“Pastor, I just got off the phone with Jim and he said that he wasn’t going to come to church on Sunday because he is going to a party on Saturday night. You need to preach about commitment and the importance of church.” As a pastor, this is actually a conversation I have had…well some small details were changed to protect the innocent, and to keep the guilty from getting mad.
This short conversation brings up a great set of questions. Should the pastor choose sermon topics based on what he/ she finds irritating? Admittedly, it does irritate pastors when the subject they give their lives for is given a very low priority to other people. This is true in all other “industries” as well though. I may not be a fan of animals, but there are people in this world who dedicate their lives to fighting animal cruelty and pet adoption. Also, should pastors be the spiritual police of their congregations?
Many people have the view that pastors preach based on the counseling sessions or conflicts they have had with members earlier that week…or it could be a passive-aggressive way of calling someone out on their behavior (that’s what blogs are for). The art of proclamation of the gospel is far too valuable for actions such as this.
Pastors do not (should not) use the pulpit as a time of corporate police action or venting about irritation. A pastor should not be looked at as the “King/ Queen of the church” and preaching, their decrees. Pastors, who are called by God to proclaim the Gospel, are to teach Christ crucified, and every known variation of that subject and its implications. The pastor can never run out of material with this as their guide.
Now, pastors are called to address cultural issues and lead people in the direction of abundant life…but we are not the gatekeepers of salvation.
Far too many pastors are looked at as spiritual dictators. We live for Christ…because He died for us. We don’t toe the line so that we stay in the pastor’s good graces.This post was written by Rev DeCrastos. For the original post with comments, go to: http://other-words.net/2013/06/18/pastor-as-spiritual-dictator/
It was a beautiful house. The most welcoming of houses. A stunning house. A house like no other. The house where Grace lived.
A home like this was destined to be shared, so as she often did, Grace prepared a meal. No, no, no, it wasn’t just a meal – this was a FEAST! The kind of cuisine reserved for castles, princesses, and fairytales. No expense was spared. She decked out her oversized, antique table with the finest china and the most elaborately embroidered tablecloths. The smell of exotic, culinary delicacies hung thickly in the air. It was time for a party.
Right about then, a man came struggling along the path in front of the house. He was obviously agitated. Jumpy. He talked out loud to the air with a phobic paranoia. And to make matters even stranger, behind him he dragged a large metal cage full of the ugliest black birds you have ever seen. It was attached to his waist with a massive steel chain, and he dragged it through the dirt with a strained shuffling gait. Whenever he stumbled or wobbled, the cage would shake and the birds would let out the most horrifying chorus of shrieks. The man would instinctively crumble in terror, balling himself into a fetal position, clawing at the air, as he begged in agony for them to stop.
Grace could see this awful unfolding scene from her dining room window and rushed outside to his aid.
“My friend,” she said in the most soothing of tones, “please relax, you’re not alone. I’m here to help, I have the answer. Let me cut these heavy chains and remove this hideous cage. You don’t have to drag these fears around with you anymore. Come inside, I’ve made the most splendid of meals and I want you to be my guest. I can do things for you that you could never possibly do for yourself.”
But the man shrieked all the louder. “Get away! Get away! These fears may be hideous, but they’re all I know. I’ve dragged them for more miles than you can imagine. I got them from trusting, trusting people like you! So leave me alone and let me get on with it. If there is freedom from these fears it will have to be of my own doing. And amidst the ever growing sounds of terror, he trudged into the darkness and disappeared from the warm glow of the house. The house where Grace lived.
Not more than a few moments later a new figure appeared on the path. Unlike the first, this man didn’t seem to be struggling much at all. In fact, cloaked in a massive oversized white fur coat, he actually looked to be…strutting. He paused every few steps to gaze at his reflection in the adjacent pond until he was frozen dead in his tracks by the almost mirror-like qualities of Grace’s massive dining room window. Absolutely gorgeous!
