Thursday, June 27, 2013

DOMA & Gay "Marriage" - a Christian Evaluation Part 2

In the aftermath of the SCOTUS DOMA ruling, here are 7 points to help us understand why we are where we are and 7 things Christians should do about it.

1. Heterosexual couples destroyed the sanctity of marriage long before the gay rights movement hit the mainstream. "I have two dads, you know." This is what a young boy I know recently told me. His words struck me. I knew they were true. But I'd never thought of it ... like THAT before. His birth parents divorced while he was an infant [for what I believe were sound, Biblical reasons]. His mother went on to remarry a fine Christian man and so, like so many other boys around, he has "two dads". Why should we think it so odd that this trend continue, though now with the ruthless efficiency of eliminating the mother altogether? A long time ago, our society began to deliberately streamline the process by which a man or woman can dissolve the oath they had previously made before God, church, family, community, and state to stay united until death.  And for decades, the process of oath-breaking has been made more and more convenient.  At this point in our history, "the sanctity of marriage" is nothing more than a hollow-sounding phrase; a string of words that used to mean something.

2. It was heterosexual promiscuity that paved the yellow-brick road on which gay rights activists now march.  What young people really mean when they say "Don't tell THEM what THEY can't do in THEIR bedroom" is "Don't tell ME what I can't do in MY bedroom".  This is what 'the pill' is all about.  What we see today is the fruiting of seeds that were planted fifty years ago and have been faithfully watered and fertilized ever since. Pulling levers and pushing buttons isn't going to change that or stop what has been in motion for so long. But being faithful will... eventually. This is a bitter fruit, but the story is far from over.  As a society, we seem to have lost the ability to to make even the most basic moral judgments and distinctions.  Just open up your iTunes store and watch the scrolling "what's hot now" banner at the top.  By and large, we are daily consumers of the obscene.

3. The black church is crucial in our culture wars. They have been the sleeping giant that has been roused in the recent cultural reversal of popular-level abortion views. They will be crucial in courageously speaking out to forbid FALSE equivocations between civil rights struggles and the campaign to make sodomy a socially-acceptable sexual practice. One of my best friends in the world was born with very, very dark black skin.  His ethnic background is Nigerian.  He was black last year as a Ph.D. student in Seattle.  He is black today as an entrepreneur in Charleston.  He will die black.  None of this has the slightest thing to do with extraneous cultural influences or his own behavior and personal choice.  He is a black man, pure and simple.  To equate his blackness with another man's decision to engage in sodomy is false and wrong, and there is no amount of voice-raising or finger wagging that will change that fact.  But my words here aren't the ones that matter.  Those belong to my brothers of color, [many of whom are speaking out] such as Voddie Baucham, Thabiti Anyabwile, Ken Jones, Jemar Tisby, Philip Holmes, Reddit Andrews, Mike Campbell, Anthony Carter, LaCrae, Shai Linne, Curtis Allen, and others.

4.  Gay is cool.  Let's face it.  Well, perhaps it would be better to say it this way -  the gay cause is the cool side.  For the general public actually being gay is not the cool thing [see the horrifying long-term health statistics below], but it is most definitely cool to have gay friends.  It is cool to support them vocally and frequently.  It is cool to be passionate for their cause.  And the gay rights movement has found a way to morally tap into the fashion sense of the American public.  Many have wisely noted that in current public opinion, image trumps character.  The average Joe arrives at his ethical views in large part the same way he chooses his shoes, skinny jeans, and coffee brand.  Designer ethics is part of a designer lifestyle.  Pro-gay is chic and fashionable.  But as we've seen with fanny packs, disco, and eugenics, trends change and fashions - material and ideological - fade away.

5.  This is an experiment - a cultural experiment.  I'm an optimist, not a henny-penny kind of guy.  I wouldn't run around like my hair was on fire if my hair were actually on fire. And here is one of the reasons. This is an experiment. Will state-sanctioned gay marriage result in a happier, healthier society?  The answer is 'no'. This experiment is doomed to NOT work. Our great, great grandchildren will look back on this sort of thing and either chuckle or scratch their heads. You cannot rebel against a creational pattern as deep as gender and think things will just keep rolling forward. So stay faithful and keep on keepin' on. Roe was hardly the end of the abortion debate, and we are not even close to the end of this discussion either. There are plenty of people paying attention and taking notes. The numbers are being counted.

6. And this brings us to a separate societal trend which is set on a direct collision course with the Gay Rights Agenda: that of fully-socialized medicine. We've already seen lawmakers attempt to ban soft drinks because of this conflict.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Great Budget Tool

Not long ago we finished the Ramsey course at Trinity and so far, we've been doing a fair job at sticking with it.  But Dave recommends re-doing/reviewing your household budget every month.  I have to admit that because of the way I'm wired, I really hate that idea ... but he's absolutely right.  Here is a handy tool to make that dreaded task MUCH easier:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Goliath's Cross-shaped Sword

"Old writers would always compare the cross with Goliath's sword.  Goliath was the Philistine giant and he intended to destroy David and the army of Israel with his sword but in fact the tables were turned on him and  the sword that he had sharpened to destroy the Israelites was the very thing that lopped off his head.  And that's exactly what the cross is.  The cross is the fullest expression of man's cruelty.  It's Satan's greatest instrument.  And yet this very cross was the thing that destroyed the Devil and his works."

- Michael Phillips

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Managing Pain - thoughts for counselors

Dan Ariely on the results of his pain management research.  How might these principles be applied by pastors and Biblical counselors in discipline cases as we think through the "how" of repentance and make plans to move forward while attempting to imitate our Lord Who would not break the bruised reed?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

Losing Church Kids - The Numbers

The results are in from a recent survey headed up by the Fixed Point Foundation about young adults who have left the faith and were willing to open up about why and how it happened.   Here is a summary of their findings compiled by my friend, Steven Wedgeworth:

1- They had attended church
2- The mission and message of their churches was vague
3-They felt their churches offered superficial answers to life's difficult questions
4- They expressed their respect for those ministers who took the Bible seriously
5- Ages 14-17 were decisive
6- The decision to embrace unbelief was often an emotional one
7- The internet factored heavily into their conversion to atheism