New Testament scholar James Edwards relates this story:
In January 1982 I asked [German theologian] Helmet Thielicke if he could identify the worst evil he experienced in the Third Reich in Germany.
His answer: “The unredeemed human heart.”
New Testament scholar James Edwards relates this story:
In January 1982 I asked [German theologian] Helmet Thielicke if he could identify the worst evil he experienced in the Third Reich in Germany.
His answer: “The unredeemed human heart.”
On Saturday, at the Men’s Conference here at church, Jack Crans said something to this effect:
“If I say the word ‘muse’ people look at me like I’m crazy. If I say ‘amuse,’ they know what I’m talking about.”
He was trying to make a point about our need to muse on the word of God. He used the word, then stopped, and said the quote above. His point was that, in our culture, we use the word “amuse” a lot. And we almost never use the word “muse.”
And I forget if he went on to make this point or not (because my mind went off on this at that moment) but what a profound insight this is–because of course, the meaning of the prefix “a” before a word is to say “not” something. So, if “muse” means “to think over slowly and deeply,” then “amuse” means “to not think deeply or slowly at all.” And if we live in a culture where everyone knows and loves the word “amuse” but no one knows the word “muse”… do you see what’s going on? We’ve built entire industries for amusement, and most people around us spend most of their time and money, and invest most of their emotional energy, in these industries–the industries of amusement. Which means…we have an entire society built on keeping people from thinking slowly and deeply about things that matter.
Many people don’t even consider that they might spend their life doing that. They want to be amused. And if “musing” is what is really necessary for a deep understanding of who God is and what he says to us, where does this put us?
I suggest doing a word search on the word “meditate“ in the Bible.
You might also want to listen to Jack’s whole message.
Russell Moore is a pretty dependable source for thoughtful, spiritual insights into cultural issues. For instance, here is his answer to the question, “Should You Be Angry at Chick-fil-A?“
Here’s one great quote:
“The cross is a contradiction to the powers of this world and needs no propping up by them, whether governmental or corporate or cultural. “
And here’s another:
“We need no franchised, culturally-approved outposts of finance, though we should be thankful when we see such occasionally. We need outposts of the kingdom, following Jesus Christ by faith.”
Here is a powerful article by Andrew Sullivan, on the opiate crisis in America. He writes:
It’s been several decades since Daniel Bell wrote The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, but his insights have proven prescient. Ever-more-powerful market forces actually undermine the foundations of social stability, wreaking havoc on tradition, religion, and robust civil associations, destroying what conservatives value the most. They create a less human world. They make us less happy. They generate pain.
This is an important observation. Haven’t we all been told, from our earliest days, that to live in this capitalistic society, with this huge economy that produces so much stuff for us to get (Ice Cream! xBox! Hot Tub! Tesla!) is the best possible world to live in, where people can be so happy and fulfilled, because we can have all these things? Sullivan continues:
This was always a worry about the American experiment in capitalist liberal democracy. The pace of change, the ethos of individualism, the relentless dehumanization that capitalism abets, the constant moving and disruption, combined with a relatively small government and the absence of official religion, risked the construction of an overly atomized society, where everyone has to create his or her own meaning, and everyone feels alone. The American project always left an empty center of collective meaning, but for a long time Americans filled it with their own extraordinary work ethic, an unprecedented web of associations and clubs and communal or ethnic ties far surpassing Europe’s, and such a plethora of religious options that almost no one was left without a purpose or some kind of easily available meaning to their lives. Tocqueville marveled at this American exceptionalism as the key to democratic success, but he worried that it might not endure forever.
And it hasn’t. What has happened in the past few decades is an accelerated waning of all these traditional American supports for a meaningful, collective life, and their replacement with various forms of cheap distraction. Addiction — to work, to food, to phones, to TV, to video games, to porn, to news, and to drugs — is all around us. The core habit of bourgeois life — deferred gratification — has lost its grip on the American soul. We seek the instant, easy highs, and it’s hard not to see this as the broader context for the opioid wave. This was not originally a conscious choice for most of those caught up in it: Most were introduced to the poppy’s joys by their own family members and friends, the last link in a chain that included the medical establishment and began with the pharmaceutical companies.
