Monday, May 31, 2010

Naked Saints

This song was sent to me by a "sex worker" who found salvation while on the job. She told me "This is my special song, the song God gave me." She did not even know, until I told her, that the lyrics are Jesus words, from Evangheliei Marcu, 8:36. I explained, and she was overjoyed, that her heart had recognized the voice of Jesus, even in a foreign language.

Some church-people believe sinners don't like Jesus...well, they either do not know the world, or they do not know Jesus. I'm glad this pop band is preaching Jesus' parable afresh, to people the church sometimes overlooks. The video is profound.

(The group is called "MorCheeba" which roughly translates as "The Cannabis Way." They have some very cool stuff.)

18 comments:

Craig said...

I'm not sure why it would be surprising that a 'sex worker' should meet Jesus while she was 'at work'. God is very good about meeting us where we're at. . .

Though it would also be helpful, I suppose, to hear about how Jesus told her to 'go and sin no more'. . .

'Cuz, whereas there is no problem at all with a 'sex worker' becoming a Christian (Mary Magdalene, and all that) (heck, as far as I know, there are no restrictions on eligibility for salvation, beyond 'you must be a sinner'), there is no such thing as a 'Christian sex worker'. . .

Joe B said...

Good point. Yep, there is a "go and sin no more" story involved. But I decided to leave it out. It's not like she really wanted to strip for horny men anyway, you know, like it's just some pastime.
And as it happens, she is struggling terribly with the price of her commitment--poverty like most of us cannot imagine.
On some days, for her, there may be such thing as a "christian sex worker". I pray not. Even more, I pray that my "theoretical faith" faith is as great as her "practical faith." God be with you, girl.

Craig said...

See, those are the 'Profiles In Courage' that ought to smack us comfortably-middle-class-types in the face, as to just how serious God is about the Life He calls us to. . .

And listen, there's no such thing as 'Christian Pornography', either, but there are plenty of Christians who struggle with it (or, sadly, don't).

Fight the Good Fight. . .

Joe B said...

I'd like to introduce the unChurch readers to about a half-dozen brand new cross-carriers who are facing this crisis right now and for real: Do I strip or do I starve?
Lord willing, I can introduce them soon. Better still, I hope that one may write an upcoming unChurch blog article.
What do you think? Would this be an interesting article, and can our readers be able to hear them out?

XXXodus Now? said...

If God is so serious about it, does that mean that maybe "we who are serious about God" should be supporting these people so they do not starve...or strip?

Craig said...

Well, I think it would be an interesting article. . . (Altho I've noticed that, when the subject matter around here starts bumping up against 'sexual stuff', the crickets start chirping. . .)

And XXX, you understand. . .

RMW said...

I'm not sure if I'm reading the intent of the comment correctly but I find the statement “there is no such thing as a Christian sex worker,” fascinating.”

I suppose then if taken at face value that there is no such thing as a Christian solder. Nor do I suppose that we will find Christian liars, adulterers, thieves, gossips... True, we wrap military service in nationalism but try as I might I've never seen that teaching in the Bible. Nor do I see the hierarchy of sin that allows us to live with ourselves and our own peccadillo's, while managing to comfortably pass judgment on those of others.

I can certainly practice discernment and say this is not a good thing and people shouldn't do it but I think once I make a statement that would indicate that I can see into another person's heart; I know I'm on very shaky ground.

XXXodus asked exactly the right question, but then we already know the answer to it even though we don't much like it.

Craig said...

Well, you know, when I posted that comment, I was thinking all, "Well, what if she repents right in the middle of 'work'? Would she then be a 'Christian sex worker'? What is the (presumably small) range of circumstances that would allow for the possible existence of such a thing?"

But you know, you can overthink stuff; Jesus told the woman taken in adultery (there is an ancient tradition identifying her with Mary Magdalene) to "go and sin no more". . . Just as, I suppose, he'd tell me to do, when I'm caught in a 'white lie'; or a darker one. . .

Fair enough, to say that we dare not presume to look into others' hearts. But it isn't hard to know that 'sex work' isn't compatible with Christian discipleship.

Joe B said...

Update on Anne Marie, the stripper. She failed. She has not quit. You can find her online at this moment, with earrings as big as ashtrays. Still showing her boobs for $$.

She feels terrible. She avoided me all week long. She knows God has rejected her. Is there any hope for her soul?

Hmmm. Interesting theoretical dilemma we face here, isn't it? What shall we decide about naughty AnneMarie?

Craig said...

So sorry to hear that.

