Remember What We Are Called To

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The Supreme Court announced their decision regarding state issued bans on same-sex marriage on Friday morning. Social media came alive with reaction; supporters changed their profile image to the rainbow flag and used the hashtag #lovewins, some angry Christians expressed despair in the collapse of America and quoted verses from Leviticus. But what caught my attention were the Christians that calmly reminded us we live in and also apart from the culture we are immersed in.

I pastor a small SBC church in the deep South. Below is my Sunday morning sermon, directed to my own congregation with all Christians everywhere in mind. Whatever your initial reaction was to Friday’s news, please prayerfully consider this position: Continue reading

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There Is No Third Way -Al Mohler

two choice I wrote last Friday that in the changing world we live in ideas about love and hate are being distorted. While I don’t preach about hell in an attempt to scare people saved, never talking about it at all is not the way to show love. If I knew my neighbor were in danger and did nothing, that would be the opposite of love. The Gospel message is that while many people are bound for hell that is not God’s desire; his Son died under condemnation so that no other person need be condemned. Telling others that God desires for relationship and fellowship to be restored is what we as Christians are called to, but ignoring that death, judgement and hell are the consequences of sin is not an option. Continue reading

The State of Marriage to be a Federal Issue

wedding rings“The Obama administration abandoned its states’ rights position on marriage Thursday (Feb. 28) by asking the Supreme Court to overturn California’s Proposition 8, and in the process it laid the legal groundwork for legalizing gay marriage nationwide.” -Baptist Press, March 1, 2013

Last year president Obama announced his support of gay marriage and made it an issue in the campaign, but at that time indicated the legal specifics of marriage should remain the business of each state. Last year he said  “I think it is a mistake to try to make what has traditionally been a state issue into a national issue.”  Now in his second term he can say and act on what he really thinks.  The Justice Department is asking the Court to use a form of review known as “heightened scrutiny” which is much more likely to result in Prop 8 being struck down than “rational basis.”  Reviewing California’s Proposition 8 under heightened scrutiny could be a big step in legalizing gay marriage nationwide.

Read the full article here.  

Louis Giglio Will NOT Lead Inaugural Prayer

GiglioLouis Giglio is an Atlanta Area pastor that recently became well known for organizing Passion 2013.  Some 60,000 college students met at the Georgia Dome to rally against sex-trafficking and slavery.  Some of my own friends were there and posted regularly on Facebook, while others were able to view live streams.  Giglio, possibly riding the success of Passion, was invited to lead prayer at President Obama’s inauguration on January 21st.

After further investigation, gay and lesbian groups found a sermon from the 1990’s in which Giglio preached the sinfulness of same-sex relationships. The inaugural committee has now released this statement: “We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this inaugural…”

In other words, Pastor Giglio does not support gay marriage and the inaugural committee will look for a “Christian” that does to pray for the president.  Read the full story here.

 

 

Supreme Court Will Hear Same Sex Marriages Cases

wedding ringsThe U.S. Supreme Court will hear cases concerning California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.  Prop 8 was passed by California voters defining traditional marriage after the state’s Supreme Court upheld gay marriage rights.  The Defense of Marriage Act, passed by Congress in 1996, means that the federal government does not have to recognize gay marriages performed in the states in which they are legal.

The cases will be heard in March, on the 26th and 27th respectively.  The High Court’s decision(s) could lead to the legalization of gay marriage nationwide or the affirmation of current laws.  Gay marriage is currently legal in nine states, while 30 states have constitutional amendments defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

READ MORE HERE. 

The Read and Share File

Image is unrelated, but is something I read this week.

Culture war, church culture, shallow Christianity, need for the Gospel – they’re all featured in this post on Internet Monk.

Praying in Jesus’ Name – John Piper offers four “filters” for how to do it right.  Here is a 3 minute clip; you can watch, listen to, or download the full sermon at this link.

This article at 9Marks is interesting, but will perhaps apply to only a very few readers.  Marcus Glover writes a list of ways aspiring pastors can serve their wives now.  Huh?  Once you become a church pastor, there are some things you will miss.  Make sure to engage in those now.

Obama has come out in support of gay marriage.  He supported gay marriage as a state senator, but changed his position to run for U.S. Senate.  So he is now changing back to his original position, in support of gay marriage.  So: why does Obama evolve but Romney flip-flops?  Both men, like many politicians, have changed their views over their political careers.

I recently added Steve Brown etc. to the blogroll, and am anxious to link something.  Here is the latest post, an update to what’s known as the watchmaker argument.  Dr. Rana, author of the post, has a PhD in biochemistry and is the vice president of research and apologetics at Reason to Believe.  The post includes links to that site, as well as Dr. Rana’s recent appearance on Steve Brown’s radio show.

Tall Skinny Kiwi recently insisted he and his family are not living in a commune.  Watch this local news report about Justin Duckworth (not your ordinary bishop) and decide for yourself.

Faith by Hearing is an aggregator of audio resources, including audio books, podcasts and sermons.  Kind of like a blog, but also featuring an extensive and growing collection of audio material.  The archives are divided by topic, speaker, faith tradition and other classifications.  Faith by Hearing is a treasure trove that simply must be explored to fully appreciate.

Marriage Equality in the United States

The Christian blogosphere is lit up with Obama’s public support for gay marriage rights in the United States.  My post yesterday was a knee-jerk reaction to hearing the news.  That post is about the biblical definition of marriage, that goes off on a tangent of America not being a “Christian nation.”  This post is more about the news: Obama supports gay marriage rights, some demographics, and speculation about this election year.

Obama coming out in support of what he calls marriage equality comes just a few days after Biden made similar remarks on NBC’s Meet the Press.  Others in his administration were making similar statements and there is speculation that Obama was somewhat pressured into taking a similar stance.  Even if that’s how he already felt personally, this is the strongest statement he has ever made regarding gay and lesbian rights.  We now have an American president that public supports gay and lesbian marriage. Continue reading