It may be best to think of this wave therefore not as a function of miserable people turning to drugs en masse but of people who didn’t realize how miserable they were until they found out what life without misery could be. To return to their previous lives became unthinkable. For so many, it still is.
If Marx posited that religion is the opiate of the people, then we have reached a new, more clarifying moment in the history of the West: Opiates are now the religion of the people.
And then, later in the article, Sullivan makes an essential observation. What is it, really, that’s driving so many people to want to chemically check out of life? We could say, “sin.” And we wouldn’t be wrong. However, if we look around and think about the cultural world we’re all living in, we can see certain features of our culture—things we been told since our earliest days, the songs we sing, the shows we watch, the scientific theories of humanity we promote—and we might realize that we’ve created a world with absolutely no meaning. And then we’ve expected men and women to be happy and fulfilled living in that world.
And it just doesn’t work that way.
To see this epidemic as simply a pharmaceutical or chemically addictive problem is to miss something: the despair that currently makes so many want to fly away. Opioids are just one of the ways Americans are trying to cope with an inhuman new world where everything is flat, where communication is virtual, and where those core elements of human happiness — faith, family, community — seem to elude so many. Until we resolve these deeper social, cultural, and psychological problems, until we discover a new meaning or reimagine our old religion or reinvent our way of life, the poppy will flourish.
We have seen this story before — in America and elsewhere. The allure of opiates’ joys are filling a hole in the human heart and soul today as they have since the dawn of civilization. But this time, the drugs are not merely laced with danger and addiction. In a way never experienced by humanity before, the pharmaceutically sophisticated and ever more intense bastard children of the sturdy little flower bring mass death in their wake. This time, they are agents of an eternal and enveloping darkness. And there is a long, long path ahead, and many more bodies to count, before we will see any light.
Can you believe that last paragraph was published in New York Magazine? Listen to the biblical allusions. It should fortify us to remember that Christians have the only answer. Rehab, Capitalism, “a good job”—none of these things can fill “the hole in the human heart.” But we know the One who can. Maybe he wants to turn us from that long path ahead, and help us all see the light, before there really are many more bodies to count.
There is a scene in the movie Inception which I’ve never forgotten, because I think it perfectly captures the situation of our modern culture, especially when it comes to our interaction with mass visual media. In the movie, there is a technology which lets people roam around in their own (and others’) unconscious, creating whatever worlds they want to inhabit, for as long as they want to be there. At one point, the main character happens on a room where a bunch of people are sleeping and using this technology, and he learns that every day after work they come straight here and do this all night. He asks, “They come here just to go to sleep?” and the reply he gets is: “They come here…to wake up!”
Think about that for a moment. The picture is of a people who don’t like their actual lives, and want to live instead in false worlds in their minds, and so they live their real lives to get back to their fake lives, because their fake lives are more preferable than their real lives. And so they’ve told themselves that their real lives are not who they really are, but that their pretend lives are the life they’re really living.
I thought about this recently when I read this definition of pop culture (and pop entertainment) in an article by Robert Koons. He writes:
“Pop entertainment is a purely commercial enterprise, an imitation and perversion of folk culture. It is addictive but transitory, appealing to an appetite for novelty and distraction. Pop entertainment is truly the opiate of the masses in a leveling society: numbing, anesthetic, escapist.”
Those last three words he uses are important, and, I think, spot on: Numbing, anesthetic, and escapist. Designed to deaden you sensitivity to the real world, and make you unable to feel it. Designed to put make you unaware of your surroundings, and put you to sleep in terms of the world around you. Designed to help you ignore and leave the real world. Directly opposed to true feeling and sensitivity, true awareness, and true engagement.
In other words, the technology in Inception is a perfect metaphor for our modern media, pop-culture, and pop-entertainment. People love pop-entertainment, don’t they? Aren’t many, many people in America right now in a situation where they trudge through days they consider boring, meaningless or even painful, just so they can get to the lives they consider their “real” lives–their gaming or their shows or their parties or their TV sports? No judgment here–just recognition. It’s not being critical to notice that this is, in fact, the case.
But it is tragic. Why? Because human life wasn’t created to be escaped; it was created to be lived. It wasn’t created to feel less real and meaningful than fantasy. As Christians, we’ve begun to discover the truth that reality is better than fantasy. And we’re committed to experiencing and spreading the knowledge of that life-changing truth everywhere.
