I read Pastor Dan Nichols’ illuminating words about God and sex, and I would like to offer my thoughts.
I do not believe God created sex. I do believe God created humans in the image and likeness of God, a God who is compassionate, loving, unbounded by human interpretations.
Nor do I believe God is male, but one who gave life to this planet (and possibly others) in the fullness of God’s being, which encompasses female and male.
Nor do I believe that sexuality is limited to female-male relationships, which denies a God who is capable of creating all of us in the embrace of divine love. Who am I to know the mind of God and speak as if I knew exactly what God means about human relationships?
Nor do I believe that God wrote the Bible. Humans wrote the words, and selected of the canons of the Bible, in response to the understanding of creator/created. Song of Songs, in particular, is a collection of poems – erotic, human poems – that tell of longing, desire and love. These poems were popular in Egypt and Mesopotamia. They might have been used as part of a liturgy to worship goddess-god relationship, but were adapted by the Israelites to express human desire, and further interpreted to identify the relationship of Israel and God.
Nor do I believe sex is a substitute for love. People can buy and sell sex. People can have sex with no emotional attachment. People can force others into sex. Love is a gift; there may or may not be sex in a loving relationship.
I do agree that sex is everywhere. Sex sells, as this is a strong marketing message captured for use in your faith tradition.
In my faith tradition, we do not market, but invite others to deepen their relationship with God by offering a worship tradition that is ancient – dating back to the reading of Scripture as Jesus knew it – as well as the addition of sharing in the body and blood of Christ. We invite people to pray, live as a community alive in God’s love, and to embrace the world as it is. All are welcome, affirmed, loved and full of God’s grace.
Rev. Lou Divis
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church