December 17, 2017

And in this Ring…

Ed and Lisa Young, founders of Texas-based Fellowship Church, will spend 24 hours in bed on the church roof next week and stream themselves live on the Internet to encourage married couples to see firsthand the power of a healthy sex life as prescribed in their new book, Sexperiment.

Two days after their book, Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse, is released Tuesday, the Youngs will take part in a 24-hour “bed-in,” which will be streamed on the book’s website as they engage the audience on issues related to intimacy in marriage.

The book encourages married couples to have sex for seven straight days – a challenge that made headlines in 2008 when Pastor Young first introduced it to his church – with the promise that the “amazing results” will last far beyond the week.

“Tragically, culture has kicked the bed out of church and God out of the bed,” says Ed Young, who has been “happily married” to Lisa for almost 30 years. “It’s time to bring God back in the bed and put the bed back in the church. That’s what this bed-in is all about.”

• From Christian Post

Comments

  1. I can’t tell you how much I was hoping this was satire. Even when I clicked on the link, I was sure you had actually linked it to an Onion article. Sigh.

  2. John and Yoko beat them to it decades ago.

    Please spare me.

    (Fellowship Church is just shy of 11 miles from our house. I hear you can see Russia from the church roof.)

    “God thought up sex,” says the Grapevine pastor who hosts a weekly television program that airs weekly on ABC Family. “It was His idea.

    God was in a devious mood that day. Think of all the wars, jealousies, envies, strifes, hatreds, murders, etc., that would not occur if we reproduced asexually.

    • Not only are they ripping off John & Yoko, they’re throwing the whole Rooftop Concert in as well!

      • +1!

      • Agreed, the B-Sharps should sue.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        “John and Yoko farming beef
        raising protein quota
        Sometimes they make love and art
        inside their dakota
        Rodney’s feeling sexy
        Mick is really frightfully bold
        Me, I do the only thing that stops me growing old
        I do the Rock…”
        — Tim Curry, “I Do the Rock”

  3. “…will spend 24 hours in bed on the church roof next week and stream themselves live on the Internet to encourage married couples to see firsthand the power of a healthy sex life…”

    Ergo, Christian pornography, as predicted here on iMonk over three years ago. I wish I could say that I am shocked and dismayed, but we’ve had a quite a while to prepare for it. What discourages me is that after all the concerns and warnings here and on other sites, it is still going to happen. To borrow from Dr. Seuss, “It came..it came just the same”. This and Driscoll is like watching the train wreck scene from “Super-8” in slow motion in a loop over and over again.

    • Yes, but they won’t actually show themselves engaged in the marital bond. I mean, that would surely be a violation of all kinds of civil laws about pornography or such.

      They’ll just be lying in bed taking questions (and presumably eating and napping as well). Right? Right???

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      “Just Like Porn, Except CHRISTIAN(TM!”

    • Do you know what would really, really “encourage married couples” and what we will never, ever see?

      Livestreaming 24 hours in the normal family life of a married pastor when the car breaks down as he has to set out on a cold, wet, winter’s morning to visit a parishioner or take morning service in an unheated country church, and the kids are sick and grumpy and whining, and the new puppy is chewing up everything from slippers to the couch cushions, and his wife tells him oh honey, by the way, the drains are blocked. Again. And the parish committee is dragging its feet on putting up the money to have the plumbers in because this is going to be a huge job to have the pipes relaid and so forth.

      (May or may not be drawing from my sister’s life as a clergy wife. All names changed to protect the innocent. Any resemblance to actual events or persons purely coincidental).

      • Martha, Are you implying your sister may have crossed to the other side (may or may not so to speak)?

        • My sister is indeed the wife of a Church of Ireland clergyman. She’s also an ex-novice nun 🙂

          They met while both of them were up North working as volunteers in the Camphill community there (this is based on the Anthroposophical teachings of Rudolph Steiner and is a movement associated with the education and community care for those with all kinds of special needs from children to adults).

          So she’s a kinda liberalish, kinda lapsed Catholic semi-anthroposophist married to a high church Anglican who comes from a low church tradition in Northern Ireland, living and ministering in the south of Ireland.

          And I, to the contrary, am getting more traditional and conservative as I get older.

          It keeps things interesting!

          🙂

          • “I adore lapsed Catholics!”

            —Line from a Susan Howatch novel about the Anglican Church (well, really, two novels; I caught Howatch using the same line for two different characters. Loved it both times.)

  4. I need to find that C.S. Lewis quote from “Out of Silent Planet”, where it is the infrequency of sex which makes it special, not as part of a routine.

    Daily sex will lead to boredom which will lead to promiscuity and adultery, which is what all this obsession with sex is supposed to prevent, right?

    • It would take A LOT of consecutive days of sex for me to start thinking it was less than special. I’ve tried.

      Maybe you are doing it wrong?

      • When both spouses work and have kids with homework and sports events the parents need to attend, etc, seven days a week becomes a bit ridiculous. More power to you, if that’s not your situation. But for many, this is reality. When the right time does reveal itself, it is special. Spontaneity sometimes is about the moment, not feeling obligated to do something everyday.

