Virtual Voices

Church issues Sex Challenge

Religion

Why do we see an "epidemic of breakups" and why does romance die? Relevant Church in Ybor City, Fla., says it has the answer: "People are not having enough sex."

That's why the "openly edgy" church is issuing a 30 Day Sex Challenge, daring married couples to do it every day for 30 days and challenging singles to abstain for 30 days. Challenge-takers will record their impressions, sexual encounters or abstentions in journals. They can share their thoughts on a blog that will launch when the challenge begins: February 17, 2008.

The objectives: Challenge the assumption that God frowns on sex, improve Christians' sex lives and strengthen relationships. The theory: Increasing intimacy will increase communication. The reactions: visceral, and varied.

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Pastor Paul Wirth told Fox News, "Our married people are far more fearful than our single people." St. Petersburg Times says one's wife's initial reaction --- "Oh - okay" --- was tepid compared to her husband's. "Of course, all the guys say it's genius," Wirth reports. "The married women think we're out of our minds."

Cary McMullen from TheLedger.com wonders, "Are they going to sell Viagra in the lobby? … Thirty days in a row could kill a guy at my age." CPBlotter.com mocks the Challenge blog as "homegrown porn," calls participants "Perverts for Christ," and deems the whole idea "creepy." A Little Leaven puts the Challenge in its Museum of Idolatry and takes a moral tone: "Is this why Jesus came to earth, sweat drops of blood, was scourged, nailed to a cross, hung naked and bleeding with a crown of thorns on His head and died?"

Maybe it's one reason. Wirth told First Coast News, "I don't think sex was created in the back alleys of the porn industry. I really think God is the one who designed it and it's a beautiful thing and God wants us to enjoy it."

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