Bought by the Blood

June 24, 2011

What I Will Tell My Kids About Gay Marriage

Here I Stand

The problem with the way that many conservatives, including evangelicals, defend marriage is that they’ve dumbed it down to a point where when it is stood up against society’s current redefining of marriage there is hardly any recognizable difference.  Marriage, as God designed it is to be a picture of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-32). In a secular society, that is not always the case especially since everyone does not have the same worldview. Marriage, in America is quickly deteriorating from what God intended, with many people living together and having sex outside of marriage, the growing popularity of no-fault divorce and how pornography and infidelity run rampant.

In light of all of this, is it correct to say “anything goes”? Because of the separation of church and state should we just take the mindset that marriage is a state institution and it is up to individual states to decide? My fear is that if I do that, then I won’t be salt and light, which is why it is important to know what I believe and why.

The Bible is the solid ground on which I stand and form my convictions, all else is sinking sand. These convictions may make me sound judgemental and condemning, but my hope is that any judgement or condemnation someone sees me passing is the same judgement and condemnation that I deserve, but because of Christ free grace and rich mercy that all who seek to be crucified with Christ and find their life in Him may be free from any judgement or condemnation.

What’s Love Got To Do With It

Many people believe that marriage should be for two people who love each other and it doesn’t matter their gender.  I am not going to argue with that statement, because it is a great proposition.  Instead, ponder this, what does it matter if a person gains marriage, but loses their soul (Mark 8:36).  If we think that a couple, straight or homosexual, having the right to marry will complete them then we have set the bar far too low.  To quote C.S. Lewis “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”  If someone doesn’t have the opportunity to marry the person they love, then they may be momentarily missing out on something.  Ultimately, marriage is nothing compared to knowing Christ. “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8).” By promoting any marriage not built on Christ, whether straight or homosexual, it does not matter how much love there is, there will be no eternal value in it.

The Culture Wars

Obviously, I would not stop a non-Christian couple from marrying.  I can imagine your reaction being that if a homosexual is born that way, then it is unfair that I would support laws that would stop them from marrying someone they loved.  In all honesty, I have trouble supporting laws that outlaw same-sex marriage because legislation is not the answer.  The law has no power to bring a person to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and without a relationship with Him how can I expect them to deny their desires?  I have friends that are homosexual and in same-sex relationships and marriages.  I have never told them that what they are doing is wrong.  Also, I have never outright supported their choice.

The media, our society and the political machine wants us to believe that a culture war is going on right now.  I believe that Jesus would scoff at the idea of a culture war.  I am not at war with any homosexuals who choose that lifestyle.  They do not need me telling them that they need to change.  They need to see the love of Jesus and that His grace is greater then all their sin.  If Jesus was walking the earth right now, it would probably be the homosexual couples and not the conservatives that He would spend His time with.

Jesus does not see people as straight or homosexual, but he sees all people as sinners who need a Savior.  Rules and laws will point out that we are sinners.  Rules and laws can go no further then bringing about shame and I fail as an ambassador of Christ if all I do is point to people’s sin without pointing to the Savior.  No one who comes to Jesus has to make a drastic life change before they come and as His representative I do not have to force people to change instantly when they come to Jesus.  The result of coming to Jesus is crucifying the flesh and no longer walking according to its passions and desires, but that always comes after faith and never as a condition (Galatians 5:24-25).  Straight people, homosexuals, all are free to come to Jesus and and find the satisfaction their soul has been longing for.

Does It Really Get Better

Many of you reading this, are probably familiar with the “It Gets Better” campaign.  Part of me wholeheartedly agrees with that campaign, with the ideal that people will grow up and mature so that others don’t have to fear being bullied, have the ability to visit a loved one in the hospital and not be ostracized by family and friends for being who they are.  Even if that day comes, things may temporarily be better, but ultimately there will be a day where we will all have to stand before God and give an account.  Hell is a real place, it is a place of eternal destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:9), a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30), and torment (Luke 16:23).  Any human rights that homosexuals gain to make this life better will not compensate for God’s holy wrath that He will pour out on sinners in the life to come.

It isn’t just homosexuals worthy of burning of eternally, but it is everyone. No one does good, no one chooses God (Romans 3). Every single person is born with a heart that is sinful and no one deserves to go to Heaven, except for Jesus who lived a perfect and righteous life and died on the cross to atone for the sins of gays, straights, liars, murderers, thieves, gossips, etc. Yes, that is condescending and judgmental, but it is filled with hope. It is gloriously beautiful because it means that salvation is not up to us and that we don’t go to Heaven because we do good things or live a “right lifestyle” but it is only because of the merits another.

Former homosexual and current evangelist Sy Rogers once said, “People doesn’t go to hell because they’re gay; they go because they’re separated from God.  Heterosexuals don’t automatically go to heaven; they go to hell too.  The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality; it’s devotion to God and a holy lifestyle.”

In the book, “An Arrow Pointing Towards Heaven,” about the life of Rich Mullins, Rich tells the following story and I believe it truly gets to the heart of the matter.

