This is part 7 of my weddings sermons blogs. If you missed the previous 6 you can find them here:
Matthew and Meagan’s Wedding
(Photo pinched from my good friend over here - http://truth-wilson.tumblr.com)
Love is the greatest environment for growth. God wants you to be in an environment where you are loved. That is what the church should be.
We do not grow well when we are afraid; afraid of hell, afraid of ridicule or afraid of being shamed. If our salvation is motivated out of fear (fear of hell or fear of man) our faith and discipleship will probably be dictated by fear also (fear of homosexuals, fear of Muslims, fear of our culture, whatever).
I want to have a faith that is motivated by love, nurtured in love and expressed by love because perfect love drives out fear.
That is the environment where I find Jesus.
By Geoffrey Roberts
Wow… Since I posted my article addressing the issue of gay marriage I have received a great deal of feedback (both nice and not so nice). In amongst these comments I have found a number of people wondering if I believe Christians should ever be involved with politics. I’d like to have a crack at addressing that issue in this brief follow up article.
If you haven’t yet read the original article about gay marriage and Jesus I encourage you to have a read through it first. You can find it here - http://homeofglory.tumblr.com/post/24798909304/gaymarriage
By Geoffrey Roberts
It is rarely good news when Christianity appears in the mainstream media. Sex scandals, abuse and fraud seem to be appearing with frightening regularity and the entire church is often painted by this broad brush of moral failure. Likewise the debate surrounding the legalisation of gay marriage has not reflected well on the Christian community. What could have been a great opportunity for the kingdom of God has degenerated into a public fight between traditional Christian values and modern secularism. A fight where our culture is a willing audience as the media gladly promotes each sound bite, tweet and press release from Christian leaders who are naively sensationalising the hypocrisy and cultural irrelevance of the church.
As a married man, father, Christian, pastor of a local church and celebrant I have been asked quite a few times what I believe about the legalisation of gay marriage. Many of the people I have spoken with are uncomfortable with the homophobic and bigoted ‘Christian’ view they have seen in the media and they are looking for a place to stand that doesn’t require them to persecute the homosexual community or compromise their faith. They want to know where Jesus is standing. I am writing this article to respond to these queries but mostly I am writing because I feel sad, I feel offended and I feel compelled to finally say something about the stunning lack of reference to Jesus in this debate. I can’t write a message on behalf of ‘the church’ any more than I can write a message on behalf of ‘husbands’, ‘fathers’, or ‘celebrants’ but I have something I need to say: I believe the vilification and demonization of the homosexual community and the loudly proclaimed ‘Christian’ view that homosexual couples should not be allowed to marry is distinctly unlike Jesus. Quite frankly, Jesus does not care about our laws… he cares about our hearts.
Have you ever had that feeling that something was wrong? That feeling that you have forgotten something important combined with the feeling that remembering what it was will only make you feel worse; a growing anxiety that just lingers without a direct cause.
I have had a week like that. I don’t know exactly why but there is a tension in my heart and mind that is causing me to feel heavy. I can feel the pressure rising inside of me.
jesus.. gentle jesus, meek and mild. The jesus who is kind to little children and old ladies, who tells us to pray and play nicely.. the nice man with a lamb drapped around his shoulder.. Nice but a little bit daggy.. someone who you would take to have tea with your mum.. but would be a bit drab…