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Should Pastors Stop Talking About Sex to Keep the Peace?


Is it possible for leaders to speak to the culture about sex in a way that is winsome and might even hold the key to God’s winning someone to the gospel? This is a question Tim Keller, Russell Moore and Kevin DeYoung tackle in this video below.

You may be wondering what three married, older men might have to say to culture on this subject. The advice they give to pastors, youth leaders, etc. seeking to address their congregations is pretty spot on, though. It’s definitely worth a listen.

Moore kicks off the discussion by addressing the elephant in the room: The culture thinks differently about sex than most Christians do. This is going to cause some tension whenever a Christian seeks to engage culture (or one who ascribes to culture’s philosophy on sex) on the topic of sex. However, Moore argues, “The main thing is not to panic. Not to act as though we’re living in a time that is radically different from any other time. We have the same sexual problems the church has always had—they manifest themselves in different ways.”

At [3:43], Keller makes a very compelling argument to not start talking about sex right away. He suggests addressing the subject by talking about the deeper, underlying issues at play. For instance, freedom and identity. You’ll especially want to listen to his points on freedom and its dependence on restriction starting around [5:40].

Toward the end of the video, Moore reiterates the need for pastors to address the topic of sex: “Eventually people in cultures come to a crisis point, and so we have to be the people who have confidence enough in what we believe God has revealed to be able to be there on the other side to deal with people who are saying, ‘This hasn’t made me as happy as I thought it would. I need to find something else.'”

In short: We need to be ready, equipped with the gospel and the compassion of Christ, to thoughtfully explain a better approach to sexuality.

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Megan Briggs is a writer and editor for churchleaders.com. Her experience in ministry, an extensive amount of which was garnered overseas, gives her a unique perspective on the global church. She has the longsuffering and altruistic nature of foreign friends and missionaries to humbly thank for this experience. Megan is passionate about seeking and proclaiming the truth. When she’s not writing, Megan likes to explore God’s magnificent creation.