Walt Mueller posts something EXTREMELY important!

Walt Mueller is one of my heros…he has been a man who has rolled up his sleeves and taken on the work/love of student ministry with passion, intelligence, and theological/biblical consistency and faithfulness.  If you are a youth worker, pastor, parent or someone who just "loves kids", his website and the resources of the Center for Parent and Youth Understanding (CPYU) are "must reads/visits". 

Today Walt posted an article/reflections on the subject of cultural relevance…all I can say is "woa and wow".  Read and pray…

Shaved Heads, Goatees, And Other Misdirected Attempts At Reaching The World. . . .

There's nothing wrong with shaving your head. . . except maybe for
me with my knobby skull. There's nothing wrong with complementing your
bald head with a well-manicured goatee. But a few years ago, I noticed
that as I would look out over rooms full of youth workers, it appeared
that some kind of conspiracy was brewing and I had been left out. There
were bald heads and goatees everywhere – on the men in the room that
is. I was curious about this phenomena that was making it hard for me
to tell people apart. In discussions with observant peers, some of us
began to jokingly wonder if this wasn't some kind of attempt on the
part of some (certainly not all) to increase their cool factor and
somehow become more relevant. What was a initially a joke is in reality
– I believe – true for some, not all.

Over the years, I've
sometimes referenced these observations as a prelude to talking about
cultural relevance. Because I study youth culture for the sake of
effective cross-cultural work with kids, many people are surprised to
find out that I oftentimes try to squelch our (the church) growing love
affair and obsession with relevance. I think we need to stand back and
take a long, hard objective look at ourselves and our ministries to see
just what this pursuit of relevance might not only be doing to us, but
doing to actually hinder the advance of the Gospel message . . . the
noble desire and calling that has made us pursue relevance so
passionately in the first place. A misdirected passion for relevance
has fostered the increased use of the word "reinvent" when it comes to
ourselves and our ministries. We run the risk of unintentionally
allowing an obsession with style to eclipse what should be a passionate
obsession with substance. Sadly, when we fall into it, we don't even
know that this is what's happened. Eventually, our lives and ministries
become a series of extreme makeovers, with the short time in between
each filled not with more and more reflection on the substance of the
message, but with trying to keep up with the styles so that we're ready
to jump when the next change is need. . . something which is happening
with increased frequently as time marches on.

It's for this
reason that I've been speaking more and more about the seemingly subtle
yet significant differences between pursuing lives and ministries
marked by being culturally relevant, and lives and ministries marked by being culturally informed.
Being culturally informed – regardless of my age, shape, size, or
hairstyle – means that I have taken the time to listen to another and
their context. It means that I know them. It means that when I open my
mouth to speak – regardless of whether or not that mouth is framed by a
goatee – the person I am speaking to will know that I have listened to
and cared for them. Then, they will be more prone to listen to what I
have to say. We call this "relationship."


Yesterday this issue came alive in new ways for me as I opened my Summer 2010 edition of Comment Magazine
a magazine every one of you should subscribe to by the way. I literally
got chills as I read the first twenty or so lines of one of the
absolute best and well-written articles I have read in many, many
years.

Here's what Jedd Medefind writes in those first two paragraphs of his article, "What The World Needs Most Is Not Our Relevance":

"Perhaps
more than any single attribute, today's Christians desire to be
relevant: listened to, respected, wanted in the room. In contrast to
those bunker-mentality Christians of yore, we yearn to swim in the
currents of our time, converse in its tones, and thus help to shape its
character. . . .

What the world needs most from us, however, is
not mere relevance. Nor has it any age. The most vibrant moments of
Christian history are those in which believers chose a prophetic role –
even to the loss of perceived relevance. There's no need to don camel
hair robes just yet, but it may be time to rethink our passion for
relevance, and whether we'd be willing to trade it or something higher
and bolder."

