‘Christians can be saved and sexual — Mary Mary

erica campbell (all white -long hair)*Earlier this week, Erica Campbell, one half of the Mary Mary sister duo, had a chat with Essence.com about her latest wardrobe backlash.

Dawning a beautiful fitted below-the-knee-length dress, the singer posted new photos from her latest shoot to promote her new solo gig. She said she thought her look was sexy and appropriate, but others snapped back on social media saying she’s not representing Christianity well.

Black and beautiful as ever, those hips and thighs curve like butter in that dress. Christian folk, however, couldn’t take all the love she was sharing. That dress is too sexy and salacious, worldly and edgy, was the overall response.

“I’m taking it in stride and I’m keeping it moving,” Campbell tells ESSENCE.com. “When we took the picture I felt beautiful, I felt confident, I felt sexy and I felt strong.”

Erica’s confidence as a woman and decision to exhibit her femininity in some ways conflicts with traditional perspectives in the church. Modesty and humility along with some resounding subservient principles continue to encumber progress in religious institutions.

The singer explained to ESSENCE.com that photoshoot has unearthed a much needed conversation in the church.

“This is about confidence and realizing that God made you and that you are beautiful just the way you are,” she says. “I think that young girls shouldn’t only get sexy images from people who are not proclaiming Jesus. But I am. And I’m cute too.”

What is it about sexuality that makes the church turn away and hide in the darkness of shame in an effort to mask what is beautiful?

Sexuality is very much a part of life, giving, love, evolution and everything in between.

Can it be godly to be sexy?

When Meagan Good showed up at the BET Awards in that long sexy blue gown, showing off her lovely curves, she endured a firestorm of criticism. Her husband, a preacher, supported and embraced her choice with grace.

There is an evolution burgeoning, on its way to eclipsing the traditions of the old church ideals. A bridge between sexuality and Christianity is gradually being built and eventually the church may need to face the truth about it’s continued shunning of everything that is sex.

Perhaps even the obsession of demonizing sex as an act and sexuality has contributed to eruptions of defiance and even forms of perversion (i.e. Eddie Long).

Erica’s ability to embrace her body and her lovely womanhood all while glorifying her Creator is a statement beyond fashion and religious politics and traditions. It’s a call to discuss sexuality in the church and deal with it as adults and human beings. Check out this read on sexuality in the Black church for some perspective: “Sexuality and the Black Church” by Kelly Brown Douglas.

Check out what Erica and her sister, Tina Campbell, had to say about the issue to theGrio’s Chris Witherspoon: