A few weeks ago, I spent time with two friends, one of whom has a gay brother. I was asked, “How should I respond if I’m ever invited to his wedding?”
To begin with, there are no easy answers. The Bible doesn’t speak directly to that question. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit, with the Bible as our guide, does give us some guidance on this question.
One of the responses you’ll hear from gay Christians is that the church seems to be very forgiving with the high rate of divorce and remarriage in the church. (Setting aside, that the Bible does allow divorce for some reasons.) And many pastors are marrying people who have been living together prior to marriage. It seems very hypocritical to them that heterosexual Christians draw the line on same-sex marriage, even attending a same-sex marriage ceremony. I think their charge is valid. Notice I did not say, their observation validates gay marriage. It’s just that they have a point.
However, they (some LGBT+ Christians or their families) try to make this comparison; If you’ll attend a re-marriage of someone who’s been the cause of an unbiblical divorce, which you acknowledge was a sin, why won’t you attend my wedding, which you also think is a sin?
My short answer? I wouldn’t. I have in the past but, I now regret it. It is inconsistent and hypocritical. But back to my friend’s question about his own brother’s wedding. What is a reasonable Christian response?
This blog is a follow-up to last week’s (February 13, 2017). It will make more sense if you read that first.
“I want you to go out and play a game of basketball and the only rule is that there are no rules.”
Those were the only instructions given at a Christian camp a few years ago, to a group of teenagers. No rules – enjoy yourself!
You can just imagine the resulting chaos. Kids stole the ball and ran to nearby basketball courts to shoot unopposed. Others scored points by shooting at their own basket. They couldn’t even agree on how to score. Some wanted to deduct points for every basket. What started out as great fun quickly became both frustrating and futile for everyone. But, they got a great lesson in the value of having structure in their lives – rules they could all depend on to make life work! And, it created a teachable moment.
When I heard this story, I thought it would be a perfect way to introduce our grandchildren and yours to the wisdom of God’s moral laws. You can achieve the same results playing a board or video game without rules. But, beyond the fun exercise of playing a game without rules, the following are some ideas for leveraging the resulting chaos to pass on to the next generation an appreciation for God’s rules.
For two decades, I’ve spent a lot of time with college and post-college “Christians.” Many of them grew up in the church, from good families, many went to Christian schools and claim to be Christians. But something just wasn’t right. They were living with their girlfriends and still showing up for church. They rarely attended a Bible study or regularly read the Bible, but said they “believed in the Bible.”
Clearly there was a disconnect. This highly edited article written by Andy Stanley for Outreach Magazine, identifies the problem better than I could. So if you are a parent or grandparent, you first need to understand better exactly what the problem is. Next week, I’ll give you a few ways you can begin to address this problem.
It should come as no surprise that people who are not-yet-Christians have accepted and therefore repeat things about God they believe are true, but in fact are not.
Today, let’s briefly talk about just a few of the most common myths, even some Christians believe.