about God’s design for sex and sexuality.
I wish I had spent more time hearing
Jaimie speak about his experience and
how he perceived God’s design. I wish I
would have done a better job of mourning
with those who mourn.
Quit making an idol out of sex and
I love sex. And I love marriage. Both have
been created for good, and both are a gift
from the Father. But neither sex nor
marriage is ultimate.
Sometimes the way we talk about it and
the amount of time we spend talking
about it in Canadian churches says to our
people that the only hope for intimacy
and wholeness is a vibrant sex life in the
context of marriage.
If we are going to acknowledge God’s
call for some to live without sex, we also
need to acknowledge His call for the
Body of Christ to be a community of intimacy. And we need to work hard to
create that community. After all, we can
actually live without sex, but we can’t live
When was the last time we did a series
on the holiness of being single? Or a series
on family intimacy as the Body of Christ?
As I look in the New Testament, it seems
to me Jesus might have valued family intimacy within the Body even more than
intimacy within the nuclear family (think
Matthew 12:50: “For whoever does the
will of my Father in heaven is my brother
and sister and mother”).
In Matthew 19: 29 Christ said, “
Everyone who has left houses or brothers or
sisters or father or mother or children or
lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a
hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.”
This passage is convicting for me.
I know my theological position on sex
and sexuality means many people will be
asked to “leave” houses, brothers, sisters,
fathers, mothers, children. But I’m afraid
that because of my selfishness, because I
don’t like being inconvenienced – because
I don’t know what it actually looks like to
function as the Body and am unwilling to
sacrifice for it – I will not provide a com-
munity to others, the kind of community
that allows others (and me) to experience
that depth of intimacy we all need.
While I know we could have done better,
I think Jaimie had a taste of community in
our ministry. I’ll never forget the day I received a phone call from his principal after
a particularly rough day for Jaimie. The
principal asked Jaimie if he had a safe place
to go and his answer was his small group.
I love Jaimie’s small group. I love the community they fought to be. I love that Jaimie
experienced his small group as community.
Embrace biblical Christianity in
all areas of faith and life
Sociologist Christian Smith coined the
phrase “moralistic therapeutic deism” in
his 2005 book Soul Searching.
He says it defines the current
understanding of Christianity
among American adolescents. At the very foundation
of this mistaken way of seeing
Christianity, God’s responsibility in the life of His followers
is to make them feel good and
We have a tendency within the Western
Church to propagate this disposition, except when it comes to gender and sexuality. Then we suddenly become about
“deny yourself and take up your
cross.” This is unfair and discriminatory.
If we are going to be communities where
all people can experience the grace and
redemption of the gospel, we need to be
communities defined by the gospel in at
least three areas (and many more).
• Identity must be seen and pursued in
Christ alone. We need to model and help
our people understand the very founda-
tion of who they are is Christ, not sex,
not sexuality, and not anything else that
can get in the way. We are a people “in
Christ” above and beyond all else. This
is our identity. And at the core it means
we have all been created in His image;
we have all been marred by sin; Christ
restores our image in His sight by His
work on the cross; our experiences do
not define who we are, but we respond
to them by knowing who and whose we
are; and Christ can redeem all our ex-
periences for His glory. He gives us
purpose in the midst of all of them.
• Yes, discipleship must be defined by the
call to “deny ourselves, take up our
cross and follow Jesus,” but this disposition is more than an issue. It needs to
be an ethos. We are a people who
regularly say no to self and yes to Christ.
Suffering is not something to be avoided (nor pursued), but rather accepted
as part of the journey on this side of
heaven. Our battle is to see Jesus as so
beautiful that though we lose everything, still, along with Job, in the midst
of our grieving, we can worship.
• We constantly proclaim the hope of
heaven. We live in the “now
and not yet” reality of the
Kingdom. Paul said the
church in Colossae was able
to love others well because of
“the hope laid up for [them]
in heaven” (Colossians 1: 5). If
our time on earth is all we
have, as Paul said, we are to be
pitied for believing what we believe and
living as we live. But our time on earth
is not all we have. The new heaven and
the new earth is yet to come, and this
hope renews us in the midst of our
brokenness. Romans 8: 23 says, “And not
only the creation, but we ourselves, who
have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan
inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption
as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”
I miss Jaimie. I wish I could sit with him
and hear his story. I wish I could go back
and listen better. I wish I could be a better
conduit of God’s grace in his life. I’m
thankful for the people who loved Jaimie
well. I’m thankful I was part of a church
that was fighting, struggling to love Jaimie
well. I want all churches to be places
where people like Jaimie can come see
and experience the truth of Jesus Christ.
I want every church to be a redemptive
community. We have been called to a time
such as this. /FT
Sid Koop is executive director of Truth Matters
Ministries and Canadian Youth Workers Conference