Fighting the Darkness: The Sex Industry and the Church

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We, as the church, exist in the midst of a present darkness - a struggle, not just flesh and blood, but against rulers, authorities, and powers in the spiritual realm. We are also called to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power equipped with the full armor of God - standing firm in its truth, righteousness and peace, being always protected through faith and salvation and armed with the sword of the Spirit, the word of God (Ephesians 6).

Every fourth Sunday of September, CRC congregations are invited to stand against the darkness of abuse, and participate in Abuse Awareness Sunday. Our struggle is complex as we live in God’s world; we can find ourselves complicit in the very thing we are standing against. It is important we remember and lament this present darkness. Join us on Sunday, September 24th to take on the topic for this year: “The Sex Industry and the Church.”

The industry is not just a porn issue, it's bigger and broader and is estimated to be a 99 billion dollar industry worldwide and holds more slaves captive today than the transatlantic slave trade of a prior era. Think for a minute about the wide reach that the sex industry has on all of our lives. It isn’t so distant; it’s in our own homes and our backyards. What can we do to protect our families, congregations, and communities? Pray with us for the strength and courage to speak against this industry.

Paul’s words from 1 Corinthians 6 through Eugene Peterson’s Message say: “Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, ‘The two become one.’ Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never ‘become one.’” In contrast to God’s beautiful design, the sex industry takes an incredible gift and uses greed, violence, and coercion to exploit God’s image in people, and to destroy God’s design for relationship. As the church, we are called to be salt and light, to reveal truth, and to stand against evil, including the devastating evil of the sex industry.

Pastors and lay people who have been designated as safe church team members have received a letter urging them to participate in Abuse Awareness Sunday. It can be helpful to have advocates encouraging their pastors and congregations to take notice of this date and the identified issue of abuse. Here are some things you can do right now:

  • Talk with your pastor; ask if the letter has been received, and perhaps offer to gather a team of people together to determine how your congregation can participate in Abuse Awareness Sunday 2017

  • Get to know the available resources from the bulletin insert given to your pastor and the links our website (crcna.org/safechurch). Look at them with an eye for what might connect with your congregation

  • Order bulletin inserts/flyers for your congregation, which can be placed in the bulletin, on a resource table, or in member mailboxes. Visit Faith Alive for more resources!

  • Ask about setting up an information table in a gathering area to provide information about the featured topic or general information about Safe Church Ministry

  • Find out if it is possible to receive a special offering for CRC Safe Church Ministry

  • Offer to lead a prayer,  liturgy, or lament that focuses on the featured topic or another abuse-related issue

  • Contact small group or adult Sunday school leaders to see if they might be interested in devoting one meeting to the discussion of the featured topic or another abuse related issue

  • Use this opportunity to promote Circle of Grace safe environment program. Find more information here.

We recognize that you have a busy life already and that this may require a bit of time and effort - please prayerfully consider what might work for you and your congregation. And remember, you are not alone - Safe Church Ministry is available to assist as we are able. Don’t hesitate to give us a call!  If this matter is important to you, then start now by participating in Abuse Awareness Sunday.

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