Sex & Money | Paul Tripp

Reflecting on his book Sex & Money Paul Tripp shares this quick overview.

If accountability and budget were all we needed in [the areas of abusing sex and money] there’d be a whole lot more pure people, and a whole lot less people in debt.

If Jesus has made it clear that abusing sex and money are problems of the heart, why are we still trying to address them as behavioural problems? People need more than accountability groups and budgeting tools. They need grace.

Is the Bible anti-gay? So what now?

On Sunday (24 February 2013) we asked the question “Is the Bible anti-gay?” as part of our “Got Questions?” series.  We opened up the Bible to let it speak for itself. 

A young woman (who we won’t identify) from our church community asked if she could share her story, with the hope of encouraging others.  A big ‘Thank You’ to this young woman – thank you for sharing your story. 

Here it is.  We hope you find it encouraging. 

http://www.ridgeviewcc.org/?i=14040&mid=1000&id=396096

“I first came to Creek Road through a friend who was coming here at the time. I was a bit wary of going back to church. I had already had a bad experience at a previous church, which had been very judgemental of me.

You see, at that time, I was in a homosexual relationship with another woman, and had been for three years.

My previous church had told me that I was not welcome there unless I changed. However, Creek Road seemed different, and over the next few months I started going more and more. Often I would sit by myself on one side of the church, and a group of girls noticed. They would come and speak to me, and over time, we became friends. These girls are now my best friends.

Creek Road was different because their approach was one of being welcoming and loving towards me. There was not a sense that I needed to be ‘fixed’ before I could come to church. They accepted me, and encouraged me to seek out God and find his will for me.

As I joined a growth group, and became part of Young Adults here at Creek Road, I slowly began to open up about my past. I felt more comfortable talking about my life with people I knew would not reject me.

I went to several Growth Groups before settling into an Adult Growth Group last year. Just recently, I shared my story with my Growth Group in the hope that it would encourage them to continue to treat people with love.

I am a Christian. I am no longer in the relationship with the girl, and she has visited church at Creek Road on several occasions. It is my hope and prayer that she will become a Christian. 
 It is thanks to God’s redemptive power that my life has changed so radically.

Last Sunday’s bible talk was immensely encouraging for me to hear. Steve spoke about the sexual brokenness experienced by everyone, and he didn’t single out gay people as being the worst offenders. Instead, he made it clear that none of us are in a position to judge others.

I wanted to share my story today to encourage others who may be struggling with this issue to reach out to people they trust – maybe your growth group. 
 I want to encourage people that this is not something you need to struggle with alone.

Recently I returned to my previous church where I had been rejected. They were happy to see that there had been some big changes in my life. I’m glad that my relationship with that church has now been restored.

The love and support of God’s people here at Creek Road has played a huge part in these changes occurring in my life. God has given me the strength to talk about this difficult subject in the hope that it might change other people’s lives, too.

I know I can safely say that if I had been treated with judgment and rejection at Creek Road, I would never have come back to church again.”

Praise God for how He has worked in this young woman’s life. 

Please pray for her that she would grow in her understanding of God’s love for her. 

Please pray for others who struggle with sexual brokenness. 

Please pray for us as a church, that we would always be a community of love, grace and acceptance – introducing people to Jesus.

Question 4: Is the Bible anti-gay?

John works with kids from the streets of Brisbane and has at times been challenged to think about and share Jesus’ views on sexuality. In this video John is winsome, compassionate and loving. John asks the questions: “How is the Bible’s take on sexuality authentic?” and “Is the gospel for homosexuals as well?”

 

If John’s message challenged you, provoked you or led you to ask questions regarding the bible’s perspective on homosexuality, you can check out a 20 minute bible talk asking the tough questions by clicking here!

Justin Bieber: Put God and family first

The king, Elvis Presley began developing his musical talent in a church. More recently pop-sensations such as Britney Spears, Eminem, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber (among several others) have all at some point claimed to be Christian’s that have come under the spotlight of fame and popularity.

The downside to this is any Google search will reveal the explicit controversies that these super-stars have been involved in. From provocative dancing, drugs, sex and indecent exposure to pregnancy scandals and sexual provocative attire. Are these so-called Christians giving the rest of us a bad name? If so, whose fault is it?

I stumbled across an article titled ‘Justin Bieber: Put God and family first’ (10th August 2011) (link here) and it made me ponder on the absolute misrepresentation of Christians in the media. So what the deal? Is Justin Bieber a Christian or not?

Bieber was quoted saying: “I want to say that anything is possible … You got to keep Go

d first and always remember to keep family first. Jesus loves every one of you!”

When the Rolling Stone Magazine asked him about his opinion on sex before marriage he was quoted: “I think you should just wait for the person you’re … in love with.”

These are pretty contrasting views from the teen pop-sensation. Obviously every Christian knows that God’s view on sex before marriage is a little more stringent than ‘waiting for love’. But all this is old news you say…

So I went a little further and dug up an interview with Bieber’s mum whose name is Patty. Patty had some very interesting things to say. When asked about other teen-celebrities being seduced by the cultures of pop fame she answered:

“We need, in this time more than ever, to lift them up in prayer. They are a mouthpiece for a generation. Let’s pray for them, let’s encourage them. Let’s spur them on to the Lord.”

What a great encouragement that is. She doesn’t accuse these young adults of not being Christians, nor does she depict Bieber to be a saint, rather she sends out a ‘call to prayer’. Encouraging all those onlookers who condemn with judging eyes not to kick them while they are down but rather to lift them up in prayer.

My prayer is going to be that God will grant me the wisdom to not judge things beyond my understanding (like the state of sanctification of people I’ve never met). And that the Holy Spirit would continue to work in the lives of Christians who stand in the spotlight of celebrity fame. That He would continue to convict and lead people like Bieber and I will thank Him for the wonderful works that He has already done in these people’s lives.