Sex sells, but this weekend it’s free

2008-11-20 00:00

International speaker Peter Howard-Browne, who hails from Pietermaritzburg, will be speaking on the subject at Grace Church International on Sunday evening, and there’s no entrance fee.

The theme for the evening is Sex and the City. Why? “Well, without it there would be no city,” quips Howard-Browne. “And it’s an extremely relevant issue to the human race. The TV show by the same name has been hugely influential in informing and addressing current sexual values and norms. And it’s the topic my buddies at Grace Church have given me to speak on.”

Sex and church might sound like polar opposite subjects, but for those who know him, Howard-Browne will not be addressing the taboo issues. “I’m not going to say that sex is reserved for private conversations, has no other significance than merely two bodies gyrating in the night, that people should be left to formulate their own opinions on the subject, that too much of it makes you deaf …

“I can guarantee that we are going to have some fun and laughter in the process.”

Known for his sharp sense of humour, Howard-Browne is resolute to the question of whether it is possible for sex to sell in churches. “No, pimping is definitely not encouraged by the Bible! I know what you mean — is it okay for churches to talk about sex? Sure — if it impacts on the human condition any issue is relevant. God has some highly cool, some pretty specific and, might I add, extremely explicit things to say about sex.

“I think it is good that there is now more open discussion about sex,” he says. “But the dialogue is, well, it’s quite adolescent really. It’s the one area where we humans have lost touch (excuse the pun) with reality and we are really not thinking straight when it comes to human sexuality. Richard Foster nails it on the head: ‘The problem with the topless bars and the pornographic literature of our day is not that they emphasise sexuality too much, but that they do not emphasise it enough. They totally eliminate relationship and restrain sexuality to the narrow confines of the genital. They have made sex trivial’.”

The father of three teenagers offers some encouragement to other parents with teenagers. “The teenage years are potentially white- water country — you have to hold on and weather the storm. There is, in my mind, no greater community than the local church in which to bring up children. I agree with Hilary Clinton’s book title, which she borrowed from an African proverb, It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.

“Teens need mentors and parents have to realise that past a certain age their opinion is filtered through the adolescent grid of independence of thought (which most parents wrongly just call rebellion).

“The last thing you want them to be exposed to is the confused twaddle spewed out by the Hollywood sewer and the morally disadvantaged morons out there who shape the thinking of the unsuspecting masses who are averse to thinking in an alternative way.”

• Peter Howard-Browne will be speaking at 6 pm on November 23 at Grace Church International, situated at 27 Holder Road, Bisley. Entrance is free and refreshments and snacks will be provided. For more information, phone 033 386 9330.

Q&A: with peter howard-brown

Full names: Peter Derek Howard-Browne.

Hometown: Pietermaritzburg — the City of Choice!

Family: Married to an angel woman Jan for 22 years, two sons, Jarrod (19), Campbell (17) and daughter Sarah (14).

Day job: The happiest and luckiest guy in the world to take care of Another Man’s Bride: the church in Somerset West and around the world where I am invited to contribute.

Night job: Same as above — it never really stops.

Last movie you watched: Oceans 13.

What’s in your CD player: Hira Hivavaka by Rija Rasonlondraibe, a Malagasy gospel singer.

Favourite restaurant: Bukhara’s — a curry restaurant in Stellenbosch. I am really hoping there will be curry in heaven! You can take the boy out of Northdale, but you can’t take Northdale …

First thing you do before you get up in the morning: Talk to the Lord.

Last thing you do before you go to bed: Talk to the Lord.

Favourite thing in the whole wide world: The local church — the hope of the world.

Complete the sentence:

Pietermaritzburg is … a one of a kind city — anchorage of my roots that have helped me as I have

chartered new routes into the unknown.

If I could change one thing … it would be to stop the senseless and ubiquitous war that rages unabated through this great continent, the people of which deserve better.

If Jacob Zuma becomes president, I’ll … not be surprised.

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