Even though the man’s ego was nearly as ugly as his coat, Grace rushed to the front door and warmly greeted this new opportunity with her usual warmth and charm. ”Hello friend! I’ve prepared a feast, will you come join me? I’ve planned a great party and I’m expecting many guests. I would love to add you to the celebration!”
“Eat with such plebes?” he replied with a smirk. “I’m sure they’re far beneath the class of a specimen like me. But I am hungry after this long walk.” And so he brashly sauntered up the stairs, brushing Grace to the side and heading straight for the front door.
“Oh, there’s just one thing,” Grace interrupted as she politely stopped his progress. “Your coat. It stays out here. In my house, all the warmth and covering you’ll ever need has already been provided for you. The only way we dine together is if we see the real you. No coats. No pretense. All that stays out here.”
“But this coat is my pride!” the man violently hissed. “If it stays outside then so do I!” And he stormed back down the front steps (with much less of a swagger this time), onto the path, and back into the woods (only pausing at a few leftover rain puddles for a quick peek at his reflection). His choice was made, and his egocentric silhouette quickly faded into the forrest near the house. The house where Grace lived.
As Grace reached for the doorknob to return to her preparations, she caught a glimpse of yet a third weary traveler struggling up the path. The woman appeared to be carrying a large sack, easily twice as big as she was, and was painfully doubled over under its incredible weight. Grace ran quickly down the front steps and up the walk to offer the poor woman her assistance.
“Dear friend, you can hardly walk! Here, give me your sack, we’ll leave it here. Come in and rest. Let me tend to you. I’m preparing a huge feast and expecting many guests. Join us! The food and drink is overflowing!”
The woman never looked up. Her voice was so soft and shaken she could barely be understood. “This bag is my shame, full of unspeakable sorrow and regret. Skeletons and memories I’ve carried so long they’ve become a permanent part of me.”
Sure enough, the sack had been on her back for so long it had quite literally attached itself to her skin!
“My dear,” Grace replied in her comforting tones, “please come inside and let me help you. I have just the tools to set you free, you only need to trust me. I’ve already done all the work to ensure you don’t have to carry a bag of shame like this anymore.”
“Thank you kind lady,” came the woman’s trembling reply. “But many have tried to help me do just that on the course of this painful journey, and to no avail. Freedom is an illusion I’m afraid. This sack of shame is who I am. If you cut it off I’ll most certainly die. Now let me on my way. I can manage this burden on my own. I’ve been doing it for quite some time now.” And so she slowly set out, following the same lonely path that fear and pride had forged just a few short moments earlier, and leaving the warm glow of the house as nothing more than a distant memory. The house where Grace lived.
The party was a smash! The house was filled with every kind of person you could possibly imagine. Princes and paupers. Businessmen and beggars. Aristocrats and commoners. They came from near and far for this feast of the ages!
No one left unchanged. Grace made sure of it. Cages and coats and large empty sacks littered the front walkway like a graveyard of self-salvation projects. And yet even as she relished in the joy of her miraculous work, Grace couldn’t help but wonder why three exhausted travelers chose to miss the celebration and continue alone. It was so unnecessary. The work had already been completed. All they had to do was come inside.
But the Good News for all weary wanderers is that the warm, inviting, transformational doors of this house always remain open. The house where Grace still lives.
This post was written by Erik Cooper. You can find the original post here: http://beyondtherisk.com/2013/06/11/the-house-where-grace-lived/
BE A MAN.
If you stumble into sin, believer, don't give up; don't allow hopelessness to consume you, the deceitfulness of sin to blind you, or the weight of shame to defeat you. In the morning and evening prayer we pray, in part, the following: "I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not fall" (Ps. 16:8
). Christ is
at your right hand, and this fall shall not be final for you; He took the final fall.
Yes, you may feel as though your worst day has cast a shadow over you that will never break to show the light of day, but, happily, you're wrong. God, in Christ, has declared you to be righteous (2 Cor. 5:21
). Of the righteous we read: "for though they fall seven times, they will rise again" (Prov. 24:16
NRSV). You will rise, friend, because Christ will lift you up. He took the ultimate fall in order that you should rise.
