Article May 23, 2014

TRANSCRIPT: Which ethical issues is the church missing?

Well, I think one of the main issues right now that I am seeing happening all over the place consistently is addressing the issue of pornography—and addressing the issue of pornography not only where it is right now but where it is going to be going. We did not address where technology was going to go back before, and so we talked about pornography simply in terms of the people who were going behind a curtain in a video store, when right around the corner was this technology that made it ubiquitous and seemingly anonymous. And so we have to be out ahead of the technology—and not only in terms of how that affects the porn issue but also how technology drives and affects our lives generally.

So one of the things that I think we have to constantly be talking about is social media and how social media can drive us toward this sense of outrage culture: a sense of being what the scripture warns about being quarrelsome. I think that is a very real temptation for all of our people, and I think we have to address it consistently as well as the way that social media can drive people toward despair looking around saying my life just doesn’t measure up to everybody else’s life. I think we have to address those things of technology and to be able to take those things captive for the gospel.

And then behind all of that I think the biggest issue we have to do is to deconstruct that dime store, prosperity gospel that we have had going on for so long, that isn’t the full Joel Osteen, but it still assumes that Jesus is the way to make you into a well-adjusted, normal American, which increasingly is not true in American culture. And so the people in our churches are going to be living Hebrews 10 sorts of lives and Hebrews 11 sorts of lives—not the narrative that has been the case in cultural, nominal Christianity for a long time. We have to prepare people for that.