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November 12, 2015 12:00 pm
This week, NC Family president John Rustin talks with J.D. Greear, lead pastor of The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham area, about how Christians can respond to the redefinition of marriage in both Truth and love.
This is family policy matter program is produced by the North Carolina family policy Council of profamily research unification organization dedicated to strengthening and preserving the family and up from the studio here is John Rustin president North Carolina family policy Council. Thank you for joining us for family policy matters is our great pleasure to have Pastor JD Greer on the program with Pastor JD is the lead pastor of the Summit church in Raleigh, Durham, North Carolina which is grown under his leadership, 300 attenders on a given weekend too close to 9000, making it one of outreach magazines top 25 fastest growing churches in America for several years running. Pastor JD is the author of a number of books including gospel recovering, the power that made Christianity revolutionary stop asking Jesus into your heart how to know for sure you were saved, and Jesus continued while the spirit inside you is better than Jesus massage. He has a PhD in theology from Southeastern Baptist theological seminary, where he is also a faculty member. Pastor JD is the author of an excellent article in the fall 2015 issue of family North Carolina magazine which is produced by the North Carolina family policy Council the title of the article is responding like Jesus to the redefinition of marriage and were very excited to talk with pastor JD today about some of the important issues he raises in this article Pastor JD thanks much for being with us something we policy matters. Thank you so much for having me.
Well, it's great to have you and were so excited about your participation with us with this article in family North Carolina magazine. Now the Supreme Court's June 2015 decision in the case of Alberta filled the Hodges forced the legal recognition of same-sex unions on our nation and really thrust this issue into the national spotlight as if it wasn't there already put the ruling left many Christians feeling discouraged and even anxious about their ability to communicate God's truth about marriage to this and future generations. Pastor JD is this discouragement and anxiety something that you seen in your own congregation. Yeah, I mean laughing at a lot of question Christians have in our country and enjoy privileged status and that some will be grateful for. You had the fact we have the freedoms that we have found that something that we historically withdraw this unique and God called us to be faithful weren't wearing out, when, where, and a place where we given freedoms and then he got calls to you to faithfulness. When we are in place for we say things that go against the grain nearly what you see is that the Bible is going to ultimately expand every culture and every generation it just doesn't different ways. What offends our culture is different than what offended the first century we have to be faithful to the message because that we will write the message we know we deliver it to deliver it with grace and truth. The description of Jesus it was that he was full of grace and truth on truth without grace is fundamentalism judge mentalism grace without truth is sentimentality and it doesn't help anybody but grace and truth that that's the power of the gospel in its redemptive and requires both truth and grace will put in. Clearly, we have an opportunity to express just that. As we interact with our culture on this issue of same-sex marriage, why do you think it's important that Christians and the church be ready to talk to our culture and speak into the lives of our neighbors or friends or family members and others about this issue while I got put it here as witnesses to truth and grace and if you compromise one of those either side of it.
You have you have a Christian message any longer.
The Bible is offensive in every generation and missed. The court always gets attributed to Martin Luther. I doubt whether he actually said � but somebody said about Luther that the soldier doesn't show his bravery by his willingness to stand where the battle is no longer being fought on today.
You know, we look at where our culture finds the Christian message. The most offensive that is one of the places that we have to be clear, that's where the courage of the you know about us as witnesses for Christ is to be tested and when we compromise him back down on that message. We actually harm people that are depending on the church to be able to give clarity. I am member have a conversation with a girl who you came fairly regularly to our church.
She was in opening a practicing lesbian and she told me she says you want to know why me and several of our friends come to your church every weekend and I said lucky I am actually curious about that.
She said you know, everywhere else that we go. She was a student. One of the local university. She said well it's like people are just kind of pandering and saying this is what we think you want us to say but that here she goes. I know that you don't agree with me. I very clear. God's word does not agree with me and she says but you're speaking in a way that shows love and respect even when you try to be clear what God says and she says that's something that I at least want to know what got that if were not clear testimony what God says and who is going to date and if we don't speak clearly then you know it's where we were not doing her job. One of the important points that you make in your article in family nuclear magazine is that the Supreme Court's ruling that legalized same-sex unions did not redefine marriage but is actually the fruit of the redefinition of marriage explain for a listers if you would what you mean by that.
And while this is an important distinction for Christians to understand all same-sex marriage is one star in the constellation of changes. It is the fruit of a kind of revamp to re-envision view of morality that really began decades ago when we began to say, okay, it's no longer it's no longer what God says is no longer what the truth of Christianity say that determine what's right and wrong.
It's what might let your heart decide what's good for you. We can re-think of marriage and then as just know two parties that came into mutually beneficial agreement that you know that satisfy one another's needs, and a you know what, if if if the person you're married to doesn't satisfy your needs anymore than you know what you should divorce them to get married. Somebody else that's a redefinition of marriage that makes the person satisfying their needs and and in fulfilling their preferences that make that the kind of the standard of what of what marriage is, as opposed to a covenant that God allows people to enter into as people enter into that. They say you know I'm going to love and serve you and are you in but you first regular rest of the days of my life. When that happened and we we begin to re-center life and morality in marriage on pleasing the person undone you pleasing your own needs. Well, just a matter of time before we say will why does it have to be a heterosexual need.
Why does it have to be one man one woman was everyone partner reminisces it all about me and what I prefer my preferences and morality than why you know why why limited you in any way shape or form so that lysates one star in the constellation of changes really can think of it like this. Same-sex marriage is inevitable. It was inevitable in a culture that had one rule in relationships. Follow your heart.
