Porn Oh!

Porn Oh!

Being culturally relevant is not the same as gradually becoming like the culture around us, until we are unrecognisable from the rest of the world. Being culturally relevant is living a life that much of the rest of society aspires to and hopes for.

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Gerald Coates

Gerald Coates

Gerald is the founder of the Pioneer movement of churches and ministries. He leads Pioneer Engage Church in Leatherhead with his wife Anona. He recently released his 10th book ‘Sexual Healing – Identity, Calling, Sexuality’. Gerald spends some time now lecturing and speeking to people all about the issues of pornography and masturbation. This is a reletivly new topic for him, but he has experienced some amazing things with healing and breakthrough on this topic. Gerald also has a very fruitful prophetic ministry, blessing people wherever he goes.  

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The Big Story #6: God's Church

The Big Story #6: God's Church

Rounding off our big Bible overview we look to the conclusion of the story and what we need to do to get there. God has chosen us to play a part in it, but how? What does it mean to be God's church?

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The Big Story #5: God's Son

The Big Story #5: God's Son

It all points to Him, everything that had come before, the promises, the prophecies, the people. Here we reach the climax of God's story in a person, God's son, Jesus Christ. We don't understand him until we see how he fits into what's come before.

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The Big Story #3: God's Kingdom

The Big Story #3: God's Kingdom

Look around the world and we see kings, presidents, leaders who are very much flawed. Israel had a king - God, but they wanted a human king. We look at how that worked out for God's people.

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The Big Story #2: God's People

The Big Story #2: God's People

God's story is both cosmic in scope and intimate in care, we see that as he chose to fulfil his purposes in a family. But why did God choose Abraham and the people of Israel to be the ones who would be a blessing to the whole world?

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Porn Oh!

A disciple is someone who takes another as his teacher or model. 'Be imitators of me, just as I am of Christ' wrote the first century diciple of of Christ, Saul who became Paul. What an amazingly different world it would be if we all lived like Christ! He was culturally relevant, when He lived on Earth, yet so different. The difference was what was so attractive to His followers - His disciples.

Being culturally relevant is not the same as gradually becoming like the culture around us, until we are unrecognisable from the rest of the world. Bill Johnson, an American preacher of note, has said that being culturally relevant is living, in relationship with others, a life that much of the rest of society aspires to and hopes for. I suggest that all of society would aspire to things like love, forgiveness in relationship, faithfulness and commitment, safety for the vulnarable and young, happiness, realtional care, sacrificial provision, security and honesty about failure and wrongdoing. These are the things most of us aspire to, even though we may fail. Christ's disciples live in the dimension of heaven but on the earth - that's called the Kingdom of God - and are focused on the Christian community - the Church! And church is not a special meeting in a special building, but a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week lifestyle. It includes gatherings, because people who love each other want to gather around the things that affect each other. This includes sung worship to the living God, prayer for our world... and of course the greatest shaper of all - the teaching of scripture.

You probably know that scripture never refers to the M or W words. It is true that Onan 'spilled his seed on the ground' ('Genesis 38:9) but this is not a reference to masturbation, as the story and context confirms. Every other form of damaging, promise-breaking, God-dishonouring sexual activity is covered throughout scripture, but not a single specific reference to the M or W. Quite an omission, dont you think?

Or is it? Let's go back to biblical times. The Bible covers several millennia, during which there were no radios to entertain, which today are often full of music with suggestive lyrics. There were no television channels complete with racy, saucy and plainly pornographic images - and certianly no TV channels dedicated to porn, where paid prostitutes perform for the pleasure of others! Films and cinema, complete with X- and R-rated offerings never existed. There were no DVDs to watch in the privacy of your own home. Computers and the millions of pornographic images available for every taste, perversion and practise were not even imagined! No suggestive advertising, billboards, ads in publications or local newspaper offers of outright sex in your own home.

Pornographic magazines in shops never existed, no chat lines, no lewd sexting offering the quick fix for a W and orgasm. No gay sex in the woods and probably little sexual foul language, whereas today, even in the middle-class village I live in, children can be regularily heard using the crudest words in the high street.

It was quite a different world, eh? Oh yes, and there were no skirts the length of wide belts, no see-through blouses, no jeans revealing the colour of the owner's underwear with brand logos. Victoria's Secret and other clothes catalogues featuring men and women in underwear, bikinis or tight fitting, revealing clothes didn't exist. No - the world of the Middle East was generally very hot, and proper people wore appropriate loose-fitting clothes, covering neck to toe!

Most people were married during their early teens, whereas marriage at present, for most, takes place 10-20 years after sexual awareness occurs. Commentators, theologians and historians are agreed that the Virgin Mary was unlikely to have been much older than 15 when she married Joseph, who was probably no older than 17 himself.

So the following words are tought in the sexual culture of the 21st Century. Jesus says:

"'Don’t go to bed with another’s spouse.' But don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed. Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those leering looks you think nobody notices—they also corrupt.

Matthew 5:27-28

A story from Nathan Ferreira:

"In light of this scripture and experience, I have reached a conclusion. It took me quite a while to come to this conclusion; it has followed four years of frequent and at times daily use of pornography and behavior that goes with it... to stop completely.

My behavior has stained me and made me feel uncomfortable in my own skin. It corrupted the way I looked at others and myself. I felt useless, purely because of what I was stained by... I felt separated from the source of all joy, happiness and fulfillment... Although I was a colourful public Christian, I was a private scandal."

As seen above, Nathan fell deeper and deeper into this sin and it is behavior that does grapple us. Nathan escaped by the grace of God and is standing strong today, knowing that if and when he fails, God loves and treasures him still. When it comes to masturbation or wanking, we need to uncover those secretive words now. Being a disciple is following Christ, being culturally relevent is not becoming the same as, but being attractive to, the culture, being in relationships that all society aspires to. Just because everything around us today is threatening us to keep eyeing people up, and desiring self-pleasure, be under the knowledge that that is not what the Lord has asked of us, and if you are stuck in this rut, God does enable you to escape and be healed.

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