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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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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Topic #4: Not All Homosexuals are Alike
Posted by Clare
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A few years ago, I began attending a series of lectures at a local Christian college on the general topic of homosexuality. The presenters ranged from non-Christians who couldn’t imagine Jesus ever condemning homosexuality, to serious Christians who believed the Bible required them to be celibate. After the lectures, I asked a few of the audience members who I assumed were gay, based on the questions they’d asked, if they’d have a cup of coffee with me. I told them I didn’t want to argue the issues with them, I just wanted to hear their story growing up gay, what their families reaction was when they “came out” and how their church treated them. I left troubled and sad.

Not all homosexuals are alike, but we Christians treat them as if they are.
One of the mistakes we heterosexual Christians make, is lumping all gays into one category. They (we) assume all gays are sexually promiscuous, live a gay lifestyle, are proud to be gay and if they claim to be Christians, have simply dismissed the clear teachings of the Bible against same-sex.

But, not all homosexuals are alike.

And the reason it’s important to understand that, is because our attitude and approach, and that of our churches must be different with each group. I’ve found it helpful to think of homosexuals in these general categories.

  • Non-Christians
  • Christians who have felt same sex attraction, all their life
  • Christians who did not always think of themselves as “gay,” but fell into a same sex relationship(s).
  • Christians who believe they must be celibate and gay marriage is not an option for them.
  • Christians who believe the Bible allows, same sex, but loving, life-long, monogamous relationships – married or not.

So, let’s discuss how we might approach each group.
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Topic #3: “Why Not Let Homosexuals Marry?”
Posted by Clare
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With the legalization of same sex marriage on June 26, 2015, by the Supreme Court, you might think this blog is irrelevant. However, just because gay marriage is now the law of the land, doesn’t change the reasons why Christians should discourage it and be able to explain to our children why we do. Abortion was legalized almost half a century ago, but serious Christians still oppose it and try to discourage it. 

I’ve heard it asked many times, “Why do you Christians care what goes on behind closed doors, between two consenting adults? Who cares? Why not let gays marry?”

The idea behind this argument is that if our objection is sex outside of marriage, then let’s solve it by allowing homosexuals to marry. If homosexuals marry, the moral objection to same-sex, sex goes away, just as it does when heterosexuals marry. Problem solved!

First, a few Talking Points on what the Bible says on this subject for your children, then we’ll cover some of the ways this issue will affect your life and their life, in ways you might never have imagined. They need to know this is not simply a matter of what goes on behind closed doors!
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Topic #2: Arguments Gay Christians Use to Justify Their Choices Biblically
Posted by Clare
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With last weeks decision by the Supreme Court legalizing same sex marriage, you may feel like giving up. It’s over! Yes, that legal issue has been decided, but morally and biblicaly, nothing has changed. It may be more important than ever that every Christian and every church understand the “biblical” arguments being put forth by the gay Christian community, because most of them sound reasonable, if you accept their faulty premise. So let’s begin examining a few.

Even gay Christian leaders admit there are no passages in scripture that encourage, celebrate, or support same-sex, sex, unlike the many verses that encourage and support, heterosexual sex in marriage. All mention of homosexual behavior in the Bible is referred to in the negative and is condemned. So how is it we can be reading the same Bible as homosexual Christians and come to completely opposite conclusions?

Almost every gay Christian man I’ve met with, refers to the verses I covered in the Talking Points Introduction as “unclear” or “taken out of historical context.” They want desperately to believe that, and the leaders of major gay and lesbian Christian ministries have done a good job of spinning each proof text to mean something other than what Christians for nearly 2,000 years have always understood them to say.

If you have the time, this is the link to a position statement written by Justin Lee, the executive director of the Gay Christian Network. (https://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php) It is an excellent example of how, some gay Christian leaders treat these texts and have thereby provided a “theological foundation” for dismissing the biblical prohibition against same-sex, sex. The following are some of those arguments. (Much of what follows has been edited from an article by Wayne Grudem, in World Magazine http://www.worldmag.com/2013/04/the_bible_and_homosexuality, except where my explanations are added.
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Topic #1: 5 Things We Know the Bible Says with Clarity About Sexuality, Marriage and Sin
Posted by Clare
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(If you’ve not read the Talking Points Series Introduction, posted on June 22, 2015, please read that first or this blog my not make much sense (http://bit.ly/1H8Ufs7).

What does the Bible teach? Five key “Talking Points”

1.  Humans were created with specific intent
One of the central tenants of the Christian faith, is the idea that humans were created to be and to live a certain way, God’s created intent. This includes who we were meant “to be” and what we were meant “to do” sexually. And he declared what he created “good.”

Therefore, the standards of what is right or wrong, or normal or abnormal, are set by God, according to his intention, and not what humans feel are normal or abnormal. (Read Genesis 1:26-2:24).

2.  God’s original intention for human sexuality was to be fulfilled within monogamous and heterosexual, marriage.
When Jesus asked about divorce he gave this straightforward answer straight from quotes out of Genesis; monogamous (“what God joined together, let not man separate.) Heterosexual (“He…. made them male and female.”) Matthew 19:4-6. Marriage (“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”) Anything other than God’s intent is sin.
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