Last night the high schoolers ate spaghetti and ice cream, made some new friends, and covered some FAQ’s about the LGBTQ community!
We had our usual food and fellowship time before migrating to the garage room for prayer requests and corporate prayer. Our video for this week featured Preston Sprinkle himself answering questions like “Can someone be gay and a Christian,” and “what about people with intersex conditions?”
Again, this would be an awesome week to take 20 minutes and watch the full youth video if you have time. Preston does a fabulous job of breaking down some of the most challenging questions from a Biblical perspective.
This entire series essentially circles back to the topics we covered at the beginning - the authority of God and Scripture, and our identity as image bearers. If we were truly and completely rooted in our identity as image bearers, most of these questions answer themselves. The more difficult questions center on how we respond to people who sin differently or more publicly than we do.
If we think of Jesus’ response to the woman caught in adultery, we have a clear Biblical template of how we should respond to these kinds of things. Jesus is presented with a woman who was caught in the middle of a very socially unacceptable sin. He challenges those around Him to first look inward, and determine if they have the “moral high ground” to pass judgment on this woman. All of the bystanders recognize that they are not sinless themselves, and leave one by one. When they are gone, Jesus extends grace to the woman, does not condemn her, and encourages her to “go and sin no more.”
This is the kind of radical obedience and extravagant love that we are striving for. Jesus first encourages us (the ones presented with the sins of another) to first look at ourselves. We are to recognize that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, cementing Him as the only one worthy to pass judgment. Out of that humility, we should not condemn our fellow sinners, but we should spur them on towards Christlikeness. If we fail to do any of those things well, we fall into the temptation of either placing ourselves in the judgment seat, or failing to call one another to the standard of Christ. Both are equally unacceptable.
In a world where the boldness of both sharing Jesus’ love and calling one another to repentance seem to be in short supply, this is a very thin line to walk. That's not surprising though, Jesus warned us that the path was narrow, and the journey of a Christian was not an easy one. No matter where the cultural pendulum swings, we must always seek to live like Christ, and walk that line as best we can.
Next week, we’ll round out our series (and the official program year!) with a short conversation about friendships and dating!
There are still some summer events in the works, and once those are finalized you can expect to see those on the calendar! I’ll make sure to send an email with those too :)
Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!