I'm not sure quite what the 'theoretical dilemma' is. God has certainly NOT rejected her. Rather, I imagine that He wishes she could learn to see herself even a little bit as He sees her. . . She is 'worth more than many sparrows', dontcha know. . .

She should repent. And not stop repenting, until she gets victory. Micah 7:8-9, and all that. . .

Mention has been made of giving her some kind of support. Which could take any of a number of forms. Would someone bring her into their house, so she can look for a 'real job', without worrying about starvation? Or would she even go for such an arrangement? Would your wife? Is 'sex work' purely a matter of sustenance for her, or does it have its own pleasures for her, too? Her own motivation to pursue a Christian life comes into play; I don't know her personally, obviously, but (crass as it might sound) how bad does she really want out of 'sex work'?

Just throwing out some thoughts. . .

RMW said...

"She knows God has rejected her. Is there any hope for her soul?"

Wow Joe was that you speaking? God has rejected her. When exactly does God give up on us? When we disappoint Him or fail to do what He tells us to do? If so I'm returning to my Church of No Hope.....g

Craig: I have to go back to my basic premise that none of us lead lives that are fully compatable with Christian discipleship, it is sin itself, large and small which seperated us from God and required Jesus's sacrifice to balance the scales.

We are all in some way incompatible with Christian discipleship and instead of being too judgemental we should practice more support and understanding at least until a person's activity threatens our own relationship with God.

Scott said...

Craig, the possibility of someone taking her into their home is pretty slim, as she is on a different continent thousands of miles away. In a country with many less options than the USA. As the question goes: Strip or starve?

We are all in some way incompatible with Christian discipleship, but there is no doubt that God does not want Anne Marie showing her boobs for cash. Craig is right. And yes, God does not want her to go hungry either. I could theoretically say she needs to just trust God, but it's a "trust-and-providence" issue much bigger and different than I've ever had to face.

Craig said...

OK, Scott, I see the problem. (*sigh*)

Even so, I think what I said above still holds - repent, and keep on repenting until you get victory. Knowing all along that God both knows you better and loves you better than you do yourself. . .

RMW, I'm not sure how I'm being judgmental or unsupportive. I too am a sinner, and I know how I have struggled with my own 'besetting sins'. And I am not well served if those who love me fail to call my sin, sin. . .

Joe B said...

Yeah, i apologize for my strange, incendiary comment, but it had the intended effect (I wrote a hundred layers of irony into it, to capture the complexity of the situation.)

Craig, your list of queries capture her side of the situation well. Truly, fear and greed are two sides of one coin--will she really starve? And there can be gratification even while being exploited (the whore is hapy to get her dollar, right? It may not apply much in this case, but I know a girl who was sex-abused from childhood. Her father would perform a certain sexual act upon her that was highly pleasurable, so much so that she would sometimes initiate it. She grew into a high-achieving college girl who would swallow a bottle of pills about one a month.)

My point in this sordid tale is to bring together all these threads of thought. Real life is WAY too complex to let us imagine that our judgements are relevant. As for me, I am brutally blunt with Anne Marie that she must turn from sin, follow Jesus, and serve him. How that plays out in real life is a function of God's provision, God's spirit and the willingness of her heart.

Yes, we all understand that. But we sometimes forget that people are actual, and not theoretical. God does not forget, and that's why he is God. And it is why "of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, (we) shalt not eat."

Patmos Pete said...

Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

Joe B said...

Hi Pat-Pete. I'm curious, is your comment referring to Babylon the Great (like the phony churches in your profile), of are you making reference to the girl who sent us this song?

Thanks for joining us, friend!

Joe B said...

A happy update for our dear friend: "Anne Marie" has made her break! She is thankful too that her boss kindly removed all images of her from the website, so thanks Boss for that "cup of cold water given in the name of a prophet." May God reward your kindness to God's child, and may you find the Way of Life!

Joe B said...

An update on AnneMarie:
Kendra and I have just returned from traveling abroad, and I had the pleasure of meeting Anne Marie in person for the very first time. She survived her leap of faith, and now she is poor and happy and strong as an oak tree. She is happily pursuing her faith in Jesus (whom she often refers to as "my Isus") in her traditional orthodox church, but she has a vibrant, non-traditional, intimate, and evangelistic walk with God. Not exaggerating. I met her only 2 hours for coffee, but she opened her heart. A few days later she opened her little home, as Kendra traveled across a strange country for a 48 hour slumber party with Anne Marie. Anne Marie has joined us in our work, and she has already accepted her first 2 "missions from God": first to reconcile with someone she offended, and second to share the hope and fellowship of Jesus with a girl Kendra introduced to her. This is serious stuff, and it makes me heart smile, smile, smile.