Why should anyone trust me, having broken the trust that others had placed in me, due to my public sin and offense? In one, ultimate sense, you should only trust Jesus and no one else. The LORD Himself knows full well: "The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse -- who can understand it? I the LORD test the mind and search the heart, to give to all according to their ways, according to the fruit of their doings." (Jer. 17:9, 10 NRSV) "Deceit is in the mind of those who plan evil" (Prov. 12:20 NRSV). Each one of us has a devious, deceitful heart, and often we are unaware of the depth or degree of our own depravity. We have the ability to deceive not only others but also our own selves. Our God, however, cannot lie or be deceptive (Titus 1:2 NASB; cf. Isa. 45:19; 53:9; John 14:6); He alone can be objectively trusted (Ps. 4:5; 9:10; 25:2; 31:6, 14; 32:10; 37:3; Isa. 26:4; 1 Pet. 1:21). But let us not over-react, either. Many people can be trusted, generally, without the potential of psychological, emotional, or physical harm.
In another sense, though, if someone who committed a horrible sin, offense or crime grieves over that sin and by the grace of God repents and makes perpetual and successful efforts at changing one's mind, which will affect one's emotions, which in turn will affect one's behavior, that person may regain his or her integrity and earn back and continue to gain the trust of others. Even so, however, I think that people ought to hold such a person to more stringent standards in demonstrating his or her integrity -- especially if the offense committed was sexual in nature.
First, the apostle Paul informs us that every sin a person commits is "outside the body; but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body." (1 Cor. 6:18 NIV) Note the distinction the apostle renders sexual sin: it is set apart for its own category; it is a sin of the mind, the heart, and the body. Second, once a sexual offense has been committed, there will always -- always -- remain, even in a small measure, a potential for some sort of future offense, even if the potential offense does not mirror-image any prior offense committed. This reminds us to always perform good deeds, because whatever deeds we perform, whether good or bad, the likelihood of repeating those deeds becomes exponential once performed. Potential victims are to be protected and considered a priority over and above the feelings of a former offender. Third, what must be understood about those who have committed a sexual offense is that the offender is well trained at being deceptive. Think about this seriously: prior to my offense, no one knew that I was struggling with sexual desire for my seminary roommate, nor did anyone imagine that I was capable of behaving in any sexual or ungodly manner toward him. I learned how to hide my true feelings, my inner struggles, while maintaining the trust of others
So, how might one who has offended, whether sexually or otherwise, another human being created in the image of God regain his or her integrity and earn back the trust of others? I will give my amateur opinion, which I have learned from over a year and a half of therapy, and from much reading on the issue of offenses. Trust is always earned and rarely assumed. Once trust has been broken, earning or regaining trust can be very difficult, and in some circumstances can never again be achieved. Offenders of any stripe need to realize that people have a right to question our motives, our words, behaviors, actions, and to ask us difficult and pressing questions regarding our various interactions in any organization, whether societal or in the church. (This is especially true for anyone who has committed an offense against a minor.) What we really want people to see, however, is not that we can be trusted, as in some surface manner, but that we are daily striving toward making healthy choices mentally, emotionally, and behaviorally.
Moreover, our motive in this regard cannot be derived from an interest to maintain or be accepted in a leadership role, to serve on a committee where trust is a major component, or even so that others will think better of us. Certainly, we want others to not view us as monsters. However, what is most important for us is to consistently think, feel, and live a healthy, transparent, godly life. If this is our consistent experience then people will see the results for themselves; we will not incessantly cultivate a need for others to perceive us in a positive light, but will be satisfied within ourselves that we are living as we should, and trust the Lord that the results of godliness will shine through for His glory and for the edification of the Church. Through this long and arduous process we must daily remind ourselves that living a healthy and godly life is a process that will take many years and much striving. Our goal is always "no new victims."
In order to accomplish such a goal we must never fear or neglect the supporting structures in our life (Christ, prayer, Scripture, pastor, family, friends, the church); never fear transparency, since it is a helpful aid in the healing process; and never fear the time that cultivating a healthy mind and godliness takes. Christ is more than willing to see us through on this journey to the end.
