A few years ago we one of our small group leaders sold everything and moved his family to Asia. He started a business, a men’s group, and began rescuing women from the sex trade. Monday night prepared him to do what what was in his heart to do. He wrote the following for this blog, here it is:
One of the things I love about Mark is that he gets you to think beyond safe Christianity. While most men’s groups are satisfied with keeping people from looking at porn, Mark strives for an army of men that can remain pure while walking through a crowd of naked Brazilian models. Safe Christianity is based on the fear of potential failures, while Mark’s model is courageously living life. I believe this is more like the model Jesus lived out.
Jesus didn’t walk away from beautiful women in hopes to remain pure; He engaged them and brought life and hope to their world. Jesus had a ministry to prostitutes. I don’t know exactly what it was like back then, but I assume these women were beautiful, sensual, and at times very seductive. Was Jesus never tempted to lust after these women? If He wasn’t then Hebrews lied when it says He was tempted in every way just like us.
Try to imagine the scene where the adulterous woman was dragged in front of Jesus. We know a man was cheating on his wife with her, and we know that they were caught having sex before being dragged in front of Jesus. There is no reason to believe they gave her time to make herself presentable. These men were trying to trap Jesus, so they threw a half-naked woman before Him to prove their point. Could we have been able to pull our thoughts away from the nudity in front of us to listen to what Holy Spirit was saying?
Too often we put strict rules in place in hope to protect our purity. However, these rules become so rigid that they take priority over God’s leading. For many years I have had consistent thoughts of coming across a semi-naked woman in need of help, and I struggle with how would I help her without it becoming lustful. Should I just suppress those thoughts or dialogue with God and other men about what I should do?
I realize the likelihood of this happening is very limited, but in recent years it is more likely than before. I have fought for my purity engaging those trouble areas in my life and have built relationships with men to help me feel safe in who God made me. Now I am living in Asia with my family desiring to protect girls from being taken captive into the sex trade.
I don’t think we should be careless, but I do think too much of our Christianity is based on fear of what may happen. Life has many unknowns, but we can trust God to help us as we try to follow His leading. Let us focus on our love for God and for others, not the fear which opposes it. God has called us to so much more than playing defense. What might God be calling you to if you could just remove that fear of falling?