Nov. 16, 2008 — -- Thou shalt have sex and lots of it — That's the message one Texas reverend spread to his megachurch congregation today, as he challenged his married congregants to have sex daily for the next seven days as part of a "sexperiment."
"We want to bring the bed back in church and put God back in the bed and talk in a very open and direct and loving way about something that God was not shy to create," said Rev. Ed Young, founder of the nondenominational Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas.
The pastor preached about the joy of sex and utilized a bed onstage to enhance his message. Young said the ministry should be more actively involved in discussing the topic of sex and not shy away from it.
"The church has been silent over a topic that God is not silent about. And when you think about it, God is the one who made love. He invented it, and he wants those of us who follow him, true believers, to make love, so we're going to talk about it," he said on "Good Morning America" today. "We're going to talk about the joy of sex because those of us who are in the church, we're really the sexperts, I think, and we're going to do this sexperiment over the next seven days as I challenge our congregation to make love over a week, and then we're going to see how everyone did, what things happened in the marriage, and they're going to e-mail to the church after the week of sex to discover and to find out and we'll find out what all has happened. It'll be a cool thing."
Young, who has four children with his wife of 26 years, plans to practice what he preaches by participating in the weeklong experiment.
While some may consider the subject of sex too taboo for the pulpit, Young disagrees and believes it's the ideal place for the discussion.
"We've been talking about sex and sexuality here at Fellowship Church for the last 18 years. Our church is 18 years old and, to me, I think the church should be all about marketing and all about talking about the greatest thing in the world, which is a personal relationship with the Lord himself," Young said.
And while some of the church's youngest members spent their time in the children's ministry during the sermon, children from the fifth grade and higher, along with other young adults and singles, were encouraged to attend.
"Our kids are so bombarded by sex, and sadly we've allowed the culture to hijack sex from the church," said Young, 47, whose church has 35,000 worshippers.
Young added that at the end of the experiment, he believes marriages will be enhanced.
"I'm looking forward to seeing how this sexperiment is going to jump-start a lot of marriages because it's really not about the sex itself, it's what surrounds it," Young said. "I think some forgiveness is going to happen. I think some hurt feelings that have been harbored is going to get out there. And I think it's going to be just a time we take all of our marriages to a whole other level."
But the true test of success for this endeavor may come nine months from now.
"I think we better expand our nursery area," Young joked.