dis/connected: technology that promotes lust & sexual sin


We ended our “dis/connected” series this past week at CPC Students group with a final message on the dangers that technology such as the internet, cell phones, smart phones & media has served in our teens’ lives in the area of lust and sexual sin. We split up the guys and girls for this topic for guys and girls struggle in this area in different ways and made sure that it was age appropriate with middle schoolers compared to high schoolers. Below are some general thoughts on the subject but know that much of this was also a discussion (especially with the ladies and my wife) where we won’t be able to provide all material that was brought up from our students. Also i will be posting what was generally said to high schoolers so know that some that may be too much for middle schoolers wasn’t mentioned in group.

Differences Between Guys & Girls in Lust

Isn’t it wonderful how God has made men and women to interact with each other? He made men visually oriented, then made women beautiful. He made men initiators, and then designed women to enjoy being pursued. In the heart of each man is an innate desire to romance and win the affection of a woman. God plants a longing in a girl’s heart from a young age to make herself attractive. All this is part of God’s wonderful design. Understanding God’s plan helps us to see where lustful desires will seek to sabotage the original purpose. Lust always starts with something good—like a mirror at a carnival, it takes God’s design and then distorts it.

Josh Harris, author of “I kissed dating goodbye” says this about these 2 God given desires that get distorted in a section titled “Pleasure and Power” (pp. 85–87) in his book “sex is not the problem, lust is”.. “Lust blurs and bends true masculinity and femininity in harmful ways. It makes a man’s good desire to pursue all about “capturing” and “using,” and a woman’s good desire to be beautiful all about “seduction” and “manipulation.” In general it seems that men and women are tempted by lust in two unique ways: men are tempted by the pleasure lust offers, while women are tempted by the power lust promises. . . .

Lust offers men the pleasure of sex devoid of the hard work of intimacy. Lust offers women the power to get what they want relationally if they use their sexuality to seduce.

Dr. Al Mohler once made a shocking yet accurate statement: “Men are tempted to give themselves to pornography–women are tempted to commit pornography.” If you’re a woman, you don’t have to pose for a picture or star in a pornographic movie to commit pornography. When you dress and behave in a way that is designed primarily to arouse sexual desire in men, you’re committing pornography with your life. So Josh suggests five general ways that guys and girls “wired” differently sexually with the result that their sexual temptations are fundamentally different”

Men                                                                                       Women

1. sexual desire often more physical                              sexual desire more often more emotional

2. generally wired to be the sexual initiator                generally wired to be the sexual responder

3. generally stimulated visually                                      generally stimulated by touch

4. created to pursue                                                            created to want to be pursued

5. finds even the pursuit stimulating                            finds even being pursued stimulating

6. generally tempted by the pleasure lust offers         generally tempted by the power lust promises

God & Porneia

In the New Testament we get the greek word “porneia” which is the root word for pornography. Its definition is sexual immorality that covers all type of sexual sins. We have to recognize as men that all sexual acts outside of marriage are sin. This ranges from doing the dirty deed to thinking about the dirty deed with people who we are not married to. Some guys try to justify their acts as not sin just because they aren’t having sex with a girl. This is because God in his wisdom knew that we would try to make some type of excuse to find this false pleasure outside of marriage and try to justify it as anything but sin but it’s covered in this word. As i mentioned this also covers what we think in our hearts which Jesus had much to say about in Matthew 5.

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. -Matthew 5:27-30

1. Lust through Technology(Matthew 5:27-30)

Lust is a sexual sin that every guy has and needs to have control over.  Joshua Harris, famed author of “I kissed dating goodbye” later followed up that book with one called “Sex is not the problem, LUST is.”  This sin is where most men’s sexual sins come from.  Lust is a strong sexual desire that starts in the heart but is encouraged from the world.  A lot of times we blame the culture we live in but don’t recognize that we created the culture we live in out of the overflow of our perverted hearts.  Lust is a sin that every guy deals with and the culture throws gasoline on this fire through these different things.

Everyone struggles with LUST.

