I am writing this article before the outcome of Conference 2019. As a pastor with 38 years of experience I have come to realize that my sermons and newsletter articles are not going to change the world. They might have an effect on one or two hearts; but it is more the relationships that God allows me to build that bring change to me and the world around me, but newsletter articles are part of the job, so here goes.
Human sexuality. One author I have read says, “It’s time to start to understand and lean into the roots of why God cares so deeply about sex and be reminded that sex begins with the condition of our own heart.” Sex is God’s invention. It has a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual effect on our lives. Emotionally it is an expression of love, surrender, trust and sacrificial service to another. Spiritually, it is a bond between two people that leaves a permanent imprint on our souls. The world culture has cheapened, and commercialized sex and I am not sure very many people really understand this gift that God has given us. Sex was meant to be pure in its intent and edify our worth. Sex has gone from virtue to vice and is a source of dissension, obsession, abuse and hurt. Sex teaching (if a pastor or teacher even talks about the subject) has mostly been rule following and a guilt and shame teaching mechanism, instead of how to have a pure heart that is seeking to honor God who loves me.
What concerns me about sex? Psychology Today magazine reported that in 2016 that 4.6 billion hours of pornography were viewed on just one porn website. That is 524,000 years of porn. One out of every five mobile phone searches is for porn. 51 percent of pastors admit to watching internet porn, 64 percent of Christian men and 15 percent of Christian women. 49 percent of women who view porn regularly believe that it is a heathy way to express their sexuality. In this study they were showing how porn hurts our ability to have healthy intimacy. What the culture tells us about sex is messing up God’s invention.
So, what about Conference 2019? To me it does not matter how we vote. What matters to me is, if we will get to the bottom of why we are a declining witness in the world. When will we become a church once again more concerned on how to build relationships with the broken and bleeding so that change can happen in me and the world around me?
I guess that is all.
Geaux Tigers, Barry
Published on Thursday, February 28, 2019 @ 2:55 PM EDT