Teachable Moments


  
In my sermon yesterday – finishing up our Proverbs series, I made mention of two “current” events as pointing to our need to be fearless in the rapidly changing culture here in America. 

Now if there is anything our Body @ ECF ought to be grateful for, and that blesses my heart as a pastor, it is that a wide variety of those in our Body, are awake, watching, and seeking out not just facts, but the WHOLE truth in facts that help us in dealing well with the cultural issues the Church in America is facing in light of our cultural decline. 

Two notable examples come from Daniel Tomlinson and Sarah Shoots in reference to the two examples I used in yesterday’s sermon. And they are key to seeing how in 1 Peter, our upcoming series – we as Christians need to measure our responses in sober-mindedness. 

Let me cite Daniel’s First. Wanting to be sure he had ALL the facts, and not just the surface facts which can bring us to knee jerk reactions – Daniel did some quick research on the $70 million dollar lawsuit against a Bible publisher. The lawsuit, brought by Lashawn Fowler against Zondervan and Thomas Nelson is not NEW news. His suit was not immediate fallout from the recent SCOTUS decision as has been reported by some, but is in fact an 8 year old case. The original article with proper dating can be found at the link below. 

http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/lawsuit_against_zondervan_comp.html

The good news is, that suit was subsequently dismissed. For this we are grateful. The bad news is, we might reasonably expect other such actions in the future. 

In either case, we do not want to report as current, and respond to improperly, information that is not verified and accurate. This is an excellent example of how some – even among Christians – can use misinformation in a damaging way to the whole Body. We want to be awake and aware, but never alarmists.  

Thanks again to Daniel for his excellent follow up. 

The 2nd is regarding a Florida who were offended by a Church ostensibly seeking a cake to be baked which had an anti-gay message printed on it – and which service was refused. 

In this case, we have a prime example of the very OPPOSITE of how 1 Peter will instruct us to respond to the culture when it is hostile to us.  

“Evangelist” Joshua Feuerstein asked them to bake a cake with the slogan “We Do Not Support Gay Marriage.” He claims his point was to there is a double standard at work. 

You can read the entire account at the link below:

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/04/13/christian-who-asked-gay-rights-bakery-to-bake-anti-gay-marriage-cake-may-face-legal-action/

Is there a double standard in our culture? Of course! We ought not to expect the World to operate on Christian or BIblical values. 

But our response to such things is not to bait others, but as Peter will show us – it is to respond in love, kindness, and expecting to be discriminated against for Christ’s sake. No to cry about it to others, and aggravate others without cause. 

1 Peter 4 addresses this directly: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.” 

No, Christian business owners ought not to be forced, fined or penalized for refusing to violate their consciences before God, just as these folks should not be forced by Christians to act contrary to their consciences.

But let us think about how to respond to such inequities with the glory of Christ’s name, and the salvation of lost souls squarely in our sights. 

Thank you Sarah! 

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