Media: Whether it be the shows we watch, movies we see, music we listen to, or websites we visit.  Lust will always be encouraged through the different media outlets around us who are trying to make some money off of the one thing that every guy craves & every girl will feel tempted to use.  Sex sells.  It also steals your soul as it doesn’t warn you of the consequences in its bargaining.  We need to be careful with what we watch, listen to, and partake in for we can fall very easily in the area of lust.  Based on our convictions (Romans 14) we need to be able to give up some things, watch out in other things, and keep each other accountable in all things media wise.  To stay holy in this area and to live out the extreme example Jesus uses in Matthew 5, it would be wise for us to stay away from all things with nudity in it and anything that entertains thoughts of sexual desires for others outside of our future spouses.  There have been seasons in my life where I had to give up certain media to not be fooled in how seductive sexual sin is and other times where I could study it, hate it, discern from it and teach from it to speak in a teenagers’ life.  Most teenagers need to stay away from as much sexual sinful media as possible but not become legalistic in this where they will judge people who don’t know Jesus to act like they don’t know Jesus in this area and to not know a general idea of the culture that they are trying to reach who will always have some type of sexual message mixed in with it. 

Pornography (*Mostly discussed with the guys):  This multi billion empire makes more money then country music, rock music, jazz music, classical music, Broadway plays, and ballet combined.  As teenagers become more computer suave and parents have become less it has become more and more of a problem each year.  Unlike media, viewing Pornography is a sin in which we are always guilty before God in.  With media you can have control in which you can watch a movie, listen to a song with accountability and discernment.  Pornography is a selfish act where you are looking at some dad’s daughter created in the image of God being used like a rag doll for your sinful pleasure.  Teenagers in particular have struggled even harder with this sin as amateur porn and teenage porn has become increasingly popular and puts the teenage guy who views this smut in this fantasy world where they put them selves in the position of that guy they are watching shoes (or lack of).

They soon fantasize these things with the girls at their school and at their church causing them to lust even more for the girls they actually interact with.  It’s an addictive sin that ruins marriages before they even start as they begin to envision love making as a controlling, disrespectful, selfish act in which the woman is their sexual slave or that they are to be just as horny as the girl they watch on their computer.  Pornography kills souls and turn men into sexual slaves where they lose their will to fight the sin of lust.

Tim Chester gives these 12 reasons to give up porn…

  • Porn wrecks your view of sex.
  • Porn wrecks your view of women.
  • Porn wrecks women’s view of themselves.
  • The porn industry abuses women.
  • Porn is a sin against your wife. . . . If you’re not yet married, porn is a sin against your future wife.
  • Porn wrecks families.
  • Porn is enslaving.
  • Porn erodes your character.
  • Porn wastes your time, energy, and money.
  • Porn weakens your relationship with God.
  • Porn weakens your service.
  • God’s wrath is against people who use porn.

Sexting & Exhibitionism (*Mostly discussed with the girls):

The percent of teenagers who have sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures or video of themselves:

20% of teenagers overall

22% of teen girls

18% of teen boys

11% of young teen girls ages 13-16

The percent of teenagers sending or posting sexually suggestive messages:

39% of all teenagers

37% of teen girls

40% of teen boys

15 Percent of teenagers who have sent or posted nude or seminude images of themselves say they have done so to someone they only knew online.

48 Percent of teenagers say they have received such messages

71 Percent of teen girls and 67% of teen guys who have sent or posted sexually suggestive content say they have sent or posted this content to a boyfriend or girlfriend.

21 Percent of teenage girls and 39% of teen boys say they have sent such content to someone they wanted to date or hook up with.

44 Percent of both teen girls and teen boys say it is common for sexually suggestive text messages to get shared with people other than the intended recipient.

36 Percent of teen girls and 39 % of teen boys say it is common for nude or semi-nude photos to get shared with people other than the intended recipient.

51 Percent of teen girls say pressure from a guy is a reason girls send sexy messages or images; only 18 % of teen boys cited pressure from female counterparts as a reason.

66 Percent of teen girls and 60% of teen boys say they did so to be “fun or flirtatious”; their most common reason for sending sexy content.

52 Percent of teenage girls used sexting as a “sexy present” for their boyfriend.

44 Percent of both teen girls and teen boys say they sent sexually suggestive messages or images in response to such content they received.

40 Percent of teenage girls said they sent sexually suggestive messages or images as “a joke.”

34 Percent of teen girls say they sent or posted sexually suggestive content to “feel sexy.”

12 Percent of teen girls felt “pressured” to send sexually suggestive messages or images.

Whether it’s nude pics that you think will be erased in snapchat, or a bikini photo on facebook with hopes that your crush will linger at your page looking at it or even some suggestive flirting via text messages. These type of actions are considered sinful and have lasting consequences. They are all included in that greek word Pornea which is found in our concluding passage of scripture which warns us of sin’s consequences and who we are harming when we allow satan to win in these areas of our life.

