Sex and The Single Savior: Issues With Sex and Sexuality in the Black Church

Posted: April 24, 2014 in Black Men, Sex
Tags: , , , , , , ,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bb72b_IP0kWhy is it that westernized Christianity has a problem a sexual Jesus? In one of my favorite books and which I used to title this initial blog, author Dale B. Martin addresses this question. I recommend that every church leader read this book and bring to your respective churches and do an in depth study on it, Sex and The Single Savior. Because of my socio-cultural location I want to intentionally focus on the Black church.

Specifically in the westernized African American church it is blasphemous to even mention that it is likely Jesus that was sexually active. It is as if Jesus’ righteousness and salvific power is tied to his penis and where he placed it. Couched in this belief of impossibility of Jesus’ sexual self is the western church’s hypocritical obsession with sex and it’s disdain for sex at the same time. So the western church has created a sexless Savior. A sexless Jesus allows one to paint sex as base while at the same time controlling people’s sexual activity. When we control a person sexual being and identity we then control that person. Freud says that sexuality is tied inextricably to the ego and being of a person. Who they are plays out in their sexuality.

So who are we as the church? Who are we that we cannot have a savior that is sexual yet we all have sex? Who are we as the church that we have sex yet we view it as base and immoral unless within certain boundaries and limits? As Freud would this has created a splintered and fractured self within the black church. Where do we get these views of sex from? I believe It comes from predominately Pauline text like Romans 1:18-32 and 2:22 as well as Matthew 19:10-12 and Mark 12:18-27. So we try to view Jesus as ascetic in one sense, meaning so holy and self disciplined he did not indulge in any self gratifying acts: PERFECT. I find that problematic at the least. How Jesus be tempted in all ways to know the experience of all people (Hebrews 4:15) if he did not indulge in any self gratifying acts?

I believe this duplicitous leads to outrageous statistics especially among African-American men. We have a fractured and splintered black male self. According national statistics retrieved from http://www.balmingilead.org/downloads/HIV%20and%20The%20Black%20Church.pdf. Over one million people are currently living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV in the US. While Blacks represent thirteen percent (13%) of the US population, by the end of 2007, Blacks accounted for almost half (46%) of the people living with a diagnosis of HIV infection. In 2006, Blacks accounted for nearly half (45%) of new infections in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, Black men accounted for two-thirds of new infection (65%) among all Blacks. Black men who have sex with men (MSM) represent 63% of new infections among all Black men, and 35% among all MSM (men who sleep with men). In that same year, the rate of new HIV infections for Black women was nearly 15 times higher than that of white women and nearly 4 times that of Hispanic/Latina women.

Divorce statistics are no better than these previous stats look at this article for more information http://www.religionnews.com/2014/01/21/study-conservative-protestants-divorce-rates-spread-red-state-neighbors/

So who are we? How do we help ourselves to better protect ourselves? It is apparent the church needs to have more conversation on sex and sexuality.

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