As well as using this blog to explore what the BDSM community has to offer Christian theology I thought I would look at what people of faith have to offer the people of kink.
Hopefully there will be techniques, knowledge and actions from the rich heritage of the Christian faith that kinksters will find useful and enriching in the same way thousands of Christians past and present have done.
So this post is the first in a series (named “Church Dogminatrix” because I’m trying to be nerdy and funny at the same time) of things the Christian Faith can offer the scene.
A Place of Strength – Relationship with God
The first thing any religion can offer someone is a relationship with God and the Divine. Christianity differs from other religions by claiming that this relationship with God can be obtained through the person of Jesus. The unique selling point of Christianity is that through Jesus God became human and therefore we are able to better relate to God through the humanness of Christ which we can read about in the Gospels.
A relationship with God brings many things; comfort, strength, dependency and, through prayer, a listening ear. God is the One in whom we can always depend and is always faithful. Of course this is not to say if we have a relationship with God bad things will never happen, as if God is some sort of magic protector or fairy godmother, but that God will always be there with us in the darkest and hardest moments of our lives and will never leave us during our worst.
In a post on building strong relationships Clarrise Thorn argues that the best place to begin exploring anything is by getting yourself a strong positive relationship that feeds and supports you. I believe that as well as a human relationship a positive relationship with God can also help provide that starting point.
I have found my relationship with God to be encouraging, life giving and supportive. In my darkest moments I have turned to God and found hope, as well as the knowledge that I am loved no matter what (Which was almost instrumental in me starting this blog, knowing that even if this is horrible heresy and I am perverting the faith I will still be loved).
A relationship with God can be our position of strength from which we can go on to explore new and exciting things we may not feel strong enough to do on our own. The BDSM world is full of things, thoughts and feelings that we still struggle to understand not just on a personal level but on a scientific and psychological level as well. God however knows what we want and need as well as our deepest thoughts and desires and so in God we can have a relationship with something greater then ourselves that also fully understands ourselves as well, even when we are sure that we don’t. (I am in no way advocating anyone to replace their loving human partners with God, there are many things God cannot provide us with, for example cuddles, that loving people can)
Like most relationships though a relationship with God is hard, you can’t just flick a switch and off you go. It’s just like any other relationship it takes time and effort to establish and become healthy and nurturing. Of course the benefit of building a relationship with God over people is that God always wants to have a positive and loving relationship with you whereas some people may not want to (sorry but it’s true not everyone is going to love you, no matter how awesome you are). Unlike human relationships though God has a habit of not being physically or even audibly present and unless you’re incredibly lucky you may never hear the literal voice of God in your ear and so the traditional methods of building a relationship may not work here.
How do we build a relationship with God then? We can start by using disciplines such as prayer or meditation, these are the best ways to spend time with God (I’ll be writing a piece specifically on prayer soon) and are therefore the best ways to begin building your relationship. Other ways may be doing things God “approves of”, things like acts of kindness and selflessness such as volunteering and donating unneeded items. Another positive way of building this relationship is to spending time with others who are seeking to build the same relationship. It’s very rare that I will suggest going to church as a remedy for anything, but here it might actually help.
Like all relationships, one with God takes time to develop and is also prone to break down and fail. God can sometimes seem distant or silent and, just as when our human partners do it, this can be extremely painful. Though also just like our human relationships God can be the strongest platform we need to begin exploring all the exciting things we want in life as well as being the Partner and Platform we can then come back to Who will be just as excited by our discoveries as we are.
 The article can be read here: http://clarissethorn.com/2011/07/20/slogan-start-from-a-position-of-strength/