For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification:  that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.                                       – 1 Thessalonians 4:2-8

To conclude here are a few pointers to help teenagers deal with lust, sexual sin and how easily we can be tempted and struggle with this area because of technology…

  1. Hate these sins and develop a desire to fight it and kill it.  This should be our desire for any sin but this one seems to be more prevalent in our culture with more lasting consequences and Jesus himself gave extreme examples on how hard we need to fight them (matt. 5)
  2. Guys, bounce your eyes. That 1st look may not be sin but unless you develop a habit of not taking that 2nd look then you will continue to allow satan to have a foothold with you in this area.
  3. Girls, help guys not have to bounce their eyes.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t dress nice, put on make up and look beautiful. I’m saying dress modest and be beautiful in more then just the physical aspect. It’s really a shame that i have to look at the ceiling while talking to some girls in church. Please take away that awkwardness for me and many other guys trying to men of integrity. As my wife mentioned, we are responsible for our own sin no matter what you wear or do but you will also be held accountable for how you can help us in this area as well.
  4. Find accountability partners that will ask about this area in your life. It can be the person discipling you, a parent, another christian friend. Just find someone that you can allow to ask the tough questions and will give you an honest answer when you’re doing the same.
  5. Get an online filter to monitor or block websites that you visit (especially for guys).  Here are a few examples of what’s out there…
  6. Allow your accountability partner to have open access to your phone.  Personal cell phones and smart phones has made this specific sin and temptation into a bloody war zone with satan racking up victims. Porn, suggestive sexual flirting and temptation is a text message, phone call and touch screen click away at all times. The worst part is that the online filters above don’t have as much to offer although some do. I recommend that you make agreements with your accountability partner to view your browsing history, texts if they ask to see them, etc without erasing them. You can tell when you erase something and you should assume the worst if they do so.


Parenting Questions: Not sure if this is a dinner table discussion but make time to get some alone time with your teenager and see how they’re doing in this area. You read the statistics above so you know it’s important, even if it seems awkward. If you don’t speak to them about what God says about these things, then the world will tell them what they think and persuade them their way.

1. (If you don’t know this) Are there specific areas that you feel like you struggle with in this area?

2. Do you have someone keeping you accountable in this area?

dis/connected: technology that hurts / helps


Bullying, gossip and slander is nothing new in today’s fallen world but technology and social media has amplified these three sin in the teenage culture. Here are a few statistics with online bullying:

  • Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying.
  • More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyberthreats online.
  • Over 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet.
  • Well over half of young people do not tell their parents when cyber bullying occurs.

One particular extreme story that many teenagers connected with and grieved over this past year was the case of Amanda Todd, a 16 year old girl from Canada. She posted this youtube video three weeks before she killed herself (it was her 3rd attempt over the last few years)

Instead of showing this video because of length (9 mins) and questionable language (she writes some cuss words on the note cards), i shared her story with our CPC group showing how not only her sin but online bullying, gossip and slander can hurt others. Like i said in the beginning, these three sins have been around for a long time but it’s different in today’s world. Bullying doesn’t just stop at school because now it’s going straight to your phone which is a part of their everyday life. Slandering and gossiping about someone doesn’t just happen amongst cliques and friends but is now public for the worldwide web to see as teens regularly subtweet about each other pretending like it’s not slander or gossip just because they aren’t saying the person’s name.

As Christians, we should look different than the world in this area. Here’s some Scripture showing why.

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. –Titus 3:1-2


Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. –Ephesians 4:29

One of the worse parts is that we don’t look any different than the world when we choose to slander people on our facebook statuses or twitter accounts and gossip about someone through our texts. In fact, when we don’t control our anger and tongue in such things, James says this:

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. –James 1:26 

If that doesn’t motivate us as Christians to repent of these sins then maybe we should listen to Jesus’ own words in the book of Matthew.

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, -Matthew 12:36

When we do these type of things to each other in the youth group, we ignore Jesus’ steps of pointing out others sin found in Matthew 18:15-20. When people who don’t know Christ are doing these things to us then it gets a little messier and we’re made to feel like a snitch or narc when not telling adults whether it’s parents, teachers, guidance counselors or church leaders about it but we should. We don’t have to be a doormat on such things but we also can’t react the same way that the world does according to the Scripture above.

