Tag Archives: ethics

We’re so messed up about sex

The beauty of a blog is that you can put up half thoughts. I do my best to write fully thought out pieces on this blog, but every now and again, I have what I call “half thoughts” – an idea that isn’t fully crystallised, and for which I have not thought through all the implications. But this blog is a place where these can be captured, and ruminated on, and maybe later turned into something bigger.

Anyway, with that in mind, I was watching the news recently on the sacking of John Terry as England’s football captain. Football is in sharp relief this year, as it is a World Cup year (being hosted with passion and pride by my home country, South Africa!) and England have a pretty good chance of winning it (they are some bookies’ favourites). The captain of England, John Terry, however, was recently outed by a newspaper for having an affair with the ex-girlfriend of one his team mates. Terry is married, but the real outrage seemed to be the transgression of some unwritten code about sleeping with team mates girlfriends. The fact that they were not a couple at the time doesn’t seem to have changed the outrage.

This is supposed to be an issue of morals. But it is not. The replacement for John Terry is Rio Ferdinand, currently serving a ban for violent conduct on the field of play after he elbowed another player in the head. The vice captain is Steven Gerrard, recently arrested by police for assault (he was cleared after it was shown that he hit someone whom he thought had hit him, when in fact he was just recoiling from being hit in the head by one of Gerrard’s friends).

This is an issue of our completely nonsensical views on sex. I think the church must take some of the blame for how we think about sex as a society. It’s insane. And we completely overreact to it, especially when it is discussed in public. We need to grow up.

I’m not saying that what John Terry did is OK. I am just saying that it is no grounds for removing him as captain of a football team.

The Adoption Option

Originally posted on 9 July 2009

My wife, Jane, and I adopted a Zulu orphan in July 2005. Since then, we have discovered hundreds of families who have done the same – responding to the tremendous crisis in sub Saharan African, brought on by the AIDS epidemic.

Often, as Christians, we read the Bible selectively. We’re so quick to claim certain promises, and get hot under the collar about certain instructions and commands. But, then, we feel happy completely ignoring others. My wife and I became increasingly convicted about James 1:27, where it is very clear that “religion that is pure and acceptable to God is to take care of widows and orphans…”. That doesn’t mean adoption, of course – there are many ways of taking care of others. In fact, adoption means that we have reduced our impact because our focus is now on only one orphan, rather than the possibility of caring for many. But, religion that is acceptable to God must include significant amounts of social action and social justice.

In May 2008, I spoke at TGIF in Hyde Park, Joahnnesburg, and told the story of my family’s adoption of our third daughter, Rebecca. I told her story, our story, and gave details on the process of adoption in South Africa. For those interested in the story, it was recorded and is available for download as an MP3 file, by right clicking here (select SAVE AS).