Being the Church in a Changing World

Sunday, I addressed the recent Supreme Court ruling, and said just a few words about how that affects our church. As with any sensitive and serious subject, we can never say all we want to say about it in five minutes, or 35, or in one blog post. But for those who missed what I shared on Sunday, and for those who would like to hear me say more about it, let me share a few thoughts.
I have said many times, in many situations, that our church is one that seeks to hold firmly to both grace and truth. You might want to get used to hearing me say that, because I am convinced that our church (and The Church) needs both, in abundance. As we follow Jesus, who was the perfect expression of grace and truth, our calling is to strive to be people who live grace and share truth, in every situation and season of life.
Nine days ago, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that made samesex marriage legal in all 50 states, including, of course, Kentucky. Even though this means major changes for our country, I want you to know that this doesn’t change anything about our church and our calling.
Here’s what I mean by that: Fern Creek Christian Church will continue to be a place where ALL people can explore God, and what it means to follow him. Whether you are gay or straight; white, black, or brown; alcoholic or workaholic; blue-collar or white-collar; a housewife, a neophyte, pro-choice, or pro-life: we will continue to be a church family that welcomes everyone on their journey toward God. Because that’s what Grace does.
But Grace also loves people enough to point them to Truth. Even when it’s hard. Even when it’s not popular. For, as Jesus said, it’s the Truth that sets us free. And so, as a church, no matter who you are, or what you face, we will seek to consistently, faithfully, grace-fully point you to Jesus.
And one of the ways we do that is in the area of our sexuality. And so, let me say plainly what we believe as the leaders of this church; what we will continue to teach and practice when it comes to sexual expression and marriage: We believe that God has designed marriage and sexual intimacy to be expressed in a life-long covenant relationship between a man and a woman.
To say this is not to be exclusive, or judgmental, or hateful. But saying this also does not give us the right to look down on others who disagree with us; and it certainly doesn’t give us the authority to malign, or villify, or mistreat anyone. Any One. Because that’s not what grace does. Instead, grace recognizes that I am broken, and our hope — the only hope any of us have — is to find His love in the midst of our brokenness.
My friend Ben Cachiaras recently gave a message where he sought to answer this question: “Is the Church Anti-Gay?” It’s nearly an hour long, but it’s worth your time to listen to or watch.
In his message, Ben points us to three things all of us need to remember when addressing this difficult subject. First, he says we need Conviction — about our sin and our struggles. This is the place to start. Every time. For every one. I must first look in the mirror to see where I struggle, where I am broken.
And the place to do that is Scripture, which provides us Clarity regarding the truth about God. And about ourselves.
And finally, when we then turn to talk with and live with others, we need Compassion — for them, and for their struggles. Their life may be very different than ours, but just as Jesus showed compassion to those who came to him, so must we.
There is a lot more we could say about this. There always is. If you’re interested in reading more, you’ll find some good food for thought from Scott Sauls, Russell Moore, and these challenging thoughts, and a follow-up, from Frederica Mathewes-Green. Oh, and this helpful website.
But let me end where I began: The church must be a place of grace and truth. For all of us are broken. And all of us need Jesus. So let’s continue to welcome ALL people, and point ALL people, to the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.

Author:

Welcome to my blog. I'm Jeff Dye -- a follower of Jesus, a husband and dad, and lead minister at Fern Creek Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. In other words, I am a learner --and hope to be each day I am given breath. I will use this site to share my thoughts on faith and life, some of it through the lens of what is happening with the church family at Fern Creek. If you're interested, feel free to read over my shoulder.

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