To end, here are some simple ways that we can help others through technology and social media:

  • Tell others about what God is doing in your life.
  • Use texts and social media to encourage others.
  • Sharing the Gospel (show “the Story” app).
  • Invite others to church.

Parenting Questions:

1. Have you ever experienced online bullying, slander or gossip or know someone who has?

2. How as Christians can we be different when it happens to us or if we are the ones doing it?

3. What are some examples that you can help others through social media/technology this week?


Technology as distraction / sabbath


Beeeeeeeeep. You know that sound. Probably a little too well. It’s a sound that we have created, not God. You hear it when a truck backs up, when the washer or dryer is done, when the food in the microwave is finished and most of all from technology. Now you may have changed this “beep” to your favorite song or some other annoying sound (those people that change their ring to the guy yelling “answer me”) but nonetheless it serves the same purpose. It says “stop what you’re doing and pay attention to me.”Whether it’s a text, a tweet attached to your name, a phone call, an instant message, a reminder to un pause and push play. Our lives are filled with these constant interruptions and every time we hear it, we feel like we need to stop what we’re doing to address these interruptions. We created them for that very purpose. But what happens when what we are doing is a little more important then that interruption from our smart phone, video game or computer. What happens when these “beeps” distract us from loving the Lord our God with ALL of our hearts, souls and minds. 

34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”  -Matthew 22:34-40 (ESV)

The definition of “Distract” is.. 1. To cause to turn away from the original focus of attention or interest; divert. 2. To pull in conflicting emotional directions; unsettle.

I think that sums up what’s going on when we’re constantly checking our phone at a coffee meeting, paying attention to our texts more then our discipleship relationship and never fully engaged in a conversation with someone because they’re not truly present. We all know this is part of the culture and no teenager cares when the other is doing it because, let’s be honest, almost all of them are doing it. Sadly this habit extends beyond the times we are “just” hanging out and enters into our time with God and time with others when we need to be fully present in spirit with them.

Watch this video to see what this husband had to say about “cheating” on his wife with his smart phone.


Again, can we really love the Lord our God with ALL our heart, soul and mind when we can’t be fully present with that God because of these interruptions and can’t be fully present with those He tells us to love in the 2nd great commandment?

Also… You ever find yourself asking, “Why am I so distracted? Why is life moving so quickly? Why can’t I think anymore?” You ever feel like you mind is more scattered?

The majority of parents and teens in the world believe their kid has ADD and it’s actually not the case. When we’re distracted so much we start have shallow thoughts because we think more is better and we can’t engage in deeper ways.

Distraction –> Shallow Thinking –> Shallow Living

Shallow thinking come from a technological generation that is used to skimming instead of studying. A generation who feels like everything needs to be put within 140 characters (twitter) and instead of reading the book one must wikipedia it or find the cliff notes online instead. Do we really thing that God’s Word was intended for us to skim instead of study. The knock against this generation is that they can’t pay attention beyond 10 minutes but isn’t part of that because of all of the “distractions and beeps” that come from this technology that is supposed to help us multi-task but instead causes our lives to feel out of balance. Speaking of multi-tasking, know that the Bible always values motives of the heart, quality and faithfulness over speed and efficiency. As shown above, this shallow thinking soon leads into shallow living.

It just doesn’t make sense that we would continue to live like this. Speaking of sense, here’s what King Solomon had to say about a person who was lacking sense and what he did when saw how it was affecting his work and life.

30 I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,

31 and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.

32 Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction.

33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,

34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.   –Proverbs 24:30-34

King Solomon talked about the importance of pausing, considering what we see and receiving instruction like he wrote in this proverb, I want to encourage you all to do the same.

How to dis/connect from these technological distractions:

  1. Measure & Moderate your use of media
  1. Find what distracts (what beeps & dulls)
  1. Carve out technology free times in your life
  1. Fast & Sabbath from technology (more on this in a moment)
  1. Apply your time & mind to stuff of substance
  1. Delete certain distractions from your life


The Importance of Sabbathing from Technology

So I used to always associate fasting with food but that’s not the only thing we fast from. In fact God wants us to fast from anything that can potentially take up too much time in our life. It helps us depend on God in place of other things we may be too dependent on.