        Again, I’ll have to find that C.S. Lewis quote. It’s not my idea that more is not necessarily better. It definitely runs counter to American values.

        It also seems typical that fundagelicals manage to turn everything into legalism. It sure comes across as “have to” vs. “get to”‘.

        • Crooked Bird says:

          Ditto. There’s a big difference between sex every day of the week when you have nothing else to do, and sex every day of the week in the middle of a busy life. If you’re not able to make enough time and energy for it then it won’t be good sex, and then it’s not worth it. I’m not for infrequency necessarily, but they’d do better to recommend focusing on learning what your spouse likes and giving them maximum pleasure.

          I opened Out of the Silent Planet and actually was lucky enough to open to your quote, Dumb Ox. Problem is, it’s not really a quote but a whole dialogue, so I don’t think I can transcribe it here. It’s on the first page of so of Chapter 12.

        • cermak_rd says:

          Yes. In fact, a lot of people in the infertility biz were happily surprised when it turned out that sex every other day during a period of fertility could do just as well as every day. Fact is, couples are busy, they can suffer anxiety due to the absolute need to do it at all cost. Being under pressure like that can actually cause marital stress.

        • To clarify, by infrequently, I don’t mean quantity but predictability. Frequently implies a regular, predictable, time-based schedule. Infrequently implies that an occurrence is inpredictable and spontaneous. Human life is analog and is anything BUT predictable.

        • Richard Hershberger says:

          And here’s another news flash: different people have different sex drives. This can be a problem in a marriage if the two spouses have majorly different sex drives, but apart from that what works is what works.

    • “If anyone says that sex, in itself, is bad, Christianity contradicts him at once. But, of course, when people say, ‘Sex is nothing to be ashamed of,’ they may mean ‘the state into which the sexual instinct has now got is nothing to be ashamed of’. If they mean that, I think they are wrong. I think it is everything to be ashamed of. There is nothing to be ashamed of in enjoying your food: there would be everything to be ashamed of if half the world made food the main interest of their lives and spent their time looking at pictures of food and dribbling and smacking their lips.”
      ? C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

      The “Silent Planet” quote is in the context of a longer passage from chapter 12. Here is an excerpt:

      Ransom: “If a thing is a pleasure, a hman [human] wants it again. He might want the pleasure more often than the number of young that could be fed.”

      Hyoi: “…But why? Would he want his dinner all day or want to sleep after he had slept? I do not understand.”

      Ransom “But a dinner comes every day. This love, you say, comes only once while the hross lives?”

      Hyoi: “But it takes his whole life. When he is young he has to look for his mate; and then he has to court her; then he begets young; then he rears them; then he remembers all this, and boils it inside him and makes it into poems and wisdom.”

      Ransom: “But the pleasure he must be content to remember?”

      Hyoi: ‘A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered You are speaking, Hman, as if the pleasure were one thing and the memory another. It is all one thing.”

      In my opinion, this inability to remember pleasure and its full context of life but constantly having the need to be stimulated by sex and food leads to the addictions, abuses, and obsessions so common among Americans – and the profounds sense of unhappiness, despite the comparatively great wealth its poorest members have in relation to the dire poverty of the rest of the world. It is also why our culture is so shallow and devoid of meaningful art, music, and wisdom. What a sad, ironic curse.

      • Crooked Bird says:

        Ha, sorry, didn’t notice you’d found your quote already.

        This is interesting. I think that mostly we fall into addictions because our lives are empty. (Also because the addictions are there, everywhere, waiting. I suspect there’s more to be addicted to in our culture than there ever has been in any other, if only because of the internet.) It’s a cycle: addictions also make your life empty. The stimulation is shallow and leaves more meaninglessness in its wake, and to cover it you have to have more stimulation. So it’s hard to know what leads to what, really. But I think that you are right about the inability to put pleasure in a larger context and let it mean something. It’s that lack of meaning that I guess I mean by “empty lives.”

        I wonder if things like Chapter 10 of Real Marriage and the apparent frequency of “Can We?” questions sort of come from this. It’s not that I believe in all kinds of prohibitions–off the top of my head I can only think of one or two things I’d think married people probably shouldn’t be doing–but for that to be such a huge focus worries me. It sounds to me like “our sex is boring now, so can we do this and this?” and the very idea that it could be boring makes me sad. I think the truth is, there are a lot of people out there who’ve watched a lot of porn, and now the only thing they can think of to do with sex within marriage is to get that same type of shallow stimulation from it and so they need novelty. Not meaning to tar everyone who has a “can we” question with that brush. I’m sure the argument of those who think that chapter’s very needed (“It’s because the church has taught that sex is dirty”) is true in some cases.

      • Dumb Ox said, “In my opinion, this inability to remember pleasure and its full context of life but constantly having the need to be stimulated by sex and food leads to the addictions, abuses, and obsessions so common among Americans – and the profounds sense of unhappiness…”

        I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but on 60 Minutes there was a segment called “The Flavorists” about food scientists who have the job to find the optimum flavors and additives. The goal is to get something that tastes great, but that does not linger on the palate for very long. It leaves only the memory that it was terrific, without really satisfying; and the consumer will have to go to the fridge or the cupboard for more.