Sure, we might read a work of fantasy or watch a movie (like say, some good old Tolkien or Lewis). Fantasy works, like all fiction, can illuminate things about the real world, and make profound points about actual truths. They can be great food for the mind, especially in book form. But followers of Jesus don’t live in fantasy worlds, because the real world God made is better–more alive, more rewarding, more meaningful. To follow Jesus is to respond to an invitation to turn away from all fantasy-lies, and from preferring even “good” fantasy to reality, and instead, to embrace the real world and our real place in it. It’s better. And it’s what we were made for.
Can I make a suggestion for the new year? If this particular subject affects you…
…take some time as 2018 closes and 2019 begins, and talk to God about all of that. Ask him to reignite your interest in, and passion for, the real world. Ask him to impress on you the best thing about the real world–that God himself dwells in it, ready to reveal himself and work on behalf of those who seek him. Ask him to show you, freshly, how purpose and meaning and the hope of Christ’s return and the presence of the Spirit and the real risk and even more real reward of living a life pointed towards the coming Kingdom of God all add up to make the real world the best possible place in which to be alive.
Paul Tripp has an interesting article he entitled “The Bad News about Christmas.” Here’s the heart of it:
Remember, the miracle of Jesus’s birth is that he was fully God and fully man. God gave himself to us in outrageous redemptive love. God exposed himself to what we all face in this terribly broken and dysfunctional world. This story is so amazing, so beyond our normal categories for making sense of things, and so beautiful that it is hard to wrap the thoughts of your brain and the emotions of your heart around it. God has come to earth. Could there ever be better news than this?
But there is a second part of the story that makes God’s shocking work of intervention make sense. Why would God do such a thing? What would motivate him to go to such an unthinkable extent? Whenever you see people do the unexpected or the unusual, it is natural to ask yourself why they thought that their radical action was necessary. This is where the Christmas story is the worst news ever.
I’m going to ask you to humbly open your heart to this second part, the bad news part of the Christmas story.
God has to invade our world in the person of Jesus because there was simply no other way.
And why was there no other way? Prepare for the bad news.
There was no other way because our big problem in life is not familial or historical or societal or political or relational or ecclesiastical or financial. The biggest, darkest thing that all of us have to face, and that somehow, someway influences everything we think, say, and do, isn’t outside us; it’s inside. If you had none of the above problems in your life, you would still be in grave danger, because of the danger you are to yourself. If the only thing human beings needed were a little external tweaking of their life circumstances, then the coming of Jesus to earth wouldn’t make any sense.
But if the greatest danger to all of us lives inside us and not outside us, then the radical intervention of the incarnation of Jesus is our only hope.
Interested? You might want to read the whole thing.
Check out this paragraph from a comment posted to a popular blog, on the issue of immigration and Americans who fear for their communities:
We (as in, human beings in the 21st century) are probably having a tougher time assimilating people into our communities than we have in the past because of our epidemic of loneliness and isolation. If we never physically walk over to speak with our neighbors or spend time with them in person, we can’t begin to understand them, or their cultural symbols, or even begin to assess their moral character or hope to influence it for the better. And we all know at least one big reason why: we spend WAY too much time behind our TV’s, computers, and smartphones.
This is interesting on two levels.
First, it connects two things that most people probably don’t connect in all these heated discussions everyone’s having:
I mean, imagine if someone was complaining about a new family that moved into their neighborhood, and you asked them, “How much time do you spend watching TV, gaming, or looking at your phone?” I think most people would assume that you had just changed the subject. But no, the writer of that paragraph has pointed out a very real connection, and pointed indirectly at another one. Technology use is most definitely driving this “epidemic of loneliness and isolation,” and in turn, as more and more of us simply get home from work or school and turn to a screen for the rest of our waking hours, that creates a dynamic in which people stay indoors and never meet their (physical) neighbors, and therefore come to see the people they live near as strangers and potential threats. All of this is (to quote one former Facebook exec) “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”
What if all the fear and anxiety (on display in many of these discussions about immigration) is made exponentially worse by Americans‘ own bad habits–our absolute addiction to entertainment and mindless time-wasting whenever we’re not on some clock? What if the problem has as much to do with people who’ve been living in America for years or generations as it does with anyone trying to get here for the first time?
