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Both the question of sexual identity and the politics that surround it are not primarily concerned with sexual behavior. They are actually about what it means to be a human being. For Christians, far more is therefore at stake in this debate than the question of which sexual acts are moral and which are immoral. Once sex becomes recreation and once it is detached from the body’s own sexual script, what it means to be human has fundamentally changed. Sexual complementarity, the telos of marriage, and the analogy between Christ and the church all lose their significance. In a society like ours, therefore, how we think about what it means to be human has undergone a significant change. The anthropology of modern Western society is fundamentally incompatible with a Christian doctrine of man. Failure to see this and then try to argue that codes of sexual morality are negotiable and can be subordinated to pastoral strategies of love and affirmation is to contradict central tenets of the Christian faith.

When Being Affirming Isn’t Loving by Carl R. Trueman

If you haven’t read The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self or Strange New World by Carl R. Trueman, you need to. Carl has done a great job at connecting the dots between philosophical movements over the centuries to today.

In addressing Andy Stanley here, he is spot on. There are reasons that certain biblical understandings are important. Sexuality and marriage are fundamental and foundational to our understanding of what it means to be human. The modern warped view on it separates us from God, confuses more than it clarifies, and sets us up for a life of misery.

While Isaiah and his colleagues saw their task as calling the people away from the anthropology of the wider world and back to that of the covenant God, today’s prophets seem to see their task as being religious mouthpieces for the priorities of the wider culture, calling the church away from a Christian anthropology and toward that of the world around.

Go read the whole article and his books as well. Christian, the world’s view has shifted far from that of Christianity. And you need to understand it because you’ll be facing it sooner or later.

This whole post is solid, but one thing— especially as a dad— that has been really grabbing me of late is looking forward, not back. Not just looking forward to Christ’s return— though we await that day— but looking forward to generations to come. Yes, Christ could return tomorrow. True. But He could also return 10,000 years from now. Cultivating in my children, knowing that the future is their home, is equaly important as preparing to enter the Kingdom tomorrow. And if there be 10,000 more years, bright shining as the Sun, we have battles to prepare them for, we have foundations to secure.

But our children, and our children’s children, they may be remembered as the generation that began to mount some of the first and most significant attacks against the dragons and giants that currency[sic] terrorize the King’s land.

My children may be the leaders in the next Reformation, the next revivals that turn nations to God Almighty. They may have a hand in pushing the dragons back into the dark. We cannot just retreat and hold out until Christ returns with His mighty armies, lest we are committed to being on the run for 10,000 years. We have to push back the dark and our kids, a quiver full of arrows, are the next major part of that.

Perhaps the story is not coming to a close, but barely beginning.

I try to reserve words until things are clear. Andy Stanley has said some questionable things over the years, but I chalked most of them up to out-of-context sound bites that oversimplified complex teachings… Well, Andy made things perfectly clear over the weekend it seems. He’s no longer a Christian and is openly teaching heresy from the pulpit.

[Gay Christians] choose a same sex marriage, not because they’re convinced it’s biblical. They read the same Bible we do. They chose to marry for the same reason many of us do, love, companionship and family.

And in the end, as was the case for all of us, and this is the important thing I want you to hear me say, it’s their decision. Our decision is to decide how we respond to their decision.

Andy Stanley’s Version of Christianity

Great discussion and suggestion around a topic du jour. Christian, you should not participate in their rituals. Be prepared to answer why you won’t.

On Dragons and Darkness

Note: I wrote the following in June of last year in my journal. Many words were written in that journal that will not be published. Some were too personal, some too dark. But the following I believe should see the light of day.


Overwhelmed. It is a word that has consumed my life as of late. And I have been struggling to grasp it all. The darkness of the world caught up to me.

For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12 (RSV)

Our world. Seems like a whirlwind over the past couple decades. I started to see the slope when I entered college. And the world has slid. And slid. And slid. And those of us that go the opposite direction of the cliff are called crazy. But I am quick to point out to those baffled by the illogic of it all that we are arguing with the Dead. How can we expect them to reason?

Our battle? It is with the rulers of the darkness.

And that darkness. Until Christ returns that darkness is here to stay. And while light pushes back darkness, while the Church spreads the Light, at times it can feel that we are outnumbered. That we are outmatched.

But so was Gideon. And that was the point.

For we are not alone in the darkness. We are not to rely on ourselves in the darkness. We are with Christ and He with us.

In this present darkness, I have been thinking about monsters. Dragons, titans, fearsome beasts out to do nothing but destroy. It is hard to not look out into the night and wonder what is looking back. Knowing that our war is against the rulers of the darkness, I look out and know they look back. I shudder and hold to my torch.

Neil Gaiman wrote what he thought was a quote from GK Chesterton in saying:

Fairy tales are more than true;
not because they tell us that dragons exist,
but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

This was a bit of an oversummarization of GK1, but it gets to his point. As children we know that our world is scary. We do not have to be taught this. We know, just beyond the edge of the veil of darkness, monsters creep, waiting to devour us. We know the importance of light and staying by it, maybe if for no other reason but to be able to see what comes. Fairy tales teach us that we have a Savior fearless and ready to grab his sword, ready to ride into the darkness and return with the head of a dragon.

