Wednesday, November 23, 2011

FAMILY PLUS High School - November 23

Hello HS Parents!

For the past several weeks most of my emails to you have covered our Wednesday night topics. The primary reason for this is that I tend to be a bit "chatty" once I start typing, and if your attention span is anything like mine - I know that I need to make these notes as succinct as possible. To do that, it's a little difficult for me to cover both days. This week, though, we're not meeting on Wednesday (tonight), so I'd like to tell you about the past couple of Sundays - they've been pretty interesting.

On November 13, I asked your students during our Bible teaching time to define marriage; I didn't give them any more parameters than that. As you would imagine, the conversations were all over the board, but ended up right where our focus for that lesson was for the day - can marriage be defined as anything beyond one man and one woman? The Bible, clearly, states that is not possible. I think this is a very difficult worldview for students to absorb given their generation's tolerance and hesitancy to "judge" their peers. (I think ALL OF US can learn from the example they set in not being judgmental).

I hope we helped them see, however, that although the Bible makes clear statements about same sex relationships, our focus for the day was marriage and its definition. Even if someone's worldview accepts same sex relationships as okay, tolerable, or even preferential - marriage, as defined by the Inventor of it, must consist of one man and one woman. I suggested to them that marriage is not the same as a civil union or some other moniker placed on two people joining together. Rather, I felt it important to clarify that God, Who created marriage, is the only One privileged to define it - and He has done so: One man. One woman. Anything falling outside of that can't be called marriage.

Defining marriage outside of God's definition would be like someone asking you the meaning of a word and you deciding to make up something that fit your preference for the definition. For example (warning: this will sound silly) we wouldn't define a bottle using the description/definition of a motorcycle, or define a paper factory using the description/definition of the space shuttle - it just wouldn't make sense...people would not understand what we were defining because we'd have the definition wrong. It's the same with marriage - it has a definition which was given to it by its Creator: One man. One woman.

Lastly, I think the position of the Church (or Church people I should say) for centuries has earned us the right of being ignored on this issue. Too many have been quick to judge in this area rather than loving those who find themselves intrigued by, trapped by, or even enjoying an attraction to their same sex. Christians tend to look past the grace in which we are living that covers our own multitude of sin and, rather, become fixated on crucifying individuals with behaviors or worldviews that we fear. I would submit that, instead, ours is the responsibility of sharing Christ's love for people. ALL PEOPLE.

I think our problem here is that we struggle to draw a line in the sand concerning our Christian worldview, and we fear that accepting a person who acts on his/her attraction to the same sex (for example) means that we are "accepting" his/her behavior. We don't (typically) do that in any other area of our lives. I mean, seriously - do you share the EXACT same feelings/opinions regarding faith, politics, racism, poverty, environment, etc. as the person or corporation who signs your paycheck every couple of weeks? Or with the person who works in the cubicle right next to yours? What about the guy who works on your car or mows your lawn? What about the couple living right next door to you? See the pattern? For most people the answer is no - we don't share the EXACT same views on those things, but we are still able (for the most part) to do life with those people who live in our little section of the world. We are able to separate our feelings about a person's behavior without compromising our command to love them and do life with them. We are ABLE - but do we always do it?

Let's make it a little more tangible - do you really believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has something to offer those people you're doing life with every day? Is there something greater awaiting them, and you, as a result of the Truths we claim to believe? If the answer to that is yes, then I wonder what earns us a greater right to speak Truth into a person's life? A pointed finger preaching hellfire and damnation? Or open arms that display the new lives we have found in Christ? We MUST learn the practice of being godly without being self-righteous. Anything less than that just makes us Pharisaical in our behavior (knowing the law and forgetting the person). Oh, we brood of vipers.

Wow - okay....looks like I'm only covering one Sunday! See what I mean about being chatty - I just can't help myself! I hope that you have an incredible Thanksgiving, and for those of you who will have life issues to deal with when your family comes together over the holidays - I'm praying that you can do it in a way that honors God's Kingdom and grace in your own life. Remember Jesus's reply when asked about the greatest commandment - Love God. Love people. Could He really believe it's that simple? I'm thinking He does. :-)

Let me know if I can pray about anything for you and/or your family.


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