YTH Leadership In The Sexual Revolution

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The Sexual Revolution is here. And it is not going away. From the changing legislation in government to the lack of censorship in media to progressive sex education in our schools and the redefinition of the family. There is a redefining wave of sexuality crashing over our society.

So, what is the response of YTH Leadership to this cultural shift? Last week we looked at two important elements of the response. Truth and Grace.

We must model a Christian worldview in a post-christian world. The best way to counter this wave is to live as Christian in society as we can.

4 APPROACHES FOR YTH LEADERS

Let me give you some practical approaches as a YTH Leader to this redefining of sexuality in America.

Scripture over culture

I want to move you from a non-BINARY view of sexuality to a BINARY view of sexuality. Let me explain these.

The non-binary view is prevalent today. It is a mathematic term that means more than two. A way of calculating another symbol or adding another number in an equation. As it relates to sexuality, it is a cultural viewpoint that adds a ‘third way’ or evolving or transitional viewpoint of Male or Female sexuality.

The non-binary view has replaced the binary view that was prevalent just a few years ago.

The binary view of sexuality is the mathematic term used for only two symbols in an equation. A way of calculating a factor with only two symbols. As it relates to sexuality, it is the scriptural viewpoint of Male and Female sexuality.

We cannot lose another generation to theological ignorance. If we are going to contribute to the reforming of sexuality to a scriptural set, theology must be at the center of our lives as YTH Leaders.

YTH Leaders must develop a personal theology set in scripture or we will never be able to speak to the cultural wave. It begins with two concepts.

The Genesis Intent (Genesis 1-3), or, the creation intent. This is the first and foundational rule to sexuality. It is a theology of firsts and types. Where God defines sexuality. There is no confusion on Male or Female in scripture. And there is no mention or need for a ‘third way’ or ‘transition’ or ‘neutral’ gender.

The Matthew Intent (Matthew 5, 19), or, the messianic intent. This is Jesus on sexuality. And he quotes the OT words of Moses from Genesis. Isn’t that interesting? Jesus could have EVOLVED. He could have ADJUSTED to His day. But His definition of sexuality was taken from the creation or Genesis intent.

Practically speaking, what does this look like for YTH Leaders?

Scriptural application of the issue in the YTH Leaders life, in the YTH service, small groups, mentoring, family modeling, and even guest speakers who can handle the topic in the YTH setting

Culture over scripture

There is a tension with this statement. But, it is meant solely as an encouragement to understand the times and to know what to do (Deuteronomy 32). There is a responsibility that every YTH Leader has to discern their culture and society. That includes understanding the traits or the characteristics of a Gen set, and, knowing how to apply theology to that set.

Culture does not have the authority to redefine sexuality.

Scripture defines sexuality. And the YTH Leader must have a base knowledge of the bible to address the issue in our world today. And after establlshing a healthy biblical viewpoint personally, we must be able to communicate that in language and terms that everyone can understand corporately.

Just in the past year, TEEN VOGUE, TIME, ROLLING STONES, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC have all covered their magazines and websites with the shift in The Sexual Revolution. This is the world teenagers are growing up in. Looking at the world of teens today, you can imagine the kind of conversations that are taking place regularly between teens and leaders.

See these stats from barna.org in the Impact360 report of February 2018:

-76% of Christian teens believe gender is your birth sex

-48% of all GenZ believe gender is your birth sex

-77% of students feel physical, mental, or verbal abuse in high school

-1 in 3 girls is abused by a boyfriend

Why all of this? What does this prove? It proves that culture hasn’t worked. It never will. Scripture works.

Practically speaking, what does this look like for YTH Leaders?

I think it’s simple. Aside from the changing legislation, lack of censorship in media, progressive education in schools, and the redefinition of the family, there are also physiological developments in adolescents that must be understood as we address The Sexual Revolution.

Listening to students and hearing how they feel or think about something is elementary to respect. Instead of doing more talking, let students talk. They may come to the same conclusions we do if we let them process cultural issues with a theological viewpoint.

Relationship over judgment

Our response to the antithetical life or views in the world is critical to the world’s response to the Church. Are we surprised or shocked or cynical of people who think different than us? Or, are we unflinching at hearing of the lifestyle or views of someone who does not think like we do. Love values relationship as much as it does regulations.

I never want to win an argument and lose a relationship. The easiest way to prove our love for someone that may not hold the same views we do is to value relationship more than being right. This response must be a tandem response that begins with truth or theology - and having a scriptural understanding and view of sexuality. And the response must continue with grace or relationship - and having a cultural understanding and view of sexuality.

James 2 clearly defines the ‘sin of partiality’. Where we judge someone and place them in a position of less importance than anyone else because of their economic, racial, or gender status. Truth and Grace must never interfere with relationship to unbelievers or with believers who may think differently than us.

There is a point in the Church setting that requires correction in fellowship, but, the relationship that we have with unbelievers or those who disagree with us must be guarded by both truth and love.

We can agree to disagree. That is one of the most important responses as it relates to morality issues. Truth and Grace are important partners in our relationship with people. If you cannot love, then stay away from issues that divide until you can agree to disagree.

Practically speaking, what does this look like for YTH Leaders?

We have to explain that same sex attraction is not sin or disobedience to the biblical standard. But, too many students have felt the temptation of same sex attraction at an early age and have been told they were gay. That is simply not true. Sometimes unlearning something is more important than what we learned.

And we must not only welcome students who may not have our same sexual views, but, we have to give them the same kind of access to be involved in the YTH Ministry as anyone else attending.

Modeling family in society

The importance of this cannot be overstated.

As YTH Leaders we must define sexuality in our own personal lives. And modeling biblical sexuality ourselves is the clearest way to bring another wave of a scriptural sexual revolution to our world. The family is the one unit that exists on every continent globally. It can be found in every village and metropolitan city. It is the place where cultures are made and societies are formed.

There are a lot of problems in society. The economy, racism, bullying, the opioid crisis, and The Sexual Revolution. But, we will not solve any of these problems in Washington or New York or LA. They will be solved in the family.

Because the answer to every problem in society can be found in a healthy home. Why? Because it is easier to BUILD children than to REPAIR men and women. (Frederick Douglass)

Practically speaking, what does this look like for YTH Leaders?

The YTH Leader must model healthy sexuality as an individual or in their family. Because of the fatherless, motherless, and siblingless situation in the family structure of America, it will be healthy families that bring the redefinition of sexuality back into society. The family is the center of education for all of these issues. And when we educate our CHILDREN we can educate our CULTURE.

A REFORM FOR THE AGES

We can counter The Sexual Revolution wave crashing over our society. It will take another wave of consistently modeled biblical Truth and Grace. In too many cases, if sexuality is even discussed in the YTH setting, it is done with a meology approach. With thoughts, ideas, and opinions from a YTH Leader that feels somewhat incapable of parsing the issue. When what is needed most is a theology approach.

There must be a renewed theological sexuality education in YTH Ministry. Because the reform we need in America will not come from the changing legislation in government or the lack of censorship in the media or the progressive sex education in our schools or the redefinition of family. It will come from YTH Leaders who are shaping the next generation in America with another Sexual Revolution of biblical proportions.

Jeff Grenell