Sexual Wholeness for a Culture That Splits Bodies from Souls
Our bodies matter, and what we do with them matters. Pastor Justin Fung preaches on sex and sexuality in our fifth week of The Deeply Formed Life series. [1 Corinthians 6:13-20]
Update — an apology from Pastor Justin:
On Sunday, in talking about the theme of sexual wholeness, I shared some of my own history, including how I became addicted to pornography. In the course of telling the story of how I was first exposed to porn, I recounted when I had first been exposed to pictures of naked women — when some friends bought pornographic material from a store (at the time, porn was not as easily accessible online as it is now) — and described it as “a dirty magazine.”
Later in the week, I received feedback from a couple folks that that phrase elicited feelings of confusion — and even hurt — about what I was saying: what was ‘dirty’ about the magazine? Was it the sight of women’s bodies? Was it the sight of naked women’s bodies? That feedback caused me to stop and think, because “dirty magazine” is, I think, a pretty stock phrase for most men I know to refer to pornographic hardcopy material. And I certainly hadn’t meant it to imply that women or women’s bodies were unclean. In fact, I hadn’t even given a second thought to that phrase.
Which is the point. One of the practices we named to help us seek wholeness was to identify sexually de-forming messages and narratives. That includes unpacking the baggage we have picked up and the language we have learned, which may be as familiar to us as the air we breathe. But that doesn’t make it right or good.
Wiktionary tells me “dirty magazine” came to refer to material considered “morally unclean,” but I wonder if instead it might describe the act of the consumer, to paraphrase German theologian Martin Buber, treating another person as an “It” rather than a “Thou,” an object rather than a person.
Nevertheless, I should have been more thoughtful and less casual in my use of a slang phrase so I apologize for that. Thanks to those who gently and lovingly provided that feedback.