More importantly, for Christians, is the need to remember that neighbor-love is a core teaching of Jesus. And, when he was asked to explain who counted as a neighbor, he told a story involving a people from groups who feared, loathed, and mistrusted each other (Jews and Samaritans). So as followers of Jesus, we know that we do not have the option to simply fear and wall out people who are unfamiliar to us. Especially people in need.
…Which brings us to all the way around to the connection made in the comment above. What if this is just one more reason we need to examine our personal use of entertainment and technology?
If we take it to the Lord in prayer, would he tell us that the way we use screens is directly affecting our ability to love our neighbor?
Would he tell us that technology is standing in the way of keeping his commands?
Here’s another excellent post by Dr. Michael Kruger, offering (as always) some important historical perspective to our situation, as we move forward into the future.
As you now know, my book on the second century has just been released in the UK: Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church (SPCK, 2017). It will be released in the US with IVP Academic in the Spring.
Since it has been released, folks have been asking how this book connects to the modern church. In other words, can we learn anything from the Christians of the second century that may help us in our current cultural moment? Absolutely. Here are a few lessons to consider.
1. Second-century Christians were regarded as “haters.” One might think the small size of the early Christian movement would allow it to be overlooked or ignored. But this is not what happened. On the contrary, the Roman government noticed Christians and didn’t like what they saw. Christians were seen as offensive, rude, peculiar, and a threat to a stable Roman society. Consequently, they suffered significant political persecution (arrested, thrown in jail, sometimes martyred).
Why were Christians viewed this way? Because of their refusal to worship the Roman gods. Christians were insistent that only Jesus was worthy of worship. And to not worship the Roman gods was to run the risk of invoking their displeasure. So, Christians were viewed as reckless and callous to their fellow man. They were called “haters of humanity” (Tacitus, Annals 15.44).
Put bluntly, it was the exclusivity of Christianity that was made it so offensive. The same is true today.
2. Second-century Christians were regarded as intellectually deficient. In addition to political persecution, the Christians suffered significant intellectual persecution. Christian doctrine was regarded as ridiculous, silly, and not worthy of the assent of the intellectual Roman elites. The likes of Lucian, Galen, Fronto, and Celsus offered scathing critiques of this “new” religion, mocking its books (the Gospels) as well as its founder (Jesus).
So, if you think the level of cultural ridicule Christians receive today is new, think again.
3. Second-century Christians were a textually-centered, “bookish” movement. In spite of the intellectual ridicule noted above, it is worth observing that second-century Christians were characterized by their distinctive commitment to the Scriptures as the basis for everything they did. They not only read these books, but they studied them in great detail, copied them in great numbers, and distributed them across great distances.
So dominant was the Christian commitment to their “books,” that even the critics took notice. Indeed, this is the reason that Christianity was often regarded more as a philosophy than a religion. In the ancient world, religions were not typically associated with written texts so directly. So, Christianity stood out in this regard (along with Judaism).
While some in the modern day will insist that Christians did not use or need the Scriptures in the earliest stages, the historical data says otherwise. Indeed, this “bookish” aspect of Christianity has been lost in some circles today. And this is one of the core elements that we need to recover.
In the end, these are three observations from the second century that have many implications for today. While prior generations of Christians might have enjoyed a time when the modern church was a lot like the church of the fourth and fifth centuries, the current generation of the church finds itself in a situation that looks a lot more like the second.
Thus, in order to engage with our modern world, perhaps we don’t need a new apologetic but an old one. A second-century one.
It’s not the only thing that’s important, but it is really important for us to be able to think, in public, out-loud, as Christians, in our world. This is especially true in hotly-contested (and life-or-death) issues like abortion. I recently ran across two great posts which provide the kind of thinking we should learn and practice when it comes to reasoning with two common pro-abortion arguments.
The first addresses this question:
In cases where the life of a pregnant woman is endangered because of her pregnancy, are Pro-Lifers inconsistent if they say the mother should be saved instead of the baby?
