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Pastor's Blog

The Bible is Quotable, Not a Book of Quotes

Our twitterized culture loves quotes.  We love that punchy punchline or catchy catchphrase.  The Bible is used as a source of such quotes by many people, some of whom believe the Bible as God’s Word and some who do not.

I completely understand the “quote book” way of using the Bible. It is after all an enduring piece of literature. A cultural artifact you might say.  Any historian or literary buff who displays ignorance of the Bible is displaying transparent bias rather than an objective plurality of interest in human sociological history.  This being said, a person who studies the Bible as a cultural treasure certainly has no obligation to agree with everything they read. Those who read Plato don’t have to agree with him either. Of course if they find some quotable treasure that expresses their opinion well, or some point of wisdom that strikes them as helpful in today’s age, so much the better. They have no obligation to see the unity of the Bible and certainly have not committed themselves to finding its originally intended meaning, let alone submit their own perspective to what they read.  They may speculate about possible interpretations and suggest modernized re-readings or even cut and paste their favorite sections into their own…Bible quote book.  Read more

The Bible and Marriage

Yesterday the Supreme Court declared that same sex couples should be legally allowed to marry in all fifty states.  The decision is directly contrary to the teaching of God’s Word about marriage, which the Bible declares has been provided by God as a union between one man and one woman.

So, today, for the first time in our history, we have two opposing declarations about marriage, one from the highest court in our land, and one from God.   This is a profoundly sad moment for our country–one in which American Christians are forced to choose between agreement with their government and agreement with their God.  However, such a choice has been faithfully made countless times before, by countless Christians throughout the centuries. Even in the last half century, the decision to legalize abortion created the same contradiction between the ruling of the court and the truth of God’s Word.  Such a moment is an opportunity for Christians to draw near to the Lord, to reaffirm our trust in his Word, and to declare our ultimate submission to his authority.  It is also an opportunity to resist self-righteousness and arrogance toward those who are uninformed, deceived, or dismissive regarding the Bible’s position on marriage.   Maintaining our convictions will require courage; maintaining our hope and love and witness will require constant meditation on the gospel that has saved us.  This is a sad moment, a sober moment, but not an unexpected or hopeless one.  Jesus Christ is watching over his church, the Holy Spirit is empowering unstoppable gospel witness throughout the world, the Word is full of promises to sustain fearful or weary Christians, and eternity is one day nearer today than it was yesterday.

For our church family of Redemption Hill, here are four articles that I would recommend for their truth and demeanor in this moment.

http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/blogs/sgm/post/How-Do-We-Respond-to-the-Supreme-Courte28099s-Decision.aspx

Why the church should neither cave nor panic about the decision on gay marriage | Moore to the Point

Why Homosexuality Is Not Like Other Sins | Desiring God

But What Does the Bible Say? | TGC

To Him who is able to do more than we ask or imagine and is able to keep us from stumbling and present us blameless at the day of Christ Jesus, be praise and glory and honor.

 

 

 

 

Through Our Courage–By Ray Ortlund

and not frightened in anything by your opponents.  This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.”  Philippians 1:28

When opponents do their worst, and we’re still standing for Christ, that is “a clear sign,” a prophetic warning, that God is with us.  For example, when the Empress Eudoxia, in the fourth century, threatened John Chrysostom with banishment, he told her, “You cannot banish me, for this world is my Father’s house.”  “But I will kill you,” she said.  “No, you cannot, for my life is hidden with Christ in God.”  “Then I will take away your treasures.”  “No, you cannot, for my treasure is in heaven, and my heart is there.”  “But I will drive you away from your friends, and you will have no one left.”  “No, you cannot, for I have a friend in heaven from whom you cannot separate me.  I defy you, for there is nothing you can do to harm me.”

John Chrysostom’s courage made him “a clear sign” of the weakness of her power and of the power of his weakness.  The tactics of this world are weak, though they appear powerful.  The truth of the gospel is strong, though it appears weak.  Jesus is Lord.  He just is.  And the world is stuck with him, because they can’t impeach him, and he isn’t going to resign.

But how is our generation going to see his glory?  Through our courage.

 

*This post was originally posted at http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/rayortlund

 

 

Upcoming Events

Jul
12
Sun
10:00 am Sunday Meeting @ Redemption Hill Church
Sunday Meeting @ Redemption Hill Church
Jul 12 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Come join us this Sunday as we worship God and hear his word preached!  We are continuing our Believe sermon series in the Gospel of John. Here’s what else you can expect: A Diverse Church: You’ll see[...]
Jul
19
Sun
10:00 am Sunday Meeting @ Redemption Hill Church
Sunday Meeting @ Redemption Hill Church
Jul 19 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Come join us this Sunday as we worship God and hear his word preached!  We are continuing our Believe sermon series in the Gospel of John. Here’s what else you can expect: A Diverse Church: You’ll see[...]
Jul
26
Sun
10:00 am Sunday Meeting @ Redemption Hill Church
Sunday Meeting @ Redemption Hill Church
Jul 26 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Come join us this Sunday as we worship God and hear his word preached!  We are continuing our Believe sermon series in the Gospel of John. Here’s what else you can expect: A Diverse Church: You’ll see[...]
Aug
2
Sun
10:00 am Sunday Meeting @ Redemption Hill Church
Sunday Meeting @ Redemption Hill Church
Aug 2 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Come join us this Sunday as we worship God and hear his word preached!  We are continuing our Believe sermon series in the Gospel of John. Here’s what else you can expect: A Diverse Church: You’ll see[...]
Aug
9
Sun
10:00 am Sunday Meeting @ Redemption Hill Church
Sunday Meeting @ Redemption Hill Church
Aug 9 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Come join us this Sunday as we worship God and hear his word preached!  We are continuing our Believe sermon series in the Gospel of John. Here’s what else you can expect: A Diverse Church: You’ll see[...]

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Redemption Hill Church
123 E Old Settlers Blvd
Round Rock, TX 78664
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