What we do with God’s word is a pointer to what we would do with God himself. If we treat his word as worthless, disgusting, imposing, violating, or offensive, then we will also treat God himself that way. When, for example, something like the Nashville Statement seeking to reaffirm biblical values on sexuality meets such outrage from within Christianity, we must begin to think how we would react to Jesus if he were here today.
The Boy Scouts of America announced last week that the organization will now accept girls as members, thus ending the uniqueness of this iconic institution.
Many commentators have lamented the moral decline of the Boy Scouts, seen in the organization’s steady capitulation to the ideology of the sexual revolution. But there is something deeper going on here, and it goes beyond one’s views of sexual morality.
Six additional years of ministry—heck, of life under the sun—have helped my thinking grow up a bit. I wouldn’t really change the main concept of the article. I still think insecurity is largely a matter of measuring myself according to my own standards rather than God’s, which have been fulfilled by Christ. Insofar as insecurity involves this form of pride, it is sin. Where I’ve grown, though, is in being able to appreciate other factors in the equation.
If we are going to study divisions in the church, we had better recognize that we are studying something pathological. We are studying a form of spiritual ill-health in Christ’s body. Our study is compared to a doctor studying blindness in the eye or paralysis in the limbs. Division in the church means that ‘something is wrong.’ The body is out of sorts.”
Now think about what you have celebrated the most whole-heartedly and fully in the lives of your children. Was it a good grade on a test? Was it a good performance on the athletic field? What was the thing that made you stop the forward motion of the family schedule and actually recognize and celebrate it?
We believe in religious freedom. We believe in cultural diversity. We know that persuasion can be coercive or manipulative, and that religious beliefs are deeply personal. All these things make us anxious about sharing our beliefs with others.
While this anxiety should make us careful, there are at least seven reasons why seeking to change a friend’s mind is not only justified, but a vital tenet of life together in a pluralistic society.
A favorite from the archives:
Late last week, I was hanging out at the Pipeline conference in Downtown Nashville. My colleagues in LifeWay Leadership crushed it. They had a great mix of speakers who challenged leaders to actually think differently about leadership. From what I saw, few were leaving thinking they were nailing it. But they weren’t deflated or defeated, either. Instead, I saw a bunch of people who were processing, working through points of conviction, and thinking through their next steps.