The M.A.D. House Artists (Mom And Dad)

Grand Lake Artistic Chaos Foundation

Dr. Robert R. Ball



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                                     Sermon first presented February 7, 1971

                     With commentary below from Dr. Ball, October  25th, 2010
    




             





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                                 The Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make
                          him a helper fit for him."    -    Genesis 2:18

                                                Sermon by Dr. Robert R. Ball
                                           Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church
                                           Houston, Texas  --  February 7, 1971

         
          EVEN in this uninhibited age of ours, sex is still a terrifying subject. The
          statistics are that sexual problems are the leading cause of divorce in
          America, and the major area of conflict even in the marriages that manage
          to stay together. Most parents find it to be the most difficult of subjects to
          discuss with their children. Sex is so explosive that it is considered bad
          manners to talk about it in polite society; and even though it is discussed
          often and extensively elsewhere, it is usually done with a smirk and a smile  - 
          all of which is a back-handed tribute to the significant, sensitive place it
          occupies in our lives.

          NEARLY everyone tries to play down sex. The "purists" try to squelch it by
          never mentioning it, and by viewing those who do with shocked indignation for
          being so coarse and crude. The "libertines" try to deny the importance of sex
          by treating it as if it were nothing but a simple biological urge, something like
          eating your lunch. These opposing groups actually have a lot in common. Both
          are scared to death of this explosive charge within them, and they don't really
          know what to do with it.

          WHAT a contrast this is to the biblical approach. The only difference between
          human beings which the creation story thought to be important enough to
          mention is that God created only two kinds: boy human beings and girl human
          beings. Perhaps the Bible has something to say to us who are so hung-up on
          sex that it is the only way we have of classifying our movies.

                                                                        I.

          IN the first place, the Bible wants us to get it straight: We are sexual creatures.
          That's how God made us. Sex is a fundamental part of who we really are.

          OUR age has been characterized as one undergoing an "identity crisis." All of
          us are trying to discover "Who am I?" We want to know how we're doing as
          business men and qas housewives and as students and as well adjusted
          persons; but before we are ever any of these things, we are either male or
          female. That's who we are. As a result, one of the most critical questions going
          inside of all of us is, "How am I doing as a man or as a woman?"

          THAT'S the question that the woman is asking when she wears a low-cut gown
          to a party. She hopes that the reactions she gets from the males at the party
          will confirm to her that as a woman she's doing O.K. But if she isn't completely
          honest with herself that this is the question she's asking, when some man
          makes it too obvious that he has noticed what she wanted him to notice, she
          feels that she must act as if she were humiliated and infuriated by his vulgarity,
          Actually the man only wanted her to notice that he was an alive and virile male,
          hoping to be assured that he was doing O.K. as a man. Being the president of
          a big company has its rewards, but having a thick carpet and five telephones
          doesn't satisfy that deeper need to know that a man is appreciated for who he
          really is. A significant part of who he really is, is a sexual being. He needs to
          know, "How am I doing as a man?"

          THERE are two basic ways of copping out on the fact that God has created
          us to be sexual beings, and both ways are equally as destructive to our real
          humanity. One way tells us that we should develop our personalities apart from
          sex, concentrating on the "higher" things in life. The young bride who has been
          taught to regard sex as a base, animal impulse will have apretty difficult time
          adjusting to the wild beast she marries. The other cop-out tells us to develop
          our sex life apart from the rest of our personality which makes sex an amusing
          game to play when we get bored. To treat so meaningless something that is
          so fundamentally a part of all that we are ends up by making our whole lives
          look silly and meaningless. The Bible says it very clearly: God has created us
          to be either male or female human beings. We can never be whole human
          beings until we have accepted and come to terms with the fact of our
          sexuality.

                                                                          II.

          IN the second place, the Bible says that the reason God created the two
          sexes is that a person by himself is incomplete and unfulfilled. We can never
          be whole, human beings unto ourselves. We cannot be who we are without
          other people.

