I have received several notes in response to various weblog entries relating to homosexuality, gay marriage, and the Federal Marriage Amendment. They all share the same general theme of encouragement:
1) "I cannot imagine how difficult your situation is for you, but I would encourage you to 'preach the Word, be instant in season and out' no matter what the cost. Who knows but what you will become a benchmark for the rest of us. I'm praying especially for you and your family, and I also lift up your church as you become a lighthouse to the rest of us."
2) "When the sins of our days seem to be overbearing, it presents an outrageous opportunity for us to present the Good News in Jesus Christ."
3) "Thanks so much for your good article. With your permission, I would like
to share it with my congregation."
4) "I know in my own struggles as an evangelist I never stop running in to areas where the Lord shows me just how much we all need grace an mercy, let us always remember where we were in this world w/out the Lord God Bless you an your family."
5) "I am a missionary in France since 1983. I read your sermon in Crosswalk. Can I take the general idea, adapt it, translate it and preach it over here? The situation is very much the same here, except I believe Christian marriages here are more solid."
My Comments: Many thanks to everyone who reads this weblog, and especially to those who take time to write notes and comments. I try to answer everyone who writes me, no matter what they have to say. Last night I spoke to a woman who said her husbands feel very discouraged because he thinks gay marriage is inevitable. She thinks that the current crisis is a call from God for the church to pray. I think she's right and I believe we must not give in despair. Who knows what God may do in the days to come?
As a practical matter, I think every church much take a stand on this issue. In late August we're doing a major mailing to every home our area--34,000 addresses--announcing a new sermon series called "God Speaks Today" which will address marriage, the family, moral purity, and same-sex marriage from God's point of view. We plan to invite the other evangelical churches to join us for a concert of prayer, plus we're sponsoring several special forums along with the Sunday sermons. I'm sure we'll catch some flack. But our job is stand firm, trusting in the Lord.What happens is up to God. So we move forward, taking nothing for granted, trying to be wise and bold and winsome at the same time, making the most of every opportunity to share Christ with others. I love the thought that these days present an "outrageous opportunity" to share Christ with others. May God grant tenacious, winsome courage to the body of Christ so that we can present the truth of God with a smile and not a frown.
To sign up for Pastor Ray's free weekly sermon email list, click here .You can find his daily weblog, online sermons, travel schedule, and other resources at www.keepbelieving.com. You can write Pastor Ray at email@example.com.