February 25: The Greatest Sex You'll Ever Have
March 4 : The Bedroom: Battleground or Playground
March 11: Real Desperate Housewives
March 18: Porn: What's the Big Deal?
March 25: Sex Ed: Teaching Children about Sex
April 1: Affair Proofing Your Marriage
"We live in a sex-saturated society, and everyone else is talking about it, and God is the one who created it," said [Pastor Tim] Kade, 40, of Rochester Hills. "We're just trying to provide a safe environment where people can find the hope, the health and the healing that they need in this area of their life," he said...
Founded just 18 months ago, Epic Church doesn't shy away from today's media -- including music, performances, internet and video -- to draw worshippers who have previously turned away from church. Sunday morning service is held in Hart Middle School's cafeteria, and draws up to 200 worshippers, most in their 20s to 30s.
The Web site and sermon titles were designed to get people's attention, Kade said. And they did...
"He's trying to do an important thing," said [English District
President David] Stechholz. "He wants to bring about a thorough discussion on sexual intimacy from God's point of view."
Kade assured area leaders that God's word -- specifically condoning sex only within the bonds of marriage -- would be central to his message. But condemnation would be left out, he added.
"Churches, all they want to do is condemn people," said Kade. "Oftentimes, people realize they're just not making the best choices in their life."
"Instead of using scripture, he's using fads," said Gene Koessel, 70, a
retired Lutheran pastor from Roseville, about Kade. "What's next?"
Other concerns included "the Web site images and the sexual permissiveness they arguably convey" (Stechholz admits that Epic Church might have put a toe over the good-taste line) and "the propriety of sermons on sex during Lent, the season of penitence and self-denial for Christians" (which is guaranteed to sound lame and lore-bound beside Epic Church's apparently successful bid to reach people through innovative means).
Kade and Stechholz had an answer to every one of these objections, answers superbly crafted to make sure that even most conscientious Lutheran Christians will keep their mouth shut and their minds open.
There is a crucial ingredient missing from Kade's theology, and the theology underlying the message of "Pure Sex." And that crucial ingredient is the concept of SIN. What makes the series' timing particularly hideous is not that this salacious indulgence is taking place during a traditional season of penitence and self-denial, but that the message lacks any language for calling sinners to repentance. And if Sin is missing from the message, then surely forgiveness is missing also. And that means there's no Gospel.
How they can claim to be discussing this subject "from God's point of view," when they are not calling sinners to repentance and forgiveness, is above my pay grade. They can quote Bible verses all day long, but their message is not in harmony with the total message of God's Word - sins condemned and sinners forgiven on account of Jesus' death and resurrection. They are not speaking from God's point of view; rather they are breathing the fumes of hell out upon Christians and unchurched people alike.