This post was written by William Birch. For the original post with comments, go to: http://classicalarminian.blogspot.com/2013/11/earning-broken-trust.htmlBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Nearly one in ten young Americans has committed an act of sexual violence, a new study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics reports. Of the 1,058 teenagers and young adults, ages 14 to 21, who participated in the online study, 8% reported that they had kissed, touched, or “made someone else do something sexual” when they “knew the person did not want to.” Three percent of teens verbally coerced a victim into sex; 3% attempted to physically force them into sex; 2% perpetrated a completed rape.
It’s long been apparent that teenagers face an elevated risk for sexual abuse. One 1998 study found that 12% of high school girls and 5% of boys have been sexually abused; a 1997 study found that girls ages 16 to 19 are “four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault." But this new report sheds light on the demographics, tactics, and attitudes of young sex offenders. One finding in particular stands out: The prototypical teen sexual abuser is a white male from a higher-income family.
Here’s what else the study found:
Demographics: Most perpetrators committed their first act of sexual violence at age 16. Boys are more likely to coerce or force others into sex than girls are (though girls offend, too). White kids and higher-income kids are slightly more likely to rape than their peers. Eighty percent of victims were girls; 18 percent were boys; 5 percent were transgender.
Pornography use: Teens who had watched porn were more likely to be perpetrators, but the discrepancy was “almost entirely explained by whether the material was violent in nature.” Teens who had seen non-violent pornography were equally likely to have committed sexual violence as teens who had seen none, but those who had watched material that “depicted one person hurting another person while doing something sexual” were more likely to be offenders (the study doesn't address causality).
Relationships: In every case, the victim was known to the perpetrator. Fifty-two percent met their victim at school. Three out of four perpetrators targeted a “boyfriend or girlfriend.” Two percent met online.
Tactics: Thirty-two percent of perpetrators argued or pressured another person into sex; 63 percent guilted them into it; 5 percent threatened physical force, and 8 percent used it. Fifteen percent employed alcohol.
Consequences: In 66 percent of cases, “no one found out” about the incident, and the perpetrator faced no consequences. Twenty-nine percent of perpetrators were found out, but were not punished. Eleven percent “got in trouble with their parents.” Just 2 percent—one perpetrator found by the study—was arrested. Seven percent of offenders said they felt “not at all responsible” for the sexual violence; 35 percent felt “completely” responsible; 48 percent felt “somewhat” responsible. Fifty percent felt that their victim was “completely” responsible. (Yes, the overlap confuses us as well.)
The study challenges several popular assumptions about teen sexual violence. Girls can be abusers, and boys can be victims. The study's authors suggest that in light of the findings on race and income, healthcare professionals "assess and perhaps challenge our assumptions about sexual violence as an ill solely conscripted to underprivileged populations." And given the significant proportion of crimes that were discovered but not reported—and the percentage of parents who took care of punishment in their own homes—the study speaks to the opportunity for peers, educators, and caretakers to take action when they discover that a young person in their lives has victimized another. The low percentage of punishment and the high percentage of perpetrators who blame their victims is not a heartening mix.
This post was written by A Hess. For the original post, go to: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/10/08/one_in_10_young_americans_has_committed_sexual_violence_new_study_finds.html
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
When you set up a twitter account, you’re supposed to give a brief description of yourself that’s viewable for the public eye. My description states, “I blog about my journey as a missional funeral director. I’m the last person to let you down in Parkesburg, PA.”
Lady Gaga’s used to state, “Mother Monster.”
Queer theorist Michael Warner writes,
“Queer is by definition whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant. There is nothing in particular to which it necessarily refers. It is an identity without an essence. ‘Queer’ then, demarcates not a positivity but a positionality vis-à-vis the normative.”
Lady Gaga is the embodiment of Queer Theory, not necessarily in her sexuality, but by her identification and normalization of “whatever is at odds with the normal.“
A quick scroll through her nearly 40 million twitter followers shows that most of them are “weird”, they are “the rejected” and the “monsters.” The kind of people that would walk through the doors of a church and be sneered at by the onlookers.
Many flock to her as their “mother monster” because she accepts, even normalizes the weirdness
she embraces those who feel that they’re not apart of the “normal”
people that are broken
that are, in some ways, monsters.
People like … me.
