This and That 05-12-12

President Obama’s Scriptural Defense of Gay Marriage– He implies that Jesus’ words conflict with Paul’s words in both clarity and priority. In terms of clarity, he is suggesting that the apostle Paul’s condemnation of homosexual acts in Romans 1:26-27 is less than transparent. In terms of the priority, he says that Paul’s teaching—whatever that may be—has to give way to Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), as if the two were somehow contradictory. Candidate Obama called Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount “more central” and labeled Paul’s words to the Romans as “obscure.”  Although this makes some sense of the president’s remarks today, we have to conclude that this is not a “Christian” way of reading the Bible for a number of reasons. – Denny Burk

Five Reasons Christians Should Continue to Oppose Gay Marriage – The temptation, then, is for Christians go silent and give up the marriage fight: “It’s no use staying in this battle,” we think to ourselves. “We don’t have to change our personal position. We’ll keep speaking the truth and upholding the Bible in our churches, but getting worked up over gay marriage in the public square is counter productive. It’s a waste of time. It makes us look bad. It ruins our witness. And we’ve already lost. Time to throw in the towel.” I understand that temptation. It is an easier way. But I do not think it is the right way, the God glorifying way, or the way of love. – Kevin DeYoung

What is Better? – But there’s nothing else in me God wants to change except who I am. And this comes through the cross — Christ’s cross becoming my cross. What is better? To be warring all the life in Romans 7, denying urges and not feeling good inside, or doing what we feel is right simply because it feels good, better? One voice answers the latter, and it strokes the ear. The other strikes terror sometimes — okay, many times — but it takes us from Romans 7 to Romans 8. – Jared C. Wilson

Same-Sex Marriage Makes a Lot of Sense – Same-sex marriage makes sense if you assume that the individual is the center of the universe, that God—if he exists—is there to make us happy, and that our choices are not grounded in a nature created by God but in arbitrary self-construction. To the extent that this sort of “moralistic-therapeutic-deism” prevails in our churches, can we expect the world to think any differently? If we treat God as a product we sell to consumers for their self-improvement programs and make personal choice the trigger of salvation itself, then it may come as a big surprise (even contradiction) to the world when we tell them that truth (the way things are) trumps feelings and personal choice (what we want to make things to be). – Michael Horton

Mothers Day and the Infertile – It is good and right to honor mothers. The Bible calls us to do so. Jesus does so with his own mother. We must recognize though that many infertile women find this day almost unbearable. This is not because these women are (necessarily) bitter or covetous or envious. The day is simply a reminder of unfulfilled longings, longings that are good. – Russell Moore

Mother’s Day is not Joyful for Everyone – I would encourage you to remember your friends that might be in anyone of these places. It can seem awkward, but I promise you, they will be grateful. Tell them you are thinking about them, especially on Mother’s Day. Write them a card. However small, acknowledge that you understand that this day is difficult. Don’t just do nothing.  I remember last year going up to my friend and telling her I was thinking about her. I had a 3-year-old grabbing onto my leg, I was holding my daughter, and I was visibly pregnant. Sometimes because we don’t want to make them more sad we just keep our distance. But, thankfully I have had friends tell me that that is much worse. Obviously, I have not struggled with infertility, and yes, that means I don’t truly understand. But I do care. And letting my friends know I care means a lot. – Johanna Hanson


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