THE MINEFIELD OF GAY MARRIAGE

The pressure to give up God’s plan of one man and one woman for life is enormous.

If you try, you are seen as a bigot.

Instead of Christians being seen as loving others,

we are seen as hating others.

So when the topic comes up, how do we approach this minefield?

VERY CAREFULLY!

First and foremost we are called to be the love of Christ. We must listen with empathy, love with action, and to confess honestly our own brokenness. And in our hearts we must know why we must not turn our backs on God’s plan for one man and one woman for life. This Tuesday I will be on Janet Parshall’s program talking about He Calls You Beautiful.

(Audio CD)

I suspect, because Janet’s program is often political, and because The Song of Songs exalts God’s plan for marriage, that the subject will come up. I have praying, especially for an answer to the most common question from those who support the gay lifestyle and gay marriage: “Isn’t opposing this the same as being a racist?” I had a huge answer to prayer for this, indeed, a GOD HUNT, this week in listening to the following from Ravi Zacharias.

Because this is such a huge topic today, I would love you to listen to the above and articulate his loving and truthful and powerful answer.

Then this week we will also see how The Song of Songs gives us a positive way to explain why we hold to God’s plan of one man and one woman for life. For The Song shows us the BEAUTY of two who are alike, and yet, so other, becoming one. The Song’s full length mural can be glimpsed quickly in Agur’s Proverb, of how two who are so different can become one, and be more beautiful than either could be alone.

 

 

Sunday:

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

2. After listening to the above from Ravi Zacharias, how would you respond to the statement that we are being like racists when we oppose the practice of homosexuality? (Remember — truth and love!)

Monday-Wednesday Bible Study

For those who would like to listen on Tuesday at 5 Central time to In the Market with Janet Parshall — here is the link to listen live:

https://www.moodyradio.org/programs/in-the-market-with-janet-parshall/

Non-Christians may not be able to grasp the mystery of marriage, but believers should be able to at least glimpse this deeper meaning. When God ordained, from the beginning, one man and one woman for life,it foreshadowed a deeper truth.

What is that?

God’s plan was to have two who were alike, yet so other, to become one.

Why?

Being alike gives us empathy, and being different stretches us. We are to mature so that we can become one — ideally, in every way: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

This foreshadows a mystery.

God’s plan was for us to become joined to Christ. He is like us, and yet He is so other. This stretches us, for often we do not understand Him (just as we often do not understand the opposite sex.) We are to mature so that we can become one with Christ. This is a mystery, for as 1 John says: Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be as not yet been made clear, but we know that when we see Him we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

The otherness in marriage reflects the otherness in our relationship to God and that fact that one day we will be completely one with One who is so other.

3. Do you have any thoughts or comments on the above?

 

Before we look at the Song, and why God planned for one man and one woman for life for marriage, we need to go back to Genesis. When God brought Eve to Adam, he broke out into Song.

I can almost hear him singing:

4. Read Genesis 2:23 and describe Adam’s reaction. Why do you think he felt this way?

5. Read Genesis 2:24

A. “Therefore,” or your translation may say, “For this reason.” What did God say in response to Adam’s reaction? Why, do you think?

B. Challenge question: Remembering that Christ became the second Adam, how and why did Jesus leave His Father and mother?

C. In He Calls You Beautiful, I go into detail on how a mother and a father provide greater protection for children than two mothers or two fathers. Can you think of any reasons for that?

D. Challenge question: Indeed, two who are alike and yet so other, foreshadow the mystery of Christ and His bride. How, do you think?

 

6. Read Song of Songs 2:2-3.

A. To what is she compared? What do wildflowers do? How can a wife and mother do this?

B. To what is he compared? What do apple trees do? How can a husband and father do this?

C. Challenge question: How can you, as the bride of Christ, provide fragrance and beauty in your world?

D. Challenge question: How can you trust your Bridegroom, Jesus, to be your Provider and Protector? Be specific.

But wait, you say. Doesn’t a gay man feel “At last my love has come along” when he falls for another gay man? Isn’t it cruel to say they cannot marry? This is the minefield — to hold to God’s plan and yet not be unloving. Here is what I have learned:

First: listen with hearing ears and empathize with the pain.

Second: repeat back so they know they have been heard.

Third: Confess your own brokenness. We are all born with disordered desires — and it is a fight to not give into them whether they be greed, selfishness, addiction, same-sex attraction, or jealousy. And Satan lies to us telling us if we do not give in to our disordered desires, we can’t be happy. But the truth, as C. S. Lewis expressed it, is that it is only in dying to self and living to Christ that we have joy.

But we don’t just deny ourselves, as the Song of Songs shows again and again, we ask Jesus to come and fill that void so that we don’t give into the desires that destroy us.

Fourth: If they are willing to listen, be prepared to show how both ethnicity and sexuality are sacred and to not respect God’s plan for them is to bring heartache. Also, be aware of the lies in the other slogans, such as “a child doesn’t need a mother and a father — just two people who love each other” are wrong. For example, John Stonestreet shows how the highest divorce rate is between gay women, followed by gay men. These rates of break up are even higher than that of co-habiting couples, which are extremely high. Divorce leads to devastation for women and children. Single mothers are the new poor. The evidence is out there that God’s plan is the one that brings life and joy, and man’s plan brings death and misery.

7. What have you learned that might help you articulate the truth in love?

Thursday: The View

World News alerted me to a program on The View — the baker who refused to make a cake to celebrate a gay wedding and his really wonderful lawyer were on. Indeed, they were bullied — with the exception of one voice. But I thought they provided a model of how to behave in the face of bullying to represent Christ well. It’s 11 minutes — and to pray for this case as it is coming to the Supreme Court in the fall and will be very important for our world.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=coBIZle18kM

They are trying to hold up religious liberty, but they were not being listened to, for the most part. But there were those in the audience who applauded their viewpoint. And I was so proud of Jack Phillips and his warm, winsome, and wise Christian lawyer. They provide a model of love in a hostile world.

8. How did you see the believers provide a model of love in the face of bullying and hostility?

Friday-Saturday: Wesley Hill

Wesley Hill is an articulate godly man who has same-sex attraction but has chosen, in obedience to God, to live a celibate life. I so hope you will watch this for it will give you empathy, hope, and a reason to hold out joy to all of us who struggle with dis-ordered desires yet long to live for God.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=KybVFV7e-ss

9. Share your notes and comments.

10. What is your take-a-way and why?

COMMENTS (111) Post a New Comment ↓
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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?     the whole topic.  My stomach ties up in knots when we discuss this one, as we did a couple summers ago.  I felt a definite uneasiness then as I do now.  In our previous, several week discussion about this, I sensed some discord among us when we discussed. I stepped back from the blog for many weeks after that and it took me awhile to feel safe here again.    I have adult children who ostensibly left the Christian church over this issue more than any other.  They are not gay but live in close fellowship with many of their closest friends and colleagues who are openly gay.  They grappled with it for a long while and then finally gave up on the church. I do not accept that grappling with issues is the same as truly reading God’s word in faith and I do know that the biggest thing missing in their lives is accepting and believing the Bible in true, saving faith. but I still recoil to think about how this one subject has divided and led so many away.   I also have a nephew who I suspected was gay for quite awhile but in the past two years, he and his boyfriend have been very open about their relationship on facebook.  Even knowing that, his parents have never said a word to us or the rest of the family about it.   It seems that they left the Christian church a few years ago, though i see some hints of a desire for scripture and prayer and fellowship in my nephew’s mom.   We rarely see them but i do want to remove the elephant in the room and talk about this with them.  I think they don’t know what to do and also they probably think we will judge them for it.  His dad was someone I considered to be very spiritually in tune with the Lord when we were young. They were both very active and in leadership in conservative Christian churches in the past.  I don’t think this is the only thing that has taken them away from the Church but it seems to be a big reason.        I might be silent this week…..but more likely I will try to dive in again. I sort of worry that my answers won’t really be accepted if I continue to express being troubled by how the conservative ‘evangelical’ church handles this discussion.     After I listened to Ravi Z.  and before I commented here,  I read the two articles about Eugene Peterson’s stance on this, that have been circulating for the past two weeks.  One was an interview from Religion News Services  with the headline  ‘Eugene Peterson changes his mind on same sex marriage’.    The second was from CT and wrote a bit of a retraction based on some further discussion with Peterson.   I read that there was a ‘firestorm’ of argument and statements against Peterson after the initial article.  I didn’t read it right away and didn’t hear the firestorm but I thought…..’here we go again.’  Peterson is hugely influential because of his gracious, quiet demeanor and most of all because of his sincere and complete devotion to the God he knows and loves so deeply. He reminds me of how I imagine Henri Nouwen to be.  It hurts me to see ‘the church’ divided and feel they need to defend God by attacking other believers as sometimes happens.  (again……I didn’t read the ‘firestorm’ only read that in someone’s opinion, it had happened.   I won’t relay the text of the articles.  But if one googles Eugene Peterson homosexuality……the first two hits are the articles I mean. 

