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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

'Holy Hotties' on the Factor

I believe it was last week when Steve McCoy and Mark Driscoll wrote about a woman who have left the porn and stripping industry and turned to Christ and has been joined by a teacher and stay-at-home mom (here is their doctrinal statement). Now they are seeking to reach out to men addicted to porn and to women who have been ravaged by the industry. These ladies are being given considerable attention as of late, having been on several talk shows (Tucker Carlson and Geraldo to name a few). Interestingly enough, they have a ministry called Matthew's House in their home church. This large Southern Baptist Church contributes $50,000 to their ministry, which includes paying for lap dances to share the gospel and bring hope to girls. One of the girls has said, "Jesus hung out with some less than acceptable folks because He loved them and knew they needed Him and the essence of what it means to be Christian is to follow in Jesus’ example." Tonight, they will be on The O'Reilly Factor and will be sharing their story and ministry. It is probably their largest exposure to date. The show airs at 8:00 p.m. EST. What do you think about this? What do you think about the idea of "Holy Hotties?" Do you agree with this ministry or have issues with it? *********************************** To go to the JC Girls website, click here. To read the AP article, click here. To read Steve McCoy's article, click here. To read Mark Driscoll's article, click here.

11 Comments:

Blogger -mike- said...

I think it's a wonderful way to be a part of God's work right now. It is dirty. It's not nice. And I think they have GOd with them.

3/02/2006 03:51:00 PM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

Mike,

What do you mean that it's not nice?

3/02/2006 07:37:00 PM

 
Blogger -mike- said...

It's not a nice environment. It sucks, really. If I was a girl, I would probably not do it, because I'm a pansy.

:)

3/02/2006 08:08:00 PM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

I just got through watching the short clip on the O'Reilly Show. It was good that they made it clear that they do not accept the dances when they pay for them.

I don't know . . .my initial thoughts are varied. For one, I made my own Edwardsian resolutions, one which said:

Resolved, to be a passionate embracer of the castaways of society.

This resolution led me to minister to the homeless, to take them home with me, to reach out to homosexuals, and to care for those who have been for the most part written off by Christians.

On the other hand, I know that the ends justifies the means. It is one thing to eat with a prostitute and quite another thing to be in a private room with them paying for a lap dance (whether you take it or not). Furthermore, it can be argued that what it takes to reach them should be consistent with what you teach them after they have become a Christian. They emphasize they want to reach out without being judgmental. Yet they are judgmental nonetheless, lest they just leave them in their sinful lifestyle. The gospel is judgmental, and God is judgemental towards those in rebellion against him (they are condemned already).

It is necessary that we be "missional" with a combination of both zeal and discernment. We should be loving (unconditionally) and truthful (saying what God says). Hence, we should speak the truth in love. We should affirm that mercy triumphs over judgment but not be amiss in the fact that we should be judgmental nonetheless. Jesus told the woman in adultery to "Go and sin no more." Going outside the camp for the sake of the "least, last, and the lost" does not have to mean that we go outside biblical precedent. Becoming all things to all men is a dicy thing to say the least, and we should be careful with our mission, methods, message, and motives.

Getting dirty is the responsibility of all Christians. We are all those who have come as the publican who said, "God be mericful to me the sinner!" It is true that the happy are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. This is what God desires, that in view of God's mercies, we present our lives to him, and in doing so desire to reach out to those who need mercy just like us.

Jesus was a friend of tax collectors and sinners yet did not become one. He was the Holy One of Israel. While I applaud the desire of these ladies in their efforts to reach woman for Christ, I believe that there could be a better, more discerning way of accomplishing this goal.

Anyway, that's my initial thoughts for now. I will think more about this later. For now, I would love to know what you think.

3/02/2006 09:13:00 PM

 
Blogger Mark said...

Timmy,
I'd be interested to hear your ideas for how they could be more discerning. They have placed themselves under the accountability of their church and pastors. They find strippers by going to the clubs. They pay for private dances in order to get the girls alone in order to talk. How else could they have the opportunity to talk to the girls? It seems like a good thing they are doing - lovingly calling girls out of a sin God called them out of.

3/03/2006 12:28:00 AM

 
Blogger D.R. said...

It seems that it is the girls who are paying for the lap dances from other girls, which may not be a wierd thing these days, and thus they probably don't have any temptation. However, if it is the guys, then I would be opposed to it. Guys should probably not be in the strip clubs at all.

3/03/2006 02:30:00 AM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

Daniel,

From what I understand, it is just the girls purchasing the dances. And yes, we are no longer in the days when card playing and Footlose. Times are a changin'.

Mark,

I did not say that what they were doing was wrong. I just think that we as Christians need to be very careful and discerning while making some serious and needful risks for the sake of the gospel. I don't think there is one perfectly prescribed way of doing it, but rather there are biblical principles and precedents which we should seek to honor.

When I study the life of Jesus, he took real risks and broke many cultural customs. For instance, he was with the woman at the well alone. Not only that, he was a Jew and she was a Samaritan. Yet the Scripture says that he "must needs" go to Samaria. That necessity proved to result in breaking every cultural and social rule in society. I suppose some would like to argue for antinomianism here, but that could not be farther from the reality expressed in the life and ministry of Jesus. He was bound to do the will of his Father and to speak only what he was been told. His risks were reverential, not reckless.

