In our first installment of "America Unzipped," Sexploration columnist Brian Alexander profiled Joe Beam, a minister who preaches that good Christian marriages should walk on the wild side.
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Hundreds of readers responded, many to say: Go Joe!
"I agree that within a God-ordained marriage, in the privacy of your own home, your bedroom is your amusement park," said one reader.
A pastor wrote in to give "Brother Beam" a big Amen.
"YES!" exclaimed a "Bible-thumping Baptist."
Not everyone supports Beam's brand of religion, though. One reader said he is just cashing in on our sexualized culture. Another is worried about opening "moral floodgates that only move in one direction."
One woman said she buys into Beam to a point — she's still searching for the part of the Bible that says vibrators are OK.
Read on for more comments:
I believe Joe Beam is right on when it comes to sex and marriage. My husband and I have had a wonderful sexual relationship with no guilt because scripturally, that's how God intended us to be. We are born-again Christians, and never went outside our marriage because we, together, have all we need. I believe God created sex for procreation but also for enjoyment between a husband and wife... We have been married 19 years, three children, and have a great, great sex life that gets more interesting as time goes on.
Annette, Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Absolutely! God created sex for our great pleasure, within the context of the marriage relationship. We shouldn't cheat ourselves out of the full and free pleasure of this relationship because the world twists and perverts that which is beautiful into something meaningless and ugly.
Christine, Midwest City, Okla.
I think his message is awesome! It is about time that someone stepped up and said that "hot sex" within a Christian marriage is acceptable. So many marriages are in turmoil because the sex is boring, no longer interesting. Now, Biblical proof that we should kick it up a notch and have fun? Absolutely!!!
Jenny, Fort Worth, Texas
I may not be qualified to answer this, being Jewish, but I think that he is definitely headed in the right direction. By talking openly about sex, he is encouraging people to be open with themselves and with each other. Beyond the mental health benefits that this would offer, it creates an environment in which it is OK to ask about sex, even for children and teens. This in turn prevents misinformation about contraceptives, sexually transmitted infections, and sex in general from being given to them, which in turn decreases the likelihood of them engaging in risky behavior.
Nathan, Missoula, Mont.
I think this guy sends a great message to people: Sex is not bad. If you love that person, what would you not do to please them? God did not say "Thou shalt have boring sex only in missionary." Have a little imagination!
Andrea, Batavia, Ohio
Thank the Lord! At last a spokesman for the good in sexual life, and of all places, from the church. Wonders never cease.
Charlotte, St. Louis
I agree with what he is telling his couples, but I am resistant to the fact that he's telling them so openly. I don't know why. It just seems so vulgar to a conservative Christian. But I don't know who else should be telling these couples to have fun in their marriage if not their pastor.
Meli, San Antonio
Thank you so much for publishing this. I am trying to work up the nerve to e-mail this to my wife. She considers herself to be uber-Christian (I think it's hypocritical myself) and we haven't had sex in four years. When we did it was really lame; once every two months or so and then it was strict missionary and "Hurry up dear" and "Don't muss my hair." Now she says since we can't have kids, it's a sin and I'm like "What am I supposed to do?" I think it's unfair to make decisions inside a marriage like that without consulting your partner... I don't understand how she thinks it's so holy to leave your husband out in the cold; I am a man and I just can't stop thinking about sex all together. I've slept in another bedroom for two years now (at her insistence) and feel like a stranger at home.
YES! ... and I am a Bible-thumping Baptist! These are the PERKS of marriage folks! It is our God-given gift. Christianity is not about being bored and miserable, just the opposite — it frees us!
Tim, Hohenwald, Tenn.
Mr. Beam appears to believe Christians have some super-human sort of self control just by virtue of their creed. In reality, Christians are human beings too, and he's giving them permission to open moral floodgates that only move in one direction. Like anybody else, Christians who give up some sexual inhibitions will proceed to give up others, until they're breaking not just the rules Mr. Beam allowed them to break, but the ones he forbade as well.
Steve, Salt Lake City
I really appreciate his approach. Growing up this is what you hear: "Don't have sex, it's bad, you'll get diseases, you'll get pregnant, you'll be sinning, you'll this and that." Then you get married and it's: "OK, have sex."
His belief system does not jibe with Roman Catholic teaching, which is also Bible-based. It seems he has "selective reading" when it comes to scripture!
Kim, Omaha, Neb.
I am Church of Christ. I am glad he is doing this. However, I think our ultra-conservative congregation would have heart failure if he were to address a mixed-gender group about sex. They don't agree with mixed swimming, so you can imagine. If churches truly don't want couples divorced, then maybe they should pay attention to this guy!
For centuries, Christians were taught that the pleasures of sex were all bad. Mr. Beam is helping people to see that God didn't make sex that way. For this, he should be thanked.
David, Creedmoor, N.C.
This is very refreshing and it is about time. It is about permission to love your wife and or your husband fully. I think Joe Beam can only help save marriages by this message. I am from Omaha, Neb., the Bible belt of the Midwest. You go Joe Beam.
Kate, Omaha, Neb.
I am the prayer and spiritual freedom pastor of a mega church in Grove City, Ohio (Grove City Church of the Nazarene), and I believe that Joe is absolutely right on... The Bible tells us that the marriage bed is undefiled and this literally means that anything consensual between a MARRIED MAN AND HIS WIFE is no holds barred! All the Christian world would have to do is take a look at the Songs of Solomon and they would see that we serve a God that is all for the intimacy and steamy passion in the marriage bed. So to answer your question, I give Brother Beam a huge AMEN!
Chad, Grove City, Ohio
I have always felt like a sexual creature; my husband loves me that way. As Christians we have viewed sex as the ultimate expression of our commitment to each other in marriage. No hang-ups, no feeling guilty. We have tried to impart this to our 20-something sons. We pray that sex in their marriages will be as great as ours is!
Rebecca, Columbus, Ohio
Joe Beam's take on sex is liberating and refreshing, desperately needed by many in the Christian faith. Sex has been demonized for centuries by the church, which leaves believers feeling guilty for the desires they naturally have that God gave them. Hopefully his message will help the church adjust to the modern world.
That sex even exists as a recreational activity is proof that God is good! ... It is a sad fact that many Christians have been taught (knowingly or not) that sex is best left tucked in a corner, unenjoyed and undiscovered.
Heather, Durham, N.C.
Hey, I'm Jewish and I can't agree more with Joe. I think the title for his "sermons" should be "Come All Ye Faithful!"
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