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The Sex Industry and the Church

We, as the church, exist in the midst of a present darkness--a struggle, not just against flesh and blood, but against rulers, authorities, and powers in the spiritual realm. We are also called to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power equipped with the full armor of God --standing firm in its truth, righteousness and peace, being always protected through faith and salvation and armed with the sword of the Spirit, the word of God (Ephesians 6).

Abuse Awareness Sunday was this past Sunday, September 24, with a focus this year on the sex industry and the church. Why is Safe Church talking about the sex industry? Because it’s not primarily a problem “out there”--it’s an industry of systematized abuse that in many ways already darkens our homes and neighborhoods, and is a force contributing to many other forms of abuse. Every fourth Sunday of September, CRC congregations are invited to stand against the darkness of abuse, and participate in Abuse Awareness Sunday. Our struggle is complex as we live in God’s world; we can find ourselves complicit in the very thing we are standing against. It is important we remember and lament this present darkness. These materials are developed to be helpful at any time of year--abuse is a year-round problem.

It’s an industry of systematized abuse that in many ways already darkens our homes and neighborhoods.

The industry is not just a porn issue; it's bigger and broader. It is estimated to be a 99 billion dollar industry worldwide and holds more slaves captive today than the transatlantic slave trade of a prior era. Think for a minute about the wide reach that the sex industry has on all of our lives. It isn’t so distant; it’s in our own homes and our backyards. What can we do to protect our families, congregations, and communities? Pray with us for the strength and courage to speak against this industry.

Paul’s words from 1 Corinthians 6 in The Message read: “Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, ‘The two become one.’ Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never ‘become one.’” In contrast to God’s beautiful design, the sex industry takes an incredible gift and uses greed, violence, and coercion to exploit God’s image in people, and to destroy God’s design for relationship. As the church, we are called to be salt and light, to reveal truth, and to stand against evil, including the devastating evil of the sex industry.

Here are some things you can do right now to help your church consider and respond to the problem of abuse:
  • Host a screening of the film “Over 18”, like Calgary Community Reformed Church did, to learn about the problem of porn and how it contributes to abuse and to take action to make porn less accessible to kids online.
  • Get to know the available resources from the Safe Church website. Look at them with an eye for what might connect with your congregation.
  • Offer to lead a prayer,  liturgy, or lament that focuses on the topic of the sex industry.
  • Contact small group or adult Sunday school leaders to see if they might be interested in devoting one meeting to the discussion of the sex industry.
  • Join with a community organization that works against sexual exploitation. The Church needs to step into these places to be the salt and light that we are called to be. There are many organizations who are working to prevent exploitation, as well as organizations that are working with those who have been trafficked for sex and are now rebuilding their lives. Where is the Church?
  • Participate in efforts to influence policy; contact your representatives regarding policies that would prevent sexual exploitation and protect those who are vulnerable.
  • Use this opportunity to promote the Circle of Grace program, which equips children and you to participate in a safe environment for themselves and others. 
  • If you have any questions or need more ideas or resources contact us at Safe Church Ministry.
Here’s a prayer you can use at your church or with your family to pray against the evils of the sex industry: 

Creator God, you know all things. Even the darkness is light to you. You are not blind to those caught in the grip of the sex industry. You know each person intimately. You regard the devastation, fueled by violence, lust, and greed. You know all about the shame, heartache, and despair. You have noted each tear and you hear the cries.

Wake up your Church, Lord! Show us your heart for those who are suffering. Help your people to be sources of your transforming love, a powerful love that can heal and bring hope. May you strengthen your Church, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to stand against this evil. Guide us Lord, for the sake of your Great Name, and for your glory. May your kingdom come, on this earth now, as it is in heaven. Make us a part of the answer to our prayers. We pray boldly in the name of our precious savior, Jesus Christ, who upholds all things and each of us by his mercy and grace. Amen.

This post is part of our series, The Problems with Porn. To make sure you don't miss a post, subscribe here. Next Friday, we'll hear from Glendyne Gerrard of Defend Dignity about how to fight pornography with our voices, votes, and dollars.  


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