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Saturday Night Reflections: Laptops, Element Church & Gay Lutherns

12 Aug

I have been a single parent for the last couple of days. Jenni has been in NYC with her sister on a weekend getaway and I have been home living a poor man’s bachelor life. It is no good. Jenni deserves some time away. She rarely has a chance to travel without the boys, so I am happy (ok….sort of happy) for her. Here are a few highlights of the week…

New Laptop
This week has been a bit of a blur. I haven’t done much reading, because I have been spending most of the week transferring data and programs to my new laptop. I got a Sony Vaio. It’s nice. It weighs less than three lbs and folds up less than 1 ½” think. I wanted a laptop that was extremely portable. I was able to get this at Circuit City on sale, plus I got it last weekend when Georgia was having a tax free weekend on clothes and educational supplies (including computers). I am getting use to Microsoft Vista. I like the desktop gadgets.

Element Church
I did listen to some messages yesterday from my friend Erik Lawson at Element Church in St. Louis. Erik planted element church in 2005 and eighteen months later they have become the fasting growing church plant ever in St. Louis. He has a great vision and is building a great church. They are bulging at the seams in their rented facility and they were praying about a new facility in the West St. Louis area. Through a series of miracles, they were given an old mall, some 50,000 sq. ft. of space and $1.5 million dollars to renovate it. Holy Smokes! What a story. You can hear the entire story in a message called “Time to Build.”

New Cornerstone Website
I have been adding content to our new webpage at the church. Shhhh….don’t tell anybody, we are not ready to launch it, but here is a sneak peak: http://www.cornerstoneamericus.com/index.php
I really like the sermon section on the new website. We are setting up a RSS feed for iTunes so that all three of us with iPod’s in the church can download the podcast.

Gays in the ELCA
I was sadden to read this article.

It looks like the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is no longer going to discipline homosexual pastors who remain in “faithful committed same-gender relationships.” The issue of homosexuality continues to be a cultural lightening rod. I saw that the Democratic presidential hopefuls participated in a recent debate sponsored by gay-rights advocates. The cultural debate over the “rights” of homosexuals has spilled over into the church. Surprisingly there are a number of denominations like the ELCA who are debating the issue.

It seems to me that Christians need to do a serious examination of homosexuality in the Scripture. Much of the debate in the church has been sparked by how callously homosexuals have been treated by the church over the years. We should certainly treat homosexuals with love and respect. Regardless of their sexual orientation, they are people created in the image of God and therefore creatures of dignity. The issue is this: Does the Scripture portray homosexual behavior as outside God’s plan for human sexuality or not? We have to be careful not to read our own cultural assumptions and experiences into the text.

My reading of the Scripture reveals that homosexual behavior is outside of God’s plan for our sexuality. It doesn’t matter to me whether or not a person is born gay or not. A person could be a homosexual in that they are attracted to members of the same sex and chose to live celibate. The key issue is whether or not homosexuality is sin. I feel that this is a line in the sand that we have to draw.

That is it for today. Tomorrow morning we are going to have a creative interview with David Hartman from Shevet Achim We are going to talk about what God is doing in Israel. Shevet Achim is a ministry that provides heart surgeries for Muslim/Arab children. They are literally showing love to their enemies. Incredible….absolutely incredible.

The Americus Times-Recorder ran a story on David this week. You can read more about the ministry here.

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4 Comments

Posted by on August 12, 2007 in Life, Ministry

 

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4 responses to “Saturday Night Reflections: Laptops, Element Church & Gay Lutherns

  1. Santosh

    August 13, 2007 at 12:20 pm

    I love your church’s new web-site! I am listening to your sermon right now – nice to be able to hear your voice!

    One thought – I notice on your flikr site that you have a lot of pictures of children – you may want to be careful at how public you make those pictures, for security reasons – I personally do not publish any pics of kids on flikr, or videos on U-Tube, because of the easy public accessibility – facebook, and a blog, although public are still not as easy to access as flikr and u-tube.

    Just a thought.

    blessings,

    sn

     
  2. Anonymous

    August 15, 2007 at 12:43 am

    How can anyone that can read the bible condone the act(s) of the Homosexuals? By what means do they give any justice to their acts. I do not understand perhaps some of the finer arguments going on, but I think we should go to the basics of Gods Law. I love the person, but not their actions. Am I wrong? I have a sister who is “Gay” I do love her but I do not love her actions, and absolutely hate some of her behavior over the years, of which she has brought pain and tears to my Mother and Dad.
    Am I wrong?
    Ed V

     
  3. Derek Vreeland

    August 15, 2007 at 1:26 am

    Hey Dad! Good to see that you were able to post a comment.

    It seems to me that you have to work hard to make the Bible say that homosexuality is a permissive form of human sexuality. I think you touched on one of the major issues related to Christians and homosexuality…namely, that we have to love the sinner and hate the sin.

    I think first we have to agree that it is a sin. Second, we have to choose to love and not villianize those who choose to live in a homosexual lifestyle. Once we make them our enemy and God’s enemy, we turn things into a us vs. them mentality. It is the harshness shown the homosexual community by some Christians that has caused some in the Church to say well maybe homosexuality is ok if the couple is in a committed relationship.

    The problem with that line of thinking is that is does not begin with what we know about God from the Scripture. We have to start with the Bible on this one.

    Derek

     
  4. Anonymous

    August 21, 2007 at 5:29 am

    Disregarding all Scriptural injunctions against homosexual behavior, all responses about love and acceptance, etc…

    Who would knowingly employ a pastor who’s been living a lie?

    This one’s easy to see, when you look at it like that. Forget about repression, judgment, and homophobia…pastors should not be liars. What we have here isn’t a crisis among the faithful, it’s a crisis of deceit.

     

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