Biblical Marriage

traditional_marriageGod designed marriage to be a lifelong covenant between one man and one woman. This is the definition of marriage that has guided civilized cultures for thousands of years. A 5-4 vote by our current United States Supreme Court Justices will never change the Biblical definition and the time-honored dignity of marriage. This would be as ridiculous as redefining the law of gravity – it is what it is.
Simply making something legal or lawful does not make it moral or acceptable. In this case, there is the potential for great harm to our culture – and particularly to the religious freedoms in our land that people have fought and died to secure. Making marriage mean something other than its intended purpose is to desecrate and potentially destroy the beautiful institution. If marriage can be redefined to mean whatever the culture can imagine, then it actually becomes meaningless. Any new definition actually destroys the fabric and foundation of the original intent of marriage. This is a classic cultural assault against God and it will have far-reaching consequences.
As always, the sexual revolution cannot sustain itself. It never delivers what it promises; it only leaves broken lives strewn across the landscape. As people of conviction and compassion, the followers of Jesus will be there to pick up the pieces and offer hope of healing through God’s grace. The problem is in not knowing how much damage will occur along the way. A simple reading of the history of cultures that have risen and fallen ought to be warning enough. This is a clear sign of the final stages of the greatness of America.
As a pastor and minister of the gospel, I am fully confident in the Biblical design and definition of marriage to last beyond this current cultural malaise. I hold on to the hope for a sweeping revival in our land. I trust that the power of the gospel is able to transform hearts, lives, and families for God’s glory. I’m asking God’s people to be in fervent and constant prayer for a reversal of this tragic court decision. But more than that, I’m asking God for His mercy on our nation.

A Healthy Mindset About Church

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.”

—Psalm 122:1

An Oasis of Hope (Pastor Greg Laurie)

I think we sometimes approach church more from the standpoint of consumers than communers. We may think of going to church the way we think of going to a movie: What time does the movie start? At seven? Well, they roll the trailers for the first twenty minutes, so we’ll get there at about seven. We’ll park and grab some popcorn first. And when the movie is over, we don’t want to wait for the credits to roll, so we’ll get up and leave.

We can have the same mentality toward church. Oh well, it’s just that worship stuff at the beginning. . . . I’ll get in late and maybe check my texts and e-mail while I’m waiting. Oh, and I’ll leave early.

But that is not the way to go to church. It is a place of worship, it is the house of God, and believers are the family of God. So we need to change the way we think about it. Worship is not the opening act; worship is prayer set to song. It is a time of communing with God.

And we should not go to church merely to have our needs met. Sometimes people will hop around to different churches because they like the style of music at one church or the teaching at another church. But that is actually not good for us spiritually.

We need a consistent place so we can get a consistent theology. We also need a place to be accountable to those who know us and can check in with us and help us in life—as we help them as well. We need a place to develop our gifts and serve the Lord.

The church is like an oasis of hope in a desert of hopelessness.

The Future of Faith

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Over the next few weeks, our 2024 Task Force will begin the next phase of their work. We have been praying, listening, evaluating, and discussing the plans and priorities for the future of Faith. One thing has become abundantly clear – God has His hand upon this church family and He is challenging us to trust Him for the exciting season ahead

The concept of Faith 2024 is based on a beautiful Bible passage – Acts 20:24.  Paul was leaving his friends in Ephesus and facing certain persecution as he headed home to Jerusalem.   In a moment of courage and a clear sense of direction, he wrote “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from The Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”

I am grateful for the godly men and women who serve with me on this task force. The weight of our responsibility is heavy, but not burdensome. It is thrilling to be part of a process that we know is far greater than our ability or capacity. We are humbled by the prayers of our people and the sense that God is walking with us.

I can tell you that my heart is rejuvenated by the exciting future The Lord is laying out for us. It is refreshing to report that while facilities and finances are part of the conversation, the primary focus is on our mission and influence for the gospel in our community and beyond. I’m so glad to be serving alongside folks who have a serious case of the “Faith Spirit.”

Please continue in faithful and focused prayer for the next phase of our work. We hope to share a “plan of action” with the church family early in the fall season (October). I can assure you that Faith 2024 will be more than a decade or a date on the calendar. It will be a clear direction and an exciting destination as our church family embraces a God-sized dream and trusts His ability to carry us along.