I remember one time Beaker and I were hiking on the Appalachian Trail, and he met some friends of his, so I walked into town.  It was about a five-mile walk from the campsite down the trail…,down into town.  And when I got there I went into a restaurant and I was having a steak, and this guy started talking to me and we had this great conversation.  We were having a good time, and he said, “Hey look, it’s dark and it’s five miles up to your campground. Why I don’t I drive you up there?”
And I said, “Hey, Great!”
And so we got in his car, and just as we pulled out from under the last light in that town, the guy said, “You know what, I should probably tell you that I am gay.”
And I said, “Oh, I should probably tell you that I am a Christian.”
And he said, “Well, if you want out of the car…”
And I said, “Why?”
And he said, “Well, I’m gay and you’re Christian.”
I said, “It’s still five miles and it’s still dark.”
Then he said, “I thought Christians hated gays.”
I said, “That’s funny, I thought Christians were supposed to love. I thought that was our first command.”
He said, “Well, I thought God hated gays.”
And I said, “That’s really funny, because I thought God was love.”
And then he asked me the big one. He said, “Do you think I will go to hell for being a gay?”
Well, I’m a good Hoosier, and I puckered up to say, “Yes, of course you’ll go to hell for being gay.” I got ready to say that, but when I opened up my mouth it came out, “No, of course you won’t go to hell for being gay.” And I thought to myself, Oh my God, I’ve only been in New Hampshire for one week and I’ve already turned into a liberal! What am I going to tell this guy now?
Then I said to him, “No, you won’t go to hell for being gay, any more than I would go to hell for being a liar.  Nobody goes to hell because of what they do.  We go to hell because we reject the grace that God so longs to give to us, regardless of what we do.”

What Will I Say

I titled this post, “What I Will Tell My Kids About Gay Marriage.”  Some time in the future my children will ask me about gay marriage and human rights.  I can’t tell you today what I will say, most likely I won’t repeat all 1,800+ words to them that you just read (if you did read all of this, thank you and I’d love your thoughts). I know that it will be a message of grace because that is what everyone deserves even when we don’t see eye to eye.  It will be a message of acceptance because homosexuals are not second class citizens.  It will be a message of love because “we love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19).” It will be the message of the cross because homosexuals need the cross just as much as I do.

[9] Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, [10] nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. [11] And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

June 16, 2011

Moms Are Missionaries

I usually like to think of my audience as primarily dads, but this quote for the moms is to great to pass up

At the very heart of the gospel is sacrifice, and there is perhaps no occupation in the world so intrinsically sacrificial as motherhood. Motherhood is a wonderful opportunity to live the gospel. Jim Elliot famously said, “He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Motherhood provides you with an opportunity to lay down the things that you cannot keep on behalf of the people that you cannot lose. They are eternal souls, they are your children, they are your mission field.

You can read the rest at the Desiring God blog here

June 4, 2011

Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick – A Review

With some parenting books, it is hard to read them cover to cover.  Often times when reading a parenting book I’ll go to the table of contents and flip to the section that covers the age range of my child.  “Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids With The Love of Jesus” by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson is different, you will not only read it cover to cover, but also find yourself reading it again and again.  This book will help you to see that your child’s biggest problem isn’t their sinful action, but their sinful hearts.  When reading this book you will see that your parenting can never be good enough, but only God’s grace can make your parenting sufficient to transform your child.

This book is written without being divided into practical application for the age range of children.  The reason for this is because when dealing with toddlers, teenagers and even adults there is no difference with the root of issues that come up.  Kids, just like adults, don’t need more rules to make them good and bring them closer to God.  “Give Them Grace” does not ignore the need for rules, training and discipline but it gives the crucial reminder that all of that is meant to lead to kids to Jesus.  “We are commanded to give them the law so that they will be crushed by it and see their need for a Savior. The law won’t make them good. It will make them despair of ever being good enough and in that way it will make them open to the love, sacrifice and welcome of their Savior, Jesus Christ.”

It isn’t just kids who need Jesus, but also parents.  The task of parenting is impossible without God’s grace.  Our best effort at parenting might produce “good kids” but it won’t change their hearts.  “Raising good kids is utterly impossible unless they are drawn by the Holy Spirit to put their faith in the goodness of another. You cannot raise good kids, because you’re not a good parent. There is only one good Parent, and he had one good Son. Together, this Father and Son accomplished everything that needed to be done to rescue us and our children from certain destruction.” One of the things I appreciated about this book is the humility of the authors.  They don’t claim to have it down or be good parents.  They are in the same boat as all of us and write with humility as they proclaim their own need for grace.

I wish Crossway would allow me to give out one free chapter of this book for you to read because by just reading one chapter I know you’d be convinced to buy the whole book.  Even if Crossway would allow me to give away one free chapter to convince readers to buy the book, it would be hard for me to pick just one that I think people should read because they are all so good.  If you want to apply the gospel to parenting and have your parenting be saturated in the gospel then I could not encourage you enough to buy this book.

