With kids downloading porn and sending explicit pictures of themselves to friends via their cell phones, our culture is heading for a Sexual Tsunami. So says Patrick Carnes, the leading voice regarding sexual addiction and aversion. What can the church do to prepare?
In the last blog I made the case that Square One is learning to talk about sexuality within the church walls. It’s been nearly 50 years since the Sexual Revolution, and we are still quite tongue-tied. And so I made the case for group studies to kick off the conversations.
But who are the most vulnerable to the coming tsunami? It’s our kids! The very ones who are at risk of sexual abuse and sexual addiction. When some of us were kids, porn was what you found stashed in the garage of your buddy’s crazy uncle. Now it’s easily accessible. While innocently surfing the Internet, kids can stumble upon videos that would make the crazy uncle gasp!
There are many excellent resources churches can obtain which present a balanced and biblical teaching on God’s good design for our sexuality. Let me tell you of one.
“Created by God: Tweens, Faith, and Human Sexuality” by Ritchie and Zoller is excellent. Your church should seriously check it out.
A few years ago I posted a blog by Sue Bliese which described how the “purity campaigns” of the past, despite all of our best intentions, have fallen far short of helping kids. One reason, I believe, was the legalistic bent of the materials.
“Created by God,” however, provides biblical principles, practical information and clear direction. It teaches abstinence before marriage and much grace for those who fail. The controversial questions of abstinence, birth control and homosexuality present facts, describes consequences, discourages bullying, and urges respect for all life.
Relevance is crucial with our changing times. So “Created by God” warns kids about chat rooms, sexting and the common ways their friends are picking up STD’s.
And this is a flexible tool. If you find your views are more conservative or more progressive than the authors’, there is plenty of room for nuance or redirection.
Over a century ago, someone observed Dwight L. Moody as he tried to share his faith with a man on the street. The man objected loudly to the brusque and terse manner Moody employed. So Moody asked, “How would you do it?” The man replied he didn’t know how and so he probably wouldn’t. To this, Moody quipped that he liked the way he did it better than the way his friend was not doing it!
Sometimes churches do nothing because they are afraid of making a mistake. Or they fear offending someone. But the times beckon us to set aside our fears and to do something. Find the material that fits your flock best and do something.
This material is sound. It is founded on scripture, informed by science and framed by love and grace. It is designed for use in a weekend format for middle schoolers, but is flexible enough to be used in a variety of approaches.
A tsunami is coming. Churches need to build a floodwall for their kids. “Created by God” supplies the building materials.