Wednesday, October 17, 2012


It has been recently suggested that my books are “full of sex.” When pressed for an example, the only one offered was the opening story in Flawed by Design, where the prostitute, about to pour her tears upon her Savior’s feet in anguish over her occupation, wrestles in a field before dawn with God—with what He made her. She shakes her breasts in front of Him, daring Him to kill her. Falling to the earth with bitter weeping, she expects a lightning bolt. Instead, she feels His tender compassion.

Many people have written to tell me how this passage moved them to tears—in fact, all the writers have been women. (After ten years, I am still moved to tears whenever re-reading this story.) In my opinion—and in the opinion of many others—this story perfectly introduces a book about being flawed by design.

But what kills it, in the mind of some, is the word “breasts.” Worse, I briefly describe the prostitute’s breasts as being perfect. “I can’t hand out this book to people,” says a friend, “for fear they would stumble at it.”

I wonder if this friend, who finds the brief allusions to sex in some of my books so objectionable, has trouble handing out the Bible. He should. If the standard for an “unsharable book” is the mention of sex, the Bible wins hands down. The Bible is full of prostitutes, concubines, penises, breasts, polygamy, seed-spilling, and menstrual cycles. The entire book of Song of Solomon fits the modern-day standards for erotica. In Esther 2:5-7, it is God Himself Who points out, concerning Esther: “The maiden had a lovely shape and was good-looking in appearance.”

By my count, God brings up sex about 1,000 more times than I do. I have a long way to go to catch up with Him. I probably never will; He created sex, and I did not. No wonder He’s so unapologetic about it.


What makes my work so different and effective is that I am myself. In the midst of giving you spiritual truth, I tell you about my life. I am not ashamed to be human in every category of life, not just the sexual category. This honesty helps people like my books. I don’t have to work at it, because being myself is the most natural thing in the world to me.  

The only thing worse than an M&M is a sexy female one.
If you were to listen to the old ZenderTalks and read my early books, you would notice two common themes: M&Ms and black coffee. Back in the day, I was passionate about these things and often shared with readers and listeners how these two products helped me through life. It is interesting that no one has ever accused me of being “coffee obsessed,” or “M&M obsessed.” It is only when I mention the word “breast,” or bring up some aspect of feminine beauty, that some people become offended. The conclusion is unavoidable: Those who object to the sexual references but not to these other things believe M&Ms to be good, but sex to be evil. Coffee is pure, but sex is tainted.

This is Gnosticism. (Google it, folks; it ain't pretty.)

As Kingsley G. Bond writes in the foreword to Clyde Pilkington’s book, Due Benevolence: 

It is not surprising that the mistakes of our [religious] past should have given us
a poor view of something that God made and pronounced "good." It is almost
impossible, now, to divest ourselves of the view that sex is an obscenity. However strenuously we try to disturb our prejudice against it, the view is deeply ingrained that sex is a power which exercises a hold over life that is at least dangerous and more likely evil. Containment is the common approach, instead of liberation.

Sex is not a monstrous mistake of the Creator, but something for which we may
expect that God holds a constructive purpose in view. No doubt that purpose is
being served in spite of our upset situation, but how much better if the good for
which this faculty was intended could be pinpointed and its drive directed into
ways that would benefit all.

Sex is in just about everything. This is not bad, but the natural way of things.
Therefore the Christian has to start where the Bible starts, by acknowledging
things as God has given them to us. After all, the whole of life is either male or
female, and of all the instinctive drives that have been given to us, hunger is the
most compelling, but sex is the most pervasive. It naturally touches everything …
Indeed life would be cold, hard, and metallic without it. God did not give us a
sexless world. It is not for us to fight against God’s order of creation, but rather to
seek to know more and find the line of purpose to follow.

Kingsley G. Bond,  
Tidings (1967)

 Clyde Pilkington writes in the same book:

We have a Bible filled with sex. There was clearly a different mindset in Biblical times. There is a different mindset by God. What seems so unusual to us was commonplace within their setting. Our religious society has mastered the art of calling “evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). In one sweeping motion, they have taken God’s wonderful gift of sexuality and almost uniformly called it evil.

                                                SEXUAL OBSESSION

This poor guy is sex-obsessed
What is sexual obsession? Remember how I pointed out to you in my book, How to Be Free From Sin While Smoking a Cigarette, that a slave of sin is just as much someone who sins like crazy as someone who tries like crazy not to sin? Slavery to sin requires a fixation on sin—whether to resist or indulge it. The same paradox applies to sex. I make a brief mention of sex in a book or a talk, and the religious reader (the reader for whom sex—in spite of his or her protestations to the contrary—is inherently evil), fixates upon that passage and can’t let it go. I have long since moved on to another topic, but the sex obsessed can’t move on. Why? They are obsessed with sex. I have moved on, but they haven't.

Who is obsessed with sex?

To speak openly about sex is natural. To celebrate feminine beauty (God Himself sets the pace here; read Ruth and The Song of Solomon), is natural. God pronounced the male and the female “good.” To make it evil is yet another ugly by-product of religion that infects even the saints.

Wake up, people
When it comes to human sexuality, I often feel like the most normal, well-adjusted person in the room. I wish this liberation upon all who read. Those who will dare to begin considering sex as God considers it (He considers it “good”) will—paradoxically—find themselves at last delivered from the sexual obsession that has so oddly turned them against the natural marvel of the female breast.  

© 2012 by Martin Zender

(To order Due Benevolence, Clyde Pilkington’s “revelation-a-page” treatise about Biblical sexuality, click here: / It is the best 25 bucks you will ever spend.)