Sunday, September 30, 2007

Uncovering the Psychology Behind the Fight for Gay Marriage

Evan Wolfson is the founder of the gay marriage movement. He is a promiment civil rights attorney and advocate and founder/executive director of Freedom to Marry. This recent interview with Wolfson reveals not only what is at stake in the gay marriage movement, but how cleverly sinister those fighting for same-sex unions are in their arguments for equality. The interview is long but worth the time to read. Here are a couple of excerpts from the article.

According to Wolfson, he is an advocate for marriage, not simply gay marriage:

DS: You are one of the leaders, arguably the founder, of the modern gay marriage movement—

EW: —marriage. Not gay marriage. Marriage. We’re not fighting for gay marriage, or same-sex marriage, or any phrase like that. We are fighting for an end to exclusion from marriage. We are fighting for the freedom to marry, the same freedom, rules, responsibilities and respect as our non-gay brothers and sisters have. It’s not just a question of wording.

The question, however, is what should be the boundaries for marriage if they are not based on the defintion that marriage is meant to be defined by God, designated exclusively to be between a man and a woman. Where does the slippery slope lead? What is to prevent polygamy between loving, consenting adults? What is to prevent marriage to minors between loving, consenting partners? What is to keep someone from marrying an animal?

Marriage is a vocabulary, it’s a vehicle, an engine for a larger discussion that moves people’s understanding of who gay people are, why sex discrimination is wrong, why exclusion is wrong in America, that brings up discussion the separation of church and state, that brings up discussion of whether there should be limitations or roles based on sex, or whether w:men and women should be treated equally. Whether two women should be considered whole when they form a committed and loving relationship, as opposed to saying they are unwhole and unequal because they don’t have a man in their life.

This quote gives some real insight into where this debate is going. It is much bigger than marriage alone.

DS: Transgender people face specific issues in marriage since what constitutes a man or a woman is often legally defined. How does the marriage movement address this issue?

EW: Our understanding of how you define a man and a woman should absolutely be true to people’s lived experience and should not be laced with archaic gender roles and discriminatory attitudes about men and women or about people who are transgender. Second, we all have an interest in ending sex discrimination in marriage. How you come to be a same-sex couple, whether by transition as a transgender person, or simply by falling in love with a person of the same sex, really shouldn’t affect your ability to get a marriage license. It should not matter to the government because there is no good reason for the government to impose a different sex restriction on a couple who wants to marry. That’s true whether it be a couple that includes a person who is transgender or a couple who happened to get there by falling in love.

Notice that for Wolfson how we define what is "true" is based upon "people's lived experience", not on an objective standard. Again, if our subjective experience is the basis for defining our morality, who then defines what is ultimately morally right and wrong?

Read the article for yourself and feel free to post comments for discussion.

Sin and Grace

I recently finished Dave Harvey's fantastic book When Sinners Say "I Do". While the book is clearly written to benefit married couples, there is no doubt that anyone could benefit from the wisdom of this book in everyday relationships. Why? I think Paul David Tripp says it best in the foreword of the book:

This book grasps the core drama of every married couple [and humanity]. This drama is no respecter of race, ethnic origin, location, or period of history. It is the one thing that explains the doom and hope of every human relationship. It is the theme that is on every page of this book in some way. What is this drama? It is the drama of sin and grace.

Questions for Kids

Justin Taylor has posted a very helpful list of questions that Rick Gamache regularly asks his kids. This is a must read for fathers.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Mitt Romney

Christianity Today interviews Mitt Romney.

How do you answer evangelicals who want their President to have faith but not your faith?

It depends on what they worry about. Do they want agreement on doctrine, and does that really effect how someone leads as President? Or does someone want a President who shares values and will preserve the values and culture of America? That will only happen if people band together where we share common values.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Granddaddy's Thoughts

I read John Piper's words, spoken at his granddaughter's funeral, with tears. But the tears came, not only through the sorrow I feel for the unspeakable pain and sense of loss that Abraham and Molly Piper (Felicity's parents) must feel right now in the overwhelming grief of losing a child, but also for the unfathomable joy and comfort that come through knowing Jesus, wondering how those who do not profess faith in Jesus cope with a loss such as this brought about by the curse of sin. I pray your faith is strengthened. Mine has been as the Piper's reveal to the world how to grieve and hope in a way that shifts our affections toward God. There is only one rock and anchor sufficient through the tempest of life's storms found only through a God-centered vision of this world and eternity revealed in Jesus.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hebrews 13:17 and the Western Mega-church

