Tag Archives: Supreme Court

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Authority to Name

Creation of Adam and Eve, stained glass window in the church of Dinant, Belgium, created in 1821.

A federal appeal court ruled yesterdaythat Prop. 8–our voter-approved definition of real marriage–violated the US Constitution. Fear not: this is but the latest of numerous efforts to overturn the people’s will concerning marriage. Tuesday’s decision will be appealed and most likely ‘fast tracked’ to the US Supreme Court who will decide once and for all the definition of marriage for the USA. (In the meantime, we trust that no ‘gay marriages’ will be allowed in CA.)

Join us at DSM to pray for the high court to quickly and justly uphold what marriage is. As we await that decision, let us overcome our fears of defining marriage rightly. Our authority lies in our capacity to see and say the truth about marriage, for all to hear.

Authority to Name

In the beginning, God gave humanity the authority to name reality; one of Adam’s first tasks was to define the animals. Men and women, created in God’s image, have the unique, inspired capacity to know the truth and to name it. That is precisely what distinguishes us from the rest of creation, and frees us from being tyrannized by false definitions. We represent Him in naming reality.

That is our authority as human beings. And when we rightly name reality, we extend the rule and reign of the Creator. And wrest reality from those who distort reality by misnaming it.  That is precisely what is at stake in the efforts of gay activists to redefine marriage. Consider their efforts to rename reality. And its implications.

Is the sexual union of two men or two women really ‘a marriage’? Can two members of the same gender create the whole that creates and stabilizes life?

Can two same-gendered persons who for myriad reasons refuse the opposite gender as a worthy counterpart help secure little ones in their security as male or female? How can a ‘gay marriage’ prepare them for a life that their two mommies and daddies have actively defied?

Consider the naming of a fetus. Is that growing cluster of cells ‘a life’? The refusal to name a conceived life is what is at stake in abortion. Non-lives can be treated as so much refuse. Will ‘marriage’ meet the same fate in the USA? Will we allow others to take what is true and real and rename it? Renaming marriage as a same gender reality fundamentally distorts its original meaning and intention.

I just returned from a prayer meeting in Washington State where our Living Waters leaders gathered. We asked the Creator to restore our authority as citizens to name reality for Washington, a state poised to become the eighth in the USA to legislate ‘gay marriage.’

Many confessed to having conceded their voice, their naming power, to the drone of activists. They admitted the temptation to not heed their still small voice for fear of being judged as haters or bigots. We repented.

God is restoring our voices, our naming power. May we speak before it is too late.

‘If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve Me; If you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be My spokespeople.’ ( Jeremiah 15:19)

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Abandonment

‘But I cry to you for help, O Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Why, O Lord, do you reject me and hide your face from me?
I have suffered your terrors and am in despair. Your wrath has swept over me;
Your terrors have destroyed me. All day long they surround me like a flood;
They have completely engulfed me.
You have taken my companions from me; the darkness is my closest friend.’
PS 88:13-18

Jesus’ rejection, abuse, and murder at the hands of men were not His greatest sorrow. It was His Father’s abandonment of Him on the cross.

Jesus expected the scourge of political and religious foes. The desertion of His disciples, however painful, was bearable.

Through it all, He held fast to His steadfast consolation–the Father who promised to never forsake Him. One cannot imagine His dismay when the Father abandoned Him to the darkness of sin.

He was willing, yet not prepared for the scourge and judgment of sin to fall upon Him. He knew the truth: what is holy cannot commune with what is foul. Jesus realized that the evil in humanity demanded a sacrifice. The price had to be paid. And He knew that whatever bears that sin becomes a horrible, stinking cancer that the Father cannot look upon.

Nothing can be further from the Father than that which is accursed!

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Turning for Good (Friday and Beyond)

We might receive foot-washing and communion and yet still not grasp the cross. Perhaps our need for that cross is not yet clear. We may still believe in our own capacity to follow Him, the self-inspired power of allegiance to Jesus.

Peter the ‘Rock,’ full of bluster and unrefined zeal, helps us here. He believed himself to be among the most radical followers of Jesus. Pride came before his fall on the eve of Jesus’ crucifixion. Until the midnight hour, Peter continued to be stumbled by the prospect of Christ’s humiliation.

He still did not grasp the cross. First he had to suffer the humiliation of his own infidelity.

How often have we seen this before? Many of us have followed Christian leaders whom we granted ‘Rock-like” status, only to be devastated when they fell. How could they? How could men or women espousing, say, ‘traditional values,’ prostitute themselves and so breach trust with us? (Not to mention with their families, their churches, and the greater Christian community?)

Easily. We can preach the cross and its merits for everyone else yet avoid it entirely when it comes to our own need for the cross. We can live in that divide as long as our weaknesses are kept in check. But seasons change, and under the stress of real life, weaknesses become wickedness.

God exposes us as the cross-‘dodgers’ that we are. Such exposure breaks ground in us for mercy.

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Mercy for the Whole Image

After Massachusetts adopted ‘gay marriage’, we as a ministry sought to understand and pray for what was at stake for a nation that elevated the status of homosexual unions to those of heterosexuals.

We prayed for mercy, not judgment, for this ultimate expression of idolatry—the creature shaking its fist at the Creator and declaring that (s)he would image herself anyway (s)he wanted.

Yet we had a small emerging hope: we as a nation could turn back before it was too late. God might relent and have mercy.

Of course we knew that ‘gay marriage’ was simply the logical conclusion to the desecration of marriage itself; we had already burned her boundaries and assaulted her integrity with no-fault divorce and all manner of sexual abuse, including adultery, premarital sex, and porn addiction.

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Roused By Mercy

At the dawn of the new millennium, I noticed a growing darkness in the area of gender and sexuality. Powerless to overcome perversion, western culture used its power to justify all manner of sexual expression.

Around that time, I had a dream about a group of young people who were confused and seeking answers to their sexual identity questions. They were on a secular college campus. Older gay mentors began to confirm them as bona-fide gays and lesbians; as they laid hands on these young ones, the latter began to morph–their beings changed into an image that distorted their real humanity.

When I woke up, I began to pray that God would rouse us and make us like a warrior’s sword (Zech. 9:13); I prayed for a merciful authority with which to cut through lies that bound young people to false images and relationships. I prayed for the power to convey what the Heavenly Father had in store for them.

We trained our people to start running CrossCurrent groups—a shorter version of Living Waters aimed at encountering those in the valley of decision. Sure enough, God sent men and women to us who loved Jesus and yet were on the brink of leaving marriages, Christian colleges, and their own value systems for sexy new partnerships.

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