world” in India) we both realized collectively at that moment that we were definitely not in Kansas anymore. This was equally confirmed as we headed into the city (not even in the “red light” district), where we passed by the likes of intravenous drug users and free-fallen dope smokers, and into the local markets where this same “sexploitation” was out front and center as you passed by each venue. The “shock and awe” of it all to me however (to which is my main point) was that men, women and children marched along almost “oblivious” to my opposing view of it being somehow “out of place”, and at which to them had become a very comfortable desensitization to it all. And as I noticed these sights and sounds of the city alongside its picturesque beauty, I was reminded what it might have been like for Paul walking around in Ephesus near the shrine of Artemis some 2000 years ago. A place where sex and religion were mixed together like, well… “sex and candy”, and offered to anyone who cared to stop and take a bite of both! And though in many ways Paul knew exactly what my roommate and I were going through that day, I would guess that he would not even begin to imagine our ability now to enter into a virtual world of this same experience with the mere click of a button, and somehow usher in sexual nirvana right into the privacy of our very own homes.
Just Trying to Say Something
Fast forward to 2021, and I’m quite sure Amsterdam and Ephesus are somewhat jealous of our adoption and noted perfection of their sexual deviance that has become so commonplace that even the church has forgotten to blush! In addition to being in a world where the so-called “patriarchy” were once the ruling class of sexual predators, yet who have now been replaced by the matriarchs who now threaten to usurp their lofty position! But in the name of diversity and inclusion, let’s not leave out the “sweet transvestites”, the “pansexuals”, and everything in between. After all, homosexuals and bi-sexuals are so “yesterday’s news” aren’t they? But before everyone presumes a judgmental tone in my sexual sarcasms they would label as stereotypical of the Christian community, let me say I mean it not as such here; but rather to illustrate my original point. In other words, as a Christian, I wish to simply state what is the obvious “elephant in the room” of the world’s oversexualization of which you and I are now called to navigate through on the increasingly narrow path. All the while with equal sensitivity to a myriad of other ills that seek to now militantly call into question everything that has a hint of an absolute once binding on the average Tom, Dick and Harry. Yet as someone who claims to be a Christian, and who is to love the very types of people which I sought to identify here by their own classification of such terms, I also want to say that a Christian “has” to part ways with this pervasive narrative of sexual “indifference” from any sexuality outside of the confines of marriage between a man and a woman. To not say so in fact, is to not only deny one’s desire to disagree agreeably, but also the capability to believe in anything outside of that which has been marked as a now accepted “national orthodoxy” without threat of our outright dismissal of any participation in the discussion.
Now to be sure, as we navigate along this Brave New World as those who still claim to believe what the church and the scriptures have always believed about these things while still trying to love those who differ, our path has become even more claustrophobically narrow it seems. For as I write this (as I alluded to in my opening) more and more of those who “used” to believe these very things within Christendom either no longer do, or have totally forgotten that the scripture says a whole lot about these very things in addition to the corresponding result of a culture whose sexual diversity becomes sanctioned with a legislative hammer. And yet even so, the Shepherds who “used to know” what we all knew, somehow; with a faulty hermeneutic sleight of hand and arguments from “nothing-burger” silence, have convinced us of the need to “get with the times” on what the culture has already decided for us. And if this wasn’t bad enough, we have now concluded (also in the name of diversity and inclusion) that our sexual orientations and the free expression thereof should be taught in the textbooks of kindergarteners and prepubescents, right alongside Are You My Mother and the frickin Pythagorean theorem!
The Pogo Blues
But in the end, I don’t propose there is anything more we can say on the matter. For the culture has now tried us, and in case you haven’t noticed, we have been found perniciously wanting. Along with the fact that there aren’t any more “phobe” terms left they can attach to our outdated constituency of an antiquated religion evidently long overdue for a makeover. Meanwhile, if that wasn’t quite enough, in the land of “sex and candy” it appears that the culture has indeed found its enemy, and in case you were wondering; it most definitely seems to be you and I.