Could I never again preach what God says about homosexuality and still be faithful in preaching the gospel of Christ? I mean is it really something worth going to prison for—sacrificing my cherished freedom, life with my family, further gospel ministry? I see nothing about a stance on homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 15. I know that I could never say, “Homosexuality is not a sin” but could I simply say nothing?
There’s no question that ministry in Canada is a challenge. According to Bill Hogg, National Missiologist with C2C Network, that’s not a surprise. “Canada is further down the track in terms of liminality, the marginalization of religious ideas and religious institutions,” he says. “Canada prizes social pluralism and religious pluralism, which is obviously a challenge as you seek to proclaim Jesus.”
Throughout my early twenties I poured over the pages of Systematic Theology. Berkhof, Dabney, Hodge, and Shedd were my friends. Professors, really. In my mid-to-late twenties it was mostly the Puritans: Owen, Watson, Sibbes, Brooks, and Bunyan were like pastors to me. My college dorm room was a kind of library for others to use instead of heading across campus. None of this was wrong. What was wrong is that at some point along the way my hunger for God’s word was replaced with a hunger for mere knowledge. I longed for truths more than the truth. It didn’t take long for the word of God to become something I used to simply footnote what I was reading in other books. I didn’t even notice this was happening. I thought I was good. Thankfully, at some point my fiancé (now my lovely wife) softly reminded me, “Joe, you know the Bible is the best book.”
Sam Freney on his recent experience at a Hillsong conference:
Somewhere along the line, therefore, there seems to be a disconnect between the way that various ministries of the church operate, and the church package as a whole. Behind the scenes—or at least out of the spotlight—Hillsong seems to contain plenty of faithful, enthusiastic Christians who want to see Jesus glorified in what they do, and who give Scriptural thought to what they do. But the church experience, whether at the conference or on a Sunday morning, is one that results in de-emphasizing not only the way God has told us he speaks to us, but what God has told us he has done for us.
The first Christians engaged extensively with the abortion culture of their day.
One of the earliest Christian references to abortion is found in the Didache. It represents the first Christian statement opposing abortion. A late 1st century or early 2nd century document, the Didache is essentially a code of Christian community life complete with instructions on morality, worship, ritual, and politics. In a section expounding the commandment,“Love your neighbor as yourself,” the Didache lists a series of “thou shalt not” statements, including prohibitions against murder, adultery, illicit sex, theft, and practicing magic.