Sex God: God Wears Lipstick

13 Mar

On Wednesday’s I will be posting my thoughts on Rob Bell’s “Sex God”
For more info check out: http://www.sexgodtour.com, http://www.marshill.org, http://www.nooma.com, click here to download chapter 1

I’m new to this whole book review thing so I will have to develop some sort of rhythm. Forgive me for the choppiness of my approach for the first couple weeks.

Rob Bell begins his book Sex God in chapter one titled “God Wears Lipstick” with a description of a German concentration camp:

“Piles of corpses, naked and obscene, with a woman too weak to stand propping herself against them as she cooked the food we had given her over an open fire; men and women crouching down just anywhere in the open relieving themselves…a dysentery tank in which the remains of a child floated.”

He poses the thought that the concentration camp is anti-human. It attempts to strip away the image of God that we were created in (Genesis 1). He turns on this point to talk about sexuality. How we can take a living breathing person, made in the image of God, and reduce them to body parts. “She becomes a that.”

This takes me back to high school. I had a friend that was on the basketball team and he was talking about how he and a friend had a tradition. When the cheerleaders came out and jogged past the team they would evaluate: “I would do her; I wouldn’t do her; I’d do her after a couple drinks.”

On a side note, apart from the book, during an interview he was asked if he really feels our country does this to women. His response was, “have you seen a beer commercial.” Classic Bell.

Bell would compare this way of living to Hell invading earth. Jesus says that “anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Attraction and lust have completely different meanings. God is not anti-sex, he created it. Read Song of Songs to get an idea of his view of romance) He then says, “If your right eye causes you to stumble gouge it out and throw it away.” Which would instantly render half the population blind. He takes this to a deeper level, “It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”

Essentially, when we begin to treat people as solely objects we bring a hellish, concentration camp mentality to earth. By gouging out your eye, he is saying do everything in your strength to keep from becoming this kind of person. As Christians we tend to focus on going to heaven or going to hell. However, the scriptures (not ignoring the afterlife) speak more of bringing heaven or bringing hell to earth.

Bell looks to the phrase “new humanity” from the book of Ephesians to describe the church. This title was a claim to all of us being made in the image of God. No matter our color or sex. The church is to be a group of people that help people reclaim their identity of being made in the image of God. And part of our journey in doing this is to help them realize the role of sexuality. Taking it from an abusive item that exploits people bringing hell to earth to something that is between two people who would lay down their lives for each other in a moments notice, bringing heaven to earth.

He ends his chapter with another glance at the concentration camp:

“It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived…I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for these internees than the lipsitck…I saw a woman dead on the postmortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on their arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.”

“Because sometimes, the difference between heaven and hell may be a bit of lipstick.”

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