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A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Daigle Disrupted

‘John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin’ (Luke 3:3).

True confession–I love scrunchy Christian pop, like the songs of Lauren Daigle, a Christian singer now soaring up the pop charts. To my dismay, Daigle refused to call homosexuality a sin in a recent interview due to ‘love’ for gay-identified folks, including lesbian activist and TV celeb Ellen Degeneres. Recently a guest on ‘Ellen’, Daigle described her host as ‘a bundle of light.’

Thoughtful mentors might remind the singer that charming people can be morally blind and thus all the more in need of Jesus. To love them means to see them clearly as beloved estranged children of the Father who need to repent.

Any Christian of influence in the world who dares to uphold an authentic vision of chastity (an equal opportunity offender, regardless of the direction of one’s inclinations) runs the risk of losing ‘Ellen’-like platforms. Perhaps Daigle is savvier than we think, hedging her bets by claiming she does not know what the Bible says on the topic. What she may be saying: ‘I can’t afford to offend.’

The Daigles of this world—who sadly include more and more Christian leaders—need the witness of John the Baptist. Advent gives us two full weeks on this firebrand who burned so brightly for the coming King that he exposed kings and their crooked ways. Repentance—including what needed to be renounced–was always his message.

This can make for uncomfortable holiday conversations. In a recent exchange with a truth-seeker, I conveyed how Jesus’ coming in my life prompted me to turn from homosexual practice. The conversation ceased abruptly, yet I took heart: John the Baptist had it worse. King Herod was fascinated by John just as Ellen may have been fascinated by Daigle. Until the prophet challenged Herod’s unlawful union with Herodias, an inconvenient truth which resulted in John’s beheading (Matt. 14:1-12). Merry Christmas.

Preparing for Jesus means ridding ourselves of all compromises to the truth. Father Alfred Delp, a German priest during Hitler’s reign, wrote movingly about Advent as he witnessed the darkness descend on the world like a suffocating blanket. A threat to the powers-that-be, he knew his time on earth was short.

He preached this just before imprisonment in Auschwitz, where he was executed in 1944: ‘Someone who encounters the Ultimate…must let go of every compromise. In the presence of the Ultimate, the only thing that survives is what is authentic. All compromise shatters there. All cheap negotiating shatters there. All half-truths, and all double meanings, and all masks and all poses shatter there. The only thing that stands the test is what is authentic.’

Being authentic means letting go of every hindrance to knowing Jesus, be it a false view of marriage or a disordered bond with another. Of course declaring such truth could cost you your head. Or at least a disruption on the way to fame.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

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Advent: Woes and Warring for Souls

‘Perhaps what we modern people need most is to be genuinely shaken…God permits this whirlwind to go over the earth…This is the first Advent message: before the end, the world will be set quaking.’ FR Alfred Delp

‘The coming of Jesus is fearsome news for everyone with a conscience’, says Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Advent jolts us awake. Rather than lull ourselves to sleep with boozy good cheer, we can rouse ourselves in the electric lights radiating from the gray. God calls us to shine bright for the saving of many lives.

So it was at our Gender Matters Conference in Manila. Between the Feast of St. Andrew and the first Sunday of Advent, hundreds of us packed out a hall in the city center and betrothed ourselves anew to Jesus and His truth for humanity amid a national drive to enslave citizens by guaranteeing ‘rights to gender expression’, aka defy your nature and conjure a false self. The Philippines is poised to become the first nation in Asia to pass a law that grants preferential treatment to the ever-expanding LGBT+ set while imposing extreme penalties for anyone who ‘creates an emotionally distressing environment’ which ‘results in the loss of self-esteem’ for any person flaunting an identity fracture.

The bill is expressly designed to silence any pastor, parent, or friend who casts a vision of gender wholeness for loved ones being tempted by a host of fake identities.

Andrew Speaking at Gender Matters.

Jesus provokes us who have died to these solutions and now live for Him. We cannot celebrate the dead-end of sexualizing our injuries and unmet needs. In truth, we grieve and mourn and cry out for true justice. A godly congress-woman implored us to pray and fight for a delay of the bill which slam dunked the lower house 187-0 and is scheduled to go before the Senate mid-December. Wise senators are working hard for this delay in order to buy time in which to rouse the Church—Philippine’s drowsy, distracted giant.

The Holy Spirit honored our gathering; His Presence summoned fresh repentance and many tears over this delusion and the traditional adulteries that broke ground for this rainbow psychosis. More than anything, we poured out our hearts for a generation who are being entombed by fake identities.

I recalled St. Andrew whose gift to us as the first apostle was a deep, child-like faith in Jesus and an immediate evangelistic impulse. Having beheld the Lamb, he directed his brother Peter to Jesus, declaring ‘We have found the Messiah’ (JN 1:35-42).

St Andrew reminded me that our Philippine advance was not first about politics or theology or psychology—it was for persons doomed to die unless merciful ones, endowed with true vision, direct them to Jesus. Scattered throughout our gathering were wide-eyed gender-benders alongside faithful friends. ‘They’ are us—wounded wonderful persons who will remain slaves until they discover the Father who alone has power to confirm us as His sons and daughters (Gal. 4:3-7).

‘When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand’ (LK 21:28).

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

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Saved by Beauty 2

‘The joy of a saint is not to draw people to himself…but to cast his crown before God.’ Father Richard Veras

This fall I’ve faced the down-drag of affliction—my Church’s tendency to look good rather than to become good, and my mother who shattered her shoulder in August. In the face of her mortality (resilient and recovering 93-year-old that she is!), I uneasily check my own and am tempted by resignation rather than resurrection.