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Oh Wanda. Such pain. Yet this is exactly why I want to discuss this. My primary purpose is for us to find ways to embrace both truth and love, for truth without love is so very SHATTERING and plays into the enemies’ hands, and love without truth destroys as well.

There is an elephant in the room, and the enemy is not going to stop, so we as believers, must learn how to be truth and love, and that’s what I pray will happen here.

 

But I certainly give you grace to be silent!

    Reply

    Thank you, Dee.

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2. After listening to the above from Ravi Zacharias, how would you respond to the statement that we are being like racists when we oppose the practice of homosexuality? (Remember — truth and love!)

 

I liked Ravi Z’s answer a lot.  Though, this was just one particular question and I personally, have never heard this one posed before.  I haven’t heard the supposition of racism being gone from the church and the contrast of a stance against homosexuality.   I think, more often, I still hear that the church in many instances still supports systemic racism.  Not overtly, but in ingrained ways.   Thankfully, I think this is only the vocal minority.  I believe that the church by and large is not racist ( as it once was)  but there is still great division.   His answer was really good on this very specific topic.   I did  like the differentiation of a ‘system’  (racism)  and an ‘individual’ (homosexual)  and the sacredness of ethnicity and of sexuality.   It’s very clear to me personally…but I still feel that it is so hard in practice to be clear about it without hurt and division.

    Reply

    I would hesitate to initiate the topic with an unbeliever, for it is peripheral. However, if it is keeping them from looking into Christianity, I might.

    I don’t see racism in my church, but I’m sure it exists. I think Christians have been at the forefront in overcoming it, but yes, I’m sure there are some who claim Christ and support racism. Wild — I would have to need a lot of grace to love racists well!

     

    Father, I lift up Wanda’s adult children and ask that they might experience real overcoming love from believers and that you would trump the enemy’s lies with that overcoming love.

    In Your Powerful Name I pray

    Reply

    I read both of your answers, Wanda, and it is so discouraging how this issue has been used by the enemy to seriously damage some Believers.  I think maybe the reason some Christians recoil from this issue and just end up sounding hateful is because it takes a whole lot more effort to try to understand others, to empathize, and to then give a thoughtful, loving response.  Much easier just to spout off at people, rather than truly hearing them and responding in love.  It makes my stomach sick, also when I hear Believers do this.  It represents a lack of thoughtfulness and love and certainly doesn’t represent Christ.  His strongest words were actually reserved for the “religious” leaders of His day, not for those struggling in sin issues!

      Reply

      BEAUTIFUL AND TRUE, MARY.

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      Thank you, Mary.   I really agree that it takes much more energy to listen and try to understand.  As the years have gone by and there have been many gay people in our lives  (completely unlike 20 years ago….or even 10) … I think I have a harder time trying to understand the judgmental voice.  And I say this because I also have people in my immediate family who likely have no one in their lives who are gay and they have the strongest voices of judgement and have built the strongest walls against listening.   I suppose I liked the world better, when we didn’t ‘have to’ talk about this and we could pretend all was well.  But I can’t imagine the pain that that expected silence put many people through either.  :(    Someone who was one of my close friends at Bible College, is now living an openly gay life.  I haven’t seen him for close to 40 years.  Finding out he was gay, explained the decades when no one in our friend group knew where he was.  I wept when I found out, because I felt he must have lived through so many years of pain.  And now, my heart breaks because I wonder where his heart and faith is……he was so close to the Lord when I knew him.  He taught me a lot.

      and I love that you reminded us that Jesus had the strongest words of rebuke for the outwardly religious who did not show love or grace.

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?  The video, because he does a great job of responding in love and also the young man who asked the question asked it with such a spirit of humility.
2. After listening to the above from Ravi Zacharias, how would you respond to the statement that we are being like racists when we oppose the practice of homosexuality? (Remember — truth and love!)  I would say similar to what Ravi said.  Race is God-given and not the result of the fall.  A pre-disposition to homosexuality may very well be something one is born with, and that is a very hard blow, but there is plenty of scientific evidence to support a predisposition to alcoholism, drug abuse, obesity, etc…  and we would not encourage people to engage in/give into those predispositions because we see the havoc that it wrecks on a life and if we love someone, we want the best for them.  How much more does God, who loves us perfectly, feel this way?  He wants the best for us and He has given us a whole book about what that looks like.  He has also given us a Savior who sympathizes with our weaknesses.  No one is saying this path (possibly of celibacy, if you have same sex attraction) would be an easy one, but LIFE is not easy.  Lizzy and I have discussed before that, as Believers Jesus did not call us to a life of ease, but to take up our cross daily and follow Him….and we have the glorious promise that He will be with us and we will find, in the end, that He is enough.  
I feel like I did not turn out “normal” in the marriage department (mostly I believe, due to my mom -who I love dearly and who loves me dearly- very often complaining to us kids about my dad and men, in general.  “All men care about is sex, that’s all they care about!”)  So, when I entered adolescence, unlike my peers, I had zero interest in guys.  I thought I might be homosexual because I did have major relationship idolatry issues with women.  I remember feeling like a firework that didn’t go off, a “dud” as they say.  I didn’t turn out right.  I felt like a disappointment to God…and often blamed God for making me this way.  Well, lots of healing (and relinquishing of relationship idolatry) has occurred over the past many years and yet still one night, recently, I was lamenting that I never married and said to God, “I know You love me, but I also know You could have made me ‘normal'” with ‘normal’ desires, at the right time in life, so I could have been long married by now, with a husband.”  Why would You want someone who didn’t turn out right?”  And then I know it was His Spirit who said, “To glorify Me.”  That’s why we are all the way we are and in the circumstances we are in, to glorify Him.  It’s man’s chief end, right?

    Reply

    Wow Mary — this is such a beautiful example of love and truth. I want to keep it, as I do so many things from you. And your background gives you such empathy. Thanks so very much for sharing.

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    Oh Mary…you just touch the heart.  You are beautiful, dear Mary.  I believe we all feel like “duds” in our life in some way or another (e.g., divorce, physical appearance–two I can personally attest to), yet God’s plan and purpose is far beyond our finite minds to comprehend.  I love you, dear sister…and thank you for your honesty and wisdom.

    Reply

    So beautifully put, Mary.

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

Oh I love and need to be sharpened in this discourse and so that is what stands out, that we-together can sharpen and encourage one another in Love.

I do think this needs to be discussed because we can go to two extremes: either condoning it out of understanding and empathy for their disposition, or speaking ill of someone who is gay and behaving as if our sinful dispositions are “less sinful” than theirs-that is a huge huge turn off. Yet this is who they think they are (their identity) and it can be offensive to them to call it sin. I have had a homosexual family member tell me that.

    Reply

    Those two extremes are so well articulated, Rebecca.

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When I jumped on the blog this morning there was 0 comments and I knew it must be a very tough and touchy subject. I missed last week’s study and wanted to go back to it before I go forward. I will get back to this one tonight I hope.

    Reply

    Yes, Dawn — a hot potato I think we need to handle!

