Let Marriage Be Held In Honor: Thinking Biblically About So-Called Same-Sex Marriage

A June 16 sermon by John Piper.  Go here.

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Honoring God in an Unequally Yoked Marriage, by Sarah Flashing

There is an important question that needs our attention: How does a wife honor God’s intended plan for marriage in a circumstance that doesn’t comport with God’s plan to begin with?

Go here as Flashing unfolds her answer while dealing with the ministry of wives to husbands, the issue of functional egalitarianism in such marriages, and the necessity of the wives own personal spiritual health and its impact upon the health of unequally yoked marriages.

Battling the Bitterness of Parenting a Disabled Child, by Christine Hoover

St. Augustine describes God as being “closer to me than I am to myself.” Because He knows us intimately, He also comforts us that intimately. He fully enters our pain because, unlike most humans, He can fully handle its weight, emotion, and complexity. We can go to Him and be understood. And that is when our pain is eased. From Him, we gather strength to face another day. Through Him, we see others with His eyes and we realize that everyone has pain. In Him, peace finds a dwelling place in our souls.

Go here for the rest of this article.

Polygamy In the Bible A Sordid Tale, by Lionel Windsor

A good response to those who care little about doing their due diligence in gaining perspective before asking provocative questions of or making provocative statements about Christianity (along the same lines of Keller’s response concerning why Christians can eat foods off limits in the OT but still hold to the OT’s teaching on homosexuality (of course, the latter teaching holds in the NT also).

Christian leaders were being asked about their opposition to proposals to redefine marriage, and were discussing the Bible’s view of marriage. At one point, the interviewer asked a question which is often brought up in these contexts: Doesn’t the Old Testament condone polygamy? There was, of course, a question behind the question: Since the Old Testament says polygamy is OK, why should we listen to it on any moral issue?

Why did this interviewer think the Old Testament condones polygamy? Clearly he’s expressing a common point of view. Where has it come from? I reckon it stems from the fact that a lot of people in our world don’t really know what the Bible is about. A large number of people (maybe as a result of ineffectual communication by Christian teachers) think the Bible–and especially the Old Testament–is just a list of moral commandments, along with some stories to give us examples of how to be good. So when they do get around to reading the Old Testament, they read it with this moralistic framework in mind. And they find quite a few stories where the lead character is a polygamist. Furthermore, they don’t find any explicit commands that say “Thou shalt not commit polygamy”. So, since they are assuming that the Old Testament is just a book of moral commandments and morality tales, they conclude that the Bible says polygamy is OK.

The problem, of course, is that the Bible–even the Old Testament–is not really a book of commandments and morality tales. The Bible does of course contain commandments, and lots of narratives. But hardly any of the narratives are about morally upright heroes who keep God’s commandments. Most of the narratives are about God’s actions and plans to save immoral human beings. Most of the human characters in Bible stories (even some of the most faithful ones) are morally dubious at best; in fact, many of their activities are downright sordid. You’re not supposed to read these stories as direct examples for your own life; you’re meant to read them to understand God’s actions in the midst of a tragic human history.

Go here for the rest of this instructive post.

That Awkward Moment When We Speak the Gospel, by Ken Currie

A practical help for evangelism:

Evangelism is counter-cultural. It’s true everywhere on the planet, but perhaps it’s especially so in our increasingly post-Christian Western society. We live in a polite culture, for the most part. Talk about religion? You just don’t go there. Talk about how many tornadoes have come through, and how the team is doing, and how the city has new recycling bins. But Jesus Christ, crucified for sinners and risen from the dead? You just don’t go there. So they say.

For the time being, it seems the greatest threat to gospel-telling in such a society is not that we will be hauled before the city council, beaten, and have our property taken away. What we are really dealing with is some awkwardness.

Awkwardness is perhaps the biggest threat to evangelism for far too many of us.

Go here for the full post.

Motherhood as a Mission Field, by Rachel Jankovic

There is a good old saying, perhaps only said by my Grandfather, that distance adds intrigue. It is certainly true — just think back to anything that has ever been distant from you that is now near. Your driver’s license. Marriage. Children. Things that used to seem so fascinating, but as they draw near become less mystical and more, well, real.

This same principle certainly applies to mission fields too. The closer you get to home, the less intriguing the work of sacrifice seems. As someone once said, “Everyone wants to save the world, but no one wants to help Mom with the dishes.” When you are a mother at home with your children, the church is not clamoring for monthly ministry updates. When you talk to other believers, there is not any kind of awe about what you are sacrificing for the gospel. People are not pressing you for needs you might have, how they can pray for you. It does not feel intriguing, or glamorous. Your work is normal, because it is as close to home as you can possibly be. You have actually gone so far as to become home.

This is the fourth of these posts that I have re-posted.  They have all been really insightful to me on the task of Christian motherhood.  I hope these have been encouraging to you also.  This one was, perhaps, my favorite.  Go here for the full article and be greatly challenged by the Great Commission in your home.

Motherhood is Victory, by Rachel Jankovic

Jewish women waited for a messiah. They hungered to be the mother of the Savior. They bore children in the hope of a messiah. They raised, nourished, taught, and sheltered their children in anticipation. Anticipation of salvation. Hope for a victory. Faith in God’s promises.

And so many years later — here we are, doing many of the same small tasks. Aching bodies growing new life. Nursing babies waking us through the nights. Small children with small needs. Mouths to feed, over and over. Floors to clean, clothing to tend to, physical needs to meet.

But we are in a different place in this story. We are not mothering in hope anymore. We are mothering in victory. We are not bearing children to clear a field for planting, we are bearing children to work the harvest.

Go here for the rest of this brief post.