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Rev. Dr. Henry Lee Bates - Archived Messages

RevBates.tv Global - Weekly Message To The Masses for February 17, 2008 

               “If you are a passionate lover, you are both passionate sexually and in life. Sexual and spiritual energy are the creative energy of the universe which spawn passion, creativity, and insight.” - Deepak Chopra

        This week, I was intrigued by a news article title on FOXnews.com, "Pastor issues sex challenge" ... I was curious to see what this was all about.  It seems a pastor of a Christian Church in Tampa, Florida, has a new challenge for his congregation ... a "30-DAY SEX CHALLENGE" ... "single men and women can't have sex for 30 days, and married couples are urged to have it every day."  Pastor Paul Wirth of "The Relevant Church" stated, "our married people are far more fearful than our single people."  According to the article, Wirth had found biblical references that he says suggest Jesus disapproved of pre-marital sex and promoted sex in marriage.  That's why he tells his single followers to abstain, and his married followers to indulge.

       Having studied the "teachings of Jesus" diligently for many years, I was a little doubtful about Pastor Wirth's statement regarding Jesus, but I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt so I sent him an email requesting that he let me know what these biblical references were from Jesus regarding pre-marital sex and promotion of sex in marriage?  His reply was, "as you can imagine the media takes things and turns them their way."  He went on to write that he was speaking to the reporter about the woman at the well and how Jesus told her that her life style was wrong and showed her a way to change.  It was interesting that the Pastor would use this story as the woman at the well had had several husbands but the one she was living with was not her husband.  Jesus said nothing negative about her marital status, according to the Book of John in the Bible, but about her religious status.  He told her that "salvation comes from the Jews."

     According to the Pastor he then took the reporter to the old testament about be fruitful and multiply and the Song of Songs and also the new testament Heb 13 where the Bible talks (?) about the marriage bed being undefiled.  He went on to tell me that "we are praying that our single people would learn that a life of celibacy until marriage is the greatest thing ever and that our married people would enjoy each other like never before."

     Wow ... now I was really curious to learn about this minister so I went to the church website ... relevantchurch.com.  Posted on the front page was a graphic of a woman with a very short skirt with her leg draped between a man's legs ... I can't post the graphic here because it is stated on the site that it is copyrighted by Relevant Church.  I found out that Pastor Wirth is a former Baptist.  He founded his non-denominational ministry three years ago.  And he markets his church by tackling unusual or controversial topics.  At this point, I could see that this church was attempting to make itself "controversial" ... because this Pastor is lost if his translation of these biblical references are the basis for his "30-day sex challenge" ... I have often said that few Christian ministers truly understand the teachings of Jesus and this article and the Pastor's response to my email message offers more proof of this.

     The article truly interested me because more than anything else, I saw it as a glaring example of how sex and love have been so confused in our culture.  I cannot imagine that anyone would consider that daily sex would increase the measure of love in marriages or heal the issues of a troubled marriage.  And as for celibacy until marriage, I believe that rather than focus on the value of physical actions, our focus should be more on the things of the spirit; honesty, compassion, kindness, responsibility.  The Relevant Church's "30-DAY
SEX CHALLENGE" is totally "irrelevant" spiritually.  Love is not limited to physical acts, but in Truth, is Un-limited in Its capacity to color our lives with warmth and happiness.  To teach that to abstain from sexual intercourse until marriage can somehow bring us closer to God is abysmal.  It is another way that religions judge people wrongly and create a separation from God that is false.  The graphic used for this "sex challenge" is very provocative ... and I wondered what the purpose was in making it so.  And of course, Pastor Wirth is married ... so he won't be considering the celibacy that he is asking others to practice.

     It is the spirit of love within us that brings us closer to God ... it is how we love our neighbor ... how we love those who don't always act lovingly towards us ... how we love those who are different than us ... that bring us closer to God.  Pastor Wirth and his Relevant Church are really just promoting the same old tired "sin" principles of primitive Christianity.  As Jesus states in the Book of John, "true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth."  Much of Christianity has yet to evolve their understanding back to this great spiritual revelation of Jesus.  And this lack of understanding has created a sense of being separated from God by so many people.  It is the basis for so much of the discord that we see in our world.

    
From the Science of Mind we know that God Is Spirit and we worship God in Spirit and in Truth.  We know that our choices have consequences.  But, we also know that we are never outside the Omnipresent Love of God ... no matter what we have done or failed to do.  To think otherwise is to hold onto the idea of God as a "guy in the sky" ... created in the "image of man' ... making silly rules to amuse himself.  Let's know that God is Greater than this.

AND SO IT IS!

Keep the faith!
Rev. Dr. Henry Lee Bates

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"I have been all things unholy.  If God can work through me, He can work
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St. Francis of Assisi