        Addictions? Obesity? That’s for different scientists.

        • I saw that, too. Taste without substance would create an insatiable appetite. Our high-carb, heavily-sweetened diet (corn syrup in everything from juice to ketchup) leads to health problems like diabetes, but also a never-satisfied appetite, leading to obesity. The parallel with society’s obsession with sex is obvious. Sex is now in almost every commercial, movie, and program. No matter how much we actual experience, we are told that it isn’t enough nor intense or erotic enough. It is one thing to get this message from a fallen world; it is another to hear it from the church, too. The church’s message on sex should be that sex is important and good – indeed created by God – but also that there is more to life than sex, that it plays a relatively small integrated role in the whole of marriage. The church should teach a view of sex compatible with the big-picture of marriage: for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.

    • …I think they are gearing up to do a once a day Cialis for daily use commercial…

      Actually as I get older I also enjoy two other things besides sex, that would be sleeping and eating. I don’t get enough sleep as it is so sometimes I actually prefer a good night sleep if the foreplay is going to take me deep into the night…. I didn’t just say that did I?

  5. That’s it. Turn the whole thing (the gospel) into a ‘project’ of some sort.

    Many of these Evangelical churches basically practice a different religion.

    That may sound harsh, but I do believe it to be true, and this story could be exhibit ‘A’ in a court of law.

    Unfortunately there’s an exhibit ‘Z’, also, and everything in between.

    • I don’t know that this could be rightfully called a project; it smacks of being a stunt and nothing more.

  6. i think the general concept of sex being good; God given; sacred; pleasurable; a special form of intimate communication, etc. enough of a ‘proper biblical perspective’…

    anything else about frequency, positions, certain techniques/acts, & other erotic details just TMI & definitely not universal in scope…

    having a positive outlook about sex without pandering to the ‘over exposure’ of its proper place in the lives of married couples enough respect & appreciation appropriate to its very private nature…

    {sigh}

    the world knows more about the ‘how-to’s’ of sex & caters to every whim/fancy & deviant version possible. what it does not always champion is its sacred element of human experience within the guidelines God designed+blessed. it is extremely powerful & inspiring & life-impacting to be sure. but making it into a parade-from-the-pulpit does not do any saint any spiritual favors. it only becomes another distraction+controversy that only reinforces the dog-and-pony-show circus entertainment accusations of those that look at such things from the outside. it becomes a misrepresentation of its topic right from the start & really is a lack of modesty & reverance due its specialness & the privacy it deserves…

    Lord, have mercy… 🙁

  7. I’m guessing you aren’t going to read this book either…

    But if you had to choose, which one do you think would annoy you less (Young or Driscoll)?

    • Young….

      I think Driscoll is more toxic.

    • Driscoll can be annoying, but some of his writing has redeeming value.

      Young has none.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      I think we ought to put Masculine Love Driscoll up on the rooftop bed with Seven Day Sex Challenge Ed and see what happens.

      New reality show.

      • thanks a LOT HUG…. I might not eat this week…or next

      • For the glory of God!! Let’s beat the %^&$ out of someone or have a MMA match on the roof. Now that’s not something you see every day…..

      • Oh, Headless. I’m glad I wasn’t drinking when I read that.

        Okay, now that I would watch. The Mark’n’Ed Bedtime Show. Would they both wear pyjamas, or do Real Men not wear those anymore? Eating in bed – yes or no? What happens if Mark spills crumbs in the sheets – will Ed make him get out to sweep them up? Snoring, kicking and blanket hogging – who’s worse? Who gets to sleep on which side and does it make a difference?

        This should be made!

        😀

    • @srs: that’s kind of like asking if I’d prefer to be chain-whipped, or run over by a car. I’ll pass on both, thanx.

  8. This is a joke, correct? I mean – putting the bed up on the roof – ha, ha, ha! Hilarious! Who would be so daft?

    Sex for seven straight days, hmmmm? And what about all the babies that may result – or are all the participants assumed to be contracepting? Never mind: sex is for fun and intimacy, not producing the next generation so babies, what babies?

    If this is serious, not only do I hope the next Pope doesn’t change the discipline of clerical celibacy, I hope we get an encylical or even an apostolic letter on it. On the one hand, progressive bishops having to resign because it turns out they’re keeping a mistress and two teenage sons in the next state is not edifying by any definition of the word. On the other hand, I cannot see this as an improvement in the Catholic sacramental ministry.

    • Martha in fundageliclaism you get brownie points for the more babies you have. You have a higher stature and more respect in the system. That’s why singles don’t belong in Christianity…

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Because you’re Outbreeding the Heathen and will eventually overwhelm them and Restore The Christian Nation.

        “We conquer the lands of the Infidel! Our wombs shall be our weapons!”
        — attr to a Euro-Mullah

      • Eagle,

        We get brownie points in Catholicism too – but then we don’t use contraception and we use NFP (for those of us who are strict Catholics) so its easier for us theoretically. I have seven myself (actually my wife had them – I just particpated and my wife reminds me of this often). Boy are we irresponsible ; )

      • Indeed. Gotta have a “quiver full” or you’re obviously not blessed not obedient. I’ve been on the receiving end of that for only having two children.

