The Allure of Sexual Sin

This is a topic I hear very little about these days.  Sexual Sin has become a right of passage, and generally accepted in much of Christian Culture.  From the affairs of super-star preachers, to the private struggles of a young man or woman coming into their own; there seems to be an indifference (at best) or a general acceptance that to be human is to give way to sexual sin.  “After-all, we are just human.”

Some of the heroes of our culture who have been exalted to “god-like” status.  We have hailed the like of Hugh Hefner, and called him a liberator.  Our sports heroes literally have intimate relations with 100’s-1000’s of women, and we follow them closer than we study the life of the Apostle Paul.  Then we have the grotesque activity of Harvey Weinstein which needs little more commentary after the coverage he has received.

However, pointing the finger at well-known names is not helpful.  We allow pornography into our homes through shows like “Game of Thrones” and think nothing of it.  I can’t begin to tell you how many self-proclaimed Christian who enjoyed the entertainment of “Fifty Shade of Grey” and can’t understand why anyone would disapprove of a harmless novel.  Where has the sense of decency and holiness gone from the CHURCH!?!   Yes the Church!

Why has the Allure of Sexual Sin, dragged us into its clutches like a Star Trek tractor-beam.  It has locked onto us!  There are 2-words that described its grip on our souls:

  1. POWER:  When I use the word power, I do not necessarily suggest the concept of dominance.  However, a good synonym would be “control.”  To quote Larry Crabb in his life changing book, Connectinghe wrote of the idolatry that fills our hearts as the “passionate pursuit of predictable pleasure.”  The allure to have our sexual desires/passions met when we desire, and not have to have those legitimate desires met in the confines of a committed relationship means we strive for the power to control our life.  Often times if we cannot satisfy our passions in a committed relationship, we move to a uncommitted relationship, and if not there, then to a relationship based on fantasy (primarily online).  We want to have power over our lives, and not relinquish control.  Both are a facade!
  2. ESCAPE:  In some regards, “power” goes hand in hand with our desire to escape.  Sexual expression in its variety of forms (Biblical and sinful), provides a feeling of escape and relief from the stresses of life.  The endorphin released during sexual activity, oxytocin (the love-hormone) engages the pleasure portion of the brain causing a euphoric (intensely happy or confident) feeling.  Therefore, during times of stress, conflict, hurt, loneliness, anxiety, and in general emotional pain, there can be a desire to “escape” these feelings and cover them with a manufactured “euphoric” state of feeling.  To state it simply, we escape the painful reality, for a more pleasant/pleasurable fantasy.  

The problem with using sexuality as a strategy for power/control and/or escape, is that neither are based in reality.  Both are a pseudo-fix, for a legitimate need.  Our needs of safety, security, peace, provision, connectedness, and even pleasure are legitimate, God-given needs.  These needs all provide an opportunity to find their fulfillment in both a relationship with our Creator, and through our relationships with one-another.

A Christ-centered, committed relationship is God’s answer for your needs.  Any other other attempt is temporal and short-lasting leaving us frustrated and searching for more.  While the allure may be strong at times, remember: Sin always over-promises, and it always under-delivers.  You deserve better, reach for the real-thing!

I Want More!

It was the middle of my Sophomore year in college when I first met Rene’.  She was a transfer student from California and it seemed like our paths were randomly crossing on a more consistent basis.  Our college was taking a group trip down to Philadelphia for the day, so I invited her to come with.  Even before we left the campus, we ended up in different vehicles and we were separated until dinner that night on South Street.

Fortunately, on the ride home, we boarded the 15-passenger school van and talked all the way home.  We talked about our families, interests and anything else that filled the quickly-fleeting ride home.  When we said good night, I returned to my dorm wishing the trip was longer.  I hoped that I would see her the next day.  I was left WANTING MORE!  The big question for me, did she want more?

I share the beginning of our 24+ years together to illustrate a point.  When you find something or someone “good” you want more.  You want more time, more experiences, more memories, and you are willing to do what you have to, in order to get more.  There becomes a driving force within But I have discovered something even better than my wife, and it happened at a much earlier age.  At the age of 5, I experienced Psalms 34:8, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”  Then in my elementary years I experienced what Jesus explained about the Holy Spirit who would be poured out… “38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified” (John 7). 

Every experience and encounter with the Lord has left me wanting more.  Being God means that He is an inexhaustible source.  Unlike earthly relationships, we only have so much to give to one another.  Not so with God.  He is unlimited.  And with each encounter, our capacity to receive from him is increased.

So, this week make it your prayer and pursuit as you call out to God, “I WANT MORE!”  He has what you need.

Biblical Prosperity vs. The Love of Money

This article is take from some thought of a good friend, Rev. Christopher Alam of Dynamis World Minstries.  He, along with his team, conduct massive Outreach Services primarily in Africa, India, and the Middle East; witnessing spectacular signs and wonders through the power of Jesus.

With his permission I am sharing some words he recently posted that I believe will stretch our faith, and challenge our status quo in the context of how we view and use money.  ENJOY!

I thank God for my friends who God has prospered financially. We run a missions work in Africa and in other places, reaching millions of people with the Life-Saving Gospel of our Lord Jesus. We feed orphans, plant churches, train pastors. When the big destructive tsunami hit SE Asia, and an earthquake killed hundreds of thousands of people in Kashmir, we could send large sums of money to help those who needed help.

All these things cost money, big money. And let me share a secret: All that money did not miraculously fall from heaven or grow on trees, but were given to us by friends and churches who we are in relationship with.

We have been able to do all this because our God has Prospered and Blessed good Christian people and Churches, friends of mine, who see it as part of their call in life to finance the work of the Gospel and to help the poor. If God had not prospered these brethren we would not have the funds to do all this.

A couple of years ago I needed a new large PA system, pick-up trucks, and a large 30-ton truck for our Crusade Operations in Africa. I also needed funds to build a new house for the orphans that we take care of. God’s people stepped up to the plate and with their sacrificial giving enabled us to get all this quickly done within a short time.

All this is rooted in the teaching of Biblical Prosperity that I learned from my spiritual father Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin who taught me to sow and to give generously, and to receive from God so that I could do the work of God. He also warned me against the pitfalls of greed and the love of money, and also never to manipulate people to get money out of them by offering them “100-fold” returns if they would sow into my ministry.

Now I know that there are modern-day preachers who amass great wealth unto themselves and live ostentatiously at a level which is far above the standard of living of those who make sacrifices to give to their “ministries”. I personally do not have the desire to listen to these preachers and do not waste my precious time in going to their meetings. I am just too busy doing what God has called me to do.

I am writing all this because these days there are many people who are busy knocking what they call “the Prosperity Gospel”, and in the process they also end up attacking the concept of True Biblical Prosperity, because they just do not know the difference. We should be careful with such criticism, lest we end up with a Poverty Spirit, where we begin to equate Holiness with Poverty, and develop a Poverty Spirit in our own hearts.

We should be careful lest we end up developing a critical spirit towards the concept that our God DOES want to Prosper His people so that they can support His work.

The best thing would be to stop being critical, and go to our Bibles, study what the Word of God has to say about this subject, and begin to live lives of generosity and giving. Then teach others about the virtues of “Living to Give”, so that they can receive financial blessings from God that they can pass on towards the spread of the Gospel and towards helping the poor.

THAT helps people far more than sitting around and being critical.

May the Lord Bless and Prosper us all for the sake of His Kingdom!

If you have any additional thoughts or comments, feel free to post.  God Bless!