To whom it may concern:
I recently searched for information regarding elders and your site came up on my search. I am very disturbed to know that there is an evangelist who seems to think it is OK to publish very explicit material regarding sexual subjects that way you are. I am sure this is not the first time you have been told this. There is a time and place for these matters to be asked to a spiritually-minded man. But that place is not on the world wide web for all to see, and for you to represent the church in that manner is without wisdom, to say the least.
Paul stated, "For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). What the Bible teaches covers a wide range of topics from all parts of life "as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue" (II Peter 1:3). A part of that is the topic of sex. La Vista's site doesn't deal with that topic exclusively; however, we don't shy away from addressing such issues when asked. The last time I checked, I think about 10% of the site touches on sexual topics. The material is not only for the benefit of the person asking the question, but it is present so that others learn how to deal with these matters when they arise in their own circles.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that now glorifies illicit sex. Ignoring it doesn't make it go away. It has to be addressed so that people who have been feed years of false ideas regarding sex understand why sex outside of marriage is wrong. It has been saddening to find so many young people without a basic sense of morality when it comes to sex. What is portrayed on TV, seen in movies, read in books, and discussed among peers is shockingly bad. Young people are into pornography and sexting with little idea why these things are wrong, but they are widely available.
At the same time, people don't know who to ask about intimate topics. They won't ask their parents, the local preacher, or the local elders because they would die of embarrassment knowing that someone they see daily knows their darkest secrets. Sometimes they will approach a friend, but that person doesn't know how to handle the situation because it is embarrassing even to address. Thus, a quick but inadequate answer is given and the person is left confused.
The place where information on such topics is sought out most often is on the Internet. Of course, much of the Internet contains morally wrong information on sexual matters, yet this is where people look for answers they won't ask anyone else.
I fell into answering these types of questions and gathering material on these topics because I was asked by readers of this website. I firmly believe that a moral question deserves a biblical and truthful answer. By accident I found out that people come asking for the simple reason that they won't run into me, so they ask what has really been bothering them. They ask because they trust a man who is blunt, who backs up his answers with the Bible, and who actually cares to consider their questions seriously. It isn't fun tackling some of these issues, but I don't know of many other sources that will handle these issues accurately -- none that I could send them to without reservation.
It would seem proper that a reliable source of morally correct answers should be made available for people to find in the place where people are looking. If people are looking for godly answers, it is to the church that they should come. "To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ephesians 3:10-11). The Bible has answers even to intimate questions about sex. It surprises some people to learn that the Bible is applicable to this modern age. It is the church's job to make sure people know God's will regarding all aspects of their lives and the decisions they have to make.
The website has been around for ten years now. I only recall one complaint similar to yours in that time. The usual response is the thanks that someone is tackling the issues few others wish to discuss. I also get a few notes of encouragement from doctors stating they are please with the accuracy of some of the medical information I might mention to back up my arguments. I know some of the material has been used even in schools (minus the religious content). Most of the complaints come from promoters of homosexuality, Sabbath-keepers, animal rights activists, and members of various denominations.
If you have biblical references proving that these topics should not be discussed or that what is being presented is inaccurate I would be interested in seeing them. Your complaint is about the medium chosen and the plainness of speech being used, and in response to that, I can only say that you are mistaken. "But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God" (II Corinthians 4:2). There was nothing subtle about Paul's approach to preaching. He states that he was honest and blunt. I'm not in Paul's league, but I try to imitate his forthrightness.
Dear Brother Hamilton:
I appreciate your response. I do appreciate several of your articles on the website. I think, from what I have seen, that you are in line with the word of God. I just think in the best wisdom these sensitive topics are best kept in private discussion. Maybe I can be proved wrong. I might change my mind in the future.
As an example or food for thought: I have every responsibility to severely rebuke a brother in Christ who is in error, but I do not feel that since it is scriptural that it should be aired for all the public to view. By the way, I am not saying you have done this at all. However, I have seen that done to great detriment.
I will definitely continue to consider your thoughts and input.
There are rare times that rebukes need to go public, such as the one Paul gave about Demas, Alexander, and several others. Paul gave other, more detailed rebukes in several letters, but did so without naming who was involved. We learn from reading about the nature of the problem without having to be caught up in exactly who was behind the problem. I use a similar method on the website. I remove personal information from the notes that I publish and make the details vague so that a person can't be identified. I keep no records of conversations, but I do publish most of my responses so that it is available to answer other similar questions (thus, cutting my workload), and to perhaps help others learn about the issues and how to address them.
Thanks for your reply.
Just to make sure, my point was simply that just because something may be "a scriptural topic" does not automatically mean it should be published on a website for thousands to see.
I do appreciate your feedback, and I will close for now.