Most churches would hate her. Most churches would hate her followers. They either couldn’t see past the lifestyle, couldn’t see past the way they dress or couldn’t see past the philosophy.
But not Jesus. In fact, a quick look at Jesus’ tribe and we soon realize that he too was the “Mother Monster” the One who made a mosaic out of broken pieces.
Mary Magdalene the Harlot.
John the Baptist.
Matthew the Tax Collector.
Peter the Zealot.
Thomas the Doubter.
Paul the Persecutor
Monsters. Rejected. All.
Lady Gaga’s tribe is strong. They’re strong because they’re united by their brokenness, by their “queerness.”
Like Jesus, Gaga has found one of the strongest bonds for community: not primarily sin, but rejection.
One of the main differences between Gaga and Jesus is that Jesus inaugurated his tribe through death and new life.
But, if Jesus was walking in America today, and if He was afforded the opportunity, I’d love to see his conversation with the “Mother Monster.”
I wonder if Jesus’ people have become too normal to embrace the rejects of the world? If we see Lady Gaga and her followers as the ones Jesus WOULDN’T want, maybe we’ve lost touch with the real Jesus and become too comfortable with a Jesus that doesn’t exist.This post was written by Caleb Wilde. For his original post, go to: http://www.calebwilde.com/2013/08/lady-gaga-and-jesus-2/
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
His parents were blind-sided by the phone call. Even though they’d noticed their son’s grades had slipped, they blamed it on entering high school. He was a quiet kid, staying in his room when he was home. He’d lost interest in youth group, but since they were still able to get him to church most weeks they let it slide. Nothing outward seemed all that different, so when the principal told them to come to the school immediately, they thought there’d been a mistake.
Their son was part of an underground porn cartel in his school. Distributing pornographic DVDs had become a thriving business—but it had been a one-way street to a mind-consuming obsession for their ninth-grade boy. They’d been unwittingly raising a porn addict. The confiscated discs were beyond reprehensible.
The parents felt a mixture of shame, uncertainty, and fear that “normal” wouldn’t ever return. Their fears would prove to be well founded. For their son, getting busted was the best thing that could happen. He wanted his old life back. But breaking out of his mind’s porn prison wasn’t something that anyone in that principal’s office knew how to help him do.
Parents take note: This is just one kid in one school in one town in America. There are thousands and thousands of others. They just haven’t been caught.
Porn re-wires our brain circuits and can become as addictive as narcotics. It creates neural pathways that seek gratification through graphic images. Porn often contains scenes of sexual exploitation, domination, and rape, warping minds in ways that others can’t always see, but often emerge in abusive relationships.
Porn obsession is like many other hard-core addictions. Recovering porn addicts often relapse just like drug addicts. Those neural pathways have to be re-wired, but sadly nothing erases those images—ever. One learns to mentally change the channel, but to tell someone they’ll ever be the same is an unfair expectation.
And many don’t seek treatment. Porn addicts continue to live dual lives—seemingly keeping school or jobs separate from their sexual deviancy. It begins with porn images, but thousands of sex crime victims are a tragic testimony to porn’s evil end.
President of Morality in Media, Patrick Trueman reports, “Child-on-child sex abuse and rape is a growing problem in every culture where pornography flourishes.”
Younger and younger kids are becoming abusers and its victims. Parents need to warn their kids about porn just like they do with drugs, alcohol, or premarital sex. Sadly, porn is far easier to get—as close as a neighbor, or a friend’s school locker.
Crime statistics tell a story and it doesn’t have a happy ending for our society. Morality in Media’s Patrick Trueman said it best: “The world is suffering an untreated pandemic of harm from pornography and children are suffering the most.”
America, it’s time to really see porn for what it is—a road to hell.
This post was written by K Farris. For the original post, go to: http://m.blogs.christianpost.com/friday-tidings/youthful-porn-addicts-15551/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
said the pictures and literature couldn't have prepared him for the young boy who approached him last week on one of the squalid streets of Mumbai's red-light district.
The boy was maybe 3 years old, 4 at best. He had no pants on. His body was covered with open sores.
"He was playing amongst the open sewage and filth with rats as big as dogs. Unsupervised," the Toronto Blue Jays' new knuckleballer told The Canadian Press on a conference call Tuesday from India's most populous city. "You see these images and pictures that just don't seem like they should exist. And you hope that it's the only one ... but that's what's representative, these lives that just don't have a voice."
