This past Sunday I promised I would write at least three additional articles on these issues, continuing to think them through. Wednesday's Between Sundays was the first of those articles. Unfortunately, due to other pressing concerns this week, I have run out of time to commit to writing the other two articles well. So, rather than provide second-rate writing (and thinking), I am going to point you to five articles I read as I prepared for the sermon, to keep your thinking and conversating going.
Jonathan Parnell writes about the shifting definition of tolerance, which fundamentally alters the way these issues are discussed in the public square. In part:
Old tolerance — that is, before the onslaught of postmodernism — defines the concept as to "accept the existence of different views." New tolerance, however, defines tolerance as to "accept different views." More than just accepting a view's existence, new tolerance adds that you'd better not say it's wrong either. New tolerance demands that we consider every opinion to be equally valid. The only wrong is to say that everything's not right. Just wait, it gets more complicated.....Continue Reading...
I argued Sunday that we must move into conversations about these issues in love. But that doesn't mean we should sacrifice truth, firmness, and boldness. For the end-game in our culture is not merely a re-definition of marriage, it is that all people must approve of the re-definition, or suffer the consequences. Pastor John Piper writes that "There Is No Demilitarized Zone In The Issue Of Homosexuality."
I am sure many of us have read, with great interest, the storm surrounding the comments of Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy. Trevin Wax winsomely explains "Why the Chick-fil-A Boycott is Really about Jesus":
Though I’m weary of our culture’s tendency to politicize everything, I believe this Chick-fil-A boycott has revealed some fault lines in our culture that will lead to increasing pressure upon Christians who uphold the sexual ethic described in the New Testament. Furthermore, in listening to the mayors of Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco, it’s clear to me that – political posturing aside – this discussion may not be about the alleged homophobia of Chick-fil-A’s president but the actual Christophobia of the leaders of the cultural elite....Continue Reading..
One of the temptations in fighting, winsomely and lovingly, for truth is to give up and give in; to opt out, because such labors make us weary. In an excellent essay from Denny Burke, he exhorts us: Don't opt out and hide in the basement during the debate!...Continue Reading..
And finally, what of the freedoms promised in the Bill of Rights? Remember that one the authors called "the free exercise" of religion? Ross Douthat, a writer for The New York Times, writes:
...there seems to be a great deal of confusion about this point in the Western leadership class today.
You can see this confusion at work in the Obama White House’s own Department of Health and Human Services, which created a religious exemption to its mandate requiring employers to pay for contraception, sterilization and the days-after pill that covers only churches, and treats religious hospitals, schools and charities as purely secular operations. The defenders of the H.H.S. mandate note that it protects freedom of worship, which indeed it does. But a genuine free exercise of religion, not so much....
Now we have the great Chick-fil-A imbroglio, in which mayors and an alderman in several American cities threatened to prevent the delicious chicken chain from opening new outlets because its Christian president told an interviewer that he supports “the biblical definition of the family unit.” Their conceit seemed to be that the religious liberties afforded to congregations (no official, to my knowledge, has threatened to close down any Chicago churches) do not extend to religious businessmen. Or alternatively, it was that while a businessman may have the right to his private beliefs, the local zoning committee has veto power over how those beliefs are exercised and expressed.....Continue Reading..
I invite you to continue the discussion this Sunday after our worship service at Calvary Community Church. And, lunch will be on us.