      Reply

      You are really stretching us this week, Dee. But as long as it sends us deeper into Christ and His word, it is a good thing.

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2. After listening to the above from Ravi Zacharias, how would you respond to the statement that we are being like racists when we oppose the practice of homosexuality? (Remember — truth and love!)

I loved how he defined our race and sexuality as sacred, whereas racism is a disposition. Then he gave the example of a married man with a roaming eye-all men are that way-when they see someone attractive or sexually explicit they react, their disposition is to desire it and go for it even if they are happily married but they must choose to abstain from sex outside of marriage even though that is their natural bend-and it is a STRONG bend. I think he very accurately made the point that it is a disposition just like heterosexual men who desire a woman other than their wife and one can abstain although I believe one needs His power to abstain.

I remember our pastor in helping us to have more empathy,(he wasn’t condoning it though), say if their bend truly is same sex attraction and they abstain, they will never be able to experience and express love in that way-so we are telling them to give that up-a hard thing. I was thinking that Heterosexual married men don’t have to give that up in order to abstain from sexual sin unless they aren’t truly loved by their wife. I am not saying that because of that hard part we should condone it, but it helps me to have more understanding of the struggle. Perhaps that would take a bit of the edge off and help me to have more compassion when conversing with a loved one or a friend who asks me where I stand. I don’t know..just thinking. :)

 

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Hello

It’s  been a long time since I joined in a discussion on Dee’s Study. I usually read through the lesson and take away what it means for me.

Cant help but write something concerning this subject , at least give an opinion. As one who lived openly as a lesbian, admit my struggles , but wants what God has for me in my life. I feel at least a need to share.

We live in a polarized society, where identity in politics, sexuality, and beliefs are important.

I’m sitting in the church that my son inlaws father pastors. As a matter fact, my son in law is giving the message on the sower and the seed from Matthew. He just mentioned that the Word is offensive to some. And he that sows the seed in good ground, growth will come.

This parable is not just for the believer, but the non believer.

I live how I live, because I believe Gods truth is relevant even in today’s world.

I am not going to share technics or comebacks for a discussion on gay marriage , if you become engaged in such a discussion.

Because its fruitless .

Our country not based on our beliefs. As much the Evangelical Right wants to believe.

Our country is secular. And all religions, non religious are free to practice their beliefs. Laws will change , and may effect our lives.

Our duty as Christians , is to sow the seeds. Nothing more.

We are not called to try to control the outcome. That depends on the soil.

The Gospel offends. And no matter how you approach it. It will offend.

I cannot help how people receive what I say. I can only control how I react, what my intentions are.

I don’t have a problem with gay marriage because it doesn’t affect me. It hasn’t rocked my world. When and if it does, God will provide me with His strength. I refuse to fight a spiritual battle with secluar means.

I can’t help it if my pro gay and gay friends think I’m repressing my sexuality. I can’t help that my believing friends think I’m holding onto my sin because  I’m not delivered by their standards.

God has made me an overcomer through His Word.

I am already familiar with the Ravi Zacharious link. I actually listened to it several years back. I think he answered it rather graciously.

But some will find it offensive.

and that is not our concern. Keep sowing, the harvest is near.

    Reply

    Laura Marie,

     

    Thank you so much for coming on the blog and sharing something so personal. It sounds like you have chosen, despite your same sex attraction, to live celibate. I may have mis-interpreted that, but that seems to be what you are saying. Am I right?

    I do think Christians have often been unloving and treating those with disordered sexuality as being more broken than they are. Would you agree?

    You have good insights on the parable of the Sower.

     

    Thank you again for writing.

      Reply

      Hi Dee

      To answer your question Id say yes. The church has been cold on this subject.

      However, I don’t see my sexuality as a disorder. And I wouldn’t compare to it to other sins. I believe there is fluidity in sexual behavior. Why that is? I don’t know. I believe in the purpose of one man and one woman, this is the natural order of Gods creation.

      I just trust God for guidance.

    Reply

    I do see your point with the gay marriage thing, in that you can’t legislate morality.  You can try to, but living a moral life (by God’s standards) is only possible through Jesus and even then, not easy.  People have always made wrong choices.  I just hate to see our nation going so rapidly in the direction of making it easy to make the wrong choices.  But, I do agree that morality can’t really be legislated.

    Like Dee, I appreciate you sharing so openly here, about your personal struggle.  I know the Lord is glorified in a life where one is choosing His way over her own desires, even when it is so hard.  The right thing so often is the harder thing for us humans, because we are fallen.  So thankful He has not left us as orphans but has given us His Spirit as a “Helper.”

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    Laura Marie, I absolutely love your post. You are so right-we plant seeds and sow and even if we speak the truth in love it may offend the person depending on the soil…I think  that is key. Trusting God for all of it is key also-spot on point you made. We have no control over how they respond to the Gospel and whether their soil is good or not. SO encouraged me this morning. I need to hear it constantly because I forget. :(

    I think what I struggle with, and need so much more help with, is learning someone so well that I will be able to approach them with the Gospel as God leads and trust Him with it. What helps me is how Paul approached people differently with the Gospel although he didn’t necessarily get to know each one of them real well first. I noticed he would appeal to the intellect with some who were wired that way and then approach others in different ways but it was spirit led.

     

     

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      thank you Rebecca ! Good to hear from you!

        You too Laura Marie-I have always loved your heart and you challenge me with what you share. When you can post-please post here! :)

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    Laura, it’s good to “see” you again! It has been a long time. Thanks for sharing, and you do inspire me to do the right thing in my own sinful nature. It is hard for me to stop my sin, in fact it is a daily struggle, so I can imagine how hard it is for you as well.

     

    There is one thing I would like to dialog on though…that is the Bible being offensive. It was offensive (the ideas) back in Jesus’ time too wasn’t it? Turn the other cheek and let your enemy slap it too? Whoa…the wars of the OT, the killing in the NT; all offensive. It is a history book (taught in our ninth grade global studies classes believe or not) and history is sometimes offensive. I think about my homeland (the south), where people are trying so hard to remove any indication that the Civil War actually happened. It’s ridiculous. It is what it is, and those statues, flags, etc. are reminders of what we were, not who we are today. “We’ve come a long way baby!” I grew up and lived in the south for 40 years and have never been taught to treat other races differently (I was in the Deep South too!) I didn’t see the racism everyone thinks is prevalent still today. In fact, today, I think the north struggles with this more than our southern peeps.

     

    You are correct, we will offend and that is that. Probably should take the lead and love people more, as Christians, as Dee is suggesting, to show the world what Christ was/is all about. Aren’t you a nurse? I suspect you have many opportunities to do this, as do I, being a teacher in public school. We have been given a forum where we see and interact with lots of people. I have (jokingly at times) talked to my colleagues about showing the “face of Jesus.” It really isn’t a joke though; it is a reminder for me to do this all the time. It is hard for me too! Teenagers!  Bah-humbug! I tend to be more negative and stressed. The past few years I have tried to be less that and more Christ-like. I think I am getting better 😊.

     

    Again, thanks for your personal perspective.

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      Hi Laura Dancer!

      i really appreciate your words. You said something about being from the south . I really like what you said about the monuments coming down and how those symbols represent who we were not who we are!

      i have good friends in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. You are right, that is not who they are.

      this yankee girl loves the south!

      im not a nurse, I was an analyst for the hospital. As a matter of fact, tomorrow is my last day and I plan to go back to school to complete my education in Health Information. I also have health issues I need to address.

      prayers are appreciated!

      God Bless!

      laura marie

    Reply

    Laura,

    Your words are healing to my heart this morning.    I love what you said about sowing seeds.  And not controlling the outcome and this is just the reminder that I needed today.    THANK YOU!

     

    Yesterday, I had the blessing of the most honest talk my son and I have had for a very long time.  He even used the word, ‘minefield’ when he described what he was feeling and why we have learned to ‘dance around each other’ because of all the conflict we’ve had in the past over many issues.

