‘Great Sex’ Sermons Cause Stir in Rural Town

AP (GOOD HOPE, AL): It’s one thing for a church in a big city like Dallas or Atlanta to tackle the ticklish topic of sex. It blends in with the urban scene.

It’s another thing when a small-town congregation puts up billboards with the phrase “Great sex: God’s way” on rural highways to promote a sermon series. You can’t even legally buy beer in Cullman County, and a preacher is talking about S-E-X on Sunday morning? Daystar Church, whose congregation has grown dramatically under pastor Jerry Lawson, has run up against the sensibilities of a conservative north Alabama community with a monthlong focus on sex.

Sex just isn’t an appropriate topic for church, some say, and others are upset over the church’s signs, which advertise the sermon series and accompanying Web site. “It’s really stirred up the people here,” said Good Hope town clerk Joann Jones.

Evangelist Roland Belew, a self-described fundamentalist and former trucker who now preaches at a truck stop, said the whole idea goes against the teaching of New Testament apostles. “Paul said preach the Gospel,” said Belew. “Talking about sex ain’t gonna get nobody to heaven.”

The controversy is a bit ironic considering the church’s overall point is about as straight-laced as they come: That God intends for sex to be enjoyed solely within a heterosexual marriage, and that anything else — adultery, pornography, homosexuality, even “sexual arousal” outside of marriage — is sin.

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