Kevin DeYoung interacting with a common argument:
Why do conservative Christians make such a fuss about homosexuality and give everyone a free pass—most notably themselves—when it comes to gluttony?
That’s a question you hear a lot of us these days and one you should expect to hear again and again, posed in a hundred different ways, in the years ahead.
Why are we asking about gays in heaven when we should be asking if there will be fat people in heaven? How can we say “their” sin of homosexuality is terrible while “our” sin of gluttony is no big deal? Everyone’s a biblical literalist until you bring up gluttony. Besides, the Bible contains three times as many exhortations against gluttony than against homosexuality.
How should Christians think about these claims? Well, the operative word in that question is “think.” We can’t settle for gotcha headlines and arguments that are more slogan than substance. We have to be open to reason, open our Bibles, and think this through.
A woman in the United Kingdom faces an unplanned pregnancy that prevents her from taking the next step in her career. She makes the choice to abort.
And Great Britain erupts in judgment and anger toward the woman.
Why the outrage toward a woman exercising her “reproductive rights?”
On occasion a particularly young and/or naïve person asks me for advice about being a husband or a dad. (No one seasoned or wise bothers.) Since I got married young and had kids young I have “experience”, I guess. By “experience”, of course, I mean scars and bruises from stumbling into obstacles created by my own idiocy and arrogance.
When the question is put to me “what piece of advice would you give to a new husband/dad” I want to leave minds blown and mouths agape. I want to utter a witticism that would make Solomon jealous and Confucius plagiarize. Instead, all I have ever been able to come up with is this: “Always apologize first.”
I was honestly unprepared for where John would take us at the conclusion of his message. He took us into a crowded tent where he, as a young boy, saw his own father, an evangelist, plead with sinners to come to Jesus — “Won’t you come? . . . Won’t you come?”
Time and space seemed to collapse for me as I remembered being in the same kind of meeting, hearing the same gospel pleading, many, many times as a boy. I remember one time in particular, when as a nine-year-old boy I heard a part-time preacher who was a full-time phosphate miner preach the gospel and then plead with us to come to Christ. And I did.
Yesterday, I shared how words from an old youth fellowship song came back and comforted me when the birth of our twins turned into something of an emergency, and I was unable to articulate any prayer of my own.
Later I realised the words came from Psalm 61:1-3. And they give beautiful pictures of what God is like; the concern of a mother hen, the strength of a strong tower, the security of the higher rock. He is a refuge to all who turn to him.
And God’s Spirit brought these realities home so very powerfully to me that day so many years ago. However I make a confession to you. When the words of that song came into my mind, I didn’t know they were from Scripture. I knew the general ideas were Scriptural. But even though I was a Moore College graduate, I didn’t know those song lines were direct quotes from Psalm 61.
It was only several years later, while I was reading the Psalms one day, that the penny dropped. And so I had another surprise
Because the song only uses the first few verses from the Psalm. But there are several more verses. And those extra verses add a context. And to my mind, they made the psalm even more powerful.