    • I think the only biblical precedent is Absalom setting up a tent on the roof, (2 Samuel 16:22) but let’s not look into that too far.

    • cermak_rd says:

      Given the average age of the congregations, most won’t have to worry too much about babies. Most members are well past 30 and those still fertile could simply time their week to be at a time of unlikely fertility (e.g. during menses, right after menses or right before). But realistically, most folk Christian or not (of whatever variety) use artificial methods of birth prevention). And in the US it’s pretty much understood that if you’re not a member of Catholicism or a quiverful movement, then you aren’t sinning by so doing.

    • Donalbain says:

      Oh noes! People having sex for fun! What horror!

      • It’s not the having sex for fun, Donalbain, it’s the “We’re the first Christians ever to realise that sex is not dirty!” attitude along with “Improving intimacy in marriage = having sex every day for seven days a week”.

        And rip-offs of what John and Yoko were doing back in 1969 to show how hip’n’happening you are.

        And flogging your new book on top of it.

        Because God forbid that Christians should be behind the Zeitgeist in any way, since we don’t want anyone to think we’re different in what really counts as culturally important.

        And never mind any Christians out there who may be single, or ugly, or poor, or in unhappy marriages where one spouse would happily have his/her throat cut rather than have sex with the other, because the whole problem of intimacy, love and trust there can’t be fixed by a bit of ‘spice up your love life’.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          “Improving intimacy in marriage = having sex every day for seven days a week”.

          When Grinning Ed hit the IMonk scene a couple years ago with his Seven Day Sex Challenge, one of the comments was about those women in his church “who now have to put up with being oppressively humped every day for an entire week and have to make like they like it.”

          And never mind any Christians out there who may be single, or ugly, or poor, or in unhappy marriages where one spouse would happily have his/her throat cut rather than have sex with the other, because the whole problem of intimacy, love and trust there can’t be fixed by a bit of ‘spice up your love life’.

          How does that differ from what I went through 25 years ago with “Just get laid; that’ll fix everything”? I’ve had to put up with virginity being another word for stupidity since high school, usually expressed with disdain or true viciousness.

          • cermak_rd says:

            Hey I remember those days. I just assumed that an awful lot of folks, and it didn’t matter what gender was involved, were lying about their sexploits (or maybe that’s just what I told myself to make myself feel better).

  9. Tough to argue that we don’t need enlightenment and sound thinking in the sexual arena but this unnatural display will go nowhere to meet that end. In a bed on a rooftop? With people watching? Are they idiots? Are they that stupid? Doesn’t everyone know that if you know you are being watched you will act differently? If they become tired or bored, as is natural, they will fake the passion for our sake so that we will learn true essence of physical love I suppose. They better get some good drugs to ‘keep it up’ for seven days. Are these 17 year olds? Well good luck with all of that. I won’t be watching but please give me the comedic highlights when it’s done.

    • Maybe this could become a “Christian commercial” for Viagra!!! 😛

      • Actually, I just found out that reading an article about sex that contains the name “Furtick” before I have my whole cuppa’ coffee can lead choking on said coffee.

        AND this bit of performance theatre is timed to the book’s release……..total coincidence, I’m sure.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        No, some “Just Like Viagra, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!” boner pill. Probably with the zip code of the “Be Fruitful and Multiply” commandment embossed on each pill.

        I can’t be the only one to have that idea. I’m going to be monitoring my spam filters.

    • This turns Christianity into a Kurt Vonnegut novel. Billy Pilgrim and a naked earth female are held captive in a bubble by aliens who want to observe their behavior.

      Speaking of 17-year-olds, Slaughterhouse Five was really popular for us guys to choose as a book report back in high school.

  10. This is an interview they did with CNN today. It only gets “better”.

    http://cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/living/2012/01/08/nr-sexperiment-intv.cnn.html

  11. Well maybe you could say that Ed Young is inspired by Mark Driscoll’s book and is trying to improve his marriage? Is that possible….?

    I have a unique take that I think Chaplin Mike would be proud of. One of the pastors that I befreinded through Facebook worked at National Community Church (NCC) which was where I went. He left NCC and moved to Texas to be a part of Ed Young’s Church. So everytime I logged into Facebook I’d see all these updates on Ed Young’s series, etc.. Well Ed Young did something over the top a couple of Christmas’s ago and I saw this pastor live it up and saw things like, “Can’t wait to hear the word preached by Ed Young this Sunday!! Why don’t you join us? ” etc… So I took Chaplin Mike’s post that was critical of Ed Young and put it on his Facebook wall and recommended he read it. Well…I was un-friended in a day….

    Oh well….but Chaplin Mike I tried!! And hopefully the staff down there read your post!! 😛

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Well maybe you could say that Ed Young is inspired by Mark Driscoll’s book and is trying to improve his marriage? Is that possible….?

      Very plausible. One-upmanship. Driscoll has a best-seller on Christian Sex, Grinning Ed has to have one, too. Pays for the new Learjet.

