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Many in the Christian community are raving about the movie The Sound of Freedom, which shows the tragedy of sex trafficking. Some ask, “What can we do about it?”
Our first action steps must be in the church, where pornography, sexual abuse, and sex trafficking are raging. How can a church that’s corrupt with sexual sin have the moral authority to address sexual issues outside of its walls? Mike discusses the action steps we can take to make an impact. The sounds of freedom and healing are desperately needed by the masses who sit in church and are in bondage or torn apart by the effects of sexual sin.
This program is sponsored by Blazing Grace Ministries.
This radio program is PG13. Parents strongly cautioned – some material may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13.
Jesus’s mission was to comfort those who mourn, bind up the broken hearted, proclaim liberty to captives, and open prison doors for those who are bound. For those who want more than status quo Christianity has to offer, Blazing Grace Radio begins now. And here is your host, Mike Genung.
MIKE GENUNG, HOST, BLAZING GRACE RADIO:
Hey, Mike Genung here. And welcome back to Blazing Grace Radio. Coming to you from Studio 2, with Ramon keeping everything together here in Phoenix, AZ, where we’re having a record-setting run of days that… 115 degrees or more, and I think it hit 118 in Phoenix recently. So, wow! You really get used to the heat going through that. [LAUGHS]
So before I get going here, I have an announcement: September 16th, I’m holding a From Porn to Grace conference in Cibolo Valley Baptist Church in Cibolo, TX. This is near San Antonio, so it’s just a little bit north. And I’m already hearing from people they’re going to be coming in from other states to come to this conference. And so, if you’re in Texas or if you just want to come and you’re out in another state, then hey, I’d love to meet you.
And then the very next morning, Sunday, September 17th, I’ll be giving their Sunday morning message at that church, at Cibolo Valley Baptist. And you can see the event schedule on the home page at blazinggrace.org for more.
And then… I’m scheduled to be in Finland and the UK towards the end of October and early November – maybe the first two weeks of November, even – speaking in churches in Finland. We have a show… trade show in England around Manchester, I believe, and… but also if you’re in the UK, in Great Britain, I would love to come speak at your church.
One thing I saw the last time we were there, back in June and May, is I just kept seeing and hearing repeatedly in the United Kingdom that, “our churches will not touch this topic.” And I mean… but we see this all over the place in the US, as well as the UK, I mean… One guy who was 70 years old told him – told me he had never heard a message from the pulpit on sex in his life, and this guy is an elder of a church. Another guy in his 70s told me he had heard a message on sex ONCE, and that was 30 years ago.
Both these guys I’m referring to are in Great Britain, and it just really staggers my mind how you can go there. I mean… meaning not touching that topic, when sex is all over the Bible. Beginning from, you know, when Adam knew Eve, all the way through Jacob’s family, which was a disaster, and… Reuben had sex with Jacob’s concubine, and then Judah had sex with one of his son’s daughters. And rape, and prostitution… and these things are all through the Bible. And how can you, how can you not talk about sex? It’s just like there’s just no justification for it. And then when so many people are in bondage to this stuff, it tears me up. [SCOFFS]
And so I’ve been spending more time praying, because I realize, “God, I can’t open this door, these doors in the churches. You have to… you have to break these strongholds at the top,” where Church leadership doesn’t want to touch this, for whatever reason. It doesn’t matter if you’re a verse-by-verse teacher and you know, you don’t… you’re not touching sex for another three years because it’s not in your schedule. I mean, these issues are TODAY, here, right in our face, and the Church is corrupt with this stuff, so we cannot run away from it.
So these days, the Sound of Freedom, the movie on sex trafficking, is the hot topic in Christian circles right now. It’s all over social media. People are talking about the movie, how it touched their heart. And I’ve read… and Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in The Passion back in 2003, I think it was, is the lead character and he’s a fantastic actor.
I have not seen the movie, but I’m just sharing with you what I’ve seen that a lot of people are saying, “OK, we’ve seen this movie, it got to us. Our children are not for sale.” That’s all… that’s all over the place right now. Now what do we do?
