Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Responding to the SCOTUS Decision and a Quickly Changing Cultural Landscape

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, the church, and individual Christians, will face a variety of challenges. As I mentioned on Sunday in a message on Ephesians 5:22-33, we must be people of Christian conviction AND people of Christlike kindness. Not either/or; both/and.

As we seek to faithfully follow Jesus and speak the truth in love, we will need help to think and speak with clarity, wisdom, and grace. So, let me direct your attention to several helpful resources.

Russell Moore is the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission (of the Southern Baptist Convention). I can't recommend his work too highly. I'm so glad God has raised up this voice for the church in our day. You'll find his website full of good resources on all kinds of issues. I'd suggest you subscribe to his blog so you can have his posts delivered to your email box (scroll down near the bottom on the right hand side and enter your email under where it says, "subscribe by email").

Some of his recent posts on the topic have been excellent:
Why the church should neither cave nor panic about the decision on gay marriage
How should you talk to your children about same-sex marriage?
The sexual revolution's coming refugee crisis

Kevin DeYoung is a pastor and author who is also a great gift to our generation. I can highly recommend just about everything he writes. He's written a number of helpful books. Most recently he wrote What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality. As we, the church, need to ensure we have clear, biblically informed convictions on these issues, this book is a great place to start.

He's also posted some helpful thoughts of late:
But what does the Bible say?
40 questions for Christians now waving rainbow flags

The Desiring God blog is also a great source of encouragement and wisdom on lots of issues. Here are a few of their contributions to this topic of late:
Voddie Bauckham addresses the question, "Is Gay Now the New Black?"
John Piper wrote, "So-Called Same-Sex Marriage: Lamenting the New Calamity"  

There's a whole lot more, but that's probably more than most of you will check out. That said, we will be wrestling with this one for awhile, and we need to do so wisely and graciously. The links above have one thing in common. They represent the both/and of conviction and kindness. May our responses be characterized by the same Christlike combination.

Dads, Disciple Your Future Son-in-Law (And Any Other Would-Be Suitors Who Prove Not to Be)

Fast forward to the time when one of my daughters is old enough to go on a date (like, in her 30s...okay, MAYBE in her 20s). My plan has long been to greet that guy at the door (this may be difficult when she's away at college, but I need to make it happen so he knows I am EVERYWHERE). I will have my 12 gauge shotgun leaning against my waist, with a shell in one hand and a Sharpie in the other.

Let's call him Joe (I hope his name isn't Joe -- ugh, that got me thinking about what his name is going to be...I don't like any of the names that came to mind). I will show him aforementioned shell, with "JOE" written on it with aforementioned Sharpie. And then I will ask him, "Is that how you spell your name?" And then I will proceed to tell him what time to have her home and how I expect him to treat her while they are out.

Any of you father's out there are welcome to use this idea. You can even borrow my gun and my Sharpie -- as long as it's not a date night.

That being said, I recently ran across a blog post on the Desiring God blog. It's entitled, "Dads, Date Your Daughter's Boyfriend." I'd pick a different title, but other than that it is REALLY GOOD. If you are a dad of a daughter - whether she's 2 or 22 - you need to read it.

And one more recommendation: if your daughter is in middle school or high school, read this post with her and talk about it. I did with Hannah on a recent "daddy-daughter date" and it was a good opportunity to talk through these issues proactively.