One of our most challenging tasks of leaders is to apply the revelation of God in Scripture, both clearly and pastorally, to the burning issues of our day. Gender, sexuality, and marriage are among those issues. From the Supreme Court to the White House, from entertainment to business, from education to communications, a massive shift has taken place in our culture. At New Life Fellowship last week, Geri and I preached on “Becoming a Good Gift in Your Masculinity and Femininity.” We are not same-sex attraction or gender identity experts, and we continue on our own journey of study and reflection. Yet we felt the urgency to begin addressing these themes for both our marrieds and singles more strongly. So, with humility, we offer this sermon to you for your prayerful consideration. Click below to watch the sermon or listen to the audio link. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN P.S. The following is an. Read more.
Our marriages are meant to be our first ambition in life. When we marry we make a vow to love our spouse exclusively until we die. That vow informs every decision we will make the rest of our lives. When a man or woman take a monastic vow, they take years to move through a process that typically takes 6-8 years. First, they are observers, then postulants, and eventually novices. After that they take temporary vows, usually for two to three years, until they finally make permanent vows. At that point, they change their name, divest themselves of all their wealth, and commit to be part of a particular community the rest of their lives. Every decision they make from that point forward is informed by that vow. In the same way, if we are married, we have made a vow. That vow informs every decision we make. The pace of the church, and. Read more.
Geri and I have led a small group in our home for 25 of our 26 years at New Life. In fact, we begin our next one this coming week. We take a group of 16-18 people, marrieds and singles, and spend an intensive year together. Why do we do it? The answer is simple: this is foundational to being a church where people are deeply transformed. Scripture teaches that both Christian singleness and marriage are sacramental vocations and prophetic. They each make visible the invisible reality of our marriage to Christ and are signs of God’s kingdom to a broken world (See Matt. 19:10-12 and Eph. 5:32). This vision is a far cry from both our secular and present church culture. I am daunted by the number and the complexity of issues bearing down on our people – the sexualization of our culture, dating, pornography, homosexuality, divorce, cohabitation, objectification of people, the challenges. Read more.