I found an excellent post about the perspective that many non-Western Christian pastors and leaders have on the state of mega-church in the West. While we have a multitude of churches that boast memberships of over 20,000, and I serve in a convention that boasts of over 16 million, most of these churches, as well as our convention, can only account for approximately 1/3 of their membership on any given Sunday. If God's Word is true, countless pastors will be held accountable by God for the souls of their membership and have no idea where almost 2/3 of those people even are! Many non-Western Christian leaders weep over the fact that we don't know where our members are and at how little it costs to follow Jesus in America. I encourage you to read the post about unregenerate church membership in its entirety.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Culture Waging War On Our Children

It only takes a surface reading of the daily headlines on Fox News or CNN to see that the curse of sin and the men who delight in it are waging war against our children in unprecedented ways. Consider the following:

Texas woman sets her three children on fire;
US Prosecutor arrested for seeking to have sex with girl, 5;
Fashion show blasted for using 13 year-old as their sexy model spotlight;
Kidnappers force teenagers to smoke marijuana and perform sex acts;
Celebrity faced with losing custody of two toddlers because of wild lifestyle;

These are just examples of how people within our culture are exploiting and causing physical, emotional and spiritual injury to children in order to satisfy the cravings of their corrupt desires. The stories I came across today stirred up emotions ranging from disgust to outright anger against these predators who use our children for their own gain or as bargaining chips in society. These are some of the more perverted examples of the curse of sin and the hatred we should have as believers for its effects on our world. May Jesus hasten to make all things new while protecting the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of my children in this broken world.

Carson on Contextualization

Justin Taylor posted this on his site already this morning, but it was such a helpful distinction that I wanted to post it here as well - just in case you don't typically read Taylor's site.

The following was in an email from D.A. Carson to Mark Driscoll, as cited in Driscoll's chapter ("The Church and the Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World") in the forthcoming book, The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World:
Paul refuses to circumcise Titus, even when it was demanded by many in the Jerusalem crowd, not because it didn’t matter to them, but because it mattered so much that if he acquiesced, he would have been giving the impression that faith in Jesus is not enough for salvation: one has to become a Jew first, before one can become a Christian. That would jeopardize the exclusive sufficiency of Jesus.

To create a contemporary analogy: If I’m called to preach the gospel among a lot of people who are cultural teetotallers, I’ll give up alcohol for the sake of the gospel. But if they start saying, “You cannot be a Christian and drink alcohol,” I’ll reply, “Pass the port” or “I’ll think I’ll have a glass of Beaujolais with my meal.” Paul is flexible and therefore prepared to circumcise Timothy when the exclusive sufficiency of Christ is not at stake and when a little cultural accommodation will advance the gospel; he is rigidly inflexible and therefore refuses to circumcise Titus when people are saying that Gentiles must be circumcised and become Jews to accept the Jewish Messiah.

Driscoll also offers a crucial distinction, again from the pen of Carson: "No truth which human beings may articulate can ever be articulated in a culture-transcending way—but that does not mean that the truth thus articulated does not transcend culture."

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Lord willing, I'll be leaving for vacation in the next two days. This means I probably won't be able to post. If you think of me and my family, please pray for the following:

* Safe passage to Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. We will be driving late on Sat night into the the early morning. Pray that God would protect us. Pray that God would keep me alert and lucid as I drive;

* Pray for rest. Pray that we would not only rest physically but that we would rest in Christ during the week;

* Pray for intellectual stimulation. Too often vacation is a good time to "check out" spiritually. I'm taking along some books that I hope continue to shape my thoughts about the church, marriage, missions and preaching from the OT. Pray that I would not be lazy with my mind during the week;

* Pray for purity. The beach can be a wonderful place to relax, but it can be a place of torment visually for those who desire purity because they want to see God (Matt 5:8). Pray that we would be diligent to guard our eyes and hearts during the week;

* Pray for a special time of fellowship with my family. I love my three girls and want this week to be special and saturated with Daddy and husband time.

Thanks for praying.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Takin' a Cheeto Beatin'

An Iowa man was charged with assault for throwing a bag of Cheetos at his father. The bag hit his face and caused his eye-glasses to cut the bridge of his nose. The son admitted to being on methamphetamines at the time.

Okay, seriously, I'm not excusing that this man was out of his mind on drugs at the time, but assault for hurling a bag of Cheetos. Under this criteria I'm guilty of assault when I launch balls of paper at students for talking.