BROOKSVILLE — The Rev. Freddie Hinson Jr., pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Hudson, is concerned that Christians are following a not-so-Christian lifestyle.
He will address that topic at a conference that will be hosted by comedian Rod Z in May at First Baptist Church in Brooksville. Borrowing a theme from the Bible in 2 Timothy 3, the event is called "Phony Men Silly Women."
"Unfortunately, the statistics inside the church are not that different than the statistics outside the church," Hinson said, referring to lax morals and the current divorce rate. "So we try to help individuals have a Christ-centered understanding of relationships and answer some of their big questions."
Questions posed to Hinson include: If I get married, how can I not go the way that society is going? Is it possible to live according to the Christian standards when society is the way it is?
"The answer is yes," Hinson said. "I want people to understand how God has made us and then to help them understand that longing that's within them for companionship."
Topics covered will include "Learning to Appreciate Who God Created You to Be," "Avoiding Impulsive Relationships," "Discerning Who's Behind the Mask," "Knowing What to Look for in a Mate" and "Thinking as God Thinks about You and Your Relationships."
The event begins at 4 p.m. May 4. The evening's agenda includes music by the Wells Family and the Victory in Praise Choir, a praise dance, a mime artist and special selections by gospel recording artist and author Thomas Ware. Along with his hosting duties, Rod Z will perform stand-up comedy. Hinson will speak from 6 to 7 p.m. Refreshments will follow. Tickets cost $17 and will be available at the door if all 500 have not been presold.
Hinson has preached sermons on this topic at his church and first broached the subject in order to give a Christian perspective on what was being presented by secular teachers.
"I can't say all the advice was bad, but it was very secular," Hinson said. "So I wanted to bring the Christian rebuttal to that."
Tammy DeLaine, who leads the church's singles ministry, encouraged Hinson to present the subject matter as a special event, open to the public.
"The response (to the church sermons) was overwhelming," DeLaine said. "Never in the history of the church have there been more adult single members than today. Many in our country have grown up or are growing up without a healthy perspective on relationships between a man and a woman."
DeLaine believes relationships are in crisis.
"This event will address a man and woman's relationship and how they can harness their strength and balance new issues with old, familiar tasks," DeLaine wrote in a press release. "A balanced, healthy relationship is an asset to family and community."
While much of the evening will address the relationships of singles, it will also have application for married couples and be helpful to parents in knowing what to teach their children.
"There are places where we will deal with the different types of personality and how we can deal with those personalities in relationships to make them all they can be," he said.
Hinson said it was important to him that the event include humor. He wants it to be a "fun night out" for people.
"Sometimes the truth can hurt," he said. "When we deal with the very things that so many people struggle with, I find that humor is actually the capacity to be able to laugh at tragedy — to be able to laugh at it, so that it doesn't sting as much, yet still identify with it."
Hinson hopes those who attend will take home a few life lessons.
"We want them to be stronger as Christian men and women who are seeking to represent Christ in the world," he said.
He also wants to let singles know that it's okay to be single.
DeLaine expressed some goals for the event. "We believe that you can have a whole, fulfilling and fun life as a Christian as long as it is pleasing to Christ," she said, "and this event is promised to be filled with practical instruction, laughter, fun and fellowship."