Do You Have Blood on Your Hands?

Their physical features are often beautiful. Their sexual appetites are legendary. Their audience is vast. Yet they live lives filled with torment. They are sex workers, porn actors, exotic dancers, and prostitutes. Hollow eyes. Soulless gazes. Empty. Hard. Aged. Exploited. Addicted.

Lexi’s story was in the news. A porn actress, Lexi tried to get sober. Her boyfriend died of a heroin overdose. Now, she is dead, cause of death unknown. Lexi is one of countless victims who have lost their lives, their families, their hopes, their minds, their bodies, and their dreams to the “adult” entertainment industry.

Do you care?

Did you contribute to Lexi’s bondage, endangerment, and death? Do you have blood on your hands? If you visit the websites, buy the content, lust after the fantasies, and gratify yourself via the entertainment, you are the problem. The pornography industry cannot exist without customers. If you are one, you are a 21st century slave owner. You are ensuring bondage, disease, addiction, and death.

One more victim

I first met Melissa when she was 16. She was serving a banquet at a Christian school. Later, she enrolled in Bible college. But Melissa had unresolved issues. A family history of sexual abuse complicated her life, leading to sexual sin and dismissal from Bible college. She eventually “hooked up” with Tim and bore two children to him.

When money was tight, he demanded Melissa work as an erotic dancer. Her income, he insisted, was needed to make ends meet. To work up the nerve to perform such an indignity, she got drunk. Alcohol numbed her emotions enough to cope with the shame. When she and Tim broke it off, he took the kids. He had money. She had nothing except fading beauty and growing shame. A brief item in a Michigan newspaper featured her death from drug overdose.

And you say your porn habit hurts no one. Ask Lexi. Ask Melissa. Oh, no – you can’t. They’re dead, victims of a culture gone mad with sexual sin.

Excerpted from “Facing the Ugly Truth” by Dr. John Neihof, in the afaJournal October 2018. Used with permission.

Looking for Light in the Darkness Following a Tragedy

by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

When I was in college, my soccer coach took our team into a cave. Despite being cold and wet, we had an easy time navigating it, guided by our flashlights. However, after being in there for a while, my coach told us to turn our flashlights off and find our own way out. What seemed easy before became difficult as we repeatedly hit our heads on the cave walls while desperately seeking the exit.

I feel this is the place our community has come to, as over the past few days we have been dealing with the tragic death of two of our high school students and the injury of two others; for whose recovery we now pray.  We, too, are in a dark cave, trying to desperately make sense of and find purpose in, our pain and sorrow. In fact, life-tragedies often cause us to feel that we are trying to walk through the brokenness of our situation, while overwhelmed with hopelessness and despair! Personally, I have experienced the pain of my wife suffering a miscarriage; the near-loss of our child at one week of age; a daughter coping with chronic pain that eventually required three surgeries to correct; my mother’s battle with cancer; and currently, having to witness my father-in-law’s daily struggle with liver disease. Experiencing moments like these, we can all find ourselves in a desperate search for any guiding light through the darkness of our situation.

As my teammates and I continued to struggle through the cave, our coach told one of us to turn on a flashlight. The darkness vanished instantly in the brightness of that light. While in itself the flashlight did not show us the exit, it gave enough light to show us the direction in which to go, and we made our way slowly forward to the brightness of sunshine just outside the cave.

To those in my community and to others facing their own tragedies, there is a light that can guide us through the darkness of confusion and pain. Lexi and Danielle both knew the Source of this light, for each had given her life to Jesus Christ. Because they looked to Him, their lives continue to shine brightly in our community as a reminder of the ONE that we all can look to, who can heal our broken hearts and strengthen our weary souls.

For we who remain after a tragedy, the challenge is in trying to find our way out of the dark cave of loss. But we no longer have to navigate the darkness alone. This same Jesus, who gave light to Danielle and Lexi, is ready today to give light for us all. He hears our cries! He is ready to embrace us in His loving arms and help us move forward through brokenness and pain. While this process may never be fully completed in this life, we have the sure hope that He will one day guide us to that exit, to be fully embraced by the true Source of light that awaits us at the end. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we can know the certainty of a future where He will wipe away all tears; where there will be no more death, sorrow or pain (Revelation 21:4). Until that day, may the legacy of these girls continue on in how we choose to live; like them, may we embrace the light that Jesus gives so we, too, may be a light for others.

“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.’ ” (John 8:12).

No matter where you are in your life, remember: The WHY may knock you to the ground, but the WHO is always there to help you stand back up.