It started out in a simple meeting of the staff attempting to plan a series for the month of November. Then one staff member mentioned that we needed to do a ‘pornsunday’ again. I instantly recalled what happen years back when we brought in Craig Gross from xxxchurch.com and he made the TV and radio news here in Winnipeg. That Sunday, as he shared amidst the cameras and people he struck a cord in the heart of many a believer and nonbeliever. Later that day we screened the documentary “Missionary Position” and I remember that even my parents came out to view it!!!! It was one of those moments as a pastor where you did not know how this was going to end up…
Now, we find ourselves again discussing the very same issue under the topic of Sex, Hugs and Lonely Souls. What we planned as a panel addressing the issue of pornography has escalated for the need to answer all the questions that we received in an adequate fashion, yes now a Pornsunday2. Our presenters were Dr. Syras Derksen a clinical psychologist and Raena Peters, the Director of Living Waters here in Winnipeg and Pastor Joe Kendrick. All the presentations were stellar as they began to deal with the scientific/clinical reports of what porn is doing to our society as well as the relational and spiritual damage it is causing with those involved.
This I can say. I am glad that we did this as a church community. I am glad that we pulled back the covers on this issue and created a safe place for people to ask questions, and hopefully get the answers that satisfy. I realize that this hot topic issue does not sit well with everyone, but where do we start? I had one parent share with me that they sat in the “Noise and Nursery” theatre with their children so that if the child had any questions that they could answer it right away. I cannot begin to tell you how inundated we were with texts and emails as the issue is culture is making porn acceptable and even so in some church circles. I also respect the decisions of some families that felt that maybe this was too much for their children to take in at this time. As I said before and I will say it again, I would not expose other people’s children to what I have not already talked with my kids about. But I respect each family knows where their lines and limitations are!
So, now we are planning Pornsunday2. Why? Because of the need to address the many issues of sexuality within our culture and especially within the church from a Biblical perspective. There are always going to be the negative voices out there! “Gerry, there is a better time and place to do this kind of stuff, but not in the church” or “You should have approached the topic from this perspective…..” or “I took offense to you saying…” or “Did we hear the band playing Wrecking Ball? How dare you…” All I can say is this: Welcome to Soul Sanctuary! As others have advertised their churches as “This isn’t your grandma’s type of church” I must add that there were a number of grandma’s who mentioned that we needed to do this pornsunday! So, maybe, just maybe we are your grandma’s type of church!? Just maybe Grandma’s are seeing what is happening in their families and want to see GOD move in o heal and restore!
But here is my Monday morning mind dump: As the stories are coming in, of people who are grateful that we have opened this Pandora’s box, my heart breaks for those who have been and are being hurt by the misuse of sexuality in our culture. My hope and prayer is that when this series is over that healing will be experienced by those who need it, that marital relationships will be restored, that marriages will have a healthy expression of GODLY sexuality and that people will experience the goodness of GOD plan for our lives when it comes to sexuality and others in our world.