recognizes same sex (and, eventually, who knows what other kinds of) marriages the church must define, declare, and celebrate the distinct beauty and sanctity of wedded unions consecrated before God. There are innumerable relational combinations and commitments among people, whether officially recognized or not. There is nothing new about that, but they can’t compare to a marital commitment that includes God, one man and one woman, on His declared terms. I believe it is time to make that our focus as an end-time flood rolls away a definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.
You may be surprised at inclusion of this as a core issue. It is, or at least should be. Bible-believing Christians believe in upholding law, not ignoring or breaking it. However, we have a biblical problem if our only response to illegal immigration is to build higher fences and deport all illegals and the children they brought with them, who have only known America as their home. Illegal immigration is a painfully complex matter because our Scripture-based values of respect for authority and compassion to the hurting can seem in conflict. We cannot escape the weight of scriptures such as Exodus 22:21, You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt (NLT). We do have a problem if we want to reach people groups for Jesus but do not also extend the compassion of Jesus to their plight. …Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows (Jeremiah 22:3 NLT). For this reason, I am a signer of the Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform http://evangelicalimmigrationtable.com.
How We Listen
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry (James 1:19 NLT).
Have we reached a point where all we do is talk and shout at each other? Does anyone actually listen? Increasingly, we tune exclusively to channels and commentators of our political persuasion, who angrily flail at the opposition and shut out any other views or perspectives. Our media has become so sophisticated that we can completely dial out anyone who does not agree with us. Is it any wonder Congress is in such a history- making gridlock? We are not willing to listen, consider, and communicate about how to work through our differences. Instead of searching for solutions politicians fear being identified as having yielded ground. While Christians must hold true to convictions, compromise over preferences and opinions is not evil. From the role of government to tax and energy policies, and more, we need to be willing to listen to each other. Intelligent, respectful listening to and consideration of other perspectives should not threaten us. We might learn something. We might find common ground when we thought there was none. And, we might gain more of a hearing for our perspectives. Christians should lead the way in conveying loving respect through listening – being quick to listen.