I’m sure the neighbors of this church are as turned off by this stupid church sign as its members are.
I fear for my son, and I fear for my grandson. Both are growing up as males in a culture that is sex-saturated and where access to sexual images and videos is unlimited via the internet. If you have a son, you should be afraid too. What can fathers do to help our sons grow up in this culture to become young men of integrity? I posed this question to Douglas Wilson, the author of the book, Future Men, and here is what he had to say.
One of the things that I would say that fathers have to do with their sons is they have to teach their sons to control their passions. They need to instill self-control in boys long before sex has entered their heads. Boys are very much in tune with their bodies. They know when they’re hungry, they know when they’re in pain, they know when they want to play and run more; they are very connected with their bodies. Fathers need to teach self-control and discipline when a boy is hurt and wants to come unglued, or when he wants to demand food because he’s hungry now. That sort of “convenience store” approach to indulging the passions is disastrous if a boy grows up lacking self-control for ten years and then hits adolescence. All of a sudden the strongest passion that he’s ever experiences hits him. If he doesn’t have any experience with self-control, he’s going to lose in this area. So, the first thing a father needs to do is instill self-control as a default drive assumption; he needs to discipline his boy for a decade before sex has entered the picture.
Secondly, a father needs to teach his son about sex and about what’s going on when a woman is acting seductively, whether it’s a pornographic woman or a girl standing on the sidewalk outside his junior high. He needs to take his sons through Proverbs. Many Christian moms are tempted to say things like, “Son, you see the way she’s dressed there? That’s awful and gross.” The son’s thinking to himself, “No, it isn’t.” A father who follows Proverbs says, “Her words are like honey, it looks really good at the beginning. If you go to bed with her, you’ll have a really good time, but the steps of her household lead down to death. There’s a consequence to pay. It looks good at the beginning, but not at the end.”
My wife and I first encountered this when my son was a little boy and they were at the supermarket checkout counter. There was a magazine there with a woman almost wearing something and my wife was using her as a teaching opportunity. She started to explain to my son that this was an awful, gross thing. I told my wife afterwards that a woman might look at that and see nothing but the grotesque nature of it, but for a guy there’s all sorts of pleasant things that strike him initially. Even mothers need to say to their sons, “That looks good, doesn’t it? The Bible says it looks good at the beginning, but at the end is death.”
The church I pastor is a baptist church. We were founded almost 40 years ago by a conservative baptist church planter, and our statement of faith would make most baptists very happy. But join us on a Sunday morning, and you might seriously question our baptist roots. Why? Because we incorporate a good deal of liturgy in of our worship service. We’re “liturgical baptists” (crazy, I know!), and here’s why.
Our lives are ruled by liturgy. At its most basic meaning, liturgy is a customary repertoire of ideas, phrases, or observances. Every day, our culture presses its liturgy upon us, and often, we succumb to it without even knowing it. And it shapes us.
So, when we gather together as Christ-followers and Christ-worshippers on Sunday mornings at Foothills Fellowship, we engage in a counter-cultural liturgy. This liturgy consists of singing, prayer, confession, the public reading of the Scriptures—including the assurance of our forgiveness from God’s Word, the preaching of the Word, and receiving communion.
We are called as God’s people to be shaped by Lord and by His Word. Therefore, our liturgy on Sunday mornings is designed to shape us in this way. Our prayer is that this shaping on Sunday will make for a meaningful and beneficial time of worship and will serve as a model for the rest of the week as we resist the shaping of our culture’s liturgy and allow ourselves to be shaped by the Lord.
Here’s an interesting blog post I stumbled across by a former Bob Jones fundamentalists turned catholic priest about the move of more and more churches doing what we’re doing.
Here is the video of my daughter, Alexis, and my niece, Kathryn, singing “It Is Well” at my dad’s memorial service this past weekend.
Here is the powerful video I showed at the end of our Easter service yesterday.
By the way, I did pay for and download the official copy…and it was in English!