"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The Frozen Chosen Are Leading the Blind Off a Rooftop Into Hell

Yesterday I spent my second day interviewing an 82-year-old man who is telling me his life story. Born in 1929 to a poor Oklahoma whiskey bootlegger, losing his eye in a knife accident at the age of three, raised in a home where birthdays and Christmas were never celebrated because of abject poverty, and only hearing the name of God or Christ used in epitaths, this gentleman--and I mean gentle man--has overcome long odds against him to become a highly successful businessman in Oklahoma. I listened yesterday as this man shared with me how Christ changed his life at the age of 26. He and his 22-year-old wife were saved on the same day. How did it happen? A co-worker in the oil fields of New Mexico took the time to share Christ with the young couple. He wasn't pushy. He asked questions of a spiritual nature, but he expressed his love through his friendship toward the young couple. In time, because of the influence of this co-worker, the man and his wife attended church for the first time in their lives. They went at the invitation of their friend to a small Baptist church called Loveland Baptist Mission. "We didn't know what to expect, but the preacher--an older man who had experience in the oil fields himself--began to talk about Jesus Christ. He didn't use flowery words, and he didn't distract us with us with silly illustrations. He spoke from his heart and explained how Jesus Christ came and died for people who have messed up their lives like he had, and how Christ has the power to change the lives of those who will surrender to Him. At the conclusion of the message the pastor invited people to place their faith and confidence in Christ. As my wife and I looked at each other with tears in our eyes, we both knew that we needed Christ. That day my wife and me were both saved. God worked us over from head to foot. We were never the same. It was the most important day of my life!"

As I listened to my aged friend emotionally describe his conversion experience, and knowing the "success" he has (as the world defines success), I was struck by the depth of his feelings about the day of his conversion. You could see it in his eyes. You could hear it in his voice. Christ meant the world to him. I spent the next eight hours typing this portion of his narrative for his family members and arrived home around midnight. I checked my email and found a question from a pastor asking me about my Augustine post (from yesterday) and the feelings I had about Pastor Ed and his wife Lisa Young placing their bed on top of their church's roof for 24 hours to promote their new book on sex called Sexperiment: Seven Days to Lasting Intimacy with Your Spouse. I had heard about the promotion for the book, but I decided to log-in this morning and watch Pastor Ed and Lisa--in their bed on the roof of the church--as they answered interview questions about their sex life and the new book.  I was still a little tired from the night before, but I listened carefully to Ed and Lisa as they bundled up against the twenty degree temperatures of early morning Dallas.  After being given a vivid visual for the phrase "The Frozen Chosen," I found my mind drifting toward the interview I had the day before.  My elderly friend had movingly described for me how he and his wife--at the time a young couple in the prime of their lives, the very group Ed and Lisa are targeting--had been transformed by a pastor's message on the person and work of Jesus Christ. A few questions came to mind as I gazed at the LiveFeed of Pastor Ed and Lisa on the roof of their church:

(1). Do people know that even if their sex lives improve, they are still headed for a date with hell, unless they come to place their confidence and faith in Christ?
(2).  Do Christian people understand the importance of taking the time to thank those pastors and teachers who instruct us of Christ and His death--a message deemed "foolish" by the world and the cause of much ridicule--but the only message God uses to change lives?
(3). Could there possibly be some eighty-year-olds--sixty years from now--who curse the day they ever fell under the teaching of a preacher who taught them how to have better sex?
(4). Is it too harsh to say that any Christian preacher who spends time, money and effort to encourage people how to have better sex--while in bed with his wife on the roof of his church--may actually be guilty of leading the blind off a rooftop into hell?

When I get to heaven I want to find that pastor at Loveland Baptist Mission, Loveland, New Mexico. Fifty-five years ago he spent a week preparing a message about Christ. He walked into the church building that next Sunday morning and saw a new young couple had been seated on the front row.  He didn't try to impress them with his knowledge about anything but Christ. He preached Jesus Christ and Him crucified. That preacher's message led my blind friend to saving faith in Christ and impacted an entire generation of people within the state of Oklahoma.  Thank you, my pastor friend, for a job well done. May your tribe increase.