No one knows how many times I've had to encourage myself, thinking these thoughts, repeating the words of this post to myself. How I didn't play dead but arose from sin is a testimony to God's sheer grace. This post is as much an exhortation to myself as it is for anyone else experiencing difficulties or tragedies, whether self-caused or otherwise.
What do you do on the worst day of your life? Rise: not because you're inherently worthy of being named righteous. Rise because the one who took the ultimate fall declares you righteous. Rise because, though you sinned, though you deserve the fate of the wicked like the rest of us, there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1
But rise, too, because you neither honor the Lord nor serve the body of Christ by remaining fallen. Don't play dead, possum. In Christ you have been made alive (Col. 2:13
). Play dead to your old, sinful nature or past. But in Christ, even when you sin, don't play dead -- don't remain defeated. In Him you are more than one who has conquered all spiritually negative realities (Rom. 8:37
). "So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God" (Col. 3:1
You can avoid re-offending others by rising, and thinking healthy, spiritual thoughts: "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (Phil. 4:8
). All offenses begin with thoughts. We are instructed to destroy arguments raised up against the knowledge of God.
But the apostle Paul also added, "We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle
raised up against the knowledge of God" (2 Cor. 10:5
NRSV, emphasis added). How many thoughts rise up against the reality of God's holy existence and righteous standards? We are taught to destroy such thoughts, to take them captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5
I picture such thoughts as personified. I imagine capturing them, putting them into a prison cell, while Christ stands watch over them as Guard. If I fail to do so, then I may entertain such thoughts, have them affect me emotionally, and then obey them. When I obey them, I sin. "But one is tempted by one's own desire, being lured and enticed by it; then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death. Do not be deceived, my beloved" (James 1:15-16
But when you sin, no matter the degree, take it immediately to Christ. "If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9
NRSV). Don't let sin drag you into a hopeless, despondent, dejected place, out of which you feel impossible to escape. By His grace and forgiveness you rise up, and you keep rising up. You don't rise up only once. You will need to rise up every time you fall.
More than that, you will need to rise up every time you think
about a past fall. Such thoughts about your past have a tendency to paralyze you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Paralyzed, you will play dead. No: in Christ you must rise up from the guilt of your past. Though you fall seven times a day, you will rise -- you must
rise (Prov. 24:16
The Lord foreknew every sin you would ever commit when He by grace through faith in Christ saved your soul. You don't ever take Him by surprise by any thought, desire, or action. In Christ He has already declared you holy, sanctified (set apart from the world and for His service and care), and righteous. You don't let Him down because you don't hold Him up.
You are becoming more and more like Christ (Rom. 8:29
), slow as such may seem, and your heavenly Father understands completely all of your eccentricities, particularities, and unique qualities. This is how, you see, you keep on rising. Give your defeats to the One who defeated sin, death, and hell (1 Cor. 15:56-57
; 1 John 3:8
). Give your hopelessness to the God of hope (Rom. 15:13
). Whatever you do, don't play dead, possum, but rise. This post was written by William Watson Birch. You can find the original post with comments here: http://www.classicalarminian.com/2013/01/saturday-devotion-dont-play-dead.htmlBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Last week was anti-porn week here at Ironstrikes. I hope that you were able to read about the five topics:1. Porn and sexual satisfaction2. Porn and fake relationships3. Porn and women4. Porn and cruelty5. Porn is insidious
Readers have asked about the Zillman-Bryant study from which these five posts were taken. In the early 1980s, Dr. Doll Zillmann of Indiana University and Dr. Jennings Bryant of the University of Alabama wondered whether continued exposure to video pornography had any impact on people's sexual beliefs and their attitudes towards women. For their experiment, 80 male and 80 female college-age participants were divided into three subgroups, and each group was shown 4 hours and 48 minutes of media.