  12. I, too, scrolled to the bottom of the post anxiously hoping to see a “laugh or else” tag, but alas, this is real. I give up on reality, its too weird. My feelings are best expressed in the words of Will Ferrel:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DVAsmrwdtQ

  13. This guy gives me the creeps. Seriously.

  14. Cool, maybe they’ll do a “church-in” next.

  15. Why is it that when I read this stuff I fear I might be losing MY mind? Could it be the mortification I feel?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      “There will come a time when men will go Mad. And they will lay hands upon the sane among them, saying to them ‘You are not like Us! You Must Be Mad!'”
      — one of the Desert Fathers

      • OMG

        I must find out whoever wrote that and read everything he ever wrote!

        • It appears to have been St. Anthony the Great (c. 200 AD). It took a while in my Google search to find the author — 90% of the citations I found were of HUG quoting it. 😀

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            I first heard it from my writing partner (the burned-out country preacher). It’s one of his favorite Desert Fathers quotes. And his stock answer to my recurring question “Did we go crazy or did everybody else?”

      • Jack Heron says:

        I’m pretty sure there was a Monty Python sketch along those lines….

        It’s also a plot point in G.K. Chesterton’s ‘The Ball and the Cross’.

  16. Forgive this deacdent European, but there is something deeply unhealthy in the way sexuality is dealt with in the States, especially in christian circles…

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Christians are just as screwed up sexually as everyone else (and I’ve seen a LOT of sexual screwups), just one-eightied in a different direction.

    • Not sure how you can claim that European Christians’ take on sexuality is any healthier. Would you care to substantiate that claim?

      • Well, my dear Ali, to speak exactlly, I have not made such claim. I just notice that for decades and decades, evangelical ethics have been focused on bedroom issues.
        Of course, there is a puritanical and pietistic element in all this; but the result is an unbiblical and unbalanced view of things.

  17. Circus Maximus!

  18. Beds in church would certainly make it more comfortable to sleep through the sermons, but we’d have to fight the youth groupers for them.

    I do think that the church kind of suck when it comes to talking about sex and tends to turn into gnostics or legalists when the subject comes up, but I think taking sexual advice from a stranger is just sick, but then again I think taking spiritual advice from a stranger is pretty sick as well. Both wind up being rather academic unless you know how “healthy” a person is in real life……but without the cult of personality the church would have to settle for living quiet, loving lives among our neighbors and nothing good could possibly come of that.

    …..and yes, I do get the irony of me, a stranger to most of you, offering spiritual advice.

  19. At least no one can complain that it’s unbiblical.

    Don’t they need an Asherah pole? They could write a book about this, like “The Prayer of Jabez,” and call it “The Prayer of Rehoboam.” Bookstores would carry it. Really, who’d know?

  20. Rule 34 is proven yet again

  21. I, too, thought this must be a joke, but then I saw it is not filed under the category “Laugh or Else” but under “Huh?” This is very odd.

  22. It’s not a joke, it’s a publicity stunt.

    I posted on this yesterday morning, and got more than the average number of views for a new post in 24 hours. They want the book to sell, which means people have to know about it. There is an old saying about no such thing as bad publicity. As Christian news sites, blogs, and even churches talk about it, either positively or negatively, a buzz is generated that you just cannot buy with advertising.

    In the short run, the Youngs get their 15 minutes and sell a gazillion books. They will have to come back in a couple of years with a new stunt to keep that kind of momentum going. The bigger picture is about what this does to the Church at large and the reputation of all Christians. Every time Fred Phelps shows up at funeral, or Ted Haggard dances with the stars, or Ed and Lisa Young have a “bed in” it adds to making us all look nuts.

    This is just the next step in putting on the show. Who will sit in a sanctuary listening to some guy teach the Bible when the church across the street has people on the roof? The evangelical circus keeps reaching for greater heights, while even the body of Christ further ignores the Gospel. If the teachings of Christ and the Gospel message no longer hold our attention, what are the chances anyone else will listen to it. For that matter, who will share it with them? That’s the danger here. Not what they are doing, but is left undone.

    • Amen

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Ed needs a new Learjet?

    • FormerFellos says:

      You are totally correct. This whole sermon series (repeated from 3 years ago) is being timed solely for the production of book sales. When a preacher puts a bed on the stage, and has a ‘bed-in’ on the roof of the ‘sanctuary’, then the likes of CNN, ABC, CBS, GMA, etc, come calling. In fact, the first interview last week by CNN was all the rage on the church staffs twitter and facebook accounts. That type of publicity, scoffing or not, will, hopefully for Ed, drive people all across the nation (not just his small congregation) to buy the book and put the Youngs the book zones of Driscoll, Olsteen, Bell and Jakes.

      I used to go to this church, and left due to Ed’s constant ego and authority requirements, so I was there when the last series happened. Trust me, this is not about strengthening marriages, this is about one thing: SELL BOOKS.

      This type of merchandising in the church makes me want to hurl.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Every time Fred Phelps shows up at funeral, or Ted Haggard dances with the stars…

      Or Ted Haggard shows up on Celebrity Wife Swap…

  23. Pray for rain.

  24. If only they can persuade Mark & Grace to hop on in for a guest spot….

  25. Another reason to use the traditional styled church. It’s hard to put a bed on a steeple.

    • +1

    • Elizabeth says:

      Amen!

