Let’s talk about sex: it is time for a frank conversation

Shaefer Bagwell discusses the need to address the topic of sex in the Christian community.


Closing out the Torrey Conference, speaker Mike Erre challenges students to seek the person of Christ, suggesting they “read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and repeat.” | Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES

Shaefer Bagwell, Writer

Mike Erre speaks at Torrey Conference last year. Erre's "Sex, Love and God"  sermons at EV Free Fullerton have gained interest from a large amount of Biolans. | Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES [file photo]


Every Sunday, I clear my schedule in the evening. Several friends and I — a growing number every week — gather together and go to what we call “Sex Night.” Its actual name is “Sex, Love and God.” Mike Erre, pastor of First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton, preaches about sex through the lens of Song of Songs every Sunday at 7 p.m.


It is a strongly felt and wildly frank conversation about cultural and religious standards of sex. It is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever done in church, and I recommend that everyone attend.

That’s not why I’m writing this article, though. I’m writing this article because I think the topics talked about at Sex Night need to be discussed at Biola. We spend so much time at this school discussing homosexuality, marriage and ring by spring, but, as far as I can remember, we hardly ever talk about sex. We have what Mike Erre would call “Angel Syndrome” — we skate over sexual urges with a passing mention in theology classes and calls to accountability, because we assume that everyone is following God with all their heart, all the time. 

Although Biola is drastically different from most colleges in this country, Biola students are not angels. Individuals at this school, gay and straight, deal with sexual problems that encompass and go far beyond struggles with pornography and masturbation. Biola students have sex, get pregnant and suffer from STDs. Why aren’t we talking about this?


We talk about accountability, purity and sex in marriage. Do we, however, have actual conversations about what it looks like to be pure? Do we remind each other that if we struggle with lust before we’re married, we will struggle with lust after, or that the false images we set up for men and women in pornography last beyond the day we say “I do?”

One of the reasons this series on Song of Songs is so powerful is the manner in which it is delivered. Anyone in the audience can tell this is an issue that has been on Erre’s heart for a very long time. Anyone can tell that he has thought, long and prayerfully, about the things he is teaching.

And he is furious. He is furious about the fact that culture treats men like mindless sex machines and women like mindless sex objects. He is furious that the church acts like simply saying “just say no” addresses all sexual struggles and questions. He is furious at our cultural ideals of beauty and femininity and masculinity, and at our religious acceptance of these ideals. You know what? I’m furious too. These are things that the church needs to address.

Biola is a training ground for a Christian community at its best. That is why we have community standards, modesty standards, chapel requirements, a Residence Life staff that prays for us and a godly department of student development. If we are really to be a training ground, we should struggle together, openly, frankly and with a passion for the truth. We should speak into one another’s lives about the Bible’s treatment of sexuality and the things we are struggling with, and we should start as soon as possible.

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