1. The first group, the “Massive Exposure Group,” was shown 36 non-violent pornographic films over a six-week period.
2. The second group, the “Intermediate Exposure Group,” was exposed to 18 pornographic films and 18 regular films over a six-week period.
3. The third (control) group, the “No Exposure Group,” was shown 36 non-pornographic movies over a six--week periodYou may be saying, "that is an old study, what relevance does it have to today?"
At a 2011 conference, Dr. Mary Anne Layden commented about Zillmann and Bryant’s 25-year-old research. “When this study was done, what was called the ‘Massive Exposure Group" -- seeing five hours of porn over a six-week period -- "I now call that the Friday Afternoon Group."
Her statement is far from an exaggeration. A recent survey of 29,000 people at North American universities, shows 51% of men and 16% of women spend up to five hours per week
online for sexual purposes, and another 11% of men spend anywhere from five to twenty hours per week. What used to be “massive” exposure is now common practice.
Furthermore, the Internet has not only increased the public’s exposure to porn, but has also changed the way it is consumed. Dr. Jill Manning believes Zillmann and Bryant’s findings have greater
applicability in the modern age because Internet porn tends to be more interactive and consumer-driven. Viewers can select exactly who and what they want to see, custom-tailored to their greatest specifications.This week, I will be giving four solid tips in helping to curb your vulnerability to porn.
This post is taken from the booklet, YOUR BRAIN ON PORN
by Luke Gilkerson. The booklet can be found at: http://www.covenanteyes.com/brain-ebook/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Pornography is tearing apart the fabric of our society. You may think this is an overstatement. After reading,“The Social Costs of Pornography”
by the Witherspoon Institute, I think it may be an understatement
In 2008, the Witherspoon Institute sponsored the first multidisciplinary exploration of the social costs of pornography. Scholars from various fields including philosophy, psychology, and medicine were included in the forum. Every major shade of religious belief was represented, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, agnosticism, and atheism. And both the left and right in American politics were present. They all agreed that there is a substantial multidimensional, empirical record of the harms pornography brings to society. Obviously, such agreement is rare.
Today’s pornography is different from any in the past in three ways. (1) Accessibility
. The Internet has made porn ubiquitous. (2) Quality
. Today’s porn is much more hardcore. (3) Consumption
. Porn consumption has increased radically with the advent of the Internet. 69% of men and 10% of women report viewing pornography more than once a month. 87% of men admit using it in the past year. The researchers conclude, “In sum, there is evidence that more people—children, adolescents, and adults—are consuming pornography—sporadically, inadvertently, or chronically—than every before” (15).
How does pornography actually harm people? The researchers list a plethora of ways. Each of these points is supported with empirical evidence in the report. Keep in mind that these are objective
facts about pornographic consumption, not my subjective opinions.
· Those who view pornography overestimate how frequently certain sexual acts are actually practiced, which increases one’s willingness to do unconscionable things (18).
· Porn viewers physically map their brains based on the images they see. Pornographic consumption re-maps the physical structure of the brain (19).
· Many men who view porn lose the ability to relate to or be close to women (20).
· Porn viewers become de-sensitized to the barrage of imagery, and as a result, child pornography and violent pornographic images often lose their ability to shock and disgust (20).
· Women often report distress and harm when discovering that their husbands view porn. They typically feel betrayal, loss, mistrust, devastation, and anger as a result of their partner’s behavior.
· Porn users have an increased likelihood of divorce and family break-up (23-24).
· Those who had an extramarital affair were three times more likely to have used Internet pornography than those who had not.
· Porn leads men to place less value on marital fidelity and more value on casual sex (24).
· Therapists report seeing fourteen- and fifteen-year-old boys addicted to porn (29).
· An Italian study reported that boys who view porn were more likely to report having sexually harassed a peer or having forced someone to have sex (30).
· Adolescent girls who report using pornography are more likely to report being victims of passive violence such as sexual harassment and rape (31).
