Running with Ostriches

Posted: Mar 10, 2023

I’ve shared recently how I will be in the UK and Europe in May and June, leading conferences and other events. In order to get word out about the conferences in the UK, we’ve been contacting the media outlets there to inquire about running paid ads.

A week ago, I emailed the largest Christian radio station in the UK and asked about running paid promos on their station. No reply.
At the same time, I emailed the editor of a large UK Christian magazine and asked about running two half page ads, in April and May. No reply.

We see this all the time. In 2021 we were holding a From Porn to Grace conference in California. I contacted 4 Christian radio stations in the surrounding area to ask about running paid ads on their stations. No replies.

In 2018 we held a From Porn to Grace conference in Colorado. I contacted a nationally known Christian radio station and they agreed to run a PSA – but removed “From Porn to Grace conference” and changed the wording to “conference on adultery. As far as I know, none of the attendees who came knew about it from the PSA’s they ran.

Just yesterday, I interviewed Karima from Loveismore, our ministry partner in Austria, on our radio show. At one point Karima shared how, at a youth group meeting, after splitting the girls from the boys, they asked the girls how many were struggling with pornography. Every young woman put their hand up. If this isn’t a cause for alarm I don’t know what is.

In other recent interviews on BG Radio, Aura Elliott said she hadn’t heard her church talk about sex since 2018, and Alysa Plummer shared that in spite of her hometown of Las Vegas being saturated with prostitution, porn, and strip clubs, most churches won’t touch the topics of porn or sex.

You’ve seen me write about surveys showing that 70%+ of Christian men and a growing number of Christian women are ensnared in pornography. Our youth are awash in it and Satan is destroying more lives from sexual sin alone every day.

Sometimes it’s easy for our eyes to glaze over when looking at the surveys. In July of 2021, we set up a page on The Rogue Christian called The Church in the News to chronicle the ongoing stories of Christians whose lives are destroyed from sexual sin. Every day, a professing Christian is exposed or arrested for pornography, sexual abuse, or adultery; many are in leadership positions. The articles you will see are just the few we run into, and some are so dark we don’t show them.

Here’s the page:

My friends, this is the real church under the hood. Every article tells the story of husbands, wives, kids, and churches whose lives have been devastated. When a married pastor is arrested for illegal sexual behavior it’s like a bomb going off in their church. Such bombs are exploding every day in churches all over the world, yet they are largely ignored. It’s like walking in a war zone and pretending we’re not getting shot at.

In 1992 I attended a church in Southern California. One Sunday an announcement was made from the pulpit that a 70-year old deacon had molested multiple young women on church grounds. Everyone was rocked and the story made the news. Having been molested as a teen myself, it hit me hard.

Satan must be quite content keeping Christians busy watching the latest hot ticket in Christian entertainment (or otherwise enchanted by a video screen), and pastors preaching about anything but the sin that has so many in bondage. We can preach about the love of God or theology all we want, but we don’t have a shot at helping anyone break free until we go all the way into the sins people are in bondage to. Throughout Scripture God called out the specific sins people were struggling with, to the point of even exposing the names of those who were ignoring those issues or willfully engaging in them.

In Daniel 9:3, we read that Daniel “turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.”

This is Daniel’s prayer in verses 3-15.

“I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. All Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, refusing to obey your voice. And the curse and oath that are written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against him. He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us, by bringing upon us a great calamity. For under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what has been done against Jerusalem. As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of the Lord our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth. Therefore the Lord has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works that he has done, and we have not obeyed his voice. And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly.”

In Daniel’s time they had the Law of Moses and the prophets. We have the Bible and Jesus’ work on the cross. We have far less ground to stand on for going ostrich with sexual sin and allowing lives to be destroyed than the Israelites of Daniel’s day did.

Daniel confessed his sins and the sins of his country. Twice, he states that open shame belongs to every level of society.  It’s the same for us. Open shame belongs to us for ignoring our sin, especially in the sexual arena, and pretending our churches don’t have a problem in these areas. We have ignored God’s warnings in His word about what happens to churches and individuals whose lives are being destroyed by sexual sin (see Revelation 2-3).

When Daniel “turned his face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes,” he was entirely focused on going hard after God. There were no distractions with the latest Christian entertainment, sports, social media, smartphones, or any of the other diversions that choke us today. Daniel’s reward for his raw, honest prayer was immediate:

“While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the Lord my God for the holy hill of my God, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, “O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding. At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved.”
Daniel 9:20-23

When is the last time you attended a church and heard the pastor say “Open shame belongs to us. We’re saturated with sexual sin, pornography, promiscuity, pride, and arrogance. We’ve been playing church while lives are being destroyed. No more! God, we desperately need your mercy! Let’s get on our knees and cry out to Him as Daniel did and join God in His mission to set captives free (Isaiah 61). If you’re struggling in these areas, here’s how we will help you…”

Would not God honor such a prayer and a church, just as He did Daniel?

I encourage you to pray through Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9, and personalize it for yourself, your church, and your country. If you’re in leadership, we need far more than a rare message on sexual issues. We need action, including prayer and equipping people on how to overcome.

We’re in desperate need of Daniels, Deborahs, Esthers, Isaiahs, John the Baptists, and Jeremiahs—men and women of prayer who have their hearts fully set on God,  are willing to set aside the distractions and entertainment of this world, and put it all on the line to call God’s people out of their malaise and join in His work to set captives free.