Paul Wirth, head pastor of the Relevant Church in Ybor City, Florida, has asked married couples in his congregation to help roll back the tide of divorce by ....having sex everyday for a month.
The challenge for single parishioners is slightly different, though - to abstain from sex for 30 days.
Pastor Wirth says,
"We thought if we could challenge our married couples to really engage in intimacy for 30 days and really focus on each others needs for 30 days it would revolutionize their relationships and if we could get single people to remove sex from the equation for 30 days and focus on what really makes their relationships really work it could revolutionize their relationships the current ones that they're in and maybe their future relationships with their future spouses."
Wirth is introducing the 30 day sex challenge to his congregation and the church has a couple of web sites to promote the plan:
Needless to say, you can find comments on Pastor Wirth and his church throughout the blogosphere. One such blog is ntrminblog.blogspot.com which asks,
"Why, I wondered, would a pastor be satisfied with exhorting the single people of his flock to abstain from sex for only 30 days?--as though unmarried sex, like too much caffeine or too much sugar, were nothing more than a bad habit that needs to be minimized."
My question though, is, what have we come to as a culture if it's necessary for the church to tell us to have sex with our spouse? I mean, you know, God already told us in Genesis to "be fruitful and multiply" and I don't see why we'd have to be told twice.
I suppose one reason this story is getting notice is because too many people have a distorted view on how the church views sex.Many erroneously believe that because the church forbids sex out side marriage then all sex must be bad. Not so. Sex in marriage has always been encouraged.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says,
1643 "Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the elements of the person enter - appeal of the body and instinct, power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of will. It aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul; it demands indissolubility and faithfulness in definitive mutual giving; and it is open to fertility. In a word it is a question of the normal characteristics of all natural conjugal love, but with a new significance which not only purifies and strengthens them, but raises them to the extent of making them the expression of specifically Christian values."
2361 "Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death."
I can't help but wonder if Wirth's plan to have his flock undergo this challenge during Lent has any significance?