· Today’s consumption of pornography encourages sexual exploitation such as trafficking (33).
· Adolescents who view pornography are more likely to view women as sexual objects (35).
· Porn consumption raises the risk of sexually risky behavior (35).
· Men who use pornography are less attractive to potential female partners (37).
· Exposure to pornography decreases sexual satisfaction with one’s partner for both men and
· Chronic pornography use is associated with depression and unhappiness (38).
· Users often report disgust and shame at finding themselves stimulated by images that would have once repulsed (39).
What do we do? For starters, can you help spread the word about the dangers of pornography? Please consider getting a copy of the report, “The Social Costs of Pornography,” and study it. Talk to your friends about it. Share it with your family and church. Blog about it. Or forward this blog to as many people as you can. There needs to be a renewed conversation about how pornography is damaging this generation. We can no longer ignore the most dangerous health hazard to this generation. Our kids deserve better.
This post was written by Sean McDowell. The original post can be found here: http://www.conversantlife.com/morality/the-social-costs-of-pornographyBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
God can never be put into a box. When you think that a story is over or God has done all He can do in a situation, He reminds you that He has plans for us that we could never think, dream or even imagine.If you remember from the previous two posts,
there was a pastor and cattleman. The pastor lived a godly life. The cattleman lived life like Esau:
desiring to be the best, be the manliest, having the most and grabbing all you can from life because "you only go around once." He lived a life of sensuality. The cattleman wasn't a bad man, he just slightly missed the mark.
God was working in the cattleman's sons' lives. One of the cattleman's sons finally came to himself.
He had experienced heartache and sadness from his father, his siblings, his wives and his children. All of these heart wrenching experiences finally brought him to the point where he realized that the way he experiences life leads to moral, financial and spiritual bankruptcy.
This man became what God desired of him. He found comfort in being with the family of the pastor, visiting them frequently and enjoyed having them to his home. There was a real change in his heart.
There was a tenderness that he had never experienced before as he let God have more and more of his past, present and future.
Life continued to be difficult for the one cattleman's son. He still had the pain of his upbringing to deal with. Some of his behavior had become so automatic that he still found himself grabbing for two pieces of bread and challenging the pastor's sons in manliness, but now, he was listening when the Holy Spirit reminded him that he was a new man.
He still had to face his siblings and he worked hard to break down the Esau spirit
in their relationships. His own children, who experienced the pain of his lifestyle, finally were able to see that their father had truly changed. He was now working tirelessly to make up for lost time and become more of what God desired for him all along.
The cattleman's son's life is not over. His life is not what it should have been but it is becoming what it could have been. He learned an exciting principle in which he is applying to his life: it is never too late to do the right thing.
So, as we conclude this three-part story of living like Esau, I ask you for two things:
1) Will you take a moment and pray for this cattleman's son? Ask God to continue to mold this man into being the man of God that he can be.
2) Consider your own life. Do you live like Esau? Are you looking out for yourself and looking for the best, seeking sensuality and the immediate gratification of your desires?
If so, it is never too late to do the right thing.
Ask God to change you. Become the man that God knows you can be. BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
(Continued from yesterday)
As the sons of these two men grew up, they each went their respective ways, moving to various parts of the country. The difference was, the pastor's sons wanted to return to see their father.
The sons, all leaders in their own right in different parts of the country, enjoyed their father's advice, steadiness, humble strength and faith in God. The cattleman's sons did not want to see their father. In fact, they did their best to avoid him.
Unfortunately, when they would visit their father, it wasn't uncommon for the cattleman and his sons to physically as well as verbally fight each other. They would argue over cattle, land, money, food. The cattleman's sons also had trouble in staying married to their first wives. They and their children experienced the pain of separation, divorce, remarriage, anger, suspicion and the like.
So, now, we are getting to the end of our story. What happened to these two men?
These men chose different paths for themselves and their family experienced the consequences of these men's choices.
