Friday, March 31, 2006

Another Voice - Escort agencies, Call girls and Jesus

(Column for Letterkenny Post - responding to an article claiming that escort agencies are eyeing up Letterkenny)

What should a pastor say about prostitutes coming to Letterkenny? Maybe more to the point, what would a pastor say to the prostitute?

I’d say, “Come to church, and find cleansing, forgiveness, and acceptance from Jesus.”

What would a pastor say to the man who used the services of a call-girl? I’d say exactly the same. What Jesus offers is better than the fleeting pleasures of a one-night stand.

What would a pastor say about the town of Letterkenny? Is it going to the dogs?

I’d say that this whole town needs Jesus. We’re kidding ourselves if we think that escort agencies coming to Letterkenny are the cause of the problem. They only go where there is a demand. The problem doesn’t lie out there with escort agencies, the problem lies within.

And it may be much closer than we think. It lies in our own hearts. True, not everyone would use the services offered. But we each have our own ways of ignoring God and his rules. We classify our own ways as acceptable, but the things others do that we find offensive we call unacceptable. But to God they are all unacceptable.

Within each heart lies the seed of every sin. And until the problem of the human heart is dealt with we’ll have escort agencies, prostitution, and people willing to pay for sex. And if it isn’t call-girls, it will be something else that springs out of the human heart – drunkenness, lies, greed, marital unfaithfulness, bitterness, etc – all of which wreak their own havoc in more subtle but equally destructive ways.

Ultimately there is only one way to deal with these problems. External measures like legislation are helpful, but it deals only with externals. We need a new heart that is wired to following God’s ways. Only Jesus can bring about that change.

The answer for all concerned, from the call-girls to the punters, to every one of us is simply, “We need the fresh start Jesus offers.”

Read these verses from a letter the apostle Paul wrote to a town that knew all about escort agencies and the problems of the heart – and keep reading until the end of the quote.

“Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, slanderers, and swindlers – none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But now your sins have been washed away, and you have made right with God... because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

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