Matt said...

Sex has become the popular thing to talk about with trendy pastors these days. I think they would do well to ask themselves the questions you present. I think they would also do well to ask themselves to what extent they are accommodating their ministry to our culture (after all, what is more popular than sex???) by placing such a heavy emphasis on it.

Anonymous said...

As a pastor, I try to present the love of Christ in every message that I preach. However, I must confess that those true conversion moments such as you described in the life of this couple rarely happen. The days of the mourners bench at the front of the church and people being contrite before the Lord seem to be fading. What are we doing wrong?

wadeburleson.org said...


Keep preaching Christ and the harvest will come. I know it is a cliche, but God alone gives the increase. Spurgeon used to say that if there is no fruit, preach more of Christ. If there's no grain at harvest, its usually because there's poor seed at planting.

Regardless, the question you ask is a good one.

wadeburleson.org said...



I'm not against trendy methods. I'm against trendy messages.


FormerFellow said...

Well said Wade.

First, why not log on to thesexperiment.com and put those questions you present here, to Ed/Lisa? The website purports to accept questions and Ed/Lisa will answer them during the bed-in. Although, seeing the comments publised from facebook and twitter, I highly doubt they will 'accept' difficult questions like yours. After all, this is purely a stunt to promote book sales.

Second, as a member of Ed's church for over 10 years (left some time ago), if there's one thing Ed is passionate about it is presenting and leading people to the gospel truth of Jesus. So my question to you is, does this type of hype/stunt/outrageousness do more harm than good? I think Ed's heart is to lead people to Christ, but his 'success' in the evangelism area over the years seems to leave him blind to the outrageous, and anyone questioning his motives is branded a 'hater' or simply stuck in 1922 Christendom.

I think this is all just about the money, and even if they are truthful, that all proceeds go to the church, that really just means to the outrageous Young family salaries and jet fuel.

So, am I too cynical? Or does God look at this and say "well done Ed, you are sooooo creative". Or does he laugh? Or does he weep?

wadeburleson.org said...


You write: "If there's one thing Ed is passionate about it is presenting and leading people to the gospel truth of Jesus."

I am glad to hear this. You would know better than I. I have only heard Ed preach a half dozen or so messages. I must have hit him on his off Sundays. I have not once heard the good news of Jesus Christ as Scripture proclaims it. I'm not saying you are wrong--I'm saying I am making a judgment with not enough information it seems.

I can appreciate Ed's desires, but "the proof is in the puddin." Where is the gospel? For example:

How do you talk of a bloody and bruised crucified Savior on a wooden and splintered cross in a plush bed with down comforter pillows? How do you talk about the need for a Savior from sexual lusts and evil desires when you are in bed with your gorgeous wife encouraging people to have more sex? How do you speak of taking up your cross and following Christ when you are more concerned with people bedding down with their spouses?

If someone says, "But that's the hook to get people to hear about Jesus!" I respond. False advertising.

The Jesus I know may lead you to love a 400 lb wife. The Jesus I know may allow you to become impotent with disease. The Jesus I know has said this world's system is coming to an end, and keep your eye on a city that is not built with human hand. The Jesus I know is uninterested in how many times you have sex and very interested how many times you talked with sinners about Him.

I just don't see it. I don't know if God is laughing or weeping, because I am unsure if God even acknowleges what is happening as anything to do with His kingdom.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Amen to your post and your last comment! I got goosebumps reading both!

Wanda (Deb) Martin said...


I, too, was watching portions of the live feel this morning - mostly in disbelief at what was happening on behalf of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

After I had seen quite enough, I yearned to experience true Christianity in order to counteract the charade I had just witnessed.

I watched your Christmas Eve message and appreciated how reverently you spoke of Jesus Christ. I was in need of the 'balm of Gilead' and you providentially supplied it at the right moment in my life. Thank you!

wadeburleson.org said...

Thanks Debbie and Wanda! You both are an encouragement that there is much that is right and good in the kingdom of Christ.

