On Campus at PSU Berks

 

On Monday I will be the guest on Get Some, a television show on campus (it is only shown on the campus television station so no, you cannot watch it).  Get Some is hosted by the campus nurse practitioner and discusses health issues with an emphasis on human sexuality.  The theme for the Monday show is sexuality and spirituality, two subjects every student is interested in!  Or perhaps simply, ask a pastor any questions about God and sex you ever had.

This is a tremendous opportunity to have a dialogue with a group of students who I normally would not get to interact with.  Plus, this is not a CSF event, it is a PSU Berks campus wide event.  Being the guest for such an event humbles me.  I am honored there is enough trust built between me and the campus community, remembering I have no official standing at PSU Berks, that I would be considered for this event.

I am nervous and excited.  This whole thing is made easier as I was given the questions submitted by students ahead of time.  I have spent the last few days thinking about how to answer and this will be the focus of my work today and Monday.  The questions are listed below.  How would you answer them before an audience of (mostly) secular college students?

  • How does religion affect the sex life of one individual?
  • Should people have sex before they are married?
  • Why is it so important for couples to wait until they’re married in order to have sex?
  • Why is no sex before marriage allowed?
  • Should people have sex before they are married?
  • What does no sex before marriage have to do with religion?
  • Why do religious people swear on abstinence?
  • Why do some religions take abstinence of sex so seriously?
  • What do people believe is the consequence of having pre-martial sex in religions that are against it
  • Is someone viewed as less religious if they have sex before marriage?
  • Does a person feel degraded if their religious morals says “no sex till marriage” but they had pre-marital?
  • Do you think it is sinful to have sexual relations before marriage even after you become a real religious person?
  • If a Christian had sex before marriage should he or she not be considered a Christian anymore?
  • Are there any religions where pre marital sex is acceptable?
  • Are there any religions that worship sex?
  • How does a person find satisfaction sexually if their spirituality does not allow that?
  • Why is girls’ virginity so much more important than guys?
  • Why do you think that someone may have a negative belief on the way “religion” and “sex” fits together?
  • Why is sex looked at as a taboo by those who follow a religion?
  • Is it any specific religion that has strict sexual views? What makes it so strict?
  • Why does religion always seem to demonize sexuality?
  • Should priest in the Catholic Church be able to get married?
  • Why do nuns and monks do not have sex?
  • How does virginity relate to different spiritualities?
  • Can two people comfortably date without having similar beliefs in God? How do they work around this?
  • How should I reveal to my significant other that I don’t believe in God?
  • Am I responsible for wet dreams in religion since dreams can’t be controlled?
  • Are gay and lesbians really considered an abomination?
  • Does religion really influence negativity towards homosexuality?
  • Why doesn’t church incorporate more discussion about sexual intercourse during mass?
  • Does religion really interfere with your sex life?
  • Does spirituality really affect sex life as much as we think?
  • Can your spirituality affect your libido?
  • How does spirituality affect the subject of sex and religion?
  • How do you cope with temptation in order to uphold your spirituality
  • How can Christians be a light among their peers, especially in a sex- saturated setting?
  • Can a couple be happy without sex?
  • Is polygamy frowned upon by every religion?
  • Should intercourse be considered a form of spiritual enlightenment?

 

Recent Reads

Part of my job as a campus minister is to read (at least, that’s how I see it). Reading helps me continue to learn and grow as a pastor, Christian and person. Here are a few books I have read recently:

*After You Believe by NT Wright – a follow up to Simply Christian and Surprised by Hope, here Wright asks the question that many Christians ask: what are we supposed to do as Christians throughout life (i.e., after we believe)?  Wright’s answer is the development of a Christian character which is a lifelong process, empowered by the Spirit and grace every step of the way.

*Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola – a call to restore the Supremacy of Christ in all things in the Christian life.  This book reminds us of the absolute centrality of Jesus Christ, which Christians too often forget.

*God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World and Why Their Differences Matter by Stephen Prothero – Many say that all religions, at their core, are the same.  Prothero shows the fallacy in this, illustrating how the world religions differ greatly.

*Mere Churchanity by Michael Spencer – Written by the popular InternetMonk prior to his passing away last spring, this book is in some ways similar to Jesus Manifesto in its call to the church to restore Jesus Christ alone to the center of who we are.  Written more to an audience of people who are leaving or considering leaving the church as well as in a more pastoral style, this is a good read in combination with Jesus Manifesto.

*The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson – This book has become  a best-seller in America after originally coming out in Sweden.  A good story, though not for the faint-of-heart as it tackles quite dark subject matter.

*Confessions by Augustine – I first read this classic in college and just re-read it recently.  A wonderful and encouraging story.

*Works of Athanasius – I enjoy the early church fathers so I read a good bit of Athanasius recently also.  His On the Incarnation is a classic treatise about Jesus’ incarnation and his Life of St. Antony is a great biography of one of the first Christians to take up the monastic life.

Books are great.  If you like books, become my friend on Goodreads!

On Campus at Penn State Berks

This past weekend we had our annual CSF retreat.  The retreat brings together students from CSF chapters across the state.  This retreat was especially exciting for me as it was held at Pine Springs Camp where I spent two summers in college as a counselor.  It was a blessing to walk the grounds and remember all the good times.

The guest speaker was Fledge Flamingo, the founder of Son Safaris.  Fledge grew up in South Africa and spent time working as a ranger on safaris in Botswana.  He came to Christ later in life and uses his extensive knowledge of God’s creation, this weekend the eternal war between lions and hyenas was the theme, to illustrate scriptural truths.  I think all the students enjoyed and were challenged by his message.

On Saturday afternoon I put my skills to the test on the football field. My skills were found wanting…though when I played a few plays at QB I felt like Brett Favre coming out of retirement. I am tempted to complain, but CSF’s director of development, who has at least a few years on my (I’ll let him tell you how many) also played and kind of dominated at tight end! But in the end, the team with two of six players over age 30 lost to the team of all college students. For the record, the team of all students had to try really hard to beat a team with two old guys.

The weekend was also memorable due to Skippy’s presence. Emily and I took out tent and camped out. It was very cold so our many blankets and Skippy’s warm presence kept us warm. Skip also behaved rather well, though if you want to read his take on the weekend, you can read his blog.