The Church Speaks on SEX



Okay, I bet that headline got your attention!  This blog is actually a Book Review.  The book is entitled, “REAL MARRIAGE” ‘The Truth about Sex, Friendship & Life Together by Mark and Grace Driscoll.

In preparing for this post, I read a couple of other bloggers review on this book.  Where I truly believe everyone is entitled to their own opinions concerning their likes and dislikes, it infuriates me for someone to render stark opinions about a book having not even cracked it open.

Let’s face it Pastor Mark Driscoll is known for being a loud mouth, pompous, crude, somewhat bully and an opinionated tyrant when it comes to addressing certain topics of discussion.  On the surface it appears nothing is off limits. He has earned the title of One of the 25 Most Influential Pastors some have called him the “Most Controversial preacher of the 21st Century.”

Although I don’t always agree with everything he says and I believe that he can be a loose cannon with his mouth, I do applaud him as being, at least , one of the ‘brave pastors’ who is willing to take certain subjects  dead on while other pastors promise to take them on but never really deliver.

I also believe that Driscoll is an effective teacher, evidenced by his 7000 member church (Mars  Hill Church). I must admit I was intrigued by all the fuss about his controversial book a on marriage and made a point to order it and was glad I did.

Here are a few reasons that I did like the book.

1)      Like Captain Kirk, he dared go where no other preacher would go addressing real issues frank and explicit – no coded terms in here.

2)      Driscoll shares the historical perspective of priest abstinence, sex for procreation only, birth control violations, etc. without drowning us in endless details.

3)      He addresses facts that Christians really want to know about but can’t get frank answers from the church because of fear.  Chapter 10 which is called, “Can We ______?” leaves no subject uncovered.

4)      His book does reference scripture, but does not waste the readers time filtering through scriptural rewrites with the exception of his interpretation of the Song of Solomon which he breaks down.

5)      Book size is manageable.  I like reading books that I can get through in a couple of days.

The first part of the book talks about friendship and marriage as well as a transparent view of  personal hang-ups and baggage both Mark and Grace brought into their marriage.  They offer practical suggestions how to communicate better with each other especially in the chapter called, “Friends with Benefits.”

The second part of the book deals with the subject of SEX. The chapter causing the most fireworks is chapter 10 which is called, “Can We _____?”  This addressed just about every issue from masturbation, oral sex to the use of toys, role playing and even cosmetic surgery.  I did like how they addressed each topic in this chapter addressing each topic According to God and According to Government laws by these three measurements:

1)      Is it Lawful?
2)      Is it Helpful?
3)      Is it Enslaving?

I must admit some things were a little hard to wrap your mind around, and some things I outright disagreed with, however,  I must say I am grateful that someone really decided to take this subject on in more of a direct way instead of beating around the bush using coded worded leaving their readers to guess what they are talking about.

Mark’s passion was that this book was designed to enrich marriages, get couples talking to one another again, to answer questions of what is permissible and to create greater intimacy.  He further added that if the church doesn’t address the questions because of fear, then members will attempt to get answers from unhealthy places.

What do you think about the video clip?  Have you read the book?  What sayeth you?

Akin – Open Mouth, Insert Foot


Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), a candidate for the U.S. Senate will go down in the chronicles of history for opening his mouth and sticking his foot in.  Let this really be a lesson to us all, especially pastors.  Who hasn’t said things in the pulpit and in hindsight wish you had not? Come on, tell the truth and shame the devilye without sin cast the first stone.  Two things we pastors must always keep in mind:

  1. Check our facts
  2. Follow the script (your prepared script & the Holy Spirit script)

We sometimes miss the ball when we move out of the spirit into the flesh. Are we really to believe that our congregation never picks up when we blunder?  We should just thank God for Grace & Mercy.

Akin’s passion for LIFE regardless of “conception means” caused him to misspeak as he is a strong proponent and advocate for the Pro-Life stance.

Here’s where he really messed up, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Here’s what we heard, “Women have the means to be able to shut down, redirect the sperm before it can get to the egg.”  What? We do? We can? That’s  the ultimate birth control.  Is it  some type of telepathic state we can put ourselves in that we can, like Star Trek’s Captain Kirk shout out, “Lower the defense shield – incoming!”?

I’m just poking fun, trying to lift a somber mood, but the real sad commentary on this is, I believe Akin really believed this to be true in cases of sexual trauma as a result of rape.

