Worship and Sex?

Last night, a friend of mine sent me an essay of his. In it, he compares worship to a sexual relationship. There is a right context for enjoyment, and there is a wrong one. He goes on to compare the way many Christians come to worship as an extramarital affair. He writes,

…some Christians seem to have only an emotional relationship with God, based on how they feel about God in general, and largely dependent on the worship band on Sunday mornings. You see a faith that is dependent on what we call worship music and moving inspirational speeches is a faith that becomes compartmentalized into one kind of person during a worship set, and a completely different person the rest of the time. In some sense (if you will allow me) these people metaphorically have “sex” with God during “worship” but have no relationship with Him independent of their encounter with Him on Sunday, and maybe sometime mid-week if they can make time for that…

If we aren’t engaged in the right relationship with God, we’re turning worship into something sensual and selfish. Right? Were I to only seek sex from my wife, I would be thought of as a villain who abuses my wife’s body. That assessment wouldn’t be too far from accurate either. Paul was pretty clear how husbands and wives should interact. Yet we don’t often connect our worship of God (a time when we seek to enter into a right relationship with our Lord) with much else. We treat worship like a one night stand, and this has become the standard.

I think my friend is on to something, but neither of us have concentrated on it enough to formulate something more substantial.

Of course, who is to say that I’m on the right path here? There is a whole host of evidence from the past 100 years or so that worship is being carried out exactly as it should be. New churches don’t offer new ways to worship, they simply affirm the old ways in a “contemporary” manner. And if these recent traditions argue against what I’m saying, then perhaps I’m wrong. But for now, my conscience tells me something is violently wrong with the way we Christians approach worship. Something must be done. So here I stand, seeking and hoping for more.


2 thoughts on “Worship and Sex?

  1. Sean,
    Obviously you are seeking an answer to the appropriate way to worship. The Bible clearly tells us to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, and to not be hot or cold. The New Testament gives us plenty of examples of worship. While I agree that today’s version of organized religion does not appear to be Godly, I would be careful about equating a persons worship experience to a sexual relationship. People today attend worship services for a myriad of reasons. Some of those reasons are true, some are social, and of course there are the few that are there only to see what they can gain from fellow parishioners. But no matter a persons reason for attending a conventional worship service, there has to be something in them that is seeking God and His truth. It is not for us to stand in judgment of another. We should be concerned and prayerful that they grow in the spirit so their every day lives reflect the truth that God desires. Who are we to decide if someone is in the right relationship with God- and then to determine that if they are not, their worship experience is sexual. I believe that when God called the church His Bride, there was nothing sexual indicated.
    Continue to seek the answers you desire. God will show you the way.
    Maybe we should be more concerned that today’s churches are molding themselves to society rather than standing on the word of God and not becoming of this world. I believe that God seeks true, honest worship. He does not seek a show.

  2. Ms. Debra,

    When I connected sex and worship, I was speaking metaphorically. The relation between my description of the way Christians worship God and the way people engage in one night stands is purely a comparison. I say that we turn worship into something sensual when we behave this way because, well, God used similar accusations towards the people of Israel. One of the great condemnations God levels against His chosen people is that they play the harlot when it comes to religion (Hosea comes to mind, but there are other references to be sure). I wasn’t trying to make an actual reference to intercourse, but rather illustrate how we use God for an emotional filling and leave Him behind once we have gotten what we want. Whether our behavior is sexual or not, the most striking example of this type of thing that I can think of is the casual attitude many Americans take towards sex. I don’t speak as judge, but rather as a guilty party, in terms of my selfish worship and my poor sexual ethics in the past. I firmly point at myself when I write this post. And yet, I maintain the hope that something can be done; that following Jesus is something more than taking or recieving. So thank you for your encouragement. I will most certainly continue to seek God. I pray that many Christians will join me on that journey.

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