Back in September, I sent out an e-mail to promote the Justice NYC conference and referenced a sermon from John Piper titled, Battling the Unbelief of Lust in which he asserts that lust is more dangerous the nuclear war. One of my friends was so encouraged by the sermon that he listened to it every single day for the next six weeks. He asked not to be identified, so let’s call him Chris.
After listening so many times while praying and asking God for strength, Chris said he felt incredibly strong in the area of sexual integrity. It wasn’t that he had a significant problem previously, but he said even the temptation to look at women on the street with lustful eyes was gone. It wasn’t just that he was listening to the sermon every day. He really focused on it and spent time in prayer daily. He was seeking God in this area very specifically for those six weeks.
A few weeks ago he attended a conference in Las Vegas with his sister. They boarded a double decker tourist bus to see some of the city. A few minutes later about 20 men got on and started retelling stories from the night before of visiting strip clubs and hiring prostitutes. Chris said these men were loud and there were families on the bus. They were unashamed, even proud, of their behavior and didn’t care who heard their boasting.
Chris sat on the bus for about 10 minutes and thought about what he should do. He concluded that these men were blinded by the power of Satan. Their crude talk and bravado was inspired by the Prince of Darkness. Chris realized that while there were 20 of them, he had the power of the Holy Spirit inside him, which trumped their numerical superiority. So he decided to speak up.
Chris stood up and said to these 20 men, “I want to ask you a question. Have any of you ever gone to church? Do any of you have sisters or mothers? Is this the way you would want them treated?” The bus went silent. These 20 men full of bravado were shamed into silence by just a few sentences of truth. Even though they could have easily shouted him down or even beat him up, they immediately knew in their hearts their behavior was wrong.
After a few minutes, one spoke up and said he used to go to church but stopped. Chris told him that was because he never really had Jesus in his heart. A few of the guys wanted to hear more and traded e-mails with Chris. This challenge to a group of obnoxious guys turned into an opportunity for evangelism. Chris showed them a glimpse of a man filled with the Holy Spirit and they were attracted to it. They wanted to learn more about one man who would stand up and challenge 20 others.
Could you imagine if Christian men all throughout our country repeated that scene every day? What if we challenged men every time they talked about women as objects? What if we stood up and pointed out the humanity of women by reminding men that these girls are somebody’s daughter? It would lead to a revolution in the way women were treated and the way Christian men were perceived. It wouldn’t just change their behavior. It would challenge their hearts to want to learn more about what inspired us. It would lead to more conversations about Jesus and more men surrendering their lives to Him.
I encourage you to share this story with other men in your church and make a pact with one another to speak up when you hear men dehumanizing women. Let’s shock the country by showing them the courage and compassion of Christian men when they are filled with the Holy Spirit. Let’s start by challenging men but quickly move to evangelizing and bring more of those men into the Kingdom to be renewed by God.