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Below is a draft-post I wrote in March, 2013. After writing it, I decided against posting it. In fact, I nearly deleted it.

When the Supreme Court ruling regarding gay marriage was handed down yesterday, I thought of this post. It’s as timely as ever. I hope you find it helpful.

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imagesOn March 26 & 27, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding two specific cases of same-sex marriage. According to USA TODAY, Attorney David Boies, all who oppose gay marriage do so “from a reservoir of ignorance.” Likewise, he is confident that “the high court may very well present a united front in favor of gay and lesbian rights” (USA TODAY).

I fear that Mr. Boies just may be right. Barring a supernatural move of God it’s very likely that homosexual marriage is here to stay. So we must prepare ourselves, our families, and our churches (I speak here as a husband, dad, and pastor), on how to move forward with it as a cultural norm. But how?

I read a post by David Murray back in February entitled, “Prepare for Gay Marriage.”  It was an an excellent post. I highly recommend it. You can read it HERE.  Below is an outline of his post and thoughts to wet your appetite.

Murray asks, “How [can] we prepare for the collision [of gay marriage] in such a way that minimizes the carnage [to our lives, families, and churches]”? He answers that we need to do the following:

1. Prepare our children.
“[Due to the] normalization and display of homosexuality in the media, in schools, and in the malls…[w]e will have to teach our children much earlier and about much more than we would ordinarily choose.”

2. Prepare to love.
“[H]omosexuals harbor far more hate for Christians than vice versa. … We must gently good-news them and good-deed them, while be unflinching in our moral convictions. … Keep the focus on the saving love of Christ, no matter how tempting it is to get into constant condemnation mode.”

3. Prepare for jail.
“[Prepare for U.S. homosexual campaigners] to pass ‘hate-crime’ legislation, press charges against us, shame us in the media, stigmatize our businesses and churches, threaten us with loss of our children, and impose substantial fines, all in the hope to scare us into silence. But when none of these things move us, the legal penalties will intensify until some…maybe many…go to prison for it. We’d better get ready for that inevitable possibility.”

4. Prepare for betrayal.
“This is going to be sifting time. Some Christians will cave. Prominent preachers will compromise. Famous Christians will distance themselves from believers who have fallen foul of homosexual campaigners.”

5. Prepare a refuge.
As this new religious persecution unfolds, Murray asks, “Where can we flee to?” 

6. Prepare for eternity.
“The Bible makes clear, and history backs it up, that when a people goes down this route, its close to it’s end. It has run out of moral ground, it’s already over the cliff, and falling into the holy wrath of God. … If the USA falls, how far behind will God’s judgement be?”

Read Murray’s entire post HERE.

In the meantime, let us stand for truth unwaveringly. Yet let us love scandalously those who call us “ignorant” and declare themselves our enemies. Furthermore, let us pray desperately for our nation, our families, our churches, and the souls of those far from God’s Truth and salvation.

TWDuring a dark time in your life, did you ever say anything you deeply regret? Ever had painful words spoken to you that cut you to the bone-marrow? Me too, on all the above. Question is, how does God feel about those words? And how should you feel about those words spoken from you or to you?

In John Piper‘s book, A Godward Life: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life, he deals with this. He points us to the words of Job when he responded to Eliphaz: “Do you think that you can reprove words, when the speech of a despairing man is wind?” (Job 6:26)

Did you catch it? Speech from despair is for the wind. It’s not called into our account. Nor should we call cutting words spoken to us into account. Piper goes on to say, “Let us discern whether the words spoken against us or against God or against the truth are merely for the wind—spoken not from the soul, but from the sore. If they are for the wind, let us wait in silence and not reprove. Restoring the soul, not reproving the sore, is the aim of our love.”

This is an interview I did at Word of Life Island last week. Perhaps it might encourage you to devote your life to meeting with God daily and meditating on His Word.

0:03 secs – 1: 59  (“When did you first fall in love with God’s Word?”)

2:00 –  3:49  (“Do you believe the Bible is relevant for today and not just a history book?”)

3:50 – 6:50 (“How do you personally study God’s Word?”)

6: 52 – 8:42  (“On fun side, what character in the Bible is your personal favorite?”)

8:45 – 12:38 (“What advice would you give on being more consistent in God’s word; that it would be more than routine and a ‘check-off’?”)

Rethinking Pain

August 4, 2014 — 10 Comments

pain1There’s the story of a Rabbi who told his students that if they studied the Torah it would put Scripture on their hearts. One of them asked, “Why on our hearts, and not in them?” The Rabbi answered, “Only God can put Scripture inside. But reading sacred text can put it on your hearts, and then when your hearts break, the holy words fall inside.” *

This I know: Truth doesn’t crack my heart. Pain does. Truth doesn’t bring wisdom. Pain that awakens me to Truth, does. I once believed a great sermon, a Christian best-seller, and a study on “Humility” would make me more humble, more forgiving, and more loving. It was never enough. It has taken pain to break my heart so God’s Truth would fall inside.

Celebrity actor Rob Lowe wrote, “You stop growing emotionally the very moment you become famous.” ** How so? Many celebrities spend millions to shield themselves from pain. They surround themselves with “yes” people. Yet, when the emptiness of celebrity sets in, or when they reach the point of near self-destruction, they take off to the Near East to sit at the feet of a Guru. They hope for a fast-track to wisdom, meaning, “truth,” or maturity.  But it never works. At least not for long….

This I’ve learned: Wisdom is not about avoiding or numbing pain. Wisdom is learning from it, growing in it, becoming stronger for it, and more dependent on Jesus because of it. Wisdom is using pain to build more wisdom into my life and make Jesus more glorious through my life. In many ways it still takes pain not only to break my heart so that the Truth would fall inside, but more so that Jesus would forever reign there. 

 

* As shared by Anne Lamott in her book, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

** Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography by Rob Lowe

 

Of Porn & Marriage

July 22, 2014 — Leave a comment

Bride and groom on beachrear viewA previous post, “An open letter to girlfriends whose boyfriends ‘struggle’ with porn” got quite the responses publicly and privately (Read HERE. The comments are well worth your time as well). The majority of responses I received privately were from wives requesting I speak toward pornography in marriage.

Admittedly, porn is not just an issue for men. The percentage of women who battle with porn is significant and increasing. But that’s a post for another day. Context for now is girlfriends and wives seeking counsel, relief, and hope about their boyfriends, fiancés, and husbands.

I wrote an article titled, “Of Porn & Marriage” for a little magazine back in the Spring of 2008. I’ve since forgotten the name of the magazine. But I googled for the article to see if it might pop up. Boom! Interestingly, a website picked it up and posted it in 2012. My bio information on the site is outdated, but the content still resonates, I think.

The only part of the article I would state differently six years later is the “Pray for Power” section. My tune has definitely changed in thinking that prayer for victory over sexual sin should be one’s focus, especially a daily focus. That’s not healthy. One’s focus should be on Christ (Hebrews 12:1-4), our freedom from sin’s slavery (Romans 6), and on”things above not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:1-3). Can I blame it on being six years younger and dumber?

Finally, as I stated above, the article is directed toward married men with encouragement to their wives. But whether the battle with porn is the man’s or woman’s—single or married—I trust you can adjust and apply the content as needed.

Read “Of Porn & Marriage” HERE.

After reading the article, what else would you add?

(Please return here upon reading and leave your comments below. If you received this post in your email inbox, please go HERE and leave comments below the post on my site. Thanks!