A sad and sobering report in the Telegraph of a University of Montreal study in which they could not find a male student who had not consumed pornography.
The study found that the average age at which boys were introduced to porn was 10 years old.It also found that single men viewed pornography 3 times a week for an average of 40 minutes each time and men in relationships 1.7 times a week for 20 minutes each time.
What does all this mean for Christians? Who’s keeping watch in your church? Here are 12 questions that spring to mind that need the attention of any leadership team.
2. How and when should be raising the issue with our children? At what age? In what way?
3. How and in what context should we be talking about these issues with the men of our church? When did we last talk to the men about this?
4. What do we need to say to wives and girlfriends? Do they understand the nature of the struggle?
5. How do we protect marriages from ‘virtual-adultery’? Are we helping husbands and wives to talk wisely and appropriately about this issue?
6. What are the statistics for women? Is this a growing issue for both sexes?
7. What accountability structures do church leaders have in place for their own behaviour? Who is asking them whether they are viewing pornography? How can they model godliness in this area of life?
8. What support and accountability do we offer for those willing to acknowledge that this is an issue for them? What church discipline is appropriate too?
9. What are the lies that capture our hearts and make pornography a battle for every man? Do we understand its power?
10. Do we know how to fight this battle through the gospel rather than by mere will-power of self-control?
11. What do we want to say to non-Christians who might be part of the wider church community?
12. How do we help apply the gospel to those who have a ‘past’ in this area even if it is no longer a dangerous issue?
Today’s Telegraph contains the moving story of how Patricia Machin forgave the man whose crime of careless driving killed her husband. Ruth Dudley Edwards reports
Mrs Machin wrote Williamson a letter to use in his defence in which she said that on the day of the accident, “however bad it was for me, I realise it was 1,000 times worse for you…” This astonished the defence counsel, who said he struggled “to find words to express what is conveyed through the contents and the intentions”. Mrs Machin was in court on Tuesday as Williamson was given a suspended sentence.
But then Edwards, herself an atheist, goes on to say But why were people so astonished? Mrs Machin and her late husband were Christians who really lived up to their beliefs.No truer word has been spoken. Christians are under an obligation to forgive in a way no-one else. There is no other creed on earth that compels forgiveness because the obligation to forgive flows from our direct experience of forgiveness. CS Lewis writes To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. Only the Christian must forgive.
But whilst it is an easy thing to say that the Christian must forgive it is still an extraordinary thing if the Christian can find the resources and resolve necessary to forgive. Again as Lewis says Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive … And then, to mention the subject at all is to be greeted with howls of anger.
The command to forgive comes from the gospel and the ability to forgive comes from the gospel too. When tempted to hate those who have hurt us and caused us undue pain the Christian seeks from God the ability to do the God-like thing and that is to choose to take the pain and hurt on ourselves rather than our ‘enemy’. God absorbed his own wrath when he suffered on the cross. In Christ, we too learn to bear the pain, commit it to God, seek his healing and hold out forgiveness to those who have wronged us. That is no easy thing. Praise God today for the example and courage of Mrs Machin
A thought-provoking article in today’s Times (£) on the pitfall of over-parenting. Alice Thomson looks at a new book called Minimalist Parenting which challenges the modern-day preoccupation of raising kids a world in which ‘children have become passive projects constructed by their mothers.’ The key? They discovered that they enjoyed their children more when they were doing less.
Fascinating article in this month’s Atlantic Magazine Why women still can’t have it all. Anne-Marie Slaughter is certainly not seeking to put the clock back to a time before feminism but she is calling for a change in work-place culture and a change in priorities and expectations for working mothers.
Interestingly, there is one thing missing from what is a lengthy article – what is all this doing to our kids?
See also Christine Odone’s feature in today’s Telegraph Finally,the lie about working women has been exposed.
A quite brilliant article in the Telegraph on Peter Tatchell, gay marriage and the role of the State
Brendan O’Neill writes in the Telegraph on the domestication of Peter Tatchell
His conclusion is sobering ‘The gay marriage campaign will end up expanding the remit of the state, granting it the authority to overhaul an ancient institution, redefine our relationships, and rebrand is all as “partners’ rather than husbands or wives.’
Peter Mullen writing in the Telegraph argues that behind the debate about same-sex marriage is a much bigger clash of ideas.
(HT: David Robertson)
Just when I thought it was impossible to be shocked any more…
(HT: Christine Happ)
Cristina Odone in the Telegraph puts the case for taking on the National Secular Society
(HT: Westminster 2010)
Dame Joan Bakewell, once a powerful voice in the campaign for the sexual revolution of the 1960′s, has again (see my earlier post) voiced her dismay at the outworking of the sexual ‘liberation’ she advocated for so long. This time the focus of her concern are the televised performances of Lady Gaga.
On it’s impact on today’s youth she comments ‘I perhaps overrated romance rather too much, but I don’t know whether they overrate sex too much these days, I’ve no idea. What harm it will do, I just don’t know.’
It seems, sadly a little too late in the day, she has accepted that the desire for ’freedom’ from sex within marriage has been a destructive freedom for through it we have begun to destroy ourselves. The truth is that we never find freedom when we run from God we only find that we have unleashed a force in our society that we are unable to control which begins its inevitable effect of corruption and destruction.
The Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Galatians:
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
Pray for our children.
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