Thank you heaps for all of the feedback on my post about the same sex marriage topic! It’s obviously a very sensitive topic for almost everyone and by the input I’ve received (some pleasant, some slippery and some hostile), I think it’s worth a final post on the topic.
I’ve been praying about this post for several days because I don’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit per Ephesians 4:29-32. With that being said, here are a few questions to consider on the same sex marriage topic for prayerful reflection:
Who??? When we talk about this subject, to whom are we speaking or communicating? Seems like we should think not only about what we say, but with whom we are communicating (seekers, Jesus’ followers, opponents to Jesus’ words, etc). Jesus was super clear about different messages for different audiences – but all with the same motive
How??? How we communicate is a good peek into our motives & ultimately what’s in our hearts
What??? After thinking about our motives & audience, the content of our words are very important – what are we really saying?
I’m certainly up to speed with Paul’s words about homosexuality in 1Cor 6:9, Rom 1:26-32 & the relevant verses in Levitucs & the outcomes of Sodom & Gomorrah and I do not disagree with these words. But I come back to the question of loving well from John 13:35 – the defining distinctive of Jesus’ followers is our love for each other.
To conclude, I believe that we can all find common ground in praying for our nation & our world. Let’s agree to pray for our pastors, our political leaders, key influencers and let’s pray that Jesus lives well through our lives every day 🙂
It’s been a week since the Supreme Court made their decision on the extremely controversial topic of same sex marriage. The subsequent reaction to this ruling has been interesting to watch. I’ve listened to conversations where people think the Supreme Court’s ruling is the most awesome evidence to show that America is progressive and modern. I’ve also listened to conversations where people think that America will be swallowed up in hellfire and brimstone like Sodom and Gomorrah. I like to listen and watch how people react with controversial topics like this because their reactions say alot about who they are and what they really believe. I also like what Bishop TD Jakes had to say about this ruling – he’s a very wise man.
Whether you agree or disagree with the Supreme Court ruling from last week, one of the defining hallmarks of being a follower of Jesus is our love for one another, based on Jesus’ words in John 13:35, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The question I keep in the forefront of my mind is this: Am I loving well?
The definition of loving well is 1 Cor 13:4-7, ” 4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
If a person talks about prostitutes or sex workers, people have some interesting reactions. Some people get really uncomfortable & change the subject quickly. Some people get really condescending & holy. Some people don’t get too jittery & seem relatively calm. In the Bible, prostitutes were often considered lower class, except by Jesus. When I watch how Jesus treated women of ill repute, He didn’t shun nor shame them. In fact, it says that He was considered a friend of sinners.
In my work with Saving Moses, we look after the babies of prostitutes with our nightcare centers. Without our centers, these babies & toddlers have tremendous struggles which are difficult for us to imagine & understand. I’m in Cambodia right now celebrating the Grand Opening of our 2nd nightcare & was recently told about a 3year old little girl who was helping her mom in the evenings by selling birth control to the customers of her mother. I want to be like Jesus & love people more than shame them, including prostitutes.
My kids and I have recently watched two very good movies – “Glory Road” (about the 1965-66 NCAA basketball team from TX with 7 African Americans and 5 white players that won the NCAA Championship that year) & “42” (about Jackie Robinson, the first African American baseball player to play MLB). Both of these movies have lots of really powerful messages, one of which relates to the strength that comes from being inclusive rather than exclusive.
In my thinking, this lesson is true not only in racial contexts but also in lots of different applications. If you consider the recent firestorm the John MacArthur has launched against Charismatics, perhaps there are some lessons for both sides of this controversy. And maybe the overarching lesson for both sides of this controversy is that the Holy Spirit would challenge us to be better at genuine love than in our abilities to beat each other up over our theological differences – Romans 5:5 🙂
Ok friends, I’m writing this blog knowing that I’m stepping into some very serious controversy. In the past several weeks there have been lots of feedback on John MacArthur’s book, “Strange Fire”, a book that takes a critical position of the Charismatic movement in today’s world. There are more than enough brilliant people taking sides on Mr MacArthur’s position – in both opposition and support. Whatever your thoughts or opinions are about Charistmatics or Mr MacArthur’s beliefs, let’s keep in mind what Paul says about the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21. Such works include not only immorality and idolatry, but the works of the flesh also include: enmity, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions and factions. Let’s remember that Jesus prayed that we, His followers, would be one like He is one with the Father, John 17:21-22.
No matter if you agree or disagree with Mr MacArthur, if we are followers of Jesus, then we don’t need to be disagreeable with a fellow follower of Jesus – smile 🙂