Friday, November 14, 2014

Thoughts from my Pastor on Same-Sex Marriage

So, this topic is a bit heavier than I ever intended to post on this little blog. But, seeing how it is my blog, I guess I can do that!

Below is a post from my church pastor, Perry Noble. He has a wonderful way with words, and with speaking truth in love. Rather than try to scramble to find the right words, I wanted to share his post - as it perfectly mirrors my own heart.

This topic is, and always has been, very controversial. I hope that this in no way is offensive to anyone, but in fact I hope that it is viewed as quite the opposite. We all have differences - and those differences in no way give us permission to hate, to judge, or to condemn. 

Matthew 7:1-5 says:
"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgement you pronounce, you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."

In short, not one of us is perfect. We need to concentrate on fixing our own flaws, rather than pointing outward at the flaws of others. 

Here is Perry's post. You can also view it on his blog page here.

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What we have seen happen all over the United States is seemingly going to now become a reality as same-sex marriage is on the verge of becoming legal here in the Palmetto State.
Within the past five years or so, I would say that one of the most frequent questions asked of me is what should be a Christian’s response to the issue of same-sex marriage.
While I cannot speak for all Christians, I can speak for NewSpring Church and for our campuses all across South Carolina. And as far as we’re concerned, God clearly defined marriage as a relationship between a male and a female in Scripture.
So, does this ruling mean we should revolt against the government or refuse to accept the court’s decision? No. While it seems that same-sex marriage will eventually become the law of the land it does not mean that it has to become the mindset of those who have clearly expressed a desire to be fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Does this ruling mean we should change our beliefs in order to accommodate the shifting beliefs of our culture? No. Our church has clearly spoken on this issue. You’ve heard me say it before and our stance has not changed.
Does this ruling mean we should hate gay people and look down upon them as being morally and spiritually inferior? ABSOLUTELY NOT! (Has anyone ever noticed that “Christians” seem to be the most vocally opposed to the sins in other people’s lives, which makes it easier to ignore their own shortcomings?)
One of the things that amazes me about Jesus is the fact that He valued people way more than their theological stances, and accepted people even when He didn’t approve of their behavior.
The way to win people to Christ is through compassion and conversation, NOT condemnation.
Within the past year I had the privilege to sit down and have conversations with some people who openly identify themselves as gay—and the one thing I clearly remember walking out of that room with was the idea that these people were real people, with real hearts, real souls, real emotions and they all really mattered to God.
While the law of the land is about to change, the call on our hearts does not.
Our Gospel witness must remain the same. We cannot be distracted from our mission, and we must not be distracted from our message: Every single person on the planet desperately needs Jesus...because, everyone’s life would be better if Jesus were at the center.
I strongly believe that how we, as a local church and we as the Church, respond to the changing sexual norms of society will say a lot more about us than it will about anyone else who may believe differently than we do.
Now is the time to speak truth with a compassionate approach that should not cause us to hang our heads because we simply do not believe what culture is saying is not acceptable.
As followers of Christ our call is not to try to somehow legislate morality but rather present Jesus to a world who needs Him more desperately than ever before.
However, it is ok for Christians to have political and moral convictions...and understand that It is completely possible to accept people without approving of their behavior.
NewSpring won’t stop talking about matters of relationships or sexuality—in fact, the biblical voice on these issues is more relevant and critical than ever.
We likewise wouldn’t be faithful if we abandoned the biblical mandate to show love, compassion and understanding to those who are struggling with sin—which would be all of us.
No matter what category you (or others) find yourself in...whether you attend NewSpring Church or not...I want you to know that you matter to me, you matter to our church and, most importantly, you matter to God!!
I really do believe that through Jesus—not courts, not governments or legislation that we find grace, mercy and purpose in life. That’s a TRUTH no judge can ever overturn!
Source: Meraki Inspiration Blog

With love - - 

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