I’m still trying to figure out why Texas Pastor Ed Young and his wife, Lisa, would decide to spend 24 hours in bed on the church roof and stream themselves live on the Internet to encourage married couples to see firsthand the power of a healthy sex life as prescribed in their new book, Sexperiment.
Just how are people going to see that? You don’t think they’d, ah…. no, they cant be that desperate for attention. Can they?
The only answer I can come up with for this whole stunt is that it is just that: A giant publicity stunt so Young can sell books. And himself.
The Sexperiment book and project has been endorsed by several young, high profile, trendy pastors, guys like Steven Furtick of Elevation Church, Carl Lentz of Hillsong and Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv.
They’re really going to do this. Two days after the Youngs’ book, Sexperiment: 7 Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse, is released Tuesday, Ed and Lisa will take part in a 24-hour “bed-in,” which will be streamed on the book’s website as they engage the audience on issues related to intimacy in marriage.
As reported in the Christian Post, the book encourages married couples to have sex for seven straight days – a challenge that made headlines in 2008 when Pastor Young first introduced it to his church – with the promise that the “amazing results” will last far beyond the week.
So to promote it, the pastor and his wife are climbing in bed, on the church roof, to tell the world on the Internet and in the inevitable radio show interviews that will result.
I can’t help it. I hope it rains. Or a Texas ice storm rolls in.
Still, you can be sure over the next few months lots of other trendy churches around the country will similarly embrace the Sexperiment topic in sermon series, like the Youngs began this week at their church.
I’m sorry. I guess I’m just not trendy or relevant enough to see this as a great idea.
So I have to ask, should pastors be doing “Sexperiments?”
Not to quote Bob Dylan out of context but we in the US just went through our twice-a-year time adjustment, “falling back” an hour after Daylight Savings Time expired.
That causes lots of confusion for a lot of folks here in the US, though most seldom resent the extra hour of sleep they get on that first Sunday in November. It’s a different story in the spring when they have to give it back by “moving forward” an hour when DST resumes.
But it can be particularly confusing for people outside the US, where the time stays the same. And f you’re a regular attender of our Internet Church Campus and live outside the U.S., the normal time you watch us has been moved back an hour. So while our various streaming services and studies are at the same US times (10:30am and 7pm Sundays, 7pm Tuesday, 7pm Wednesday for Bible Study, 7am Thursday and 7pm Thursday), they’re generally an hour later now than they have been for those watching overseas.
We’ve had visitors from 40 different countries now. It’s exciting to see the hunger for God’s word and exciting to witness online relationships form We even have online discussion groups for one of our Bible studies. The other night the group had members participating from Istanbul, Turkey; Manila, the Philippines; the island of Grenada in the Caribbean and all over the U.S. All were on the same time and, thanks to the Internet, a webcam and Skype, were able to see and hear each other as if they were in the same room, rather than half a world apart.
I’m spending much of my week now in Skype conversations and e-mail exchanges with folks who have come to check our our Internet Church. I’m now very much aware of how difficult it is to find evangelical churches in much of the world and how technology and the Internet are truly blessings from God which can break down walls.
The other night, we at Woodside Bible Church held a special worship servicein Michigan that simulated the srt of Underground Church meetings that regularly occur all over the world. We met at a warehouse in suburban Detroit, the location passed on by word of mouth and a small postcard distributed beforehand. Dan Stewart, who is the campus pastor of Woodside’s Warren, MI location, did the teaching. The meeting went on for three hours – typical of the persecuted church and three times longer than the usual US service. More than 300 people came. And stayed. That was pretty awesome.
Online, our Internet Church has been steadily growing each month, after a huge influx of curious believers from our own and other nearby churches. Those curious Christians moved on and now, we’re steadily gaining in those our Internet Church is aimed at – seekers, those who don’t attend any church, or have been burned out by legalism but yet, deep down, still know there is a God and that He is calling them.
We could use your prayers, if you are a believer and already have a church home. And your help.
