Vol. 5 Issue 24 | June 14, 2019
Three Things This Week
1. Sex Talk 2.0
What it is: The awkward, painful, dreaded “sex talk” is getting a reboot, equipping you to better talk with your kids about sex and its place in their lives!
Why it’s so needed: Culture only continues to become more and more open about sex, sexuality, p*rn, and more, which means that as soon as our kids have access to the Internet, TV, and movies, they’re bombarded by culture’s messages. But no perspective of sex will ever be more fulfilling, beautiful, and life-affirming than that of the One who created it in the first place. As parents, pastors, and educators, we have the opportunity to help the next generation have the healthiest view of and relationship with sex yet, but it all starts with open, honest dialogue. Our brand new, free video series helps you get past the awkwardness and fear so you can be the most influential person on your teens’ conceptions of sex. Check it out here!
2. Goodbye, MaK
What it is: 13-year-old YouTuber Makenna Kelly (aka Life with MaK, 1.5 million subscribers) and her mother are quitting the platform over “overly strict content guidelines.”
Why it’s controversial: Makenna has built a huge following through the strange ASMR craze. She whispers, eats, blows bubbles, or taps her nails on things in order to illicit a tingling sensation in her viewers. But many of her videos have been removed by YouTube due to “inappropriate” content. What’s so inappropriate? As a minor, some say she’s crossing over into sexual territory...or, at least, others are viewing her content for sexual pleasure. (Of course, a lot of this comes down to money.) So what do your teens think? Is it weird that she’s 13 and posting “sassy” cop videos? Should she be moderated? Is it ok to fall asleep and/or relax to her videos? (Confused? Our brand new Parent’s Guide to ASMR delves into the pros and cons of the trend.)
3. Boomerang Nudes
What it is: The newest trend in sexting is to create short, looping videos of oneself in different levels of undress using Instagram’s Boomerang app.
Why it’s next-level sexting: Excuse the euphemism, but this takes d*** pics (a staple in sexting and online dating) up a notch. Now, instead of a still image, someone can take a video of any body part and send it, solicited or not, via a messaging/texting app or AirDrop (remember last week’s issue?) to anyone. People who enjoy doing so say it adds a level of life and movement to their sexts, but it’s not as revealing or scary as an actual video. Read more about the trend at your own risk here, then ask your teens if they’ve ever received one and how it made them feel. Do they feel pressure to sext when they’re interested in or dating someone? (Check out our Parent’s Guide to Sexting for more on how to talk with your kids about it.)
Thank you!! Over 530 readers made a gift on Axis Giving Day to “Keep The Culture Translator Free in 2019”! Thank you! In fact, we raised just under $50,000 to fund the research, writing, and publication of The CT. If you missed out, it’s not too late to make your contribution; we’re still hoping to raise another $10,000 to fully fund The CT for the rest of the year. Make your gift here!
Can She Preach?
The Southern Baptist Convention met this week in Birmingham, AL to discuss two significant issues: sexual abuse allegations and the role of women in the church. While The Houston Chronicle unearthed widespread concerns about the church’s response to sexual accusations, it was Beth Moore’s Twitter feed that sparked a blaze of social media activity about the role of women in the pulpit. Interestingly, both egalitarians and complementarians pointed to Scripture as the basis for their respective opinions. Regardless of your take, it’s not surprising Christians point to the same text, yet come to radically different conclusions, which begs the question: How should we read, approach, and make sense of the Bible? How can equally fervent believers come to such diametrical opinions, and, more importantly, how do we train our children to read and live the Bible well?
Here are four questions to ask when wrestling with how to apply this ancient text in the modern world.
- How do I know if a command is cultural or universal? Deuteronomy says a disobedient son should be stoned to death, while the writer of Timothy believes women should not preach the Gospel. Nobody obeys the first verse, so why do some obey the second? To help answer that, we must ask the following question.
- How does this chapter or verse fit into the larger Scriptural narrative? The Bible was written over hundreds of years by a myriad of writers and redactors, but there are consistent themes running throughout the text. To proof-text or cherry-pick a verse outside of the larger movement of Scripture and its cultural context is a surefire way to misread and misapply the text.
- How do I read through the Jesus lens? Jesus is the word made flesh and so we test, apply, and filter Scripture through Him. His very life is a hermeneutical (interpretive) framework. If your reading doesn’t align with how Jesus lived and acted, it’s probably a faulty interpretation. In this case, how did Jesus treat women in a patriarchal world and how does that help us navigate a difficult text?
- What are my biases and cultural blindspots? None of us reads the Bible from a neutral perspective. Our social, cultural, denominational, and political environment has far more influence on how we interpret Scripture than we care to admit. To help balance your bias, read or research an alternative viewpoint to see how and why someone could come to a different conclusion while still reading the same text.
Training our teens to read, understand, and apply Scripture faithfully is one of the most important skills we can give them. To help, read our Parent’s Guide to the Bible!
Keep the Faith!
The Axis Team
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