I Am Not a Prude. Am I?

churchlady1.jpgI am not a prude. Nor am I a teetotaler. Not even close. I believe God made the body– “and it was good.” I would have made a horrible Gnostic.

Still, some of this made me blush (be sure to watch the video clips and Joe Beam’s interview with MSNBC’s Lester Holt–who, by the way, attends the Manhattan Church of Christ).

A necessary and overdue corrective to the church’s longstanding “bury thy head in the sand” approach to human sexuality or just a little too much information, thank you very much?

Like a lot of things, I guess, it depends on who you talk to. Personally, I dig the poetry, mystery and metaphor of Song of Solomon more than the nuts and bolts, buck-naked “lay it all out in the open for the world to see” approach. But then again, I’m not a family therapist trying to save marriages.

Maybe there’s room (and need) for both.


Update 9/20/06@10:45 PM

For those who are arriving here via the post at RedBlueChristian.com in which Mr. John Gillmartin apparently called me a “reprobate” (presumably for having posted on the subject of Joe Beam’s seminar, and in Mr. Gillmartin’s mind, endorsed it)–welcome!

Unlike Mr. Gillmartin, I do hope you’ve taken the time to actually read my post and to think carefully about what I wrote. If so, hopefully you have realized that I have tried to be fair toward Mr. Beam in what he is attempting to accomplish despite the fact that his techniques give me some pause. I will elaborate on exactly why that is so in the comments at a later point after others have had a chance to chime in.

As for Mr. Gillmartin, that was rather uncharitable of him to imply that I am a morally unprincipled person and to consign me to eternal damnation considering that he claims to wear the name of Christ and doesn’t know me from Adam, but hey, no sweat. I’ll take traffic anyway I can get it.

  1. Hal

    I don’t think that he goes too far, as long as his target audience remains married couples. I think that he could possibly open lines of communication between a husband and wife that they were afraid to open prior to his seminar. I wonder if he assigns homework to these couples after class?

    Tommy Nelson has a great seminar appropriately titled “The Song of Solomon.” He goes through the Song of Solomon and explains it in terminology that even right-brained, non-poetic guys like myself can understand. It’s a little less graphic than Joe Beam, but very effective.

  2. Brady

    Way to go. I was sitting here getting a lot of work done when you had to interrupt and start commenting on SEX. How is a guy supposed to get Sunday’s sermon done? I may have to change topics.


  3. Mike the Eyeguy


    You right-brained? Don’t you mean left-brained, non-poetic, Neanderthal? 🙂

    Reverend Brady–

    Sorry to interrupt your sermon prep with that “worldly” post. Get back to work!

  4. Hal

    Is left-brained the non-poetic type? If so, that’s what I meant. Neanderthal was not intended, but certainly appropriate.

  5. Jon

    Good stuff. Sex is/has been a hush-hush subject in churches. I talked about masturbation in our wednesday night class and most of the men were counting the laces holes on their shoes, but as we talked about it more the more comfortable they became with it. I am glad that he does give book-chapter-verse for his beliefs

  6. Tarwater

    Just curious Jon, what did you discuss in your talk?

  7. Jon

    The context of the discussion is that the Bible is silent on the issue therefore it is to be left up to yourself wether or not it is permissable. The overall subject was on sexual purity and that in order for masturbation to work you mind must conjour up an image that arouses you, now if you can manage to only think of you spouse during that then that is fine, but when your mind wanders or you think of other things that your wife then you are sinning.

  8. Jon


    Medical question: If I caught a softball with my right eye 1 week ago should the bone around my eye still be sore to the touch and pulsating?

  9. Mike the Eyeguy

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think we’re approaching some serious “edge” here!

    Jon–“pulsating” bones around the eye are not good. Could be an orbital blowout fracture. Get an eye exam and an X-ray or better yet, CT scan of the orbit pronto.

  10. Mike the Eyeguy

    My StatCounter is redlining.

    If you mention “it,” they will come.

  11. Jon

    do you do either of the procedures you mentioned.

  12. Eyegal

    After my initial reaction of being squeamish about Joe Beam talking about sx, I listened to what he had to say and was impressed. I appreciate the fact that he does have boundaries. Too often we think it’s either all okay or all not okay. I respect the limits that he brings up, especially about porn. How can a Christian think that porn or strip clubs or anything like that would be okay to participate in regardless of your intentions (I’ve heard some say that such things makes sx better with my spouse). I do not think there is anything about that industry that is okay to support. If you think you can handle it, what about the people in that industry (actors, actresses, etc)? If there is any business that Christians should boycott, it is the sx industry. Even looking at free downloads is encouraging an industry that is nothing but bad.

  13. Mike the Eyeguy


    I do, but I can’t see you as a patient since I’m not in private practice. I can help you find a private practice doc, just give me a call at home or find me at church.

  14. Laurie

    Well said, Eyegal. My husband and I do prison ministry. One day one of the topics that came up among the women was strip clubs. It turned out that nearly every one of the ladies at the table had worked in one at one point or another somewhere on the road down to prison. It was like their version of a class reunion. (“You worked at Lusty Lady? I worked at Deja Vu!! Did you know my friend…?”) That conversation clarified for me the soul-deadening nature of these places. And what troubled me most is that these women tend to view these places as the one area where they have power in life. Power, yes, but at what cost?

