Monday, November 12, 2007

Soon to come...

I recently attended my first Sovereign Grace conference... it was amazing. It was from Thursday, November 8th to Saturday, November 10th at the Sovereign Grace Church in Gilbert, AZ. The theme of the conference was The Pursuit: Every Man's Call to Biblical Masculinity, and there were about 800 men in attendance (about 200 of which were from the ages 14 to 18, which is very encouraging). The speakers included Steve Shank (Overseer of the SG churches in the Southwest region of the US), Rick Gamache (senior pastor of the SG church in Minneapolis, MN), Craig Cabaniss (senior pastor of the SG church in Frisco, TX), and C.J. Mahaney (founder of SG ministries). (There were also several breakout sessions.) The teaching was awesome, the songs were amazing, and the whole week was saturated in the glory of God. I loved it. There were fourteen men from our church that got to attend. I plan on dedicating the next few posts to give a basic overview of the conference and what I believe to be the highlights. Also, by Wednesday all of the teaching sessions should be available for download from the SG website. That's what's coming soon, but for now, chew on this article from Al Mohler's blog about hotel chains that are removing Gideon Bibles from their rooms and replacing them with other "stuff". The reason given for this is very insightful to the moral decay of our country. Here's a quote:

So the hotels want to be hip, and the presence of a Bible in the drawer is unhip? Perhaps this section of Wolverson's report explains the impetus:

"Edgier chains like the W provide "intimacy kits" with condoms in the minibar, while New York's Mercer Hotel supplies a free condom in each bathroom. Neither has Bibles. Since its recent renovation, the Sofitel L.A. offers a tantalizing lovers' dice game: roll one die for the action to be performed (for example, "kiss," "lick") and the other for the associated body part. The hotel's "mile high" kit, sold in the revamped gift shop, includes a condom, a mini vibrator, a feather tickler and lubricant. The new Indigo hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz., a "branded boutique" launched by InterContinental, also has no Bibles, but it does offer a "One Night Stand" package for guests seeking VIP treatment at local nightclubs and late checkout for the hazy morning after."

So it turns out that the real story is not just the absence of the Bible in many hotel rooms, but the presence of very different materials, from complimentary condoms to erotic dice games. That does help to explain things. This development is another reminder that we are living in a time of tremendous cultural and moral change. The absence of Gideons Bibles from an increasing number of hotel rooms tells us something about the secularization, sexualization, and extreme sensitivities of our age.