The ever evolving "Emerging Church" continues to be a difficult thing to define. But there are some areas where we are beginning to understand their views on some issues.
Most notably, much of their view on Homosexuality is becoming increasingly obvious and concerning.
Tony Jones, a leader in the movement itself, writes this article on the acceptance on Homosexuality and other orientations in the church itself. He says, he doesn't want to get this issue "wrong" and that the lifestyle itself should be sanction both by the state and the church.
If Mr. Jones doesn't want to get it "wrong" why doesn't he try and look for answers in the right place. The inspired word of God gives us the divine word on all things pertaining to life and godliness. Mr. Jones, scripture says you are getting it wrong.
Read for yourself here:
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
This is not a question about getting involved in extreme sports or becoming the next Word Series of Poker Champion. It is a question of how far are you willing to let your convictions take you?
Are you willing to lose your job? Are you willing to oppose your father and mother, your kids, your friends? Are you willing to be ostracized from society? Most of us probably never thought that a day would come in this country where we would have a choice to make between our faith and convictions vs. some of these other things. Well that time is now...
Scott Eckern, artistic director of the California Musical Theatre, is finding out the cost of your convictions. I do not know if this is man is a follower of Christ. The article does not say for sure. But after supporting Proposition 8 in California the man is now stepping down from what he loves most. Mr. Eckern is not losing his job because he used his place of employment for propaganda. It is not because of poor work. It is because word got out, that in his private affairs, he gave $1000 to support the proposition. When Gay and Lesbian groups got wind, they immediately began to protest the Theater and would still be doing so if Mr. Eckern had not stepped aside.
Apparently we have reached a point in our country where we can not have a view. If you stand up for convictions, some will protest until you lose your job, your livelihood, your home, your family and maybe even...your life. What happened to the idea of being open to all opinions. What happened to the principles of the ACLU that we should be understanding to those who disagree. Apparently that is only a one way street.
What would you have done if it was your job on the line? Would you have the courage to stand up for what is Biblically right? The day is coming - if it is not already here - where Christians will be faced with some of these questions.
You can read the full article here.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I loved Keith Olbermann on ESPN. Keith Olbermann on MSNBC as a political host has been a little less interesting. But Keith Olbermann as religious guru is frankly apalling. I don't often watch "Countdown" but last night curiosity got the best of me and I watched the last 10 minutes and saw a rant on the Proposition 8 from California and gay marriage. In the segment , a visibly shaken Olbermann called the vote to ban gay marriage in California "horrible" and suggested viewers examine their hearts.""This is about the human heart," he says. "The world is barren enough," he said. "With so much hate in the world, so much meaningless division... this is what your religion tells you to do? This is what your heart tells you to do? You are asked to stand now on a question of love."
Keith laid in to so called "religious" persons and their "book" by suggesting that the loving thing to do is to let them love who ever they want. Keith was right on the tragedy that prohibitted white's marrying blacks and the marriage of slaves. He adds, "don't we have to accept their love...give them that feeling...your religion tells you to do this...a no good reason...you want to honor your God...then spread happiness." He then adds, "how do you reconcile the command of the Golden rule with the issue of gay marriage." Dr. Albert Mohler spoke about Proposition 8 on November 10 on his radio show as well, with a slightly different take and interpretation on the issue. As Christians what do we think about gay marriage. Is it just a matter of "love"? Are we unloving for holding to our convictions? Are we horrible for believing that when God speaks to a matter such as this that we should obey what he says? The golden rule doesn't supersede the commands and will of God on this issue.
Contrary to Keith's opinion, the only loving thing that we can do is to point people to scripture, to point them to their sin, to direct them to Jesus and to tell them about His love that moved him to lay down his life for His friends. Keith, I am standing on love...a love for the souls of the lost...a love for the word of my God, a love for Jesus...that is where I am standing...what about you?
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Last night I went to church like usual. Last night I went to teach at a youth event...nothing unusual there. When I got to the fellowship hall and saw all the games, food, supplies and t-shirts; I stood there and pondered and was brought to tears.
You see, everything was usual, except this was not my youth group...this was not my event. I planned 16 retreats during my tenure in New York, seven Amazing races, two RACSO nights (hahaha), two Bahama Trips, Keswick, Great Adventure, Splish Splash and more...and I have such fond memories of all of it. But that was my youth Group...this is not.
I am so glad that God has called me to be the pastor of Bethel Baptist Church and I look forward to being here for many years. But I miss those kids that grew up with me. I miss those teens who were my first and only youth group. I love teens and not just any teens...names like Bob, Nate, Danielle, Jon-O, Enrique, freekishly tall boy, Alaina and many others popped into my mind...
Memories are fun. The reminders are often exciting and can bring back a flood of emotions. But in this case they were sad...they were hard...they hurt...not because they were bad...but because they were so good and yet they seem so far away today. So Lisa, Tyler, Tricia, Nina, Kristen and the rest of you Long Islanders...keep pursuing the prize for which Christ has called you. Keep loving Jesus by loving His Church. Press on, don't give up...and know that someone in Missouri loves you all, prays for you often and looks forward to the reunion we will share in this age or the age to come.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Yesterday, on her way to church, our daughter (3) was telling my wife why it was not good that Barack Obama became president. She said, "he kills babies." My daughter was scared. My wife was alarmed at her candor. I was proud of the lack of spin from a child.
When we explained to our daughters what abortion was and why we were morally opposed to it, I could find no other way than to use such language, it is killing. When my wife and I were expecting our second daughter, genetic testing was required in NY state. We went in and found that we both carried a gene that would leave our daughter with a 1 in four chance of being born severely handicapped. The counselor suggested abortion. We, none the less, did not terminate the life of the baby in my wife's womb. Our daughter, other than being a little accident proned and a sinner deserving death, has nothing wrong with her.
So my daughter sees the sobering truth of what abortion is. I only wish that President Elect Obama could see that. For all the history that was made Tuesday, what is lost is that the first black president supports abortion and planned parenthood, an organization that was born out of the Eugenics movement whose sole purpose was to eliminate minorities, the handicapped, and specifically blacks. Of all the people who should hate abortion, planned parenthood and this culture of death is Barack Obama. If you hate racism (as you should), you also should hate the abortion movement.
Let us pray that he sees the truth...that there is a life in the womb...and taking a life (through abortion or KKK lynching) is morally wrong. May God change the heart of Obama to love King Jesus by loving the most vulnerable.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Our church is hosting a polling place today. As I was bothered as I drove in and saw signs of campaigns all over our yard. Apparently, even though as a church we can not endorse a candidate under the guise of separation of church and state, it is ok for our property to do so, against our wishes. As I saw the signs and pictures as I came in I was reminded that there is a picture I would love for people to see as they enter a polling place and it is not one of the candidates pictures or signs...it is this one....
when I see this, I remember how Jesus would vote, what Jesus would do...It is exactly what Joseph did...choose life...