Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Weekend Feature 11.29.14 – Is Racism the Same As Gay Discrimination?

Okay, so yesterday was a bit slow. We’ll turn the Friday Feature into the Weekend Feature. Either way, it’s a great article on something believers should be asking:

Is Gay the New Black?

Voddie Bauchum’s article brings up great points to think about. After you’ve read it, my response centers on one main thought:

The arguments of culture are shifting. 

One of my biggest issues with advocating for re-defining marriage is that the definition of what rights are being fought for is changing. The slope is slippery.

What Bauchum rightly points out is that when it comes to racism, it’s very possible to define an offense. Race is something genetically provable. Race follows genetics which align with God’s created order.

However, as Bauchum describes, sexuality is declared and often difficult to define. Even if you believe sexuality is genetic, how should the law apply when someone decides against living a certain sexual lifestyle in favor of another?

Further, what groups and what lifestyles need protection? Even in the push for rights, this seems to be shifting. Bacchus’s word “unsustainable” is very real and challenges our thinking. So . . .

Think. Thinking is very important when it comes to emotional issues. Gays aren’t a survey option or a tax class. They’re people. Often they’re family members, friends, loved ones. So ask yourself: logically, where should the law extend? And how should those laws be defined?

Act. One of the best ways to act is to leave the emotional rhetoric at the door no matter which side of the debate you choose to defend. If you are in these types of conversations, show love and appeal to logic, which has rules. In any way possible, show love.

 

Think and Act 11.27.14 – I’m Glad Thanksgiving Is One Day A Year

turkey_0

Let me share a few brief thoughts on Thanksgiving being one day a year. Some complain that we should be thankful all year round and having a day of focus somehow cheapens thankfulness. I disagree.

1. A heightened celebration can bring heightened meaning.

We should celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ more than once per year, but do we? Marking out a day to celebrate makes you think about something. If people never think about thankfulness except for Thanksgiving, then I’m glad Thanksgiving exists. If you are thankful most of the year, a one day focus can take your view of thankfulness to new heights or bring about new insights. This happened to me this year in studying Romans 1 (you can read the chapter for its insights into Thanksgiving).

2. Annual things can help us remember.

We should never forget why they originally had a Thanksgiving feast. It had nothing to do with football. An annual celebration helps us remember the values of those who have gone before us.

3. I’m up for any excuse to bring families together.

So many people complain about their families. Some families are obviously very dysfunctional and outright miserable. I understand that and I in no way want to seem insensitive to those with difficult family existences. However, the family unit is also the backbone of society, and I’d argue families would be stronger in most cases if they met together more often. So, Thanksgiving is a time when families are kind of “forced” to be together? Fine with me!

Think. Are you thankful? Does Thanksgiving help you have a good perspective on giving thanks?

Act. Kneel down in prayer. Give God thanks for blessings ranging from enjoyable to challenging. Repeat.

Tuesday Rambling 11.25.14 – The Shock of Ferguson

I’m shocked to awake to the pictures. But then again, I’m not. Here are a few rambling thoughts.

  • The decision was made on legal terms with clear and extensive reasoning. Some will never agree.
  • The response is about issues which are far greater than a grand jury’s decision.
  • Despite calls for peace, even from the victim’s family, some are still bent on violence. Satan loves disunity and destruction.
  • I’d encourage you to read a disagreeing opinion today on the events.
  • This can be a time for growth rather than further entrenching ourselves in our “camp”.
  • Creating a unified culture is not someone else’s job.
  • Think: what is the balance between processing emotion and reacting out of it? How can both be done in a healthy way?
  • Join me in praying for spiritual leadership in Ferguson and the surrounding areas. I heard one report that pastors were blocking a building protestors wanted to set on fire.
  • Why on earth did they announce this at 9:00 at night? There is no way to justify this move from a law enforcement perspective whose primary concern should be the safety of citizens.
  • In all of this, a young man is dead. His name is Michael Brown. He was created uniquely by God.
  • The loss of a young man is something we should all mourn. His family and friends hurt every day, not just when they’re in the news.
  • Losing sight of the loss of a human life in the conversation is misguided and un-compassionate.

Monday Challenge 11.24.14 – Gospel Telling & Opposition, Is Gay the Same as Black?, Mentally Ill

It’s Monday again. I hope you’re looking forward to a great week of giving thanks. I know I am. So much of what I experience  warms the flames of affections for God – He is worthy!

Enjoy these articles. And as always, be challenged!

Link of the Week

Is black the new gay? This is an excellent question. It is worth your time to read through this and see why it’s shaky to equate gay discrimination with racial discrimination.

Question: How does this article change the way you think about discrimination?

The Christian Faith

1. When the Gospel is proclaimed there is opposition and only one of two responses: what’s yours?

Question: Do you bring any faulty expectations to the exercise of proclaiming Jesus?

2. Here is a great thought on church buildings: what goes on in them should be going on before they’re built.

Question: What expectations do you have for your church building?

3. How do we deal with the mentally ill?

Question: Do the good thoughts in this article spark any thoughts about what we should DO?

Friday Feature 11.21.14 – Why This Guy Says He’s NOT a Gay Christian

It’s finally Friday, and today I’ll feature a challenging article. It was the highest clicked link from Monday’s post; in fact it was the highest clicked article in quite some time. No doubt it’s today’s Friday Feature. Read it first, then some of my comments:

I love Jesus too much to call myself a Gay Christian.

A few thoughts:

1. You can disagree with other Christians and tell them so.

The author is making a point of disagreement with brothers and sisters in Christ. This is important. I think it’s okay, and I think it’s healthy when the goal is pursuing pure expressions of Jesus. It’s good to know in the details of thought and belief where we differ from others. We should not fear this. We should give those we disagree with the same respect Moore shows to those he disagrees with.

2. Be real about sinful desires.

James roots sin in desires (James 1:12-15). So, taking desires too lightly or describing them as “natural” does lessen what they really are. If we take Moore’s advice and hate sin, we won’t be tempted to minimize it at its roots.

3. Dwelling on the cross shapes and forms us in healthy ways.

There is no argument Moore presents that is true without the light of the gospel shining on it. And that good news is that Jesus became man, suffered, died, and rose again – for us, and anyone who will turn to Him. Continuing to dwell on the cross of Jesus Christ will make the way we think exactly like the way God thinks – every time.

Think. Would you use the term “Gay Christian”? If you’ve not had same sex attraction struggles, imagine putting a label on sins you struggle with and putting that in front of the word Christian. Angry Christian. Gossiping Christian. Think on this one.

Act. Know how to define Christianity as you engage all issues. Speak with truth and love. To those with whom you disagree, show respect.