The 38-year-old was in Mumbai to work with Bombay Teen Challenge, a Christian organization that has rescued women and children from sex trafficking for the past 23 years.
It's a cause that Dickey says speaks to his own narrative. He wrote about being sexually abused as a child in his autobiography "Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball."
"It's authentic to me because of my past experience, also I have a sentimentality to it because the girls that I've seen firsthand in the streets, these 19-, 20-, 21-year-old girls. You have to look beyond that and see at one point they were daughters themselves, and having two daughters ... that just for me was so compelling."
He made the trip with his daughters, 11-year-old Gabriel and 9-year-old Lila.
"I want to give my children a heart for humanity," Dickey said. "The only way to really do that is to get them outside of the bubble that they live in, and expose them in very measured ways to what real life is to a lot of people. They've responded beautifully."
The 2012 NL Cy Young winner said it's been "a roller-coaster" visit, from the visceral red-light images of women in doorways and the cages where they keep them when they're first trafficked.
But he also saw hope.
Dickey and his daughters stayed at Ashagram, a rehabilitation campus outside Mumbai that's home to 300 women and children. They were the "most hopeful days" of the trip. They played cricket and sang songs with the children, many of whom are HIV-positive.
"Those are the miracles, the 300 lives in Ashagram, those are 300 living miracles," Dickey said. "Sure, (my daughters) heard about the wickedness and the darkness, but they got to actually see the redemption, so their response has been really positive. This is a seminal trip for them."
Dickey, who speaks openly with his daughters about his own sexual abuse, helped celebrate the opening of a clinic in the midst of Mumbai's red-light district. He helped pay for the clinic, raising over $100,000 by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro last winter.
"The facility is like a beacon of light in the middle of a swamp," he said.
BTC's Thomason Varghese said the organization was blessed by Dickey's presence.
"But we think we've been even more blessed by his daughters," Varghese said. "Just to see innocent girls loving our girls and playing with them with no inhibitions, it's just been a real joy for us to see and experience. There are friendships that have come through this despite how different their backgrounds are.
"Today the girls were in our feeding truck serving food to those who are coming from the street; just watching that was a sight to see."
While estimates of sex trafficking in India vary, most studies put the number at more than a million children involved in the country's sex trade.
Dickey was asked how can one measure success in the face of such grim statistics.
"If the organization rescues one human life from that hell, then it's done its job in some way," Dickey said. "You're talking over the last 23 years over 1,000 lives being rescued, given a second chance to have a life, rescuing children, people who were left for dead on doorsteps of these brothels.
"The women who had been trafficked into prostitution, dying in hospitals with their children by their bed, here's the Bombay Teen Challenge with a relationship in place to be able to take in and care for these children.
"How do you measure success? I think it's one life at a time."
The original post for this article can be found at: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8896558/ra-dickey-toronto-blue-jays-india-help-fight-vs-sex-traffickingBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Early in our marriage, we would receive Victoria's Secret catalogs in the mail. Even back then, these catalogs were pornography. They've only gotten worse.
Nevertheless, I told Karyn about the draw those catalogs had for me and I asked her to not have those in the house, especially since we were raising boys.
By starving my eyes from those catalogs, they came to the point of having less attraction for me. Over time, by telling Karyn about the things that turned me on, she was able to help me. We would talk about those things that were tempting. It was liberating to tell her and she would continue to love me and shield me from those things that held my attraction.
After the boys were raised, I accompanied her to a Victoria's Secret store where she was trying on some clothes. Being the dutiful husband, I went with her. I thought, "I've gotten past that Victoria's Secret temptation. I can handle this now."
While I was sitting there, minding my own business and trying not to look at the images of scantily clad women on the walls, a very attractive young lady walked up to me and started talking to me. I was polite and talked with her. Then another attractive young lady and then another. Before I knew it, I was surrounded by three very attractive young ladies.
Well, my ego got the best of me. I started thinking, "these girls think I'm hot. They're talking to me because they really like me." I found myself paying more attention to them while they were flirting with me (or I thought they were flirting with me). Then it hit me. "What in the world am I doing? I'm almost old enough to be these young ladies' father!" Then Karyn came out of the dressing room and paid for some clothes she was buying.
