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February 9, 2022 9:00 pm
Are you wanting freedom, real freedom, from the porn prison--for you or someone you love? On FamilyLife Today, author Ray Ortlund cheers us on to recognize our value under God and begin a movement of liberty!
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I want to see a great movement of God in our generation. What if 10 years from now. The most captivating preachers of the gospel in this country are ex-porn stars with the best storytellers for the gospel are ex-porn videographers. What if the most generously are ex-porn investors.
The risen Jesus is well able, would we not love to say that family life today when we want to help the relationship the matter now I'm not Dave Wilson and you can find is it we live today.com or on our family. Family life. I thought excited today. Never had a man in the studio who wrote the Bible. We got writers in the know. And obviously if you listen you like what in the world, a dog, but we got Ray or Lynn in the studio who you've written many things, but you are one of the co-writers of the ESB Bible.
Well, I'd rather save translators. I welcome family today Rick you're good to be with you.
Tell us a little bit about yourself because I know your pastoring, sort of. Now but gives the background. Well, we planted a manual church in Nashville Tennessee in 2008 and stayed there for a number of years has had a total blast. I'm so thankful that I ended my pastoral years on this upward trajectory of just amazing fun down ready for covert yes that's right I got out just but we we we have such a great time. God really smiled on us 80% of the church are in their 20s and 30s at your church. Just because you have a very young. Oh well, I don't know but it's such a gift so we now are with renewal ministries, which is a nonprofit that my dear dad mom handed down to us and were under the board of RM and were having a blast here in our 70s. We believe our 70s are our best decade Jenny and I best I could hear something to look forward to absolutely love it when we turn when I turned 60 a few years back.
Dennis Rainey said to me, this will be the best decade of your life. I laugh like yeah whatever date he goes. He just looked me showing Western like you are Stan, I'm not kidding this will be the best I could hear life. He said the most fruitful part of your three and even into the seventh yes because all our lives we been prepared for this right now all that investment. God is put into us all that grace and the privilege of ministries given us. Now it all funnels down to this incredibly consequential decade of our 70s.
Jenny and I right now is for is quick and so were just amazingly healthy and grateful for that. But it's not to last forever.
Something bad will come and find us and take us out fine will be with the Lord. But until then we just want to go for that. How many kids and grandkids for kids and all married and 14 grandchildren while 14 are they near you know, I know we raised our kids to think for themselves and then they went to the ingrates at the amazing thing is, recently you release the book. I want to know if you thought you can release this your whole life because it's called the death of porn men of integrity. Building a world of nobility.
Is this a life work. Is this something you saw yourself 10 years ago, writing, or is this something that became a passion recently. More recently, because during those years of the manual church every Tuesday night we had a manual theology for men and these great guys in their 20s and 30s.
For the most part would come and we had hundreds of times together with Bible teaching honesty and honor, I would teach some robust theology or Bible for about an hour. Then we would have walking in the light for about 20 or 30 minutes break up into his and we would go into first John chapter 1 verse seven but if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of God's son cleanses us from all sin. So we would break up into use and one guy was say to the other. Okay here's what is working in my life and he would explain the other guy would say all right. Let's pray and he would prefer that guy then they turn around.
Here's what's not working in my life here so I'm not doing well and the other guy would pray for him and then we would have on her time, because Romans 1210 says outdo one another in showing honor. This is the as far as I know the only competitive sport in the Bible outdo one another outdo one another in showing utter so it was and that was all of us together is a great group and guys would say things like Jim last Thursday night when I felt like looking at porn. I texted you and you called me right back and you talked to me and we talked together for half an hour. You got me off the edge of the cliff. Do I honor you. It was like popcorn going off. I have to shut it down after a while. So teaching of Scripture, honesty and honor, and hundreds of experiences like that and I just came to realize how massive this issue of sexuality and porn has become in this generation of young guys that I love so much to what he thinks happening because you and I grew up in a different generation, there wasn't the accessibility to porn like there is now what you see taken place were all under tremendous pressures right now at multiple levels and our sexuality is one of the primary targets of temptation and corruption and it's no surprise because you know God is not having second thoughts about giving us sexuality he created us like this.