The cattleman died. He didn't experience a long illness. Just one day, he was no longer part of this earth. The world woke up one morning and he did not. The land and the cattle that he once owned were divided and sold. His sons avoided each other. The sensuality that the cattleman pursued, led to disjointed, isolated, marginally spiritual offspring. His children rarely got together. When they did, peace did not rule their relationships.
The pastor lived a long life. He outlived the cattleman by a good 20 years. His children stayed faithful to their spouses. Interestingly, the years after the cattleman died became very rich for the pastor. God's blessings increased exponentially.
God increased his faithfulness with abundance. The pastor enjoyed his children, his grandchildren and quite a few great-grandchildren. The pastor had made several, quiet, steady investments over the years and he found that he was experiencing the most financial success he had ever had. He needed nothing. God gave him all he needed and more.
More importantly, the pastor enjoyed the spiritual success of his progeny.
Several of them followed in his footsteps and went into full-time ministry. The other children became integral parts of their respective churches, supporting God's work both inside and outside the church. All became leaders in their community/profession. The pastor was able to see his heritage for several generations. God blessed him with the opportunity to see that his steadiness, and his pursuit of "God first" paid off with eternal rewards.
You see not only did this pastor and his progeny do well, but many of the people who were affected by his ministry over the years were blessed by this pastor's steadiness and quiet confidence in God's ability to care for his children.However, just when it seems like a story is over, God does something amazing. Just when you think you have God all figured out, He moves. Tomorrow we will discuss Esau Redeemed.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Once there were two friends. One man wanted to be a pastor. The other wanted to be a cattleman. These men both had a desire to please God. As they aged, studied their respective interests/calling, married and had children, God blessed them. However, as God is
wont to do, He did not bless them equally, or so it seemed.
The cattleman felt sorry for the "poor pastor" who was raising his family on a very meager salary. The cattleman quickly became wealthy. He acquired land, cattle, fortune, and family. In joking with the preacher, the cattleman said, "you know, I'm gonna end up taking care of you and your children. With my wealth, you will be cared for."
Nevertheless, the preacher stayed the course, doing what he believed God wanted him to do. After the preacher married, the doctor gave him bad news, "I don't believe you'll ever be able to have children." However, as God is wont to do, God doesn't have to listen to doctors.
So, it wasn't very long afterwards, they had their first child. And then another. And another... It was tough, living on a pastor's salary with so many children. There were times that they couldn't afford coats for these children to wear in the harsh winters of that region. Yet, God did bless. Miracles occurred in the pastor's family as they learned to rely upon God. The pastor's family learned that God does, indeed, take care of His children.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the cattleman lived well. However, there were a few noticeable, glaring aspects to the cattleman's character. The wealthier he became, the less he needed God. He could easily provide for his family.
Also, the cattleman lived a life of sensuality. Much like Esau,
he became a rather coarse fellow, using brash language, not delaying his gratification. He gave himself whatever his heart desired. This lifestyle led to tension within his own family. His children saw that even though the cattleman was a Christian man, what he said often did not match up with what he did. His children strayed from God's best for their lives. However, they did not stray too far. They frequently went to church, they proclaimed Jesus as their Savior but they always had Esau's seed in them. They, too, could be brash, insensitive, living in their own sensuality. Like their father, they were not bad people. Just edgy. Slightly missing the mark for what God desired for them.
When these two families got together on special occasions, the cattleman's sons challenged the pastor's son to games of strength and daring, often berating their manhood. "Come on, be brave! Don't be such a wimp!" were words the pastor's children often heard when challenged to do things that were marginally safe, sensual, just a bit edgy.
The pastor's sons noticed, also, that the cattleman's sons would grab the biggest or choicest pieces of food from the table, when offered one piece of bread, they would take two, drink the most iced tea, all without giving thought to others. The cattleman's sons weren't bad men, they just lived more sensually than the pastor' sons. However, they were missing the mark of God's standards for holiness.(Tomorrow, we will discuss part two of this story)BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
"Of all bad men, religious bad men are the worst."
