Conversation: Sy Rogers
God can redeem sexual sinners
Sy Rogers travels the world speaking directly about
sexuality at churches, colleges and leadership conferences. Overcoming a
childhood of abuse and sexual confusion, Rogers has been married since 1982.
Rogers, 52, recently sat down with TPE News Editor John W. Kennedy.
tpe: Why aren’t Christians immune from susceptibility to
ROGERS: You only have to be a Christian about 10 minutes to
recognize that while the blood of Jesus washes away your guilt, it doesn’t wash
away your humanity and associated vulnerabilities. We’re biological creatures
with a genetic foundation that creates our sexual packaging. We have hormones
released into our bodies that create sexual impulses, and God does not take
this away. God doesn’t take away feelings; He gives us grace and guidelines to
manage them appropriately if we act as responsible stewards of mind and body.
Many who come to Christ already have a sexual history, which
haunts and provokes them if left unresolved. Histories of sexual abuse or being
starved for love are typical to those with present sexual struggles. While our
hunger for love is God-ordained, it is easily misdirected and exploited if not
rightly satisfied. Certainly Satan knows this, too.
tpe: The Bible is replete with examples of God addressing
ROGERS: Thankfully we serve a God who has a history of
redeeming our sexuality. Rahab, Samson, King David, Mary Magdalene, the
adulteress brought before Jesus, the woman at the well, even the New Testament
church in Corinth give us examples of God redeeming sexual sinners, helping
them to correct their course, adopting them into His family and even putting
them to work in ministry. Jesus is empathetic. Even though He didn’t fail like
we do, He understands the capacity.
tpe: Should Scripture be quoted to those struggling with
ROGERS: It depends on how one uses the Word of God. It’s a
sword, which can hurt or heal. Most sexual strugglers already feel shamed,
demoralized and powerless. Often they don’t have the keys or support to get
better. We need to encourage them toward personal responsibility: get help;
seek informed counsel; perhaps join a support group. Most of all, we must
encourage them to hope in the character of God; they need to run to Him, not
To be sure, we need to correct someone who is off the path.
But correction must be done in the light of the bigger picture: We value you;
we would rather have you messy than not at all; we’ll help you get back on
track if you are willing to deal responsibly with your struggles.
tpe: Do you see the church as a healing place for the
ROGERS: Many churches are already stepping up to better
address these concerns. Additionally, there are programs, resources, books,
ministries and support groups offering practical help. This is a much better
day compared to the church culture I encountered three decades ago when I got
saved. Today the bulk of my audience is 18 to 30 years old. They are much more
willing to deal with sexual issues in a straightforward way. Consequently, I
have hope that they may create a church culture that is even more effective in
addressing sexuality and relationships matters.
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