Top Posts of February

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February was the biggest month ever on my blog. Thanks to all the new subscribers and readers and thank you for all the shares of content on Facebook, Twitter and other places. Please keep it up.

If you missed anything, not to worry, here are the top 10 posts for the month:

  1. The One Thing Destroying Your Marriage That You Don’t Realize
  2. Women, It Matters Who You Marry
  3. Loving Does Not Equal Participating
  4. 11 Ways to Know You’ve Settled for a Mediocre Marriage
  5. 7 Ways to Fight Well in Your Marriage
  6. 7 Reasons You Aren’t Communicating with your Spouse
  7. Men, Your Son-in-Law Determines Your Legacy
  8. Before You Criticize Your Pastor
  9. How I Structure my Week
  10. When a Staff Member or Volunteer says, “I’m Done”
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Loving Does Not Equal Participating

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By now, the news of SB 1062 has spread far and wide. Living in Tucson, I’ve been asked by people what I think of it. I don’t normally write about politics on this blog, so I’m going to do my best to stick to that with this post (look at the bottom for the political side of this).

The bill has lots of holes and I’m not sure it will actually reach the goal it sets forth (if it’s signed into law). Also, to hear politicians who voted for it on TV begging the governor to veto it seems like poor leadership, but that’s for another post.

One thing stuck out to me last night watching Anderson Cooper and it is something that comes up in every post on this topic, associated with this bill or not. It gets said something like this, “Christians are supposed to love their neighbor, this is unloving.” Now, what this is depends on the situation and in some examples, Christians are being unloving. We (as Christians) also show some inconsistencies since the verses on homosexuality usually include adultery, greed, stealing, and drunkards to name a few (1 Corinthians 6:9-12) and other times it simply includes homosexuality (Romans 1:26 – 27). Biblically, they are all sins and need to be repented of and we need to fight those sins and the sins under those sins that drive us.

That being said, a lie has creeped into our culture and it is this: Loving means participating. That’s a lie.

 Loving does not equal participating. 

There is this belief that if I love someone, I participate with what they do. It would be unloving not to. That is untrue. You can love someone and not be a part of what they do. You can love someone and not go to a place with them while they sin. Now, every follower of Jesus must decide how they love their neighbor, you are called to do it. You are called to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44). Does that mean attending a gay wedding or photographing one? I’m not sure.

For me, I have friends who are not Christians who are gay. I have friends who are Christians and struggle with same sex attraction and trying to figure out what that means and how they stay pure with that pull. I’ve agonized with them as we’ve discussed my take on homosexuality and the gospel truths about homosexuality.

I appreciate Tim Keller’s answer on this question (see below)

If you want some information on my opinion of homosexuality being similar to civil rights, this is a great post.

Al Mohler nails the problem of coercion in our culture as it relates to this.

And finally, Denny Burk has nailed it with these posts found here, here and here.

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Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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Brandon Ambrosino on Being against gay marriage doesn’t make you a homophobe.

As a gay man, I found myself disappointed with this definition—that anyone with any sort of moral reservations about gay marriage is by definition anti-gay. If Raushenbush is right, then that means my parents are anti-gay, many of my religious friends (of all faiths) are anti-gay, the Pope is anti-gay, and—yes, we’ll go here—first-century, Jewish theologian Jesus is anti-gay. That’s despite the fact that while some religious people don’t support gay marriage in a sacramental sense, many of them are in favor of same-sex civil unions and full rights for the parties involved. To be sure, most gay people, myself included, won’t be satisfied until our loving, monogamous relationships are graced with the word “marriage.” But it’s important to recall that many religious individuals do support strong civil rights for the gay members of their communities.

Bruce Wesley on The arrogance and impatience of church planters.

The future of church planting requires a commitment to weed out arrogance and impatience in the men who plant churches. A church might get started with an arrogant and impatient leader, but it will not grow healthy with such a leader.

Jon Acuff on 4 tips for men to take better selfies.

10 things you did not know about the movie “Elf.”

The Will Ferrell holiday classic ‘Elf’ wasn’t supposed to be a hit. Despite being a heartwarming comedy released around the holiday season, it had several things going against it before the filmmakers had a chance to start shooting.

Christmas iBand

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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Josh Watt on The technology question every parent must answer.

A lot of parents are hesitant to be proactive in their children’s life of technology, because they just can’t keep up with the speed at which it’s changing. Other parents are hesitant, because they haven’t seen good parenting modeled in this area. The other reality is parents are on the front end of parenting the digital generation and frankly we are all learning as we go. Yet there is another hindrance to parents being proactive in their children’s online lives, and it is this inner struggle we all have to varying degrees: “Don’t my kids have the right to some privacy?”

What you need to know as a pastor about the new ruling from the Wisconsin judge concerning housing allowance.

The clergy housing allowance isn’t a government establishment of religion, but just the reverse. The allowance is neutral to all religions. Without it, clergy in small congregations of all sorts would be penalized and harmed.

Andrew Walker on Jesus and the same-sex marriage debate.

If Christians are to support same-sex marriage, they should do so by way of intellectual honesty and acknowledge their abandonment of biblical authority, for there is no reasonable way to deduce from Scripture an exegetical case for same-sex marriage.

Mike Niebauer on Is it actually harder to be a pastor than doing another job?

As a pastor who often hears other ministers teach and preach, I am disturbed by the number of times pastors allude to their jobs as being particularly difficult. Yes, we face many challenges—ministry may involve times of high emotional and spiritual duress—but I don’t think these difficulties merit special recognition with regard to other vocations. After all, being a pastor involves almost no manual labor, which makes it physically easier than most other occupations in history. It doesn’t require a 60- to 80-hour work week, unless you somehow equate longer working hours with more of the Holy Spirit’s presence. And although the emotional and spiritual challenges faced are difficult, teachers and social workers—to take just two examples—face similar or greater obstacles.

Aaron Armstrong on She’s done the impossible.

This weekend, Mark Driscoll broke the Internet in half. Again.

Ron Edmondson on 5 ways for an introvert to survive the holidays.

It’s the holiday season again. I love the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I really do. But, for us introverts, it can also be a very difficult season. We are far more likely to be placed in awkward, uncomfortable situations.

Tim Challies on 10 steps to preach from an iPad.

There are many ways to go about it, but I will tell you about the system I have been using for the past year or so. I have found that it works very well. You need only two programs to do this: Pages and GoodReader (or Word and GoodReader if you use a PC). While I continue to use a full-size iPad, this system will work just as well with the Mini.

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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  1. Duane Smets on The pruned planter.
  2. 5 questions every sermon must answer.
  3. Rich Birch on 7 signs your church is struggling.
  4. 10 things that should be on your to-do list today.
  5. Cheryl Edmondson on How to handle it when people talk about your husband, the pastor.
  6. How to write the bottom line in your next sermon.
  7. Dan Black on Benefits to breaking your normal routine.
  8. Tony McCullom on Your first 500 sermons will suck.
  9. What keeps leaders up at nights.
  10. J.D. Greear on What’s the deal with the ‘T’ in LGBT?
  11. Luke Simmons on What I admire about Mormon missions.
  12. An unknown pastor is not the same thing as an ordinary pastor.
  13. Aimee Byrd on Women preaching and blogging. Great insights here.

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like