Anonymous said...

"The Jesus I know may lead you to love a 400 lb wife. The Jesus I know may allow you to become impotent with disease. The Jesus I know has said this world's system is coming to an end, and keep your eye on a city that is not built with human hand. The Jesus I know is uninterested in how many times you have sex and very interested how many times you talked with sinners about Him."

That is the Jesus, I know, too.

These men, Driscoll and Young, have chosen to spend their time on things that are secondary in our walk and make them primary issues in a believers life.

Can you imagine Richard Wurmbrand being given Driscoll's book to read in his Romanian prison cell?


wadeburleson.org said...


"Can you imagine Richard Wurmbrand being given Driscoll's book to read in his Romanian prison cell?"

Or Corrie Ten Boom to her cellmate who watched her children executed? Or Louis Zamperini to his life-raft mate tempted to cannibalize their dead friend? Or William Tyndale's family as they watched their 42-year-old brother/son/cousin strangled at the stake then burned?

You nailed it.

Someone says, "But the book has a very specific audience!" Yes, and the preacher should have a very specific message.

wadeburleson.org said...

I am headed out for a day of ministry to hospitals and to OKC for a dinner with friends.

Blessings to all.

Timothy said...

I think Paul had a problem with a guy like Ed as well. He wrote, "for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world." Lots of men start out on the right track, they just fail to finish well, loving this present world way too much.

Maybe the LORD will bring Ed and his wife off the roof with a spiritual 2x4 and they can get back to the work of the ministry.

Anonymous said...

That whole debacle in Grapevine gives me the creeps. They should be ashamed and the members of that church should be ashamed for not standing up to a money-grubbing pastor and his wife. No wonder people in the world make fun of church and Christians when we tolerate something as ridiculous as this.

But, I'm sure he'll sell a lot more books this way and pocket a whole lot more money.

Johnny D. said...

Wise words, Wade. Thank you.

I just watched a bit of the live feed. It made me feel uncomfortable, but that may just be my own hang-ups. Ed and Lisa seemed like they were struggling to find something relevant to say.

OH curious said...


I've been reading your blog for awhile and truly appreciate your heart and passion for Christ, His church and the gospel. In my pastor's recent 'State of the Church' message, his closing challenge was that we as a church and individuals fall more deeply in love with Jesus and all that He is. I'm curious if you would share any resources that you believe would assist Christians in that endeavor.

Anonymous said...

Something that needs to be said, not just about Ed Young but about all this missing the point preaching and teaching.

I too was saved in the oil fields of New Mexico--little untrendy place called Loco Hills.

Glad to read your post and hear yet another story of how the simple preaching of the gospel out there changed lives!


wadeburleson.org said...

OH Curious,

I would encourage you most of all to read the Bible - time after time after time.

Be familiar with the Old Testament feasts and festivals. Know the sacrifices. Understand the Hebrew way of worship.

Then go to the New Testament and read the gospels, Acts, Romans, Hebrews - again and again and again. Move to the epistles saturate yourself with the Word.

You will only know more about the Living Word when you are familiar --inside/out--with the written word.

I am utterly convinced the reason most pastors spend their time and energy on sensational topics is because they have no idea how sensational the Word of God really is.

The man who is need of refreshing only himself with water comes to the well just once a day. The man responsible for bringing water to an entire village must come to the pump often or his bucket is empty.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Wade, for this good post. I have to often remind myself of Paul's words "Set your affections on things above and not things on earth."

Florence in KY

Anonymous said...

No person with half a brain and even an ounce of true FAITH should believe what Ed is doing. I am surprised, amazed, and even appalled at what 'ole Ed has done this weekend and in weeks gone by. He claims to do it in the name of creative ministry and evangelism... but many of his antics have crossed the line all the way.

Yes, he makes it hard on Pastors in the DFW area who have to explain his crazy antics away to the lost we talk to who say and ask, "Well, what about that Ed Young guy and what he did last week... or what about the HUGE salary and house he lives in ... and what about that custom multi-million dollar JET he flies in for vacations and work... is all that the way Jesus would do it ... is it really legit?!?" I have to tell them, that is just Ed being Ed... not Jesus. Don't look at Ed, but look to and at Jesus. Do it Jesus' way."

