Down but Never Ever Out ~ blog
Do you know what really saddens me? It saddens me that so many Christian men who are defeated in their sexual brokenness feel like God is finished with them and they are either relegated to sitting on the bench, sent to the locker room or kicked off the team. It saddens me because they are not experiencing God working in their life, even though He still wants to, and they have concluded they are worthless to the cause of Christ and cannot be used in His family.
Perhaps each church should have a DL list. DL stands for Disabled List unless you use the term IL for Injury List. Players who have been injured or disabled and not able to play their position and would be a liability should they be on the field but unable to function in the capacity for which their position calls.
The NFL allows there to be a maximum of 53 players of which only 11 of them can be on the field at one time. If someone is injured, they hope to always have a backup. They may not be as good but can still keep the team moving along. In the NBA they are limited to 15 players with only 13 eligible to be active in each game.
Churches have DL or IL lists … however, most of the ones on it are keeping it a secret why they are not playing on the team. Let’s face it … how many men do not serve in their church because they feel they have disqualified themselves because of their sexual sin? If 50-60% of all Christian men are addicted to porn many of them are not showing up for practice much less putting on the jersey and getting on the field. They show up on game day … Sunday … but sit in the stands and feel they do not deserve to be on the bench, much less on the field.
This results in several things that impact the health of the church and its ability to fulfill its God-given calling. Let’s say a church has 200 members and being generous saying half of them are men. If statistics are true and 50% are addicted to porn, how many of them are being an active member of the church in both serving according to their spiritual gifts and giving to financially support the ministry?
Our world of pornography and sexual sin is slowly squeezing the life out of the local body of Christ. Those who could be serving are not and even some of them who are serving are walking in the flesh and not being empowered by the Spirit to be using their spiritual gifts. Obviously, their ministry will be somewhat void of power without them being filled with and walking in the Spirit.
The amazing thing to me is when I speak with pastors about starting a 180 Recovery Ministry they are not open to the idea. I feel like a medic on the battlefield coming up to a soldier who has been blown up by a bomb … but still alive. And when I ask him if I can help him, he says; “No, I am good.” To which I want to say; “Liar, Liar pants on fire!!!”
If you are believing that just because you are struggling with sexual sin you are on the Lord’s DL or IL list, you might be mistaken. If the requirement for serving in a ministry within a church were contingent on being perfect, there would be nobody good enough to unlock the front door.
Now I was a Senior Pastor for 8+ years while still losing my battle with sexual sin and falling deeper into that darkness. I should have resigned. I was no longer a “one-woman man” and kept lying to myself that I would get better. But I only got worse.
There are gifts of the Spirit to enable believers in positions of leadership which are essential to be able to feed and administrate the flock. However, there are also gifts of the Spirit that enable believers to be servants and care for the needs of others.
Now, if one is deeply addicted to sexual sin then your focus needs to be on getting help through weekly accountability and daily support, perhaps going to a counselor or pastor. However, if one is being tempted sexually but is really battling against it there are many gifts of the Spirit that could be used to edify the body. One does not need to be completely sexually pure to be a servant.
Here are some of the gifts that everybody in the church could be doing even if they are struggling against sexual sin.
Serving Giving Mercy Faith Helps Administration Hospitality
Now please, do not get me wrong. If you are given over to sexual sin and deep into your addiction … you are still on the team. You still have your jersey with your name on the back. God still has a purpose for your life and wants to use you to help others.
In fact, one of the most important things you could begin to do and keep doing is to help other men who are still struggling in secret with sexual sin. I guarantee you that if you begin to ask other men if they struggle in this area and tell them that you do too … soon you are going to be having a small group desperately wanting to help one another.
The biggest problem keeping this from happening is you believe that you have to keep your shameful and self-loathing sin a secret … just like all the other men. But open your mouth and tell someone in confidence and you will be throwing a drowning man a life preserver to which he will gladly grasp because he also is in a state of desperation.
Listen to what James writes at the very end of his letter;
“My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”