This past Sunday we started a new series at pfmchurch called Ancient Family. The sermon was based on Genesis 2:24, which says “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” A simple sentence rich with complexity and mystery.
Obviously marriage, gender, identity, the church, history, societal norms, and the seismic shifts of family as we know it are part of the cultural milieu — now more than ever before. Not wanting to ignore the elephant in the room, I did talk about these things a bit. In actuality, the whole topic of creation, marriage, and God’s desire for humans who bear His image is a gigantic topic. To put it into perspective: if marriage is a 500 page book, we covered the ISBN number yesterday… and that’s about it. I cited the Free Methodist Church Study Commission on Doctrine (SCOD) as an excellent resource that both articulates a biblical view on these topics while communicating the overwhelming grace and love of Jesus. The SCOD is comprised of some outstanding thinkers, some of whom I know and greatly admire. You can see some of their work by clicking here, which will include the documents I referenced yesterday.
Anyway, on with the texts. These are some of the unanswered texts that came in during 1st and 2nd service. I take editorial freedoms, but only for the sake of clarity. What you see is essentially what I see as I’m preaching.
Thank you, kind texter. I knew I wouldn’t have to count to 10 before this reference to The Princess Bride came to the surface. For those yet to enjoy:
Well done. Excellent choice of words. I know God placed them in your mouth.
James 3:1 says Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. With that in mind, I know that I’m playing with fireworks every Sunday — especially on a topic like this. God truly is an ever present help.
I would love to know who’s to blame.
A cog in my brain kept trying to assign this text message to a context, but I wasn’t able in the moment. A later email clarified that it was in response to our desire to know our family tree, thus the popularity of Ancestry.com and other sites like it. We are desperate for context, to know what story we fit into. Genesis 1:1 is the beginning of our story. In the beginning, God created…
The texter made the great point later that we want to know our ancestry so that we know who to blame (true!), which is all about our unmet expectations. I won’t dive into too much detail here, but I will say that it was another example of how neat it is to dialogue with people during the week about something that keep knocking around after Sunday.
Self Portraits were the first selfies!
Ha! It’s true. We talked about how God the creator painted landscapes and still life but saved His self-portrait for painting us, since male and female, God created us in his image. To put it another way, creation is God’s picture, but we are God’s selfies. Think about that. Deep.
So pleased you aren’t afraid to address the marriage issues of our culture today. If the church is silent it is taken as assent.
They are the issues of our day — gender, sexual identity, marriage, family. No, I’m not afraid of speaking the truth. But, to be honest, I am always conscious of the risk of misrepresenting Christ (referencing again the fact that teachers/preachers will be judged more strictly). Whether the culture is fired up about a subject or not, it’s always good to hear the whole counsel of God. I keep thinking about that last sentence: if the church is silent it is taken as assent. I would say that I mostly agree, only thinking about the odd fact that Jesus was remarkably silent about a wide array of topics. Or was He? John 21:25 tells us that our gospel records are truly reliable but incomplete (perhaps?) — Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. Indeed Christ spoke about marriage, quoting the Genesis passage above (Matthew 19:4-6). In the end, I agree that, in most cases, not addressing an issue covered in scripture is an unspoken nod in the affirmative. But it makes me think — and drives me a little bonkers — when I realize how much more Jesus said that we don’t have at our fingertips. What we got is what we got, and what we got is enough.
There were more texts, but they probably don’t need to be posted here. All good. All what I was hoping for as a pastor and communicator. My Monday prayer has been for the people whose heads and hearts are spinning as the world rapidly changes. If anything, Christians should be marked by a sense of faithful peace and calm in the storm. It sometimes crosses my mind that Jesus is never freaked out. He’s passionate, He’s obedient, He get things done, yet little children flock to Him… and He’s never anxious. That alone should be enough to keep us grounded. May we be known for our love. May the grace and truth of Jesus prevail. Amen.