This semester in our men's Bible study we're studying the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23). Last night we looked at "faithfulness." Part of our homework each week is to come with a worldly cultural example of the assigned Fruit of the Spirit. My wife, Dani, supplied me with this example of what faithfulness looks like to the world…
There's a segment in many Christian marriage ceremonies called the Declaration of Consent. If you've been to a traditional wedding, it was that part where you got confused and thought to yourself, "Wait, I thought they were supposed to say, 'I do.' Why'd she just say, 'I will'?"
That's the Declaration of Consent. Here's the wording from the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship:
Will you have this man to be your husband, and will you pledge your faithfulness to him, in all love and honor, in all duty and service, in all faith and tenderness, to live with him, and cherish him, according to the ordinance of God, in the holy bond of marriage?
Indiana University is currently on an ostentatious crusade against sexual violence, and it's very tuned in to this whole consent thing. Here in Bloomington we're in the midst of Little 500 week, one of the most decadent times of college partying in the entire nation, and a time each year when sexual assault becomes commonplace. Last week…
IU President Michael McRobbie just released this statement earlier this week in response to Gov. Pence's signing of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
People like the woman at the head of the Disciples of Christ denomination will browbeat you into thinking that the RFRA encourages Christians to spurn sinners, the very people Jesus spent His time with while on earth, instead of helping them. (We'll set aside the irony of this argument from liberal Christians, who do not even consider homosexuals to be engaging in sin…)
No faithful Christian is suggesting that we ought to avoid associating with sinners, or even decline to serve them. That's the wrong question. We are to be friends of sinners. The question is not one of whether or not we are to love sinners. The question is, What qualifies as participating in and promoting ungodliness?
NOTE: This sermon manuscript (edited and polished) is part 4 in this semester's Killing Sin preaching series. Listen to the sermon here. Check out part 1 [read|listen], part 2 [read|listen], part 3 [read|listen], part 5 [read|listen], part 6 [read|listen], part 7 [read|listen], part 8 [read|listen], and part 9 [read|listen].
The Holy Spirit never stops making distinctions. It's been that way from the Creation of the world, right down through history: Light and dark. Male and female. Life and death. Wisdom and foolishness. Righteousness and wickedness. When we come to a Bible passage where God again makes a distinction, drawing a stark line between two opposing sides, we're forced to examine ourselves and judge which side of the line we're on. Romans 8:13 is one of those passages:
Reading Doug Wilson's Father Hunger today (Thomas Nelson, 2012). Doug does an excellent job diagnosing our culture's rebellion against God's design for masculinity, and of opening our eyes to the resulting mess:
A popular complaint among women is the problem of getting a guy "to commit." Well, sister, you're not the only one. Western culture spent centuries teaching men to commit themselves to one woman for life, and in practice this has meant teaching him to commit to his offspring. It has also meant giving him an important role to play in the protection of those children, and in his provision for them. Roe [v. Wade] wiped that out. It doesn't matter if a man commits or not anymore; our legal system has determined that such commitments are irrelevant. (79)