Jesus Needs New PR

The “content” in the above video is real. The virgin bears are not. I found this video at Unreasonable Faith.

Sadly, I’ve heard at least sixty percent of this talk before.

For my next book, I write a story about the time I went on a Christian Singles Retreat and the speaker used a Blowpop to demonstrate our sex lives. This portion of the book isn’t edited, so please excuse the mistakes…

Here’s the set-up: My friend Connor invited me to go on the retreat (I hate retreats!) because he wanted me to hear his friend Ben talk about sex. This piece begins with me describing my first moments at the retreat:

Two weeks later, I followed Connor into the hills of West Virginia. The retreat center was beautiful, more so than what the brochure advertised. It was fall, so all of the leaves on the trees were brilliant shades of orange, yellow, red, and maroon, and the air was clean and scented like God intended. Since I didn’t belong to F.O.C.U.S., I felt a little out of place at first. But Connor put his arm around me and paraded me around the room and introduced me to all of his friends. For the most part, the attendees seemed to gravitate toward one of five groups: The Jocks, The Princesses, The Overweights, The Older/Divorcees, and The Awkwards. But unlike other single Christian retreats that I’d attended, the cliques at this one weren’t gender specific, which made them more interesting. I wobbled back and forth between the older group and the awkward group. Within a couple of hours, I felt almost at home.

The single thirty-something abstinence-thumper was friendly enough, and he wasn’t a bad speaker, but I thought he seemed much too happy about being a virgin than any thirty-something-year-old guy should be. Before Ben’s first talk, Connor introduced him. After sharing a couple of old college stories, one funny and two serious ones, Connor told us that Ben was his purity hero. “My boy hasn’t masturbated in TEN YEARS,” said Connor in amazement. Then he looked at Ben, “Was I supposed to share that?” Laughing, Ben nodded and said, “It’s in the bio, man. You’re fine.”

Then Ben walked up onto the small stage and spoke. The title of his three-sermon package was “Untouched,” which was also the name of a book that he self-published and sold at his merchandise table. I managed to keep my opinions to myself for the most part. I considered that to be almost miraculous considering that at the beginning of his third talk, Ben pulled out a lollipop.

I’d witnessed more than my share of sermon illustrations and I thought I’d seen it all. I’d seen a preacher use a cake mix, eggs, oil, and water to explain spiritual discipline, a well-known Christian author use a water gun to explain sanctification, and an evangelist use a blindfold, chair, and a volunteer to demonstrate faith. But what Ben did with his lollipop—a Blowpop to be exact—astounded me.

Holding the Blowpop’s end between two fingers and lifting it up so everybody could see it, Ben said, “Imagine that this Blowpop is your sex life.” Ben then asked for a couple of volunteers to join him at the front of the room. A confident member of The Overweights was the first and only attendee to raise her hand, and then Ben chose a guy from The Jocks to fill the other spot. Ben told us that the Blowpop was going to represent Overweight’s sex life, and as he put the lollipop in her hand, he noted to the rest of us, “It’s still wrapped, which means she’s still a virgin.” All of the members of The Overweights and a handful of The Awkwards knowingly giggled.

Overweight’s grape-flavored sex life remained unwrapped for about thirty seconds, long enough for her and Jock to meet at a party and then go home together. Ben told Overweight to hand Jock the Blowpop. He looked at Jock and said, “Okay, unwrap it and take a lick.” All of The Jocks, The Princesses, and several members of The Older/Divorcees giggled as Jock hesitated to take Overweight’s sex life out of it’s packaging.

“You really want me to do this,” said Jock to Ben.

“Yeah, go ahead,” said Ben. “Lick it!”

Jock slowly pulled the wrapper off Overweight’s Blowpop and then quickly scraped it against his tongue. Ben then told us that Jock was a jerk, because immediately after licking Overweight’s lollipop he gives it back to her and tells her that he only wanted it for one night. Ben told Jock to sit down. The room applauded.

“Now look what Overweight is left with,” said Ben, “nothing but an already-licked lollipop!” And then while pointing at Overweight who was holding her used and abused sex life with one hand, Ben shouted, “Okay, now who wants the next lick?”

Nobody raised their hand.

“Come on,” shouted Ben. “It’s only been licked once!”

Still, nobody was interested.

I started to feel sorry for Overweight.

Having made his point (and at the expense of Overweight’s now-licked lollipop), Ben told Overweight that she could sit down.

“Now do you see why God wants us to remain virgins until we’re married?”

After he asked his question, Overweight looked at him and said, “Do I get to keep this?”

“Sure,” said Ben.

Overweight smiled as she popped her “sex life” into her mouth and sat down.

I had so many questions running through my head: What about Jock’s Blowpop? Did it get licked, too? Or do only girls have Blowpops? Would it make a difference if Overweight had taken her Blowpop into the bathroom and rinsed it off? What about King Solomon? The Bible says he licked a lot of Blowpops…

You’ll have to wait for rest of the story…

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