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Missing Chapter

Welcome to the missing Chapter from Sacred not Sinful: A New Christian Sexual Ethic!
This chapter picks up with my story where Chapter 25 left off and gives you the story of how I started writing this book


Eventually it may become the start of my next book, “Sacred not Sinful: Living a New Christian Sexual Ethic.” Consider this your sneak preview, and feel free to send me a message at the bottom of the page with your thoughts and questions 🙂

With love,

-Kevin J


Missing Chapter – What Would Jesus Do?

The years that followed my first experience of sacred sexuality were full of learning and wonder and the magic of discovery. Almost anything that I undertook to try sexually brought me into a deeper sense of wonder at how physical intimacy revealed the mystery of divine presence.


Sometimes I realized that certain kinds of connections were unhelpful for me, or just not my interest. There was no magic formula to manipulate, no pursuit of a particular outcome, just presence with God and with others in an exploration of what form love might take.

Somehow, openness to sexual intimacy made a way for every other kind of connection that humans share. My fear of inappropriate touch gradually left as I learned what appropriate touch felt like. The distinction between affection, sensuality, eroticism, and sexual intimacy gradually became apparent along with many of the other ideas presented in this book.


While I would not suggest that my journey is complete or my understanding comprehensive, I do know that I have been able to explore with freedom, with truth, and with integrity. What I have to present through my story are perspectives and opinions that have formed through a combination of thought and practice, through imagination and experimentation. My natural inclination is toward discovery and my joy is in sharing what I find – not because it is the answer, but because it has been fascinating for me to experience and I want others to know there is a possibility of life, joy, and freedom out beyond the confines of fear.

Freedom


Even in the community that had welcomed learning and exploration, my sexual expression had not been appreciated. I was discovering that touch was the most profound exchange of love that I enjoyed sharing with other people and that physical closeness was not the same thing as sex (a common misunderstanding). I started to bring the gift of touch back into my community as I discovered this was my primary love language. The physical contact was somewhat welcomed, but I realized that just about everyone had some uncertainty around where touch became something sexual.


To what extent was cuddling allowed for people of the same gender or outside of a dating relationship? I learned how to navigate these questions through my interactions outside of the community and returned with more questions of my own.


When it came time for the community to set our public goals for growth over the next year, mine was to discover a healthy sexual expression. I was out, publicly seeking the answer to the question that had bothered me for years, seeking answers to questions that many others in my community still could not dare to ask.


The baby bump still walked down the wedding aisle and nobody talked what happened. I tried to share my experience and questions with one of the leaders who was so afraid I might judge his response that he refused to talk.


Even as I experienced my first kiss, lay naked beside another human being, and felt the rush of coming home to my body united in ecstatic motion with the body of another, I had nobody to process the experience with.


I still came to the table, but the community was gone.


My journals became a listening ear along with a few close friends, so I was not sorry to be uninvited from the community that had promised to be a landing place for my growth. They had provided what I needed to take the first step into a new experience of life, to discover that the body could be an expression of love, to begin living in alignment with what I learned about a healthy Christian sexual expression.


The promised place at the table of community belonged only to those who conformed. My childhood lesson of conformity or pain reared its ugly head and I had to decide whether I wanted to make myself acceptable to the Christian community that had once been my home, or to follow Jesus wherever He would lead.

In His Steps


As I began to share my experience with others, their responses showed me just how unique it was for someone to be openly Christian and sex positive. My sex positive friends were always surprised to learn I was Christian and my Christian friends couldn’t understand what it meant to be sex positive without also embracing harmful sexual behavior.


I planned to write a book for myself to explain my position, but knew that it would probably be my public coming out…if I decided to come out at all.


I have encountered people from all different perspectives and concluded it is much easier to be in the freedom of my own little closet where I can love God and love others as I see fit without the public judgement of social exposure. My early Christian mentors suggested that openness could be devastating for my career and I am concerned about  my capacity for connection with communities of people who either reject God or reject sex. How could I come out in juxtaposition to both of them?


Seeking an answer to this question, I journeyed to the land of Acadia where I would spend time with God in nature and figure out what to do. Before I left on the road trip, I visited a magical little bookshop in the mountains of Little Switzerland where I found a novel called “In His Steps.” I had never heard of it, but the cover claimed it was the most widely read Christian novel and the inspiration behind the phrase “What Would Jesus Do.”


I did know about that!

The book came with me on the road trip and framed my choice around the question of what Jesus would do with the new stage of life I was beginning. I had almost reached the end of the book when I drove across the Penobscot River in the heart of Maine. The bridge overlooked a little river village just peaking out of the fog. I wondered in my heart what gift I would bring to this place if I was Jesus.


“What would Jesus do here,” my heart said in prayer and immediately knew the answer. Jesus would write the book. In the words of the author, this book was my cross to bear, my public shame, and the gift of life for the who would choose to see it. Jesus would come out and share what I was trying to hide even if it cost him his life!


I sat down that afternoon with clarity on the outline and over the next 14 days in Acadia National Park and the surrounding seacoast, I drafted five of the seven chapters you see here.

In a way, the inspired origins of this book feel like a gift, just as much as the experiences they describe. Several other gifts came to me during that time as well which can be seen on my website. I decided for the love of God and others to make my story public so that perhaps it could be helpful to someone else.

For me, I have had the good fortune of a family and close friends that support my journey even if they don’t understand it. Others are not so fortunate and I want to offer them a community and a safe place to process through my example and through the resources of listening, learning, and community that are available online.

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