    • Richard Hershberger says:

      You could probably get one into our bell tower, but you would want to hire a serious cleaning crew first, since it is usually inhabited by birds of shockingly unhygienic habits.

      • cermak_rd says:

        All belfries seem to be inhabited by birds with unhygienic habits. Which does beg the question…do bats ever actually occupy belfries? I’ve never seen one there. Around my home, bats seem to prefer underground parking garages.

      • Margaret Catherine says:

        Better than ours. We have wasps…who come down “south” for the winter…

  26. But international flights from Atlanta fly directly over my roof…

  27. How anyone can claim the church is ignoring sex is beyond me…..they seem obsessed by it.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      “Married” is Christianese for “Getting Laid”, that’s all.

      • That was definitely my experience at a Christian college. It can be a really unhealthy motivating factor in motivating people to get married.

        • “…motivating factor in motivating people…” Redundant much? Where’s that edit button…

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            Redundancy can be interpreted as emphasis. Just it normally isn’t used like that in English.

        • Maybe that explains the divorce factor amongst fundys. If the only compelling factor to get married is to have sex and thus not sin; what do you do when the marriage doesn’t work out? Divorce!! 😯 But we all know that divorce is okay, while sexual sins are not. Is it me or do fundamentalists operate in a cycle? In their effort to avoid committing sexual sin, they end up egregiously commit another sin.

          I still can’t figure out why they have to act like that…

          • It can’t possibly be that, since most Christian youth these days are having sex before marriage anyway.

            Therefore, it must be the media’s fault.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            “Could it be… SATAN?”
            — The Church Lady, Saturday Night Live

            (Who was based on actual Ladies at the comedian’s church when he was a kid.)

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          I understand the formal term is “Marriage of Continence”, i.e. a marriage entered into solely to legalize the sex.

          Like the “I Don’t Wanna Die a Virgin!” mass marriage Cerulean Sanctum related at a local Bible college during the 1988 Edgar Weisenhaunt Rapture Scare.

          Or the fact (cited here on IMonk and elsewhere) that only Married Christians have any status in the church (and by extension in God’s sight).

          And since Fundagelicals also seem to be into “Common Scriptural Values” being the ONLY element of compatibility in marriage (said to me in so many words by a guest lecturer at a Christian Singles event), all the bonding you’re going to get in a Christianese marriage is Side-by-Side Bible Study and Face-to-Face sex. Which doesn’t strike me as being all that strong a bond.

  28. Didn’t King David have problems with sex and roofs? Well, at least these two are married to each other.

    • Even the least cynical can look at a red dot on a giant white canvas and ask, “Is this really art?”. These people are gutting the true art of sexuality which is intimate and putting on some sort of show and tell act.

  29. Maybe not the best idea, but rather than the constant bashing of such things, maybe we can reflect on their goal (healthy intimacy in marriage) and think about what would be the best way to reach that goal.

    • Some posts from other angles to come, Rick. But come on, how can we not bash this?

      • Agreed CM. I hate to be crass, but Young, Driscoll, et al, are behaving like what pop culture would call “fame whores”. Now, I’m sure in some staff meeting, or at least in their prayer closets, the thought must have popped up, “If we can draw attention to ourselves, it will create evangelism opportunities”…Right? I hope?

        It’s funny to me that folks who would criticize monastics are the same that would think this type of thing is okay. A little dose of “He must increase, I must decrease” never hurt anyone, as far as I can tell.

      • I guess Joel Willitts recent post about Christian Cynics/the review of the book by Andrew Byers, is coming to mind:

        “…a Christian cynic as one who through painful disillusionment comes to embrace reality with an embittered spirit. Its a sickness. But cynicism is the “new spirituality”.
        So many believers have now slid into those dark pits that cynicism is becoming vogue in many Christian circles as a self-identifying trademark of a new spirituality – edgy spirituality of the jaded. Since cynicism is emerging as a hop new way to be “spiritual,” religious disenchantment is often hailed as a spiritual virtue (8).
        How do you know if you’re a Christian cynic? Andrew provides a brief description:
        They would never be caught in public wearing the ridiculous T-shirt they got at the legalistic dating conference from earlier days in the youth group. Christian cynics would be humiliated if anyone found the old “What Would Jesus Do? ” bracelet buried in their desk drawer. They would listen to the Christian pop music radio station only for laughs. They would try to avoid displaying too much emotion during a worship service or answers correctly too many questions at the Bible study, lest they suffer from the dreaded accusation of being “hyperspiritual”. On a graver note, Christian cynics sometimes delight in watching fellow believers tread on life’s land mines, and their flaunted skepticism can even become the means by which the faithful forsake their faith (8-9)…Those prone to cynicism possess insight that the church, sick with populist misconceptions and ridiculous practices, desperately needs. Their voices will only be helpful, though, if . . . their wounds can be restored to health. We are in dire need for redeemed cynics to dress their wounds that they may rise up and flourish in the truths revealed to them for the health of the church and for the glory of God (12)..”

        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2012/01/are-you-a-christian-cynic-theres-help-for-you/

        • In the piece you just quoted, the author (the blog author) says this:

          The problem of “pop-Christianity”, the oversimplified theology and the trite sentimentality that is so rife throughout the Western Church, is evangelism’s greatest danger and it needs to be confronted.