    We talked about the many parables of Jesus using agrarian examples as we had just spent a couple hours weeding together – he and I and one of his lesbian friends.  He is growing vegetables on our land – nearly a third of an acre – and doing it as a CSA farm.  He brings friends up to our home fairly often to work in the garden with him.

    My son struggles deeply with faith and with accepting much in the Bible.  He also struggles with the shame imposed on him when he was a young person in church – shame that was often imposed with legalism and a lack of grace.  He was always way ahead of everyone (his youth pastor, peers and my husband and I) in how he processed what was happening in our society and the wrongs that the Church had done in the name of Christ….not extending grace or acceptance toward many who were different than themselves.   We too were a part of the residual religious right fall out.  We now understand and practice grace in an exponential greater way than we did as young parents.   My son isn’t gay but he has many friends who are and he has become someone that really, countless people look up to because of his compassion.  He knows the Bible.  And in many ways, he practices the gospel.   He does not share my unequivocal trust in a Sovereign God alone and he rejects some things in the Word and especially rejects the church (sometimes for reasons of truth – the Church has failed desperately in so many ways).   I personally love my local church and know that it is filled with flawed people, like myself)  but as Yancey would say,  ‘…like an ill fitting jacket, he has never worn the Church comfortably.’   My son is extremely articulate and his mind processes and formulates thoughts and expressions faster than anyone I have ever known.   I truly can’t keep up with his intelligence.  But our love and the strength of his relationship with my husband and I, grows so much when we are honest.   We will just keep sowing the seed of a life that lives out truth and grace.

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I have a house filled with family this week and will not be able to follow along here and comment, but I will pray for you, Dee, as you do the interview this week and as you (all of you here) address this sensitive topic on the blog.

Please pray for my husband as he deals right now with a man who is determined to have “assisted death”.  Aubrey and the church has interacted with and supported for a long time this man, who is a long-time member of the community. The man has asked Aubrey to lead his funeral. This is another very hard issue. We believe that God should chose the time for death, not the individual or doctors. Sadly, Canada legalized euthanasia a while ago. However, this is the first time that it has come right onto our doorstep.  This reminds me of the saying, “Love the sinner; hate the sin.”

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    Oh my.

     

    Lord is pray you will work in that man’s heart to trust you. I also pray you will be with Aubrey and give him wisdom. Be with Diane too as she supports Aubrey.

     

    Yes — so hard.

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    Wow, Diane, I didn’t realized Canada had legalized it.  This is so sad, praying now for this man to have a change of heart.  This is one of those things you can empathize with, but still know it’s not what God desires for us.

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    I’m so sorry, Diane.   Sometimes, we just take our pastors for granted and don’t realize the terribly hard positions they are placed in.  I will stop and pray now for you and Aubrey.

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    Diane, I am crying in the inside for you and your husband and for this man. May the Lord grant mercy and wisdom for this situation. This is heart rending.

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1.  What stood out in the intro? The transcendent beauty of God’s perfect plan. To take a man and a woman and weave them together socially, relationally, even sexually, in a faint glimmer of what it means to be one with Him. I don’t usually think of marriage in those terms, bur right now I can really see the shimmering glory of it.

 

2.  Responding to the charge that we are haters and racists. Without listening to Ravi Z, I wouldn’t have a clue.  Even now, with what I gleaned from him, I am not sure I’d have the fortitude to actually open my mouth. I would want to ask them to define racism and why it is wrong. Hopefully I could add to their definition that race is a gift from God, and sacred.  From there it is a small step to say that our sexuality, our very DNA, is sacred because it comes from Him also. Both our race and our gender are hard wired into us, and even becoming transgender doesn’t change that. Ravi also talked about the fact that we may have the inclination and desire to do something, but that doesn’t always mean it is OK to do so. We may want to steal or lie or even to murder, but we are expected not to act on those desires. Someone may have same sex attraction, but that doesn’t mean they have no choice over whether to act on it or not. I hope that I would also ask about what lead them to ask, and to have the views they have, and listen really hard.

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    You are articulated this beautifully, Mary. And I love your seeing “the shimmering glory of marriage.” It reminds me of phrases from A Severe Mercy. Have you read that true love story by Sheldon Vanauken?

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      I have not read it, but will look for it with your recommendation.

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I will be gone the next 2 weeks for 2 conferences. I will try to chime in here when I can but will definitely follow the conversations. I am also hoping to at least catch some of the videos; if not, I will go back to this posting when I get home.

Homosexuality is such a sensitive issue-a land mine, indeed as you have said, Dee. Truth and love-which comes first? How do I express love and then tell the truth without sounding like I have a hidden agenda? I struggled with this as my daughter’s close friends are gay and 2 at least have live-in partners. We must pray, indeed for the enemy is hard at work. I keep on claiming the victory we already have in Christ. Praying we have the mind and heart of Christ.

Praying Dee for you for your interview. And for several here who are going through transitions and health challenges. Love to all.

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Just wondering how one can be added to the secret face book page I hear many of you mention frequently.  I totally understand if it is just for certain people.  I was thinking it was maybe just for ladies that attend a certain church or something like that.  I won’t be offended if I can’t join.  I just feel like I know some of you from being on the blog for a while, and would like to keep up with prayer requests, etc, that are often mentioned and refer back to the face book page.  Thank you so much.

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    Miriam, Diane and Renee are the administrators for the fb page. I can message Renee and see if she can help you. I think Diane said something about them  eing on vacation? It is for anyone on this blog who wants to participate.

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      Laura, I too, would like to be included on the Facebook page.  I know Diane said she is super busy this week.

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    Miriam and Mary B, if you could email me, I will try to get you added to the FB page. Dee, you have Miriam and Mary B’s email addresses. Could you email me with them, if you have time? (I know you are busy too.) Alternatively, if Miriam and Mary B could find me on FB and private message me, this might also work. This process may take a little while, as I have 10 family members at my house until Friday with all that involves the grandmother of the brood.

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      Diane, Renee is on it!

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      Hi, Diane!  I still haven’t received anything about the private face book page.  My email address is miriammatson1@gmail.com.  I want to look for you on Face Book, but I don’t know your last name.  You can find me under my name Miriam Matson.  I know you are so very busy, so this is certainly not an emergency.  Thank you so much.  I feel such a kinship with these ladies here.

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      Mary B., did you get added to FB page yet? If not, please message me. My full name is Diane Trail.

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

This is a difficult topic, and yes, Christians walk away looking bad. I have had this personally happen to me and I try my best to explain, but alas, it doesn’t ever seem to come across as if I care 😔. I think this topic will be the “death” of me in regards to my job. I am seeing more and more that I am being required to do things in my job as a public school teacher that I view as child abuse. I can submit scientific studies that discuss this viewpoint (of doctors). It is disturbing for sure that I am not (potentially going to be) allowed to have my own identity as a Christian but I am expected to allow others to have their own identity. It is a double standard. If I am asked to play along with the transgender idea (like Minnesota is now doing), I will say no, and most likely retire early as a public school teacher. I will do my best to keep my family members out of the public schools at that point. If people want to decide to be gay or transgender at 18 or above, I would have a slightly different perspective since they are adults and can make up their own minds about these adult issues. I’m not going to participate in harming children. This topic is a sensitive one for me.

 

 
2. After listening to the above from Ravi Zacharias, how would you respond to the statement that we are being like racists when we oppose the practice of homosexuality? (Remember — truth and love!)
 

I would probably start with a question like Stephanie Gray (?) suggested….”how do you feel when someone criticizes or seemingly attacks your family for something? You are probably like me, a little protective.”

 

Well, I’m a Christian, which is a sort of “family” also. I think I would be a pretty sorry Christian if I didn’t believe all parts of the Bible even if I don’t like it. For example, I don’t really like that it says suffering is good for me (James 1:2,3) or that I should love my enemies (Matthew 5;44), but I need to strive to meet these goals to be more Christ like, which is my end goal. So, I see homosexuality the same as any sin that I struggle with, like eating or drinking (wine) too much, speaking harshly to others, excluding people, gossip; anything really, that isn’t a reflection of Christ is fair game. The Bible states in several places that marriage (a Biblical term) is between a man and a woman, and that sex with the same sex and animals is wrong. So, am I just to ignore these passages to make a human (who is in a fallen world) feel good about the sinful behavior and completely ignore these God breathed words? I think not. I wouldn’t be much of a Christian then. It has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with living out my faith well. However, I do not treat people who believe themselves to be gay any differently than anyone else, just like I wouldn’t treat a glutton or other person any differently. I just disagree with their chosen lifestyle.

