A South Carolina megachurch pastor has chosen to press through the awkwardness and talk about what an increasing number of churches have been addressing from the pulpit – sex.
Pastor Perry Noble of NewSpring Church made it clear to his congregation that when it comes to sex, the church has a lot to learn.
"Let's just be honest. Sexual immorality is in the house," he told his congregation, adding that he has seen sexual immorality at each of the three churches he has served.
"We can't get mad at people that aren't Christians because they act like they're not Christians. But what we can do is talk about the mess we have in our own house and try to get it cleaned up."
Perry started the two-week "Sex in the Church" series last weekend and will be concluding it on Sunday, Sept. 4.
Though an uncomfortable subject, he made it clear that the church should not be silent about sex especially considering the Bible "says a lot about the subject of sex."
"The world is not silent about the subject of sex. They're talking about it."
Starting with the men, Perry urged those who have a playlist of songs that degrade women to delete them immediately.
"If we have a song on our itunes playlist that refers to a woman as a bitch or a whore, we don't listen to it. In fact, we delete it today because a godly man would never refer to a woman as a bitch or a whore," the pastor said without hesitation.
"I know what I said; don't send me an email," Noble added.
"If we're going to esteem women, we can't listen to or watch things on a consistent basis that constantly tears them down."
Specifically addressing sex, Noble read several passages from the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament of the Bible where a husband and wife detail how they're enjoying sex.
"I'm just reading the Bible here," Noble made clear as he read the passages.
"God," he said, "wants every one of us to have an unbelievable, guilt-free sex life. But sexual satisfaction only will come to us as we seek God's direction."
Noble is dedicating two weeks to talking about sex because there are some in the church who will not surrender their lives to Christ, believing that they will not be forgiven for their past sexual sins, he explained. He is also addressing the subject because some are not willing to give up their current sexual activities when in fact Jesus would replace it with something better.
On Sunday, Noble plans to go further into the matter of the covenant of marriage.
Providing a preview, the pastor said there is no alternative to what God established – which is marriage between a man and a woman.
"I am speaking about homosexual marriage," he said clearly.
"Government and culture cannot redefine what God has clearly defined."
Acknowledging that homosexuals attend NewSpring, Noble said they are welcome there and no one is more excited about their attendance than he is. He further apologized to them for "the way the church has treated you."
"Only in the church culture, especially in the South, can a man addicted to pornography look down at somebody that has problems with homosexuality," he lamented.
"That's over in this church. It's done. I'm just not going to endorse that."
But he also emphasized, "I love you enough to tell you the truth. What you're doing right now is not God's best for your life. ... In the Scripture, it is called a sin.
"Jesus Christ is powerful enough to pull you out of that sin and what I'm articulating right now is not hate speech because I would tell the adulterer and the pornographer the same thing I would tell you. It's a sexual sin that needs to be repented of."
NewSpring Church currently has five campuses and also broadcasts its services live on the Internet.