Last night at the ESPYS (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards) the Arthur Ashe courage award was given to someone now known as Caitlyn Jenner, who you may remember as the great decathlete Bruce Jenner, for his courage in journeying from maleness to femaleness.
And last month the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a decision in Obergefell vs. Hodges that effectively redefines marriage, making same-sex marriage legal all across our nation.
If you're looking for a woe is us, gloom and doom, the world is over response, look somewhere else. We are not the first Christians to look evil in the eye, wonder if our society is about to be swept away in judgment by a holy God, and we likely won't be the last. But I'm not going to sugar-coat any of this either. Babies are dying and people are making money off of it. People are rejecting God-given roles and definitions. Things in our land are not good, and I want briefly to point to a common source and an appropriate response.
What do Obergefell, Jenner, and Nucatola have in common? When the creatures reject the Creator, the rejection of his good standards and design follows. The theory of Evolution conveniently rids men of the Creator and therefore of any notion of obligation or submission to that Creator. That means his creation of man in his own image, male and female goes out the window. His definition of marriage (one man and one woman for life) can easily be jettisoned. No Creator? No need to listen to or follow the commands of the Creator. If God, the Creator, says the life of human beings is precious, it doesn't matter. If God says he decides gender, it is irrelevant. God defines marriage? No thanks, we'll come up with our own definition. But even in their rejection of God's truth, you see that they can't escape it. Gender re-assignment surgery implies that one's gender was already assigned (by God!). Planned Parenthood apparently argues that providing "fetal tissue" to scientific researchers potentially brings advances in treatment of diseases. It seems they claim to be trying to preserve life. Redefining marriage acknowledges the good gift of marriage. Even when you try to reject the Creator you accidentally affirm that his way is good and right and true.
So what to do? I suppose an entire post could be given to each of these, but here are a few suggestions.
- Continue to affirm and live by the Creator's standards. Don't buckle to socially acceptable norms.
- Be active in your local, faithful, Bible-believing, Bible-preaching church. It is here that God's people stand together as a witness for truth in a truthless day and age.
- Speak truth in love to those you know who have had an abortion, who are trans-gender, who are homosexuals. Welcome those people into your church - not to affirm their sinful choices (that's not love!), but to affirm the power of the gospel to radically transform sinners like them and like us. The manner in which we talk about these things could potentially repulse or attract the very people who most need to hear what we have to say. Speak wisely.
- Be humble. Except for the grace of God someone is writing about our wickedness.
- Read Psalm 2. Seriously. Go read it. I'll wait.
- Ok, you back? Pray. Pray that God's people would find blessing in taking refuge in him (Psalm 2:12). Pray that God would bring good out of evil. Pray that Deborah Nucatola would be loved by a believer, be told truth, come to a faithful church, hear the gospel, repent and believe, and become an advocate for the unborn. (Think this is impossible? Check this out and the rest of her profile.) Pray that Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, would find his identity in Christ. Pray that those who are gender confused or abortion minded or homosexual would have friends that would graciously speak truth into their lives instead of affirming their sinful desires. Be that friend. Pray that our religious liberties would be preserved. Pray, pray, pray.
- Volunteer at your local crisis pregnancy center. Where we live in Warsaw, IN there used to be a Planned Parenthood office and Heartline Pregnancy Center. The PP office is gone; Heartline remains and continues to serve many people, helping them to choose life and equipping them to raise those children.
- Finally (and we could say more, of course), lament. The Psalms of lament give words to our sorrow and anguish when we don't know what to say. For example, Psalm 13 "How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, 'I have prevailed over him,' lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me." (ESV) Or, Psalms 12, 42, 43, 54, 142, and others.