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Controversy
Betsy Hart writes: As a Christian mom to four school-age children, I find myself often challenging the culture. Many times this means helping my children learn to engage wisely with it. As a single mom, helping my kids to think rightly about the God-given, necessary, and wonderful differences between the genders is a subject matter I pay special attention to. So maybe it’s for my children’s sake most of all I use the term “romantic pornography” to describe most romantic comedies. For the record, I can enjoy a good chick flick as much as anyone. Sleepless seems almost like a caricature. But Enchanted, for instance, is hilarious. And at least it’s obviously a fairy tale. When you’ve seen one romantic comedy you’ve of course seen them all. There is some level of confusion involving a wonderful woman and an idiotic man. He doesn’t know how romantic he really is until the wonderful woman shows him the way and reveals his fabulous, sensitive, romantic side that was aching to get out all along we find. He so wants to talk about his feelings, just like her best girlfriends! Who knew? Romantic man finally realizes he cannot live without said woman, and pursues her in an ever-so-sensitive if bumbling way. There seems to typically be a fountain involved at some point. If it’s all not quite “magic,” it sure is fantasy. That’s where the pornography comes in. Just as sexual pornography twists an understanding for men about real women’s bodies and sexual appetites, so romantic pornography twists the perception for women about real men and how they “ought” to behave toward women, which tends to amount to, well, behaving like a woman. I have a dear friend who once didn’t like a fellow I was dating. Among other shortcomings, he didn’t arrange spa treatments for me, she explained. Seriously. No more chick flicks for that girl. More here.Chic // Thoughts? Todd
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Trends
Foes of pornography are losing, and an onslaught of sexual attacks likely will result, Southern Baptist ethicist Richard Land believes. “We’re losing this war. We haven’t lost it, but we’re losing it,” Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said at a conference on porn and sex exploitation. “And if you don’t think we’re losing it, you spend time with college-age young people, and you’ll find out we’re losing.” He described hardcore, online pornography as “the greatest danger this country faces.” “[I]t is destroying our culture. It is destroying our families. It is destroying our children,” Land said. “Internet pornography is in your church. If your church has got more than 50 members, it’s in your church,” he told the audience. “I can tell you hardcore pornography is on the seminary campus. It’s on the Christian college campus. It’s in the pastorate. It’s on the staff.” Its prevalence among staff members has been disclosed when some churches have decided to begin daycare centers to reach out to their communities, Land said. In preparing to provide coverage for churches, insurance companies typically research what is being viewed online in the church’s buildings. “I can’t tell you the number of broken-hearted pastors who have called me when they have discovered what some of their trusted church staff have been looking at on church computers,” he said. (Via Church Executive.) QUESTION:  Has porn ever been a problem at your church?  Among staff? How has the ugly side of porn affect your personal or corporate ministry.  Leave an anonymous comment in you want… Todd
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Staffing
This is the question that more and more churches are having to deal with these days.  How do you deal with a pastor who has an addiction.  Maybe it’s an addiction to alcohol or drugs; maybe it’s a sexual addiction like pornography.  The question is… what should be done with a pastor that has an addiction of some kind when it is found out? This scenario has actually happened this past week at Twin City Fellowship.  Recently Bob Dewaay’s health was deteriorating and they weren’t sure what was wrong.  After a bunch of tests, it was determined that Bob had Alcoholic Hepatitis.  Bob had been a vocal part of the discernment movement (calling out those who he though here heretical) for the past years.  As it turns out, the diagnosis was news to everyone in his church, including his elders.  The reaction was quick.  Termination. You can hear how the church responded publicly here.  (It’s in the first ten minutes). How should a church respond when their leader is caught in an addiction? My thought is that the church acted properly in removing the man from leadership (although I think some of the words were rather harsh).  The shepherd of a congregation is held to a high standard, and I think this was the right decision. But what responsibility does the church have in the area of reconciliation? in the area of counseling and help?  and in the area of financial support of this man and his family? I think part of the answer to that question has to do with how the person caught reacts?  Are they repentant?  Are they making excuses?  Are they defiant? And if they are repentant, do you work out a restoration plan with them as a church?  Are they restored to their senior pastor role? And if you, for some reason, decide NOT to terminate, how do you proceed?  Publicly?  Privately?  Seems dangerous to the life of the church either way. As you can tell… I have few, if any answers. Dare I say what happens most often?  When this type of addiction is found in a staff person (especially a person in a senior role); many times the person if quietly fired (without giving a reason) and is simply moved on to another church.  This is what should NEVER happen. What are your thoughts?  If your pastor (or you) were diagnosed with Alcoholic Hepatitis (and no one even knew you drank); should you be terminated, rehabilitated, or what? Todd
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