“The point of fasting is to express longing for Christ and all that God is for us in Him. Fasting is the hungry handmaid of prayer. Like prayer she both reveals and remedies. She reveals the measure of food’s mastery over us— or television or computers or whatever we submit to again and again to conceal the weakness of our hunger for God. And she remedies by intensifying the earnestness of our prayer and saying with our whole body what prayer says with the heart: I long to be satisfied in God alone!  –John Piper

[Fasting] is an intensifier of spiritual desire. It is a faithful enemy of fatal bondage to innocent things. … If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things and there is no room for the great.          -John Piper, “A Hunger for God”, p. 22-23

Fasting is the voluntary act of abstaining from something (sacrificing) for the purpose of growing in self-discipline. This is in essence what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ… sacrificing your fleshly desires to follow after Jesus’ life and example in following His will.

It’s mentioned 77x’s in Scripture.

And it isn’t a choice… Matthew 6:16-17… Jesus said “When you Fast” which means that he is assuming that we already doing it.

Jesus fasted.

Jesus spent alone time with His Father away from all other distractions.

Jesus gave us His ALL on the cross and demands nothing less from us when telling us that we need to love His Father with ALL of our heart, soul and mind.

So based off of Jesus’ Word and example, i have encouraged our CPC students to fast from technology over the next couple days or week. I asked them to choose what they wanted to fast from because only they know what things in their life are distractions or potential idols. I told them not to be legalistic about it but to be serious about it. I’m fasting from all social media (unless it’s used to promote upcoming CPC events, etc.) and limit my texting. For others it may be video games, certain websites that they waste time with, gaming apps, etc. Whatever it is that seems to pull you away from being present with God and others, Fast from for a couple days.

Parenting Questions

1. What is it in your life that seems to constantly beep (distract) you from time with God or others? (have them think about the things they seem to constantly check on their phone, or pulls them away from conversations or that they go straight to after coming home from school)

2. Are you fasting/limiting those things for the next couple days (or week)?

3. How can i help you in moderating these things?

dis/connected: technology that serves self / others :: Ephesians 2:1-8

ImageWhat teenagers post and do online can cause them to start believing that they are a little more important or a little less important then they really are. In a culture where most social media services tell them to communicate “What’s happening?” (twitter), “What’s on your mind?” (facebook), “Broadcast yourself” (youtube) they start to believe that what they are saying and doing is worthy of everyone’s attention. To make matters worse their is an unspoken popularity contest in place where most teen’s find their value and worth in how many followers, friends or likes they can receive on their posts, pictures and videos. Here’s further proof on how narcissistic and attention seeking teens start to become when they’re not moderating their online presence. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/03/the-internet-narcissism-epidemic/274336/

Narcissism and attention seeking feeds our sin of self and this obviously contradicts God’s Word when talking about the importance of the church being for others.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  –Phil. 2:1-5

If technology and social media can cause us to feel more entitled, exploitive and tempted to dabble into exhibitionism then it’ll be hard for us to live out what God tells us do in the above passages in Phil. 2:3-4.

Here are a couple quotes from author, Kyle Tennant who wrote the book “Unfriend Yourself: Three Days to Detox, Discern and Decide About Social Media” 

“Everyday most of you send out trivial and inane information about yourselves to mass amounts of people very quickly and because you live in a day and age where this is normal, you start to think that these inane details are important for everyone to know.”

“Boasting, self promotion and self-construction are dangerous habits of the mind and heart.” 


If we want to point teenagers to live a life of humility where we count others more significant than ourselves then we need to remind them that they need to start checking the motives of their hearts in what they are doing online and who they are trying to glorify.

Here are some simple action steps to take to start using social media and technology to be for others instead of ourselves:

•Think before you post. Ask God & yourself if these pictures, posts and videos always seem to be about me?
•Find ways to form community not just to communicate
•Encouraging others through posts
•Post stuff that glorifies Jesus & things of God. If Social media is such a big part of your life then Jesus should leak out in this area as a Christian (However be careful with this one for we can just as easily develop a self righteous, Pharisee type attitude and post stuff with the sinful motive of looking holier then everyone else)
Lastly we must ask what the Gospel has to do with social media narcissism and attention seeking. Easy, the love of self will certainly not save ourselves and seeking attention for ourself will certainly not atone for unrepentant, blind sin. Teens will never feel satisfied in a world full of self because true satisfaction and worth only comes from Christ, not with how many likes or followers you can get. 

“Gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less”. – Tim Keller

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. -Phil. 2:5-8

If we take Paul’s advice and have the same mind of Christ and dwell on his humble life and death we will soon see how Jesus was SOMETHING who made Himself NOTHING to give us EVERYTHING.

vs. 6-7: Take some time to dwell on and discuss how humble and important Jesus’ birth and life lived out on this earth truly was. Did He live this way for Himself or for His Father and others?

vs. 8: Take some time to dwell on and discuss how humble and important Jesus’ death was. Did He die this embarrassing, painful death for Himself or for His Father and others?

22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.  -1 Peter 2:23


Parenting Questions to ask your teens:

  1. Do you feel like most things that you post online is about yourself or others? 
  2. As a proclaimed Christian, how can you reconcile that to Jesus’ example in His life and death? (Especially knowing that He said that he left us an example of service and that we should “Follow Him”)
  3. What are some things that you may feel like you need to change based off what God’s Word says in the above passages? How can stay accountable with God in this area?


5 Important Things That Teens Need To Hear From Parents, Student Leaders & Student Disciplers

Recently The Gospel Coalition posted this excellent article highlighting 5 theological tools we need to make sure teenagers understand. Please read it and soak in every word.


I wanted to highlight this article because not only do i whole heartedly agree that these 5 things are important for teenagers to learn but i believe that they are more important then any other time in history. Below is my two cents on each item and a couple additional resources that i’d recommend after a decade of working with teens.

1. Knowledge about the canonization of Scripture.

“God said it, I believe it, that settles it” was a popular phrase from pastors and student pastors but it holds no weight to a generation who doesn’t believe that the Bible is truly God’s Word. This topic is so important that i believe that everything we defend through Scripture will become obsolete unless we teach them why Scripture is God’s authority and inerrant. You don’t even know how many times i’ve had previous co-workers tell me to stop using Scripture when sharing the Gospel with them because they don’t believe in it. Unlike previous generations who grew up in church, this generation doesn’t hold a high view of Scripture and we must start with the basics of hermeneutics and canonization in order to reverse that trend. I have a whole sermon series going through this entitled “Lyrics & Logos”

2. Developed theology of sexuality, particularly homosexuality.

True Love Waits banquets and purity rings were at the height of popularity when celebrities like Jonas Brothers, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus (to name a few) all sported one and then mysteriously ditched them. Well the banquets and rings have mysteriously disappeared from student ministries as well since many teens were also making false vows to God and parents in this area. I’ve noticed that the teens who stay pure are the one’s who take Biblical manhood & womanhood seriously everyday instead of a 1 night vow. This is why God created gender is a topic that is sprinkled throughout group messages and discipleships at CPC students. In fact the homosexuality issue wouldn’t be such an issue if we taught teens how to believe Scripture is our authority for sin and why He created us in our different yet complimentary genders. For a more exhausted list of resources, here is some books i recommended a couple years ago during a Biblical Manhood/Womanhood, Dating, Marriage & Sex series.


3. Ability to teach the Bible in the greater context of redemptive history.

4. Theological, not only moral, understanding of sin.

I was in the same boat as the author of this article when he said that many people told him that we need to reduce preaching to teenagers to story telling, funny stories and Jesus is to be mentioned at the end when you share the Gospel to the lost kids. Oh ya, their should be a moral principle to it as well. Now we have a bunch of young adults coming out of these youth ministries who read their Bible out of context with the rest of Scripture, look at Christianity as nothing but a bunch of morals and associate the Gospel for only salvation instead of sanctification. The Gospel is throughout Scripture and should be littered throughout our sermons and discipleship conversations. For an even better book explaining how to see the Gospel throughout Scripture: http://www.amazon.com/According-Plan-Unfolding-Revelation-Bible/dp/0830826963

and the problem with teens who think Christianity is nothing but a bunch of morals: http://www.amazon.com/Almost-Christian-Teenagers-Telling-American/dp/0195314840/

5. Understand adoption as an element of salvation.

The last 5 years i led more teens to Christ that started out with conversations about their “daddy issues”, parental abandonment, grieving over parents’ adultery and divorce then any other issue. A purpose for life? They don’t care. Eternity in Heaven or Hell? Whatever. A joy that the world can’t give? Egh. A Spiritual Father who will never abandon you and make good with His promises? Balling their eyes out while screaming out “Abba Father, I’m a sinner and i need YOU as my Savior.

Family really is THAT important.

