Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gay Marriage Survivor

Today's New York Times:

Last weekend I performed a wedding ceremony. I tried to communicate to those present that biblical marriage (one man-one woman) is beautiful because it displays, quite explicitly, the truth of the gospel. The world needs biblical marriage because it needs the gospel. If the picture that marriage is intended to display gets distorted, then the gospel is actually being distorted, and if the gospel gets distorted cultures eventually collapse. THIS is why the state must protect marriage. If it doesn't protect marriage the culture will be ruined. Not because it got creative with defining marriage, but because it (indirectly) messed with the gospel. If the state does not see the grace provided through God's intent for marriage, then woe to the state.

For a long time I thought it would just be easier for the state to remove itself from the marriage business, but for the state to function and exercise dominion it is deeply connected to the marriage business. Therefore, for the gospel to change cultures there is a link to how that culture defines marriage. That may sound like it doesn’t at all apply to the fact that two gay women in Sacramento want to share health insurance benefits...but error has to start somewhere, and pragmatism is often the culprit.

I’ve said for a long time that marriage in this country was a mess way before GLBT people wanted to give it a run, but let’s be careful about saying this is an issue of RIGHTS and EQUALITY. I don’t think it is. It’s about benefits and being socially validated. If, for the good of the country, we want to really address social inequity we'd be better off addressing the problems of the inner city...not the arts district.

Here’s a decent test to see if gay marriage is good for a culture: If you put 50 gay (married) couples on an island together and outfitted them with all the tools they needed to build and sustain a just and civilized society could they do it? Yes, they could do it...for about 50 to 70 years, at least. And it would be a great 50-70 years! However, since they are biologically unable to propogate their own humanity the culture would die. It wouldn’t just get shaky or become wayward. It would literally go away. The bible's cultural mandate (be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth) is a message to man and woman because marriage between man and woman does far more than celebrate love. It exhibits far more than individual rights. It actually builds cultures. It sustains life, and cities, and gardens and cathedrals. Now, it doesn’t ONLY do this, but this is an important function. Gay marriage does not do this. It is PHYSICALLY impossible.

Anyway, I thought we might call it Gay Marriage Survivor.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Big Truths from a Little Heart

My two four year olds were doing a bit of fighting this morning. Upon some corrective words from their mother both girls determined they needed to go pray about it. Here's the prayer I overheard from Mia. I couldn't help, but write it down:

Dear God,
I am sorry that I am mean to my sister. 
Please help me to love her with my actions. 
Thank you, God for sending Jesus to die on the cross for my sin. 
I love you because you first loved me.

-Mia Grace
5-26-09 (age 4)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Let's Do This.

Is blogging cool? 

To some, I suppose, it's cool. But I've determined I have no real clue what cool is anymore, so maybe I should avoid the question altogether. Anyway, blogging has certainly become much more than a fad. If someone said "blog" 5 or 6 years ago people might say, "God Bless You. Are you coming down with something?" If someone said blog 3 or 4 years ago people might respond, "Oh, he's one of those guys." You say "blog" today, and most people say, "yeah, I read that one too." So let's determine on the front end that blogging isn't cool. It's become too mainstream to be cool. Maybe for the early adopters it was some variation of cool, but for most of us it's just become part of the information black hole that is the innerwebs. The endless number of angles on a given subject can suck you in like a astronomical vacuum. Consuming hours on the meandering thoughts of others is just part of this world...I've at least learned that much. 

So reading blogs has become normal. It's on par with reading the newspaper or checking email. It's just something we do now. Writing a blog is on the cusp of normal. Blogs have become places for families to interact, for pastors to communicate with parishioners, for journalists to expound their pieces. The manifold use of a blog is fairly exhaustive. For many, however, the blog is just another exercise in vainglory and narcissism. It is the big brother of social networking, which is another internet anamoly that is now mainstream.

The whole Facebook thing is both socially and technologically phenomenal. In fact, just the other day a friend of mine pointed out that we all now can live like superstars.  People seem to care what we do on a daily/hourly basis (facebook, twitter), people read whatever crap we write (blogs), and we live along with our own personal soundtrack (ever taken a walk with your ipod in your ears and thought "Man, I am cool. This is a scene out of an indy film!")? 

Here is my fear of things like the facebook status, it blurs a very important distinction between (a) how I really am and (b) how I want to project myself. it is exactly the same with blogs. 


Today I am (a) feeling lazy and could waste the entire day with naps, Sportscenter, and pop tarts.  But, I don't want to project myself as lazy.  So, I (b) tell people that I am going to finish looking at the reformed epistemological framework of Herman Bavinck. This intellectual mumbo jumbo is what I sort of need to do today, but it is not what I am currently doing.

This might not seem overly frightening, other than I have now become a promoter or ad salesman of myself (Jay is always doing such intellectual stuff, he is very smart).  But, for a generation raised on this, I fear that the distinction may be departing.  College kids think that (b) IS (a). They think they are being honest, not projecting what they want people to think.  


It is as if they are all on the bachelor. They lie to themselves and say that they forget that the cameras are on. They tell themselves that their projection EQUALS their true identity.  

This is not good for a number of reasons.  One of them being that a honest self-identity is very important for life, and not to mention, for a proper understanding of our need for the gospel. 

Second, when I was in college I didn't really even use email and no one had a cell phone. I was a part of the last of the legitimately un-wired college students. Today this stuff is an extension of the individual (txting, twittering, etc...). No one takes a picture, or ponders a moment of activity without thinking about how it will be framed on their facebook for all their "friends" to see. I don't think we understand the social ramifications of such an outlook on life. This is part of the reason I have ditched my experiment with facebook, and have taken to blogging.

So blogging...yeah, how will I keep from going about this like the attention seeking social networker that pines for comments and online interaction? How will I keep this whole project from being about me? How will I contribute to the blogosphere in a manner that one, doesn't just regurgitate what everyone else is posting and two, doesn't presume that everyone really wants to hear what I have to say? Here are just a few ways:

1) I will seek to be positive. I neither want to be a doctrine cop, or a Debbie Downer. My hope is in an unchanging, radically gracious, powerful God and His Gospel. I have very little to be negative about.

2) I will leverage this blog for the gospel. More about this in my second post.

3) I will occasionally post pictures and updates regarding my marvelous family. This is borderline narcissism, but my wife and children are beautiful so I would be doing any reader I might have a great disservice if I denied them photographs of my family.

4) I will be honest. I don't want to distort who I am or what I am struggling with for the sake of perception. I will not use this forum to manage my public relations, and exalt myself. As I mentioned, there's enough of this sort of tomfoolery going on out there.

5) I will not post everyday. Too much pressure...I want this to be joy, and not a burden.

That's about it. Let's go...