Archive for March, 2009

24
Mar
09

Polyamory or Marriage?

cloudkingdombymissyg0hh3Has the joy run out in your marriage?  Evidently, for many couples it does slowly over time, so much so that institution of marriage is often laughed at, made fun of, and undermined.  Just be present when someone announces they’re going to be married and listen to what others around say.  “Well, you better run while you can.  Oh, so you’re ready to give up are you?  About time you got yourself a ball and chain.  At least you’ll have someone around the house to help you do some cooking.”

I’ll never forget the little placard my grandma had over her stove.  It said, “Kissin’ don’t last.  Cookin’ do.”  I remember reading that as a little kid and thinking, “How depressing!”

Many today are actually trying to redefine marriage.  The latest thing out there is something called “polyamory”.  Poly” is from the Greek meaning “many” and “amory” is Latin for “love.”  Polyamory, “many loves” is the practice of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved.  Often those in a polyamorous situation all live in the same home, sometimes with members of the same sex.  They have another fancy word they use called compersion.  It describes the supposed joy that a person feels when their partner is having pleasure even if that means with someone other than themselves. 

Sleeping around with different people doesn’t bring happiness and pleasure, but jealousy, pain, confusion, and over time it dulls the senses, makes the soul shallow, and robs a person of the joy of giving themselves fully to another.  Can you see how broken this is? 

God design is for marriage, one man and one woman together for life.  In this way the Christian marriage is a witness to the broken world that has confused lust and sensuality with love.  In a world that’s making up fancy words to justify their sin, the Christian marriage exists to point to a better way.  It reflects to the world Christ’s love for his people the church.  So, we can’t give up on it.  We have to stick with God’s plan.  This world needs us.  If you want to be a witness to the world, just get married and have a bunch of kids and stick it out and be faithful, love, provide, care, and put yourself second.

How can Christ bring joy back into your marriage?  Most likely the unhappiness in your marriage stems from you being hurt over something.  You got offended and you’ve not said anything.  You’ve held onto it, and stewed over it. 

Dear follower of Christ, will you look again at what He has done for you, and all that he’s freely forgiven you of?  He bore your sins on the cross in your place so you might live and know God’s forgiveness and love.  Do you think you could offer a little of the forgiveness you’ve so richly benefited from to the spouse who has upset you? 

When the Christian couple lives with a fresh appreciation of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross for them they are ready and willing to forgive.  That forgiveness washes away the cancer of bitterness and the joy can flow again.

Eph. 4:31-32 – 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

 

 

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19
Mar
09

What Paul and Tyndale Wanted Most

2 Timothy 4:13 – When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.115553-004-d76bbf3a

Paul, in the final chapter of his meaningful life, was in a cold, Roman prison cell awaiting execution.  Writing to Timothy he makes a personal request for his coat.  He then asks also for the books, and then, “above all the parchments.”

Their books were not bound books like you and I have.  Their books were scrolls.  We don’t know for sure, but probably Paul’s scrolls contained the earliest portions of the gospels.

The parchments were more than likely the Hebrew Scriptures.  When copies of the Old Testament were made great care was taken.  Those sacred words were written on special parchment made from animal skins.  This tells us a lot about Paul.  In his darkest moment, facing death, he wanted the Word of God more than anything . 

William Barclay, in his commentary on 1 and 2 Timothy, makes an interesting historical connection, showing how history often repeats itself.  1500 years later William Tyndale was in prison, awaiting execution.  Tyndale lived in a day when there was no modern English translations of the Bible.  It was all in Greek, Hebrew, or Latin.  The average person couldn’t read it.  People didn’t have Bibles in their homes, and the established church wanted it that way.  Tyndale knew that wasn’t right.  So, he had the nerve to translate the entire Bible into Modern English.  He then used the newly invented printing press, and made copies in mass.  For the first time Bibles were everywhere.  For this Tyndale was arrested, imprisoned, and convicted as a heretic.  He was then strangled to death while tied at the stake, and his dead body was burned.

While waiting his execution William Tyndale wrote to a friend and this is what he asked for – “Send me, for Jesus’s sake, a warmer cap, something to patch my leggings, a woolen shirt, and above all my Hebrew Bible.”

When pressed by life, the spiritual giants wanted the Word of God more than anything because they knew it would strengthen and encourage their souls.  When life presses you, what do you reach for?  Something to just numb the pain, distract you for a few hours.  God’s Word can be a friend to you.  It is always there – the Word of Life.  It will not just numb the pain.  It will feed your very soul.  

05
Mar
09

Brickianity

Brickianity?  Yes, that’s the word.  Brickianity.  The word describes how healthy Christianity is built on solid, stable truths, doctrines, propositions, timeless principles found in God’s Word.

brickwallWe live in an age when some seek to push the historic doctrines of the faith aside, or at least not emphasize them so much, maybe even water them down a bit.  In the place of cold doctrine, some want to stress community, creativity, social justice, art, family, virtue, all of which are important and good.  They seek to build bridges, not walls, they say.

Bridges are good, but we must not forget to build strong walls.  I took the following example from a great book I just finished – Why I’m Not Emergent (Kevin Deyoung and Ted Kluck).  It’s a quote from the great apologist GK Chesterton who pictured doctrine as the walls of a playground.  He writes:

We might fancy some children playing on the flat grassy top of some tall island in the sea.  So long as there was a wall round the cliff’s edge they could fling themselves into every frantic game and make the place the noisiest of nurseries.  But the walls were knocked down, leaving the naked peril of the precipice.  They did not fall over; but when their friends returned to them they were all huddled in terror in the centre of the island; and their song had ceased. (Chesterton, Orthodoxy, 153)

Chesterton is saying that walls are needed – doctrine is needed because it keeps us safe and free.  Many live with fear and insecurity because they don’t know what to believe.  God help us to continue building bridges, but while we do let’s hold up the walls.

2 Timothy 1:14 – By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.