Tag Archives: restoration

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Mercy 11: Merciful Surrender

‘I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, save me!” The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, He saved me.’ (PS 116: 1-4)

Merciful Surrender by BethanWe live in an age proud of its sexual liberties. Personal rights now include the freedom to be any number of sexual variations. We may even invoke divine right to deviate: the Chair of Theology at a well-known Christian University left for the summer as a woman and returned as a man, insisting that God honored her self-assessment (and mutilation) above all else.

I am grateful for the simplicity of repentance. Jesus hears the cry for mercy! Given the variety of inclinations humans possess to find clarity and security outside of the Creator, God has given us Jesus to whom we can turn. As the Psalmist declares, He turns to us first, holding out loving kindness as the anchor for those of us getting tossed around by vain answers to our questions.

Whatever our starting points, turning toward the luminous God, His wounds yet visible, is the answer to our deepest cries. He is faithful to re-orient us around what is just and right and true for He embodies all three.

Jesus makes clear that the poor who are subject to the world’s folly have a place in His heart. All they must do is turn to Him in their poverty, not to false riches. ‘Those who are whole do not need a doctor but those who are sick. I come not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.’ (LK 5: 31, 32)

Some use such verses as a reason why Jesus advocates for those in sexual sin. May it never be! The point is this: Jesus is so luminous and powerful in love that He renders our idols worthless. He is magnetic in mercy, compelling in His pure compassion. As such, He gives us reason to repent from what we have turned to in our poverty. But repent we must.

In that choice, Jesus dignifies us and grants us a part in deciding who and what will master us: worldly solutions, or the Creator and Redeemer of that world.

Therein lies His power to restore us. We turn to Him, over and over: repentance becomes the rhythm of our restoration. With each temptation toward lust, self-doubt, and despair, we call on the merciful One. He takes the ground we give Him and sows good seed in it. He loves planting in broken soil! We become fruitful, having yielded our hearts’ deepest cries to Jesus.

‘Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone, a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.’ (JN 12: 24)

Prayer Points:

    • Desert Stream/Living Waters: Pennsylvania, Jeff Comeaux, Regional Coordinator. Please pray for our efforts to start a LW group in the Catholic Church.
    • Restored Hope Network: Shadow of His Wings, San Antonio, TX. Lee & Shea Preston, Directors. Specialty: counseling and retreats for men, women, marriages, spouses and family members.
      Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), Washington, DC. Regina Griggs, Director. Specialty: caring for parents and family members of those struggling with SSA or living as LBGT.
    • Courage: Pray that Christian schools and universities would have God’s heart and mind as they discern how best to serve students with SSA.
  • Cor Project: Pray that we would be wise and faithful stewards of our resources.
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Courage and Contending – Part 3

‘I urge you to contend for the faith’…in light of those ‘who change the grace of God into a license for sexual immorality.’ (Jude 3, 4)

gprideWe must activate and aim the Gospel of Jesus Christ toward those whose same-sex attraction has morphed into the ‘gay self’ and beyond. Lives are at stake. Having opted out of a male/female requirement for sexual–relating, a generation now champions ‘post-gay’ sexual minorities. According to the NY Times, the now standard ‘GLBT’ banner has evolved to ‘LGBTQQIAA’, which shall expand its borders continuously to include new gender ‘identities’ clamoring for recognition.

It’s no longer about changing sexual partners; it’s about changing your own gender identity. The letter in the ‘LGBT…’ alphabet soup that defined you today may change tomorrow. Or you may be the first to add a new entry to the mix.

That’s precisely the point: gender identity is now defined by an utter lack of definition. Anyone who challenges such ‘freedom’, including ‘old school’ gays and lesbians, need to lighten up. What emerges is a chilling fragmentation of being. A self-defined ‘bi-gender’ mused: ‘Some days I wake up and think: “Why am I in this body?’ Most days I wake up and think: “What was I thinking yesterday?”’

Not only does the emperor have not clothes, (s)he has no gender.

Still, Jesus thinks of her; He thinks of him. The Creator and Redeemer of all has vision and purpose for the gender identity of every child. He made him and her and is intent on redeeming them according to His image. In spite of our fragmentation, He holds all things together, including the pieces of our ‘gender selves’. (Col. 1:17)

Our goal as Christians is to provide places of encounter for Creator and confused child. He alone can become the catalyst for the new and true self, which has profound implications for our identities as male and female.

I recall a young boy, 4-years-old, whose Mexican parents brought him to me at church one day. He showed signs of refusing to identify as a male. So after church every Sunday, the boy and I, with parents nearby, would talk about how Jesus made us boys (or girls) and how He loves the many different ways boys express themselves. I blessed and affirmed the strong and loving little boy he was. I started to bring little cars and trucks for us to play with as we talked. One Sunday I asked the dad to come over and he began to play with us too.

The kid needed Jesus. And he needed to know that his identity as a boy was good in God’s eyes and in his dad’s eyes.

Christians must become good news for adult children who are harassed and helpless because they have no shepherd. Jesus’ love is our guide. He alone is the key to reorienting lives around our Maker and our own true selves, made in His image, male and female.

‘And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth  of insight, so that you may discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Jesus Christ…’ (Phil. 1: 9, 10)



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