Tag Archive | sex

Deliver Me From Evil (Book Review)

Sex trafficking in the United States is an unlikely backdrop for a story. In Deliver Me From Evil,  Kathi Macias takes the reader into the world of slave trading and gives a glimpse at the terror and pain of the victims of this crime. That would seem like a pretty dark topic to read about, but Kathi handles this with a master stroke in that she weaves together the tale with a look at various aspects of the industry from international sex slavery, to intra-national. She then adds in faith as one young man, Jonathan, is not only confronted with this evil, but his then compelled to wrestle with his role in it.

When one is confronted with unspeakable evil that one doesn’t fully recognize even exists, how does one react? Jonathan’s path is one of inner struggle and guilt over not knowing, but with the support of his family and new-found faith, results in courage unheard of in one so young.

The angle of the church is touched in here as well, the need for the faith community to take up the cause of abolition, not fear it but to enter into this battle wisely and well- informed. The reality of how few people want to engage in this ugly war is highlighted as well instead of treated as a “the church will save the world” fantasy. Oh, that it would be otherwise but Kathi Macias treats that as well with a just hand, neither excusing the church’s lack of involvement or making it something other than what it is.

I’m grateful that Kathi has helped us see beneath the staggering and mind-numbing statistics of human trafficking and does not even mention specific numbers but instead draws us into the thoughts,  fears and hopelessness of those involved.

This book should be a wake-up call for all Christians. There is real evil in this world and it is a dangerous battle that is fought first and foremost on our knees and then through wise and considered action. This book does an excellent job highlighting this without bringing the reader to a point of depression. Instead, there is hope, and one life at a time we can make a difference.

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I Surrender All: Rebuilding a Marriage Broken by Pornography (book review)

I Surrender All (click pic at right to access more information)  is a book by Christian recording artist Clay Crosse and his wife Renee.  It is a book that describes a man in the public eye of Christian ministry who has a shallow faith and slides into the use of pornography not realizing how dangerous it is to himself, his marriage and his faith.

I initially found this book because it was free on kindle. I was intrigued because while some might label this “vanity press,” confessing to the sin of pornography and adultery while in public ministry is not usually a vanity thing, but can be a deal breaker. I also, having spoken with many women who struggle to deal with their husband’s issues in this area of sexual sin, I wanted to understand both sides of the story.

The Crosse’s do a good job describing the rise to fame and descent into sin, how that impacted them and what God did to bring Clay to repentance. I loved the honesty that Clay and Renee express as they share a deeply painful part of their marriage and life. I also appreciate the emphasis on repentance and that pornography was not really the “biggest sin” that they faced. That was merely as surface issue that had its roots in selfishness and not being fully surrendered to Jesus Christ.

They describe their painful journey to healing and how God has led them through that process. There were no magic bullets through the pain they endured but they did not give up on their marriage or each other in spite of the pain and I find that admirable given the high rate of divorce even in the Christian church.

If you want to understand the damage pornography can do to your faith, ministry and marriage, then this book is good. It reads quickly and the use of Scripture is succinct and appropriate. There is no preaching here, just authentic telling of their story and what they learned.  Biblical headship and trust are addressed in how that plays out in the wake of such a painful breach of trust in a relationship. Men who are struggling with this issue could learn a lot from the example of Clay’s humility and servant’s heart towards his wife.  It is a beautiful thing to see how God has taken what was dark and painful and brought beauty out of it in their marriage.

I would recommend this book to pastors, and to anyone struggling with pornography or married to someone who is.  Everyone’s path may be different but I think the core issues that the Crosse’s address are biblical and true and would be helpful to those who really are not even “getting it” as to why this sin I s such a big deal.