08

February

A Right Response

“And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear.” 1 Peter 3:15-16

We are living in times where the very foundation of our faith is being shaken. Culture is challenging our convictions in every area of life. The current shaking is regarding, same-sex marriage, sexual orientation and gender identity or gender expression. Daily we are being confronted with lifestyles that challenge our biblical worldview.

There are deep chasms in our culture and even within the church on how to engage in conversations. In this climate, the church has lost her voice because of what has been interpreted as hate speech and phobia. The battle lines have been drawn. Walls of words and judgement have been fabricated to discourage the possibility of honest conversations.

It is in this environment that I feel personally challenged to have a “RIGHT RESPONSE”. How do we respond to people that have lifestyles that are different than ours? How do we respond to people who passionately espouse different values? How do we engage in conversations when our views are dismissed as judgmental and bigoted? As a church, we want to help you respond to the ongoing conversation. I want to leave you with three simple thoughts as we engage the culture around us. A podcast by Tim Keller outlines three simple but profound truths that help guide a right response.

The Bible teaches us to love our neighbour. I think of the story of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25ff) We don’t choose our neighbours but we must choose to love them. Neighbours have different ethnicities, different religious beliefs, different lifestyles which we may or may not agree with. Sometimes we are selective in whom we love, but according to Jesus we are encouraged to love all people regardless of political persuasion, religious belief, ethnicity, sexual orientation or colour.

The Bible teaches that we are saved by grace and not by works. (Eph 2:8ff) The way we live does not save us – Jesus saves us. Faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior saves us. Our lives should change because of His free gift of salvation. God’s grace is extended to all people.  Often the question arises, “Do homosexuals go to hell?” My response is “does being heterosexual guarantee you get to heaven?” There is a multitude of what we call “besetting” sins. None of us are exempt… but for the grace of God.

The Bible teaches God’s original plan for human sexuality. (Gen 1:27-28) Throughout scripture God’s intention for human sexuality is made abundantly clear. His design is intended to help us live for the good and fruitfulness of humanity. When you purchase a new car you take great care in following the owner’s manual and maintenance plan for the benefit of a long life and smooth operation. It is crucial for us to recognize God’s original design for all humanity for the benefit of a healthy and fruitful society.

We live in a culture that is swayed by public opinion. Personal feelings dictate what is right and acceptable. It is time for us to allow the Word of God to teach us and lead us.

Please join us in an evening of teaching and discussion as we learn how to engage the culture we live in.

 

Pastor Dave

-Lead Pastor

 

A Right Response

Friday, February 23 | 7PM

Southgate Church