The Best of Times and The Worst of Times
Charles Dickens begins his work A Tale of Two Cities with these infamous words;
“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom; it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief; it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light; it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope; it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us,
we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Heaven,
we were all going direct the other way…”
It is the story of two men and their two cities, London and Paris. I believe these same words could be said about the Church, the living body of Christ on this planet right now. The Body of Christ is exploding around the world. Millions of people in Asia, South America, and Africa are turning to Christ.
However, I believe that it is also the worst of times. I am not talking about church growth and whether people are coming to Christ or walking away from Christianity. I am talking about the Body of Christ becoming more and more addicted to pornography. I am talking about the Bride of Christ being mastered by sexual sin and unable to wear white on her wedding day.
Friday night my wife and I went to the movies and watched the film Darkest Hour. It was the story of Winston Churchill and his leadership leading to the infamous rescue of 300,000 British soldiers from Dunkirk as the Nazi’s sweep across Europe. Winston had to make a choice that he did not want to make. His war cabinet was pressuring him to appeal to Adolph Hitler and work out a peace agreement.
Against all logic and the need to capitulate so that he might save his job as Prime Minister and keep Hitler from invading England, he knew what that would mean. It would be making a pact with the devil incarnate and believing Hitler would keep his word. They would hunker down on their own little island and resign to the fact that Europe was lost and perhaps the bully would leave them alone.
I wonder how many pastors face that same decision today without even realizing it? Every man in the pew, 100% of them, are being tempted with sexual sin as well as those on the platform. Statistics reveal that 60% or more are addicted to porn. It is eating them alive. It Is destroying their marriages and families, and they hand their teenagers smartphones so that they become anointed with this generational sin.
God help us if we do not fight this pandemic. If we sit still and rationalize that it is acceptable to view porn and masturbate. That it is ok to look at another human created in the image of God and treat them as something to be consumed like another bacon cheeseburger. That we turn our eyes away from the growing problems of sex trafficking, child porn, and the sexual abuse of women.
Shame also on those organizations who see the needs of this addicted population and view it as an opportunity to make helping these people into a business that so many cannot afford. When did we see Jesus take an offering after feeding the 5000 or asking for money for healing? There is no doubt wealthy people who struggle and can pay for treatment, fly to an expert and can spend thousands to get help.
But who will stand for the weak, the poor and those who cannot afford treatment? Those who live in poverty but somehow have access to online porn? The millions of believers who are so ashamed over what they have done that they not dare speak to anyone in their church for fear of being condemned in the place where there is to be no condemnation for those who are in Christ.
I will stand with them and for them and by God’s grace. He will continue to provide so that I can give the rest of my life to this cause. Plus, I need you to stand with me. Keep me in your prayers for wisdom and discernment so that 180 will always be a ministry to help everyone who needs it.