Is Sex With A Robot “Wrong”?

You may have seen in the news that a man recently “married” a hologram.  Yes you read that right.  A hologram.  Now before you get all judgmental here please listen to the man.  Akihiko Kondo points out that, “I believe that the shape of happiness and love is different for each person.”  Does this sound familiar?

I’m not here to bash Kondo today.  What I want to do with this post is discuss a couple of things.  1. We are careening off the rails as a culture and 2. What should it look like as the church to stand in the middle of it.

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Does The Bible Tell Me So?

Here’s a quick bible quiz.  Tell me where it asks someone to become a Christian.  How about this one – where does Jesus say that I should accept Him into my life/heart?  Find for me the “sinner’s prayer.”  Where does it say to go to church?  When did Peter become a Christian?

Should I go on?  You get the point.

As protestants we love to say that the Bible is ultimate authority.  Whether protestant or not, we all agree that it is authoritative.  The problem is that it is not authoritative in the way that we often want it to be to make our point.

What we want are simple clear rules, answers and one liners. No where is this more clear than in the realm of singleness, dating, and marriage.

I remember when I was in my twenties the big push in much of evangelical dating (just typing that phrase is sort of disturbing) was the idea of courting.  Now I don’t really have a problem with courting per se.  But what these folks tried to do is to say that their version of courting was the biblical way to find a spouse.  What I failed to realize at the time is that they had absolutely no biblical backing for this.  As I’ve written before there is not a biblical dating model.

But we want so bad for it to be simple.  We want a tweet sized answer to sexual ethics. #whatcanIgetawaywith #justifymyactions

What’s funny about this is that many on the evangelical right keep arguing bible verses that aren’t clear and others that don’t even exist while many of our more liberal churches are arguing contextual loopholes against those very same “verses”.

For example, one night I was having dinner with some friends and the topic of homosexuality came up.  One gentlemen said, “Jesus said that it was an abomination.”  Uh which verse was that again?  In a different conversation a friend said, “Jesus never addresses homosexual marriage.”  Sort of, except that He does address marriage.

The problem is that when we try to make verses mean something they don’t or insert our Christianese into the bible we set ourselves up to be discredited or worse set someone else up to fall when they later realize it.

But the problem with the other way of looking at the bible – using the context of a particular verse that we don’t like to say it doesn’t mean that or “the bible doesn’t really say. . . ” – is that we end up all over the map

Here’s what I mean.  Sticking with the “hot” homosexual issue, I’ve heard some pastors and leaders say that the bible really doesn’t say explicitly (as in an exact sentence) that a monogamous homosexual relationship is wrong.  They say that whole point is the one on one relationship for a lifetime.  They point to the couple of verses that deal with the homosexual act and say that it wasn’t talking about one of these types of relationships.

The problem with that – and it’s a big one – is that the same could be said of a lot of other things. So I ask the people who believe this are you then ok with:

  • The bible doesn’t say explicitly say that two unmarried people can’t have sex
  • It doesn’t say that two unmarried people can’t live together, have sex together or even have children together – so why even worry about marriage
  • The bible says nothing about viewing pornography, masturbation or reading shady literature.
  • It says nothing about oral sex.
  • It doesn’t say anything about appropriate dating behavior.

So basically by this argument, until I’m married, short of sex with an animal, I’m good to go. You can say that’s a slippery slope argument, except for the fact that we are already there in our culture.

(Whats ironic of course is that neither side seems to follow the very explicit instructions on divorce and remarriage.  Did anyone picket state capitols as almost every state instituted no fault divorce? Do they stand outside divorce courts?  Do they avoid making wedding cakes for two divorced people getting remarried?)

The key to all of this is obvious of course.  No straight reading of the bible by anyone without an agenda could lead you to believe any of the above was acceptable.  And there in lies the key – the bible as a whole is authoritative and it shows us what is right and wrong.  It’s not rocket science most of the time.

The bible does indeed speak to sex and marriage.  From front to back actually.  It always speaks of them together as a good thing or apart as a bad thing.  There is zero exception to this.  Sex has a purpose higher than orgasm.  It’s apparent that it is from God for marriage and all other uses are out of bounds.