When we got outside, I confessed to Karyn what had happened. She simply said, "of course those sales clerks were talking to you, you're safe. You're much older than them. The longer you stay in the store, the more likely I will buy something." Well, I'll tell you, my ego was instantly deflated. We continued our conversation and Karyn said that the clerks were occupying me so that she would spend more time shopping.
Why do I share this story with you?
Well I learned a few things about temptation:
- I said to myself before going into the store, "I can handle this." God says, "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall." Knowing this was a past temptation, it would have been wise to ask God for strength before entering. It might have been better to just not go into that store.
- I have a big ego and I need to keep it in check. "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." If I stay humble, God will give me more grace.
- Temptation changes. I thought that I had the sin of lust conquered. However, this temptation played into something different. I was on my guard for lust but not on guard for my ego.
- My ego got in the way of my ability to think clearly. These young ladies were just doing what they had been taught. "Keep the hubby happy and his wife will buy more stuff." I was being played and never realized it.
So, my conclusion, my goal of this post is this:
Do you let your ego go unchecked?
Do you humble yourself so that God can give you more grace?
If you think that you have temptation conquered, get ready. You will find yourself tempted in ways that you haven't been considering.
BE A MAN.
Where can porn take you? I met a man who confessed to me that he digs thru the garbage dump to collect his porn.
This man belongs to a very conservative sect of Christianity where one does not use electricity. Because he is so separated from modern culture, I asked him how he became addicted to porn. His answer was astonishing. "I was dumping some trash out of a garbage bin and I saw a Playboy in the dump with the centerfold laying open." He had never seen anything like this. He had heard about "centerfolds" and was always intrigued but was thankful that those "worldly temptations" were something he never had to deal with. Nevertheless, He quickly grabbed this magazine and tucked it down his pants. Later that day, when he was alone, he ogled this picture and found himself extremely attracted to the naked woman. He started to fantasize about her and then masturbated to her seductive image.
To me, the message was clear but lost on him: Porn is garbage. It belongs in the garbage. It should stay in the garbage. Garbage in, garbage out.
What the garbage collector didn't know is that porn is insidious
. Porn never gives up.
It keeps taking and taking, offering false feelings of comfort until you end up doing things that you never imagined.
It didn't take long before centerfolds were no longer satisfying to him. He started noticing, at the dump while looking for more centerfolds, other pictures. In these pictures, there were women posing seductively with animals. These pictures sparked further prurient interests for him. He started attempting to have sex with his goat. Over time, he moved on to other animals. His addiction finally caught up with him when he found himself naked in the pig pen on all fours. That's when he came to his senses
and realized that he really, really, really
had a problem.
He was fortunate, because if he had been caught during these activities, he would have been charged with a crime. Zoophilia is illegal
in many U.S. states. The medical issues that can occur are numerous.
However, the legal charges and the medical issues are not as severe as the toll that such behavior takes on a man's soul.
More than zoophilia is the duplicity that this man lived. He would go to church regularly and then engage in these detestable behaviors at other times. That's what the sin of porn does. It causes a man to pretend to be holy.
His energy ends up being consumed by things that weaken him rather than strengthen him.
You may be thinking, "Porn will never do that to me. I can control it." However, let me assure you, porn will win. It always does.
Porn is garbage. It belongs in the garbage. It should stay in the garbage. Garbage in, garbage out.
If you are looking at porn, stop. Get rid of your stash. Tell your pastor about your decision. Become accountable to a counselor and a men's support group.
With God's help, you can stop. BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
"I got up in the middle of the nite and he was just sitting there on the couch, watching a scrambled TV channel" is what this single mother told me of her teenage son. This was the first indication that she had that her son may have had sexual compulsion issues.
Now, he was sitting in juvenile detention and she was trying to find a counselor to get help for her son. He had been picked up for entering his neighbors apartment without permission.
The neighbor had set a trap for him. She had been noticing that some of her underwear was missing. At first, the neighbor thought that her underwear disappeared in the dryer. However, some times, when she would come home from work, her underwear drawer was in disarray, different from what it was when she left for work in the morning. The police were notified and a hidden camera was in place. Upon reviewing the recording with the police, she identified this young man as the suspect. When the police picked him up, the young man seemed relieved that he was caught. He broke down and told his story.