Later on, Medefind writes, "Love of
relevance can blind us to things we ought to critique and numb us to
things from which we ought to recoil. It can stand as our primary
measure of success, often subconsciously, replacing the cultivation of
deeper virtues. Its pursuit can consume vast time and resources that
God may have given us for other purposes. And once possessed, relevance
can prompt us to sacrifice almost anything rather than part with it.
Because relevance tends to mirror the trends and values of its culture,
it can rarely offer society anything that it doesn't already have –
including its prejudices, excesses, and mistaken assumptions."

Medefind
makes a strong and convincing case for us to embrace the polar opposite
of relevance – the prophetic. It's the prophetic voice, he says, that
offers the things society most lacks. Our number one ally in
cultivating the prophetic? Medefind points to the right place –
Scripture. He adds to that solitude, mentors from other eras, global
accountability, and a few good friends.

I love the way Medefind ends his article: "In
the long view of history, mere relevance – attractive as it may have
looked in its own day – simply cannot compare. It is no more desirable
that the feathered hair of a 1980s pop star. Eventually, we always come
to see the remarkable truth: the prophetic voice is the only one that
was truly relevant after all."

This article is timely,
brilliant, and prophetic. You have to get it and read it. Now, think
about you, your ministry, your church, the church in America. What
needs to change?

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Enjoying the Struggle to Define what a Disciple is…

Disciple-web-splash Ok – here's a good one for you…how would define the word, "Disciple"?  Most of us when we think about the word "Disciple", innately click into prescriptive mode – in other words, we prescribe what a disciple is by what a disciple does.  In other words, a Disciple is defined by Discipleship…the actions of a Disciple.  In this instance, actions would be focused primarily on things like worship attendance in a local church, bible reading, prayer, a person's devotional life, financial giving, etc.  Now, don't get me wrong – all these activities are good and can even be used as "measures" in assessing discipleship.

Yet, what is a Disciple?  What is a Disciple in a descriptive perspective?  Well, try this one on for size – a Disciple is one who is alive in Jesus Christ.  In other words, a Disciple is a person who has the life of Jesus implanted by the Holy Spirit and
manifested by the Holy Spirit in their life that they are now alive in
Jesus. Again, a Disciple is defined not by what we do but by the life of Jesus in us.  Before there is any "doing" as a Disciple, there is an essential "being" that comes from the life of Jesus alive in the heart. 

Here's where this is all coming from…many of us have seen people come alive in Jesus Christ. Without training, extensive study, without commissioning or titles or degrees, many of us have witnessed disciples supernaturally discipling
others. We have seen people transformed from being dead bystanders to being active and alive, passionately sharing the life of Jesus with all that come in contact with them.  For many of these people, being a disciple is not what they are aspiring to be or trying to pull off in the habits of their life…rather, it is something they know they are because they know the life of Jesus.  In this instance, the Holy Spirit is producing
fruit..they are not trying to be better people, attempting to be moral and upright and loving…they just are because of the power of God residing in their lives.  If you were to type their blood, they would bleed Jesus.  For a disciple, Jesus is not a cause to be understood and/or represented..Jesus is life, pure and simple.

Where have many of us missed the boat?  Why all the discipleship ministries and programs and studies in the local church and few actual disciples?  Why do we have to do hand stands and heroic efforts to convince people to share their life, tell their God-story, live out their faith with Kingdom courage?  Could it be that we are a bit confused when it comes to being a disciple?  Could it be that we are finding it extremely difficult to paint a compelling picture of the experience of being a disciple?  Could it be that we have succumbed to drafting a legalistic, "doing" vision of what a disciple is that has actually not brought life to people who desire to follow Jesus?  Could it be that all of our efforts have led people more into sin management and shallow spirituality that remains an addendum to an already busy and culturally defined life (through narrowly defined spiritual exercises like the infamous "10 or 20 minute quiet times) than into the very life of Jesus in and through them? 