So that’s what I’m going to talk about this show, is, “OK, you’ve watched this movie, now what do we do?” And we have to begin with the Church, because the Church is funding and involved with sex trafficking itself. And the problem is, right now people are asking, “what do we do about sex trafficking outside of the Church, people that are doing these things outside of the Church?” But you have to start with the Church that is supposed to be the salt that preserves the nation and the country. And when you have a Church that is corrupted with pornography and other types of sexual sin, all this is connected together.
So I’m going to read from – read for you several headlines of news articles. These are all recent. Just to give you an example:
Petersburg man, part of a church and school, faces federal child pornography charges. Pornography, for many, takes you – and takes some people – that far into a dark place on the Internet, into child pornography. And child pornography is pure sex trafficking. So once you start with porn, you don’t know where that’s going to take you. And so when when we ignore porn in the church, when we ignore sexual issues in the church, we’re actually facilitating sex trafficking.
Next article, Fresno County youth pastor sentenced to prison for having a relationship with a 16 year old church member.
Next, youth pastor arrested for filming a woman in the shower and hit with new charges for spying on a bridesmaids changing room. It’s just a couple weeks ago.
And another, a woman who was sexually abused as a child by a Texas pastor by a Texas pastor sues him and his ex-wife.
Then at the same time, a couple weeks ago, Texas pastor stuns community with confessing the BDSM and bestiality child porn downloaded on his church computer.
So child porn is always a result of sex trafficking. Somebody kidnapping or taking kids against their will to do these horrible acts.
And then a child porn suspect was a pastor of a Geneva area, Illinois, church.
So when you ignore pornography in the church, when you ignore the fact that 70 to 80% of your men are viewing pornography – along with a third of your women – you’re really saying, “We don’t care. We don’t want to deal with this in our church. We don’t have a problem with sex trafficking.” And oh yes, we do. We are funding the porn industry. We are facilitating it. And by our denial of the issue, we’re actually approving it.
And when I thought about the movie and what I see people all of a sudden saying on social media and elsewhere that I thought, “Man, we’re just way too engaged with entertainment. We’re way too entranced with movies,” because this stuff been going on for 20 years! This is not new! So why is it we’ve been – and these articles I just read you, these things have these are coming out every single week, often every single day. So porn and sex trafficking in the Church, sex trafficking in the church are not new. It’s exploding and gaining more and more momentum.
So the movie’s great! That’s fine. But where have we been the last 20 years, When we’ve allowed this corruption of sexual sin to get a hold of so many people and destroy so many lives?
We don’t need to wait for a movie, we just need to wake up to what is destroying everything in the Church.
Porn is a sex trafficking product. We’ve had… and I’ve talked to ex-porn actresses, and they talk about how they get manipulated and coerced into doing acts that they were not told they were going to do by the director or the producer right before they headed into a scene. And the thing that we all have to realize is, “How can a church have any moral authority talking about sex trafficking, when when we’re not dealing with this problem in our own midst?” And we’re actually feeding the problem.
And the Christian Post, just this week I saw an article “Nick – I don’t know, I’m going to mess his name up – Vujicic – this is the headline – Challenges the Delusional American Church to Repent.” And he says, “Demons are laughing in your face.” This is the guy who wrote “Life without Limbs”. He has no arms, no legs, came from Australia, I believe. And he’s spoken all over the world, to crowds as big as 800,000. 40 years old, four kids. And I’m going to read from his interview on The Christian Post:
He says, “We have 100,000 churches and half a trillion dollars in debt for buildings that are half empty. I think most churches are delusional. I don’t pray for revival, I pray for repentance. I don’t think America deserves a single more blessing from God. Not one. We need to repent. And not only do we need to turn away from these things, we also need to equip and encourage the church to go towards this, to move towards repentance. How do you stay out of your porno – your addiction to porn?”
I love it that he says… that finally somebody out there with a big platform is bringing this up!
He stressed the importance of pastors tackling sensitive topics like porn addiction in the church and sex trafficking from the pulpit. “One out of three girls in America have been sexually abused. One out of five boys have been sexually abused,” – and I’m in that number – “Think about that. It’s unbelievable. Kids are dying at parties, getting high, getting drunk like never before.”