The answer includes this line of thinking:
This is a case where an ethical principle called the law of double effect comes into play. That is, there’s an action you are required to take ethically, the consequences of which, when viewed alone, would be immoral, but when taken in conjunction with the other circumstance, it’s the lesser of two evils. And even though you acknowledge that this is an evil because the death of the child would result, you do not intend the death of the child. It’s not the direct intention of the action. The purpose of the action is to save the life of the mother, not to take the life of the baby, even though that’s the consequence in this dilemma.
It’s short. I encourage you to read the whole thing.
The second article addresses a tweet storm where someone posted this chain of arguments:
“Whenever abortion comes up, I have a question I’ve been asking for ten years now of the ‘Life begins at Conception’ crowd. In ten years, no one has EVER answered it honestly.” It’s a simple scenario with two outcomes. No one ever wants to pick one, because the correct answer destroys their argument. And there IS a correct answer, which is why the pro-life crowd hates the question. 2/Here it is. You’re in a fertility clinic. Why isn’t important. The fire alarm goes off. You run for the exit. As you run down this hallway, you hear a child screaming from behind a door. You throw open the door and find a five-year-old child crying for help. 3/They’re in one corner of the room. In the other corner, you spot a frozen container labeled “1000 Viable Human Embryos.” The smoke is rising. You start to choke. You know you can grab one or the other, but not both before you succumb to smoke inhalation and die, saving no one. 4/Do you A) save the child, or B) save the thousand embryos? There is no “C.” “C” means you all die. In a decade of arguing with anti-abortion people about the definition of human life, I have never gotten a single straight A or B answer to this question. And I never will. 5/They will never answer honestly, because we all instinctively understand the right answer is “A.” A human child is worth more than a thousand embryos. Or ten thousand. Or a million. Because they are not the same, not morally, not ethically, not biologically. 6/this question absolutely eviscerates their arguments, and their refusal to answer confirms that they know it to be true. No one, anywhere, actually believes an embryo is equivalent to a child. That person does not exist. They are lying to you. 7/They are lying to you to try and evoke an emotional response, a paternal response, using false-equivalency. No one believes life begins at conception. No one believes embryos are babies, or children. Those who claim to are trying to manipulate you so they can control women. 8/Don’t let them. Use this question to call them out. Reveal them for what they are. Demand they answer your question, and when they don’t, slap that big ol’ Scarlet P of the Patriarchy on them. The end. 9/9
“No one has ever ever answered” this line of thinking… except that Robert George, a professor at Princeton University, has. He responded over at Public Discourse with a closely-reasoned argument is well worth the time to read. Professor George observes:
We agree that…most people in [these] circumstances would choose to rescue the girl. However, this by no means shows that human embryos are not human beings or that they may be deliberately killed to produce stem cells, or in an abortion.
The first thing to notice is that the case as described is not, in fact, analogous to the suggestion that we should perform embryo-destructive research for the benefits it might provide us, or to the suggestion that it is permissible to abort an unborn human being...
Second, there are differences between the embryos and the five-year-old girl that are or can be morally relevant to the decision concerning whom to rescue. For example, the five-year-old will suffer great terror and pain in the fire, but the embryos will not…
Third, there could be circumstances in which people could agree that it would be reasonable to save the embryos, even if other people, including those with no personal attachment to either the embryos or the girl, might be drawn to rescue the girl instead...
He fleshes each of those points out. And he makes this observation:
The argument here is quite simple: suppose you could save 1,000 comatose strangers or your own five-year-old child; and suppose further that the strangers will only come out of their coma if they are provided food and shelter for nine months. But you are quite confident that no one will, in fact, provide that food and shelter. Then, once again, it seems entirely reasonable for you to save your conscious five-year-old, without this indicating in any way that the comatose strangers are less than fully human, or deserving of less than full respect. Rather, the choice to save the child will at the same time be a sad commentary on a society that is unwilling to provide the necessary resources to nurse the temporarily incapacitated back to full health. We leave it to the reader to refine this example further to make it even more similar to the situation of cryopreserved embryos; we believe the analogy does not reflect well on us as a people.
…but you really should read his whole argument to see why the tweet storm, though it attempts to intimidate, doesn’t hold any water.