His upbringing did not reflect anything out of the ordinary, just a father who was absent. After his parents divorced, his mother worked two jobs and his father came around for special occasions but otherwise did not have much contact with him. He wanted manly affection and wasn't getting it from his father. He wanted a mother's affection and she gave him love as she could but was so busy with work and raising him and his older sister.
The young man stated that he was viewing porn with some of his friends and there was one movie about a man who wore women's panties because he liked the way it felt against his genitals. This young man was looking to soothe himself because of the lack of affection he was getting from his family, so he started to get his sisters underwear and found it very sexually stimulating. Next, he was getting up late at nite to watch the Playboy channel on TV. Mom didn't pay for that channel but it still came in scrambled and sometimes he could make out pictures and could hear the sound. While sitting there watching this channel he would masturbate into his sister's panties.
Eventually, this got to be less stimulating so he started fantasizing about a sexual liaison with the neighbor. He found that there was a broken window that the landlord had not fixed that he could easily get into. So, on occasion, he would get into his neighbors apartment and take some underwear. Later, that nite, in front of the TV he would fantasize and masturbate.
You can imagine where this young man's sexual urges may have taken him had he not been stopped by the police. Nevertheless, he entered treatment for his sexual behavior which led to him committing crimes and it appears that a future life of crime was averted. This young man heavily invested himself in treatment.
There were a few things missing from this young man's life that could have helped him not get involved in criminal activity:
1. If his father had taken more of interest in him and spent time with him he may not have craved the affection he so desired
2. If his mother did not have to work two jobs to pay the bills she could have spent more time with him and also had a better handle on his activity
3. This young man was very introverted and did not participate in the social life of his school. If he could have joined sports, the arts, band, journalism, etc that could have helped develop his social skills and also given him interests that weren't so purient.
4. This young man was not involved in a church youth group. The parents of other teens could have served as pseudo-surrogate parents, or the youth pastor could have spent time with him.
These could have helped him develop in a healthy manner.
Ultimately, this young man's behavior is his responsibility. It is easy to blame parents, school, church or society and he came to realize that he was responsible for his own feelings, attitudes and actions. Nevertheless, if these four things had not been missing from his life, he would have had more opportunity to challenge some of his assumptions without having to be forced into treatment.
So, men, we have an important place in our society and our churches. Take the time to note those young men who are struggling and pray for opportunities to influence them.
BE A MAN.
Even though this is Canadian research, there is much here that applies to the American church.
Why are there so few men in the average Canadian congregation? Early in 2009, the women elders at Strathcona Baptist Church in Edmonton suggested that the congregation adopt as a key objective over the next few months “That 50 percent of our church attendees should be men.”
Bob Goethe, also serving as an elder, took the opportunity to purchase David Murrow’s book, Why Men Hate Going to Church
(Thomas Nelson, 2004; related website www.churchformen.com
). He gave each elder a copy of this book.
Goethe asked them to read 42 pages in the book and answer three broad questions. On the evening they met for discussion, they went over their general responses to the book, and then looked at a worksheet and evaluated several songs by their lyrics.
They used a scale to rate songs as to whether they appealed primarily to men or women. The theory here is that on any given Sunday, if you add up the numbers of the “F” (feminine) songs and the numbers of the “M” (masculine) songs, they should come out roughly even.
Here are some of the results of the Strathcona Baptist experiment:
One song (author unknown), based on Psalm 125:1-2, got an average rank of M2. The elders chose that because of the imagery of Mt. Zion, of bigness, of power. Some lyrics: “Those who trust, those who trust / Those who trust in the Lord / Those who trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion / which cannot be moved but remains established forever.”
The song “Lord, you are more precious than silver” (by Lynn DeShazo, 1982, a setting of Proverbs 3:14-15) rated an F8, which the elders decided is too feminized to be sung in a worship setting. The women elders were actually harder on this song than the men. Calling Jesus “precious” and “beautiful” made it a feminine song. And the line “nothing I desire compares with you” made it strongly feminine, since such language is so associated with romantic love. Some lyrics: “Lord, you are more precious than silver / Lord, you are more costly than gold / Lord you are more beautiful than diamonds / And nothing I desire compares with you.”