I personally believe he should stay in the race, but these days our culture is quick to crucify anyone who stands up for one’s own moral conviction.  Just ask Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick Fil-A who took a stand to defend traditional marriage being between a man and a woman.

As Christians, we are to expect persecution.  And let’s face it persecution can come disguised in many forms.  However, in the same sense, the Bible also tells us to be as why as a serpent and as innocent as a dove.

If a man already has an unloaded gun pointed at your head, it’s crazy to give him a bullet.  That’s not murder, that’s suicide.  I think my dad’s advice comes in real handy here, “Think before you speak.”

Church Unity – Can’t We All Just Get Along?


Last week I read a blog on the subject of church membership in whether it was biblical or not.   The writer did a good job laying out the benefits. I scrolled down to leave my comment when I stumbled across another blogger’s comment.  He was ruthless.

WRITER BASHING. The commenter slammed the blog writer up one side and down another challenging him on his interpretation of the scripture.  It was really sad and it embarrassed me to be a believer and witness another so called Christian assassinate the  character of his brother.

TO COMMENT OR NOT TO COMMENT. I read numerous blogs everyday, and not all do I bother to comment on, but I felt a need to let the author know that I thought he did an excellent job proving the case for membership.

The author’s entire blog post had a single scripture to prove his case  in that membership was biblical.  Yes, the author could have used any number of other scriptures to prove his case.  But did he deserve to be demeaned? NO.

SOUND THE ALARMS – WHERE’S THE CHURCH? In the wake of the shooting sprees in Colorado, Wisconsin, Arizona, Chicago, the alarms are sounding that  the church has lots of work to do – your church, my church, our church, the church down the road – ALL churches who witness Jesus as Lord.  The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few!

Folks, we do NOT have to argue over the petty things. That one scripture did NOT discredit all the other good stuff that was written.

We must be the light to a dark and depressed world.  How futile it is to spend time online showing us how smart you are as you gloat as being the self-appointed scripture watch dog.  Shame on you!  You know my position, “If the shoe fits…”

IS IT ABOUT HIM OR YOU? If the commenter had a heart for the kingdom, he could have comment on the subject at hand and added “I would have used this scripture to prove the point.” His backlash instead displayed his motivation in glorifying himself by demeaning the blog writer.

MY FLESH WANTED TO REACH OUT AND TOUCH. I must admit, I wanted that commenter more than a horse wanted hay.  Had I  been able to comment I would have certainly wrote out of my flesh. In hindsight I am grateful that I was unable to comment lest I had said some things and blown my own witness.

There are just softer ways to address people.  We need to be sensitive.  Let’s concentrate on the things that UNITE us and stop trying to prove to others that we are so much better than they are.

WHAT ABOUT THE DENOMINATION DEBATES?  You know what I mean .. the Methodist are better than the Baptist who are better than the Lutherans who are better than the Catholics who are better than the  Episcopalians and the list goes on. And let’s not forget the denomination of the Non-denomination.

The fact is, “We are all leveled at the foot of the cross.”

Unless we have a Jim Jones thing going on and we see where a person in power is trying to get people to drink poison or a David Koresh where he’s advocating people to be burned alive, or others who are trying to convince us of the date of the end of the world, let’s speak the truth, but in love.

MOST OF US ARE ON THE SAME TEAM. We all have work to do.  Let’s be the light and stop trying to snuff out other kingdom workers’ flame!

Me . . Left Behind?


I love Sci-Fi movies.  Some of my all time favorites include anything Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Jaws & Jurassic Park I, II, III, IV, the Matrix, Alien -you get my point. Well when I found a single DVD with 10 Sci-Fi movies on it for only $4.99, I thought I have hit the “Jack Pot!”

One movie I watched really got me thinking.  It was called, “Apocalypse.”  I sat back in my comfy lounge chair with the foot rest up and awaited Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton, but soon remembered that movie was called, “Armageddon.”

Although I did not know these actors; there was a similarity between both movies  in that they both dealt with an  unwelcome guest – an asteroid that threatened the existence of man.

It was an ordinary day.  People were busy doing what they do when a small asteroid hit and destroyed an entire city throwing an entire population in a panic.  The movie centered around a mother and father’s quest to find their teenage daughter who was in another state before the next ‘giant’ asteroid headed to destroy earth.