I'm working on this…so allow me some latitude.  A Disciple is alive in Jesus…the Holy Spirit is drawing out what is true, right, holy and pure within their heart because that's where Jesus resides.  Good works?  They are not something that they are trying to do because they are attempting to be like Jesus…good works are what the Holy Spirit is doing through them. They are happening because of the life of Jesus in and through them. Good works happen almost effortlessly, quicker than you could have ever imagined because they happen not by sheer will power, guilt, or even training/mentoring but because they are being released through the work of the Holy Spirit.  A Disciple, to allude to something I read in a new book by Len Sweet and Frank Viola, The Jesus Manifesto, doesn't ask "what would Jesus do" as if they could match up their actions with the actions of the biblical Jesus…but rather a Disciple asks and seeks to know/discern what it is that Jesus is doing and wants to do in and through their life?  There is a difference!  You see, the Holy Spirit wants to release what is already there in the life of Jesus in the disciple's life…in this manner, a Disciple is more than a noun – it is a verb, implying action and life.  

You would think that we would have had this down…but the more I think about it, the more I feel like we need to reengage and enjoy the struggle to define what a disciple of Jesus is…any thoughts? 

Back @ Summer camp – after all these years!

Campfire Pit It's been many, many years since I've been at Camp.  In fact, for many of you, you don't know that for almost 8 years, I was at Camp Perkins in Idaho with Confirmation camps twice a year…in addition (going WAY back) I was the Program Director @ Mt. Cross Bible Camp back in the late 70's.  I have a deep love and appreciation of camping ministry…so it shouldn't come as a surprise to you that, after all these years, I'm back @ summer camp. This year, I'm the Spiritual Life Leader of a High School camp @ Camp Perkins in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.  This is one of the most pristine camps in the country.  It is situated on a small lake, off the Salmon River is some of the most breathtaking country in the entire West.  I have long, powerful, and personal memories of my time at this Camp…many students met the Lord Jesus personally during the years that I spent at this camp.  In fact, I still hear from many of those students, now adults, whose lives were powerfully transformed while we were sharing the love and power of Jesus during their teen years.  I'm actually having a great time…kayaking the lake, mountain biking, helping led camp songs with my guitar, and teaching/speaking the kids/staff during the week…it is all good!  God is still at work in Camping Ministry…we should be supporting them more in prayer and in any way that we can so that these precious places can continue to provide precious spiritual moments/memories for children and students alike.  By the way, check Perkins out @ http://www.campperkins.org

Land of Chaos!

Chaos-field I was attending a conference years ago when I heard one of its leaders share a story called, "The Land of Chaos".  It struck me…it did for many reasons one of which is that in my conversations and relationships with people, I often find that many people hold on to a worldview that denies the existence of God.  I find that puzzling most of the time…especially when it comes to the issue of laws, moral clarity, the differentiation between right/wrong.  It doesn't take much examination to discern that "nature" if left to its own devices is cruel and amoral.  Nature is dictated by the survival of the fittest, strongest, the superior…so when someone argues that there is an "innate" sense of right/wrong that emerges from a worldview in which humanity evolves from the stuff of accident, chance and mutation, I find myself vehemently disagreeing with their premise. 

Here's something to try on for size – in the bible (Romans 2 specifically), Paul writes that the "law is written on our hearts"…all I can say is "of
course it is!"  A sense and perspective of right and wrong, wholeness
and brokenness, health and disease was implanted in our lives when God
formed us in love. To try to illustrate this point, spend a few moments reflecting on what our world would look like if it were not created by a holy God…in other words,
can you imagine what the world would look like if the law wasn't "written on our hearts"?  Below is an article that I adapted as I frantically took notes during this speaker's presentation – I think it is worth a few moments of your time for a number of reasons:

The Land of Chaos – To picture such a
place, you would have to begin to do radical surgery on your
assumptions of all that is good and acceptable and normal.  Our holy
God has laid down laws that benefit all of us by His common grace. 
Just as the sun shines on believers and nonbelievers alike, the basic
laws of right and wrong positively protect everyone.  The God who wrote
those laws also instilled in every man and woman some basic natural
inclinations of right and wrong.  That is true in even the most
primitive of cultures around the globe thus proving a universal sense
of justice.  Imagine – a world where the following laws of God and
instincts of human beings do not exist: 
Let’s call this land CHAOS, for surely that would describe such a place:

