I want to let you in on a little BreakPoint secret: We're getting kind of tired of talking about sex. A colleague of mine, who has written or collaborated on hundreds, if not thousands, of BreakPoint broadcasts, gets a pained expression when someone suggests another possible commentary on the subject.
But having said that, I'm going to talk about sex today. Actually, I'm going to talk about how to talk about the subject in a manner that might make a difference in the lives of ordinary people.
The Brushfires Foundation, founded by BreakPoint alum Daniel Weiss, is an exciting new ministry whose mission is to help people discover and live out God's design for sexuality and relationships, and to equip transformed people to spark change by serving others-especially those impacted by sexual brokenness.
As Weiss rightly points out, a lot of the rhetoric about sexuality in Christian circles is characterized by anger and fear over the so-called "porno-culture" and what it's doing to our children and families, and that it may be too late to change anything.
While these emotions are understandable, the fact remains that nothing done in the name of Christ can rightly be driven by fear or anger. Acting from these emotions makes us like the crowd that brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus and puts us on the wrong side of the discussion.
Given the outsized role of sexuality in our culture and its God-ordained function within marriage, we cannot not talk about sex. But the question is "how?"
It may seem obvious, but we must start by putting sex in its proper context. The truth is that most people, including many Christians, don't truly understand what sex is supposed to be about. We use the word "intimacy" as a synonym for "intercourse," which diminishes the idea of intimacy. And that's a tragedy, because intimacy is what we're intended for.
Which is why the Brushfires Foundation website contains articles and resources on the authentic Christian view of sexuality and the Church's role in reclaiming and proclaiming it. The website also covers topics like "the harms of pornography," "healing and recovery," "making wise choices," "creating safe communities" and the connection between beauty, truth, and love.
And underlying all of the work at Brushfires is a profound sense of compassion. Jesus was not afraid to be seen with sinners, as Weiss says, because He knew, better than they did, that "all of their acting out, everything they were hungering and thirsting for, ultimately was Him."
We must not lose sight of the fact that if, as St. Augustine wrote, "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you," that this restlessness can and does manifest itself in sexual brokenness. It certainly did for Augustine.
Acknowledging our own brokenness not only restrains our impulses to judge and condemn others, but it also lays the groundwork for living lives of integrity, whose Latin root means "soundness" and "wholeness."
And that soundness and wholeness starts with us. Weiss says that the folks at Brushfires "feel strongly that this ministry of proclaiming an authentic Christian vision of sexuality must happen within the local church."
Even if Dan wasn't a colleague, I'd still be excited that the Brushfires Foundation is shedding light, and not more heat, on the subject.