I am all for being creative in method, but the true Jesus message needs to be the same. But, Ed's methods do cross the line in my humble opinion. I could do the same thing... put a bed on my church roof, but I would not lower myself to such stupid and ignorant practices. I would be laughed out the door where I serve God... just as Ed what is being done to Ed as I write ... but since it's his church he started (and he is god there, so he thinks) that he could care less about the laughs and sneers and questions. He mistakes them for high praise, compliments, and Atta Boys. ..Well, what a joke, huh? Come on Ed, get a life and re-read the true Gospel and Bible.

Please people, don't confuse what Ed does with true Biblical methods of reaching people for Jesus. Ed is just a cartoonish figure who tries to do odd stuff to make money, sell books, promote his church, get folks thru the doors, and draw attention to HIMSELF. Actually I pity him and will pray for him. CU all later.

Gene S said...

I think most of us are apalled at the showmanship attached to this adventure into keeping warm and sexy on a cold day in Texas. Frankly, I'm rolling on the floor laughing at the spectacle and how empty it appears to me!

It seems that these "sons of the mega church" are reaching the edge of extravagance in promoting whatever the heck they are doing with their "church of the big show."

I have known his daddy, Ed,Sr., from long ago in the 70's. At that point daddy was Pastor of the Taylors Baptist Church in fast growing N. Greenville, SC. He went from there to Columbia (SC) First and then to his glory hole in Texas. It seems all egos find their home in Texas these days!

It was interesting how every church Ed, Sr. pastored was called "The Fellowship of Excitement." Frankly, I find that a description from hell itself when compared to Jesus as a Servant.

Now the acorn is falling close to the tree with excesses beyond imagination. He has his private jet to spread the Gospel and undergird his image as a mega church master. Now he has his bed and wife trying to keep warm on a cold day in Texas with wind blowing like mad (If she had on a see-through gown we would have sacred prostitution in our day as well).

Years ago, daddy was featured in the SBC Sunday School magazine as a flagship church of the SBC. Daddy was so full of himself he didn't even get the writer's name as he expounded on "how he was succeeding" with great numbers.

I did a sermon on this stuff of the mega at my little rural church north of Rocky Mount, NC. I entitled it: "The End of Your Search for a Messed Up Church." My mind has not changed a bit with the son and his mega of madness.

Charles Stanley's son is doing the same in the Atlanta area! Why do they pretend to be a "flagship" when such exists only in fast-grow urban areas with plenty of yuppie aspirants standing in line to join the "in" church?????

Somehow I see the Pharisees and the Temple at Jerusalem with moneychangers all over the entrance!!!

Jesus got kind of griped off at their approach. Wonder what he would think of it now?????

Anonymous said...

If someone says, "But that's the hook to get people to hear about Jesus!" I respond. False advertising.

The Jesus I know may lead you to love a 400 lb wife. The Jesus I know may allow you to become impotent with disease. The Jesus I know has said this world's system is coming to an end, and keep your eye on a city that is not built with human hand. The Jesus I know is uninterested in how many times you have sex and very interested how many times you talked with sinners about Him.

Wade, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

I'm praising the LORD right now for speaking through you...and may I add that the Jesus I know may lead you to love a man who has low testosterone levels or isn't a CFO or who doesn't want the same number or kids you want, but we can do ALL things through Christ Who gives us strength...

I am so guilty of being caught up in this world's system and even chose my husband although I'm a Christian for very superficial reasons...attraction, his financial situation, he was popular with other women and it proved how "desirable" I was to "catch" him...and do you know what happened?

The sex has all but stopped because of some issues my husband is dealing with, our finances are impacted and I have been evil and sinful because I'm embittered about it...but maybe JESUS is still calling me to love this man. I have to deny myself, take up the Cross and follow JESUS!

I so needed this message. I am so selfish, and please pray for me!!!