I can honestly tell you that the first 18 years of my life- I DONT KNOW. I have no idea what my pastor preached about in church.
Out of the countless camps, bible studies, wednesday night youth groups, sunday morning youth group and church services, mission trips, growing up as a missionary child, christian weekly college events I went to growing up, etc I only heard 2 sermons that I remember. Literally 2.
The first thing I remember, on multiple occasions, was the gospel being presented. One of the times I remember it vividly was when the movie The Passion came out. I remember a couple different times where the pastor used clips from the crucifixion that really stuck out to me. The words that pastor spoke afterward somehow meant more after seeing the reenactment of the crucifixion on a big screen.
The second thing I remember is a women who spoke at a Christian conference. She spoke of her past abortion. Wait, she didn’t speak. She cried. She wept. She shook. She broke down to where she couldnt say any more words. It was the most humbling, eye-opening, heartbreaking talk I have ever seen still to this day. It really surprised me as I had never heard someone speak on abortion. I wondered why or how the subject of abortion could be made into an entire speech or sermon. All I knew is that the pain the woman had was unlike any pain I had ever experienced including the death of my grandpa which was hard to imagine.
The hardest part to admit is that I went home from that conference and even if I thought about it again, I never spoke of it again. I never heard about it from the pulpit or in church. Probably 7 years passed before I would find out I had been deeply affected by abortion, in a completely different way, but that the fact that I had never really talked about abortion for my entire 21 years was actually really upsetting considering over 70 percent of men and women getting abortion services are coming from our churches. In fact, this statistic not only shows that we aren’t talking about issues that are really going on in our church but other statistics and testimonies show that we are not even comfortable talking about our past decisions and mistakes in our church.
I did a lot of things in my high school and college years that I am not proud of but they are a part of who has made me who I am. I did a lot of things that came with severe consequences. In fact, some of the most common things that I ran into in high school were things that I had only briefly talked about with my church family or just plain never talked about.
Dont get me wrong- I had the sex talk. I heard the “sex talks” in highschool…but none of it convinced me. They told me countless and countless times that it was “not the best decision, it would hurt me, i really needed to wait…Just don’t do it.” I needed to know WHY or WHAT or HOW. I needed real life stories. I needed to be convinced. Just telling me to not do it but was not going to convince me to do the most “peer pressured” thing that was talked about in my public high school. I find it hard to believe that if I had heard the woman I heard at that conference that I would have thought about the reality of my decisions. It may or may not have swayed what I did but atleast I would have understood the reality of what I was doing and the possible consequences.
PASTORS and CHURCH MEMBERS- we have got to start talking about the things that we never heard about from the pulpit!
SEX (not just the usual “dont do it because the Bible says not to- that is not going to convince a 17 year old not to do it!),
STD’s- I NEVER heard about STDs. STDs are affecting our youth in horrific ways. Why aren’t we talking about this?
Drugs and Alcohol (besides just referring someone to the church’s Recovery program, why not meet them where they’re at first?)
As the church I believe that Bible teaching and speaking truth into each others lives and living in a christ centered community is our mission (along with others things) but it is our responsibility to speak truth into the lives of our youth- and we would be very naive to not think that they are dealing with sex, oral sex, stds, pregnancy, abortion, rape etc. We HAVE GOT to talk about these things.
Pastors- is it worth loosing a member of your congregation when speaking TRUTH into the life of a youth in your pews (maybe a young boy or girl who is sexually active, has an STD or had an abortion) who will gain salvation because you reached out to her and she trusted your church’s members? If it were me, I would reach out to the young girl, I would talk about the things that she is going through. If someone is there for that young girl it should be the people of our churches!!
The truth can be hard to talk about…but the truth is the truth, we can’t deny it, we can’t ignore it…and as much as we have ignored it
( 70% of post abortive women are church going christians) it is hurting us.
PASTORS AND BODY OF THE CHURCH- When is enough going to be enough? When are we going to speak up? When are we going to come together, all denominations and all religions, to stop the hurting that is caused by sex and it’s life altering consequences?
IT IS TIME TO SPEAK UP!