First, there were reports of Instagram declaring Christian music harmful. Then, California’s governor ordered Christians to quit singing in church. Without much media coverage, the U.S. Navy prohibited sailors from attending indoor religious services in response to COVID-19, though they have since retracted their order. And now, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California declared a number of indoor activities as being off-limits, including attending indoor religious services.
While the governor allowed for outdoor meetings, Robert Tyler, the attorney representing Advocates for Faith and Freedom, shared that many do not have the facilities for that. Furthermore, Mr. Tyler asserts that the order on religious services is unconstitutional and may have long-term effects. He stated,
“We have not only an economic crisis but we have a spiritual and mental health crisis that requires as much attention as COVID-19. To tell churches they can no longer meet indoors is just further restriction upon the incredible services provided by churches across the state that are desperately needed.”
How long will COVID-19 be blamed for the disruption in religious services? Is it possible that California is becoming an epicenter to silence Christianity? No one knows for sure. But here is one thing we do know, Hollywood’s film industry has been contributing to a societal decline for quite some time. In this Hollywood-type space, there is little to no room for Christianity. And the effects of this degradation have been ever-increasing.
Desensitizing the Christian Community
Gordon Pennington, an evangelical marketing consultant who has ties to Hollywood, once shared, “Whoever controls the image of culture controls culture.”
It’s no secret that Hollywood is a dominating factor in our culture, slowly fading into the corruption of the mind and an ever-increasing tolerance.
In April 2014, Decision Magazine posted an article titled ‘Hollywood’s Immoral Agenda: Entertainment Industry Accelerates Attack on Biblical Values’. Citing the Grammy Awards held in January 2014, the author spoke out against the excessive display of sexual innuendos that were on public display that evening. Katy Perry delivered a performance that had even non-Christian critics deeming it satanic. And in infomercial style, Queen Latifah officiated a mass wedding including a number of homosexual couples. But as Michael Catt of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia declared, society did not get to this point overnight. He stated,
“Like anything, if you’re exposed to it enough, you become numb to it and you don’t see its effects on you…It’s the cumulative effect that wears down our resistance. The devil is willing to bide his time and wait for the end result.”
Looking back over the past, we can clearly see a pattern of decline driven by Hollywood. People are literally being programmed by what they’re allowing to enter through the portals of their eyes and ears. Media outlets use current events, such as COVID-19, to induce fear that can cause a puppet-like response. We’ve seen the emergence of sexually explicit movies that glorify violent premarital sex. We have watched as family entertainment, such as the Super Bowl, has become a breeding ground for lewdness. Netflix has taken it upon themselves to create content, specifically targeted towards teenagers, that exposes viewers to nudity, masturbation, homosexuality, abortion, and more. And when do we say enough is enough?
It’s Time for the Church to Rise
Kirk Cameron, Christian actor and filmmaker, once said,
“Now more than ever, we must work together to create the world we want for our children.”
Looking at where we’re at right now, is this the future that we want for our kids? What steps must we take to reverse the damage that has been done? In what ways can we secure a godly legacy for our children, even when culture seeks to remove God?
It starts by tackling the issues that are plaguing society. We have to quit being tolerant with respect to issues that are destroying individuals, marriages, and families – such as sexual sin. In their study, The Porn Phenomenon, the Barna Group reported that only 7% of churches have programs that address pornography.
The Church must rise up, reclaim its voice, power, and authority, and stand against the principalities of darkness that are waging war consistently against us. It’s not enough for a few individuals within a church to want to do something. Church leadership has to quit overlooking the problem, and instead must be willing to start a conversation about seeking solutions. Become proactive in leading individuals to maintain purity, and quit waiting until a couple on the verge of divorce approaches you before you realize that pornography is having a devastating effect on society.
How the Church Can Take a Stand Against Sexual Sin
First, offer a Conquer Series group for the men of your church. The Conquer Series is a 10-week cinematic study that explains sexual sin’s effect on the brain. Men will learn why trying harder does not work, and how the conscience is seared over time. They will be equipped to effectively begin dealing with a painful past that is still having residual effects on their present and future. And they’ll begin to pursue their identity in Christ, which will empower them to take a stand for their daughters and sons.
Offer a group for women. Pornography and sexual sin is not merely a man’s problem. According to the Barna Group, 76% of women between the ages of 18 and 30 seek out pornography at least once per month. Beyond helping the person who is struggling, the Conquer Series can help a betrayed wife gain a level of understanding of what her addicted husband is going through. Plus, mothers can be educated about how easily pornography can take hold of one’s life so that they can proactively fight for their children.
Warning: Teens are Not Exempt
Finally, start having conversations with teens. Talk to them about the dangers lurking on the internet and internet safety. Have discussions in regards to what Hollywood presents as normal compared to biblical views and God’s truth. This standpoint may be unpopular but can have lifetime benefits for your children. Whether you want to believe it or not, Satan’s sexual agenda is reaching into the lives of our children even as you read this. Jeff Bush, a father in Alabama, shared,
“I was convinced that every young man growing up today will battle with pornography except for two, my two. I was wrong. Eventually, my oldest son confided in me about his battle with pornography. Later, I learned that both my boys dealt with it.”
Jeff knew that he had to take action. Though hesitant at first, he decided to take his boys through the Conquer Series. He shared that his boys both expressed their gratefulness in him taking the time to watch the videos with them. Like Jeff, other parents and youth leaders have taken the initiative to lead Conquer Groups with great results.
A New Way to Do Small Groups
Globally, churches are still faced with the uncertainty of whether or not their small groups will be able to continue to meet. You can still utilize the Conquer Series, even if you are living in one of the many states with increasing meeting limitations. Many are finding that Soul Refiner, a newly released digital streaming platform, provides incredible healing and works equally well in an online or in person group setting.
Group members will need the digital pass, which will give them access to the video as well as providing them with the interactive study guide, online journal, and all of the daily tools needed to complete the Conquer Series. Individuals can take the Sexual Addiction Screening Test, and can choose to have a detailed report emailed to them upon completion. Plus, people can enjoy the benefits of additional accountability through various sharing options that are available.
Now is the time to begin educating yourself regarding the issues that we face as a society. Sign up today at SoulRefiner.com.
The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic series which is helping over 1 million men conquer porn and walk in freedom.
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