29 December 2009

Make Love Not Porn

"Who do you love?"
- Bo Diddley

Although I enjoy folk-rock duos like the Indigo Girls, I saw them on a hot summer day at Nashville River Stages back in 1998, there are about twelve good reasons why I would make a poor feminist.

One feminist campaign I do agree with is the Make Love Not Porn effort that exists to draw attention to some of the unintended consequences of pornography.

Apparently Christians are not the only group concerned with the unreasonable expectations pornography puts on intimate relationships.

Therapists are usually desensitized to talking about sex. If anyone here decides to google Make Love Not Porn, know that campaign material is explicit, even vulgar by some standards, so foretold is forewarned. It is the message I agree with, not always the delivery.


There is abundant literature on the subject, but it boils down to this: The regular use of pornography often erodes a persons enjoyment of real sex, it also erodes a persons ability to be emotionally intimate with their spouse during lovemaking, and not surprisingly porn use can progress to full-blown addiction.

Why is emotional intimacy so important?

One Christian writer, Philip Yancey I think, speculated that emotional intimacy is sacred because it is a peek into what all relationships will be like in the next life.

In Heaven we will be secure enough to make ourselves emotionally vulnerable to each other and, “pass through each others souls.” We will utterly and completely know each other.


Is that why sexual intimacy is sacred? Because the emotional intimacy that can be experienced during lovemaking foreshadows the emotional intimacy we will experience with each other in our second lives?

Something to think about.

Porn is the theft of intimacy. Lovemaking, in the way God intended, is real.

Love is real. Porn is fake.

24 December 2009


Father... How much You love us. Guide our spirits, our hearts, our minds this Christmas. You are our God and we praise You. Thank You for the gift of Your son. In Jesus name we pray...

21 December 2009


Albert Einstein is reported to have said that in the form of a mathematical equation all the human brainpower combined is insufficient to comprehend the universe.

Because we cannot disprove what we cannot fully comprehend, we have to leave open the possibility of God’s existence.

The post-modern, perhaps post Christian, society we live in today, argues that truth is relative. But in reality, a believer cannot decide God into existence any more than a non-believer can decide God out of existence.

God exists, or does not exist, despite what we choose to believe. Relativism when it comes to God is . . . unscientific.


On a late weekday morning several years ago, I was walking down the street in Berlin on my way to the city center. Just a few hundred feet from the subway entrance Alt-Mariendorf the Holy Spirit descended on me.

I was not following God at the time, but it felt like my soul was wrapped in love. It was pure, beautiful, and absolute knowledge of God’s existence.

My life was not in crisis, and I was otherwise physically healthy.

I did not then and do not now belong to a Pentecostal or charismatic church where things like this are reported to happen.

The entire experience lasted no longer than a few minutes and ended as quickly as it had begun.

During those moments the Holy Spirit conveyed to me two things.

He said that in the future I would return to God and He had something He wanted me to do.

He also said that someday my faith would be severley tested and that the current experience was a gift, something I could look back on during moments of profound doubt . . . and know God exists.


Two-thousand-and-nine years ago, plus or minus six years, depending on whose calendar you use, God clothed himself in flesh and entered our world. We celebrate that event today as Christmas.

He did it because He loves you and me more dearly than any parent could love his or her own child.

Every emotion you have ever experienced . . . love, rejection, joy, loneliness . . . He experienced as a human, too.

If the purpose of what I experienced fifteen years ago on the street in Berlin is to tell you one thing, it is this: God loves you. The world will not always exist in its current form. Call out to God. He wants to be in a relationship with you.

We are all in need of salvation.

God is real. His love for you is real...

14 December 2009

Pretend Perfection

I want them if they want me.
- Jane's Addiction

No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.
- Don Swartz

If you go to church long enough you'll get your heart stomped on. With people involved, it's a given.

There is an adolescent boy I know who was asked to leave church after his father left his family to go live with another man. The boy did not even live with his father, but during his greatest time of need, he was viewed as too much of a danger to the other kids . . . Do you want to guess what his view of church might be?

So many times I hear people tell me how isolated they feel, because they cannot live up to the real or perceived expectations of people in their church. - "I'm expected to be perfect, and I have so many hurts and secrets I need to share with someone . . . but can't at my church."

Many churches today load parishioners down with the burden of pretend perfection, and beyond throwing rules and Bible verses at them, refuse to lift a finger to help them.


God's love is sufficient to get us through a lot, but Scripture is crystal clear about God wanting us to help and depend on each other.

We are relational beings . . . made to love each other . . . made to be patient with each other . . . made to sit with and not judge each other during times of sorrow or personal defeat. We were created to need each other.

God says that our relationship with Him is incomplete if we are not in a loving relationship with each other.


There are loving and kind people at church, too. The most amazing acts of sacrifice and compassion I have witnessed have come from people within the church.

There are church members and leaders who are transparent about their imperfections, and because of that, others in their faith community feel less isolated and consequently . . . loved.

If you have been hurt by members of a church, please do not let that become an excuse to ignore the healing love of Jesus Christ.

Jesus loves you. He knows you are way less than perfect. In fact He doesn't ask you or anyone else attending a church to be perfect.

He asks us to believe in Him. He asks us to be in the process of surrendering to His love. He asks us to love one another.

When 'all three' are present in our lives, we find peace.

07 December 2009

Boogie Woogie Santa Claus

How is it we celebrate Christmas – decorate trees, go power shopping, write letters to a fat man in a red suit, drink eggnog, smooze at company cocktail parties, etc. – and celebrate the birth of Jesus on the same day? Talk about poor planning. Who has time to celebrate both?

One of my favorite bloggers, nAncy, brought this up in a recent blog post and it got me thinking.

Every year we hear some variant of the campaign: Keep the Christ in Christmas. And, although the original intent of Christmas was to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and some traditionalists still do, Christmas has kind of . . . evolved, to put it nicely.

To be honest, I love the secular side of Christmas, too. That song about grandma getting ran over by a reindeer, still makes me laugh. And, I dance to Boogie-Woogie Santa Claus, sometimes with a glass of Eggnog in my hand . . . when my more pious Christian brothers and sisters are not watching. The Bible says we shouldn’t antagonize them.

Still, the reason I celebrate Christmas is to celebrate the birth of our Savior. It is not that I shouldn’t work to put Christ back into Christmas, which is so important. But, even more important, I need to put Christ back into my everyday life the other eleven months of the year.

If I am really good all year long, Santa will bring me a gift . . . cool. But with Jesus, when I believe, even if I mess up here and there, I get the gift of eternal life . . . better.

I’d trade out Santa for Jesus any day.