This past weekend I attended the gay pride events in Mansfield with around 15 other Christian friends to share the gospel. One thing that was profoundly evident during our time out was that the "feastivities" was a complete flop.
If it was a testimony to anything, it was that Mansfield does not truly support the deviant practice of homosexuality. The crowd was embarrassingly small. One may not even want to call it a crowd. The handful of us who went to pass out tracts and witness were able to canvass pretty much the entire group in less than an hour. To be sure, people came and went, but the number of people did not swell much at all--testifying to the fact that few stayed long or had much interest in showing their support. A friend of mine drove by in the evening and said that things were shutting down quite early and venders were tearing down by 8 pm.
All in all, it seemed that most of Mansfield stayed away from the square.
Even the media involvement was pretty pitiful. The Richland Source, which was perhaps the friendliest of the news sources, seemed to focus more on covering our little group that was out to call to repentance. The Mansfield News Journal's article was so short that it was almost laughable. It looked like someone just tweaked a poorly written press release. To be sure, it was clear that they didn't send a reporter or photographer down to cover it. WMFD ran a good sized clip, but makes you chuckle because there is virtually no one in the background. It looked pretty much deserted. Those who were in the camera gave the impression that it was more of a freak show than a feastival.
It certainly wasn't because of the weather either. The rain may have put a squash on the parade, but the rest of the day was quite nice. The truth is simply that the majority of Mansfield showed they did not support a lifestyle that goes against God's design.
The afternoon was not a complete loss though. Those of us who came out to share the gospel had splendid opportunities to engage with the unbelieving. I personally spent almost a full two hours talking with various homosexuals and homosexual supporters about the things of the Lord.
Each conversation was cordial. We were able to laugh together as we thought through the issues of eternity. Many of those who I spoke to admitted that they did not have an absolute standard for morality. Almost all admitted that the will be judged if they were to stand before Christ on the last day. They understood the gospel when I explained it, but openly refused it. The only exception was one man who said he didn't believe in hell. But when I pressed him, he admitted he didn't know what his god thought about justice at all and he wasn't interested in trying to find out.
If I ever was asked what tips I would give regarding preaching, topping the list would be sex. Sex helps a man in so many ways. In particular, it gives him clarity of mind. Sexual satisfaction provides a man with a much needed release that allows him greater focus. It may sound like some new age cult when I say this, but it puts a man back in "balance."
Over the years, my wife and I have found that, as a result, sex makes preaching and sermon preparation much easier and... (pun not intended)... stimulating. And I would assume that this applies to the productivity of any man in any line of work.
All this is to say that women need to be aware of how much men need regular sexual fulfilment.
I've written before about Keeping the Marriage Bed Hot (not to mention the sermons I've preached on the topic). I've even dedicated a whole church newsletter to the topic.
But recently my wife forwarded me a couple articles she found on her blog reading list which have to do with the wife's duty to her husband sexually. Specifically, they deal with stirring up the desire even though she is fatigued after a day of wifing and mothering. My wife said they should be kept on hand for marriage counseling purposes. But I link them here for your reading (pun intended...) pleasure:
In a day where sex has become almost synonymous with sleaze and fornication, it is important to reiterate The Sacred Glory of Sexual Intimacy. This month's newsletter is dedicated to just that very thing!
In this issue we'll talk about the God ordained joy of sexual intimacy and how the Scripture encourages couples to have an exuberant sex life. You will even discover how a couple's sanctification can increase the fulfillment they experience in the bedroom.
In sum, this issues magnifies the good gift of the union that God bestows upon a man and woman in the context of marriage. If anything, it serves as a reminder that we are to always be intoxicated with the love of our spouse and rejoice always in them!
This week I've been preparing our latest newsletter, which will be on the topic of sexual fulfillment. It reminded me of this blog post that I created when preparing to preach on 1 Corinthians 7... you know, the "better to marry than to burn" passage...
One thing I love about this passage is its frankness. God not only instituted marriage for the satisfaction of our sexual desires, but he commands us to keep the marriage bed hot! And Paul spares none in making sure we realize this. He commands us to "give [our spouse his/her] conjugal rights." Then he reiterates it and goes so far as to say, "Do not deprive one another."
One of the greatest things I heard this week was that one church in the Puritan age put a man under church discipline because he was depriving his wife. That's fantastic! That's the kind of thing that should characterize the church: A people who are passionate about being passionate within marriage!
Not long ago Christians had a reputation for being prudish and sex was a taboo topic within the church. Gladly, things are changing. Of course, not all for the better. Today a lot of teaching on sex in the church tends to be a crude, focusing on sex techniques, sex therapists, etc. Nevertheless, most change is for the better, and a sex crazed culture needs solid teaching about proper sexual satisfaction.
That is actually a stupid thing to say. What I mean is "A sex crazed culture needs solid application of the Bible's teaching about proper sexual satisfaction." The fornication that is so rampant today would not be so prevalent if we had more of the sweetness of the marital bond.
That's why I want to encourage those of you who are married to keep the embers burning in the bedroom. Enjoy it, and be, as the Song of Solomon says, "sick with love." Initiate it, indulge in it, plan for it, play in it, serve in it, talk about it, and (above all) strive to excel in it!