          Is one being a cynic if they don’t believe all the claims of a late night infomercial. I don’t think so, really. It’s simply desiring people be honest. Why encourage hucksters?

          • That is my initial point. Recognize the problem with what they are doing, but rather than just bash, offer some positive solutions to reach their goal.

          • But that’s letting them dictate the agenda… I guess I don’t understand why we need agree that his stated goal is worthwhile. According to the Christian Post piece, Young says, “It’s time to bring God back in the bed and put the bed back in the church.”

            Is his goal to produce stronger marriages within the church? I don’t know that this initiative will help that much. How about rather than investing energy in publicity stunts, he invest it in nurturing the people in his congregation?

          • “Is his goal to produce stronger marriages within the church? I don’t know that this initiative will help that much. How about rather than investing energy in publicity stunts, he invest it in nurturing the people in his congregation?”

            Now that is a good example of expressing criticism, yet offering a positive alternative. Recognizing, tweaking, or going deeper than the intended goal, bringing it back to the gospel (1 Cor 15), seeking deeper solutions to problems that are probably underlying “intimacy”. That is the direction I hope this post and comments go.

        • Another idea might be to use the money being designated to promote Ed Young and his wife on a roof to care for orphans and widows. Or, in a church the size of Young’s, to hire professional counselors to do pre-marital counseling.

          Sorry for being cynical. Sometimes it’s hard to overlook a pastor’s lack of common, and/or Biblical sense.

    • Some things simply deserved to be called out as stupid ideas. The ends (or desired ends) don’t justify the means.

    • Crooked Bird says:

      You’re right about the goodness of the goal, but I think the best way to reach that goal would be…. *get down off the freakin’ roof.*

      Sheesh, if this goes on much further I’m going to become a Christian sex-advice pundit and my main message is going to be about PRIVACY. I’ll wax lyrical about how the marriage bed is a Garden of Eden with only the two of you in it, no one else but God who put you there and wants you to enjoy it together. Freedom and trust, no eyes anywhere, nothing to prove and no one to compete with, just you and the one you love.

      Seriously. People seem to have gotten all mixed up between the concept of “sex is dirty” and the concept of “sex is too special to drag in the dirt by exposing it to every passerby.” It’s not dirty, but it starts to feel dirty if you suspect there is someone watching. I can’t even remotely imagine what would make someone *want* to go through that.

      So, that’s my take on (one of) the best way(s) to reach the goal.

  30. I, too, was hoping this was a satire. This whole issue has completely pole vaulted over disturbing to just plain sickening. The harder the church tries to become relevant to the world, the more it becomes like the world.

  31. Clay Knick says:

    Mike,

    If I had not read this here with your byline…well it would have seemed like it was hard to believe. Actually, it remains hard to believe. Weird & dumb is what I think it looks like to me. What does this have to do with following Jesus? What does this have to do with being a pastor? Here we go again: the pastor as therapist, now a sex therapist. Too sad.

  32. This should be some megachurch pastors’ Theme Song-and-Dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlcDQ1XnSfs

  33. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    GRINNING ED YOUNG STRIKES AGAIN!

    At least this time he isn’t doing his Seven Day Sex Challenge on the feast day of Christ the King…

    • Didn’t they put ole Smilin Bob in jail? Could Grinnin Bob be thrown in for pandering?

    • Talking about feast days, I looked up what saint is commemorated on Friday, 13th January, when Ed starts his 24-hour internet chat.

      It’s St. Hilary of Poitiers, a 4th century French bishop and doctor of the church. A convert from paganism, a married man with a daughter who was made bishop even though his wife was still alive because the people respected him so much.

      He fought Arianism in the West and was sent into exile to Phygria for four years, by order of the Emperor, because he would not agree to sign the condemnation of Athansius and kept opposing the Western Arians. He was permitted to return home partly due to the accession of a new emperor and partly because his continued call for public debates with his opponents was too embarrassing for them.

      He was more occupied with defending the Divinity of Christ than showing his congregation how to have better sex-lives in their marriages by telling them what he got up to with his wife. Obviously, he would be completely useless as a church leader nowadays!

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Let’s see…

        St Hilary of Potiers, a political prisoner in Phrygia because he defied an Emperor to defend a core doctrine of the faith.

        Grinning Ed Young, CELEBRITY Megachurch Pastor, delivering a Seven-Day Sex Challenge from the pulpit and in a book he’s plugging with a cheezy publicity stunt.

  34. “The world has lost the power to blush over its vice; the Church has lost her power to weep over it”. –Leonard Ravenhill

  35. And who wants to bet his wife has gotten in shape for this event. She’ll be lipo’d, botoxed, dyed, made up complete with “smoky eyes” and probably worked with a personal trainer for months to reveal her Barbie-like figure in Vicky’s Secret attire.

  36. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    And to all the singles out there:

    “LOOK WHAT WE GET TO DO! LOOK WHAT YOU CAN’T HAVE! HAW! HAW! HAW!!!”

  37. Elizabeth says:

    Though I’m not one of his greatest fans in general, Augustine of Hippo must be spinning in his grave over this.

