St. Louis aims to fight pornography
CLAYTON—St. Louis is about to join a national coalition effort to end pornography as we know it in America by means of the Cincinnati-based National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families (NCPCF).
St. Louis is hoping to establish the seventh NCPCF chapter by Jan. 1. Other chapters are active in Kansas City, New England, Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Dallas, and Seattle. NCPCF President and Chief Executive Officer Rick Schatz, who made a presentation to 11 business and church leaders Nov. 13 at the St. Louis Club, explained that the coalition’s mission is to move the people of God to embrace, live out, preserve and advance the truth of biblical sexuality in a focused and consistent manner.
“I think the Lord’s at work and the Holy Spirit is doing some great things,” Schatz said. “It’s really amazing what we’ve seen happen in a very short period of time in St. Louis.”
Schatz wants the light of biblical sexuality to shine brightly all over the land. The idea is to go on the offensive against the proliferation of pornography in the church, which is something that many Christians deny.
“What we’ve said is this—major metropolitan market, if it’s within a couple of hours by airplane flight from Cincinnati or Dayton, that’d be a good thing,” Schatz said. “That can include Chicago, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Columbus—obviously they are closer—but the East Coast, too, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. It’s really where the Lord opens the door.
“St. Louis was not a part of the plan, per se. The Lord opened the doors here.”
The coalition has been around since 1983, and Schatz came on board in 1990. It is a discipleship ministry that aims to serve the church, restore the broken, and engage the culture. Its vision is to move the people of God to embrace, live out, and defend the biblical truth of sexuality. In terms of both staffing and execution, Kansas City is leading St. Louis at the moment.
“They focused initially on sexually oriented businesses, nude dancing establishments, people who are distributing what we consider (to be) pornographic materials, and hopefully some of them will be found to be illegal,” Schatz said. “Now they’re doing that all through the church.”
He characterized the response of St. Louis church and business leaders to NCPCF as “incredibly positive.” A budget is being raised, and it may be sustained at a level of $75,000-$125,000 for the first year of operation. That would secure two staff members and allow the St. Louis chapter to land 15 Christian churches and schools as vibrant partners.
“We will spend the vast majority of our time in churches, discipling God’s people,” Schatz said. “We’ll work with seminaries, Christian colleges, and Christian junior and senior highs.”
NCPCF is known for its zeal. The coalition has no tolerance for churches that take a token swipe at the problem of pornography by means of filling the pulpit with one speaker once a year. Rather, Schatz said the coalition’s brand of medicine is intense, vigorous, and effective.
“One thing we get accused of all the time is having passion, and we do,” he said.
The coalition seeks to relate behavior to Christian worldview issues. For example, if a Christian father or mother watches a television show like “Desperate Housewives,” then their offspring will follow their lead. Coalition speakers seek to remind Christian adults that an “acceptable” TV show also can be pornographic. Schatz said the church is either silent, confused or judgmental in these matters, and “none of those three approaches work.”
Missouri Baptists are being invited to partner with NCPCF. A bridge from the coalition to willing Missouri Baptist churches is being built through the Christian Life Commission (CLC) of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC). Phil Gloyer, chairman-elect of the CLC and a layman with Forest Park Baptist Church in Joplin, said family-minded Missouri Baptist churches ought to pray about getting involved.
“I’m excited anytime I see a new or growing organization geared to combat the evils of the pornography industry and to help families avoid its snares,” Gloyer said. “Pornography is one of the most dangerous threats in our society to the health and stability of our families, and I applaud the national coalition in its efforts to bring this issue to the attention of churches.
“This is one of those broad cultural concerns shared by Christians of all denominations and about which we need to take a common stand. The successful regulation of pornography depends upon clear community standards, and if the Christian community does not voice its concerns, the pornographers will win every time and countless men, women and children will experience the pain, heartache and devastation that pornography addiction brings in its wake.”