          GOD saw that man was lonely, so he filled the whole world around with a wide
          array of dazzling delights. You get the feeling that the writer of this story was
          looking right at us when he wrote it. When we get discouraged and exhausted
          in our efforts to establish satisfying relationships with other people, we very
          often look around us and say, "It's silly for me to be lonely. Look at all this great
          big beautiful world filled with fascinating things for me to study and do."

          SO we get ourselves occupied with football and motorcycles, business and
          science, ballet and gardening, bridge and tennis, livestock and hunting, and
          sometimes we even get ourselves all wrapped up in religion. But no matter
          how much effort we put into any of these endeavors, as worthwhile as they
          very well may be in themselves, none of them are able to answer our aching
          loneliness.

          IT was when Adam recognized that nothing else in all the world could make
          him feel wanted and necessary and appreciated, that God created a woman
          for him. God has given us the things of the world to use and people to love.
          When we turn that around, loving things and using people, then all life goes out
          of whack. A man needs to know that he is appreciated and valued as a man
          by other men - but in a unique way by women. They are necessary to complete
          his male humanity. A woman needs to know she is appreciated as a woman
          by other women - but in a unique way by men. They are necessary to complete
          her female humanity. Sex has been given to us as a means of communication.
          It is an irreplaceable way in which we are able to say to another person, "you
          are important. I like who you are. I care about you."

          THAT is the word of life, the word without which we cannot live. It is the word
          which God sent into the world in Jesus Christ in human form, the word which
          we touch and taste in the Lord's Supper. Jesus said, "This is my body which
          is broken for you." A real relationship is one in which we are able to
          communicate who we really are to others, and be able to receive their
          communication of themselves to us. The man who is confident and pleased
          about being a man allows the women with whom he communicates to be
          confident and pleased that they are women. The woman who is confident
          and pleased about being a woman allows the men with whom she
          communicates to be confident and pleased that they are men. God created
          the two sexes because a person by himself is unfulfilled and incomplete.

                                                                         III.

          THE final verse in this passage tells us that the marriage relationship is a very
          special kind of thing, the fullest relationship possible among human beings.

                                              "The man and his wife were both naked,
                                               and were not ashamed."

          HOW many of us are willing for the naked truth about ourselves to be known?
          Who is willing to reveal how he hurts and what he hopes in the depth of his
          being? It is a frightening prospect, being completely known; and that's why
          we spend a great deal of our time and effort trying to make sure that we will
          not be. We cover ourselves with cheerfulness or sullenness, with fine
          clothing or with rags, with education or with ignorance, with religion or with
          unbelief  -  anything to keep from being exposed. But sometimes, often by
          accident, when our guard is down, it happens that someone does see us
          and know us and approve of us. That glorious delight is how the lost sheep
          felt when he was found.

          WHEN someone knows us and accepts us and values us, we are no longer
          stuck with those frightening and inaccurate images we have of ourselves  - 
          the ones that make us ashamed, force us to cover up, and leave us feeling
          awkward and ill at ease in the presence of others. It's something like
          becoming a brand new person.

          BUT there is no possibility of our being fully known to everyone. We will dare
          to reveal our deepest selves only to a person in whom we have absolute trust
          and confidence that he will not make fun of us to run away from us. It takes a
          lot of time and effort, a lot of hurting and forgiving, to develop the trust and
          commitment to each other in which that miracle can happen.

          THAT'S why the sex act itself cannot be shared frivolously or thoughtlessly. It
          is an honest communication only when two people are willing to make a
          continuing commitment to each other and to accept continuing responsibility
          for each other.

                                    
                                              "The man and his wife were both naked,
                                               and were not ashamed."

           I HAVE a minister friend back in Oklahoma who's been married for some
          thirty years now, a perfectly delightful person. One night he and I were driving
          back from a meeting in another city. He kept urging me to drive faster. I
          asked him why. When he told me, I said something like, "You old codger!
          You mean you are excited to get home to your woman after all these years?"