1
– In the land of CHAOS, there is no law against lying.  There is no
value placed upon truth telling.  Thus people speak only that which is
in their best interests.  It’s my word against yours, but both of us
are probably lying.  Eyewitness accounts, oaths in a courtroom, vows on
a wedding day, commitments shared between parent and child -all mean
absolutely nothing.  Newspapers, book, TV shows, research, and polls –
all may or may not present truth.  And no one stops them if they are
false.  This is a society where no one – no one can be trusted.

2
– In the land of CHAOS, there is no concept of “Sabbath”.  The words,
“rest”, “vacation”, “peace”, “well-being”, and “downtime” do not
exist.  No one gets a weekend off, and employees are expected to
perform at high standards of excellence over excessive hours
routinely.  Instead of working 8 hours, employees labor from sunrise to
midnight.  Everyone must be a workaholic because there is no value in
play.  Family life consists of brief meals and sleeping in the same
house.  Stress is a way of life and is an epidemic.  No one takes time
to smell the flowers.  We all die young and unhappy.

3
– In the land of CHAOS, there is no law against stealing.  Everything
is fair game – there is no such thing as rightful ownership.  Fences,
locks, security systems are nonexistent.  If I want your DVD player,
the answers to your exam, or your wife, I just reach out and grab.  No
one stops me.

4
– In the land of CHAOS, there are no commandments or inner instincts of
honoring parents.  Children rule the home.  There is no respect for the
wisdom and experience of those who are older.  Families are
dysfunctional because no framework for authority and discipline has
been established.  All children grow up without the benefit of shared
values and traditions because they were never first trained to honor
and obey their parents.

5
– In the land of CHAOS, there is no law to treasure and protect
children.  Little ones are not viewed as precious gifts from God, but
only as more workers for the business, or as tools for the interests
and whims of adults.  Child abuse is rampant and no one lifts a finger
to stop it.  Children are not nurtured and allowed to develop slowly. 
They quickly learn that in the land of CHAOS, everyone cares only for
his or her own needs.

6
– In the land of CHAOS, there is no law against killing.  No real value
is placed on human life.  If someone bothers you, snuff him or her
out.  No one is shocked by murder – it happens all the time.  Unborn
children, the handicapped, the elderly, the unlovely, or untalented are
all considered expendable.  No judge will ever punish you for killing,
so why not resort to murder to make your life a little easier.  Of
course, you never know in CHAOS who may be after your own life, so
everyone lives in constant paranoia and fear.  Even children carry guns
and knives.  No one is safe anywhere.

7
– In the land of CHAOS, people are encouraged to be envious and
covetous.  The slogan that everyone abides by is, “he or she with the
most toys wins”.  There are advertisements everywhere for goods and
material possessions.  Ads are placed on everything from diapers, to
school notebooks, to jerseys of sports teams, and to the transportation
vehicles that are used throughout society.  People are told to want
more and more.  There are wars that develop because people don’t have
enough.  Everyone is told to do whatever is necessary to get exactly
what you want in life.  People are never happy or content.

Now,
you may be thinking – wait a minute…the land of CHAOS is a lot like
the world is now.  And yes, there is a lot of sin and wrongdoing.  But
herein lies the difference – most people are still outraged by the
violation of these laws.  And when anyone of us becomes a victim of
lawbreaking, we have a place to turn.  As imperfect as it may be, there
is a system of justice in place.  In the land of CHAOS, might and
privilege are the only rulers.  That place lacks courtrooms prisons,
fines, stoplights, speed limits, drug laws, abuse restrictions, oaths
or any other foundation for justice.  Who would want to spend a single
moment in the land of CHAOS?  Don’t you want to worship God for His
absolute holiness and for how His laws protect you?  


