by Cris Corzine-McCloskey
The great thing about God is that even in our defeats, He is never embarrassed or ashamed of us because He doesn’t do shame. ~ Graham Cooke
Last week I opened a dialogue about the prevalence of porn usage in our Christian culture. I know how destructive it is, but the condemnation has to stop. As Graham Cooke points out, God doesn’t do shame, but unfortunately, we do. It’s time we get in line with the ministry style of Jesus.
There is a story in the Bible about a woman caught in adultery. The Pharisees (her church leaders) took her to Jesus to see if He would have her stoned. Instead of judgment, He gave mercy. Let’s suppose that previous to that she had been struggling with conviction and desired to get out of the destructive relationship. Do you think she would have been able to go to her church leaders for help? Heck no! They were ready to stone her.
Nowadays our stones are invisible, but still capable of breaking spirits, reputations, and families. Condemning looks, cold shoulders, or veiled innuendos on prayer lists. We have our ways. Each one of these says “Jesus may not condemn you, but I think you are a dirty perv.”
So, the first step to helping our fallen brothers and sisters is for the Church to get transparent. Most of us know we are a mess, but we gloss it up and go to church and pretend we are perfect. That does not invite transparency. God works best through wounded healers. Someone who is sporting some battle scars and not afraid to talk about them.
At the Last Supper Jesus told Peter, “Satan has asked to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, and when your faith returns, strengthen your brothers.” When we go through a sifting (porn, abortion, addiction, etc.) Jesus has already prayed us through. He desires that we use that sifting to help others. I bet Peter told his story of how he ran out on Jesus countless times to others when they were struggling with their faith. It encourages us even to this day. Why do we think our failures and struggles are to be any different?
Porn, lust, and hypocrisy are huge problems facing the Body of Christ and people are afraid to talk about it. Remember, we are only as sick as our secrets. Sin cannot stand being exposed to light. James 5:16 gives the antidote to sin, “confess your sins to one another, and pray for each other so you can be healed.”
I double dog dare all you who have overcome the struggle of porn, or are in the process of overcoming, to stand up and take your place on the front lines of this battle. Trust God with your reputation. If we are protecting our reputations, we are nowhere near denying ourselves or picking up our crosses to follow Jesus. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” ~ John 15:13.