To my surprise this movie was a film about faith, guilt, courage, rejection and  acceptance.  Honestly, I don’t know how this movie was squeezed in among all the others but to my enjoyment, I was glad it was.

In the midst of coping with the aftermath of the first asteroid decent which set off additional tremors, quakes, tsunamis, tornadoes and the mysterious disappearance of people, while on their adventurous journey, the mother attempts to witness  to her husband about faith and about the rapture.

REJECTION IN SPITE OF EVIDENCE. Like many others, the father vehemently dismisses and rejects her claims and desperately searches for an intellectual and reasonable explanation for the tragic events.

There was a point in the story where some one said, “Well, if you’re a Christian why weren’t you taken up?”  A response went something similar to this ” . . .God had taken up the ‘true’ believers.”

DO I MEASURE UP BY GOD’S STANDARDS? Wow! What a statement, ‘He took up ‘true’ believers.’ It left me thinking.  By man’s judgment, I am thought to be a ‘true’ Christian, but what about ‘God’s’ judgment?  Does He? hmm…..

PERSONALLY PONDERING. I have been reflecting ever since.  How is my relationship with God and His Son Jesus? Am I doing all I can? Is my worship for real? Is God really pleased with me or at this present state – would I be taken up or would I be left behind? hmm…..

PASTORS LEFT BEHIND? This movie was also very similar to the Christian movie, “Left Behind” starring Kirk Cameron.

What sayeth you that in this movie some pastors were originally left behind?

Chick fil-A, Center of Public Debate


Whew!  The heat is certainly turned up on Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy’s stance to stand firm in their company’s position on the sanctity of traditional marriage. The restaurant chain has been, and continues to be, under a concerted attack from same-sex marriage advocates.

To add fuel to the blazing fire,  this stance in support of traditional values has now jeopardize the opening of stores  in Boston, Mass.  In fact, the Mayor, Thomas Menino claims he wont approve the license for the store to open.  In fact he says any company that speaks against gay rights in this country today should not have the opportunity to operate in the city of Boston.

As the video presents, the Mayor of Chicago (Rahm Emmanuel) states that, “Chick fil-A’s values are not Chicago’s values.”  What a thing to say.  It reminds me of the scripture that states we will have to give an account for every idle word.

ANOTHER INTERESTING FACT. In 2009, just three short years ago, Forbes.com, Chicago was rated the 3rd worst city in the nation and appeared on America’s Most Miserable City list.  Why? Lousy weather, long commutes, rising unemployment, the highest sales tax rate in the country AND corruption by public officials.  Go figure!!   Ummm…  say that again Mr. Emmanuel …. you know the statement about ‘Chicago’ values…..

Seems to me Chicago could benefit from a Chick fil-A being on every corner.

To both of these men learn the words, “No comment.” At least commit to “LESS” is better.

I  think it is important to note that Chick fil-A stores are operated by franchise owners whose investments are now in jeopardy. So the fight unfortunately does not only impact the Cathys, but any entrepreneur who is opening up their own Chick fil-A.  How fair is that?

BUT THERE ARE CHX SUPPORTERS: Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has called for a National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day on Wednesday, August 1, to demonstrate support for the company.  Click on the link above to read Huckabee’s remarks regarding this debate.

What sayeth you?

Book Review: The Necessity of an Enemy


“Enemies often seem to get in the way of our plans, leaving us discouraged and disoriented.  But what if these obstacles are a part of God’s plans for us?

Our enemies – whether our weaknesses, circumstances, deep-seated sins, other people, or any other challenge—can become our stepping stool to new breakthroughs in life, if we leverage the opportunity.  Just as David’s encounter with Goliath transformed him from a delivery boy to a national hero, our enemies can be a blessing in disguise – if only we recognize and face them head-on.

Human nature tells us to flee our enemies, but Ron Carpenter will challenge you to embrace them.”

ON A PERSONAL NOTE…
GPS Bible Study.  I teach a Grow.Pray & Study Bible Class each week and we used this book  over the last eight weeks and my classes are loving it. Of course as a Bible teacher I always read over the chapters and decide what material we will review and which ones we will skip.

Weekly, the class  reads certain section of the book.  The chapters were short and easy, but powerful reads.  Each chapter/sub-chapter was as few as one page to as many as ONLY threehow great is that?

I  prepare questions, highlight scripture readings, ask for reflections and or assign group tasks.

