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Category Archives: News stories

State of Marriage

Considering the cover story of Vanity Fair is the story of Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner’s transgender change, and considering Entertainment Weekly recently published an issue devoted to LGBT in media, it should come as no surprise the US Supreme Court ruled today that same-sex marriage is now legal.

It should also come as no surprise that the court’s ruling was a split vote, a 5-4 majority. Like our nation, the Supreme Court is not unanimous in its opinion.

While the highest court in the land has ruled that same-sex marriage is now legal, the highest judge in the universe still maintains the definition established at the beginning of time.

Genesis 2:24 – Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Matthew 19:4–5 – He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?

Ephesians 5:31–32 – “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

At my daughter’s wedding last week, I spoke about the importance of defining a marriage by what Scripture says.

What is a husband? What is a wife? What is your respective role and responsibility in marriage? How do you carry out that role? How do you fulfill that responsibility?

There are a variety of resources you can turn to in order to find an answer. You can turn to culture. How does the world, the media, society define the role of husband and wife?

You can turn to other Christians. What do your friends, your parents, bestselling Christian authors say about marriage?

You can examine your capabilities, your skills, your gifts, and your abilities. Based on what you discover, you can define how you will relate to one another.

Or you can turn to the commandments of Scripture. What does the Bible say about the role and responsibility of a husband and a wife? Now it shouldn’t surprise you that as your dad and as a pastor, that’s the one I recommend.

Rather than asking what the Supreme Court, the White House, or Entertainment Weekly says about marriage, we need to ask, “What does the Bible say about marriage?”

Regardless of what is determined to be legal or illegal, popular or unpopular, I know that I will one day stand before a much higher judge. He will ask whether or not I obeyed his commandments in Scripture. Though it is clearly counter-cultural, I choose to follow God’s instructions.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2015 in Marriage, News stories, Scripture

 

Gender Confusion

For those trying to wrap their heads around the transgender movement and Bruce Jenner’s transition to “Caitlyn Jenner,” here are three recent articles:

Bruce ‘Caitlyn’ Jenner Needs Our Prayers, Not Our Applause” by David French – The article opens with these statements:

 A surgically damaged man appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair, and the applause is mandatory. There are some who call this latest turn in the sexual revolution “radical” or “transformative.” Yet, in reality, the only thing radical about Bruce Jenner’s transformation into “Caitlyn” is the harm to his body, inflicted in a desperate quest to be something that he’s most assuredly not: a woman.

 The transgender movement is but one small branch of the immense, self-regarding tree of the sexual revolution, and since it shares the same logic as such cultural catastrophes as no-fault divorce and abortion on demand, its acceptance by elite culture was and is a foregone conclusion. After all, if the sexual revolutionaries believe — with religious fervor — that personal fulfillment and self-actualization are so important that it’s worth inflicting a grisly death on a wholly innocent baby to preserve, then a little gender-reassignment surgery is just one more, small step for (person)kind

The Accidental Feminist – Tim Challies has reviewed Courtney Reissig’s new book The Accidental Feminist: Restoring Our Delight in God’s Good Design. His review opens with these words:

Caitlyn Jenner is on the cover of Vanity Fair. Caitlyn used to be known as Bruce, of course, but now it’s Caitlyn, and Caitlyn has slowly become the face of our culture’s new relationship with gender. Gender, we are told, is merely a social construct, untied from sex and unleashed from masculinity or femininity. The clear demarkations of days gone by have been replaced by endless shades of gray.

The Bible describes something very different. The Bible describes masculinity and femininity as being distinct, and it describes both of them as reflecting something unique and important about God himself. Femininity is the subject of Courtney Reissig’s new book The Accidental Feminist: Restoring Our Delight in God’s Good Design.

Guidance on how to be a man – Peter Sholl has written a blog post contrasting the conflicting advice we get from culture and Scripture about what it means to be a man in today’s world. He concludes his articles with these words:

 As Christian men, we must take our lead from God’s word and his desire for a Christian man, not from our sports players and commentators, advertisers, or self-proclaimed life gurus.

 I so often forget who I am in Christ. Thousands of time a day, the world says to me “Be like this! Be like that!”, but never “Live out your life in Christ!”

God’s word will say that to me. Christian brothers will urge that in me. Christian sisters will encourage me in it.

My job is to listen, to pray for steadfastness and strength, to strive, and to be that encouraging voice to others.

All of these articles reinforce the need to return to the Scriptures. Rather than culture or celebrities, we need to allow the Scriptures to shape our understanding of gender, sexuality, and what it means to be created in God’s image.

 

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2015 in Culture, News stories

 

I don’t get it

I must admit I am puzzled by current events. With 1,100+ people killed in an earthquake in Nepal, with California suffering a horrific drought, with rising concerns about the violence of ISIS, I don’t understand all the attention being given to Bruce Jenner. I just don’t get it. It hardly seems newsworthy.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2015 in Culture, News stories

 

Tired of winter?

You know New Englanders are tired of winter when the town of Merrimack, NH issued an arrest warrant for Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who predicted six more weeks of winter.

“We know we are a day early, however we here at Merrimack Police felt compelled to let the public know that there is a warrant for Punxsutawney Phil! We have received several complaints from the public that this little varmint is held up in a hole, warm and toasty. He told several people that Winter would last 6 more weeks, however he failed to disclose that it would consist of mountains of snow! If you see him, do not approach him as he is armed and dangerous. Call Merrimack Police, we will certainly take him into custody!”

If I wasn’t so busy shoveling snow, I’d stop to laugh. ;)

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2015 in Fun, News stories

 

Weather Words

When we lived in Seattle, we experienced Snowpocalypse in 2010 and Snowmageddon 2012. Last year, we had the Polar Vortex in Western MA. This week, we were warned to be ready for bombogenesis, or, a meteorological bomb. (As it turned out, the blizzard fizzled to snow flurries. Instead of feet of snow, we received inches.) How many different ways can weather gurus describe a winter snow storm?

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2015 in News stories, Winter

 

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 50,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 19 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2014 in News stories, Personal growth

 

Can you have religion without God?

Can you have a God-neutral faith? Can you have religion without God? Can you have the benefits of church and yet have a hesitant or non-existent faith?

Author T. M. Luhrman, a professor of anthropology at Stanford University, answers all of these questions with “Yes” in her article, “Religion without God.”

She concludes the article with these thoughts,

Religion is fundamentally a practice that helps people to look at the world as it is and yet to experience it — to some extent, in some way — as it should be. Much of what people actually do in church — finding fellowship, celebrating birth and marriage, remembering those we have lost, affirming the values we cherish — can be accomplished with a sense of God as metaphor, as story, or even without any mention of God at all.

Yet religion without God may be more poignant. Atheists trust in human relations, not supernatural ones, and humans are not so good at delivering the world as it should be. Perhaps that is why we are moved by Christmas carols, which conjure up the world as it can be and not the world we know.

May the spirit of Christmas be with you, however you understand what that means.

Ms. Luhrman’s conclusions reminded me of what the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 regarding what will take place in the last days.

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be … having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:1, 2, 5)

People try to find meaning in religion and rituals. Yet they completely miss the point that salvation, forgiveness, purpose, significance are only possible through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2014 in Church, Culture, News stories

 
 
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