This quote from C.S. Lewis in his book, Reflections on the Psalms
, addresses an issue in the church that is frequently overlooked by Christians. People who are not Christians have no trouble with this quote and believe it wholeheartedly. However, in the church we tend to overlook bad behavior from our brothers. Are our churches just some sort of fraternity where we overlook these "imperfections"? God's Word states that individuals that wink, to signal that one is in the club
, to get away with something are dirty, rotten scoundrels
. Unfortunately, these men have crept into the church. God's Word describes them as waterless springs
and twice dead.
This week and next we will be discussing different personalities that are in positions of authority in the church. Remember that the individuals in these posts are fictitious.
However, as we go thru some of the behaviors, you will recognize them as actual people that you have encountered in the church. I know. I have met each of these men. You may even recognize yourself in some of these men.
I know that I recognize elements of these men in my own personality and it concerns me. If they are you, ask God to change you. Only HE can give true, lasting change.
Here are some of the men we will be discussing: The Histrionic Religious Bad Boy, The Narcissistic Religious Bad Boy, The Anti-Social Religious Bad Boy, The Passive-Aggressive Religious Bad Boy, The Avoidant Religious Bad Boy, The Overscrupulous Religious Bad Boy
and The Chaotic Religious Bad Boy.
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
"On several occasions, I spent more than 4 hours at work surfing for porn sites. The images were sexy and discovering new sites were exciting, but I was looking for the perfect pornographic experience.
I kept trying to create that perfect porn binge, drinking in the most erotic images. It was the quest for the perfect masturbation experience, with the largest, longest climax. After hours of looking I would decide to finish.
Sure it was great, but after 30 minutes I was surfing for porn again looking for my next great experience. Why is that?
My quest for the “perfect” can affect my dating relationships or my marital relationships. I get the “hot”girlfriend I hoped for, then move on to someone else who seems hotter. I marry the “perfect” woman, then a year later I’m crossing boundaries with the secretary at work.
I have a deep need in me for the ultimate fulfillment. The ultimate satisfaction. But I never seem to find it in porn."
A new book by Michael John Cusick called Surfing For God: Discovering Divine Desire Beneath Your Sexual Struggle
just came out. The author’s premise is: our desire to pursue porn, sexual content and sexual relationships is not about sex. Deep in our hearts we desire God.
"I can never be satisfied in porn. I can never have enough. The uncle who has ever Playboy since the 60s in his garage will never be satisfied. The Dallas athlete I read about who has 55,000 videos in his porn collection will never be satisfied.
My soul longs for something greater... for something perfect… for God."Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart
"I can be simplistic and say, “Turn to God instead of porn.” It’s true, but I don’t think that will help us much. Many of us have tried turning to God and feel defeated. Let me give some advanced tips on connecting with God I think will help." HOW DO I CONNECT WITH GOD? 1. I have to get around spiritual people
– A spiritual friend, Christian counselor or minister will know how to connect with God. They also have experience helping others. 2. I have to want to be well
– When I’m sick of myself, broken and hurting I start looking for rescue. But the real test is when a person throws out the life preserver. If I don’t grab it, I must not want salvation and deliverance bad enough.** Note From Jeff: Some of us come to xxxchurch.com feeling bad, but don’t really want to take the steps to be rescued. We want to keep our sexual sin, but we don’t want to feel bad or have any consequences3. I have to clear obstacles out of my way
– If my #1 goal is to connect with God and get help, I have to remove anything in my schedule and priorities that opposes it. I may have to drop relationships that are trying to keep me from connecting with God.4. I have to tune into my soul
– We don’t like to get quiet. We don’t have much practice at exploring the deeper matters of our hearts. For God to speak and heal we will need to get quiet and listen.The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spiritDraw near to God and he will draw near to you
This post is written by Jeff Fisher of www.porntopurity.com
. For the original post complete with comments, click here
.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.