Engaged In Battle: In a culture that worships sex are churches equipped for restoration?

Garry Ingraham Equipping Christian Leaders, God's Design, Sexual Addiction

church under construction

Dear friends & ministry partners,                                        June 17, 2015

We have many great things to tell you about! God has been so faithful to open up new doors of opportunity and strengthen connections that have already been made.

We’re always working to improve and clarify the message that God has put on our hearts for the church and Christian leaders. In an age when culture worships sex and self-fulfillment above all else, how can churches develop relevant, loving and transformational cultures for people trapped in relational dependency, porn addiction, adultery, homosexuality and transgenderism, etc…? Equipping and supporting healthy Christian environments is the reason our ministry exists, and the reason we need your support and partnership!

Finally, it’s here!  We’re super excited to let you know that our new website is live! Please check it out and tell us what you think! www.loveandtruthnetwork.com. One of the major improvements we’ve made to the site is the use of a new giving platform. Now cash & non-cash gifts are easy to donate to L&TN; cars, boats, stocks, real estate, jewelry, electronics and even those unused gift-cards can be donated! Please prayerfully consider partnering with us financially to equip Christian leaders and churches. Your tax-deductible gifts help us equip leaders to develop life-giving and transformational environments for the masses of families, children and adults impacted by relational & sexual brokenness! www.loveandtruthnetwork.com/donate/

Help is on the way! I’m so blessed to be able to share with you that three dear sisters-in-Christ, who deeply understand the issues at stake in our culture and churches, and also strongly believe in the purpose and ministry of L& TN, have come alongside us in a very part-time, but strategic capacity. Please pray for and welcome Susan, Wendy and Kim! They will focus on specific projects that will help our ministry grow and give greater exposure to our message. Each one is working to offset their financial support by sharing our ministry and purpose with friends & family and asking them to partner with L&TN www.loveandtruthnetwork.com/donate/.

As you know, homosexuality is now celebrated and mainstream; widely accepted and embraced – even in many churches (see pastor Tony Campolo’s recent statement in support of gay-Christian relationships – http://tonycampolo.org/for-the-record-tony-campolo-releases-a-new-statement/#.VYF9n_lViko.  Also, see Dr. Michael Brown’s thoughtful, Biblical response to Tony Campolo’s capitulation http://www.spiritlifemag.com/michael-browns-open-letter-to-tony-campolo/#sthash.CfYfoxT9.dpbs

Last month, another celebrated expression of brokenness has taken center-stage in popular culture. Is it possible for anyone to be unaware of the “gender reassignment” that Bruce Jenner has recently undertaken, and the followup Vanity Fair cover-photo of the “glamorous” results? Within every cell of his body Bruce Jenner will always be a man; a man whose body has been radically altered to resemble a woman. Still, in every way beneath the surface he is a man who bears God’s image as a masculine being – no surgery can reassign that. See Joe Dallas’s excellent blog post – www.joedallas.com/blog/index.php/2015/06/01/bruce-jenner-call-me-caitlyn-dear-bruce-i-cant/

While a complex and extremely painful issue for people who experience gender-dysphoria, transgenderism and the attempt to “reassign” one’s created design is one more outcome resulting from decades of denying God’s authority over our lives and the unique way He designed us to reveal His image. The erosion of marriage and family (one indicator being the extreme divorce-rate), infidelity and various forms of heterosexual immorality have opened the floodgates to innumerable expressions of personal gratification and enlightenment through every form of sensual/sexual experimentation. This trajectory, unhindered, will ultimately lead to the annihilation of any understanding of only two genders, each uniquely bearing and revealing God’s image. The Imago Dei becomes veiled and unrecognizable. From a spiritual perspective this is our adversary’s exact purpose and desired outcome.  Sadly, under the banner of love and acceptance many churches are unwitting pawns in this assault on the image of God in male and female (Gen 1:26-27).

It’s argued that this entire debate on legalizing “gay-marriage” and the LGBT movement can be boiled down to simply allowing people to “love whom they love” and “be whom they want to be”. That way of thinking is persuasive because it sounds so kind and reasonable, but not if it’s actually damaging and steps outside the loving boundaries that God designed for humanity to safely live within.

We certainly believe that people should be allowed to live their lives as they decide – whether gay, straight or transgendered – yet, without forcing others to celebrate their choices or using legislation to silence freedom of speech or religious freedom. Christians should lead the way in treating the LGBT community (and all people, for that matter) with love and kindness, but the church is also called to be salt & light (Matt 5:13-16), not acquiescing to culture or the way we feel about ourselves. It seems that we are far more interested in creating God in our image than surrendering to what it means to be made in His.

In just a few days the Supreme Court will declare a ruling on gay-marriage. Depending on their decision, the fallout will have far reaching implications – even into the structure and communication of the Church. God’s power to enlighten and transform lives will not yield to the laws of men… however, God is at work through His people and if the Church is misguided (blessing dysfunction), unequipped, unloving or just silent about the truth, many lives will be swept away in the utter confusion of our times. We desperately need the prophetic, redemptive voice of the true Church! Will you help us strengthen and equip Christian leaders and churches?

Please pray for the many upcoming events and activities for L&TN:

June 26 & 27   Garry will be the emcee for this year’s national Restored Hope Network conference in           Lancaster PA www.restoredhopenetwork.org

June 26           Garry & Melissa share part of their testimony at the Restored Hope Network  conference

June 28           Garry & Melissa will teach/share during the main service for a church in Lancaster, PA

July 8              Planning meeting for an upcoming L&TN conference in the Utica area

July 10-11      Garry & Melissa teach and lead ministry times at a weekend retreat for 2 sister churches in Manhattan & NJ

Aug 19-22      Garry at Desert Stream/Living Waters regional leaders’ gathering in Kansas City

Aug 28 & 29   Garry & Melissa & local Living Waters leadership-team retreat

Sept 10-12     Garry at a national Christian/pro-family quarterly gathering – emphasis will be on the harms of pornography and exposing human-trafficking

Sept 18-19     Garry, Melissa & team – Living Waters Intensive to build interest in possible leadership, training and/or participating in the 20 week program

Sept 23-26     Garry & Melissa will exhibit L&TN at the American Association of Christian Counselors’ conference – 7,000 attendees expected.

Oct 23-30      Garry will be ministering at Living Waters Training

Late Oct        Local Living Waters program begins

**There will be many other trips and meetings scheduled between the events listed above. Please pray for fertile soil and receptive hearts.

Thank you for being with us!

Ever grateful for you!

Garry (& Melissa) Ingraham

Executive Director