A Texas megachurch is on a mission to share the biblical perspective on sex and relationships through its upcoming sermon series, "LoveSex," though not everyone approves of its approach to advertising for the series.
Jason Pizzitola, pastor of creative development for River Pointe Church near Houston, spoke to The Christian Post on Wednesday and explained why "love" and "sex" were melded together to make the series' title.
"The idea of associating the word 'sex' with 'love' to me was a powerful idea," he said. "I didn't want to miss that. I didn't want people to miss that, because...in our culture's mind, love has very little to do with sex."
Miley Cyrus' controversial and highly sexual performance with Robin Thicke at the MTV Video Music Awards last month broke Pizzitola's heart, he said, because it left a "lasting impression of what sexual expression is" in today's culture. Through its series, the 5,000-member church hopes to put both sex and relationships into their proper biblical context.
But River Pointe's efforts to promote the series have been "polarizing," Pizzitola says. It's advertising efforts have included a billboard, video and newsletter that contained an invitation to the series. The church also mailed invitations, which were wrapped in hot pink envelopes with "LoveSex" printed on them, to local homes.
One woman told KHOU that she received a mailer from the church but threw it away because she thought it was pornography. Another told the station that the church was "bold" for advertising the series on a billboard.
Still others have expressed their appreciation for the series.
"Kudos Pastor for being brave enough to tackle what has been a taboo subject in church, and provide a BIBLICAL worldview," said one social media user on the church's Facebook page. "God created sex! We should be helping people understand the awesome benefits, as well as how destructive it can be outside the boundaries of marriage. Praying for a hedge of protection as you present this controversial subject."
The three-part series, which begins this weekend, will touch on topics such as "healing from sexual trauma, character as the key to long-term attraction, and protecting the innocence of our children in a sexually aggressive culture," a press release states. Pizzitola says River Pointe is biblically conservative and teaches that sex should be reserved for marriage between a man and woman.
"The series demonstrates that regardless of your relational past or present, through a relationship with Jesus Christ, you are not disqualified from a future full of love, contentment, hope and peace," the press release states.