In light of some recent social discussions a friend sent me the clip below which is incredibly timely and pertinent for our day. The speaker in the clip is an ex-lesbian and feminist scholar. I’m particularly recommending her story for everyone trying to honestly discern truth verses myth in our modern cultural debate in Europe and the West over sexual identity and the subsequent ramifications. Dr. Butterfield is a brilliant, rational thinking, and deeply theological woman. In this lecture she gives some serious and loving answers to legitimate questions as she speaks with the experience of having come from the LGBT community and a post-modern world view. I linked an article about Dr. Butterfield on my Face Book page several months ago, but decided to include her story here because of the way she so meticulously addresses the question at a root level in the lecture. Here are at least four points that immediately came to mind when I reviewed the clip:
Emotions were high again yesterday as the city of San Antonio voted for the inclusion of sexual orientation language in its non-discrimination policy. While supporters of this move are naturally thrilled, I see this as very problematic and even a dangerous move. I know that some will say I’m responding in this manner because I’m hateful even though I’ve not uttered a nasty word toward those with the LGBT philosophy. Rather, my somberness is because I’ve connected the logical dots along the line of purposefully abandoning a Biblical world view in favor of relativity when it comes to truth. Take for example the implementation of unisex bathrooms to appease those who have a propensity toward transgender feelings. That kind of reasoning will only bring pain on the innocent and the case last year of a man who feels like he’s a woman is a perfect example. In that situation, the man in question was awarded the ability to change in the women’s locker room of a college even if girls were there because the school ruled it was his “Civil Right” to do so. This is just the latest round in a culture where right is called wrong and wrong is called right and truth is relative to the eye of the beholder.
Indeed one can see chaotic times looming as the natural and logical progression of moral relativity continues to shape values and then laws. However; my purpose in writing today is not directed toward those who oppose Biblical sexuality and marriage, but rather to offer up a challenge to those who are truly trying to follow Christ.
You have to admit that sometimes Jesus said some funny things. That statement about blind guides “straining out a gnat but swallowing a camel” and that it was “easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God” rate right up there at the top. Jesus would often use way out illustrations to make profound points. When it comes to a humble faith I think he hit the nail on the head in Luke 13 when he exhorted the crowds that unless they “became like little children they would never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Become like little children? The old King James translation of the Greek is even more radical in reading that “except you be converted and become like little children.” Considering all the times that Jesus allowed little children into his presence and rebuked those who hindered the kiddos, you get the feel that children are pretty important to the creator of the cosmos.
My last surviving grandparent crossed over the river into the other side of eternity yesterday afternoon. Granddad Stephens was 97. When I think of the legacy that my grandfather left, I almost always think of the song, “Leader of the Band” by Dan Fogelberg. Granddad Stephens had a natural talent for music and he pursued that as his career in life retiring as a High School band director not far from where I grew up. Maybe more importantly though, along with my grandmother, he brought music into the lives of his children and even down into my own soul today. Granddad, I know that like King David of old, is now playing and dancing in HIS presence. For the rest of our family who are left behind, we are thanking God and remembering the good things that have been built into our lives by granddad hands. He left a legacy.
The reality in this situation is that we all have an opportunity to leave a legacy. Whether we like it or not, unless we move to the desert by ourselves, we’re going to leave some kind of imprint, good or bad, on those around us. The question is what kind of legacy will we leave.
Well this stinks! Ever felt that way before? Ever said that out load before or even thought it under your breath with only yourself and God as the audience? Yup; me too. We’ve all been there. The truth is that life does stink at times and those who appear to constantly live above the fray and claim no pain are probably not dealing with reality and know a Christianity other than what I know. When I read the Bible I don’t see perfection, at least not on this side of eternity. No, I don’t see “health and wealth and lack of problems.” I see . . . stink. I see real life in the Bible and the kind of life that we experience here in the 21st century. While the Bible was inspired by God, it was written through human agents who breathed the same air and problems we face today. They were human and at times their lives stunk as well. Elijah felt suicidal. David wept bitterly. Paul spoke of anxiety regarding a dear friend near death. Even Jesus, God in flesh, spoke of the problems of his age and ours and the fact that just like they hated him, they would hate his followers as well. Yes, I see loads of stink in life and in the Bible, but I also see hope.