So, my friends, have you ever had how or how often, if ever, have you had these topics brought up from the pulpit? It is extremely rare. And why is that? What are we so afraid of?
And Vujicic continues, he says, “We got to grow a strong spine and tell them the truth.” And he continues, “I think the American Church isn’t healing saved people.” Amen, brother, because if you’re too afraid to talk about these issues, you can’t. There’s no way you can help them. And, “when you’re healed, now you’re complete and strength comes out of the overflow to then go help someone else in need.”
I think it’s important. I think we need to go back to the basics. And do you remember Peter’s first sermon in the book of Acts? There – he didn’t say a single word about the love of God or grace. Everything was geared towards repentance. And he said, I think it was twice, “You crucified Christ.” There is no, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”
Jesus’s first words recorded in one of the gospels was, “Repent”. John the Baptist’s first words recorded – in I think one of the Gospels at least – was, “Repent while turning from sin.” If you don’t have that as a part of what we’re telling people about salvation, we’re missing the boat.
And then he writes, “When is the last time you heard an equipping sermon on how to break free from porn addiction, heal from sexual abuse, or the occult so many are playing with?”
And I have to – I made a mess up there. I read that from my notes. I said that, not him. But he’s, he’s… he’s singing my song there. He’s saying, “Hey, delusional Church, you think the sex trafficking problem is outside of the Church? No, it is big time inside of the Church.”
I’m going to read 1st Corinthians 5, the chapter:
“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and sexual immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, namely, that someone has his father’s wife. (So dad’s second wife, I suppose, or something like that.) You have become arrogant, and have not mourned instead, so that the one who has done this deed will be removed from your midst.
For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to turn such a person over to Satan for the destruction of his body, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.”
Man, if that doesn’t cause fear and trembling, tell me what does! And Paul is challenging, confronting, the Corinthian Church over the sexual sin of one man and what it – what do you think he would say to, as Nick Vujicic called it, “a delusional Church” that doesn’t think it has any problems in those issues?
And then in 1 Corinthians 5, Paul continues:
“Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let’s celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity of truth.”
And then he says:
“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with the sexually immoral people. I did not at all mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the greedy and swindlers, or with adulterers. for then you would have to leave the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is a sexually immoral person, or a greedy person, or an idolater, or is verbally abusive, or habitually drunk, or a swindler – not even to eat with such a person.”
And my whole thrust is always for restoration, so… in the beginning of this chapter, Paul turned this guy over who had been having sex with his dad’s wife over to Satan! That’s way out of my league, and I’m not touching that one. I’ll let other people go there if they want to. But all this should point to… with power and authority, how incredibly critical it is that we talk about sexual issues and some of these other issues in the Church, open full throttle, without holding back. Because there’s a lot at stake here.
I mean, we’re talking about people’s eternity, where they’re going to head up eternity. And as I know from working with the sexually broken, if you let this go long enough, eventually your heart will turn into a rock, into a stone. And then at one point it’s going to start becoming very dangerous where your heart gets so rock-hard that you start drifting away from God at an accelerated rate. And then anything can happen, meaning that you could be one of those who drifts so far away, you fall away. And that is so dangerous.
That’s what’s so grieving about this whole ignoring talking about sex thing, and porn thing in church. It is so dangerous to people. It destroys their faith, it destroys their life, It destroys their families and their marriages. It shreds the wife apart. It tears her self esteem apart, and they have their own… the wives have their own intense battle with spiritual warfare and fear and torn up self esteem and all that comes along with that.
So what do we need to do? We need industrial strength, no holds barred, equipping messages on sexual issues in the Church, Sunday morning, to all age groups. And when I say all, I mean from youth all the way to age 80. Because people don’t usually get hooked when they’re 75 years old. They get hooked when they’re 8, 9, 10.
Most first exposures to pornography happen at home. So that whole, “safe for the whole family” thing, that’s a delusion, too. The Enemy knows how to get into your home, and he knows how to place pornography, whether on the Internet, or in a videotape or whatever, in the right spot for your kid to stumble onto it.
