I just got this from Levi who is out on the “For Today” Fight the Silence tour.
“Do you know how much of an impact you’re having? To think that XXXchurch could come out on this tour and get a bunch of hardcore kids to go into your booth and talk about their sexual addictions, in public, in front of their friends…?” – Sam Eskridge, 18. Fight The Silence tour attendee. Day four, Pensacola, Florida.
After three sold-out shows and the fourth over capacity, For Today’s headlining Fight The Silence Tour has exploded through Nashville, TN, Douglasville, GA, Jacksonville and Pensacola, FL, as hundreds of teen-to-(literally)-senior-somethings pour through the crowded doors at each venue along the route (where, as an aside, half of the eager line-standers have turned out to be disappointingly miserable picture-takers). The headliner’s vocalist, Mattie Montgomery, invited XXXchurch to join Fight The Silence last year – a tour devoted to just that: bringing awareness (and in our case, taboo) about unspoken topics into the light – along with two other non-profit organizations, Come&Live! and Pick-A-Pocket, and represent our organization to a fan base who have been habituated with eager ears to receiving more than just music through the band’s heavy-hitting conduit for mission.
Five bands, three organizations and a tour sponsor make for a crowded venue, and the first night found us all setting up merchandise in a small garage, cramped with boxes, banners, and a thousand kids squirreling their way in and out of the single-wide door connected to the main hall. The next night, we had our Confessions Video Booth set up and operational and now, after only three shows, we’ve recorded over fifty short videos of concert attendees sharing their stories in relationship to pornography and the effect it has had on their lives. Men and women speaking openly about having abused men, women and children via means of their addictions. Brandi and I have been able to direct people towards such accountability and filtration software as x3watch – a practical means of obedience that XXXchurch offers out of desires new to many a person whose heart had been changed by Jesus that very night, as the weight of pornography’s enslaving vices that they had experienced for so long broke their backs and compelled them towards renewed – and we continually pray: effectual – callings to purity.
By far, the most exciting aspect of the night can be seen in the eyes of a man whose light has nearly burnt out beneath the bushel of shame compounded with each failed attempt at staying away from the boundaries he’d set and swore he’d not cross again. There is next to nothing but a memory of it at first – say the glimmer of a light disappearing after its star has exploded and been snuffed out from space – but, as the
conversation moves along, there is evidence of a slight renewing of his mind, and the sparkle shines slightly brighter. And when asked what he thinks God sees in him, and the response is, “Sinner, but…”, I interrupt and tell him he is wrong. “When God looks at you, he sees Jesus.” The light flickers into a spark, and as we reject the shame that pornography swears is our only identity, the spark sets his eyes to flame as condemnation falls off like scales, or the weight of the world.
There is nothing like watching the hope grow in a person’s eyes as it finally clicks that Jesus – not porn, addiction or shame – is their identity.
People are not only [re]committing themselves to purity via XXXchurch’s presence at these shows, they are meeting Jesus for the first time! As C.S. Lewis would agree, they are discovering a desire so strong – “an infinite joy offered us” – that everything else they’ve been “fooling about with” pales in comparison!
And we are only four days in on a six week tour!!! I will be continually updating you about the tour and XXXchurch’s presence on it. My wife and I have put a lot of prayer into this run, and we would humbly ask that those of you interested in it would continually join in with and for us as we continue. There is opposition to any good work the Spirit is doing, but we believe that he is doing a good work, and that he will continue to change lives, break addictions, free slaves bound by and in pornography’s grip, and make known to many a person who has suffered from its lies that they are inherently beautiful as made in the image and likeness of God.
“No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.”
– Levi and Brandi Macallister Fight The Silence/XXXchurch