I’ve always been a HUGE fan of St. Patrick Day. No, not for the Guinness Green Beer. Though I can’t say I’ve ever tried it, so who knows. Some of you may know that March 17th is my birthday so that probably explains a lot. That’s why I always feel exempt from having to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. But the real reason for my fondness for this day is its name sake, St. Patrick himself and the beautiful Irish folks that he gave his ministry and life for. What do we know about Patrick? Well there’s a lot of legend and lore surrounding him, but what we do know is that somewhere around 400 AD he was taken prisoner from Great Britton by Irish raiders and enslaved. Eventually Patrick made his way back to Britton after experiencing a Christian awakening of his own and later sensed a call to return to Ireland to share Christ with his captors in the 420s. History tells us that God used Patrick in a mighty way to leads countless Celts to the love of Christ. The picture that we have of Patrick is a man who was profoundly committed not only to Christ, but to the people of Ireland as well. He loved God and he loved the people.
Like many guys who have achieved their Eagle Scout and others who care about the Boy Scout program, I’ve been watching the recent debate over homosexual leadership with some sense of emotion. Just yesterday the National BSA postponed making their decision regarding the ban for reasons we can only speculate on. What many people don’t realize is that lifting such a ban will more than likely destroy the American Scouting program which has been a huge building block in society for over 100 years. According to the LGBT community, the big push to lift this ban on homosexual leadership is based in a belief that this is really racial and therefore a civil rights issue. That sounds like a good and valid question until you realize that we are talking about a preference or propensity toward a behavior and not a skin pigment or ethnic group.
Do some men and women feel a same sex attraction? I believe so. However, that is not the fundamental question. The real issue is whether or not it’s right to simply act out what we feel.
On the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, I’m wondering where Norma McCorvey is today. Who is Norma McCorvey? Well I’m glad you asked. Norma is the woman who took the legal pseudonym of Jane Roe in the landmark case which made abortion legal for any reason in the United States back in 1973. I wonder where Norma is and what she is doing today because she is not the same woman that she was then. In fact, Norma holds a very different position today. In 1995 the world changed for Norma when some simple Christ followers and a leader from Operation Rescue did something radical; they loved her. It took some time, but eventually Norma fell under the weight of God’s love and surrendered her life to Christ and now experiences freedom and purpose. While I don’t know exactly where Norma is today, I know what her agenda is. Norma is given to spreading the truth about what a choice for abortion really means and the healing that can be found in Christ. Check out the quick clip on Norma’s story below and then a few ways that we can expand the love of Christ in relation to this modern abortion challenge. How will you bring “life” and love into your world today on this issue?
Well we’ve come to the conclusion of another year. I’ve thought about a number of ways to close things up for 2012. I’ve pondered a few ways to kick off 2013, but nothing really resonated. Then I came across this video link below. It has some huge application for my leadership friends and followers of Christ in general. There is also implication to the American society as a whole. The take away challenge I’d give from this clip toward the New Year is to intentionally invest in the lives of others. The particular challenge would be for older godly men to purposefully take 2013 as a year to build into the lives of two or three younger men with the hope that they would do the same in years to come. This is so fitting for the Church and the culture at large today. The answers that our world is looking for are not found in government, but in Christ and the Kingdom mentality He called us to. The answer is to actually do what Jesus said . . . “go and make disciples.”
It’s Monday morning after the evil tragedy in Newtown, CT and I’m still somewhat at a loss for words. It’s funny as I work with words on a regular basis. But sometimes they just don’t come. I’ve not been glued to the news and I’ve actually just shut it off a few times. You see, I know what they’re going to say. No, not the specific details that are coming out, I don’t know those, but I know the bottom line. The story will be the same and I just want to cry when I hear the fine points of little children being cut down in a safe school classroom in a quiet community. The story will be the same that has been played out in all kinds of places in all kinds of scenarios since the day Cain struck and killed his bother Abel. I just saw from a friend’s email that the story was played out again last night in another shooting. The story of evil in the world will be the same. While the magnitude will rise and fall; the story of evil will always be the same.