From the Pastor’s Desk- September 2019

Speaking the Truth in Love

The current debates in our culture and within some Christian circles don’t primarily center on issues that have historically disturbed the Christian Church.  Most of those debates were centered on the nature of God and His Word, the teaching of the Scriptures regarding justification and sanctification, fellowship between churches, etc.  Today the focus has almost completely changed.  The current debates focus not on the nature of God but on the nature of man.  They focus on anthropology.  Thus the reason that we see so many of our neighbors hating the Church today is not because of our ministry to the poor.  It’s not because we visit the sick, clothe the naked, or feed the hungry.  It’s not because we believe in the Triune God or that Christ is the Savior of the world.  The reason so many of our enemies hate the Church now is because of three truths that are clearly articulated in the very first Book of the Bible; specifically that we are created in the image of God, that we are created male and female, and that male and female are created exclusively for each other.  It’s those three beliefs that Scripture teaches and that we believe that are causing all the ruckus.  As extensions of these Biblical beliefs we are also at odds with those who espouse abortion, euthanasia, cloning,
co-habitation, same sex unions, and transgenderism.  Those are the fruits of not understanding and believing what God’s Word teaches about humanity.
Unfortunately, a large part of the issue is a cultural shift from objective truths to subjective feelings.  Where once Christians who took God at His Word and believed that He is the Creator who made everything out of nothing were attacked for being “unscientific”, now a biological male who says that he identifies (based solely on his feelings) as a female is to be treated as a woman no matter the objective, scientific fact that he is a male.   While “science” is supposed to stand in the way of believing in a Creator God, it doesn’t apparently stand in the way of determining if you are male or female.
Actually, the shift regarding human sexuality should really not surprise us considering the fact that God’s institution of marriage has been completely redefined in our society.  If we are no longer capable of saying that marriage unites a male and a female, and that children deserve to have a mother and a father, it’s not surprising that the social engineers have moved on to redefine what it is to be male and female.
So we’re seeing educational institutions changing their policies regarding bathrooms, locker rooms, dorm rooms, and hotel rooms for overnight field trips, all to accommodate people who identify as transgender based upon subjective gender identity, not based upon objective biology.
But God’s Word is clear.  He created us as male and female, not based on how we feel about it but on verifiable signs.  When my newest granddaughter was born the doctor didn’t say that we would have to wait and see if this little one identifies as a male or female, he just said, “It’s a girl!”  And in doing so, he didn’t “assign” her sexuality, he simply stated the obvious.
While we want to be loving and respectful of those who are dealing with gender dysphoria, we must also clearly speak the truth of the Word of God.
Now, as perhaps never before, we are being forced to stand up for Christ and the truth of His Word against a hostile culture and government.  We must stand by these truths – we were created in the image of God, we are created male and female, and male and female are created exclusively for each other.  May God give us the strength to stand our ground upon His Holy Word and speak the truth in love.

~ Pastor Christensen