I am not saying this is the case here, but let me first say that when I went on their frontpage, I had a hard time just looking at the images (along with the poses and looks). They have given their reasoning for such photos, and I respect their decision, but I can't help but think if a man is looking for porn, he will get what he wants. When he realizes that the site was "false advertisement," then I presume he would go elsewhere (which I hope would not be the case).

Secondly, if you listen closely to their interview, not one time was the name of Jesus mentioned or the gospel. I guess one may charge me with being too scrutinizing, but two things I listen for when Christians are being interviewed on television or radio is what they say or not say about Jesus and the gospel.

Thirdly, the whole idea of "holy hotties" is troubling. Again, I guess that's the fundamentalist in me, but I can't reconcile holy with hottie (and no, I am not saying that the only holy ladies are ugly).

Fourthly, as I said earlier, there is not way to being biblical without being judgmental. They want to reach out in a non-judgmental way, but if that is the case, then the only way to not stand in judgment of the girls is to let them live as they choose. To tell them that they are living in sin and rebellion against God (as the rest of humanity is for that matter) is a statement of judgement. To call them to repentance is offensive for those who don't think they need to or want to change. And might I add that God is judgmental and predudice towards sinners who reject His Son and do not glorify Him. I think what these ladies are saying is to what degree one is judgmental. No, their sin is not different than the gossiper or the covetor, and we should not think of them as the "really bad" sinners. So in that sense I agree. There is no one who is beyond the reach of grace. But what makes the good news is the stunning reality of the bad news and our deserved condemnation. Is that being shared? Comfort comes when we know what we are comforted for and protected against. A sinner's worst enemy is not the devil but God Himself, and the comfort brought by the gospel is that God is both just and the justifier of those who put their faith in him. He who rightly judges our sin as treason and deserving eternal damnation took upon himself the curse and punishment so that our wickedness can be cleansed and exhanged for his righteousness. This is not just good news, it is great news! It is the only news we have - and what I hope these ladies are being told.

I guess I have rambled enough this morning. Let me just say that if I were to be guilty of erring on my efforts such as these in order to reach the lost, I would charged with being too merciful than too judgmental. If I should be charged, I would hope that it would be because of the love of Christ which constrains me, concluding that if he could love such a wretched man like me, then surely there should be no depths or lengths that I would not go to express that love to others!

3/03/2006 05:35:00 AM

 
Blogger Mark said...

Timmy,
Thanks for your response. I think you have some good points on how they could be more discerning. I have seen neither last night's interview nor the web site. I always have some trouble with the bait and switch methodology present in much modern day evangelism. I also agree with your point on judgement. Although you are probably right that they were referring to "degree of judgement" on the show. Here is the link to their pastor's blog: http://brownpastor.typepad.com/

He has a post regarding this issue up right now. I know the church and the pastors. THere are often things I find questionable there and that go against my own conservative tendencies. But I do love the leadership's heart for the lost and the work they do to bring people to Christ.

3/03/2006 09:55:00 AM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/03/2006 02:53:00 PM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

Mark,

Thanks for the link. I read the pastor's post as well as perused the other blogs of the fellow staff members of Sandals church. A couple of statements I thought were intersting:

1. "It amazes me how scared Christians are to ever try something new. When I was in seminary, years ago, I was told by a pastor friend of mine, "if it's something new it's not for you"! His church is currently half the size it was just a few years ago, and struggling to make any kind of impact in it's community."

2. "But I am committed, and I believe that God can use imperfect people who are unschooled, untrained and unsure of their giftedness. I believe that God can even use women! Even ones with HUGE implants!!!!!! So lets get over ourselves, and get in ministry, and support these girls. It breaks my heart that the sex industry has been more welcoming and encouraging that Christians have.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Again, I really appreciate the pastor's heart to take the gospel to people who have not heard it, but I see more issues here than arguing against it simply because it is "something new." I for one don't want to be one to stifle the fire in anyone's heart, as that has happened to me several times in my life. I was the personification of "ignorance on fire" early on, and while I was clueless to the damage I was doing, I nonetheless believed I was doing more than all my critics. I remembered describing them with "shriveled up hearts and puffed up heads" who were "more concerned about inspecting fruit and bearing fruit." So I can understand his frustration. I just wish he would consider input from fellow brothers who share his passion to win souls for Christ who have legitimate concerns.

3/03/2006 03:06:00 PM

 
Blogger Mark said...

Timmy,
I think Matt would consider input from fellow brothers, if approached in person in a gentle way. Yeah, those are some interesting quotes. Not the way I would put things.

I think something some Gen X churches need to focus more on is a pursuit of holiness. I appreciate and am convicted by a zeal for the lost, and a desire to show love and focus on grace. But there is sometimes a lack of concern for holiness and sumission to God's law. When this concern is lacking in leaders I worry it will become an epidemic among the members.

3/03/2006 05:39:00 PM

 

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