What does this have to do with singleness and the church?  Everything.

We are confronted with a culture that has been and is still in a sexual revolution.  Our answer to that can not be picking one liners from scripture and trying to make them say things they don’t.  When we do that, we end up arguing over stuff that we don’t have to. It also can’t be ignoring the whole of scripture so that we can do what we want.  When we do that we take away any authority whatsoever.

The bible does lay out the answers – it’s just not tweet-able.

Christian Sexual Prowess

Yesterday I wrote about the fact that every guy asks the question am I good in bed?  How we answer that question is critical to our core confidence as a man.  We can wish it wasn’t that way.  We can try to over spiritualize it.  We can blow it off with joking and hiding.  But it’s still going to be there.  We question our sexual prowess as a man and we in the Christian community MUST have an answer.

At first glance it seems that as a “Christian” that there is no way that I could answer that until I’m married because I’m not supposed to have sex.  Often because we are so worried about sex outside of marriage and the costs that come with it, we end up telling men that they should just table the question and then “presto” answer it on their wedding night.  But in my opinion that is not good enough.  That might have worked a couple of generations ago when people got married by 25 but it won’t work now.

It’s a good thing to direct people to wait until marriage to have sex but it is not ok to wait until then to help them answer their question about sexual prowess.  They are going to answer it somehow.

We need to stop answering the sexual prowess question with a sexual ethics answer.  We need a different conversation.  Sexual prowess and sexual experience are not the same thing.  Thinking they are the same leads to men that are either having sex to answer the question or men that are living with lack of intimacy, touch and confidence in their ability to deliver.  Neither of those are acceptable.  The ironic thing is that our Christian theology actually does answer the sexual prowess question.

The first thing we have to do is realize that God has ultimately created us as sexual beings. It only takes one chapter in the bible for God to bring up sex.  We all have the tools, and I don’t just mean that we have the right “equipment”.

If we believe in a God that created us good, then we must start with the premise that God’s answer to do I have what it takes sexually is yes.  Let that sink in for a minute.  God says, “I have given you what you need here.  You can do this.  You have what it takes because I gave it to you.”

This is core.  Yes we are messed up because of sin. Yes we may have been wounded in this area in even horrible ways.  But at the core of who we are as a man, at the very center of it, we are created with sexual prowess.  It’s there, somewhere, no matter what our experience tells us.

The problem is we take sex out of context and turn it into it’s own question.  It becomes about performance which just kills us as men.  We fear failure.  We fear that we won’t be able to come through and when we make the act of sex the scorecard we are in trouble – even if we are “good” at it.

The act of sex was never intended to be that.  God did not create sex in it’s own context.  Sex is a part of a larger question.

Sex is not intended to be about performance.  It’s about loving another person.  It’s about trust, strength, intimacy and passion. It’s about giving and receiving. It’s about being a good lover, not about being a good performer.  This is why married sex (even in secular research) is described as the best sex.

If I try to answer the sexual prowess question without answering the intimacy question then I’m in trouble – even if I’m married.  Sex is not the goal.  In a sense it’s one of the means to the goal within the context of marriage.  As a stand alone thing, sex will not satisfy.  It will never answer the question.

If you are a good lover, you will be “good in bed”, or at least you’ll figure out how to be.  If you love well, the sex part will be there because there will be the context of trust, intimacy and passion to work on it.

The question we need to be asking is, “am I a good lover?”  It’s actually a lot harder question. If we need the woman’s approval we can’t be a good lover.  If we can’t be strong enough to be vulnerable, then we can’t be a good lover.  This is why women at their core are attracted to strength.

It’s a huge issue for us as men.  Becoming a lover is actually a stage of development just like learning to be a warrior.  Hence the wise saying, “Never give a man a sword who can’t dance.”

The good news is that we can work on all of this without having sex.  We can become lovers.  We can work on how to have intimacy and good physical touch (I’ll say more about how to do this soon).

Here’s the bottom line.  As a man growing in Christ, my sexual prowess should be growing because my identity and confidence in Him grows along with my capacity to give and receive love.   If I’m truly confident in Christ then I’ll have the freedom and strength to be a good lover – and as a part of that to be “good in bed.”