No Apologizing

Christian Apologetic, and Social Commentary in a world gone mad

Tag Archives: marriage

Baptist Church in Mississippi…


Folks, this comes right out of the…”what were they thinking” file.  A church in Jackson, Mississippi told a couple that they could not marry in their church because…hold your breath folks….they were black.  I wish I could say that I was kidding.  I wish that this was some sarcastic play on modern times and politics, but alas…it is not.  This is a true story.  Here is a quick rundown of the story.

Charles Wilson and Te’Andrea were set to be married in the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs.  Shortly after the rehearsal, Rev. Stan Weatherford moved the wedding to another sanctuary.  The reason that it was moved is that a small group within the church did not want the couple to marry there because of their race.

According to the Reverend the venue was changed to avoid conflict within the church.  Additionally, Rev. Weatherford indicated to the Wilson’s that the congregation would fire him if he married them at his church.  The Pastor did not confirm or deny this accusation.

My Pastor warns of not jumping to conclusions and to be weary where only one side of the story is told.  However there are 4 sides to this story.

Side 1 – The Wilsons – They were scheduled to be wedded in the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs.  They were asked to change venues one or two days prior to the wedding by the Reverend of the Church.

Side 2 – Reverend Stan Weatherford – Asked the Wilsons to change venues of the wedding.  He does not say the reason for the change. However, he does state that he was trying to maintain the peace in the church and to avoid conflict with the church.

Side 3 – the Elect few – These are the people that asked or told the Reverend to change the venue.

Side 4 – The Congregation – These are the people who found out that something happened through the news.

The odd thing here is that there is no denial from the Church that race played a role in the change of venue.  Instead we get a hindsight is 20/20 statement from the Reverend.

We also have the Mississippi Baptist Convention praying for the church, and allowing the church to work through difficulties and disagreements of the church while making a statement that they reject racial discrimination.

I have no idea what really happened, but where there is smoke, there is fire, and gang there is a lot of smoke here.  Now, we have national headlines about the Southern Baptist Convention being racists.

Baptists have a severe perception battle they are fighting on numerous fronts.  I can attest to this first hand that people cringe when they hear the word Baptist.  MANY will choose not to go to a great church simply because of the word BAPTIST!  Which is a shame.    I would be willing to bet that 90%-95% of the Baptist churches are God fearing bible believing churches.  Every belief system has it’s extreme weirdo’s, Christianity is no exception.

The Church leadership seems to have forgotten that they are representative of Christ on earth!  As a result, their actions directly reflect on Christ.  Instead of putting Christ first they put their own personal hatred and ignorance ahead of the word of God.  There is not one thing that is biblical about racism.

What is also pitiful here is that (assuming this is what happened) a Reverend WILLINGLY did something grossly wrong to protect his job and keep the peace.  Rather than honoring the word of God he feared the condemnation of man.

All I can do is shake my head at this non-sense and pray that there is some side of this that is missing.  That all of this is somehow wrong.  However…I don’t think that will be the case.

Facebook modifies their mission statement


In case you missed it Facebook recently changed their mission statement to the following:

  

Facebook’s true mission…as long as you agree with them.

What makes me say this?

I have been paying attention to the whole Chik-Fil-A thing that is taking place.  If you need a quick rundown on this FOLLOW THIS LINK.

There is now another story developing.  This one involves the censorship of a Facebook page that was supporting Chick-fil-A  by having an eat in on August 1.  Mike Huckabee is claiming that Facebook intentionally took down the page for 12 hours.  (Story is here)

The point of the Facebook page was to support Chick-fil-A and its stance on Christian values.  There is little doubt that Chick-fil-A is taking a beating regarding the gay marriage debate.  Huckabee wanted to affirm a business willing to take that stand.  Facebook apparently attempted to circumvent this by taking down the page.  Huckabee called them on the carpet.

For some this may sound like a conspiracy theory only and that the page going down was just coincidence.  I for one believe this to be intentional.  Let me tell you why:  Facebook pages simply just don’t go missing for any periods of time… for no reason.  When was the last time you can EVER recall any of the pages you have ever visited on Facebook just….disappearing?  This would have to involve a change in the code.  Only two people have that access, a Facebook developer and a hacker and hacking has not been reported at Facebook.

If this makes you feel uncomfortable with Facebook because of what it did…it should.  Not only is this type of move censorship, but it is also Facebook imposing it’s values and beliefs on you by restricting your access to this site.

I would like to encourage all of you to take part in the Chick-fil-A appreciation day on August 1.  Show your support for a truly Christian organization.  www.Isupportchickfila.com

A tale of two Christians


There are perhaps hundreds of examples (or even thousands or even hundreds of thousands) of when two Christians come to a different conclusion on the same topic.  Some of these differences could be as simple as disagreeing on who wrote the book of Hebrews, or something as complicated as the creation account in Genesis.  Having been in the apologetics game for a little over two years, I have had my share of disagreements with Christians on some theological matters.

