I am not a prophet, but I am a student of the world around me. There are two pressure systems headed toward each other in our culture. The storm clouds are beginning to form, and I fear people do not see it happen. As a Church leader, I am primarily concerned about the shock waves that are about to be sent through the Church as some of the fallout has already started to happen.
We live in a world in which two polar opposites movements are happening.
First – we now have a generation of young men being raised immersed in pornography. The statistics say that over 90% have viewed the material and over 50% are doing it regularly. Those numbers are low by most surveys, and that is only of young people are telling the truth.
Second – we are also living at a time where men are being held accountable for actions concerning the sexual exploitation of women. Men everywhere, from politicians to preachers, are being called to account for their actions and words that are sexually degrading to women.
Do you see the problem with these two issues happening at the same time?
Men, especially young men, are going to be called into judgment for actions and words that they have been trained through pornography are okay. They think women are made to be exploited for their sexual desires and are shocked when they are rejected. This is going to have a significant impact on men of all walks of life, especially in the Church.
So is there anything Christians can do?
1. Teach young people about being made in the image of God. I do not have the time to touch on the significance of the Genesis stories, but there is a clear message about the value of humanity in those early chapters. We are all created in the image of God. Men need to know that women are not objects for their pleasure and women need to know that their life has value above their sexuality. Each person has value, just by being human.
2. Stand Again Pornography. I have been helping to lead youth groups for almost 25 years. This year I taught a series on sexuality and the evils of porn. It will now be a regular part of my yearly agenda. Be clear: most young people see nothing wrong with pornography. They need to be taught differently.
3. Parents must lead the way. Teach your children. Men you especially need to have difficult conversations with both your sons and daughters. Put restrictions on their electronics. Monitor their usage. Invest as much energy in their lives teaching morality as you do sports and academics. And never forget to pray for them.
4. Elevate the value of community. It is no secret that people are attending church less and less. I was told, right now the average person attends Church 1.7 times a month. We can now access religion 24/7, and we do not feel a need to make time to go to a Church meeting. The problem no one seems to see is that we are moving toward greater isolation. People are spending more time alone, and solitude is where sin grows the best. Believers need a community to change them, to hold them accountable and sometimes too merely draw people out of the rooms and into the presence of real people. Spiritual health is found only in community.
5. Continue to preach forgiveness and healing. Get yourself ready to be shocked. There are going to be revelations about men and their private lives coming that are going to be nearly unbelievable. Men are going to confess it addictions that led them to despicable behavior. Women are going to go public with stories of abuse that are going to be appalling. The Church is going to work toward those men and women finding healing and the grace of God. Forgiveness is going to be tested by the ugliness of sin.
6. Pray. Pray against the forces of evil. Pray for the power of good. Pray for our young people. Pray for your children and grandchildren. Pray for your church leaders. Pray for all those in positions of authority from schools to government. Pray, pray, pray.
There are so many more implications for believers and the Church. I am developing a list in my notebook of thoughts on this one single topic. I see a storm coming, and I hope the power of God will divert the impact, and some good will come out of these two movements. You are going to need to process this information in your family, your career and your Church.
One thing I do, I refuse to bury my head in the sand and act like nothing is happening. Each day I chose to work for good and to work against evil. I pray you will decide to join me as we head into the future together.