 

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    Laura, you are in a unique situation, on the front lines, being a public school teacher.  May God honor you for standing firm in the truth, rooted in love.

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    I agree with Mary E on your unique and challenging position and pray for you to be a shining light. So hard — and persecution is definitely on the increase.

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3.  The mystery of marriage. I like the way it is stated…two who are alike, yet so other, become one. We are alike because as man and woman, we are both human beings. We have the same physical needs for air, food, shelter, and so forth. But we are so other because our perspectives on almost everything come from a different starting place. He comes from a YY perspective and she comes from a XY one. They may have come to similar conclusions, but they did get very differently. To talk about something like that with God is much more difficult for me. I have to really focus on how He has revealed Himself to us and likened Himself to us by using metaphor and allegory and finally by Jesus coming and being human, like us. Yet He is So Other! My mind can accept that He wants us in a kind of marriage relationship, but I can’t totally understand it or explain it.

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3. Do you have any thoughts or comments on the above?

 

The concept of same-ness and other-ness.    I love it.   It’s wonderful in friendship also.  The friend I meet with every week is so alike me in a lot of ways that we can finish each other’s sentences.  But she is so different too….she has many strengths that are weaknesses in myself and vice versa.  We do call on each other for help and advice in those dis-similar areas.  I  see this in my marriage too.  It hit home to me in one of the first years of marriage, when we were living on less than a ‘shoestring’.    I spent several hours one day, mending a jacket of my husband’s that had a lot of tears in the pockets and lining.  It looked impossible when I started but bit by bit, I sewed it back together and it became functional again.  At the same time, he was at work building something for me…a rustic bookcase, I think it was.  I felt the reward of working together to use what skills we each knew, to serve the other.

 

On a much, much grander scale….what a divine mystery it is to have this kind of one-ness with our Lord!

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I hope you will all scroll above and see the post from Laura Marie McDonald

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3. Do you have any thoughts or comments on the above?

 

Its SO special, isn’t it? I think of people who know each other so well that they complete each other’s sentences. My husband and I do that often. Or, we think the same way about totally random things! It’s really quite beautiful.

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3. Do you have any thoughts or comments on the above?
This makes me realize what a homosexual relationship is lacking…the otherness.  And, as you said, God planned for/intended for the marriage relationship to be both in order to be a picture of His relationship to us:  sameness and otherness.

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4. Read Genesis 2:23 and describe Adam’s reaction. Why do you think he felt this way?
 

Maybe he was lonely?

 
5. Read Genesis 2:24
 
A. “Therefore,” or your translation may say, “For this reason.” What did God say in response to Adam’s reaction? Why, do you think?
 

Because woman was taken out of man, he will leave his parents and become one together.

 
B. Challenge question: Remembering that Christ became the second Adam, how and why did Jesus leave His Father and mother?
 

Jesus was crucified and then rose from the grave to save us from our sins.

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 B. Challenge question: Remembering that Christ became the second Adam, how and why did Jesus leave His Father and mother?

 

I am seeing this for the first time with clarity.   Genesis says that ‘for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.’  And so Adam became one with Eve; the prototype of marriage.    Jesus, the second Adam,  left His heavenly Father to come to earth to bring us redemption and to claim us as His bride.  Since Jesus is also human,  he also left His mother, Mary (presumably his earthly father, Joseph had died by this time) to die on the cross, making reconciliation with God possible – exchanging our sin for His righteousness so that we could be His spotless bride and we would become One with Him.

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4.  Gen 2:23 Adam’s reaction and why.  Seems like he explodes with a feeling of completeness and excitement. He had seen all there was to see, named every animal and seen them as species with their mates.  Only he had no corresponding creature; only he was truly single. I believe God made us with a hole in us that longs for not just human company and relationship, but as Adam puts it, someone to be bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. Someone to be as intimate with as God is intimate in the Godhead.

 

5.  Gen 2:24 A.  What did God say in response and why? He said that for that special and unique intimacy, a man would leave the intimacy and relationship of his birth family, and thereby start a new family. Why? Again, building it into our experience that there is a greater intimacy to be found. He would later reveal that as being one with Him.  It is a mystery to me why He chose to give us the chance at a lesser intimacy to prepare us for His greater one.

B.  How and why did Jesus leave Father and mother? Jesus left the Godhead in a sense, when He took on flesh. He became more like us, and less like Them. He didn’t totally leave Them, just as most of us don’t totally leave our birth families behind. But the relationships change, as they did here. Why? Out of eternal love for us. To pursue us and woo us and capture us for Himself, to be His bride

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So here is a story but I hesitate to tell it because everyone’s journey is different. Sometimes God heals their same sex desires and sometimes He doesn’t. This is about one of my closest friends. She used to struggle with same sex attraction. I have known her for close to 30 years. When we were single I was a new believer and she was too. We were room mates and I had no idea she struggled with same sex attraction. She confessed that to me and she also struggled with depression because of it. She is His and so I knew since His Spirit was in her, he would help her so I encouraged her to get into the word and read it, alone in her room and God will help her. I even said, and I can’t believe I said this now, but I said, “God will change your desires. I believe He will take it away for you are His.” I said this because I knew she was His but I wonder if I could have been more sensitive?? yikes.  Well, He did take it away from her and changed it.

We went to my son’s honor band event last weekend together and talked about that time. She said she remembers God taking it away as she clung to Him in the Word and it didn’t take long. She said she hasn’t had that desire since. She has been married for 17 years or so.

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    Wow Rebecca. I believe the Spirit led you to say that. I don’t know why it happens for some and not for others. That is a mystery. But I’ve seen the same thing with addiction to alcohol or drugs.

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    That is a wonderfully encouraging testimony, Rebecca!  And, like Dee, I’m guessing it was the Holy Spirit leading you to say that!  I know it happens that way sometimes, I’ve heard other testimonies.  Just like some get miraculously cured of diseases, while others don’t but they live to glorify the Lord through them, either way.  The end result is He is glorified. :)

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      Yes..it is a mystery for there are things about me I wish he would take away but he hasn’t, yet he WILL remove Baal from my lips in the future. it IS coming-Hallelujah!

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I will move on, but one last thing. I do think we, including me, tend to treat those who are sexually broken whether it be homosexuality, porn addiction, affairs, alcohol addiction, with contempt as if we aren’t broken. I hear us all the time talking about others..”Can you believe it? Our pastor’s son has come out and is gay!” Well, God hates pride- period, and I am riddled with it and continue to need His washing-DAILY. Just test my heart during a conversation with my husband or son…oh my-idolatry all over the place and if God gives me compassion, patience, kindness and Grace toward someone- it is Him in me.

 
A telling sign is when we act surprised when one of us falls, or we shake our heads at an unbeliever’s sin. I am not saying we shouldn’t be upset when one of us leads others astray with a different Gospel or into porn or whatever, but I am referring mainly to us in general. I think we have forgotten we are in a fallen world and we are fallen and our hearts are idol making factories and if His blood covers us and we are raised with Him then and only then can we truly be covered and transformed. It should humble us and help us to love deeper. My oldest said people can change without Christ and I thought-yes, but really? I think what happens is we go from one idol to another as we change habits in our flesh. The habit is changed but not the symptom or idol underneath.  I’ll stop. Another rabbit trail..oh my.

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    An important rabbit trail. I remember Greg Scharf saying our reaction should be, “Yes, that confirms what God tells us about our sin nature.” I think we often are judgmental in areas where we have victory and compassionate where we do not.

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      Perfect response-I will remember that.

