How we communicate is important. One of the reasons that I am against our nation redefining certain words is because if you redefine a word enough times the word itself loses all meaning. Words are the ways to express ideas and truth, and thus if we lose the meaning of words we lose the expression of ideas and truth. I believe communication or mis-communication is still the number one reason for divorce. I remember my father telling about a couple he knew where the husband's native language was German, he wife's native language was french and they spoke to each other in English. I remember him telling me about how he thought it was amazing how they communicated because he knew all the time in which even in his native language he could fully convey his thoughts. This is one of the reasons why I believe in the scriptures being inerrant and why I believe they are clear. If there is a God, I do believe that no only has communicated with his people, but has done so clearly. It's unfortunate however when people cannot hear what someone else is saying. This was brought to my attention when I read an article this weekend titled, "Who is abortion for?" The whole point of the article was that as there is a push in the culture to allow people to decided their gender it could be possible to have a biological woman who identifies as a man and thus you could have a man who would have an abortion. Now this article had some interesting thoughts in it, even to the point where the author sounds more like a right wing conservative rather than the liberal that she is, however what I found interesting was the reason she gave as to why people would be anti-abortion. Now I don't wish to turn this blog into a political forum, however let me that except in few instances I am against abortion, and should be against the law just as murder is against the law, excluding these few instances. The primary reason why I am against abortion is because I see the fetus as being a person and alive. I believe that life has intrinsic value given to us by God, and thus one person does not have the right to take another person's life. My primary reason for being against abortion is because it requires the termination of what I understand to be a human life. If there was a way for a woman to no experience the event of giving birth, and yet preserve the life of the child then I would be fine with that method. So you can imagine my surprise when the author of this article said that the main reason people are against abortion is due to the a desire to control the reproductive organs of women in the United States. Let me just say that the only reproductive organs I want to control are my own. But this brought up an interesting thought that I had not had before. Is this really what pro-abortion people think about anti-abortion people? Could that because of loud people on both sides of this issue, that many times we just end up talking over each other rather than discussing the true issue? Now I'm not as naive as I use to be, and I understand that there are people on both sides of the table who spread this kind of garbage to demonize the other side, however this seems to be a consistent pattern I have noticed if I may be so bold with people on the left. Another example of this is the refusal to see Islamic State having any kind of theological thinking in their attacks and targets. Now please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that ISIS represents the majority of Muslims, but one cannot deny that their reasoning is coming from a theological worldview, and not just a secular political agenda. It demonstrates the importance of engaging with opposing view points in a fair manner to see what it is they are really saying. Sometimes I think we have a tendency to only hear one thing from people who disagree with us, rather than a real conversation. Going back to the article of abortion, understanding that this is what some pro-abortion people think about this issue, will shape how I talk to them. If will lead me to ask different questions and express my worldview in a different way if I were simply talking to someone who just hadn't thought about the issue of abortion, which if I'm being honest was my assumption of many pro-abortion people. I want to make it clear that when I talk about discussion and engaging with opposing view points I am not suggesting that one change their mind, or that there will be some arrival of truth in conversation that was not there before. When I share the gospel with someone I know that I have truth, however as I listen to them and understand where they are coming from I can better express my own faith and perhaps address some of their questions. I believe this is what Paul was getting at when he said, "Although I am free for the sake of the gospel I became a slave to all." I think we can also see this in the gospels themselves as they are telling the story of Jesus. The author of Luke is different from Matthew and are addressing different audiences, and thus empathize different things. This does not make one less true than another, it just shows how both these authors were engaging with different people differently. This is also important for me as a preacher. I have to preach the word and I can do nothing else but preach the word, however what examples I use, or application might vary due to who is in congregation. The same can be said for parents and children. Parents have a duty to raise their children, however children today are not growing up in the same culture as their parents and so parents should learn about the culture that their children are growing up in. What is being promoted, what are the main issues, the struggles, what are the trends? Not only does this show a genuine interest in your child's life, but it better enables Christian parents to present the Christian worldview which is unchanging and is an everlasting worldview to their children addressing the concerns that they had, and not the concerns parents have. As believers we know we have a faith that address all walks of life and all cultures, we have a savior that can save anyone from anywhere, and the Holy Spirit that has the power to bridge the gaps of language, culture, and time. With this in mind let us show respect towards our neighbors by truly listening to what they have to say, and then show them true love by giving the gospel of the only one that can save. The King of kings, and the Lord of lords Jesus Christ.
Here you can read various thoughts and discussions that come from the mind of our Pastor