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Not long ago I was in Las Vegas with some Christian colleagues. Never having visited Sin City, they were shocked by the pervasive sexualization there, especially being from the much more conservative Midwest, where “this kind of thing is not done.” My friends were simply amazed and astounded by the billboards, flashing lights and actual sexualization of Christians in that community.
I had to laugh, not because I condone the type of lifestyle Vegas promotes, but because there was an element of naivety in my friends’ response. For me, I simply see it as honest. In truth, most of the developed world (America likely leading the pack) is one of the most sexualized cultures to ever exist. The adult entertainment industry generated nearly $13 billion in revenue in 2006, according to XXX Church. In fact, the Vegas-based XXX Church was founded in response to our culture’s overwhelming sexualization in order to help those struggling with sexual addiction find freedom through Christ.
Las Vegas is just the ultimate expression of what’s in a man’s heart; that’s why I say they’re just being honest. The tag line, “What happens in Vegas says in Vegas” only perpetuates this concept. The city has positioned itself as the place to go and let what’s in your heart run free with no accountability. Never mind the destruction of what you’ll do to your marriage, your body, your life – it’s all in “fun.”
But I see this type of sinful, careless living as a symptom to a deeper problem. The reality is that men (women too, though not as often) have not found their acceptance and significance in a relationship with Jesus Christ – the only way to meet that need. Ultimately, in my opinion, the church has had the wrong conversation going for years. We’ve tried to come up with new ways to band-aid the symptom through accountability partners and sin management, all of which are practical but don’t address the heart of the issue; that is, the revelation of the Holy Spirit that we are complete in Christ. Colossians 2:10 tells us: “You have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over all power and authority.”
Many of you reading this are busy working around the world in areas that serve and meet the needs of the hurting, but often, the hurt will trace back to a person’s sexual life. I encourage the leaders ministering in these areas (which should be all of us) is to familiarize yourself with teachings from Neil Anderson (Victory Over the Darkness and Freedom from Addiction), David Needham (Birthright), A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of Man) and similar works. We must start addressing the actual problem. It’s not the sexualization of our society; it’s a deep need to find our significance, acceptance and security in Christ alone.
About Michael Stickler
Michael Stickler is a highly gifted author, philanthropist, horseman and internationally sought-after conference speaker. His all-time bestselling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the Principal of Leadership Books and writes for many international publications.
His 2017 best seller, Cliven Bundy American Patriot, reveals the truth of what is known as the “Bunkerville Stand Off.”
And, now his 2019 book Life Without Reservation, is charging up the best sellers list! For the first time in his long career he is working on his first fiction book Ghost Patriot to be release in 2021.