He's not wishing he could delete it. He's not sorry he made us this way, God's answer to the loss of sexual integrity is not to delete our sexuality or even to suppress our sexuality but to redeem our sexuality to give our sexuality back to us better than before. That is God's purpose.
Almost nobody believes that you have to be a Christian be crazy enough to believe God wants to do that in your life. Yes.
So what the weather does that mean how does God want to redeem our sexuality will typically it happens when we come to the end of ourselves.
That's when we turn around and really great things start to happen when we stop posing we stop hiding we come out into the light of the truth of who God is the truth of who we are and we start talking about it in real confession mean I meet with TJ Timms and Sam all buried TJ and semi-get together in my study and our only purpose is to confess your sins to one another mutually transparently.
Nobody gets coerced, nobody gets shamed, nobody's embarrassed record we don't like that we object to that very strongly.
Everyone is dignified and we talk about our feelings and our shortcomings in our weaknesses and I hate it and look forward to that one.
LOL it's very freeing. But in advance when I know you guys are coming. I know that what I most need to tell them about is the very thing I don't want to tell them about. That's what I most need to confess and they feel the same way and I'm really struck the when we get together. I keep telling the same things I thought I would be a better man by now after all these years immersed in Scripture blessed by God and so forth. But I'm grateful that I have these two guys whom I trust and they're not dysfunctional enablers or serious men right now and I can level with them. I can tell them about the real me and they don't gasp in shock.
Neither do they pat me on the shoulder and say oh they're there. Everybody does that. They treat me as a serious man and they pray for me and it's freeing it is burden lifting. I get some sparkle in my eye again. Now there's not too much of that going around guys. That's gotta go viral.
What if a movement caught on of men and women but my interest in this book is men of men getting together in that kind of transparency on a regular basis and look each other in the eye being honest with each other and praying for each other and then coming back the next week doing the same thing again. All the indicators would move in the right direction now. And as I picked up your book, the death of porn that was what struck me immediately which was very unique of all books I've read on this topic was this zeal you have, to see a movement, just like you just said of men and women can be a ball but it's really a book for men and I resonate men saying working to stop this. This doesn't have to be the status quo because we got a point worth I get forms a big part of our life and it's just never to go away and your sin.
There could be a movement that takes place right. I use the hashtag starve the beast can't endure that it is not as formidable as it appears it is we men and Christian men who are enabling it and supporting it.
What if we didn't do that I want to see a great awakening. Yes, I want to see a great movement of God in our generation. What if the next great awakening doesn't start at some nicely nice church down the street that wants to upgrade from 6 to 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.
While there, you know on cruise control into what is the next great awakening starts inside the porn industry and with the risen Jesus visits with grace and mercy the precious people down deep inside the porn industry right now. What if 10 years from now. The most captivating preachers of the gospel in this country are asked porn stars with the best storytellers for the gospel are X porn videographers. What if the most generous philanthropists are asked porn investors.
The risen Jesus is well able to do that, would we not love to see that what interesting I thought because you compare English slave trade yes and William Wilberforce to what were going through now with the porn industry.
Yes, how did you make that correlation will what if it were in the year 1850 in Tennessee, slavery would be illegal, it would be a profitable business. It would have the law on its side. It would have social convention and social approval on its side, and it would be indeed an economic necessity. Many people would be involved in the slave business. Other people wouldn't like it but they would just accept it and shrugged her shoulders and say this is just the way it is. It's not really ride but okay these things happen and a few people would be liberators and abolitionists. Now we look back on the Christians who either participated in or did not speak up against the slave trade and we grieve over them. We feel rightly they lost their historic opportunity now it's our turn now and where we get to take our stand arena be involved in the slave trade. Are we just going to passively accept it, just look on from a distance, or are we to stand up and say friends.
