Virgin Territory, the show

There’s a new[er] show out on MTV these days called Virgin Territory. It delves into following around virgins who come from many backgrounds, and subsequently many reasons why the guys and gals of the show are virgins. Some (no surprise) come from religious background, others are virgins for personal/painful reasons, but all in all I find it to be a pretty decent show.

The thing is, I too am a virgin. I realize that for me and my sexuality it is there but it is dormant in a positive way. I say this because I think sometimes, and yes this is coming from Rob Bell’s SEX GOD book, that culture…Christian and otherwise…tries to dictate how we should be as sexual beings (animals or angels) and even that is being dictated, asexuality / asexuals isn’t talked about.
But, for us who are aware of our proclivity to be sexually attracted to others, whether it’s the same sex, opposite sex, or even for those who are attracted to both sexes there’s a sense of competing voices.

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As a follower of Christ I’ve heard a lot about sex in Christian circles. Coming from an Evangelical upbringing it was almost on par with that quote from Mean Girls;

And for me that is very misleading, and it drives Christians (or at least a good portion of the ones I’ve met) into thinking/shutting down their sexual drive. I am quite certain, despite being a virgin, that isn’t what God had in mind.

Then there’s other-culture. Sex is sex, no harm no foul as long as it’s consensual and no one gets pregnant and/or an STI they’ll be fine…well, at least that’s how it’s spun time and time again. I do appreciate MTV Virgin Territory’s commercials of only you get to decide whether you want to have sex or not and honestly, yes! That is the answer. Even that is the answer for me, though I am one for waiting for something with commitment and security and intimacy in its truest form.

Here’s my Rob Bell’s Sex God tie-in:
When we deny the spiritual dimension to our existence, we end up living like animals. And when we deny the physical, sexual dimension to our existence, we end up living like angels.

And both ways are destructive, because God made us human.

I am human. I am sexually attracted to women. I know this and I have always known this and despite all the competing voices of what I should / shouldn’t do with my sexuality, I personally am going to wait for something substantial relationship-wise before I have sex. It’s not my religion talking, it’s what want to do with my sexuality. What you do is up to you, your morals might be similar like mine or they might not be, however you choose to work it out is up to you.

~Nathanael~

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Following Jesus is a matter of faith

Sometimes I think Christians get hung up about Christianity and lose track as to what or more specifically the whom it is about.

Christianity isn’t what saves you,
reading the Bible doesn’t save you,
Praying on a regular basis doesn’t save you.

Only Jesus can.

It’s not a supposed to be a religion based upon orthodox (right way) or orthopraxis (right practice), but about letting go of closed fist beliefs and allowing God to work in one’s life to transforming them into open handed faith.

Recently I heard Rob Bell speaking live via video at The Viper Room in Los Angeles. It was a very good talk, and in a way it was a LAN Party for the emergent church, but one thing out of the many things he said stuck out to me “You can’t put anything in a closed fist”.
Too often I think  that’s the case, that we come before God with closed eyes and clenched fists, a posture that seems like we’re unwilling for God to enter in and to change us, a posture that is unmoving and unchanging, caught up in the dogma we’ve imposed upon ourselves and to some extent what we’ve imposed upon others.

As I examine my life and what I have faith in, it is far less and more freeing than when I was operating out of a system of closed fist beliefs. Instead of making this post one of a “what I don’t believe” nature, I rather say that I have faith in what God is doing, the good others are doing in his name, and that somehow someway this is ushering in the kingdom of God the “on earth as it is in heaven” part of the Lord’s Prayer.
There is a freeing nature to faith, it’s not lackadaisical or laze-fare, it’s holding onto something I can grasp, it’s looking with eyes on the kingdom of God and looking at humanity, all of humanity with eyes of love – God’s love. I am a part of the kingdom work that ushers in perfect shalom and as long as I have breath in my lungs I hope to continue on with the various tasks set before me starting with what’s in front of me in the now.

It can be difficult to make the jump from belief to faith, but it is by all means necessary, to lay one’s life prostrate before God in surrender of what we make of him and simply let God be God. I’m not out of the woodwork yet, I still have self-imposed ideas of who I think God is and who God isn’t, but he’s working on my heart, he’s working on my beliefs and is extending his hand saying “follow me”.

“Follow me” is a lifelong challenge, because it doesn’t always come with a map, there sometimes is no itinerary, it’s all a matter of…you guessed it…faith. Sometimes I feel like God is absent or even not there, it’s something I’ve been wrestling with, but I realize that in faith sometimes it’s a matter of keep on walking despite the foggy and murky path that’s in front of me, sometimes I don’t see the light, but I keep going because he helps me to keep going.

Take God by faith, keep walking even if you don’t see, keep walking by faith and not by sight.

Learn to open your hands in faith, unclench your beliefs and allow God to come in and transform your life by faith with open hands.

~Nathanael~