Sex God: Angels and Animals

21 Mar

Chapter 3 of Sex God by Rob Bell

Animals mate. I can’t say that I have ever seen this happen aside from the Discover Channel. Yet they do mate or they would be extinct. Yet you never get the feeling that one lion before mating with another pledges to offer his whole life for his mating partner. I’m sure many pet owners, cat owners in particular, may believe that their animals have thoughts and feelings and desires but I doubt it.

“A cat reflecting?
A horse not feeling centered?”p57

Animals have this primal desire to reproduce. Often times humanity behaves this way.
“I can’t believe I…
We totally lost our minds…
It was so out of control…
The next morning I couldn’t”

And we reinforce this as the way life is. So did an ancient city called Corinth.
There was a saying, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food.”

If I hunger, then I should have food.
If I have a desire, then I should consume what would fulfill that desire.
If I desire sex, I should have it.

“The ‘stomach for food’ perspective continues to be a dominant world view, even to this day. The problem with is is that it’s rooted in a low view of human nature. The assumption behind it is that people are going to have sex because they can’t help themselves. This perspective is presented as freedom ad honesty and just being who you are and doing what comes naturally, but it’s built on the belief that certain things are inevitable.”p53

But what about Angels?

Animals are physical without a spirit, while angels have a spirit and no body.
But what happens when we make angeloogy our spirituality? We deny the makeup up our being. Parents often treat their kids like angels. Ask them who told them about sex. Their answers would probably be that of tv/friends/magazines.

For me I could always remember watching television and there would be scenes in which a boy would say to his friends that he and his dad had “the talk.” It was always said with an awkward face and clearly was uncomfortable. Consequently I feared “the talk” that would one day come. It never did. I remember my mom sharing a bit. She did it in a very age appropriate way biological way in which I only look back now and understand parts. I’m glad I didn’t get it at the time, it would have been awful.

So I learned, like so many others from my environment.

I learned that women are objects to be consumed. I’m not downplaying beauty, that is a gift and there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that. But it wasn’t a beauty thing, I am seeing more and more, it was a consuming thing. Which makes it hard to respect this person.


Angels are created before us. Animals are created before us. We come last in the equation. Does that matter? Bell would say yes. He argues that the world is a world in Chaos in Genesis 1. Then step by step and movement by movement God begins to bring order and meaning and beauty. Things get better over time.

We have a body and a spirit. Which means that we can’t avoid either. If we do, or it is neglected, we will often overreact like the swinging of a pendulum. This effects how parents treat a junior high girl going through puberty. “If they indulge one way, telling her to use her body to get what she needs and encouraging her to draw as much attention to her body as she can, they’re encouraging her to act like an animal. But if they ignore these changes and hope the whole thing just goes away, they’re sending her an equally destructive message. They’re treating her like an angel. Her sexuality and her body and her beauty are good things.”p60

“How we live matters because God made us human.
Which means we aren’t angels.
And we aren’t animals.”p64


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