Yes, there are dragons just beyond sight, lurking, ready to ambush you. Flaming tongues ready to burn you alive. But behind you stands a Slayer of Dragons. His Sword sharp, His wit sharper. While our mortal frames are frail, we are given strength to battle monsters of an unseen realm.

So here I am. Overwhelmed by the darkness. The coals of my fire casting low flickers of light against the trees. Though my encampment is surrounded by the enemy, though the dragons lurk, I am safe in Christ. He sits by, sword at the ready. And in Him, I can persevere.

Footnotes

  1. G. K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles
    “The timidity of the child or the savage is entirely reasonable; they are alarmed at this world, because this world is a very alarming place. They dislike being alone because it is verily and indeed an awful idea to be alone. Barbarians fear the unknown for the same reason that Agnostics worship it—because it is a fact. Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.”

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

Matthew 5:44 KJV

You have a job, Christian. Indoctrinate your children, raise them in the faith. Sending them to be raised by the world for 30+ hours a week and thinking that you can counter all the world’s indoctrination is stupidity. This is your job. If you don’t do it, someone else will. They are more than willing.

Sharks Are Lurking

We were at a local beach with our kids a few weeks ago. A weekend out, away from the stress of the world. My daughter, ever the friendly one, was playing with a young boy when I got a sick, deep in my stomach feeling. I approached the lad and asked, “Bud, what’s your name?” He responded, “My name is Ivy and I’m a girl. I can prove it, I have seven Barbies at home.”

Let us be clear, girls do not talk this way and Ivy was not a girl.

Not having encountered this kind of situation yet, I pulled my daughter aside and told her that she cannot call him a girl as this is a lie, but could call the young man Ivy. I allowed my daughter to continue playing with him, but we stayed close. All the interactions were strained and weird.

What I learned at home shook me to my core. My daughter told my wife that she was playing with the young boy and a group of children. They split up boys and girls to play a game. The boy then yelled at my daughter, demanding that she call him a girl or he wouldn’t play with her. He kept scolding her until she caved and said, “fine, you’re a girl!”

Parents. I failed. My gut said to get her away, to protect her, but my heart assumed that this boy wasn’t going to do anything while I was close. Unfortunately he had already done it before I realized what was happening. And I am furious.

This child was taught to manipulate other children. His mother was close by. My daughter felt violated, didn’t know how to tell us there. Didn’t understand why this boy was yelling at her.

This is the insidious part of transgenderism. It would be one thing if they lived their lives and let us live ours. But that isn’t how it works. They must force us to participate in their charade. But to participate is to bear false witness. To lie. My daughter knew this boy wasn’t a girl, but she wanted to play. That’s why we were at the beach. To have fun, to decompress. But this young child decided to prey on her, to force her to lie. And all she wanted was to play so he took advantage of that to force her.

Let me speak clearly, we have learned a lesson in my house. My guard is sharpened.

Parents, this is what is lurking below the waves. Be vigilant. They want you to speak their lies. To deny truth. And they dance in the streets chanting that they are coming for your children. Trust them when they say that. They are.

The Curse of Work?

I overheard someone grumbling at a gas station about the curse of work this morning. It caught me off guard. It brought me back to some the earliest practical theology that stuck with me.

Work came before the fall.

It’s both simple and resounding. Adam had to work in the Garden. This was deemed good. To cultivate, to dominate, to steward. These were tasks for mankind in the perfect, good Creation before sin entered the world.

This is why idle hands get men into trouble. We were not designed to do nothing. It’s why you hear so many say they cannot vacation well. They want to be doing things. I am one of those people. Too long away from working and I start to get anxious. Yes, reading a good book is great, a taking a day by the beach can be relaxing, a week driving around the mountains to mesmerizing, and a week at a music festival charges up the batteries, but…

I was made to work.

I wake up early, usually between 4 and 5am, and work on side projects— like the new mandolin I just started— to get by brain ready for the day. A work friend jokingly said that once the kids move out I’d likely start sleeping in and I responded that I’d still be getting up early and going into the shop to build things.

If I didn’t have my day job as an engineer I would be building other things, whether apps or wooden things. Simply, I could never go more than a week or two without productively doing things.

If you treat work as a part of the curse, that is where your bar will be. If you reset your heart to seeing that work was created by God, you can start to see the importance of your role in the world, even if lowly, and start to bring glory to God in one of the most substantial parts of your life.

In my life I keep quoting this post I made in February. When we are facing the dragons in our lives, it is our Lord that the victory belongs to, not us. If our Lord willed, our pens would break and ours swords would become mere cardboard tubes. It is only by His will that victory is had and to Him be the glory.

Sometimes I swing my flimsy sword at the throats of dragons and have the audacity to think my half-hearted thrust mattered in their fall whilst ignoring the Lion’s roaring bellow behind me.

Let me not claim victories that do not belong to me. Let me recognize the power of God, for I am but a jar of clay.