I hope Jerry Falwell, Jr. saw the framed Playboy Cover with Donald Trump on it before he took the picture. I hope he looked at it and didn’t think about his personal image and what the folks in the media and social media might say. I hope he did it regardless, knowing it just isn’t a big deal, and that he is called to be a part of this world.
For the next 24 hours the rage will be Donald Trump’s new board created to secure the Evangelicals vote in November. The media and social media folks will be looking for holes to exploit, and controversies to start. So, the first order of business is to attack Jerry Falwell, Jr, and in turn, allow the wrong voices to dictate what we think and what we believe. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is just hogwash, my friends. Total hogwash. And a game being played at our expense.
Jesus ate with the tax collectors, who were basically extortionists and cheats. Jesus also hung out with prostitutes and men and women with sketchy reputations. Having an Evangelical Leader posing in a photo op in front of a Playboy Cover is nothing. It’s irrelevant. And more than anything, if this gets you fired up, you’re getting it all wrong. This is nothing more than a red herring to get us focused on all the wrong things.
Facebook loves this kind of malarkey. The media is thrilled to have some drama attached to an Evangelical Leader. In the meantime, while these jokers are trying to define our conversations and opinions, Christians should be the ones leading these conversations and definitely not running away from them. Of course, pornography is an epic problem in our society, and I’m not trying to lessen the dark evil lying behind this industry. Yet, at the same time Playboy themselves no longer prints pictures of naked women because of the availability of it on the internet.
According to the Barma Group, a recent study showed 64% off Christian men look at pornography once a month, along with 15% Christian women. This is a colossal problem in our world today, yet the media and this picture do nothing to offer a solution to the problem. The real solution is best summed up by the idea of worship. When we worship God, and God alone, it allows for us to be removed from worshipping anything else, including the naked female and male forms. Worshiping God and loving him more than anything else doesn’t provide us with an out or a topical solution over sin. It provides us with a heart change, and yes, a change of passion.
Evangelical Leaders need to stand up and tell the media “I just don’t care” about pictures like this and the criticism of Jerry Jr. is ridiculous. They don’t need to worry about how they look in social media, they need to fear God and look to him. They need to confess their sins openly and aggressively, yet not get into the business of sin management. We are not called to have a holy setting around us. We are called to tell the world about the love Jesus has for them.
The picture is a good picture, and I, for one, am grateful for it. I hope Jerry Falwell, Jr. is, too. It seems like the Lord has led him right where he should be, and it’s a very good place. I hope more Evangelical Leaders will trust God and let this kind of junk go. We don’t need to run away from the world and these conversations. We need to lead these dialogues, and show the passion and love we have for everyone in this world. It’s exactly what Jesus would do. He would know his surroundings, and still be in the picture, and he would gladly do the same with Hillary Clinton. This, my friends, is the difference, but if we can’t get there, regardless of who wins this election, we all lose.