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I speak of Josh Butler’s article in The Gospel Coalition, called “Sex Won’t Save You (But It Points to the One Who Will)”

No, you should not click the link to read it. It offended my soul on so many levels. Now that I have calmed down a bit and sorted it all out, it still offends my soul, but at least I can show some good humor about it all.

It’s being described by assorted people in the Big Eva influencing world as, “the magnum opus of the gospel.” For those who don’t know “magnum opus” means “great work” in Latin, giving rise to several quips about, “good grief, please don’t try to make this thing Catholic!” Darkly humorous how you can just add some Latin words to make something sound more official and more doctrinal.

I really, really love doctrine, but I so dislike the word “doctrine” because it reminds me of the word “latrine.” The latrine is also where many people’s alleged “doctrine” belongs, so those words really are related in more ways then one.

Josh Butler hasn’t really done anything wrong all on his own, he just said out loud the parts that a good deal of the protestant evangelical community seem to secretly believe anyway. It’s blasphemous, vulgar, and really demeaning to the Lord. By extension, it also happens to be really demeaning towards women.

People are probably tired of hearing my laments about Pastor Wilson, but many moons ago he went and proclaimed that the job of men was to “penetrate and colonize,” with a bunch of sexualized gospel language all heavily infused with testosterone. It was offensive, rude, and not appropriate. Doubly awful because as a pastor he was implying these things somehow align with the word of God.

The point here being, Josh Butler is not just an aberration that sprung up ex nihilo. This stuff has been going on for years, decades even. It should come as no surprise that Josh can now write, “Christ penetrates his church with the generative seed of his Word…” and get himself a book deal and a seat on the  Keller Center for Cultural Apologetics.

Yes, that kind of language and imagery about the Lord really does offend my sensibilities. It also offends me as a female because in this description of both sex and the gospel, I’ve been left out of the equation entirely, except as an insignificant stage prop.

Part of the problem perhaps is Josh’s very myopic, self absorbed perception of sex as “mutual self-giving.” Well yes that could be true, but there seems to be only one “self” involved in his little scenario. That’s not actually intimacy with another person.

Apparently Josh was Divinely inspired, because allegedly his magnum opus is exactly the precise same thing the Apostle Paul had in mind when he wrote about the mystery of men and women. Perhaps this is why the Apostle Paul went on to say it is probably best not to marry, no doubt having just given thought to the well being and mental health of his sisters in Christ?

Besides heresy, besides offending my delicate sensibilities, besides feeling as if much the evangelical world really does believe the role of women is somehow limited to being a human toilet, I also think it’s really unhealthy for the church at large to perceive herself as a passive recipient simply engaging in non participatory act of “mandated hospitality, ” because God said.

We of the church are the female in the Biblical equation, we are the bride. How you perceive and define “women” is going to be directly related to how you present His bride to the world and eventually to Him. It matters a great deal.

It’s pop culture affirming to talk about the alleged “feminized church” but just for an anecdote, I’ve talked to many men who already avoid the church because of it’s pornification of the gospel. They talk about how contemporary modern worship music is really just “boyfriend music” and how pastors will sometimes drop a distasteful comment about their “smoking hot wife,” and how the whole thing sometimes feels weird and creepy, infused with sexual undercurrents that make them feel very uncomfortable.

Conversely we also have the very woke church here, with TV adds running constantly that clearly indicate some of us are actually worshiping the pastor’s homosexual relationship far more then anything else. Everyone is wearing rainbow teeshirts and the pastor explains that this is a good church because they support his relationship with his new found husband. That is another kind of cult built around a pastor’s sexuality.

It’s the same darn thing as the more neo-Calvinist young narcissists who can’t seem to stop talking about their own sex lives! It’s not really the politics, it’s not really the doctrine, it’s that I simply don’t want to just watch you admire yourself in the mirror and tell me how awesome you are. This is not “mutual self-giving” at all, or perhaps it is, once again involving only one “self.” The job of the congregation apparently, is to just passively engage in compliant hospitality, making space for an incredibly myopic and large……ego.

With all good humor here, people will probably now clutch their pearls and claim I’m being too graphic, vulgar, I’m falsely accusing these men, taking them out of context, making them look bad. I should provide cover for their flaws, not address these things publicly and potentially embarrass them, all while their very own articles and books are being published and released to an audience so much larger then mine!

I’m not the one letting the cat out of the bag here. They have actively promoted these things, exposed their own darn selves. I’m just saying, nope people, not acceptable. This is what they are saying in their own words, this is what is (or has) become their doctrine and will proceed to become the doctrine of many others. Well…stop it. It’s all wrong and it hurts many people.

I totally forgive Josh Butler. I mean, the poor kid, where are his mentors, where are his older brothers to guide him, to reign him in a bit? This whole desire for celebrity pastors, for book deals, for fame and fortune is really eroding our values and elevating people to positions they simply aren’t ready for.

All in good humor here, I’m not angry at all, in fact, I’ve had to just hold back on employing dozens of sexual puns myself, because after reading that article, the quips just write themselves. It will be weeks before I can say, “the most Holy place” with a straight face.

Speaking of which, one of the euphemisms for sex in the Bible was actually laughter. Sarah even says, “God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me.” It’s a far more sophisticated analogy then Josh offers.

Many people, both men and women, boys and girls, have experienced sexual abuse. Some have even made idols out of sex and devalued their own selves, the point being Jesus needs to remain a safe place for them, a non sexual refuge, a place of healing. He sticks closer then a Brother, He is a good, good Father, the Great Physician, all roles that suggest complete trust and safety, not the risk of potential sexual abuse.