This is just inhumane.
We going to do all we can. Let's go set as many people free as we possibly can and it starts at the front end with consumers. I love what you said when you're talking to man.
You said once he settled in your mind that you do have a future worth getting excited about that.
You can help form a rebel movement define young man who will someday dance on porn's grave multitudes that men no longer groveling, but standing tall and loving life again and all of thanks to God that is a great dream. I'll give my life to the how does it happen will say how it doesn't happen in my opinion it doesn't happen by flexing our political muscles and a big march on Washington. The phrase commonly is that politics is downstream of culture and cultures we know is downstream of renewal in the church we are the salt of the earth where the light of the world there isn't enough light will let's look at ourselves first so I think it starts in a counterintuitive, surprising way. It starts with us Christian men owning up not putting the finger at the bad people creating the porn, but turning around and looking the mirror and looking at ourselves and admitting our own complicity in this and going to one another and locking arms together to live in honesty to live in transparency to live in integrity and give the rest of our lives to multiplying that safe place of integrity in confession and to see that go viral.
I have seen this at our church. I've seen a spirit of honesty, gentle non-shaming non-pressuring honesty spread over the whole church. The truth of it feels like heaven on earth might have 20 and 30-year-olds coming because her thinking. This is the place where I can be honest and real and I have hope and even what you talk about at the beginning telling the they are royalty yes I don't think men believe that know this world has no idea who these great guys really are in this world every day treats these magnificent young men as if they are part of a market niche or part of a voting block other words it tells them you are a unit in some kind of social collectivity useful for somebody else's selfish grandiosity, not the world beats that into all of us and into these young men and young women. Every day. Well, were not taken that anymore we open up the Bible and we read on the first page of the Bible in Genesis chapter 1, for crying out loud that God created us in his image, the King of the universe has put us here in this world to represent his kingdom.
He made us royalty know we have edit on layers of complications to our own sinfulness right, but I love to look right in the face of a young guy 2530 35 years old and seen the look, the God created you that you are that foundational baseline.
God created you that you are and cannot not be that you is not a problem that you is a strategy you with your individuality. Your gift mix your potential God created you as a living breathing human strategy to bring his kingdom of royalty and dignity and healing and hope into a world gone mad. That's who you actually are and when by grace we actually give ourselves permission to believe that even just a little bit we get some steel in our spine. We live again what & when I picked up your book.
First of all, so beautifully written, because it's looked like letters from a father to a son. Each chapter begins everyone and it's so tender they can feel it. Even here in the studio with your voice is just your grace giver and you exude grace, but I've never read a book that about porn in the struggle for that took the pathway you took starting with does he want to read the first chapter title ISA you are royalty a MacBook. What is this I think is going really that's where you get it started as a read the chapter like all my goodness, you have to start here and that you've explained it, but what happens to a man when he understands he's royalty, especially in his struggle with porn and this happens to women as well have slow what we all know behavior modification just doesn't work.
It doesn't change anything. Real change doesn't happen from the outside in, happens from the inside out.
What's most important about us in this world is not what we own, but what we believe. So we need to go back to page 1 of the Bible and dared to believe again in who we really are. Who God says we are is who we really are in these false narratives that the world gives us that we create for ourselves, including the narrative that says I'm so damaged. I'm beyond repair. I'm beyond redemption hopeless yet and so what we wanted to is rise up and let's give ourselves the permission to be in pigment at that self destroying lie is give the devil a bad day and dared to believe what God says about us when he says that he cherishes us.
He created us for greatness. He gave his very son because we matter that much to him and let's just dare to believe it and see what God will do with that and then we got believe the gospel slightly come together and instead of flexing her muscles and shouting at the world telling them how wrong they are and how they know they're just ruining everything. Those kids get off our lawn instead we say no here so I'm not doing.