          HE told me that they had never enjoyed each other so much ever before. They
          had been through a lot together and not all of it good. One time she actually
          left him. But through it all they had come to an honest, open, sharing kind of
          relationship that had him on fire to get home that night. I think that's what God
          intended sex to be.

          THE gospel of Jesus Christ says that we are accepted. That acceptance
          certainly includes our sexuality, for it is a basic ingredient of who we are. God
          isn't deceived in his acceptance. He knows that we have sometimes brought
          great pain to others and to ourselves  -  and that is very painful to him. But God
          doesn't destroy us when we are wrong. He forgives us in order that we might
          start anew, using our lives to be a blessing to others. Don't be afraid of
          yourself or your sexuality. God had good things in mind when he created you.
          God wants to use all that you are as a means of communicating his love to his
          people. The most important decision a person ever makes is to accept God's
          acceptance. Then that person is able to accept himself, to come alive as a
          real human being.

          THE more men who are really men, with nothing to prove but love to give; and
          the more women who are really women, with nothing to prove but love to give;
          the more whole and human this world will be, something like the kingdom of
          God.

  



            Email from Bob Ball,             Monday, October 25, 2010 9:32 AM
            
                                                                      
               Candy,

                       We're just back from a week-long cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale.
            I guess it was good to get away for a few days, but I certainly am glad
            to be home.
                        Again, I have no memory of having preached this sermon (after all,
            it was almost 40 years ago); and yet, if I were to do it again, I think that
            scripture would be a good one with which to start. If I were brave enough
           (who knows?), I would certainly like to include some comments about those
            human beings, beloved children of God, who got put together with a set of
            genes that causes them to be gay or lesbian, people who, like their                          "straight brothers and sisters." will find their fulfillment in being who they 
             are and sharing who they are in responsible, appropriate, and loving ways               with other human beings. As we listen to Jesus, in the end, that's all that                 really matters, isn't it? Being loving, merciful, caring human beings!
            Thank you for being one of those.

                             Bob




LINKS TO OTHER SERMONS

YOU ARE MY CENTERFIELDER

January 26, 1969

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE HUMAN?

Sermon from January 25, 1970

FOLK WORSHIP SERVICE

 from April 5, 1970

WHAT SALT IS FOR

Sermon from June 21, 1970

BOLD ENOUGH TO FAIL

Sermon from September 6, 1970

DON'T PUT ME DOWN

Sermon from September 13, 1970

I BELIEVE THAT GOD BELIEVES IN CLAUDE

Sermon from September 27, 1970

WHERE AUTHENTIC PEOPLE MEET

Sermon from December 13, 1970

 T H E    S E R P E N T    D I D    I T

Sermon from February 14, 1971

FROM: M O N O T O N Y

TO: M E A N I N G

Sermon from February 28, 1971

                    FROM ANXIETY

                                                TO FAITH

                                               Sermon from March 7, 1971

                         

                          Y E S,

                                      N O,

                                                and

                                                         W O W!

Sermon by Dr. Robert R. Ball

May 23, 1971                          CLICK HERE

                         

Sermon by Dr. Robert R. Ball

July 11, 1971   

Here Come De Judge

Sermon from August 1, 1971

>SMILE GOD LOVES YOU

Dr. Robert R. Ball, Sermon presented September 12, 1971

>Seriously But Not Literally

DDr. Robert R. Ball, Sermon presented September 19, 1971

Authority Figures I Have Known

Dr. Robert R. Ball, Sermon, September 26, 1971

I Give You Permission

Dr. Robert R. Ball, Sermon, October 10, 1971

>IT'S ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS,

NOT RULES

DDr. Robert R. Ball, Sermon presented JULY 31, 2011

                  RETURN TO THE DR. ROBERT R. BALL HOME PAGE

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