      Loved you on Janet Parshall..You always interview so well. If I were unaware of your book I would SO desire to pick it up. I love the SOS readings. Can you put this interview up on your Website somehow?

        Good idea for the website — I will ask David in August. I’ve spent my July website budget! :-)

         

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    ” My oldest said people can change without Christ and I thought-yes, but really? I think what happens is we go from one idol to another as we change habits in our flesh. The habit is changed but not the symptom or idol underneath.  I’ll stop. Another rabbit trail..oh my.”

    -Extremely good point!  Yes, there are non-Christians who can “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps” and be rid of an addiction but there is likely just another idol they have exchanged that for…one that is less obvious and more socially acceptable, but an idol none-the-less.  I thank the Lord that, with His Spirit, at least He can keep moving me along, conforming me to His image, not, as you said, due to a great power in me (my flesh) but only due to Him.

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5 C. In He Calls You Beautiful, I go into detail on how a mother and a father provide greater protection for children than two mothers or two fathers. Can you think of any reasons for that?
 

A mother and a father have unique individual characteristics that are inherent . They teach  their children each differently because of their uniqueness. The children are well rounded as a result.

 
D. Challenge question: Indeed, two who are alike and yet so other, foreshadow the mystery of Christ and His bride. How, do you think?
 
We are like Christ in that he was human for a a bit. We are not like him because we do not have his ability to heal, to be risen from the dead or be perfect in every way. He loves us and we love him. He protects us and wants to get to know us well.  He wants to always be with us and he wants us to want to always be with him.
 
6. Read Song of Songs 2:2-3.
A. To what is she compared? What do wildflowers do? How can a wife and mother do this?
 

She is compared to a lily among brambles. Wildflowers take over large areas and can make the “true” plants succumb to their “wildness.” A wife and mother can “choke” the husband or child when she tries to control. But, wouldn’t the wife/mother be the lily? Confused…oh! Maybe she is the lily and can protect the husband/child? She would then be beautiful and white, and pure. She could provide a sense of cleanliness and orderliness to her family.

 
B. To what is he compared? What do apple trees do? How can a husband and father do this?
 

He is compared to an apple tree. Apple trees provide fruit, shade, and scenery for scary movies! Husbands can work and provide money, food, and a place to live.

 
C. Challenge question: How can you, as the bride of Christ, provide fragrance and beauty in your world?
 

No foul words! Pleasant demeanor, kindness, gentleness, acceptance, and generally no rough edges.

 
D. Challenge question: How can you trust your Bridegroom, Jesus, to be your Provider and Protector? Be specific.
 

I can read the God breathed words in the Bible that tell me how I should live. If I follow them then He is protecting me. I trust because it is there for me in all the stories of those who went before me, for me to learn from their mistakes. Esther, David  Rahab, the disciples, and even Judas. It is THE Story. Amazing grace, amazing love. Makes me want to cry.

 

 

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    Because you have a tender, heart, Laura.

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Please remember to pray for me at 5 central today on Janet Parshall!

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    Lord, this is truly a minefield, full of unknowns for Dee.  But You, Lord, know the beginning from the end. You know every question she will face, every emotion she will feel. We ask that You would hide her in Your dwelling place. That she would be like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego before King Neb, bold and firm and full of You.  We ask that You would shut the mouths of the lions, as You did for Daniel, and give her courage and tact. May she feel Your Spirit flowing in her and speaking through her. May Your name be glorified in this. Amen.

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    Yes….praying!

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      ditto!

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5.C.  Why is there greater protection in a mother and father than in two same sex parents? I think it goes back to that otherness we talked about. If a growing tree only gets support from one angle, it won’t grow straight, but will be bent. When you have support from opposite sides, then it can grow straight and tall. Best of all is a three way support. In children, that is one mother, one father, and the inclusion of God in the whole process.

 

6.SofS2:2-3 A.  She is compared to a lily among thorns. I had to go digging in various translations, looking for wildflower, which I didn’t find. But I did find a footnote that said the rose of Sharon and the lily are both very common flowers in Israel. Wild flowers brighten and beautify. They lift the heart. While they are generally smaller than cultivated flowers, they spread easily and usually have a better fragrance. How can a wife or mother do that? While there are many wives and mothers, making them common, each is unique. She brings beauty and lifts the hearts of those around her.

I don’t think a woman has to be married or a mother to display this. My single daughter, at 37, brightens and beautifies the circle of life around her.

B.  He is compared to an apple tree. Apple trees provide a season of bloom, shade, protection, life sustaining fruit, and even the wood can give enhanced flavor to grilled meat. How do husbands and fathers do this? To see a man at his wedding or at a new birth is like seeing the tree in bloom. He protects his family physically and financially. He provides the fruit of his labor, but when he is following Jesus, he is also providing and modeling the fruit of the Spirit for his family. And when he sacrifices for them, he enhances their lives.

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You did such a nice job on the radio today, Dee.  I loved hearing the story of when you followed God’s lead and talked about Song of Songs in prison.  That was powerful.    You were so sensitive to call in questions also.  Thanks for sharing the link!

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    I agree with Wanda, Dee…the In the Market interview was wonderful. Your explanations and Janet’s attesting to there being so much more…yay!  The Lord is moving. 💗

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Dee, prayed for you yesterday. I was unable to listen to the program live, but I hope to go back and listen this week!

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6.C.  As the bride of Christ, regardless of what other role we carry or don’t carry, we can provide fragrance and beauty by living out Christ’s life and love in us. Especially by our attitudes, women are influencers. Peter says that the gentle, quiet spirit is of great worth in God’s sight. I take that to mean being settled in Him, satisfied in Him. No longer searching anxiously or grasping in greed or complaining in comparison to someone else. Nor in putting others down or gossiping in an attempt to lift self up.

D.  How can I trust Jesus to be my Protector and Provider? My first thought goes to when I want to eat, knowing I don’t need it. As I turn to Him, He shows me how I step away from His protection in listening to temptation and starting to whine. When I acknowledge that, He reminds me of recent worship and how He stands ready to fill me with Himself, taking care of protecting me. With a house full of food, it is obvious that He also provides physically for me.

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Dee, very much looking forward to hearing on how you felt the interview and show went.  And continuing to pray that God would help you recover from it all.

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Thank you so much for praying for the interview. Truly I was tense all day, but then felt His peace and presence. She was so enthusiastic and kind and I was more than grateful that we didn’t get (or they didn’t take) a call from someone on the gay issue — that is what I prepared for, but thankfully, it didn’t happen — I do think it would have been a distraction.

Thank you thank you thank you

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I listened to you on Janet Parshell’s show and it was so nice to hear your voice! I loved listening to the scripture read and especially the middle eastern music played in the background. It gave a nice “flavor” to the reading. I keep thinking about the myrrh on the door handle…such a picture image for me!

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    Not surprised you were drawn the the music part, Laura!

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7.  What have you learned that might help articulate the truth in love? The things from Ravi. The higher beauty of God’s plan. The truths from John Stonestreet about divorce among gays.

 

8.  Believers in the face of bullying and hostility. They remained polite and constant and stayed on topic, refusing to be dragged off it. It was very upsetting to me to listen to it. It made me feel like I felt growing up in a home full of argument and fighting. I do almost anything to avoid that now. Usually that means to get very quiet, which was my coping skill then, too.

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    I feel the same, Mary — and i think you are right — remaining polite, staying on topic — and I thought the lawyer radiated the peace of Christ.

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7. What have you learned that might help you articulate the truth in love?

