Many MVNU students have been attending the Sunday morning gathering of Christians who call themselves "Journey Church." Here is the sixth (6th) of six (6) reasons why MVN(azarene)U students have been so highly attracted to the non-Nazarene gathering place that is Journey.
That’s right. This is it. It’s been over a week. The moment you all… or at least some of you… have been waiting for (or not): The #1 reason why MVNU students go to the gathering place that calls itself Journey. But first… here is a quick rundown of numbers 1-5.
1. The perception that going to a Sunday morning gathering is still necessary.
2. The 20 minute drive from MVNU in Mount Vernon, OH to Howard, OH.
3. The music.
4. The teacher who is present in the lives of students.
5. The idea that everyone is doing it.
And finally presenting number…
6. The sexual lure.
Yes, the sexual lure.
Enter the Journey gathering and the lights go down. In the dimly lit room an ever-so-happy dating couple nuzzle and begin to sway together to Salvation is Here . OK… not really… but really. I have seen this beautiful picture of hormonal overload and still remain quite humored and/or disgusted with a more-than-slight inclination toward the latter.
Before I totally lose you (too late) I’ll get into the real idea:
Fascination. Romanticism. Intimacy. Connectedness.
God created humans (and most other mammals) as sexual creatures. Unfortunately, the church has done a rather insufficient to poor job at framing our sexuality in a healthy and fomative manner. The popular media has unveiled many "church leaders" from eccumenically diverse backgrounds who have illustrated the tragic nature of distorted sexuality. Few Christian parents have properly imaged a devoted and giving marriage relationship (the previous two sentences must be developed more in separate, dedicated posts). The church has inadequately taught the full beauty of sexuality and has ungraciously reacted against what it calls sinful sexual behavior. There has emerged a fascination with sexuality from students who have been impacted by the church’s improper communication about sexuality. Experimentation and cultural adaption consequently ensue. Timmy B and I are both quite comfortable journeying with students and others through the fascination and questions about sexuality.
There is a certain romanticism that accompanies the Journey gathering. One parallel that I may draw is with the idea of adoption. International adoption may sound more heroic when compared with domestic adoption. There is a type of romanticism that comes with rescuing a child from another country compared to a child who is abused by his/her parents who are your neighbors. Though I don’t buy into that idea of romanticsm (all forms of justice are equally justice) there is a certain romanticism with the Journey gathering. It is not Nazarene. It is not a huge organization. It most reflects the grassroots movements of church that may be trendy but are not associated with a larger institution. The current generation of 20-somethings are attraced to anti-institutional movements. We are romanticized by them.
A sexual relationship with one’s spouse is the most intimate and connected that two people may become so long as that practice of sex is within the context of a whole and loving marriage. Humans long for that intimacy and connection. The journey gathering is packaged with an intimate feel and the relationships external from the gathering itself are quite intimate. At the core of western human existence is the desire to fight against the individualism that defines our culture and seek to be connected with each other. Journey is just one more place to seek such connection within an intimate feel that fosters romanticism for minds fascinated with sex.
If you are finding yourself at all confused you may include your thoughts in a comment. I also may include a post that would further explain this idea. It would be an excert from a teaching and a piece of writing that I did about the Holy Kiss used in the liturgy.
Posts in response to comments during this series are ahead.