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Showing posts from February, 2010

Wired for Intimacy (From Challies.com)

Tim Challies is a book review machine. Given the topics I have been covering from the RBC pulpit, I thought Challies' latest book review was worth sharing. Even if you don't read Wired for Intimacy by William Struthers, Challies' review is educational and convicting in itself. Here is the link to the original post: http://www.challies.com/archives/book-reviews/wired-for-intimacy.php Here is an excerpt from the post. I highlighted one line in particular that caught my attention: I read recently of a researcher who wanted to study the effects of pornography on young adult males. He carefully built the structure for the study, determining how he would compare young men who had experienced pornography with a control group comprised of those who had never come into contact it. Tragically this researcher had to cancel his study. He found that he was unable to put together a control group; he could not find young men who had not discovered pornography. The experiment was

Firestarters (sermon audio: Sunday a.m.)

God created marriage to be enjoyed through physical intimacy. Throughout the Bible, God uses it as a metaphor to teach us about being faithful and bringing glory to Him. Without it, our relationships are at risk. However, as with anything worth having, it takes some work. Men must pursue their wives and study them. This builds communication, trust, and emotional intimacy. For women, Song of Solomon shows us that they should be available and anticipate this time with their husbands, not begrudge it. We can learn from the wisest man to ever live how to have an incredible love story of our very own that is also a testimony to others and glorifying to God. Listen to Audio

Forgiving Tiger

The Tiger Woods press conference last week only served to reiterate two things. 1) From the moment Tiger hit the tree, the whole thing has been weird. I will admit that I only saw the last three or four minutes of his statement, but it looked weird, sounded weird, and in my mind it was weird. 2) The statement also served to reiterate that for the media and most of America, all Tiger has to do to be forgiven is win. No matter what he says or does from this moment forward if Tiger Woods wins, America will move on. The sports writers loosely use the term “forgiveness” when describing Tiger’s future. Will America forgive him? The fallacy here is that it actually matters if Tiger finds forgiveness with sports fans. It is also fallacious to believe that forgiveness weighed in the courts of public opinion is the real thing. America may move on and celebrate him if he wins, but celebrating a winner is different than dealing with sin. In this respect the sports writers and

New Label: Wise Marriage

I have been made aware by Diane Sollee, director of Smart Marriages, “The Coalition for Marriage, Family, and Couples Education” that I am in violation of her trademark “Smart Marriage.” I apologize for this mistake and I will be changing all posts carrying the label “Smart Marriage” to “Wise Marriage” so as to avoid any legal action. Sorry for the inconvenience. BB, Gal. 2:20

Intimate Thieves

Intimacy in marriage must be built and fueled like fire . The Bible teaches that a great deal of the burden for successful marital intimacy lies with the husband. In the Bible’s Song of Solomon, the pursuing man “works” at creating an environment that is suitable for combustion! Growing intimacy is be a natural by-product of healthy marriage. The Book of Proverbs teaches that there are many things that will rob marriage of intimacy. Those things vary from financial insecurity, to nagging words, to alcohol abuse, to negative or hurtful speech. If these things are prevalent in a marital relationship the level of intimacy will erode. Debt affects sex. If a couple is struggling to make ends meet due to poor financial choices, intimacy will suffer. If a wife is critical of her husband, he will withdraw. It all works together. The Book of Proverbs readily warns men and women to beware of intimate thieves. Perhaps the greatest of “intimate thieves” is the adulterous woman. Statisti

Fire Starters

I was a boy scout. I don’t think that the Marine rule applies here as in, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” Marines never say, “I was a Marine.” They say, “I am a Marine”, and then they speak Latin, “Semper Fi’.” I was a boy scout as in, “Be prepared.” I quit paying my dues about 1986 or ’87. Since then I have also forgotten how to start a fire. We have a wood burning fireplace in our home. The fireplace has served as a reminder that there is an art to starting a fire. When I was a boy scout I could start a fire with a plastic tent peg and a wet rubber band. Now I don’t think I could start a fire if I had gasoline and a blowtorch. My wife bought a box of 48 “fire starter” sticks. When she starts a fire she uses one stick. When I start a fire, I use a baker’s dozen. I want fire! I am given to believe that if there is enough explosive material, fire will generally follow. My wife strategically stacks wood. She is more interested in taking the time to create a combustible

Fireproof Marriage (sermon audio: Sunday a.m.)

The wise father in Proverbs is once again giving his son advice, and in chapter 5 he focuses on marriage and intimacy. He begins with a warning about the dangers outside of marriage, mainly the adulterous woman whose path is destruction. However, he also explains the protection of marriage in the joy of sexual intimacy inside that bond. Pornography, television, internet, books, even office relationships often seek to pull our affections away from our spouse, but God has designed sexual intimacy to be enjoyed only inside the marriage. When fulfillment is achieved inside the marriage, we are protecting, even “fireproofing,” our most important relationship. Listen to audio

What Are the Issues?

