Apologetics conference speakers call for holy sexuality in contrast to secular sexuality
ABBOTSFORD, BC -- "Marriage has become an idol of the world and the church," according to one Christian apologetic speaker.
A key speaker at the Apologetics Canada Conference on March 4, Christopher Yuan, author of Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God, spoke on the issue of singleness inside the church.
He challenged churches to be more open to singles among them who often feel very alone in the body of Christ, which has focused largely on marriage.
Yuan and his mother, who co-authored the book, wrote of the idolatry of marriage following the Supreme Court decision in the U.S. to legalize same sex marriage.
In a letter to the court they noted that Justice Kennedy wrote in the decision that “marriage is the highest ideal of love.”
They wrote that the church has failed to show the LGBT community another option to marriage, “which is singleness - lived out in the fruitful and full context of God’s community, the family of God."
This does not mean as Justice Kennedy wrote out that singles are "condemned to live in loneliness; but that singles can have intimate and fulfilling relationships full of love. “It can be just as rewarding and fulfilling as marriage.”
Yuan and his mother said they disagreed that marriage was the highest ideal of love.
“Earthly marriage does not have a monopoly on love. God is love. The pinnacle of love is God’s love for us in Christ. Nothing is greater than that.”
Yuan told the audience that in 1 Corinthians 7 singleness was seen as a gift, one given by God not chosen by us. He said that while those in the church do not have their own families they need to be reminded “they belong to an external family.”
He also talked about holy sexuality and how parents need to broach the topic with their children before the culture does.
“Silence is not an option.”
As an aid, Yuan’s book has an 8-week discussion program in the back that helps parents discuss sexuality with kids.
The problem of pornography
Another one of the speakers, Robert Rhea, the chaplain and director of student ministries at Trinity Western University, discussed the prevailing problem of pornography.
He said the accessibility and affordability has made it a problem for Christian and non-Christian alike, and especially youth.
The average statistics, according to Rhea, is that most boys see it by age 11 and most girls will see it by age 13. The increase in usage for boys starts to increase at age 11.
Rhea said human trafficking and pornography are inseparably linked and that every click is monetized.
“To consume pornography is to be complicit in the tragedy of human trafficking and human degradation and to be a part and an underwriter in the systems that support it.”
He discussed how porn dehumanizes the other person by focusing on body parts, rather than the body as a whole.
He explained that even an image of a person was sacred as it was a representation of them, regardless of their consent.
Rhea wrapped up by saying that porn has become a de facto sex education tool in western countries.
“The irony is you cannot learn about what it is like to have sex by watching a porn video any more than you can learn to drive a car by watching The Fast and The Furious.”
He said that porn teaches incorrect sexual scripts, which is how we figure out what to say, to do, and what is expected to ask for.
“There is a plausibility of imagination that is broached to think, ‘Could I do that? Maybe.’ and if you see that enough it starts to form a narrative.”
Among the other discussions at the conference were practical ways to live out and to defend the Christian worldview including New Jersey native, Frank Turek, who used material from his book, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, to show practical ways to defend Christian positions.
“If someone says ‘there is no truth’ you should say ‘Is that true?’ Is it true that there is no truth? Because if it is true that there is no truth than the claim that there is not truth can’t be true and it claims to be true.”
Turek explained to the audience they needed to turn the claim on itself and see if it meets its own standard.
He then demonstrated how science has provided evidence for the existence of a creator in the Big Bang theory and the existence of fine tuning of the universe. He also taught about the moral argument for the existence of God.
“It says if there is one thing morally wrong out there - just one like say it is wrong to torture babies for fun or it is wrong to sexually abuse children - then there has to be a God. There has to be a standard beyond humanity.”
His final point was that the New Testament was a historically reliable document. This is backed by several points but the two that Turek used were the embarrassing stories in the Bible, which put the apostles and Jesus in a bad light. Coupled with the fact that many of the early Christians went to their deaths - especially the church fathers - never recanting their witness.
The annual conference has been hosted by Apologetics Canada, a ministry based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, since 2010.
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