The Faith Communities Project is reaffirmed for the next year!

Many of you know that currently I have been the Project Director of a ministry called, the Faith Communities Project.  You can check out the broader vision and strategy of the Project by CLICKING HERE which will drive you to our website.  But for now know this…that the Project (which was instituted in June of 2009) was reaffirmed by our faith community here in Idaho this past Sunday to continue for another year.  What is the Faith Communities Project?  Well…that's a long story…but here are some highlights:

Watch this video and read what is below it on this post – you'll catch on!

Questions for discussion – What do you think of the video?  Think of the “jar” as the “Church”…what does the video tell us about what we all know about “churchworld”?  How are these dynamics true?  What do you think God thinks/feels about life “in the jar”?

  • The purpose of the FCP is to live the adventure of a relationship with Jesus…experiencing the Kingdom of God outside the jar!
  • We are committed to building Relationships – “counting conversations – trusting God for conversions”
  • We are committed to building relationships and sensing community because in most instances community comes before faith
  • We are committed to sharing the Narratives of real life – we tell stories not just memorized presentations
  • We are committed to being real and authentic – in the culture’s mind, “slick and memorized = skepticism”
  • We are committed to building Community because Community is the greatest witness to the reality of Jesus and the greatest hermeneutic of the Gospel is the community that lives it.
  • We are committed to experiencing the Holy Spirit – God is present and active not just experienced “in there” but everywhere.  We want to be about what God is up to in the world…we want to have “eyes to see and ears to hear” what God is up to so that we can join Him.  We need to be about taking the lid off the work and action of Holy Spirit.
  • We are committed to being on a Mission – we are on a mission to get others involved in mission not just getting people to heaven.
  • We are committed to having servant’s hearts not just evangelist’s mouths.
  • We are committed to serving others not because we want conversions but because we are the converted.

So…

  • We will watch for divine appointments – We will watch for God to open relational doors through prayer
  • We will understand that God works through the “Giftedness” of our personal story and experience.  Read 2 Corinthians 1:3ff

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:3ff

For all my “local” pals…new Reading Group to begin…you “IN”?

READING GROUP – I'M GOING TO START A WEEKLY READING GROUP THIS SUMMER
– I'M CONSIDERING DOING THE GROUP DURING A LUNCHTIME ON A WEEKLY BASIS
(the day and place is still tba).  ARE YOU INTERESTED?  WHAT WILL WE
DO?  HAVE LUNCH, CONVERSATION, READ A CHAPTER A WEEK OF THE BOOK, THE
TANGIBLE KINGDOM by Hugh Halter, AND FINISH WITHIN AN HOUR SO THAT YOU
CAN GET BACK TO WORK!  WHAT DO YOU THINK?  Email me or call me if you
are interested! 

Praise God

Disciple or Believer?

Wisdom_magnet01 Those smart and faithful Canadians! I have a online friend who wrote on his blog last week concerning the movement from belief to action…in doing so, he quoted a book that I haven't read yet but which, in some ways, is a "readable" summary and further exploration of some of the work of James Fowler (who is one of the key voices in academia who has clarified or at least hypothesized on "stages of faith/spiritual formation").  Len writes,

"In The Critical Journey, Janet Hagberg and Robert Guelich describe six stages in the life of faith:

Stage One: Recognition. “we believe”
Stage Two: Discipleship. “we are learning about God”
Stage Three: Production. “doing things for God”
Stage Four: The Wall. “things aren’t working anymore”
Stage Five: the Journey Outward. “living from a new center”
Stage Six: the Life of God. “It’s all about love”

He continues his post by saying, "As a believer in Jesus I was focused on my self. As a follower of Jesus, I have focused more on Him…when our focus moves to Jesus and following him, it is much easier to embrace rhythms in our spiritual life, rhythms that help us to stay open and awake and attentive."