  38. hopefully, enough people will write to the Young’s to talk them out of this.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      But will they listen?

      Remember, they’re CELEBRITIES, and Celebrity Logic may be in effect.

  39. Really? I’m all for healthy intimacy in a marriage, but this strikes me as WAY outside ministerial boundaries…definitely within the voyeurism camp and borderline pornographic. There are so many better ways to support and encourage intimacy in marriage. In fact, without more information, I would be tempted to wonder if Mr. Young has a sex addiction he is trying to justify and I wonder why his wife is willing to participate in this peepshow. Yikes!!!!!!!

    • Is it really “intimacy” if it’s in full public view? “Intimacy” to me has always implied not just closeness, but privacy — close to someone at the exclusion of other distractions. Spending time talking and listening to God in one’s room is intimate; public prayer isn’t. Same with closeness to one’s husband or wife, right? Am I off-base here?

      • No, you are 100% ON home base!!

        Intimate acts are things we do when no one else (or only our spouse) is around us to see it…..whether it is prayer, sex, or getting up for the fourth time with a crying baby when it ISN’T even “your turn” so your exhausted beloved can sleep a bit more. THAT is what intimacy looks like, IMHO.

      • Not only are you not off-base, but a voice of perfect common sense. Which, unfortunately, seems to have disappeared from the scene in certain sectors of American church life.

  40. I just had another idea…..instead of the Young’s going at it on the roof, why don’t they just show the sex-ed scene from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life. They might get better ratings. LOL

  41. Before commenting much I would urge you to look at the link that Dan S gave us to an interview with them.

    Ironically the couple has some good things to say. Some things were wrong (their assessment of church history was weak, there have been precedents of healthy sexuality and the church has NOT been silent on this issue).
    Their goal of helping couples reconnect is good. Their view that it is more than an act is right on. At one point he mentions it is the glue in marriage.

    However, the good things they did say to me are overshadowed by the way they have chosen to draw attention to themselves, in the interview it seemed like this whole thing had become their schtick and a way to sell themselves.

    The metaphor of a ring of gold in a pigs snout comes to mind. But because of some of the weird stuff mixed in, it is more like a ring of silver, a few good things. But still in a pigs snout!

    • Of course they say some good things. Most motivational speakers do. Doesn’t mean it has anything to do with Christ, Christianity, or Church.

      • Where I am coming from on this is at 1st I felt like beating up on them.

        So I listened to the interview. I saw some things there that struck me as true. I can affirm those parts.

        I think I would feel a whole lot more comfortable with it if they just took Christianity out of it. I really felt like I saw too much of them in it.

        If I could dialogue with them I would probably say ‘Out of the good you are saying, there is nothing that you are saying that has not been said or taught before by others, only they were a whole lot more appropriate’
        I am reminded of some very good material I read in the 80s…

      • Robin Cranford says:

        I noticed this was filed under the section huh? You should make a new file folder called “gross!”

  42. Why oh why did I read all the way down to here.I should have deleted without reading so far. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, not fake Christians.

  43. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Yet another reason to hole up in Ponyville for the duration.

  44. The Evangelical Church has become a parody of a SNL skit

  45. The goal is admirable and profitable for the building up of the body of Christ but is this an honest attempt at that or is this self-aggrandizement? Any behavioral scientist will tell you that by its very nature this is doomed to failure because people will not behave naturally when they are under observation. Isn’t this couple intelligent enough to know that? There is virtually no reality in reality TV! This is Psychology 101. How about some honest and frank birds and bees in private and supportive settings?

  46. That Other Jean says:

    I have nothing whatever against a healthy sex life. I only have a problem when it’s sponsored by a church and live-streamed over the Internet. I’m kind of hoping it rains.

  47. Jack Heron says:

    Bed on roof, hey? I would like to invite them to try this stunt at my church:

    Day 1 – Rained on, bed ruined.
    Day 2 – Sleeted on, extremities start the long descent to frostbite.
    Day 3 – Rain again, this time horizontal. From two directions.
    Day 4 – Fall off roof as some blighter nicks all the lead to sell as scrap.
    Day 5 – Badly singed as church attacked by Devil again (he last attempted this in 1553, according to the parish records).
    Day 6 – Fog heavy, participants lose sight of each other. Finding each other by touch impossible due to loss of feeling in all bodily parts.
    Day 7 – Attacked by feral gargoyle.

    • cermak_rd says:

      I did have the thought that this church must be somewhere in a warm climate. We’ve had an exceedingly mild winter in Chicago thus far, and yet I’ve failed to see any increased incidences of outside sleepovers. I guess we’re just old stick-in-the-mud don’t-want-to-be-frostbit people here.

    • I loved your list, Jack. Funny! And that would be true for us here in Maine, too. (At least in the winter.)

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      I’d pay to see (7) go down.

  48. MelissatheRagamuffin says:

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! THE STUPID!!! IT HURTS!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

  49. I guess nothing says the Saving Grace of Christ our Lord quite like two creepy old people doing it on a rooftop for all the world to see. Though it may cause some passersby to turn and repent; or at least call on the name of the Lord.

    I think I might be ill.