Please help us spread the word by inviting nonchurched friends to worship online with you and then urging them to visit and “like” our Facebook Page. Our task is to get the word out and invite people. God does all the work after that We also love helping refer folks to a Bible-believing evangelical church near them, wherever in the world they happen to be.
I’m flying pretty high right now. We’ve been analyzing the audience stats from the launch of our Internet Campus Sunday and all I can say is…. wow!
At 10:30 a.m., we held our very first Woodside Online Campus interactive worship experience. It went off with only one or two minor glitches that we have already solved.
Here are the results: Continue reading “Woodside Online Campus Launches: First Day’s Stats” »
Perhaps because I have been preparing all summer for an in-depth study of the Book of Revelation that I will be teaching for the next 28 weeks starting this Wednesday, I have been paying a lot of attention to developments in Israel and the Middle East.
That’s because Israel is God’s prophetic timepiece and much of the Bible deals with God’s blessings, judgment, provisions and promises as related to the people of this tiny little land that has dominated world events throughout history.
When talking about Israel and scripture it is important, of course, to differentiate between the political nation of Israel and Israel the people and the land. It is the latter, and God’s Holy City of Jerusalem, that the Bible addresses.
As potentially momentous in history as the 1948 reestablishment of Israel as a Jewish homeland is the upcoming vote in the United Nations Security Council on a proposal to make Palestine a state. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas wants Jerusalem to be the capital of the new state and for borders returned to where they were before the 1967 Seven Day War in which Israel stunningly defeated a coordinated attacked by neighboring Arab states.
The coming UN Security Council vote puts the U.S. in a no-win position. If it vetoes the vote, it will Continue reading “Current Events Make It a Good Time to Study Revelation” »
I recently finished my second stint as a bit player in a movie.
Last summer, I was an extra in the big-screen movie Machine Gun Preacher starring Hollywood hunk Gerard Butler, expected for release in late fall. I played a schmoozer in a party scene. No speaking role, but I was near the camera and Butler in a lot of the shots.
Machine Gun Preacher is based on a true story. Butler, the lead actor who is one of Hollywood’s hottest male stars, plays Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing biker tough guy who found God and became a crusader for hundreds of Sudanese children who’ve been forced to become soldiers. You can learn more about the real Sam Childers at www.machinegunpreacher.org
And recently, I actually had a speaking role – four lines in as many scenes – for an independent Christian film being shot in Michigan called One Nation Under God, to be released early in 2012.
Before you think doing these minor parts in either film is an easy job, realize that for most of us the short scenes required a 12-to-14-hour day to shoot.
What most impressed me was the precise attention to detail of the moviemakers during those long days
It is all about continuity, as the directors explain.
Everything has to be consistent, the same, from scene to scene. If you are holding something in one hand in one scene, you need to hold it in the same hand during the next. If a table is in one place, it needs to be in the same place in another angle, with the same items on the table arranged in their same places.
They didn’t want anything out of place. On the Butler set, was one crewmember who used a lint roller to “de-lint” the dark blue polo short I was wearing. At least a dozen times that day, no sooner did the assistant director yell “cut” then she’d come by and work me over with that roller.
Even the independent film had two make up people, constantly prowling about, making sure no shine or five o’clock shadow marred my makeup. All this was necessary because if continuity was broken, the movie audience would focus on what was wrong, or out of place, instead of the message or story line of the film.
I came away thinking what a great metaphor that was for the Christian life.
As Christians, our individual lives are part of a much bigger story. But if we break continuity, or behave out of sync with our calling as Christians, we take the focus off the Good News and center it on our mess, thus ruining the message.
Like the lint removal lady, or the assistant directors, or the dozens of sound, lighting, film, and set design people on hand to assure the continuity of the movie, so the church, with small groups, prayer partners, pastors, Adult Fellowship Groups, and Bible studies play essential roles in keeping us on track as we tell our stories to a watching world.
Oh yeah, before I sign off, let me say that, yeah, I did meet Gerard Butler. He hung out with us on our shoot pretty much all day and was a very nice guy.
He’s a pretty good actor, too. But he has a lot of people pulling for him on that movie set. He needs them all.
Just like we Christians need the church.