Weâ€™ll bring it all the way home this coming weekend at Southbrook Church! I hope if youâ€™re in the area youâ€™ll plan on joining us for the conclusion of our â€œFriends with Benefitsâ€ series.
Canâ€™t say itâ€™s been easy, but I can tell you very few series have moved people to make changes in their lives like this one. The e-mails are pouring in, the blog comments have heated up, and among the pastors at SCC, itâ€™s all hands on deck to help people deal with the hurt and isolation caused by taking this wonderful gift of sex that God has given us (thatâ€™s right, sex was Godâ€™s idea) and twisting it into something(s) it was never meant for. And some people are learning that recovery is not a quick fix. It takes time.
But itâ€™s worth it.
No pain, no gain.
So I wonder what it is about human beings that causes us to refuse to learn a stinkin thing from history and to make â€œrepeating historyâ€ an Olympic sport?
Could it be that weâ€™ve bought the lie that God doesnâ€™t really love us? That Heâ€™s really a very controlling and sadistic God who gets great pleasure from holding out on us?
This week was a real eye opener for me as to how many people really believe this. There are millions. No, billions on planet earth who see all that God has done and the mind-boggling design and intricacyâ€”the delicate balance that holds the universe together, the unique capabilities of mankind verses animals and after carefully observing all of this say, â€œIsnâ€™t Mother Nature incredible?â€
Isnâ€™t natural selection an awesome process?
Itâ€™s like someone wondering around in Death Valley, stumbling upon a Van Gogh and saying, â€œWow, I wonder how many millions of years this took to come about?!â€
Time doesnâ€™t have a brain.
Time is not a designer.
And all the time in the world wouldnâ€™t paint a Van Gogh.
Nor would any rational, thinking person ever come to that conclusion. Yet people look at a far, far more intricate thing like the human body and come to a completely irrational conclusion.
Itâ€™s foolish to even think this way. And no one will stand before God one day and be able to use any of this gibberish to defend themselves from the accusation that they stiff armed God their entire lives.
You say, â€œWhat does all this have to do with â€œFriends with Benefits?â€
Consider the following passage:
18-23But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
24-25So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made themâ€”the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!
26-27Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human eitherâ€”women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with menâ€”all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for itâ€”emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.
28-32Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. And it’s not as if they don’t know better. They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face. And they don’t careâ€”worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best! Romans 1:18â€“32 (The Message)
Whatâ€™s that mean? Bottom-line?
Godâ€™s not going to accept the, â€œplay dumbâ€ card. Why? Because no one is dumb enough according to Him.
The fact that He exists and that there is a designer responsible for this incredible design known as planet earth is that obvious.
â€œWell, pastor Rob, if itâ€™s that obvious than how come seemingly intelligent people donâ€™t get it?â€
God says it has nothing to do with the function of their brains. However, it has everything to do with the malfunction of their hearts.
Go back up and read that passage again, s-l-o-o-o-o-w-l-y this timeâ€¦
Did you catch it? The issue is one of rebellion. Since the very beginning, man has said, â€œI donâ€™t want you to be boss, God! I want to be the boss of my own life! I know better than you!
They insisted on it.
Fought for it.
In the end, God gave them what they wanted. Heâ€™s not going to force His love upon you.
Thatâ€™s why we can see people who seem to have it all and yet they are ever looking over the fence to make sure the grass isnâ€™t in fact greener on the other side. Theyâ€™re going to make sure they donâ€™t get ripped off by God in this life.
But theyâ€™re ripping themselves offâ€”in every area of their lives.
Sex is just one area we mess up because we think we know better. So, â€œno thanks, God! Iâ€™ll take my chances with love. I want freedom and there will be no boundaries on me. Iâ€™m the God of my own life. So, while Christians settle for limiting sex to marriage, Iâ€™ll take that â€˜benefitâ€™ with my friends.â€
Thatâ€™s a bad decision, but thatâ€™s just one manâ€™s opinionâ€¦
One man and One God.
* Iâ€™d like to hear what you all have to say on this subject. For those of you who missed it, we are running a contest in order to get some great feedback that might be helpful to others. The details are below:
Write a blog about the best thing(s) you (or your parents) ever did (a talk, a life lesson, a summer camp, the way you and your spouse modeled a healthy relationship, etc.) to help ensure that you or your young ones didnâ€™t get swept up in the cultural current.
The best entry gets a night on the town on us (dinner, movie tickets). Iâ€™ll pick a winner at the end of the series (end of February) provided we have at least 20 people participateâ€“call me cheap, I donâ€™t care. Dates cost a fortune these days!
And just to keep this sane, here are the rules,
1. You must have a blog.
2. Write a post on your blog that tells others about the â€œmentoring moment(s)â€ â€” give us all the juicy details, please!
3. Include a link to todayâ€™s post. In other words, include the following link in the post you write, http://www.robsingleton.net/2008/02/15/lets-talk-about-sex-baby/
4. Have your post up by , Wednesday, February 27th.
5. Include a link back to this post in your post.
5. Begin the whole process by linking in the Mister Linky box at the bottom of my previous post (here). Please be sure to link the specific page that your entry post is on so we can find it to read it.
Itâ€™s that easy.
Hope to read your story there!
P.S. I have absolutely loved hearing from people in all walks of life. We are all God’s creatures! However, it has become clear that I need to have another venue for these discussions to continue–a venue more suited to the purpose of philosophizing and festooning than to devotionals, church, and the Christian life. So, I am happy to announce my second blog, rob’s rants. You can find it here at, www.pastorrobsrants.blogspot.com I hope you all will check it out real soon! I already have 2 major posts up in response to The Barefoot Bum’s article here.