We don’t need to be scared, friends. Don’t worry about all of the shouting and feigned righteous indignation. Our culture has cut itself off from the source of truth, and as a result, it can’t see straight. It’s a loving thing for us to try to help people to the light.
[You may] have already read the news about the release of The Nashville Statement… My staff at CBMW and I have been working hard on this effort for many months now, and we are grateful to the Lord to see it finally come to fruition. It is a statement that is faithful to scripture and, hopefully, one that may serve as a standard and guide for many years to come.
In light of the statement’s release, I thought it might be helpful to review ten practical ways that Christians can show love to their gay neighbors.
1. Be a friend.
And by that, I mean be a real friend. Don’t make changing your gay neighbor a condition of your friendship.
“A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity” (Prov. 17:17).
Your gay neighbor may have a story to tell, and you need to hear it. Not just for their sake, but for yours. There is nothing better to wipe away erroneous caricatures than to listen to someone else’s story. Listening does not equal approving an unbiblical ideology. It just means that you care and are open to learning.
“He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him” (Prov. 18:13).
3. Feel compassion.
Understand that your gay neighbor often feels distress over unwanted same-sex attraction. There can be a real sense of alienation that they feel from their own sexual desires. For some, the experience is quite agonizing. How would you feel if you had to walk a mile in their shoes? We all experience some measure of brokenness due to the fallenness of creation. So we too know what it means to groan (Rom. 8:23). If this is true, it ought to summon forth a compassionate response to our gay neighbors. [That said, we know many of our friends and neighbors will express that they feel no struggle at all with these feelings–they love them, and consider them to be a core part of who they are. So sensitivity is needed here.–BW]
“And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col. 3:12).
4. Share the gospel.
The gospel is good news for sinners. It is the true story about a Creator God who loves sinners and who has made a way to reconcile them to Himself through the death and resurrection of His own Son. It’s the best news in the world. How could we possibly withhold that from any friend?
“Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18-19).
5. Speak the truth.
You don’t have to be mean, angry, or haughty to speak truthfully. You can do it in a way that is winsome and that shows concern but does not disdain. In short, you can speak the truth in love.
“But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ” (Eph. 4:15).
6. Be candid about differences.
This is a necessary corollary to speaking the truth. A true friend will always find a way to communicate differences that matter. A friendship that glosses over such things can degenerate into flattery and superficiality. Sometimes the truth about God’s word brings a confrontation no matter how nice and compassionate you try to be in delivering it. But don’t let the fear of confrontation keep you from being candid.
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy” (Prov. 27:6).
7. Oppose bullying.
Christians must lead the charge to condemn acts of abuse or bullying committed against our gay neighbors. Take your stand with the oppressed. Speak up for them. Do it even if it costs you social capital or risks subjecting yourself to the same bullying. This is the kind of sacrificial love that bears witness to the way Christ has loved us.
“My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. If they say, ‘Come with us, Let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause…” My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, For their feet run to evil, And they hasten to shed blood” (Prov. 1:10-16).
8. Receive your brothers and sisters.
We should befriend our gay neighbors including, of course, those who are not Christians. Perhaps some will repent of their sin, trust Christ, and become Christians. When they do, be prepared to rejoice and to receive them with open arms as brothers and sisters in Christ. Make sure they know that they are received as full members into the body of Christ even if they have ongoing struggles with same-sex attraction.
“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13).
9. Strengthen your brothers and sisters.
Some new converts may experience a complete deliverance from same-sex attraction. Others may continue to struggle. Be prepared to walk with the strugglers and to strengthen them for what may be a very difficult obedience. God has given them everything that they need for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3), and a part of God’s provision for them is your friendship and encouragement.
“But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:13)
The Devil wants to destroy. Jesus wants to save (John 10:10). Pray for your gay neighbor that Jesus might have his way. In his own prayer for wayward Peter, Jesus modelled how we might intercede:
“Behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail” (Luke 22:31-32).
*These ten items are adapted from the final chapter of Heath Lambert’s and my book Transforming Homosexuality.
You know friends, maybe he could have just written, “Be a Christian, for goodness sake!” But it helps to have it all spelled out, when so much of the water is muddied. I encourage you to click over to The Nashville Statement and read it. It’s an important document you should be familiar with.