Gender issues

WHAT DO THE CHURCHES IN OUR AREA THINK?

 

In recent weeks I have attended two gatherings of local pastors. Except for me, each was attended by a different group of church leaders.

It should not be surprising that the topic of gay marriage and gender identity was brought up each time and became the prominent focus of discussion.

As the discussions began, I wondered inside how unified would these pastors be in their perspectives?

In both cases I rejoiced in what I heard! These servants of God stood firmly rooted in the unchangeable truth of God’s Word, while being deeply concerned with expressing the wonders of God’s grace.

Here are themes that were brought up and received with unity and conviction:

The Bible clearly teaches homosexuality is sin

All sexual activity outside of a biblically defined marriage is also sinful

All sin is wrong and should be treated seriously

The church must remain clear minded in its teaching on sin

When Christians mock those we disagree with, we are failing to uphold the gospel

Churches should not pick on gender identity sin as if other sins are not also wretched

We must love those caught in gender identity sin

We must work hard to express care for those who are struggling with gender identity

However, in our desire to show grace, we must not allow compromise with homosexual relationships in our churches

We are not judging people when we declare God’s word and identify his view of sin to them

Our churches need to work on having a culture of care for all sinners and not shun those who are distasteful to us, or who make us uncomfortable

We are called by God to be reaching out with the gospel into the lives of all people around us

God has never been more or less sovereign

We should remain fully confident in God’s present and faithful work among us

We need to guard against enemies of the gospel using ‘anti discrimination’ laws to persecute the church

There is no better, safer or grander place to stand than in the truth of the gospel

To our sorrow, there are clergy in our region and beyond claiming to be shepherds of God’s people who are revealing that they are actually wolves.

However, we should be encouraged that the beating heart of the evangelistic churches around us is firming rooted in the clear gospel of Jesus Christ!

 

MISGUIDED MASCULINITY

Misguided masculinity

In the Mother’s Day month of May, I gave women a chance to share their voice on the blog. Now in Father’s Day June, the men will have their turn.

by Frank Hamer

The macho mystique of the 70’s shifted to the emasculation the American male in the 80’s and 90’s – a drift from one horrible extreme to another.

And now as we enter the second half of the second decade of the 21st century our society still struggles with a muddled understanding of manhood.

How is it defined?

Who are the role models?

It seems worse now than before.

We see family structure deteriorated, seemingly beyond rescue, each generation drifting further and further into what seems to be a chaotic state of instability and endless confusion.

But it is really nothing new. When men do not embrace the role that they have been created to fulfill then literally ‘all hell breaks loose.’

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:6)

Central to the fall is of course Adam’s and Eve’s rebellion to God.

But notice that as they ate together they were both abdicating their God–given and commanded roles: Eve as the helpmate to Adam and Adam as the leader / protector of Eve.

They both sinned, but interestingly scripture refers to Adam’s sin in the garden as the stain on the human race that has brought such great misery.

This points us to the grand importance of proper understanding of what it means to be a man….what true masculinity is.

If we do not have a solid grasp of what manhood is in the scheme of God’s design for humanity then how can we not expect families, communities, societies, and cultures not to fall into disorder.

What is going to get things back on track? The same thing it has always taken – men embracing manhood.

As we look ahead to Father’s Day, let’s not just enjoy the special attention that the day brings our way, but also resolve to make a concerted effort to embrace godly masculinity. Don’t abdicate your role and don’t abuse your role.

A good start might be to get together with other men, young and old, and strike out together to encourage one another and show in word and deed to the next generation of men and women what godly masculine character looks like.

Give this generation something to aspire too.

Frank and Lora Hamer are members of Greentree Church. They were both saved by the grace of God at age 39 and subsequently served together in Volgograd, Russia with Straight Ahead Ministries for 19 years.  They have been married 46 years and have 4 children and 20 grandchildren.  “Thankfully our true identity is not in numbers and service…but in the eternal Christ.”