Lots of thought-provoking stories and posts out there this week.
I’m going to lead off with a convicting story from Relevant Magazine that certainly led to a “look in the mirror” moment for me.
The writer, Caleb Wilde, starts out but showing yet again the off-base, evangelism-killing methods of Westboro Baptist Church. Yep, the same church that has been picketing funerals of military members and is well known for its anti-gay hate message.
One of Westboro’s latest topics was the death of former Jackass star Ryan Dunn, who recently died in a car crash. The church said it would picket Dunn’s funeral and basically stated that because of the lifestyle he led, he had that car crash coming.
Not exactly a great way to display God’s grace.
Wilde then turns the table on his readers with this statement:
It’s tempting to excuse our own thoughts on tragedies like Dunn’s and be outraged by Westboro’s public, harsh responses. After all, aren’t they extremists, maiming the message of the God they claim to love? But whether or not we march outside funerals of those we disagree with, we’re guilty of the same. Our intentions may be pure, our bottom line may be biblical, but the ends don’t always justify the means.
Wilde doesn’t go so far as to say we shouldn’t recognize someone’s lifestyle as wrong and work to proclaim to the world that there are consequences for sin. But there is a line that we can cross where we become simply judgmental and insensitive, rather than compassionate and realizing that we all have the same fallen nature.
Wilde, who is a funeral director, basically reminds us that everyone is human and that it’s too easy to forget that sometimes when we judge others. Definitely a good message to remember from time to time.
- I liked this article about the myth of friends with benefits from Relevant Magazine, but I didn’t want to lead with it. The writer is big on personal experience and somewhat short on Biblical foundation. While I agree with her story and her premise, I’m just not sure she makes a convincing argument for someone without our convictions to see that friends with benefits lifestyle is wrong. I just feel like that article makes it to easy for someone to come back with the typical, “Hey, what’s true for you isn’t necessarily true for me” statement. Maybe I’m wrong about that, but I don’t think I am.
- Willow Creek, one of the most influential mega-churches in the country, has publicly ended its relationship with Exodus International, according to Christianity Today. Exodus is a prominent evangelical ministry that works with homosexuals who want to no longer live the gay lifestyle because they view it as sinful. Willow Creek says the move wasn’t made over cultural pressures, while Exodus disagrees.
- John Piper had a short post examining the growing gender problem in countries such as China and India, where parents have been known to abort baby girls in favor of boys. The problem is especially apparent in China, whose one-child policy has made the situation worse.
- Christianity Today had a somewhat short but interesting story looking at workplace demographics and their effect on infidelity. Many male Christian leaders have put up safeguards to protect against infidelity, such as not meeting one-on-one with women, but with women continuing to garner a more prominent place in the workforce that practice is becoming more and more, well, impractical.
- Relevant Magazine posted a story about Captain America, and the writer says we as Americans especially need his character and his patriotism these days.