Rapper Shares Testimony on Overcoming Porn Addiction

Gospel hip hop artist Jahaziel stumbled upon the perverse world of porn at age six, and was addicted throughout most of his teen years.  This story is one we unfortunately hear all too often, but thanks be to God in Christ Jesus who is an all-powerful Chain-Breaker!  Jahaziel found freedom in the grace of God and through working with United Kingdom’s Safetynet to tell his story, he hopes many more men and women will find that same redemption.  Check out his testimony and the music video below:

Strategic Thinking With Josh McDowell and Friends

Yes, that is a chilling video.  Yes, sexual brokenness is a pervasive and painful issue. Yes, there is an attack on our youth just 1 click away.

But yes! There are ministries and individuals rising up, saying “Here am I, Lord” (Isaiah 6:8).

Yesterday some of our most respected ministry partners as well as other organizations from across the nation connected at a Strategic Thinking session hosted by Josh McDowell Ministry.  We discussed the greatest barriers to reaching people with gospel truth as it pertains to sexuality, and how to overcome those obstacles.  Among many practical ideas, there was resolute consensus that to be of any help in this arena, we must constantly receive Help from Christ and make accountability a priority – we need Him and each other (John 15:5, James 5:16).

Highlights from the day included a tangible sense of unity in the body of Christ, the sharing of innumerable resources, and a blanket of prayer from over 20 ministries to One Awesome God.  We are excited for the collaborative efforts sure to stem from yesterday’s event.  Know that this will deepen our well, from which we can draw more wisdom and engagement points to offer you.

Chesterton on Doubting the Real Ideal

by Aszia Walker

“Progress should mean that we are slow but sure in bringing justice and mercy among men: it does mean [just now] that we are very swift in doubting the desirability of justice and mercy… We are not altering the real to suit the ideal.  We are altering the ideal: it is easier.” – G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

We are a culture obsessed with progress, but have we forgotten what we are meant to be progressing toward? God’s ultimate plan for man is sanctification unto Christlikeness.  We keep Him as our aim knowing that He is faithful and will see to His purpose in us (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Unfortunately, as Chesterton points out, humanity doesn’t advance towards justice, or mercy, or anything Christ manifests.  Rather than walk by the Spirit, we turn aside to our deceitful flesh.  Instead of hungering and thirsting for righteousness, we crave sexual “freedom.”  We want it on our TVs, our iPods, the Internet.  We want it in our apparel, on our streets, in our churches.  We even want it by force in the form of human oppression and abuse.  Our society has drastically altered the definition of “ideal.”

But are we to believe that this corruption of intimacy and exploitation of men, women and children is actual liberty?

Experience tells me no.

Scripture tells me no.

And most importantly, the heart and very nature of Jesus cries out with compassion and sorrow… “No, this isn’t freedom, and it is surely not ideal.”

Today you have a choice: Buy the lie of our sexualized culture or acknowledge that Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, is and ever will be the only real ideal.

If you choose Him, progress then means becoming ever more aligned with His will by His power.

You can start by pursuing a PURE lifestyle.

Pray and ask God to create or renew in you a clean heart.  Understand how you can be an integral part in reaching this sexualized age for the cause of Christ.  Resolve to chase the True Ideal, not conform to this world (Romans 12:1-2).  And finally, engage. Love others and perpetuate purity and justice by your example, voice, and involvement.

Do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.  So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.  Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Romans 13:11-14

How do you think our culture has altered the meaning of justice from what God intended? Click here to respond

See also:

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Aszia Walker is a recent graduate of Oklahoma State University and the Kanakuk Institute in Branson, MO. She is currently serving as a 2012 pureJUSTICE intern. 

Benediction: Jude 1

by Maria Marballi and Aszia Walker

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever.  Amen.”  Jude 1:24-25

Stumbling interferes with the sanctification of our hearts.

It is the darkness that causes us to fall, but Christ keeps us from such, and we cannot forget to whom we send our prayers; He will turn darkness to light, He will keep us from stumbling.

When our child’s Internet misuse appears a despairing cycle, we bow our heads in prayer; He is able.

When the eye lusts and addictions to impurity take hold of the mind and body, we bow our heads in prayer; He will keep us from stumbling.

