Today and tomorrow, the Idea Camp is taking place in Henderson, Nevada. I want to tell you why I think it’s important. For two days, there will be voices from all across the spectrum, different philosophies and even different theology, engaging in a dialogue on sex and the Church. Various topics such as it relates to pornography, sexual addictions, homosexuality, gender issues and family issues.
It grieves me that many churches have decided not to send teams because of the location, because they aren’t ready to deal with the subject or even perhaps because they think they don’t need to.
Over the last few years in ministry, I have sat with women as they rage and cry over how pornography is stealing their husband from them. Over the brokenness that comes with adultery. With mother’s who discovered pornography on their son’s computers. With women who can’t stop sleeping with men in order to fill the emptiness in their souls. I’ve listened to women grieve over the ending of their marriages. To daughters rejoice over God’s redeeming work in the lives of their fathers. To wives lament over their husbands who won’t step up and BE a man by leading their families benevolently and courageously. I have helped young men find mentors who will understand their struggle with homosexuality. Walking alongside those who have sinned and those who have been sinned against.
The unfortunate truth is many who find themselves in these delicate situations often feel shut out from the Church. Sometimes it’s a classic case of our adversary using our flesh to condemn us. And other times it’s out inner pharisee rearing its ugly head when we see people struggling in an area where we don’t. Or dare I say, an area WE don’t want to admit there is a tension. We either sense being judged or left out. As though the ones who have it all together don’t know what to do with us. Their friends may turn their backs on them because suddenly things are messy. We hesitate to look in the mirror because we are afraid of what we may see.
Yet the Church needs to respond because these are the challenges that seek to destroy life’s most important relationships. I’m thankful our church is committed to this. The Church exists to shepherd its people to the transforming power of the Gospel. The power of the Gospel to restore what has been broken. These are the moments in a person’s life when the resurrection comes to life in full color. It becomes real and tangible in a way only God can do and it can bring a person to the thin place between the human and the divine. When we give access to the darkest parts of our hearts, where shame, condemnation and death is lurking, Jesus overcomes. This is what Jesus does. This is the Well (John 4).
It begins with a conversation. We need to leave space for truth. No matter how uncomfortable it is. We need to live with the messy for a while and watch and listen to God as He brings about the cleansing.
I don’t know how to do this well. So, I’m going to Vegas to learn.
Are you going too? Tell us why?