 

Unfortunately, I don’t think I have learned anything that will help out in this kind of situation. I don’t think the people of whom we speak are interested in hearing what we have to say. In this respect, I agree with Laura Marie; we live in a secular world now. It is sad, but we will never look like we care to those who won’t even consider Christ. To them, we are arrogant in thinking that our way is the only way to heaven (I have often struggled with this idea too; that our way is the only way…it seems so harsh from the outside and I don’t know how to make it not seem that way). How does one make it look good? I’m thinking of the atheist Dee posted in one study where the guy asks how we could keep such a good thing from others? I’m also thinking of my colleague who is an atheist and has embraced her daughter (15) wanting to be a boy “because she said she would commit suicide if we didn’t.” Then, they have spent a year + going to psychologists and such who (I’m sure) have told her it’s okay (she wouldn’t go to a Christian psychologist, right?). I had this very conversation with her a couple of years ago and even though I made decent “arguments,” it fell on deaf ears. She wasn’t Christian so it didn’t apply for her. She and the doctors all have this idea that right at birth, the “wrong” chromosome was “presented” and that’s why the girl feels like a boy. I told her that God made her daughter exactly who she could be. I will give her credit, she knows how I feel and is still kind to me, accepting my beliefs (one of the more tolerant “progressives” that I know). Then, there is my own kid. My youngest thinks he is gay. I have told him I will never believe that about him. I explained that our society has put men in the categories of either athletic, or gay, and that we are missing the “renaissance man” category like his grandfather was. My dad was a musician who loved the arts, and he wasn’t gay! He is a very smart young man, who does know the Bible (he went to a private Christian school), and looks at Christians (I believe) as hateful people even though I am as loving to him as I am to my other children. Our conversation about this topic has been stifled because we both have (tacitly) agreed to disagree. We don’t talk about this. So, maybe that is my charge…to actually have the conversation with him. How would one go about that? Maybe Rebecca’s tactic; telling him to pray and God will take it away. I don’t think he wants to pray and change though. He isn’t at the marriage point in his life yet though either, so talking about marriage between one man and one woman doesn’t seem to fit either. I wonder if he and I could do the “He Calls You Beautiful” study together somehow online this fall? He will be in a second semester abroad in Germany. I am actually going to meet him in London next week for a quick vacation since I haven’t seen him since January (he has been in Spain). Any advice would be very welcomed on this subject! Thank you in advance 😉.

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    After thinking more on this, I do think I could ask questions like Stephanie did in the google talk from last week, but then what questions? I always stumble over my words and end up sounding like someone who knows nothing about the topic! I would need to be very prepared, as Dee suggested with her talk with Janet Parshall.

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      I did like the question Ravi posed: It was something like, “It is good to protect the sacredness of ethnicity – why wouldn’t you want to protect the sacredness of the marriage bed?” (This would be for believers, not unbelievers.)

       

      With unbelievers, I would ask, “Do you think there might be reasons why God ordained one woman and one man for life for marriage?”

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    Laura……I don’t have advice about how you should talk with your son since I don’t know him – and don’t know you either – other than from this online discussion.  ;-)  But there is one thing that I wonder about.  I have heard you say more than once that he ‘thinks’ he is gay and that you will not believe that.  I have a cousin who has said the same about her son.  Does this mean that you do not believe that others – Wesley Hill for example – have had same sex attraction since birth?  Or do you say that only about your son because of course, he is your son and you know his personality, nuances and pre-dispositions?    My thoughts about this have definitely evolved over time but now, I think it is unmistakable that same sex attraction is most often- maybe not always-  hard wired into people from their beginning.  Why?  I won’t pretend to know that.   I truly hope your time with your son in London is wonderful!  I hope you will be able to relax and really enjoy each other and build lasting memories that strengthen your relationship.  We’ll be waiting to hear about your adventures!

     

    (PS – my son is a musician and loves the arts and is not gay.  I have to disagree that the ‘renaissance man’ as you call him,  is missing.  He may not be as prominent, but he is definitely not gone.)

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      I guess I am saying that I don’t believe there is a gay “gene” Wanda. I believe environment has a lot to do with bringing it out, but I have no scientific basis for that (as is the same for genetics). I believe some people for various reasons don’t seem to feel like they fit in and instead of looking for Christ they look to humans to satisfy them, just like a drug or some idol that takes over our lives. In many cases they might not even know about Christ or be connected to Him at the time. In the case of my son, he went to a Christian school where a highly influential teacher who was gay taught. I believe my son was taught that it’s okay to be gay, so any predisposed thoughts he had were validated. Needless to say, I am still upset that I spent $40,000 for this place to do this to my son 😔. I would have liked to see him learn that we all have desires that are sinful and we all need to continually fight them to, in the end, be more Christ like. I fight internally everyday what I am eating and drinking and it is a hard battle. Our fights are equal in difficulty and importance too.

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8. How did you see the believers provide a model of love in the face of bullying and hostility?  I feel like Jack Phillips stated his position both repeatedly and clearly, that anyone is welcome in his store to buy any product he has already prepared, but he will not knowingly prepare cakes for certain events because he can’t in good conscious, do that.  I like that his attorney asked Joy how she would feel about being forced to write a speech for the Republican healthcare plan…but Joy, of course, acted like that was not the same thing.  I thought they were both very articulate of the real issue at heart and also very kind and loving in the way they stated their position.  Joy states at the end that we have to protect the minority and that, she says, is what gay men are.  In my opinion, Bible-believing, Christ-followers are actually becoming the minority in this country…and our rights are quickly becoming unprotected….but in now way yet as bad as in many countries.

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    I liked that question to Joy too!

    We can pray for this case when it comes to court in September!

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I’m going to ask for my comment to be deleted. After much thought, I’d like to protect my niece and not share our disbute.

Thanks :)

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    HI BRENDA,

    I tried to delete — sometimes that causes troubles with the order — but seeing it is Friday, I just went ahead and did it. I understand your feelings completely. Such a hard issue! Much love, Dee

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      Brenda — doesn’t look like it has caused trouble to the flow!

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I had a long discussion with my adult sons who grew up attending a cloistered Christian academy about this very issue. I’ve always been mystified as to why the church has chosen to demonize this sin and create a class of ‘untouchables’ over other sins such as fornication, pride, greed and arrogance. Some Christians receive accolades for refusing to serve gays yet they will take money from people having sex out of wedlock, or people who have abortions or those who oppress other people. Since when does your sexual identity qualify you for God’s love, mercy and acceptance? I understand Romans 1:26-28 about homosexuality being a sin but so is divorce, having sex outside of marriage, dishonoring your parents etcetera etcetera. If you’re not going to serve or do business with anyone who is gay, then you shouldn’t do business with people who are divorced, sleeping around blah blah blah. This issue has gotten way too crazy and created an unnecessary divide within our culture and church. If they want to get married, then let them lol. Why is that any different from divorced people who remarry? Their are scriptures about that. Our default should be love, mercy and kindness, not judgment. God is the judge. I’m not.

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    Leilani — I so appreciate your writing. How true that we shouldn’t demonize anyone and that we are all broken in various ways. The reason I wrote this blog at all is because the Gay Agenda has become so powerful and influential that we are often forced into discussions. Your voice is an important one and I so value this.

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      Dee.….I replied to Leilani, which I intended to do.  But as it is late in the week, I don’t know if you will find my question in the last paragraph.  So I am using this reply to draw you to it. (post below)   THANK YOU!!

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    At the risk of being misunderstood by some here…..I want to affirm your post here, Leilani.  I feel much the same.

    I have been torn apart to see Christians boldly, verbally judge and call out as perverse, the LGBT community and yet remain  completely silent about immorality, when they choose to support a political candidate who has had multiple heterosexual affairs and has sometimes, even lauded perversion in a heterosexual scenario.   If a Christian agree politically with that person is one issue….but if they cannot, in spite of their political agreement, stand against that person’s immorality….that is very unsettling to me.  This did not only happen in the most recent presidential election but in several elections in the past.  The marriage bed has been desecrated in both scenarios….but only one causes many Christians to be repulsed.   And many are quick to pull the ‘grace’ card for one scenario and not for the other.

     

    I haven’t looked up the whole context of this verse…..but when the issue of the baker not serving a gay couple was a hot topic….I saw a local Christian businessman who I know rather well, make the statement,   “If a gay couple asks you to bake a cake…..bake for them two”   as an application of the verse, ‘If someone asks you to walk one mile with him….walk with him two”.   Now, what I am not sure of, is the context of Jesus’ words…..but it popped into my head and I decided to post.  Is this way off base???

