My lovely bride and I attended the Truth Conference this past weekend. If I said that it was incredible I would be understating it. There was a large amount of information in a short period of time and some fantastic resources. For us, the key moment came in Josh McDowell's opening address.
Josh talked about the barriers to the Gospel we face in this modern age. The first is the information glut that is the internet. There is a lot in great stuff out there but there's even more garbage. His point on this one is that we all need to do our homework before we teach or speak publicly. The Science of apologetics is more important than ever. On this point, I can't really disagree. I've debated too many atheists, agnostics, and other non-Christians over the years. I'm very grateful for my background in science and history fanaticism. Even with that, I still need to know more to be effective. However, the need to study more was not the key moment.
The key came from the second barrier, the vast increase in pornography especially online. If you've listened to my podcast, Jesus' Outsider, you know I do a lot of work in this area as does my lovely bride. That sexual and pornographic addictions are increasing wasn't a surprise neither was the shift in cultural attitudes created by the growing acceptance of its use. The thing I had forgotten was how few of us are talking about it. Living in this world with all of the resources we use, sometimes it looks like the conversation about sexuality in the church is in full tilt. Unfortunately, it isn't. No one, outside of the ministries we get our resources from, is really talking about just how bad it really is in the church. Porn, sexual addictions, and all sorts of other "unique" sexual lifestyles are deeply embedded in the Body of Christ.
Why do we talk about it? Because we get it. We both have very interesting backgrounds, to put it mildly. We have fought this junk continuously for years. We have to take extra precautions to prevent falling back into it. If, as people who have served Christ for many years, we need to work extra hard to keep our sexual purity, then how many others do as well. Worse, how many don't bother to work to stay pure and just give in to the lure of sexual sin?
The need to do something real was driven home. We have had a conference in mind for a long time dealing with this issue directly and honestly. In fact, we started to work on it but a series of circumstances forced us to put in on the back burner. That has now changed. It's time to do the work to make this happen.
I already have a good format in mind with a shortlist of possible speakers beyond Kim and me. One of the most important segments will be Kim giving her story for the first time in public. It's more than a little scary and heart wrenching but it highlights the results of living a lifestyle that millions of women have been introduced to through Fifty Shades of Grey. The truth behind this supposed romance is very dark. For my part, I'll be sharing statistics and the technical side of porn including apps, filters, and other helps for breaking the addiction. We have other speakers in mind but until we have them confirmed, we're not going to share.
Now, for the challenging part. To pull this off, we need a lot more money than we have at our disposal. We're going to need at least $3000-3500 to cover all of the expenses of putting on the conference. We are going to charge admission with the proceeds going toward the launch of Freedom Church but we would like to have the resources to put it on before the first ticket is sold. Once we hit the first $1500, we will set the date.
To raise the funds, we're seeking individual donations on the support button on the Freedom Church page until a separate page is set up. We are also seeking ministry and business sponsorships including setting up tables in the resource area, banners, and other recognition. If you're interested or know someone we need to talk to, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be sharing more information as it develops and can be made public. We will also throw out some hints on the content as we approach the day to wet your whistle.
Pray for us as this is going to be a difficult to do for a host of reasons.