Welcome to my blog. I spend half my life in coffee shops having honest conversations about how following Jesus works in real life. So, let’s learn together, grab a cup and – join the conversation.

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Quick Bio
I’m a businessman, elder in one of the more conservative mega churches in Grand Rapids, Michigan and for over 25 years a full time spiritual mentor of men. I love introducing people to Jesus and truth from God’s perspective. I’m also an NPR listener and student of our culture because I want to understand how the world and a younger generation think, so I’m prepared to engage in conversations which are true to the Bible, intellectually honest and gracious.

Following Jesus is the only hope I have of living this life with purpose, energy and expectation. I hope to end my days on earth still meeting young men at Starbucks who have no interest in God, being the patriarch of my family, cheering them on to godliness, making sad people smile and the lonely – laugh, giving the poor hope, pointing wayward men back to their families, teaching the whole counsel of God and keeping myself unstained – God’s reputation and mine intact.

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Welcome to my blog.
I spend half my life in coffee shops having honest conversations about how following Jesus works in real life. So, let’s learn together, grab a cup and join the conversation.

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Keeping God’s Reputation Intact
Posted by Clare
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My wife Susan and I love to eat out at quiet, mostly adults only, restaurants. But for breakfasts, there are usually families with young children at almost every table.

Occasionally, there are families with children who are annoying, loud, disrespectful or fighting with each other. When the bedlam becomes too distracting to ignore, my wife and I will often turn to each other and ask, “What kind of parents would let their children act that way?”

How our children behave tells us something about their parents!

I’ve often joked that if I wanted to make a jillion dollars, but probably go to hell for it, I’d produce a reality T.V. show entitled, Christians Behaving Badly.

All of us know fellow Christians, or at least people who believe themselves to be Christians, who either have, or are, behaving badly. Every pastor could name dozens of men and women, right in their church, who ought to know better who are publicly embarrassing the name of Jesus.

But, forget everyone else for a moment. Does your public life add to God’s reputation or hurt it?
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Reformation Day – The Forgotten Christian Holiday
Posted by Clare
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When I was a kid, I loved Halloween. But my parents, my school and my church all made sure we knew October 31, was first and foremost, Reformation Day. That’s the day back in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses’, or theological objections, to a church door in Wittenbury, Germany. That courageous, Holy Spirit led act, changed history. It was the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.

So why, two weeks after October 31, do I blog on this topic? Well, I was with some young men last week, raised in wonderful Christian homes, who’d never heard of Reformation Day and I don’t want to wait another year to talk about it.

So, if you have teenagers, grandchildren, or young men or women you mentor, they need to know how God, through Martin Luther, changed the world! So, please read this blog and the following article from the Wall Street Journal to them, so they never forget again, Reformation Day.
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Can a Christian in a Same-Sex Marriage Still Go to Heaven?
Posted by Clare
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That question comes up almost every time I speak on that subject. When an LGBT+ person asks it, I get the feeling it’s asked not because they aren’t sure of the answer, but to find out if I’m one of those kind of Christians who think all gays are going to hell.

On the other hand, when a straight Christian asks this question, I get the impression that they are testing my orthodoxy. Do I believe homosexuals are lost? The verse both most often refer to is this one:

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9,10

“There!” some straight evangelicals say, “How much more clear does scripture have to get?” So here’s my response.
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If Your Children or Grandchildren Struggled With Same-Sex Attraction, Who Would They Turn to for Advice?
Posted by Clare
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We, Preston Sprinkle and I, were in San Francisco in September at a Leaders Forum for pastors speaking on the subject of LGBT+ people in their churches. (I’m the chairman and CEO of The Center for Faith, Sexuality and Gender, www.centerforfaith.com and Dr. Preston Sprinkle is the president.)

After almost four hours of teaching to 364 pastors and leaders, the youth pastor of a large and growing church asked this question. “If a student ‘comes out’ to a leader in our youth group, should we inform his parents?”

Preston deferred the question to me. And this was my response, “If you do inform that student’s parents, without the student’s permission, that is probably the last LGBT+ student in your youth group who will ever let a leader know they struggle with their sexuality.” If my statement is true, what is a church, parent and grandparent to do?
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