My all time favorite resource concerning this topic: http://www.amazon.com/Adopted-Life-Priority-Adoption-Christian/dp/1581349114

dis/connected: technology as a god / gift ? 1 Corinthians 10


Today’s teenagers grew up with technology at their fingertips. From the kid shows they grew up watching (dora the explorer, iCarly, etc.) to the alarming statistics showing how “connected” they really are…

 78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of those own smartphones. That translates into 37% of all teens who have smartphones, up from just 23% in 2011.

 One in four teens (23%) have a tablet computer, a level comparable to the general adult population.

 Nine in ten (93%) teens have a computer or have access to one at home. Seven in ten (71%) teens with home computer access say the laptop or desktop they use most often is one they share with other family members.

Mobile access to the internet is common among American teens, and the cell phone has become an especially important access point for certain groups:

 About three in four (74%) teens ages 12-17 say they access the internet on cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices at least occasionally.

 One in four teens are “cell-mostly” internet users — far more than the 15% of adults who are cell-mostly. Among teen smartphone owners, half are cell-mostly.

 Older girls are especially likely to be cell-mostly internet users; 34% of teen girls ages 14-17 say they mostly go online using their cell phone, compared with 24% of teen boys ages 14-17. This is notable since boys and girls are equally likely to be smartphone owners.

 Among older teen girls who are smartphone owners, 55% say they use the internet mostly from their phone.

The typical American teen is sending and receiving a greater number of texts than in 2009. Overall, 75% of all teens text. Here are the key findings about the role of texting in teens’ lives:

 The median number of texts (i.e. the midpoint user in our sample) sent on a typical day by teens 12-17 rose from 50 in 2009 to 60 in 2011.

 Much of this increase occurred among older teens ages 14-17, who went from a median of 60 texts a day to a median of 100 two years later. Boys of all ages also increased their texting volume from a median of 30 texts daily in 2009 to 50 texts in 2011. Black teens showed an increase of a median of 60 texts per day to 80.

 Older girls remain the most enthusiastic texters, with a median of 100 texts a day in 2011, compared with 50 for boys the same age.

 63% of all teens say they exchange text messages every day with people in their lives. This far surpasses the frequency with which they pick other forms of daily communication, including phone calling by cell phone (39% do that with others every day), face-to-face socializing outside of school (35%), social network site messaging (29%), instant messaging (22%), talking on landlines (19%) and emailing (6%).

*All statistics from: www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Teens-and-Tech.aspx 

Whether it’s facebook, twitter, instagram, snapchat, vine, video games, smart phones, iPads, iPods, iPhones, or anything else that starts with an “i”. Technology is such a big part of a teenager’s world that they can forget how it can dangerously become a god (idol) in their life instead of a gift from God used to glorify Him.
1 Corinthians 10:1-7 (ESV)

1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.”

What is an idol? Tim keller says it’s…

“Anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can… It is anything that is so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living. An idol has such a controlling position in your heart that you can spend most of your passion and energy, your emotional and financial resources, on it without a second thought… An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, “If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.”

Tim Challies says…

“One possible sign of idolatry is when we devote an inordinate amount of time and attention to something, when we feel less than complete without it. It may be something that we look at right before we go to sleep and the first thing that keeps us awake, even in the middle of the night.” 

This means that..

Technology can either become an idol or make it easier to appease idols/sin that is already in your heart.

Some of the sin that’s already in our heart that technology can feed:








secret sinful worlds

false identities/realities that we create

1 Corinthians 10:11-22 (ESV)

11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

You may need to judge for yourself where technology is in your heart of hearts. Do you need to flee from certain idols caused by technology?


Are you using it to glorify God because you look at it as a gift from God?

1 Corinthians 10:23-33 (ESV)

23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?

 31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

Some simple ways you can glorify God through technology:

1.     Technology makes it easier to find information than any other time in history.

2.     Technology makes it easier to encourage & edify others through communication.

3.     Technology uses tools and resources to create God glorifying culture.

4.     Technology can make it easier to grow in Jesus & be on Mission for Him.

How you can glorify God through technology with CPC Students:

  • Tew blog Center Point Students recapping each group message & giving you questions & answers on how to apply it.
  • Like the new CPC Students facebook page & follow @studentsCPC on twitter.
  • Encourage others to come to group, church on Sunday morning & the King’s Island Scavenger Hunt. Hashtag #dis/connected .


Parenting Questions:

  1. How can you personally use technology for God’s glory & His greater good for your life and others around you?
  2. What in technology has become harmful to your life or an idol in your life? What is God telling you to do with it?