When we feel like there is no escape from a sinful cycle, we bow our heads in prayer; He can make us stand.

Yet we are quick to become disheartened and overwhelmed with feelings of guilt and hopelessness when bombarded by the images and attitudes of our sexualized culture, and paralyzed by the unholy desire to fix our own problems…or worse, hide them in secrecy.

Surely the Word of God sings a new song.  If we take a moment to consider the power and majesty of the God we serve, we must also acknowledge His awe-inspiring ability and will to protect our hearts and minds from evil.  He can make us blameless.

He desires contrition and the renewal of our hearts in purity, and when we pray for Him to heal and protect, He responds with an overwhelming “Yes.”

Depression and discouragement can spin into an endless cycle of sin, but through the love and faithfulness of Christ Jesus, He fills us with the joy that is our strength.

Question: What verses sustain you during times of trial or temptation?  Click here to comment

Maria Marballi is a sophomore at The Ohio State University.  Aszia Walker is a recent graduate of Oklahoma State University and the Kanakuk Institute in Branson, MO.  They are both serving as 2012 pureJUSTICE interns.  

Parenting by Example

A core concept of our purePARENTING message is that when it comes to sexual purity, parents must lead by example.  You can’t give away what you don’t have; as C.S. Lewis put it: “None can give another what he does not possess himself.  No generation can bequeath to its successor what it has not got.”

The Bible confirms this.  Biblical, God-centered parenting begins with the mandate that the words of Scripture be in our heart AND that we teach them diligently to our children (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).  Note the progression: the Word of God alive in us, then communicated to our children–in word and deed.

This is especially true regarding sexual attitudes and behavior.  If we are tolerant of impure thoughts, words, actions, or media in our lives and households, this will over time communicate to our children that sexual integrity and purity is not central, is not important, perhaps that it is not possible, and that it is actually not God’s will for us–even though the Bible makes clear that it is.

This article on leading by example as a parent hits the nail on the head.  “Observational learning” is a huge part of childhood, and because of that, parenting is not first about telling your kids what to do–it is about being the person God would have you be and living a pure and virtuous life that produces the fruit of the Spirit.  Kids are smart, and they are sponges; when we walk uprightly, they see it, and they will learn.  Modeling virtue is never a wasted effort.

“As often as you might say to them, ‘Do as I say, not as I do,’ your continual actions will speak louder than your words.”

Food for thought:

  • Have you made a covenant with your eyes as a parent?
  • What media are you allowing into your house, and what does it communicate?
  • Do you turn the channel when inappropriate images come up?
  • Where are you going online?
  • Are you examining the purity of your language and humor?  Your clothing?
  • Do you honor and show affection to your spouse in the presence of your kids?

May 4-5 Pursuing Purity Conference

pureHOPE is pleased to invite you to attend the Pursuing Purity Conference at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, May 4-5, 2012, in Louisville, KY.  This unique conference will bring together a stellar group of speakers and teachers to focus on the calling to sanctification and the importance of sexual purity in the Christian life, and to equip attendees–including parents, pastors, and college and seminary students–to lead in the pursuit of purity.

Click here to view more details about the speakers, schedule, and registration rates, and look for more information in the coming weeks about this exciting event.

Sanctification: Oswald Chambers

Sanctification, the Apostle Paul tells us, is God’s will for our lives (1 Thessalonians 4:3).  Abstaining from sexual immorality, pursuing purity of heart, and loving rather than objectifying others are fruits of sanctification.  Fruits, however, not of a life well-lived, but of the life of Jesus Christ flowing through us.

Oswald Chambers said that sanctification is “His patience, His love, His holiness, His faith, His purity, His godliness…manifested in and through” a person.  It is Christ in us that purifies (Colossians 1:27) and produces pure thoughts and deeds.  Nobody, Chambers tells us, “can make himself pure by obeying laws.”

As we rejoice and celebrate this weekend, recalling the atonement of our sins through Jesus’ shed blood and the promise of new life, focus on letting go of striving and grasping and embrace some R&R–repentance and rest (Isaiah 30:15) in what Jesus has done for us on the cross, trusting in the power of His resurrection.  It’s God’s will for you, after all.