I'm amazed that God loves me at all. It's a miracle that here I am once you come join the miracle the miracle of grace and one of the most powerful things that I love to hear thoughts on this is when we understand the royalty but went up community of men, or community of women are our men and women to gather understand our identity in Christ. What happens you know who help me on that is Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In his book life together and he explains there is so clearly had never seen it so clearly that when sin wants to have a man alone in isolation, hiding because then sin got him. But when that man dares to believe that God is saying to him, look, you don't have to come clean yourself up first.
I don't want the prettify version of you. I want you the desperate sinner that you are no come to me as you are in all your mess in the truth of it is only got to sing actually, you're worse than you think. And I'm better than you think. So why don't we get together. It's interesting to have had the opportunity sometime since one of my favorite things to speak to high schoolers and people into their 20s and I recently had a chance to be with them afterwards. Just praying for them. And as I've gotten older and maybe yet I see this need to cure the greatness in the end. So as I've gotten older I want to tell them like he is greatness in you. And so I've gotten into the habit of what ever I need when I see the good that you and is ideally like I can say like you're so courageous can see that your old and I see the tenacity of your faith, and these people are crying tears or just streaming down her face, which I'm surprised and yet I think we hear so many lies all day long from the culture from the world from the enemy from our past pain that were reeling in the lies of Satan.
I believe he uses all of that to continually condemn and so when another follower of Christ. He who God made you to be seated greatness in you. They week because they forgot and I love that about you. I love that about what you write and I love what you see in people. You see the magnificence that image bears that we are yet I love that that's how you start a book on porn seriously as I while that is where it needs to start reminding us who we are because where you live out of our identity. What we believe is you said is so important because it dictates how we behave and we don't believe that were to behave like were sinners rather than were image bearers that carry the image of God in us, we are royalty beautiful statement of truth tried to do battle with lustful feelings that have led to our graffiti and has found themselves experiencing the shame and the guilt that comes with looking at porn realizes that shame and guilt are not sufficient motivators for us to to be loosed from the bondage of lust we need. As Ray Gartland has said here a higher calling.
We need to be pointed to the nobility that is ours in Christ and to live out of that identity. He writes about this in his book the death of porn. It's a book we got in our family life today resource Center.
You can go firstname.lastname@example.org to get your copy or you can call one 800 FL today. This, by the way, is a great book for fathers and sons to go through together or for a men's group at church to work through together again. It's called the death of porn by Ray Orton go to family life today.com to order your copy or call us at 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today know there's a reason that we tackled these kinds of challenging issues here at family life today. It's because our commitment is to effectively develop godly marriages and families. We believe godly marriages and families can change the world one home at the time and it's by taking these kinds of issues head-on that we are able to help build strength and stability into marriages and help defeat some of the spiritual strongholds that are keeping husbands and wives from experiencing the oneness that is God's design for marriage. All that we do here at family life is made possible by listers just like you who have gone from being listeners only to being men and women who say this mission. This ministry matters not just for me and my family. But for others in our community or others around the world. Those of you who step forward and support this ministry either with a one time gift or by becoming a monthly ministry partner.
You make all that we do here at family life possible and we are grateful for your ongoing support if you can help with a donation today would love to send you as a thank you gift a copy of the book we talked about earlier this week Sean McDowell's book chasing. Love that helps us think through the cultural confusion around issues related to sexuality and gender in our culture again. Sean's book is our gift to you. When you make a donation today. You can do that easily email@example.com or you can call one 800 FL today to donate. We look forward to hearing from you and we are grateful for your partnership with us in this ministry. Not tomorrow. Ray Orton is gonna tackle what is a lot of the bondage to pornography. The mentor experiencing and women as well. It's the issue of despair, a loss of hope will hear more about that tomorrow. Join us on behalf of our hosts Dave and Wilson on Bob Lapine back next time for another edition of family life today