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Archive for June, 2012

Every younger generation benefits from the wisdom of sages. Too bad so many of today’s could-be-sages are distracted by the fountain of youth.

There’s something very sad and, honestly, quite unattractive about mothers who try to compete with their daughters.  With fathers who would rather be “best buds” than dads to their sons.

Granted, the men and women of my generation have been long schooled to obsess on our bodies and, whatever the cost, maintain the appearance of youth.  But, what does this do to our minds?  What is the price paid by children?  Grandchildren?  Children in our neighborhoods?

Every younger generation deserves the wisdom and experience that is most naturally mentored by an older generation.  But, in this present culture, we parents and grandparents seem to resist acting our age.  Isn’t this rather selfish?  If we’re absentee from the role of mentor, to whom are we abdicating?

The older generation hasn’t evolved, says the world.  So, girls!  Boys!  Follow your heart!  Listen to your instincts!  Rubbish!   How typical of the world to offer deceptive counsel.  But, people who call themselves “Christian” should know better.  We should value the wisdom that comes with age.  Experience.  Spiritual maturity.

As I was preparing the keynote address for a women’s conference, I was drawn to passages from 1 Timothy 5.  There, the Apostle Paul is speaking to young Timothy like a father.  He is inspired by the Holy Spirit to offer instructions for the church.  Something the church is called to do is honor the widows, especially those who are truly left alone.   What got my attention was the distinction made between an “older” and “younger” widow.  Verse 9 notes that a widow is eligible for church assistance if she is not less than 60 years old.  The one who has been a faithful wife of one husband, has a reputation for good works, has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of saints, and has cared for the afflicted is considered to be a wise woman who won’t bring shame to the congregation.

But, what about a younger widow; a woman less than 60 years of age?  The household of God is to encourage her to marry and manage her household; if possible, to have children.  Why the clear distinction of age here?  Because, as real life has a way of proving out, younger women are more captive to their passions.  They are more tempted to romantic desires, idleness, and gossip or saying things they should not.  They are more easily deceived by worldly trends and led away from Jesus Christ.

What do you think of that?  Does this make sense to you?

God’s Word consistently through Old and New Testament reminds the older generation to mentor the younger.  The Creator of life entrusts children to parents; not to their peers.  He wants parents and grandparents to tell children and grandchildren about the wonders of God’s work.  This includes all the lessons learned over the course of time and in the midst of challenges.  So, when a man or woman refuses to accept their age, resists learning from past mistakes, and clings to the foolishness of youth, woe to the young ones in their charge.

As for me?  Well, I admit I don’t like the gravity of age.  My head, after all, still thinks creatively.  Enthusiastically.  Optimistically.  Laughter is good for my soul – and others.

But, given to me are priceless years.  Years of experience.  Years of lessons often learned the hard way.  Years of seeing God at work in my life.  Why would I want to keep that all to myself?  Where is the shame in acting my age?

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President Obama has been celebrating June as “Gay Pride month.”  He and his wife, Michelle, hosted a LGBT reception at the White House.  He stated that while some Americans are still “evolving on the issue,” he and Michelle “have made up their minds on this issue.”

The President often refers to himself as a Christian.  I wonder.  Does he believe that God has changed His mind about the practice of sodomy?  Is God “evolving?”  Will He soon be as enlightened as the president?

Mr. President, do you have confidence in a god who changes his mind?  Does it give you peace of mind to think that the Creator is “evolving” to be as enlightened as His creation?

Something more troubles me.  Why would we want to set aside a month that celebrates sexual behavior?  Any sexual behavior?  What kind of civilization does that?

Think of it.  “Gay pride month.”  Let’s be honest and call it what it is.  Pride in being a man who is sexually attracted to another man.  But, why stop there?  Why not set aside a month for “man-boy pride?”  Or, let’s just keep it “normal” and celebrate “man with woman pride.”  Do you follow what I’m saying?  We’ve become a culture that wants to celebrate sexual behavior.  The right to sexual behavior.  Unlimited, prideful, sexual behavior… no matter the consequences that follow.