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      I do agree we need to look at the logs in our own eyes.
      I don’t think that is a correct application of that verse. If someone asks me to do something that violates my conscience, should I do it twice? But if someone comes to me with something in line with God’s will, such as caring for the poor, I should go the extra mile. But good discussion, Wanda.

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      I also think it is important to confess our brokenness, as you have connotated Wanda, and as Leilani believes too. See my reply to Laura for why I think homosexuality is such a hot button.

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    I am going to respectfully disagree with you on this. The reason I have a problem with gays and church is that typically they don’t see what they are doing as being a sin. We are all just supposed to pretend the Bible doesn’t say what it says and accept them for what they are choosing as their lifestyle. I just don’t understand why they have to involve God. I think the other sins you mention are just not in the lime light because they aren’t being pushed on the general public like homosexuality is; it is forced upon us. Abortion is getting mentioned more these days though. I don’t really think these other sins are more accepted, they are just not talked about as much. Marriage is biblical, the first was Adam and Eve. It’s a covenant with God. I don’t believe that gays should be “married.” It is a mockery of the institution of marriage to me. I am not judging. As you say, that is for God to do. However, I do believe we have an obligation to try our best to follow the scriptures if at all possible. I’m not sure any of us get that close. It is hard.

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      I agree with you Laura that the reason homosexuality is such a hot topic is because the gay agenda is forcing it. And when asked we need to give an answer for the hope within us — because I believe Jesus rescues, I believe He can rescue us from any sinful lifestyle. We may still have the predisposition toward alcohol, gluttony, greed, or the same sex attraction, but He gives us the power to not act on it. We may fall, but He picks us up, cleanses us, and moves us toward the light. It is a sacrifice that leads to joy.

        👍

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This is such a hot topic. In the past few years I have had several nieces and one nephew “come out of the closet” . Some of them were very reluctant to share their lives with the Christians in our family for fear of retaliation, excommunication or some other form of hostility. I also work closely with several gay people. My best friend from high school divorced her husband of 25 years and married her girlfriend. After my son’s near fatal car accident, his wife’s gay aunt and her “wife” offered to let him and his family stay with them since he was in a wheelchair and they have a handicapped adopted son so their house was wheelchair accessible. It was a bit of a struggle for him as he was studying for the ministry and he had to wrestle with whether this would be looked at as winking at their sin because it was convenient for him.

I have found many of my non Christian co workers to be friendly and accepting of our gay co workers to their faces, only to call them names and make fun of them behind their backs. That is something that I do speak up about, so now they don’t make those comments when I’m around.

My eldest son is living with and not married to his daughters’ mother. To me this is all the same on the scale of sinfulness (if such a scale exists).

I don’t have anyone coming to me to seek my Christian view on the matter so it would seem to me to be argumentative if I were to broach the subject with them . I also don’t have anyone being hateful to me because I am Christian. I sometimes fear that I am loving them to hell because of my silence in the matter. As our society has come to accept and normalize premarital sex, teen sex, porn on tv, living together, children born out of wedlock, abortion, homosexual unions, I fail to see how this won’t progress to the accepting of incest, multiple partner marriages, adult/child sex and beastiality.

 

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    Dawn — I didn’t know about your son’s accident. How kind of your friend to reach out to him. It certainly is good to hear stories like this. We are all broken, we all need grace, we all need Jesus!

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      Dee, it’s been 18 months since his accident. He broke his pelvis and spine, but his survival and recovery have been miraculous. It helped that he was a runner. It took about 6 months in a wheelchair and a lot of PT, but he is back to work and doing very well.

      He will be finishing up his degree in the fall and his second daughter is due August 11 :)

        What a good ending to the story — and he showed perserverance and courage!

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    I appreciate your writing here, Dawn.   You have shown loving sensitivity to many different scenarios.

    And I agree.  I commend you for that because I think that is the best thing we can do.  Well, we can pray of course….but sowing the seeds of love and trusting God for preparing the soil  (as Laura Marie said above) is our role.    People will ask questions, when our life makes them ‘thirsty’…..but if we only build walls and avoid, they surely won’t.

    My family has several such situations too.  I am very uncomfortable with one for sure….because it involves a very young person.  But I also have to learn to sit and to listen to each story and not run away, as I am sometimes inclined to want to do.    You gave me a lot to ponder here.

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      Wanda, it’s funny you should mention running away, because in the past I would have continued to avoid people who were living a “sinful” life because I didn’t want to appear to approve of them or on the flip side to be judgemental so it was best to avoid them, but I’ve come to realize that that isn’t God’s plan for us!

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I have tried twice now to post my answer, and I keep getting kicked off my browser. The devil is surely trying to trip me up this morning!

 

8. How did you see the believers provide a model of love in the face of bullying and hostility?

 

Ugh… This is exactly why I don’t watch the mainstream broadcast TV stations anymore. The believers were a beautiful testimony as to how I should behave when confronted with hostile people in my face. That blond woman… I wanted to slap her!  She was so condescending.  She states that the Bible says a lot of things, like men shouldn’t lay with men, and then she contradicts herself by saying, “…but my church marries gays.” So hypocritical and man – made. It’s the reason I left my Methodist church 8 or 9 years ago. The national denomination decided that they would begin to marry gay people. I couldn’t, in good conscience, continue to attend and support a church that decided to go against their own doctrine to satisfy a man-made desire. I did agree with her on the judging others statements she made.

 

These women can’t understand that Christians believe that Christ is woven through the entire Bible. (I even struggle with this idea until a few years ago when I actually danced the John 1 scripture and intertwined with Proverbs 8).  They don’t have the foundation to understand this even though they attempted to pull some scripture out of the Bible to throw around during the discussion. Joy tried to get Jack to admit there are parts of the Bible he didn’t believe by saying something like, “Surely there are parts you don’t agree with right?” And, as if she had a personal connection to Jesus, kept repeating how she believed that He would have made the cake. Jack stood firm and repeated his answers over and over and held himself in check. Does she even know that Jesus told the prostitute to “…go and sin no more?” BTW Joy, I don’t believe Jesus would have made the cake. He would have loved the two men, yes, and then told a parable about marriage being between one man and one woman (think woman at the well) and sent them on their way to think it through!

 

The people who are against Jack feel it’s okay to protect gays but not Christians because they don’t like the Christian views. They make usbout to be ugly if we don’t agree with them. They are also the ones who think we should protect Muslims in America, and yet do they understand that Muslims are being killed for being gay? It’s like they jump on a bandwagon and don’t have enough information to make a rational decision. Jack’s lawyer warned (rightly) that if Jack was not able to express himself without recourse then everyone around the table would not be able to either. She was loving and caring about all. In my opinion, we can’t have our government tell us in our businesses how we can run our businesses. They are private entities and they know what’s best for their business. Jack has lost a lot throughout this proceeding, to exemplify what being a true Christian is…believing and carrying out the  scripture even when it’s not comfortable.  He is wearing his faith well.

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    Hopefully this got posted, Laura — thanks so much for your thoughts.

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Some good thoughts from new women if you have time!

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9.  Dr Wesley Hill.  He said the greatest fear of the gay community is getting to be old, alone. I thought, isn’t this much the same for any single person?  We all have to learn how to live alone at one point or another. And I sure agree with him that every person who comes to Christ has to say no to sinful desires. I agree with everyone who has written that no sin is bigger than another, that all alienate us from God. But there is something different about sexual sin of any stripe. Paul says that when someone sins sexually, it is against their own body. Not sure if he is saying the consequences are closer, or what. I also agree with those who have written that the gay issue matters because of the way it is being used to shut down the public expression of Christianity.

Really appreciated Dr Hill’s talk, taking a whole page plus of notes. I can’t seem to condense it, so won’t try.

 

thank you, Dee, for the email with link to the interview. I enjoyed getting to listen to it. Hopefully you are getting your energy back….

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    Thank you, Mary. I feel HIll is godly, respectful, and wise — and so glad you liked him and resonated with him.

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