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A Resource Now Available: Christians Can Be Both Faithful and Sexual

It is long past time for a bold and creative Christian response to the #MeToo movement, the potential election of a self-confessed rapist and pedophile, and a President who has bragged about sexual harassment of women. Some Christians this summer show they are deeply aligned to sexual repression (the Nashville Statement), but a more enticing prospect is to teach a sex-positive Christianity that is inclusive and science-friendly. That is what Disciples of Christ pastor, Rev. Dr. Beverly Dale is doing at the Incarnation Institute for Sex & Faith (IISF). The timely release of a webinar series entitled, “Reading the Bible with Sex-Positive Eyes,” is now available.

"The Christian church’s teachings that have fueled the purity culture, that prizes virginity before marriage, have been destructive for women and sexual minorities but also for young couples who oftentimes have great difficult shifting their beliefs after marriage. We have been captured in its guilt, fear and shame," said Rev. Dr. Dale, a professor at Lancaster Theological Seminary.

The cutting edge four-part webinar series is for those Christians who want an alternative way to think about pleasure and the body as well as those who simply want to know how to “talk back” to those who are full of judgment about sexuality and preach guilt and shame. Each webinar is 60-75 minutes long and includes the topics:

“Introduction to Christian Sex Negativity: The Beginnings,” an examination of how Jesus’s teachings morphed into suspicion of the body and pleasure, and twisted into current harmful repressive teachings that provoke guilt, fear, and shame rather than liberation.

“Discerning Truth, Discerning Culture,” that looks at the cultural seduction of the church and way “religious truth” has been distorted and provides a discernment framework that helps separate truth from cultural norms.

“Sex in the Bible: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly” an examination and critique of various biblical passages used to justify repression and an alternative sex-positive narrative of abundance.

“Sex: When, How and Under What Circumstances,” a consideration of sexual ethics and a moral decision-making process is presented that moves us away from a one-size-fits-all teaching. The webinars are sold through the website of the Incarnation Institute, the organization that the Dr. Dale founded in 2013.

Dale’s work is science-based and theologically grounded in scripture. Dr. Beverly Whipple, a researcher who helped to identify the G-spot and female ejaculation, is on Dale’s Advisory Team. Whipple said of her work on its behalf: “I am honored to be an advisor for this organization as a way to encourage the faith community to be involved in positive sexual health.” Another Advisor is Dr. Virginia Mollenkott, a Christian theologian whose focus corrects the trans and homophobia within Christendom has sought to empower the sexual minority communities. She calls the work of the Incarnation Institute for Sex & Faith an "imaginative and gifted ministry"!

 

"We have to find a more life-fulfilling narrative in the church, one that offers abundance and values the diverse expressions of pleasure and experience." Dale said. "But the pressure not to do so is strong. And, it is death-dealing. We cannot stand by and let people continue to be sexually wounded. Jesus taught 'life in all its abundance' and the church needs to start proclaiming that as the gospel!"

 

 

 
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