The elders came to agree that feminine worship songs tend towards celebrating a passionate love affair with Jesus, while masculine worship songs are more about strength, power, commitment and loyalty.
Participants decided to implement a balance of songs based on their scale to see if there would be any effects. Goethe reports that they have been very positive, even striking.
Before opening the issue, Goethe counted about 40 percent men in Sunday morning services. Whenever the worship team used to invite worshippers to “take a few moments to speak out our praises to God,” the voices one heard were almost all women’s voices. The men had nothing to say during these times of corporate worship.
They began discussing Murrow’s book and analyzing worship songs in March 2009, and started making immediate, small changes in the mix of worship songs, eliminating songs that were F6 to F10s, and trying to make sure there was a balance of masculine- and feminine-flavoured worship every week.
After they got into this process, one of Goethe’s male friends said to him: “This is great. It helps me to understand perhaps why I have often found it hard to ‘enter into worship’ – something I usually attributed to be just being ‘less spiritual’ than those around me.”
Only six weeks after they began making intentional changes, when a worship leader called on people to speak out their praises to God, half of the voices were male. It seems men are finding it a bit easier to track with the worship times and engage with the Holy Spirit.
After six months, overall attendance had grown, and fully half of those who attended were men. The elders have taken the “50 percent men” goal off the To-Do list and put it on the Done list.
Admittedly this subject and this method are controversial and easily misunderstood. No one should think that leading worship at church is an easy task for anyone, male or female. But let’s not be afraid to open up a conversation that will allow us all to begin to think seriously about the words of the songs that we are trying to get men to sing on Sundays.
If that can help deal with one of the issues that keep men out of church, we might be able to attack some of the others.
This research is taken from: http://www.christianity.ca/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=7243
It’s really important that you understand what I’m NOT talking about here. What I’m NOT talking about is having “the sex talk” with your son. You absolutely
need to do that, too. But that’s a totally different conversation, a much earlier conversation.
No, what I’m talking about is a much more advanced course, a frank discussion where you explain the mechanics of how sex actually works
to a young man who’s psychologically, mentally, and most important, spiritually prepared to hear about it. You not only have to allow plenty of time to get into all the nitty-gritty details, but you also want to be sure you give your son space to ask lots of questions. (And besides, let’s face it, Dads: When you’re super-expert Casanovas like we are, there are going to be lots of things that he’ll need explained.)
And if you’re thinking you just might try to dodge this session because you know it’s going to be weird and uncomfortable, let me tell you a little story that I hope changes your mind.
I have this buddy who was the king when it came to having the “sex talk.” Not only was this guy fearless, but he had a fantastic
relationship with his son that he had been building up over years. When he was sure his son was ready, over the course of several different sessions, he would told him where babies really
came from, how Dad and Mom had met, how they had gotten to know each other, how they fell in love, and how they were continuing to pursue God with their lives together. But apparently, he never really talked through the “how” of sex. Because one day, when he was routinely checking the Internet history on their computer, he found some porn videos. He checked the date and time when they had been downloaded, so he knew exactly who to go to to talk about it. When he confronted his boy with what he had discovered, his son responded with, “I just wanted to see how people actually
have sex. I kind of got how sperm and eggs and all that stuff works from what you had told me, but I didn’t really get
how they get together, and what goes where and stuff.”
This is just one reason why I encourage all dads to step into the pain. When your son is ready—which is NOT at six years old, by the way—talk them through the “how to’s” of sex. Explain the urges, what erections are and what causes them, foreplay, and orgasm, and come. You want my advice? Tell them as much as you can think of, including both the proper terms and the “vulgar” synonyms they might hear other people use.
Your relationship overall will ultimately benefit from your honesty during this series of conversations. And if you’re still not sure, or maybe you’re kind of second-guessing whether you should give them all this information, let me ask you to seriously consider these questions: Where do you want them to learn this stuff? From a friend at school? From porn videos? From some girl they just met at a party? Or would you rather be in control of the honesty and truthfulness of where they get their information?
This post was taken from the booklet Sex, Lust and XXX: Fighting for your kids' purity in a sex saturated world. BE HOLY.BE A MAN.