Because we only had 8 weeks to read the book, I must admit that there were certain sub-chapters I combined while skipping others. Why skip? Because there was a lot other meat I thought we needed to spend more time on.

We have thoroughly enjoyed this book. I rate this entire book including the study guide in the back of the book 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. The study guide was a bit limited in my opinion. The author could have done so much more, but that was minimal compared to all the other meat we were chewing on.

YEP, I RECOMMEND IT! It is a must have in my opinion for  Bible Studies or Small Groups as it accomplished what it sets out to do (5 stars on content) and that was to help us gain a different perspective on how enemies play a part in our lives particularly the direction and paths we find ourselves on.

Put this book on your reading list and let me know your favorite parts!

Pastor Outraged over Song “AMEN” Threatens to Boycott!


AUDIO OF DIALOGUE BETWEEN MEEK MILL & REV. JOMO JOHNSON

The Rev. Jomo K. Johnson, a pastor out of Philadelphia is calling for a boycott of one of Philly’s most popular rappers, Meek Mill on his latest hit called, “Amen,” after being offended by what Johnson calls ‘blasphemous’ lyrics.
Mills thanks God for allowing him to indulge with pretty women a.k.a. ‘bitches’, free sex, money, drugs, alcohol and violence all at the same time referring to such ‘spiritual’ terms as “the Holy Ghost, church, praying to God, forgiveness, etc.

MESSAGE CLEAR. Regardless of Mill’s intention, Johnson points out that the message is clear – pray to your god and he will give you the desires of your heart: women, drugs, cars, money, boats, alcohol, etc. all the while rapping using  filthy words including the “F-word, P-word,’ etc.

It’s no wonder why Philly’s Pastor Johnson flew off his handle and wanted to ‘shut Mill down.’

SUBTLE MESSAGE. As I listened to the audio and saw the video I also heard and saw a subtle message in that Mill cares about people, that he shares his fortune and does some type of service to keep people out of jail and since he’s made it to the top, he shows that it’s important to give back.

NO RECONCILING HERE. Johnson and Mill attempted to dialog on a radio station, without success. It went south and it was clear that Mill was enraged with Pastor Johnson accusing him not only judging and singling him out, but being an opportunist in using that platform to make a name for himself.

Clearly, Mill felt justified in his music as it has opened the ‘money’ door for him to provide services to those who are less fortunate as he distributes: coats, tennis shoes, other tangibles to poor neighborhoods. He challenged Rev. Johnson, shouting repetitively “And where were you while I was doing all this?!”


MILL’S RESUME. Mill felt a need to run down his resume on how he is continually on the streets everyday with the people, helping those less fortunate, talking to the young people to help them change their ways and all of this was possible through his music.

YOU WANT SOME MONEY? Mill, during his ranting and raving also told the pastor that had he (Johnson) attempted to talk to him personally rather than on the radio, he might have agreed to come talk to his young people and may have even given his church some money.

YOU NEED JESUS! Johnson attempted (without success) to let Mill know that it was not about the money, but it was about salvation. Mills interrupted him stating that he was not listening nor did he want to hear what he had to say. Again, shouting at Johnson that while he was doing all the hands-on community service, “..where were you?!”

Why am I telling YOU this? Because it is important for US as leaders to know what the young people in church are listening to – to stay abreast to what is being fed to them every day and to know what they are attracted to.

DISPEL THE ILLUSION. In addition, we need all the help we can get raising this generation and as a body, we need to work together in dispelling the illusion that Money is the ‘fix all and is the key to true happiness.” There are a lot of people in graves today to prove that statement is false.

TWO WRONGS – RIGHT? Furthermore, I commend Mill for his outreach efforts. I believe at the core he has a good heart, but he seems convinced that the only way to make money is by way of compromising values and ethics. Two wrongs do not make a right.

I must say that the song has a great beat and potential despite its lyrics. However, the video does promote the fast and reckless lifestyle. It reminds me of the scripture: “There is a way that seems right, but in the end leads to destruction.”

It’s really too bad because Mill has a lot of talent and I do believe that if Mill could have gotten with Kirk Franklin they could have tore it up!

DISCLAIMER: This song (video too) is filled with raunchy and filthy lyrics – repeated uses of the “F-Word, reference to the woman’s anatomy and promotion of drugs for gain. Both the audio and video should be rated  “R” or even “X” just on the “F-word use alone. and both  should be labeled “Parental Discretion.”