Jesus is faithful through His saints. During several trips to care for Mom, I attended morning Mass at a local parish. One day a week the priest presides expertly over a sanctuary teeming with elementary school kids while we adults vie for seats in back. A young father who I can only describe as radiant-in-holiness sat next to me and proceeded to boast about his first grade daughter and how he wanted to ‘live out’ the Mass for her. What? I saw him once again, warm and porous-in-love. Light broke my darkness.

A young Filipina woman reads the Old Testament passage and Psalm one day a week at the same Mass. When she does, her beauty and sanctity compel me to listen; I receive the Word freely. I asked her afterwards how she preps, and she responded that she prays to embody the Word for that moment—to step into the Word and become it. What? Something like joy welled up in me and overtook sadness.

I flew home late during my last visit in order to help Annette with the one day a week that she cares for both of our grandkids. Annette has made it clear—on that day, we both care for them. 6-month-old Camille lights up the world with her smile. Nothing like it. She sleeps, she feeds, she fusses, then boom: here comes the sun. One-year-old, Jacob is, well, perfect. My ‘strollering’ with him and our eldest labrador Joni is the highlight of the week. He clutches her leash in his fist; indigo eyes, full of wonder, take in the world around him as if it were Eden’s first day.

Through his eyes, I marvel again, and wait with renewed hope for the Day.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

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Saved by Beauty

‘This aspiration—born of love—is a search for integral beauty, for purity free from stain. It is a search for perfection that contains a synthesis of human beauty—body and soul.’ (Theology of the Body, St. John Paul ll)

As she sat in the morning light, hair shining silver, I realized that she had never been lovelier. All the years together, just shy of 40—and she more dignified and womanly than ever. I thought of the Rogers and Hammerstein lyric: ‘Do I love you because you are beautiful, or are you beautiful because I love you?’ and concluded nothing except life means little without her. Beautiful Annette, or better put, beautiful marriage, saved me.

Isn’t that idolatry? Doesn’t only Jesus save? Of course, only one Savior, but Jesus has given marriage power to permeate its players with His very Presence in a way that saves man and woman through their communion—body, soul, spirit. St. Paul likens sexual fusion between husband and wife to the ‘great mystery’ of Christ’s union with the Church. For years now, I have participated in this most holy, earthy communion with another; in so doing, Annette and I share in Jesus infusing His Church with divine presence. As Annette and I permeate each other with our self-giving, we are being saved—made holy through love as we ‘submit to each other out of reverence for Jesus’ (Eph. 5:21).

This flies in the face of charges—laughably foolish—that any person who has same-sex attraction cannot be redeemed in his or her sexuality. I came across an ad for the film ‘Boy Erased’ that ominously read: ‘The truth cannot be converted…’ Du, du, du, dumb. Talk about an inverted, uninspired worldview!

As our common enemy would have it, homosexuality, the big ‘H’, now subordinates Jesus to little ‘j’. For every sheep that drank the cool-aid and now believes all we can do for the LGBT+ set is to agree with their divided, sterile identifications—hear this: Jesus redeems us for beauty! And that means He has power to enable sinners from any fractured starting point to join the dance of life. Marital love with Jesus at center redeems persons who participate in it.

‘Boy Erased’ and the trendy assault on anyone who efforts to grow beyond sexual illusion reveal a loss of vision for human creativity and dignity. Not beautiful Jesus; He has never lost sight nor power to summon what He sees. That takes disciplined response, of course. Any good thing does. Becoming who I am is hard yet deeply fulfilling. I am not even tempted to trade my marriage and its unitive, creative power for a weird friendship with a dude. I was created and redeemed for beauty. Beauty saved me.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

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Gender Matters in the Philippines

May I please invite you all to pray for our daylong Gender Matters Conference in Manila, The Philippines on Saturday, Dec. 1st? Our gathering could not be timelier. This most Christian nation in Asia is now on the brink of following America’s horrid example of gender-bending civil rights. The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Law (SOGIE) has passed their lower house and goes before the Senate at the first of the year. If this passes, ‘gay marriage’ will follow.

In answer to the prayers of a united front of Christians, the voting was delayed. Now we have a chance to wake up Christians slumbering in regard to gender fluidity issues. Evangelicals and Catholics are being swayed by the spirit of the age into a fake tolerance, ‘to love in the name of freedom.’ Most believers have not considered the responsibility God places on us to glorify Him as the author of our true natures rather than to allow loved ones to build fake selves based on ever-morphing ‘feelings.’ We act in truth, or we will be judged for abetting our common enemy and hurting our loved ones.

Living Waters friends in The Philippines take their Christian responsibility seriously. They are paying a high price in sponsoring Gender Matters: our beloved leader there Benjie Cruz just broke his hip in a crazy accident that I believe is demonic. Please pray for all his staff members who are working like crazy to equip the Church in The Philippines to convey the heart of Jesus to the vulnerable. If the Church slumbers, fools will rush in and confirm persons into false selves. Psychological and spiritual destinies are at stake. Please pray:

1. For a huge turnout at our conference on Dec. 1st in Manila.
2. For protection on the LW staff and quickened healing for Benjie and family.
3. For the 7 astounding young adults on the LW staff who embody a range of gender brokenness and healing through Jesus and His community.
4. For the SOGIE bill to be defeated in the Senate.
5. For Christians throughout The Philippines to wake up and speak up before it’s too late.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

Download PDF
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