Well, I know that many would argue, and I would agree with is that when no-fault divorce was embraced by our culture. A number decades ago. That's exactly the mentality that you talking about I want to do what I want to do in a minute put my interest above the interest of my spouse then that started or was a continuation may be of a precipitation of that. That is, ended us here is where having this discussion even today you looking like the Old Testament is a good example.
The book of Judges records Israel's kind of slow but steady dissent into just immoral practices that that stagger us when we look about how could a people actually do that but what brought as it didn't begin with the egregious acts of evil began with one phrase that begins to recur more more frequently throughout judges and that is the people did what was right in their own eyes and the people did what was right and what happened is is is once you make yourself and your preferences. The center of morality everywhere. Where does that actually in you read this great venue today also share with Iraq like it was a guy is saying that you had a 22-year-old guy walking down the street and in you know what became London.
He's in the ninth century A.D. and he has two feelings that you got enter into his heart when feeling is I want to go and pursue a homosexual relationship and the other feeling is someone has insulted me. I need to bash their head and restore my honor, we would say to that person that today we would say all you need to deny that feeling of bashing their head in, but we need to explore and express this feeling of I want to pursue a homosexual relationship with right minute was that exactly opposite. There is that old and not a homosexual feeling that what you should do that impulse to bash their head in the restaurant you need to pursue that one.
So so openly with every culture says do you deny yourself what we are saying that we are to deny ourselves based on what God's word says that when we make our hearts and the desires of our hearts. The arbiter of what is right and wrong, then there's no end to where that's going to lead a homosexual relationship.
Same-sex marriage that's not the end, just the beginning where this rightly in the article. You also emphasize that Christians are really citizens of another country and that we should expect and really be prepared to face persecution. In fact, you point out that Christianity really does throb in the context of persecution, and to take a quote from the article. Many of our country's great spiritual awakenings came in times of great political darkness.
How do you see things progressing in our nation as Christians in the church are really forced to confront this revised view of marriage clear. No Christian should ever yarn the persecution letter from Paramore that help us to pray for peace in the but you know persecution is actually the norm for most Christians throughout history. Historically, we would look at ourselves as I work on the ones out with the freedoms that we enjoy the New Testament writers did not like from positions of political and cultural power. They wrote from from the margins speeders you know letter opens up and pack not to those in power, but to those in exile as you mention the good news is, Christianity thrives in this context. It's when the darkness gets darker that the light gets brighter.
It's when we're going to be able to put on display more clearly be the power of healing that comes through the Christian message you. This is to create a lot of what your friend Mount Rushmore calls refugees from the sexual revolution, who are just like any revolution you have people that many come out of it.
No I mean it's not what I thought it wasn't. And it's going to make people who do.
Just follow what the Bible says about love and commitment. And in relationships in the family to make that just so incredibly different and attractive and it's really going to you to adorn adorn the gospel. Also, sin abounds grace, much more bound and so why don't look forward to some of the difficulties is to create for those people who want to honor what God says here, I do know that there is Probably going to be an age where we see a thriving of the Christian message as this kind of middle middle section of people who just totally identifies Christian never comes up to be a cost associated with that.
You see that that that number decreased but you can see the amount of people who are are faithfully testifying to the glorious gospel euros. That number increased. Well that's exciting and very encouraging. Now I can't not ask you this question because we are mortal on family policy Council we work in the realm of politics and policy. You included a quote in your article that says the Lordship of Jesus is a political claim. Explain that a bit if you would have to question what what I mean by that is that Jesus agrees you know hundred percent with one particular political party like me exactly opposite what it means is that as a believer. My ultimate allegiance is to God and what his word says and I give him the final and total. You know rule and in and in what I what my goals are in life and what I decide is right and wrong and I refuse to be taken in by one political ornament and I don't identify one political party better if you say you know I'm in a counterfeit Jesus and around this particular Republican or Democratic in a platform. What we know that God calls us to cause us to be messengers of his distinctive and there are certain parts of platform that one. Political parties embraced him as a unit that's more in line with God's word than any other political party, and there may be areas where the other political parties is more in line there but it just means that absolute allegiance only thing that can claim absolute allegiance for the believer is is the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
I will make this really clear, I'm not in any way saying that I want to like Jesus is president and I want new church people to be the only people that are elected into an office because what the Bible teaches is that you know government at least down here are not in it to be theocracy to see this, you see this kind of emphasis in the New Testament were were moving toward recognizing that government and institution given by God and want to be influenced by godly principles were not talking about about trying to wed church and state.
That would go against what unit Jesus indicated his the right role of government and in religion: fortunate we are nearly on top of this week for listeners who want to read Pastor JD's excellent article responding like Jesus to the redefinition of marriage you can find it on our firstname.lastname@example.org and if you are a subscriber to family North Carolina magazine. It should be getting your mailbox and if it has not arrived already and before we conclude Pastor JD I want to give you an opportunity to tell our listeners where they can go to read more of your articles, blog posts, and also to find out more about the summit church Elliott Maxwell I mean David is saying this is my own blog is JD Greer.com that's JDGREE AR three bows right arrow.com are you going to our churches website summit. Are you.com Pastor JD Greer, thank you so much for allowing us to publisher excellent article in family North Carolina magazine and for taking time out of your very busy schedule to talk with us today. Thank you so much for having us family policy matters. Information and analysis, future of the North Carolina family policy Council join us weekly for discussion on policy issues affecting the family. If you have questions or comments, please contact 919-807-0800 or visit our website and see family.org