Posts tagged: Marriage
I did not go out looking for this article. It found me on Tumblr. Someone blogged it. I do not read Hugh Hefner’s magazine. Please believe me, I long to be above reproach and this article was blogged, right where you yourself are seeing the link.
However, he has some insightful things to say. I do not agree with what he says necessarily (nor am I endorsing him or his lifestyle), but it is an insightful picture. Especially since the church down played sex for so long. We made it naughty and only for procreation – despite their being an entire book of the Bible dedicated to the joy and pleasure of sex in a healthy, monogamous marriage between a man and a woman. God could have created anyway for us to procreate and reproduce the human race, however he designed it in such a way for us to feel great pleasure.
He gave us the gift of sex.
It is not to be abused.
This is where Hefner gets it awry. He wants anything and everything. But in this instance, these words of his to Americans have some value:
Nearly 50 years ago in the pages of this magazine I warned that “when religion rather than reason dictates legislation, do not expect logic with your law.” Today, in every instance of sexual rights falling under attack, you’ll find legislation forced into place by people who practice discrimination disguised as religious freedom. Their goal is to dehumanize everyone’s sexuality and reduce us to using sex for the sole purpose of perpetuating our species. To that end, they will criminalize your entire sex life.
This is a religious nation, but it is also a secular one. For decades the American people have found a way to balance religious beliefs with secular freedoms. We have enjoyed freedom of religion as well as freedom from religion. These need not be incompatible. No one should have to subjugate their religious freedom, and no one should have their personal freedoms infringed. This is America and we must protect the rights of all Americans.
Church, I long for us to have healthy, loving conversations about sexuality that point people to Jesus. Do you think we can do this? Do you think we can effectively engage with those who don’t know Jesus when they think we are old fuddy-duddies who hate sex?
Jesus would hang out with Hugh Hefner. Jesus would hang out with those who have been oppressed. The church needs to reclaim the art of spending our time with those who are oppressed. How can we ever dream of ending oppression and having them encounter Jesus if we don’t hang out with them?
My sister brilliantly summed it up in her Facebook status:
Finally figured out how to put into words why the Chick-fil-A stuff made me upset today. As a follower of Jesus we are never once told to defend our rights, but we’re repeatedly told to love our neighbors - how do these pro-Chick-fil-A rallies make us look to the LGBT community?
But it got me thinking even more.
I love Jesus of Nazareth. He is Messiah. He is Lord. He is King. He is God incarnate, God with us. Understanding this makes me a Disciple - I follow in His footsteps and learn at His feet. I am constantly on a journey learning how to best put my faith into practice as He makes me more and more into the man He has made me to be, allowing His views, His thoughts, to be the ones which shape my journey and life - not my own.
Doing this is easier said then done.
I am not perfect.
No disciple is.
We are all in process.
Those outside the church call us hypocrites.
Sadly, I cannot disagree with them. All I can do is agree with them and say, “Yes, I don’t always get it right and for that I’m sorry. Please forgive me because I do not always act, think, look like and say what Jesus would say.” I think this means I’m not a hypocrite - or at least I hope.
Being an American means I have the right to free speech and thought. Paul even asks me to be subject to the government (Romans 13). God also tells the prophet Jeremiah this:
Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
God tells His people to love their city well. Love their neighbors. Seek their good. Does this sound like Romans 13 yet?
Jesus Himself eats with the most “vile”, unreligious people of His day - tax collectors. Meanwhile, the ones Jesus rebukes were the religious leaders of his day (Matthew 23). Jesus, to answer a question tells the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). Jesus in His infinite wisdom teaches the greatest sermon ever, the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) where He turns the world upside down, where He shows His followers what it means to be a disciple. In this legendary discourse He says: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
I have a simple question - was this protest or rally, or whatever it was, a way of loving their enemy?
Would Jesus have gone to Chick-Fil-A today?
Would Jesus get into Facebook fights over Chick-Fil-A?
I’m not here to argue politics or free speech - honestly, I don’t really care. I don’t believe those matter as a disciple of Jesus. If my government one day takes away my free speech, or freedom of religion, it is still my responsibility to stand up for the Gospel. I am an American and a Disciple, however, when the two do not overlap, I leave my American at the door.
Do I agree with Chick-Fil-A? Honestly, for me it doesn’t matter. What I know, is we are called to be “salt” and “light” (Matthew 5:13-16). We are called to be
a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people, once you had not recieved mercy, but now you have recieved mercy… Keep your conduct among the Gentiles (non-disciples) honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
1 Peter 2:9-10, 12
So I ask you, how as disciples should we react to Chick-Fil-A? Do we join the boycott? Do we give them unflinching support? Or, maybe do we let this oppressed community know we love them, care about them and long for their best? We view them as people, not objects. We view them as human beings, not horrible sinners. We view them in the same light as anyone else, if anything, the thing we should be concerned with is not their sexual orientation, but whether or not they have encountered Jesus and the Gospel yet.
As a disciple I have not arrived. I still sin. I still have my junk I’m dealing with. Jesus never once asked His disciples to fix themselves before they follow Him. The last thing I want to do is make the Gospel more offensive then it is. I mean, who likes being told they aren’t Lord of their own universe? Who likes being told they are sinners and imperfect? Who likes being told they are living their lives for things which in the end have no worth?
Love them. Pray for them. Don’t persecute them. Heck, if anything, get to know them. Take one of them to Chcik-Fil-A (they do make some mean waffle fries) and get to know them, hear their story and see who they are. They are not enemies.
Maybe I’m right; maybe I’m wrong?
This picture breaks my heart for both men and women.
It says so much about our culture that is screams it.
Boys, it is time to become men.
I’m looking forward to reading their book on marriage…
I was perusing the internet tonight when this article was presented to me. I am not a soccer fan, so I don’t ever click on those articles to read - but when the headline was about a coach missing his son’s wedding, I was intrigued. So I clicked.
Honestly, this article fascinates me. Let me share with you the most insightful bit:
Pierfilippo told the Independent that his dad missing his big day is “absolutely not” a problem and that the family finds the whole thing a bit funny. Plus, since Pierfilippo and his soon-to-be wife already have two kids together, strict Catholic Fabio only considers the wedding a “formalizing” ceremony anyway.
This European culture is a little farther ahead of us in America - but even then, I still feel as if this scenario is not a far fetched thing that could happen in America.
I’m just curious, how does this article hit you? What does it say about marriage? What does it say about weddings?
I guess this is just further proof for why I don’t like soccer…
Before I write anything else, does anybody else see the has to be unintentional innuendo on the cover page? Hilarious.
Best part about this booklet are “Men Initiate” and “Men Risk Rejection”. Love this. Love it.
It’s a little long. I don’t agree with all it all, but it’s solid. Give it a read.
Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas, 267
Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas, 261
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Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas, 147