Jesus, Sex, and Controversy

One thing that continues to puzzle me about writing and blogging is why some posts get more attention than others.

There are obvious reasons, such as when a post is controversial or speaks about a current event in a new way.

For example:
How many people would read this if it had the word sex in the title? How many people would read this if it had the word Jesus in the title?
How many people would read this if it had both sex and Jesus in the title? (Or how many of you did read it for that reason?)

These days it seems like people get more excited about a sex scandal, or a reality star’s sex change, than they do about war, politics, or faith.

The heart of the problem is that our definition of sex has a controversial connotation, but Jesus often does not. Somehow the name of Jesus doesn’t have as much impact on our culture today as sex does.
But why? Is it because we want to keep him safe? Is it because we are afraid making him controversial will turn people away? Somehow this lie has snuck in to the point where we felt the need to keep Jesus safely confined, instead of letting him push the boundaries like he always intended.

Because when Jesus first came, he was the most controversial topic of the day. Everything he said and did was far from safe. He shared meals with society’s outcasts, he spoke to those that any “good” Jewish person would shun, and he healed people that everyone else ignored. If the internet had existed at the time, his name would consistently be trending and your Facebook news feed would be covered with stories on him.

The actions and messages of Jesus were so different and so alluring that the controversy alerted people to the fact that he was nothing like everyone else. It showed people that he represented a promise of something better, because it was something that pushed beyond safe boundaries.

We have lost the radical message that made Jesus so controversial. It is important to note that this message centered around love, not hatred. There are Christians today who do supposedly radical things and make headlines, but they are not representing the love of Christ. They have created their own agenda based on incorrect assumptions, and it is controversial in a negative way.

There are always going to be critics, regardless of how positive the message is. Some people won’t ever hear the message, because it wasn’t controversial enough to outshine the Caitlyn Jenners or Jim Duggars of the world.

Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV) are still applicable today:
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Whether it be blogging, speaking, or writing wordy comments—the way we discuss ideas should not look the same as the rest of the world around us. Hateful words and ignorant criticisms are pretensions that go against the knowledge of a loving God. We do not need to be overly controversial or have click-bait titles. Take hearts and minds captive by lifting up love, rather than waging a war of angry words and edgy messages.The radical love of Jesus is strong enough to grab attention on its own. 

Do you think Jesus is controversial?

How is his message different from the ones we hear today?

3 thoughts on “Jesus, Sex, and Controversy

  1. I love this, Kellie. I think that our ideas of Jesus often get watered down by our personal comfort or fear of being controversial, but that’s exactly how Jesus lived His life every day. If we are called to love everyone, then that is what we should do…Love as Jesus loved…however controversial that may be.

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