Before I continue in this series, we need to pause and look at ourselves. Christians have got to get their own house in order! For example, cohabitation and serial monogamy has become common, not just in secular society, but among practicing Christians and evangelical Christians! How can this be?! It shocks me, really. But in another sense, it does not surprise me at all.
I think it is a sad symptom of the shallowness that has overtaken evangelicalism in the last 25 years or so. People are not being properly discipled or taught the Bible or a Christian worldview with any depth. The entertainment industry invaded Christianity in the 1980s and since then it has only spread out its tentacles. We make light and entertaining, a faith that is supposed to be serious and challenging. Don’t get me wrong – Jesus came to give us abundant life and we should have joy in our salvation – but that is not what I am talking about.
And the viewing of internet pornography, a pornography that is nothing like the soft porn of years ago, is an addiction for too many Christians. I am not insinuating that the soft porn of years ago was nothing or not sinful, but the porn of today is violent, dehumanizing, and abusive. Children and teens are being exposed to it! Internet porn has been called a “public health crisis” yet too many folks, Christian and non-Christian alike, seem to have their head in the sand. (Resources at the end of this post.)
Particularly in the age we live in, discipleship in the Christian faith must include teaching about managing our sexuality, and understanding a Christian view of the body. Perhaps you think that these things have been taught, but more often it is only a “negative” presentation – rules about what not to do – rather than a more comprehensive and positive approach.
I jotted down some notes from an article I read by Preston Sprinkle a while back – see the last post for more about him. We need to construct a positive vision for what God intends for us. For example… Instead of preaching on transgenderism, talk about what it means to be created in God’s image as male and female. Instead of addressing homosexuality, educate on the meaning of marriage and sexual expression. Instead of preaching against polyamory, construct a positive vision for monogamy. Etc. People are more eager to follow a positive vision for marriage and sex than to adhere to a list of “don’ts.”
Eventually, as part of this series, I will blog through the book Love Thy Body by Nancy Pearcey. This very important book is a must read for Christians to better understand a deeper and more comprehensive view of the body and sexuality from a Christian perspective.
As Pearcey points out, as well as Joe Dallas in a lecture I just listened to (more on Joe Dallas in future posts), gender and sexuality has become an apologetics issue! Indeed it has. Typically we’d think of apologetics as about defending the divinity of Jesus or the reliability of the Gospels, but a Christian view of the body and sexuality must become a part of it. Christian views on sexuality have become a barrier to people even hearing the Gospel. People won’t listen when they feel that we hate them. We need to be able to “reason” with people, that is thoughtfully and humbly explain a Christian sexual ethic.
If Christians not only lack an understanding of a biblical sexual ethic, and they themselves are cohabitating or routinely watching internet porn, they can’t be salt and light to a society that needs Jesus! Besides that, it is rank hypocrisy, which gets me back around to the beginning of this post. We need to get our own house in order.
Here are some resources on internet porn, particularly as it involves children:
Protect Young Minds, which looks like it is changing its name to Defend Young Minds, has various resources, including several age-appropriate books on discussing internet pornography with your children. It is NOT “if” your child (or grandchild or niece/nephew) sees internet porn but “when” they see it, and these books will prepare them (and you) for it ahead of time and how to handle it.
While the below is from 2015, this brief video is still relevant. It is from a professional that summarizes key info from a symposium that was held in the Capital in the summer of 2015 about the public health crisis of internet pornography.
(Next post in this series is HERE.)
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/138125787″>Why is Finding a Solution to the Public Health Crisis from Pornography so Difficult? | Ernie Allen | US Capitol Symposium</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/endsexualexploitation”>Center On Sexual Exploitation</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
That’s an excellent point about teaching about the positive Christian vision of marriage and sex. Thank you!
I thought so too Kathy. I appreciate you reading my blog and your encouraging comments.
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