That has been my experience…when I was primarily focused on "growing in the Lord", life was primarily about me – God listening to me, me learning how to pray, me understanding the bible, me engaging in worship, me learning what my gifts are, me doing things for God and His Kingdom…but as one matures in the journey of faith, a dynamic action of the Spirit takes shape in the heart.  Many times, that reshaping occurs in the midst of conflict, struggle and confusion as the "old ways" of living a Kingdom journey start to be filled with a sense of "staleness" or a "been there, done that" kind of familiarity where our spirit starts to realize and yearn for more.  That "more" lies in a subtly but powerfully refocused journey – one that moves from the center of self to the passion for following and being like Jesus.  There comes a time in the heart of a growing disciple where you realize that your prime passion is to be "less" and to have Jesus be "more".  That realization alone can be a harbinger of a significant shift in how we do for God – no longer is our doing for God primarily about "us" and our walk with Jesus which revolved primarily around us…the doing becomes just one more way of following Jesus and something that comes naturally and fluidly from the heart of one who's desire is to be shaped and molded by the Spirit into the likeness of Christ. 

One more thing that Len quotes in his blog post is a comment by Andy Raine of the Northumbria Community regarding their “rule of life..”  I always hesitate a moment when talking about community covenants and "rules" because so many in my life interpret them as a form of legalism…but it is no longer legalism if the acts or actions of the covenant are acts NOT to promote or focus on one's one spiritual formation (i.e. righteousness or holiness) but rather where the rythms are those that occur within our desire to follow Jesus' way and to act in accordance with a community in being the embodiment of the Kingdom that Jesus so desires to reveal to the world in and through us.  Here's Andy's comments about his community's "rule":

"A Rule then is a means whereby, under God, we take responsibility for the pattern of our spiritual lives. It is a ‘measure’ rather than a ‘law’. The word ‘rule’ has bad connotations for many, implying restrictions, limitations and legalistic attitudes. But a Rule is essentially about freedom. It helps us to stay centred, bringing perspective and clarity to the way of life to which God has called us. The word derives from the Latin ‘regula’ which means ‘rhythm, regularity of pattern, a recognisable standard’ for the conduct of life. Esther De Waal has pointed out that ‘ regula’ ‘is a feminine noun which carried gentle connotations’ rather than the harsh negatives that we often associate with the phrase ‘rules and regulations’ today. We do not want to be legalistic. A Rule is an orderly way of existence but we embrace it as a way of life not as keeping a list of rules. It is a means to an end – and the end is that we might seek God with authenticity and live more effectively for Him."

I don't know…I read Len's post yesterday and I thought I would share some of it with you…I'm still working that through myself.  A "self focused" journey vs. an "other focused" journey…interesting how that dynamic can be significant in many, many areas of life.  More to come…

Call me whatever you want…I love dogs!

Emma OK – a new puppy came into our lives.  Fact is, I'm still wondering why I'm sharing this on my blog…but I had to!  Maybe it is to demonstrate that I have a very 'soft' side or that I'm simply a sucker for a cute (animal) face.  Despite the fact, here's a pic of the new family member.  Vicky's been excited about getting a new puppy for a while…and as long as SHE is excited about welcoming a new pup into our lives, that means that I am excited as well.  Enthusiasm is contagious…you know that!  So, tomorrow another post of some substance – for now, just a cute pup on Rob's blog. Yep!

