By Marc Engelhardt

Everything we have covered thus far highlights how wonderful sex is and that it is a gift from God. At the same time, it highlights how destructive sex can be for people when used outside the intentions for which God gifted it. It can be very discouraging to know that bonding ourselves to people through a misuse of sex will change our reality and who we are. What’s worse is that even if we were ignorant of the truth about sex we typically can’t blame anyone but ourselves for our choices. This can lead to discouraging depression.

By Marc Engelhardt

Continuing the recaps from Christ in Common (the discipleship class that focuses on Foundation, Worldview, and Practice), we get to the section that many people in the class eagerly awaited: “How far is too far?” We didn’t get into this topic much until this point because I think part of the desire to know how far is too far is to have some sort of control and to make more law. Rather, the route we took builds on itself and shows us that this is about what works out best for us and those around us because of how God created the world to work, not some sort of wrong/right, sin/sanctified, punishment/blessing scheme. So, notice that this recap should not be taken out of the context of the rest of the recaps thus far, otherwise it can easily come across as a bunch of “do this and don’t do that” law.

By Marc Engelhardt

I know that eventually I’ll be labeled the “sex guy” if I keep making these posts, but there is too much good stuff that is discussed in our Christ in Common classes to not share the recaps. So, here is another recap that illustrates how we use Foundation, Worldview, and Practice for discipleship in our context. These recaps build off the previous ones, so check out my previous posts if you are lost.

By Marc Engelhardt

This post continues the recaps from Christ in Common, which is a discipleship discussion that takes place in my context. Christ in Common is a good example of how we purposefully approach the discipleship triad of Foundation, Worldview, and Practice. Remember, as recaps, these posts hit highlights of what the group discussed in person, so they are short and may seem to make some jumps occasionally. If you pull out the Word and study the Foundation mentioned, you should be able to fill most gaps.

By Joel A. Hess

This past week, I watched my alma mater’s sports program completely implode. Unless you are Stephen Hawking, exclusively spending your time contemplating the universe, you probably have heard about the USA and MSU gymnastics doctor who molested over a hundred girls over the course of his career. Everyone agrees to the immorality of the doctor. That’s easy even for our society. However, journalists looked into the failure of the MSU administration in dealing with initial complaints regarding the doctor. This revealed what is now the popular narrative that MSU has not been being up front regarding many cases of sexual assault. Especially revealing was the numerous sexual assault and rape accusations of football and basketball players. Sadly, the university and coaches’ response was simply that all of this had been reported already. So it’s all good, right?

By Joel A. Hess

In the sixteenth century, the time of the Reformation, the Church held celibacy as of greater value than marriage in terms of holiness before God. They required their priests to take vows of celibacy. Men and women were considered holy as they left the domestic life and pursued all church all the time. That was the religious life. On paper, I suppose it makes sense. Who wouldn’t admire someone if all they did was churchy stuff? Also, Paul encourages people not to get married if they are blessed with the ability not to want sex or the desire to cuddle while watching Downton Abbey (1 Corinthians 7).