I don't just want to emphasize the legitimacy of sexual intercourse between a husband and wife either. I want you to focus on the absolute elation of it! The pagan world does not have the corner on the market when it comes to the exhilaration of sex. God created sex, and he created it to be gratifying. Furthermore, when the Bible talks about proper sexual expression it emphasizes the ecstasy and euphoria of it, to the point where you start to blush (or perhaps better, sweat!).
I mentioned the Song of Solomon, but think also of Isaac and Rebbecca. In Gen. 26:8 it says that Isaac was sporting with Rebbecca. Now I don't want you to think that they were playing a game of Yahtzee or going bowling. The language is technically one of rousing sexual intimacy. You might say it was foreplay because it has to do with affectionate caressing.
(For those of you who may not understand the technical language: they were making out! If you would like to object to this interpretation, you have to find a better way to explain why Abimelech was so incensed with Isaac regarding his treatment of Rebbecca.)
I wanted to cite this line from a recent Generations Radio program on the Puritan View of Sex. One puritan they quote says that our spouse is a "playfellow who has come to make our age merry!" Think of that, a playmate!
I might add a word to the ladies here too: This passion is also something that is to characterize you too. I like how the Westminster Larger Catechism cites Proverbs 31:11, "The heart of her husband trusts in her and he will have no lack of gain." as applying to the seventh commandment. Their insight into the word of God was great: A husband who is sexually gratified isn't going to be worrying about his wife all the time! What's more is that he is going to thrive in his business affairs because his wife is fulfilling all his desires.
Ladies also might want to consider a series like this in your women's discipleship classes, or perhaps regular conversations with those you mentor. Paul did say that the older women were to teach the younger women to "love their husbands." (Titus 2:3-4) We would be downright numb to limit that to taking care of the house and fixing meals.
Some people call it a role reversal. I call it a revolution! And it is just another indication that the home is being turned completely upside-down.
Traditionally it was dad who kissed his bride and then grabbed his lunch pail as he headed out the door for work. His loving wife would wave good bye as she prepared for another day of tending to the household affairs.
We’re finding that stay at home dads are becoming one of the most significant trends in America today. Last March NPR reported that there are aproximately 160,000 stay at home dads today. This is significant in that this number is up by almost 55,000 from a mere 4 years ago.
The trend has become so big that there are websites devoted to help dads obtain resources for being a stay at home dad. There are support groups that you can access. There is even an annual At Home Dad’s conference you can attend, with seminars on raising children with dissabilities, nutrition, and discipline strategies.
When you don't have a fixed standard for defining gender, all kinds of questions will arise. The sports world is now to the point where they have to figure out who can play on what teams. Can a guy who has undergone a sex change play on a girls team? Will there be an unfair advantage? Join us for this episode of The Town Crier Show.
Along with the audio you can follow the power point presentation that also accompanied the lesson. This may be helpful when viewing the statistics and presentation of the facts.
A couple high school bands played in last night's Christmas parade. Marching along with them were the dance teams in their supposedly cute little Santa suits. I couldn't help but think that I had seen similar attire on the cover of a Playboy magazine in my younger, and more un-sanctified days.
My daughter, who is five, even exclaimed, "Those costumes were so short I could almost see their...(voice drifts off into awkward silence)."
As I made every attempt to turn my eyes I could not help but think that these girls are being trained to be whores. Its not just the fact that every man is visually raping the girls as they walk down Main Street. These girls are being encouraged to fornicate. Think about it: A plumber dresses like a plumber. A mailman dresses like a mailman. A virgin dresses like a virgin. A promiscuous girl dresses like a Playboy Bunny.
Any father who respects the purity of his girls says no to the dance team and watches over the clothes she wears.
"Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth."
One of the original charges given to man was that he was to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The man and the woman were given the charge to procreate.
In our day, even within the church, there is a tendency to limit the size of one's family rather than extend it. The secular mindset reverberates throughout the church regarding having children. You can hear the gasps at the thought of having a third child. At the birth of number two you start to hear the jokes about "being done." If you have any more than 3 children, you are considered a lunatic.
Much of this is because of our infatuation with materialistic gain and hedonistic lifestyle. We are more existential than Biblical in our life's orientation.
To be sure, the Lord does not mandate how many children we have or say that we must be pumping out babies at an exponential rate. He does requires us to love children and take seriously our duty to multiply.
This, of course, brings up the discussion of birth control. What place does it have? Does it have a place?
It should be obvious that abortifacients ought not to be used. This includes "the Pill," which is a direct product of Margret Sanger's ambitions. Some say that the the affects of the pill on a fertilized egg are minimal and ought not to be of worry. However, we who take life seriously ought not to play with the chances.
Contraception can have a place in family planning though. It should not be used to give reign to the hedonistic spirit. It can, however, be wisely implemented as it is a matter of christian liberty. Wisdom would wish to consider the following:
There may be other situations where it may be wise to use contraception. The issue will no doubt necessitate reflection and prayer. However, you will notice that the above will indicate that the couple does have a vision for a growing family. It simply has to be prevented for a time for various reasons.
This week I'll be preaching on Genesis 1:24, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." As the passage deals with sexual intimacy, and because our day needs solid (& tactful) teaching on the topic, I'm posting a lot of sermons & blogs that I've written on the subject over the years. You can check the blogs out here. If you want sermons, the click the following:
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.