Jim Burn’s, friend, prophet and cultural commentator, emails shocking letter

HomeWord is a ministry that I have a passion for…not only because host/leader Dr. Jim Burns is a OLD friend of mine, but because HomeWord attempts to do what others don't…encourage families, marriages, and parents (youth workers and pastors too) in living God-honoring lives.  I've done some writing and teaching for HomeWord in the past…so yes, I may be a bit biased.  But Jim is the real deal…he loves God, loves people, loves families and is passionate about telling the truth about what he observes in today's culture and how we can respond in manners that would glorify the Lord and build up our families and marriages in the process. This week, Jim posted a letter through an "email blast"…yes, it was partly for fund-raising purposes…but it also reveals a truth about what is going on culturally that many people (especially "church-oriented" folks) don't have a clue is going on.  I would challenge you to read what Jim writes – how you are led to respond is your call.  Personally, supporting HomeWord is a good investment if you are seeking ways to give unto the Lord in a manner where every dollar has impact potential.  But that really is your call and up to the leading of the Spirit…rather, read and learn.  I personally vouch for his "research" in this article…I have a copy of the document from Planned Parenthood that he quotes…it is all verifiable.  Normally, I wouldn't be a person who would be seen as an "alarmist"…but THIS is worth sounding an alarm.  So, take a peak…if you feel led to comment, please do!
   

Pic_jim_small Dear HomeWord Friend,

I expect you will be as shocked as I was at a new partnership with Planned Parenthood and the Girl Scouts of America. I’ve never started a letter to you by saying “this is a very important letter,” but I hope you will find the time to read it and help in some way. 

I am deeply concerned and saddened that a wonderful organization like the Girl Scouts of America has joined forces with Planned Parenthood to promote sexual promiscuity. Girl Scout Councils nationwide are conducting “educational events” and distributing a 20-page Planned Parenthood booklet to these lovely young girl scouts entitled Healthy, Happy and Hot. I downloaded the booklet and want to give you a few quotes directly from the booklet sitting on my desk.

“Sex can be really great and can be really fun! …There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore and be yourself. It’s your body. You choose what you do, when you do it, and how and with whom.” (Page 7)

“Some people choose to have sex when they have been drinking alcohol or using drugs. This is your choice.” (Page 12)

I’m not making this stuff up!

“Your local family planning clinic can help you create a plan – whether it is for having children safely, preventing or terminating unplanned pregnancies, or figuring out how to start a family if you are single or in a same-sex relationship.” (Page 13)

“You should find out whether there are any centers near to you where you can go WITHOUT NEEDING THE PERMISSION OF YOUR PARENTS OR GUARDIANS.” (Page 16)

I have just 4 words to respond, “Are you kidding me?”

There are a lot of things that bother me about this approach to teaching our children in America a very promiscuous style of sex education. But here is where I will protest just a little…

• Planned Parenthood’s budget is over $1 billion dollars a year.  $1 billion dollars!  …HomeWord can help a million kids make God-honoring right decisions about their sexuality for less than 25 cents a kid.

• This Planned Parenthood booklet suggests that young people should do things behind their parents’ back… HomeWord promotes that the best and most effective sex education comes from the home.

• Planned Parenthood continually writes it’s your choice… HomeWord wants to help kids make choices that honor God and bring less baggage into future relationships.

• Planned Parenthood says purity is obsolete…HomeWord is challenging one million kids to commit to the Purity Code:  In honor of God, my family and my future spouse; I commit to sexual purity.

I could go on and on.

The “other side” is well funded and well established. Yet, even though they get government support their views are not the primary views of the Judeo Christian society. “Our side” has the materials, but we are underfunded and need people to get on board financially and prayerfully. What can you do?

1. Pray for this generation of kids and families. There really is a battle out there!

2. Support HomeWord’s efforts to promote healthy God-honoring sexuality.

3. Make sure you teach your own kids and grandkids the truth about healthy sexuality and use resources like the Pure Foundations Campaign materials.

Please don’t ignore what the other side is doing to convince kids that sexual purity is obsolete. Please don’t think even a small gift won’t help. 

HomeWord has a sense of urgency with an unprecedented opportunity to bring the message of sexual purity to 200,000 churches. We will equip parents to teach their children healthy sexuality through books, tapes, videos and small group curriculum. The materials are beautifully done and God-honoring for all ages. The message will be integrated into our radio broadcasts, seminars, and a brand new web site to be unveiled in less than a month. The materials are ready and the plan is in place. You can help us take the Purity Code to one million kids in the United States and then around the world. It has already been translated into Spanish.