Over the last two months we have had the ability to literally watch this unfold on national TV.  It was so subtle, that I doubt many of you tied these two events together to compare and contrast these two Christians.

What am I talking about?

About two weeks ago, President Obama, declared to the world that, based on his understanding of his faith, he believes homosexuals should be allowed to get married Here’s exactly what he said:

And that is that, in the end the values that I care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people and, I, you know, we are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others.

But, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated. And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids and that’s what motivates me as president and I figure the most consistent I can be in being true to those precepts, the better I’ll be as a as a dad and a husband and hopefully the better I’ll be as president.

Compare and contrast this to Kirk Cameron, who stated the following when asked about same-sex marriage:

I believe that marriage was defined by God a long time ago. Marriage is almost as old as dirt and it was defined in the garden between Adam and Eve: one man one woman for life – ah till death do you part. So, I would never attempt to redefine marriage and I don’t think that anyone else should either. So do I support the idea of gay marriage? No I don’t.

Could there be a sharper contrast between two people when it comes to applying their faith?

One Christian is saying that same-sex marriage is okay because the Golden Rule says to treat others the way you would want to be treated, while the other affirms that marriage is defined by God, and is between one man and one woman.

These are mutually exclusive ideas, so one has to be right and the other wrong.  How are we to gauge which one is correct?  Since both claim to be Christians and because the Christian faith is rooted in the Bible we should look to what the it has to say about the topic, right?  Additionally, we have to assume that both hold the Bible to have some sort of authority, since both quoted it.

According to scripture (Specifically Acts 17:11) we should be like the Bereans and test everything that is taught against scripture.   Based on that, we have 3 specific points that we must review in order to come to an educated conclusion about these two different viewpoints: 1. What does the Bible say about homosexuality; 2. How does the Bible define marriage?, 3.  What does the Golden Rule mean?

So what does the Bible say about Homosexuality?  How does it describe God’s thoughts on it?

Lev. 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”

Lev. 20:13, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act”

1 Cor. 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Rom. 1:26-28, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”

So here we have two examples, two from the Old Testament and two from the New Testament.  All provide a clear example of what God thinks about homosexuality.  Please understand that I am not passing judgment on those that are homosexual.  This is God’s Word.  God’s Word is pretty clear.  Homosexuality is a sin, an abomination, and a detestable act.  There doesn’t appear to be any gray in this area.

How does the Bible define marriage?

There are several (and when I say several I mean numerous) Bible verses that speak directly to marriage.  A quick sampling includes Genesis 2:22 – 24, Proverbs 5:18-19, Proverbs 12:4, Matthew 19:4-6, 1 Corinthians 7:1-16, Ephesians 5:22-23, and Colossians 3:18-19.

The one that really sticks out is Hebrews 13:4 where the author writes Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”

According to the author marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure.  God will judge those that do not keep it pure.  This includes those that are adulterers and the sexually immoral.  Adulterer is a fairly well defined and specific term.  Sexually immoral however, appears to be more general or a more encompassing phrase.  What does it refer to?  In the New Testament it typically refers to any sexual sin.  This would include homosexuality.  Here the Bible appears to be very clear that all must honor marriage (clearly defined as man and woman throughout the Bible) and to keep the marriage bed pure (excluding all sexual sin including homosexuality).

What about the Golden Rule?

This verse can be found in Matthew 7:12.  A basic summation of the Golden Rule is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  This is exactly as the President stated.  But what does it mean?  I found a great explanation of this in a commentary written by Matthew Henry.  From the golden rule we can derive 3 things: 1. We must do that to our neighbor which we ourselves acknowledge to be fit and reasonable; 2. We must put other people upon the level with ourselves; 3. We must, in our dealings with others, suppose ourselves in the same particular case and circumstances with those we have to do with and deal accordingly.

So what does all of this mean?

As Christians we are called to obey the word of God.  The Bible is considered the word of God thus we are called to obey it in its entirety.  This means that a Christian’s response to gay marriage must encompass all of the above, and not just one component.

It is clear from the scripture above that God considers homosexuality a sin.  It is also clear that marriage was designed by God to be a covenant relationship between a man and a woman for a lifetime.  We are also called to treat others the same way that we would want to be treated.  However, the way that Obama uses the Golden Rule redefines it in a way that basically says “I wouldn’t want someone else to tell me not to get married so I can’t tell someone else that they cannot get married”.  The use of the Golden Rule in this manner opens a Pandora’s box.  One could simply replace the “get married” with anything they like and the Golden Rule would apply (I wouldn’t want someone to tell me not to sell drugs to kids, so I don’t think drug trafficking should be illegal). I’m sure that President is a bright guy, but this line of “logic” is obviously absurd.

Where the Golden Rule does apply is in how we deal with those who are homosexual and support gay marriage.  We are to treat them with the same respect that we would want to be treated.  We would share a kind word with them in the same manner that we would like to have others share with us.  We would help them when they need help, be there for them when they need it…the list goes on.  Part of this includes loving them enough to tell them when they are doing something wrong.  This would be similar to a loving parent telling their child that what they are doing is wrong and they will get hurt if they continue to do it.

