What Our VBS Says About Homosexual Marriage

gay marriage blogFriday (June 26) was a huge day for us! The Supreme Court made self-actualization the highest law of the land, and FBCE wrapped up Vacation Bible School. I know, typically those two things would be non-sequiturs. But this week our VBS curriculum had a lot to say about homosexual marriage. (No, our theme was not sexual ethics. We used Lifeway’s Journey off the Map) All week, students at FBCE studied the Life of Daniel and his friends. And we saw how Daniel lived faithfully for God in a pagan, unbiblical society. Instead of being crushed by the Persian and Babylonian cultures, Daniel exceled in godliness and became a political guru.

And while I am not excited about the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize homosexual marriage, I am also not afraid of the court’s actions. Christians can live for God in a hostile world. We can thrive in the midst of pagan humanism and persecution. God is faithful and cares for his people all over the world. He supported and sustained Daniel. He supported Paul and Peter in Rome. He has and will always care for his people! We don’t need to panic. We need to trust God today.

Day3And there is a good chance things will get worse. We may soon face laws restricting our faith just like Daniel did. It’s quite possible WordPress, Twitter, and others will begin banning anti-gay speech. Here’s why:

The recent ruling has given the homosexual community most everything they want.  And they truly think that the ability to freely marry will make them happy. But lighting up the White House with rainbow colors won’t fulfill them. No amount of sexual expression can bring us lasting joy. Only Christ satisfies our souls. As the days plod along, society will once again feel angst. And I fear homosexuals will blame “bigoted” Christians for their troubled consciences.  If everyone accepted homosexuals, they wouldn’t feel bad. Or so they think. Thus, homosexuals will begin looking for ways to eliminate all negative comments about their sexuality. Even today, newspapers have begun banning anti-gay letters from the editorial pages. Soon they will want to monitor our homes and churches.

Again, we don’t need to panic. But we need to understand where America stands. And then, we should strive to be like modern day Daniel’s by doing the following.  First, we help our kids understand the Biblical view of marriage, by modeling it and talking about it. Second, we can remember that being a Christian equals enmity with the world. We fight against the sins of pornography, greed and selfishness that infect our hearts. And lastly, we demonstrate the love of Christ by caring for all our neighbors (regardless of their sexual expression). Are you ready to live in a post-Christian world?

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2

Here are some other great resources discussing homosexual marriage:

Everything Has Changed and Nothing Has Changed – The Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage

The Only Decision That Matters

Parenting in A Gay Marriage World. What Should Christians Do?

Is God Anti Gay? 

Successful Failures

Successful Failures blog post

When we see kids getting drunk every weekend, fleeing church like the plague, and rocking out to obscenities, we naturally start to look for someone or something to blame. Was it the wrong crowd at school, or the tattooed kid next door, or all that secular media? Unfortunately, the answer actually might be in our house and church. It might be you and me.

The Church’s Failure

According to a recent study, those of us who attend church are almost indistinguishable from those who do not. During the typical week, Christians are almost as likely as non-Christians to gamble, gossip, hold a grudge, and sleep with someone other than their spouse. Sadly, Christians are slightly actually more likely than the unchurched, to lie and steal. Now admittedly, there is some good news. Christians are less likely to use profanity, get drunk (though almost 25% of Christians still do on a weekly basis) and seek out pornography (Barna & Kinnaman, p. 131). These stats indicate that our church people remarkably mirror the world. As David Platt laments,

We can’t fathom a Christian on the other side of the world believing that a wooden god can save them, but we have no problem believing that religion, money, possessions, food, fame, sex, sports, status, and success can satisfy (p. 23).

Our Successful Failure

follow meSo what does this have to with our kids? Parents have the greatest opportunity to influence their children. Whatever they
teach their kids, they will pick up. But as the stats above point out, many Christian parents are modeling the wrong message. They are successfully teaching their kids that living for Christ and true joy is synonymous with living for self. By living worldly lives, Christians may actually be the ones encouraging their kids to walk away from Christ.

But, troubled kids do typically reject one aspect of their parents’ lives. They skip church. No longer seeing the need for their parents’ Pharisaical attitudes or guilt complexes, many kids will often happily exchange the closed minded church pew for the open tolerance of the coffee shop. After all if you can be a good person without obeying Jesus, why get up early every Sunday and pretend the white robed dude is a big deal?

Overcoming the World

How do we fix our worldliness and in turn, help our kids understand the true Jesus of the Bible? We embrace as Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “Costly Grace.” On Sunday morning, we teach that there is no salvation apart from repentance. We affirm that the grace of Christ calls us all to die to sins and to live obediently for Christ. We proclaim that salvation leads to transformation. The old things such as sexual immorality and lying will pass away. The new has come.

And during the week, we live the word. We sacrifice our selfish desires and wants, to care for the sick, to happily wash dishes, to selflessly love our families. We become doers of the word who love Christ more than life itself.

I fear that the many church people are worldly because they have never left the world. As David Platt writes,

People who claim to be Christians while their lives look no different from the rest of the world are clearly not Christians (p. 18).

If we want to encourage our kids to faith in Christ, some of us will need to embrace Christ for the first time. We can only faithfully model what we know and experienced.

Understanding Our Limits

Now with all this being said, we don’t need to develop a guilt complex every time our kids sin or walk away from God. According to God, no parent is ultimately responsible for their child’s salvation or theirs sins. The prophet Ezekiel writes,

The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor shall the father suffer for the iniquity of the son (18:20).

Godly parents raise kids who become drug addicts and drug addicts produce kids who become pastors. Thankfully, God saves kids from all kinds of homes irrespective of ones parents.

Yet, God has still specifically designed us parents to reach the next generation for Christ. (Read Deuteronomy 6 and Psalm 78.) And if our lifestyle is so worldly that our kids miss the beauty of the gospel, we will be held accountable. And even more frightening, we (like the trouble kids around us) may be speeding down the broad road to destruction.

Living For Jesus

Thankfully, the antidote for our sin problem is simple. We start guarding against worldliness. As we interact with the scriptures, we compare our lives against the life of Christ and repent when our lives fail to match up to Jesus’ life. (2 Cor. 13:5). And if we follow Jesus, we will be successful parents.

Works Cited

Barna, G., & Kinnaman, D. (2014). Churchless: Understanding Today’s Unchurched and How to Connect with Them. Austin: Tyndale House.

Platt, D. (2013). Follow Me . Carol Stream: Tyndale House .