How does this come to be?  How is it that a U.S. President can comfortably set aside a month of the year to celebrate “gay pride?”  To go on record in support of “marriage” between two women or two men?  This can happen only when the created raises itself above the Creator.  When we worship at the altar of self.  When we puff with pride and live the way we please as “sexual beings.”

This is not how God defines us.  God calls us human beings created in His image as male or female.  To be human is to be a steward of all that God has made, including our own bodies, minds and souls.  A good steward does not seek after his or her own desires, but lives in the way that glorifies God.  All of humanity is better for it.

The sexual component of humanity relates to completeness and procreation.  It was “not good” for man to be alone.  Man needed a helper.  No animal or other man would be suitable helpers.  Only woman would be a good steward together with man.  Equal, yet different, male and female are the two eyes of the human race.   And, from their procreational act of sex, life goes on.  In the perfect fit of the sexual act, man and woman become more than stewards but also fathers, mothers, and children.  It is because of sex that we can celebrate not our “gay” pride or even our “heterosexual” pride, but family life with its anniversaries of weddings and birthdays.  It is within family that sons and daughters learn the patience and selflessness that influences society and generations to come.

The Fall into sin complicated everything for stewards, male and female.  It changed our relationships with each other and with God.  After sin, and throughout Old and New Testaments, God tells us to flee from sensuality and the ways of our sinful flesh, but never once does He tell us to flee from our identity as male or female stewards.  In fact, out of pure mercy for His fallen creation, He gives male and female a more noble identity as treasures of Jesus Christ.  And that, Mr. President, is what we are.  Treasures of Christ who gave His life as the sacrifice for our sin. Think of how that should affect our behavior.

And so, Mr. President, please take care not to puff with pride.  Not “gay” pride; no, not human pride.  Instead, think of how you and your wife can be the best stewards over all that has been entrusted to you.  Think of your own daughters and how they came to be.

Mr. President, you may have evolved in your thinking.  But, what if God does not see this — or any other issue — the way you do?

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In response to a previous post, “Not a Scientist” asked: “Would you mind quoting where Jesus says that homosexuality is a sin?”

Where does Jesus speak against homosexuality?  Everywhere that God does!

First, one must believe that God is who He says He is.  “In the beginning, God created . . . ” (Genesis 1).  He created male and female to be equal, but not the same.  He didn’t created them at the same time, in the same way, or for the same purpose (Genesis 2:7, 18, 21-22).  He gave them to each other, male and female, to be one union or one flesh in marriage (Genesis 2:24).  Woman was created to be a “helper fit for him.”  Did you know that “fit for him” literally means “like his opposite”?  Consider how man and woman are, in many ways, opposite yet, in marriage, fit together perfectly.  God brings new life into the world through their procreative act of sex.  Marriage, childbirth, and growth of the human community were part of God’s plan for humankind from before The Fall.  Throughout the Old Testament, the Word of God speaks against homosexuality or sodomy.  It is not His design.

Where does Jesus speak against homosexuality?  Everywhere that God does.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any think made that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-5; 14).  Jesus is God.  He is the Creator.  He is the Word.  He is Law and Gospel.

Jesus did not come to abolish the Law (Old Testament) of God.  He came to fulfill it.  He did not disregard it.  He is it!  Inspired by The Word Jesus, St. Paul wrote many times about the sin of homosexuality.  To be sure, we humans think we have evolved in our thinking.  We seek our own way.  We set ourselves up as gods of our own lives.  The consequences are always the same.  “. . . They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator . . . For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions.  For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.  And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done” (Romans 1:25-28).

Jesus is the Word.  He is God.  He is the Creator.  The Creator knows intimately what He has created.  He is the Creator of anatomy and biology.  He knows what works and what does not.  God is incapable of imperfection.  He would not create a man “fit for” another man, and then laugh when they don’t fit.

