(Photo: Fellowship Church via The Christian Post)
Megachurch Pastor Ed Young hit the pulpit this past weekend in a Ferrari.
After causing a stir on Twitter for tweeting "Someone just gave me a brand new FERRAI!!!! (sic)," the Fellowship Church pastor literally drove one onto the church stage on Sunday.
But that wasn't his car, according to his blog (a call to the church was not immediately returned). He was using it as part of a sermon illustration for his latest series titled "RPM: Relationships. Passion. Marriage."
"God gave me a Ferrari because I am a Ferrari. You're a Ferrari too. God has given you a Ferrari," he said.
Weeks earlier, he was behind the wheel of a Rolls-Royce – which also was used as a prop – as he emerged on stage for his sermon.
The luxury car, considered a dream car among many, was also used as a way of telling the congregation that they are a Rolls-Royce because they are made in the image of God.
For the past several weeks, Young has been trying to relay the message that though God has given everyone a Rolls-Royce or a Ferrari (one's body), many are not using it the way it's supposed to be used.
"I've been submitting to you that a lot of defective dating is going on in our world today," he said. "Half of all marriages end up as relational wreckage ... We're not doing something right prior to marriage. That's why we're doing this series."
Rather than letting Jesus drive or going down God's track, many people are off-roading, he said.
"I want to drive the car the way I want to," he said, describing off-road drivers.
But ultimately, that messes the car up, he noted.
The Grapevine, Texas, pastor described some of the defective dating habits or beliefs people have, including concerns over a ticking biological clock.
"In desperation, a lot of women will get married," he recognized. "We think marriage will solve all of our problems .. [and] bring in contentment."
Pointing to a passage in Scripture, he asserted, "Marriage will not simplify your life. It will complicate your life."
Marriage is not the "dream" that people think it is either.
Young explained simply: "You're a self-centered sinner, you marry a self-centered sinner," you have kids who are also "self-centered sinners" and you end up with a "colossal collection of self-centered sinning."
Many also make the mistake of placing pressure on the spouse to heal one's brokenness or meet every need.
But all a spouse can do is love and point to the Great Physician – God.
"If Jesus is not number one, if Jesus is not driving the Ferrari, we'll put divine pressure on human beings. God has to meet the deepest needs," he stressed.
Young went further to address the issues of fornication, sexual immorality, and adultery.
The Bible states five times directly and 23 times indirectly not to have sex before marriage, he said.
In a bit more detail, again using the car illustration, he urged singles to stop at "first gear" – cuddling – when dating someone, though they may want to go into second and third gear.
"The Bible says keep sex sexy. Sex is beautiful when it's used in the context that God has given us – marriage," he underscored.
"Don't play house. Wait until you get married and then God will take you to another level."
Also expressing his unbelief at the prevalence of adultery, Young explained one possible reason for it.
"[It's] because people have been so unfaithful prior to marriage," he said. "You're unfaithful to God's directive, you flip God's directives off, you shake your puny fist in his face, you go off-roading, you hop in the ... sack with all these people.
"You? Get married? You think now, you're going to be faithful?"
For those whose "virginity is in the past," Young made clear that God offers forgiveness and transformation.
"Give Him the keys," he urged, as he preached on anchoring oneself in God's Word. "Go where God wants you to go. ... He's given us the Ferrari. I even put a tweet out ... You put one out to – 'I got a brand new Ferrari.'
"It's time for a sexual revolution. It's time to understand we're Ferraris. It's time to drive down God's track."
Young is no stranger to talking about sex openly from the pulpit. He made headlines in 2008 for issuing a seven-day sex challenge for married couples in his church and then again in 2009 for debating the founder of AshleyMadison.com, a website for those looking for an affair.
He told parents in the congregation who are worried about their kids hearing about sex that they're already hearing about it from other sources. And church is the second best place to hear about sex, he said.