Two Sermons and an Editorial

Screenshot 2016-02-11 at 9.39.22 AMFor those of you looking at the website, you know that lots of stuff hangs out in the sidebars. Some of that content is updated daily. I don’t post as often to the blog as I used to because much of what I write is on my church website. The Unity Baptist RSS feed shows links to recent posts at the top of the left-hand sidebar. You see those links if you visit The Master’s Table. I also realize many followers subscribe using feed readers or through email. Those folks will never see any content that is not posted.

So this is kind of like a Read & Share File for my own stuff. These links are to the two most recent Sunday sermons and a newspaper editorial from about a week and a half ago. If you have read them already or follow both blogs, great. If not, just FYI.

The Heart of Man, Feb. 7th sermon 

The Heart of God, Feb. 14th sermon

God’s Great Love, newspaper article, Feb. 6th 

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.  

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.


The Intersection of Gay Marriage and Tennis

I had never heard of Margaret Court until I read this story out of Australia.  Apparently the Australian Open is played at the Margaret Court Arena.  She is a professional tennis champion, holding 62 Grand Slam titles.  Court is also a pastor with an uncompromising view on gay marriage.  Because of her celebrity status in the world of tennis, her views on marriage and family have attracted what she feels is unwarranted criticism.  There could be protests at the Australian Open next week, and some are calling for the arena to be renamed.

Read the full story here, via Utterance.  Thank you Peter Hallett for the coverage.

The real shame would be if Court is denied the recognition she deserves from the professional world of tennis because of her convictions in her role as church pastor.  Her views on marriage are based on scriptural precepts and have not changed.  Only recently, however, have they become a thing of public scrutiny.  The same protesters waving rainbow flags and claiming people should be accepted the way they are seem to be refusing to accept Margaret Court for the way she is.  If her name is removed from the arena because of her views on marriage, which differs from some people, that almost smacks of prejudice.

Instead of a Mother’s Day Sermon…

Last year I read a rant from a woman that refused to listen to one more preacher read Proverbs 31 and tell her how to be a godly woman.  Right or wrong, she made a couple of good points.  1) She has a good teaching pastor that opened the Bible each week, delivered a solid scripture-based sermon and shared the Gospel.  Mother’s Day each year turns into a one hour Hallmark card.  2) There are those in the church who may have lost a parent, or a child, or perhaps are disappointed they cannot become parents.  Honoring mothers can be especially painful for those that have tried and failed.  And we personally know what that’s like. So, here is the sermon I preached on Mother’s Day, May 9, 2010.

God is relational.  He seeks a relationship with his people, who in a general sense are all his children.  Let’s begin with the relationship of marriage. Continue reading

Gay marriage in California

Are we really surprised?  I read online where someone called it a “Day of Shame” when the California Courts ruled a law unconstitutional that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.  I’m not sure California has any shame left. 

Remember the case a few years ago (I’m thinking ’02, maybe ’03) regarding the phrase “under God” in the Pledge?  The father in that case, offended his daughter had to say that in school, had first gone to court in Florida.  After losing there, he decided he had the best chances in California.  This guy moved his family across the country so he could be offended by the pledge in California, and sue there.  And he was right; a judge there sided with him, on the basis of First Ammendment rights, and separation of church and state.    The whole country knows California is way left, and I don’t mean geographically.

San Fransico has been a Mecca of gay and lesbians since the 1960’s.  “If you’re going to California, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair… You’re gonna’ meet some gentle people there.”  There is no single day in California more shameful than any other day. 

I’ve been hapily married for the past ten years.  My wife and I are unusual in the fact that we both grew up in happy, unbroken homes.  I believe in holy matrimony, as described by God in the Bible.  We live in a free country; if you want to have homosexual intercourse, you’re well within your rights to do so.  But don’t call it marriage.  That cheapens and degrades the marrital relationship I have with my wife.  Marriage is the first institution created by God.  Do what you wish with your gay lovers, but leave “marriage” to those of us who understand and appreciate it.