Just recently I interviewed a woman who said she got her first exposure to porn when she was five years old – at her parents house – when a videotape was mixed in with their Disney collection of movies. So, mom and dad, you are delusional if you think your kids cannot stumble on pornography at home. I don’t care what you do. You have to be extremely careful.
So you have to have your guard up. And we have to start talking to kids as early as age 8. We have to give them the sex talk, and sometimes even earlier! Because kids are getting phones, smartphones, that kind of stuff as early as age 3 nowadays. And you… it’s not uncommon to walk into a store and some moms got her kid, toddler, and they got an iPad in front of them and they’re, you know, they’re tapping away on it. I think a lot of parents are – to use Nick Vujicic’s word – “delusional”, too. Thinking that “Ah, my kid’s not going to get hooked,” and you’re wrong if that’s what you think.
We have to get… reach our youth. We have to tell them what pornography is in an age appropriate way. And when they hit the teens, they really need industrial strength message. They need to be broken up into small groups, safe groups. We need to show them what safe sharing is about, which is focusing on listening, and let them share. “Hey, where are you with lust today?”
Break them up into groups of two or three or four boys with boys, girls with girls. You don’t do – mix up the genders, and you make it safe to them and to share. And that’s where healing begins to come. And then you have them all pray for each other. And that’s how this works.
I had a woman on our radio station several months ago say she went to a youth group, and split the girls up from the boys, and asked the girls how many – these are teen girls – were struggling with porn. And she said every single hand went up. Every single hand. I want to burn that into your brain that the chances are really high.
And in your church and in your youth group, 95 to 100% of your youth are somewhere along the line engaged with pornography or sexting or something like this. And some of them are online flirting with somebody who they don’t know who they’re talking to. And you know, it could be somebody from the law, or it could be somebody who’s a sex trafficker. You don’t know this. So we have to start warning people. We have to give them the answers on how to overcome this stuff.
So if you go to blazinggrace.org – our website – we have tons of material on there that’ll give you plenty of information that you can give to your youth and your adults Sunday morning. And I’m available to come speak at your church, or to lead one of our “From Porn to Grace” conferences. So information on that is available on blazinggrace.org.
But I really want to… confront this head on. You know, we cannot sit here and watch our movies and say, “Mmm, that’s really nice. What should I do?” Because what’s going to happen is eventually the Sound of Freedom… all the chatter is going to fade out – probably in another month, maybe two months – and then everybody’s going to go on to the next thing and nothing will change. And the porn epidemic and the epidemic of sexual sin in the Church will continue to blow up. And that’s what really concerns me about this whole movie thing, is people are so fickle when it comes to entertainment and social media. We have fragmented attention spans that lasts about 20 seconds, and then we’re on to the next thing. We need to – I need to really bore on in this with all of you, that we cannot sit there and let this thing go.
Go to your pastor, tell them, “hey, we need to do something.” You can send them the link to our website. We have plenty statistics on there, and surveys, and if you’re struggling go to our website at blazinggrace.org.
We have support groups, some don’t cost a penny that you can get in right now, this – I’m talking about for men and for wives. Simple support groups where you share and then you pray for each other by zoom call.
And then we have our eight week course for men and our ten week course for wives. And these are far more structured. And you’re paired off with another man or woman and you’re working assignments every week and make… reaching out to your prayer and support partner every week. So if you’re struggling, don’t just sit there and lay back in the weeds and expect this thing to go away on its own. It ain’t going to happen.
So I started talking about the Sound of Freedom. Let’s start focusing on bringing the Sound of Freedom into the Church and equipping and ministering God’s – to God’s people on how to break free from the sexual sin that so many of them are in bondage to. So thank you for joining us, and we’ll talk to you next time.
Blazing Grace is a nonprofit international ministry for the sexually broken and the spouse. Please visit us at blazinggrace.org for information on Mike Genung’s books, groups, counseling or to have Mike speak at your organization. You can e-mail us at email@example.com or call our office in Chandler, AZ at (719) 888-5144.
Again, visit us at blazinggrace.org, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the office at (719) 888-5144.
This program was sponsored by Blazing Grace Ministries.