kec 2011

a good heart is hard to find: committment in the age of disposable love

kec 2011 has come and gone….
This year I had the privilege of leading the senior high program (year 11&12). It was a great challenge for me and I got a lot out of it. We had a really great leadership team that were eager to serve.

First of all, I was really encouraged by the guys I had in the group that I lead. They were really open and willing to share things that they struggled with and things they’d like prayer for. So hopefully, I’ll be able to stay in touch with them and see how they’re all going.

Being a senior high leader this year meant that I had to really critically think about what was said in the talks so that we could have productive discussions. This really taught me how to unpack and apply what I hear in talks.

Something that really hit me from the talks was that the lifestyle resolutions of Christianity are wrapped up in the gospel and are not just about moralising. 

On hearing the gospel message and accepting it, we should resolve to always rejoice in the Lord, a joy that emerges from knowing Jesus and it is this that makes us stand strong. To be known for selflessness and gentleness, and o be anxious about nothing and prayerful about everything. To resolve to think holy thoughts and to learn the secret to contentment no matter the circumstance.

Don then looked at the Christian marriage and how it was engineered to best work as a reflection of Christs relationship with th church.

On the final day I asked the guys in my groups to share something that they learned and really wanted to work at so that I could pray for them. Here are some of the things they said:

  • To believe the claim and have the confidence to speak about it.
  • To take up my cross daily and live the Christian life every day.
  • To pray instead of being anxious and to remember the enormity of Christs sacrifice for me.
  • To rely fully on God
  • To react to Christs sacrifice for me with self-sacrifice for him
  • To remember that God always knows and is in control and to trust in him.
  • To rejoice in the Lord always because no matter what he is working for my good.
  • To learn to link contentment with the trustworthy God of the Bible and not with the circumstance and to grow as I study the Bible.

So those are some things that I have really been encouraged by in the past few days. And I am really grateful that I could have a glimpse of these guys lives and to help them think about what they really believe and how they can live life to glorify God.

Purity in a World Obsessed by Sex

Hello again and sorry that it has been so long since my last post! A few people have been asking questions about Sex and God and so here is the long awaited post that’s part of the Distinctives series I’ve been writing. Sorry that it’s a little unformatted, there’s little you can do in an app but here it is C:

Often the Christian views and ‘rules’ about sex are known as restrictive and intolerant. I hope that as I layout what the Bible says about this topic you’ll understand why it works like this and if you’re a Christian, to deal with the frustrations and temptations.

The Worlds View
1. ‘If it feels good, do it’- sex is viewed as a natural instinct, if you’re feeling in the mood then why suppress natural urges? It’s seen as fun and liberating but it can end in emotional disaster.
2. ‘Just a bodily function’ – One of the ministers at our church used these lyrics to sum up this point: ‘you and me ain’t nothing but mammals, so let’s do it like the do it on the discovery channel’. I’ve forgotten who it’s from but I’m sure you’ve heard it.
3. And finally, the worlds view is completel selfish. It’s all about satisfying your desires with no thought for the other person. While we’re quoting songs take a look at these Katy Perry lyrics from ‘I Kissed a Girl’: ‘I don’t even know your name, it doesn’t matter, you’re my experimental game, it’s just human nature.’

So let me some it up, the world defines sex as: selfish, a natural instict, and demeans it to merely a bodily function.

Gods View
1. For some strange reason this stereotype has been placed on Christianity as shy of sex or even that we think it’s sinful or something.
God made sex and he made us to be sexual beings. If you’ve ever read Song of Songs in the OT I hope you noticed that it’s a complete book dedicated to the celebration of sex and relationship!
2. Sex is a means of procreation.
Gods first command to humanity was not love each other or obey me or anything like that… It was have sex and fill the earth.
“Be fruitful and increase in number.’ Genesis 1:28
Here is something I didn’t mention before but seems appropriate now. If you read womens magazines it is so often that they talk about sex but when is the fact that it leads to children ever mentioned? The world has painted such a selfish view of sex that having children (the almost unavoidable result of sex) is virtually completely divorced from it.
3. Sex is for strengthening love and committment.
When God created Adam he was alone so He created Eve for relationship, love and committment.
” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be unitedto his wife, and they will become one flesh.”
Genesis 2:24
Clearly more than animalistic mating, it’s a bringing together of souls, spirit and emotions. Let me put it this way, sex works like a special kind of glue that holds relationships together. So you can see why sleeping with multiple people doesn’t work, you glue yourself to someone and then tear yourself off, glue yourself to someone else and then tear yourself off again etc etc. The glue stops working after awhile and sex stops working. This is why porn and masturbation don’t work.
4. Porn
Porn depersonalises sex, divorcing it fro
relationship. It’s essentially looking at someone elses body and lusting over it. You don’t even know them! There’s clearly no relationship there. Believe or not but this demoralizes and depresses sexual urges. Porn doesn’t educate you so that you can better please your partner, it just desensitises you to sex and takes the pleasure out of it.
5. Masturbation.
This is somewhat similar, you’re essentially having a relationship with yourself when you masturbate and that’s a little weird. Sex is between 2 people not 1.
6. God the ultimate Sexpert.
God made sex so he knows how to best use it i.e in heterosexual marriage.
Marriage is exclusively between one man and one woman. It’s lifelong, the Bible only permits divorce in certain situations it’s not something that is just thrown around like a ‘Get out of jail free’ card.
‘what God has joined together let no man separate. ‘
This is why there is such an emphasis on choosing the right person to marry, based on who they are rather than the superficial elements the world emphasises.
‘Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.’ Proverbs 31:30