  15. Tarwater


    Aren’t you in danger of reducing ‘sexual purity’ to merely psychological categories?

    Why is it not a violation of fidelity to marriage when you stimulate and satisfy yourself regardless of the image in your mind?

    What is an unmarried man to do? How about a 15 year old boy? I don’t think you can sufficiently justify your idea of sexual purity.

    The great problem with moral theology in the atmosphere of such an epistemology is that there is simply no ground to stand on. It reduces to mere human opinion and cannot reach the point that one is certain regarding the mind of God.

    With the sexually charged culture we live in, with marriage dissolving at an enormous rate, do we really think that a better sexual technique offers enough to warrant our attention? Isn’t this the mind of the world, not the mind of God?

    I would bet a lot that if a family got down on their knees in the den and prayed the Lord’s prayer and a couple of Psalms together for a few weeks, rather than learning the skills involved in having a ‘slow hand’, that sex would get way better even if it isn’t technically advanced.

  16. Jon

    When you do look at the principles about marriage, one can come to the conclusion that masturbation does rob the other partner of having that physical intimacy that is designed to be shared together.

    As far as the unmarried man and 15 year old I can never accept the arguement that it is okay, otherwise why would God have designed our bodies to release the ‘pressure’ through secrement in the urine stream or in ‘wet’ dreams. Even if they do masturbate what are they to think about; a girl at school, image from TV. Most of the the women to think about are someones daughter, mother, sister, etc. 1 Timothy 5:2

    ‘Sexual purity’ does mainly involve a “merely psychological categories”. The first problem is our vision. Men get sexual satisfaction easily through our eyes. Once the vision is in our head our minds can conjour up that image at any point in time and distort it to give ourselves some sexual gratification. Think about all the ways that there are for men to be stimulated visually (pornagraphy, scantily clad women, T.V. etc) once we have those images they never go away and if we are at a sexual peak, which studies say occur on average about every 72 hours, if we are not careful then we can use those images as a mental picture to bring about some sexual satisfcation.

    No it is not completely psychological but sexual impurtiy does ‘floursih’ (for a lack of a better word) psychologically.

    Read ‘Every Man’s Battle’ they have plenty of copies at Barnes & Noble or I would be more than happy to send you a copy.

    I have posted a few lessons from the class that we are doing on Wednesday night on my blog jonstacy.blogspot.com under Fractional Addiction; If Job can do it; I can too, and Homosexuality = Heterosexuality.

    Increased sexual satisfaction won’t come from ‘technical advancements’ but years of trust and trusting, years of tears of sadness and joy, years of growing through lifes stages together, years of growing closer to one another through God.

  17. Jon

    Good night Mike; one little comment and now you are a reprobate. Nice Job. Mr. G. doesn’t seem to know Beams background by his description of him as having “discovered himself hooked on Internet porn and felt guilty, so he said to himself, “Why should I feel guilty about sex?” He then saw a Neil Clark Warren ad for e-Harmony.com and said, “Eureka! A way to make a living from my perversion … ooppss! Hobby!”

    Not even close, but hey why not bash what makes us uncomfortable.

  18. Mike the Eyeguy

    “I would bet a lot that if a family got down on their knees in the den and prayed the Lord’s prayer and a couple of Psalms together for a few weeks, rather than learning the skills involved in having a ’slow hand’, that sex would get way better even if it isn’t technically advanced.”


    I have no doubt that such a practice might enhance many areas of domestic life, including the physical relationship between man and wife.

    Still, where there is serious malfunction and misunderstanding in matters sexual (and I hear tell there is much these days), is it enough to say simply “pray” and all will be well?

    If a man cannot see, is the Lord’s prayer, the 23rd Psalm and maybe even a Hail Mary enough, or should I hand him a pair of glasses?

    Careful, lest we play the part of the Platonic dualist.

  19. Nancy

    Hey, well, I’m not sure I want to be a Platonic Dualist, but I’m sorry I am coming so late to the party!

    Mike being called a reprobate! I’m SO there.

    Joe Beam was my sister’s preacher until just a few months ago when he quit to teach American Church of Christ women how to achieve multiples.


    This brought out even Eyegal!

  20. Mike the Eyeguy


    I knew I could count on you for your support.

    You are SO not a Platonic dualist.

    Yes, Eyegal and hundreds of others crawling out of the woodwork to watch me blush crimson.

  21. Mike the Eyeguy

    Alrighty then…

    My misgivings revolved mainly around the impression that “technique” was the most important aspect to healthy married sex. In all fairness to Mr. Beam, that impression may have been the result of the tone and substance of the MSNBC report which tended to “sensationalize” and leave out the important fact that the seminar largely focuses on relationships (click here to read a statement from Mr. Beam to that effect).

    Also, personally I cringed at the discussion of topics in a group setting which in past times would have been confined to the privacy of a therapist’s chambers. Sign of the times I guess– more “efficient” maybe? Not for me, though.

    Still, there are many who credit the seminars with saving their marriages. Who am I to stand in the way of that? Considering the rate at which marriages are disintergrating, perhaps desperate times call for desperate measures. So what if it makes me cringe a little? I can deal with it.

  22. Laurie

    Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Bedford Falls anymore.

  23. Mike the Eyeguy

    Ah yes, Bedford Falls. Where are ye when we need ye?
    (click here).

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