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One Friday night my wife and I were in the mood for a romantic comedy, so we went to see a highly touted movie with a cast of classy British actors. About 45 minutes later, we scooped up our coats and walked out of the theater. This was no Jane Austen romance! It wasn't merely the offensive language or the flashes of nudity that drove us out. It was the trashing of love, the trivializing of sex, and the trifling with people's deep longings. We just couldn't take any more of it.
I was angry, and not only because we'd blown $18 and a night out. I was angry that the film purported to be about love, when in fact it was about flirtation, lust, adultery, and betrayal. It bothered me that people all over the country were sitting in theaters subliminally surrendering to this counterfeit notion.
That night I realized we need more sex in the pulpit.
I channeled my anger into a sermon series and was quickly reminded why so few pastors preach on sex. It's a homiletical minefield. What was I going to say beyond "Thou shalt not"? How could I remain biblically faithful and modest without appearing totally pale compared to the sizzle and glamour our culture serves up every day? Who was I going to offend, overlook, or alienate in a congregation as diverse as mine?
To further complicate matters, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and our town in particular, was the epicenter of the gay marriage movement. How could I uphold a biblical vision for sexuality and marriage and at the same time preserve a welcoming atmosphere for those sympathetic to same-sex lifestyles?
Trolling through a Christian bookstore, I happened upon Tommy Nelson's The Book of Romance. It inspired me to spend time studying a book of the Bible I hadn't preached in over 20 years of ministry. In Song of Songs I found the sizzle I was looking for, along with fresh and candid insights into love and sex.
God declared it good
From courtship to consummation, Song of Songs revels in the ecstasies of romantic love. The …