A RESPONSE TO TODAY’S SUPREME COURT RULING
by Pastor Michael Saunders
Dear Immanuel family,
Today our Supreme Court ruled in favor of homosexual marriages. Often we hear in Christian circles not be surprised when sinners sin. We hear talk of “hate the sin, love the sinner.” But how does this ruling play into our mindset? Should I be appalled or surprised? Should I run to FaceBook to tell the world what I think? How am I to still show honor to our President and to my authorities when a law is passed or ruled on like this?
As a youth pastor, I am getting more and more questions like this. The stream, it seems, is becoming a river. Ethics are ruling the day and many of our teens, college students, and a good amount of adults are stammering for the right words to say. Can I say that someone can’t be Bruce and Caitlyn Jenner? Can I say someone can’t be black when they were born white as in the case of Rachael Dolezal? Can I actually say I am for or against keeping the Confederate flag?
Can you imagine answering these questions at 16? I shudder when conceiving what my three kiddos will have to wade through as teens. So, I’m asking for your help. I need every senior citizen, every middle ager, every young parent, every Elder, every Sunday school teacher, and every mature Christian to come to our aid. We know, as you do, that no legal system in the world determines what God can or can’t do. We know that God’s stake is not found in the Supreme Court, but in His people. We need every able man and woman to grab a student, their son, their granddaughter, and teach them how to delicately handle these issues before them. How can they be wise as serpents and harmless as doves? Let’s teach them…by our actions.
If you need a reminder on how to do that, let me encourage you with something I read this week. “If you want to know what it means to follow Jesus in a world with gay marriages…where Christians are denounced for failing to embrace religious diversity, where some Christians even accommodate their faith to postmodernity, where Christians look more like the world than Christ…then Paul is the author you need to read, since his experience is similar to yours.” (from Introducing Paul by Michael Bird)
So let’s be discerning in our speech, loving in our action, cautious with our social media, and driven by the Word. It’s still relevant. The Spirit will guide with the Word as a lamp and a light for our path. History repeats itself. These days have been seen before. Let us walk forward confidently knowing that living out God’s word will do more for America than any law could. While you’re at it, help me out by taking a student along for the ride with you.
Preparing for Sunday’s Worship
Do Not Despise Prophecies (1 Thessalonians 5:20)
Scripture Reading: (ESV)
1 Corinthians 14:1-5
Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 2 For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 3 On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 4 The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. 5 Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.
July 4th Squirrels Tickets – You may pick-up your Squirrels tickets at the Welcome Center after Sunday’s AM service.
• Aug 3-7 – Vacation Bible School (VBS)
• Sept. 13 – Promotion Sunday
• Sept. 20 – Prophecy Conference with Dr. Tommy Ice
• Oct. 9-12 – Teen Beach Retreat
• Oct. 17-18, 24-25 – Missions Conf. with Dr. Gary Anderson, Baptist Mid-Missions
• Oct. 28 – Fall Festival
• Nov. 6-7 – Women’s Bible Study Conference with Jen Wilken
• Nov. 21 – Labor of Love
• Dec. 20 – Christmas Concert AM
• Dec. 20 – Carols, Cookies, and Cocoa PM
• Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve Candlelight Service