You see, it takes no love at all to condemn someone through silence or endorsement of something that is not good for them.  In the same way that silence can kill someone who is addicted to drugs, an open endorsement of something that is clearly wrong and sinful can be emotionally, physically and spiritually destructive.  That takes absolute love and the absolute application of the Golden Rule to tell someone that their choices are putting them in danger (see the Omega Study for empirical evidence as to why we are calling homosexuality and same-sex marriage “dangerous” – and that’s even ignoring the spiritual aspects of the issue).  The application of the Golden Rule here:  I would want/expect my friends and loved ones to tell me when I am doing something wrong, thus I would tell my friends and loved ones when they are doing something wrong.  The key here is to do it in a way that is loving and caring.  In this context a Christian who says to a homosexual, “I love you and I want what’s best for you… The lifestyle you have chosen is patently dangerous and because what you are doing goes directly against the Word of God, it is a sin…” demonstrates more love for that individual than the person who says “Do whatever makes you feel good…it’s all okay.”  The ability to stand in front of someone and state the truth is pure love and is the ultimate application of the Golden Rule.

We are not saying definitively that President Obama has rejected the Christian faith in its entirety – Whether the President is an evangelical Christian is a discussion for another time.  Specifically, in this post, we are simply pointing out that the logic behind his use of scripture as justification for affirming same-sex marriage is ignorant and misguidedly faulty at best and dangerously deceitful and manipulative at worst.

Wives….SUBMIT to your husbands!


So if you have been keeping track of the comments under my “That’s it…I QUIT!” post, you would have noticed that a commenter has some questions regarding the submission of the woman to the man in the Bible.  The contention of the commenter (among many others) is that the Bible teaches subjugation of the woman to the man, and requires her to be submissive, in an unequal setting.  Rather than trying to re-create the wheel I am going to lean on a sermon given by John Piper specifically addressing Ephesians 5.  This is a very good sermon that gets right to the heart of gender equality or the balance of relationships (as I like to call it).   Below are some snippets of the sermon.

“So marriage is like a metaphor or an image or a picture or parable that stands for something more than a man and a woman becoming one flesh. It stands for the relationship between Christ and the church. That’s the deepest meaning of marriage. It’s meant to be a living drama of how Christ and the church relate to each other.”

 

“Notice how verses 28–30 describe the parallel between Christ and the church being one body and the husband and wife being one flesh. “Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it.” In other words, the one-flesh union between man and wife means that in a sense they are now one body so that the care a husband has for his wife he has for himself. They are one. What he does to her he does to himself. Then he compares this to Christ’s care for the church. Picking up near the end of verse 29, he says the husband nourishes and cherishes his own flesh, ” . . . as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.” In other words, just as the husband is one flesh with his wife, so the church is one body with Christ. When the husband cherishes and nourishes his wife, he cherishes and nourishes himself; and when Christ cherishes and nourishes the church, he cherishes and nourishes himself.”

“Think about this for a moment in relation to what we have seen so far in this series. I tried to show from Genesis 1–3 that the when sin entered the world, it ruined the harmony of marriage NOT because it brought headship and submission into existence, but because it twisted man’s humble, loving headship into hostile domination in some men and lazy indifference in others. And it twisted woman’s intelligent, willing submission into manipulative obsequiousness in some women and brazen insubordination in others. Sin didn’t create headship and submission; it ruined them and distorted them and made them ugly and destructive.”

“Therefore, headship is not a right to command and control. It’s a responsibility to love like Christ: to lay down your life for your wife in servant leadership. And submission is not slavish or coerced or cowering. That’s not the way Christ wants the church to respond to his leadership: he wants it to be free and willing and glad and refining and strengthening.”

“In other words what this passage of Scripture does is two things: it guards against the abuses of headship by telling husbands to love like Jesus; and it guards against the debasing of submission by telling wives to respond the way the church does to Christ.”

“Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.

Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.”

“Submission does not mean putting the husband in the place of Christ. Verse 21 says you submit out of reverence for Christ. Submission does not mean that the husband’s word is absolute. Only Christ’s word is absolute. No wife should follow a husband into sin. You can’t do that in reverence to Christ. Submission does not mean surrendering thought. It does not mean no input on decisions or no influence on her husband. It does not come from ignorance or incompetence. It comes from what is fitting and appropriate (Colossians 3:18) in God’s created order.”

“The call in verse 25 for husbands to “love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her” revolutionizes the way he leads. This is where we ended last week in Luke 22:26 where Jesus says, “Let the leader become as one who serves.” In other words, husbands, don’t stop leading, but turn all your leading into serving. The responsibility of leadership is given not to puff yourself up, but to build your family up.”

This really is an awesome sermon, and has proven to be helpful to me as I continue to grow in Christ, and learn to be a true servant leader for my wife.

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