This is the final post that seeks to answer the question, “What should preachers preach about sex?” I have sought to establish that preachers certainly need to preach the Biblical message about sex which not only includes forbidding sex outside of marriage, but celebrating sex within marriage. If preachers neglect to preach both messages, they neglect to share the full message of Scripture with their congregations. Furthermore, history has proven that when the church fails to hear the full message of Scripture regarding sex, it distorts the idea of marriage and inevitably creates a loose sexual climate within the church. That being said, the modern church is in dire need to hear the full message of Scripture with regards to sex and marriage. What are the sexual issues in our churches and culture that need to be addressed from the pulpit? There are many. Just because something is ignored does not mean that it does not exist. Preachers do not usually preach about elephants, but ele

The History of the Church on Sexual Issues

The initial question was, “ What should preachers preach about sex ?” In answering that question I have posed four others. The third one deals with the history of the church on sexual issues. For many the word history is synonymous with boredom. So how can we both save ourselves some time and forgo a tedious recitation of church history, which I do not have time to write nor the lack of decency it would take to torture you with such? We will save ourselves some time by only referring to the high points and going straight for the applications. What is this history of the church when it comes to sexual issues? What has it taught and how have the people of God responded to these teachings? 1. When there is not clear teaching on sex from the church the sexual behaviors of God’s people will be shaped by popular culture. I could also add that when God’s people do not listen to clear teaching from Scripture regarding sex or any other topic for that matter, by default, they behave li

Be A Woman (sermon audio: Sunday a.m.)

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Scripture reveals to us a woman who is happy in Proverbs 31. She excels in every area of her life and is efficient in each role. While her model seems daunting and unachievable to the modern American woman, we see that all she does is actually a simple outpouring of her character. Her love for God impacts her home and community in the way she cares and prepares for her family. For this reason, she is praised, appreciated, and respected as every woman desires from those she loves most. Listen to audio

Tim Tebow Ad

This sounds odd for a pastor to say, but I want to thank the Women’s Media Center, the National Organization for Women, and the Feminist Majority for promoting a decidedly pro-life agenda on Super Bowl Sunday. Their protests against CBS fueled the flames of speculation that Pam and Tim Tebow were to appear in a Focus on the Family ad during the Super Bowl which encouraged women to choose life for their unborn babies instead of abortion. In reality, all the ad really seemed to say was that Tim Tebow loves his mom and that Pam had a difficult pregnancy, almost “losing” him several times. I must say, I love my momma too, but I am afraid to tackle her as Tim appeared to tackle his momma during the spot. I know it was meant for comedic value, but in the end, I was a little confused at what all the hype was about; so much so that I fully expected a follow up ad to appear later on during the game. But that was it. Love your momma. Pam Tebow had a difficult pregnancy. Go to focu

Sensitivity to Audience When Preaching About Sex

In matters of preaching the preacher should try to identify with his audience. I experienced a bit of the chasm that can be created between preacher and audience last summer in Romania. Preaching via an interpreter to another culture basically assures that no one in the congregation will understand any of your jokes or illustrations. Lost in translation, jokes become literal stories and illustrations only serve to illustrate that American customs do not always demonstrate Biblical truth. So it is when preaching about sex. The sermon can be lost in translation. This can happen in several scenarios: 1. When there are children in the audience. If the preacher does not have the luxury of a separate children’s program or venue during the sermon, he should proceed with caution. There is a reason there has never been a Song of Solomon themed VBS! Perhaps if the preacher feels it is important to cover a sexual topic that may be offensive to parents who are trying to shield their child

What Does the Bible Say About Sex and How Does the Bible Say It?

The initial question was, “What should preachers preach about sex?” Preachers do preach about sex. The most common themes deal with forbidding sex outside of marriage and condemning homosexual relations. While these are noteworthy themes, they are not the only teachings about sex in Scripture. So I would like to visit the first part of the current question, “What does the Bible say about sex?” With full assurance I can say that the full message of Scripture with regards to sex is not just to condemn adultery, fornication, and homosexuality. There is certainly more. Most people are surprised to find how many positive statements the Bible makes about sex. The most famous “positive” sex citation in the Bible is Gen. 1:28a, “And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply . . .’” There is really no other way to enjoy this part of the blessing without having sex. Sadly western culture has placed a taboo on the large family, seemingly shading married couples wh

What Should Preachers Preach About Sex? (Part 1)

The question is not, “Should preachers preach about sex?” Most all preachers preach about sex in some form or fashion. The most common topics covered from the pulpit are forbidding sex before marriage and condemning the sin of homosexuality. If a preacher has ever mentioned either of these two from the pulpit, he has preached about sex. So the question is not “if” to preach but rather “what” or “how much” to preach? Many traditional church goers are highly uncomfortable with sex talk from the pulpit when it leaves the realm of sex before marriage or the naming of some other sexual sin. It is readily accepted for preachers to forbid sex before marriage, but is he free to encourage couples who are married to have sex and enjoy it? I will ponder this issue with the next few posts. I will cover the topic by asking four questions: 1. What does the Bible say about sex and how does the Bible say it? 2. How should the preacher exercise sensitivity to his audience in preaching? 3. Wha