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German vicar goes limp in 'erotic service'

The Local · 6 Aug 2012, 12:18

Published: 06 Aug 2012 12:18 GMT+02:00

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Ralf Schmidt of the Erlöserkirche ("Church of the Saviour") in Wiesbaden, western Germany, had promised a service celebrating the divine element of physical love, news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Sunday.

"There is no life without eroticism, and no life without God," he said during his sermon, the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper reported. "Taste each other, look at each other, feel each other, feel how friendly life can be. My backside, my hands, my tongue, my penis, my earlobes are the landing spots of love. In this way we want to enjoy what God has given us, even though we don't have paradise anymore. Because love comes from God, not the devil."

Later, he led his 200-strong congregation in a swaying dance as they held hands to foster a sense of intimacy, while the organ played Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender."

He opened the service with the words, "Welcome to the vineyard of love," before waxing lyrical on the under-addressed subject of Christian sex. "There is a lustful sense of expectation in the room," he said.

Schmidt argued that the subject of sex is not brought up in churches often enough, but then is vulgarly overhyped in the media. So he had a recommendation for his fellow men of God: "Maybe we should get into bed with our loved ones more often, so our words become sharper and more alive."

The 47-year-old Schmidt had promised to use "hearty language" in his frank discussion of the heavenly erotic, though in the event he shied away from using slang, and cut a passage from his intended sermon so that his words would not be misrepresented by the media.

"These expressions were all over the newspapers this week," he said. "I didn't need to add to them."

Ahead of the service, a spokesman for Germany's Protestant church said it had no problem with Schmidt's erotic theme. "The Gospel also talks about partnership and sexuality," said Stephan Krebs. "It's the vicar's responsibility to address these in an appropriate manner."

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The service does not seem to have alarmed Schmidt's flock either. "The sermon was very impressive and courageous," said Marie-Luise Reichel. It was, she said, "vivid and direct."

Even its senior members weren't shocked. The 70-year-old Helga Gropp told Der Spiegel that she'd liked the service a lot. Her only objection? That the newly-confirmed youngsters had not been allowed in.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:43 August 6, 2012 by coatswg
"Liimp"? What did you expect, a live demonstration of sexual intercourse at the alter? To me, the pastor seemed to want erotic hype rather than practical teaching on God's creation of sex. Yet, the Bible is chocked full of erotic sex. As a Biblical scholar, he could have explained just a fraction of Song of Solomon and the female congregants would have ditched their copy of 50 Shades of Gray and had a case of the erotic shakes while reading Solomon's account of sexual intimacy with his wife. If you're a man, you can imagine the pain and embarrassment when the men congregants had to stand at the conclusion of such a sermon. One thing for sure, after such a sermon, Sunday Afternoon Delight would have taken new meaning.
04:07 August 7, 2012 by lenny van
Comment: Maybe it is time to set restrictions on who can attend protestant XXX rated services in Germany.

I assume that the protestant church in Germany is using the latest modern revision of the Bible if it talks about partnership and sexuality. In my old King James edition, the hilariously, old fashioned concept of the sanctity of marriage, family responsibility and adultery is discussed. I recommend that the Vicar's sermon next week might denounce the government's failure to bring the financial benefits and tax deductions of partnerships in line with those enjoyed by married couples. Is there any reason to believe that he wouldn't do a better job than a psychologist, a social worker or a politician?

After all, what is the purpose of the church in society if it doesn't speak out on the important social issues of our time.

Does anyone know if those frocks (like the one that the vicar is seen wearing in the picture) have open pockets on the side,in case the vicar has to reach inside for a handkerchief or his wallet?
07:35 August 7, 2012 by wenddiver
Theology wise, I wouldn't hold my breath for this guy to replace the Martin Luther, or Dietrick Bohnhoffer's of this world. Welcome to theologies age of mediocricy.

We blame people for not going to Church and not leaders for failing to lead, or seminaris for finding people who can lead and inspire. The Polish Pope John Paul was the last inspirational Churchman I can remember from my life time, the rest were small men in very big hats that failed to do their subject justice.

A real shame in a nuclear world confronted by the values of predator capitalism and murderous Communism supported by valueless secularism. If ever there was a time for the teachings of Christ it's now.
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