A quick note to the men: this is the first Elyse Fitzpatrick book I have ever read.  My wife has read me selections of “Because He Loves Me” and I thought that book sounds good, but the cover is to feminine for me, maybe I’ll read it when an edition comes out with a camouflage cover.  Next my wife shared portions of “Comforts From The Cross,” the cover was less girly, but I feared losing man points because this wasn’t “Strength From The Cross.”  Please don’t make the mistake that Elyse Fitzpatrick only writes for a female audience.  This book isn’t just for mom’s, but also for dad’s.

October 26, 2010

The High Stakes Of Parenting

I have finally started to read “Gospel Powered Parenting” and a lot of my recent tweets are from that book. Here is an excellent quote from chapter two.

“Christians parent with one eye on eternity. Their children will live forever. This is a staggering thought. We cannot imagine, “forever.” Nevertheless, the destiny of our children either will be love that surpasses knowledge, joy inexpressible and full of glory, coupled with peace that passes understanding, or it will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. There is no middle ground. Therefore, the Christian does not parent for this life only. The believing parent labors to prepare each child for the day of judgment. The stakes are inexpressibly high.” William Farley

May 7, 2010

To All The Moms and Minivan Owners Out There

Filed under: parenting,Uncategorized,Video — cubsfan1980 @ 8:33 am
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March 23, 2010

More Impressive Then Any Athletic Feat

Filed under: Family,parenting — cubsfan1980 @ 2:06 pm

Wilt’s 100 point game…

Brett Farve’s 253 consecutive starts…

Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hit steak…

All of these accomplishments are nothing compared to “The Streak” held by Jim and Kristen Brozina.  You can read about it here:  Generation B – Father and Daughter Bond by Years of Reading – NYTimes.com.

Discipline is not the same as Punishment

Filed under: Family,parenting — cubsfan1980 @ 1:59 pm
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As a parent, it does feel like that in one form or another, you have to be engaged in the discipline of your kids in one form or another. Sometimes that discipline is reactionary. They make a bad choice, and you bring the discipline. Sometimes it’s just teaching, disciplining them about how to live in the world. But discipline seems like a very important part of parenting to me. If you need proof, I bet you could ask any childcare worker at your church or the YMCA or the local daycare what is one thing a parent could do to make their job easier, and you’d probably get back, “Play a more active role in disciplining your kids.”

Read the rest at: 3 Reasons Why Discipline is Harder Than Punishment « Forward Progress.

February 19, 2010

Teaching A Toddler Scripture Memory

Filed under: communion with God,Family,John Piper,parenting — cubsfan1980 @ 10:02 am
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Traffic in the DC area is still pretty bad due to Snowpocalypse.  While driving in today I decided to listen to an old Piper sermon.  In the message I listened to Piper was talking about teaching his two month old daughter scripture memorization.  Prior to listening to this I had not thought about when to teach Miya Scripture verses, but Piper makes a good point about the sooner the better.

Talitha is now two. She is beginning to learn Bible verses by heart. She is also learning the forms of prayer. Why? Why go to the trouble of taking time and effort to repeat over and over the Bible to her? Very simple – when she is a teenager I want her to be godly and pure and holy and loving and humble and kind and submissive and wise. And the Bible says, as plain as day, this comes by treasuring up the Word of God in your heart. “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against you.”

Jesus put it like this in his great prayer for us in John 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” “Sanctify” is a Biblical word for making a person holy or godly or loving or pure or virtuous or spiritually wise. And these things I want for myself and for my children and for you. So what then should we do this year? If we are sanctified by the truth, and the Word of God is truth, what should we do?

If a doctor says, “You’re very sick and may die of your sickness, but if you will take this medicine, you will get well and live,” and you neglect to take the medicine – too busy, the pills are big and hard to swallow, just forgetful – you are going to stay sick and you may die. That’s the way it is with sin and spiritual immaturity. If you neglect what God tells you will sanctify you and make you mature and strong and holy, then you will not be mature and strong and holy. Reading, and meditating on and memorizing and cherishing the Word of God is God’s appointed way of overcoming sin and becoming a strong, godly, mature, loving, wise person.

via Open My Eyes That I May See :: Desiring God Christian Resource Library.

February 7, 2010

She Calls Me Daddy

Filed under: Family,Focus on The Family,parenting — cubsfan1980 @ 5:54 pm
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If you have half an hour, I’d highly recommend you listen to this Focus on the Family broadcast on raising daughters.  Follow the link here to listen to it: She Calls Me Daddy.

February 4, 2010

Principle For Sparing The Rod

Filed under: Discipline,Martin Luther,parenting — cubsfan1980 @ 9:08 am
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Spare the rod and spoil the child—that is true. But beside the rod keep an apple to give him when he has done well.

This quote by Martin Luther was cited in William Barclay’s The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians

via Parenting Advice from Martin Luther – Aaron Sauer.

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