My Biblical worldview — CREATION, THE FALL & REDEMPTION — explains to me the wonder of God’s perfect creation of male, female, marriage, and generational society, but it also explains what went wrong and why we struggle so with ourselves and others.  Sin happened.  Man and woman were deceived and failed to trust God’s Word.  That first sin affected us all.  We put ourselves in place of God.  We doubt that Jesus said any more than what is printed in red letters in the New Testament.  But, He did say it all!  He is the Word.  And, because He calls Himself the Word, he is either that… or a liar.

Every day, I am in awe.  Things go bad because of sin.  We struggle heterosexually and homosexually.  But, because of that struggle with our sinful flesh, The Word Jesus came in perfect flesh.  Because of The Word — Jesus — there is hope.  Because of Christ, I am redeemed!  Set free of the chains that bind me to sin.  I may continue to do battle with my feelings and desires, but Satan and my own sinful flesh do not have dominion over me.

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I’ve recently returned from leading another Titus 2 Retreat.  As always, the women are free to make comments on an evaluation sheet after the last session.  Here’s one that I received:

“You helped me think of abortion in a different way when you said it is a symptom of what is wrong.  While abortion is wrong, we need to protect our girls so it does not get to that point.  I thought that was enlightening.”

Enlightening?

Could it be that this faithful Lutheran woman had never thought about the behaviors that must first be chosen before a girl finds herself in a place where she even considers an abortion?  Did her church never explain this?  Did her church call abortion “wrong” and warn “don’t do it,” but fail to dig to the root of abortion and why too many people cling to it as some sort of “salvation?” Was she perhaps in agreement that children should be “more comfortable with their sexuality,” but then surprised when as many Christian as non-Christian girls seek abortions?

It seems so.  And, for that reason, Titus 2 will continue — for life.  It is in the best interests of boys and girls to be mentored in Biblical manhood and womanhood — before they learn about the procreative act of sex.  Their lives — and those of the preborn — are worth it.

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I value the worldview and writings of John Stonestreet.  He observes that a generation of young men is choosing fantasy over reality.  Young men are becoming addicted to video games and online pornography on a scale unparalleled by any addiction that we’ve ever seen in history.

What does this mean for women?  Marriage?  Family?  This nation?

I think it best that John Stonestreet explain.

Please read his article by visiting Breakpoint (6-5-12 “Screwtape’s Formula” under Breakpoint Commentaries) or googling John Stonestreet and the title of this blog.

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In 2009, after taking office, President Obama declared the month of June “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month.”  Now he has endorsed so-called same-sex “marriage.”

On June 1, a group of African-American pastors requested a meeting with the President to discuss their concerns with his “endorsement of gay  marriage as a civil right.”  These pastors believe that when government works to promote sin, Christians cannot be silent.

Aren’t we compelled to ask: 1) What are the basic rights of American citizens?  2) When God’s Word calls a particular choice or behavior immoral and, therefore, a sin, should it be celebrated as a basic right under the guise of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?”  3) What happens when a government such as ours creates “rights” based on changeable or controllable behavior?

President Obama has often referred to his Christian faith.  In this case, it is reported that he told the African-American pastors that he knows that he should treat others as he wants to be treated.  Well, that leads me to another question:

What does it mean to love our neighbor as ourselves?

Sometimes, our neighbors make choices different from ours.  Sometimes they offend, irritate, or intimidate us.  Nevertheless, they remain our neighbors.  We are called to love God by loving and serving the best interests of our neighbors.  This does not mean we must endorse their choices or behaviors, especially if those behaviors offend God.  It does mean that we are to support and care for our neighbors even when we cannot support a behavior that God labels sinful.

We love our neighbors best when we fear, love, and trust in God first.  Knowing God and His design for our lives as male and female helps us to serve our neighbors, not by approving of wrong things, but by seeing them as real people who struggle (as I do) with real challenges and temptations.  Martin Luther wrote, “We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.”

The Word — Jesus Christ — is Truth.  When he calls something a sin, it is so.  Our vocation as Christians is to be faithful to the Word of Truth and, at the same time, be kind in how we contrast deception with truth, darkness with light, evil with good.

For those who want to be kind to their neighbors, may I suggest:
Exodus International and Parents & Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays

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