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November 13, 2014 12:00 pm
NC Family president John Rustin talks with John Stonestreet, a Fellow with the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and co-host of the “Breakpoint” radio program, about his new book, Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage, which he co-wrote with Sean McDowell.
This is family policy matter program is produced by the North Carolina family policy Council of profamily research and education organization dedicated to strengthening and preserving the family enough in the studio. Here's John Rushton, president of the North Carolina family policy Council and thank you for joining us this week for family policy matters. It is our leisure to have John's treat with us on the show. John is a fellow of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian worldview and cohost Eric my taxes of breakpoint a Christian worldview radio program founded by the late Chuck Colson. John is also the voice of the point a daily national radio feature on worldview, apologetics, and cultural issues. He is also a highly sought after speaker and serves as senior content advisor for Summit ministries in Colorado. Now John has recently co-authored with Sean McDowell and insightful new book, same-sex marriage, a thoughtful approach to God's design for marriage in order to be talking with John today about some of the important issues that are addressed in this book before we get started I do want to mention for listeners that we are honored to have John Stonestreet as the keynote speaker for the upcoming North Carolina family policy Council major speakers dinner in Winston-Salem on Tuesday, November 18 and you can learn more about the dinner by contacting us at the family policy Council at 919-807-0800 or via the web at www.mcfamily.org well and without introduction.
John thanks much for being with us today.
Thank you Jonathan honor to be here.
Well were delighted to have you know John with the courts forcing the redefinition of marriage own states across the country, including North Carolina.
Many people would say the battle for the legal definition of marriage is basically over or probably will be soon. Why did you and Sean McDowell decide to write a book about marriage at this time. Well, you did it because we we both felt like we had to log on to level that and I know and I asked that question to Sean you know EEE was really moved by thinking about when his kids grow up and ask a dad what was the big issue of your day and what you do about it. You know there's a lot of Christians that are choosing to set this issue out and that he didn't want to be wanted that for me a list to equal and opposite responses that a wrong responses that I heard from Christians on the issue. One was, you know, a youth pastor told a friend of mine.
Hey, that ship is failing to stop it. Talk about it anymore and I heard them thought will on what planet can you not talk about same-sex marriage right now that is not her, you know, across the Western world. This is one of the issues of our day and in a even if you agree with it, much less if you eat, you will close that you do not talk about it. It is really I think a dereliction of duty. The other responses from a culture warrior pastor in the trenches on this in his statement, and again, as you said, an activist judge maybe look at me and and and great despair.
You know John is over. We've lost that in a nightmare made me think. Wait a minute, who's we that have lost what's it that's over many kingdom of God not over, and Jesus Christ isn't going back in the grave because of the an activist judge's decision and so our responsibility to marriages and changed one bit by the legal status of it. I mean the church is found itself in all kinds of times and places in history where something that was immoral and wrong.
We know what was legal and and and and they found various ways to deal with it and we been doing it now for 30 years with robust gross display data mean our responsibility of the unborn is changed and so that's why we thought you know what, there needed to be a book that walks through very basically, what we do now how we think about same-sex marriage and what we do about it. Well, that's a great admonition to our listeners to not check out on this issue because it is very much a really the cultural issue of our day and something a lot of people are grappling with under one of the reasons why that is, is because in and I think you you acknowledge this is the beginning of your book could Christians don't want to be labeled as bigots or as hateful simply because we hold to a biblical definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
But that's certainly how homosexual activist and many in the media are depicting those who believe in traditional natural marriage as hateful as bigots as homophobes. John, how can we effectively defend marriage and at the same time. Guard against setting ourselves up to be attacked in this way, I think some of the work in the face this challenge is simply because we hold that moral position in vitamin C. Early Christians were called cannibals an atheist because they serve communion and because they worship pantheon. Considering that they were that that's what they were called Amber and I have to deal with that. Much like we've dealt with accusations of being prudish because of her views on marriage, but because of our belief that sexuality does belong between a man and woman in the context of management of faith that I think what we need to be thinking about doing were invited to a same-sex ceremony we can do when you know a neighbor minivan at the lesbian couple with adopted children. When we get to do if I arrived a couple shows that you know to our congregation. When you come to church wanted to be in leadership and membership. These are the sorts of questions that were facing Dana Dale would've tweaked you to run a company that has something to do with the wedding related business and were asked to participate and when they think in all the situations we need to think very clearly and carefully about is how it is that we can show Christian love to our gay and lesbian neighbors.
While not capitulating on these issues, we may still get those accusations.
But the fact of the matter is we should add any offense in our book. We walked through a number of things that mean the first thing is the most important thing we can do moving forward is to champion marriage of the same-sex marriage is not going to be the thing that" ruins America but you let the breakdown of the family and all of its different forms.
No society has ever survived after family life has deteriorated and so can we look at no-fault divorce when you look at cohabitation of race when you look at the fact many young people today just think marriage is important all maybe look at anything. Later the issue is not just same-sex marriage. If marriage right and so much more. I think that you know Christians are called to live for the good of marriage, and just to stand against same-sex marriage, living for the good of marriage means you having conviction on same-sex marriage letter that only that the only issue that the second thing I think we we really need to do is we need to be very clear on what marriage is that were standing for. We have generations of unit of church life now.
Will we cut seminars on how to have a happy marriage and a godly marriage and a great sex life and all that sort of thing, but we have neglected to actually back up and they limit what is marriage. What is the uniqueness of this particular relationship and why did it make such a difference in society. How would God make marriage what he intends for us, and so on, and John.
The last thing I'll say is that you know God gives us a wonderful gift in Scripture. It's a gift of repentance that one of the worst things I think we can do when it comes to same-sex marriage.
This point our fingers at them without first looking and saying wait a minute what responsibility do we hold then I think the universe will need to repent for not living out marriage.
You know not not not staying married not talking about marriage and the slightly people in their second late week we need to repent anytime we've not stood up for God's truth. We had the opportunity to know and we is not also the larger culture.
For example, that there are marches for no-fault divorce. The campaigns and marriage amendments for no-fault divorce and you know what no-fault divorce redefined marriage first and 20 repent of theft. When we did not stand for truth and then finally, a lot of the stories of gay abuse and and and and homophobia are certainly overblown, but that doesn't mean there isn't that Christians have done a great job. Loving the LGBT community's mantra going around the Christian community for a long time. Love the sinner, hate, and any problems with the with the statement itself, and in some ways a recent understanding but you know if we actually tallied up what we done over the last couple decades. I think in many communities, we find that we have done an awful lot of hating the sin never really got around to living the center, and you know there is political posturing and there's an exit amendments and things like that that need to be done for the cost of marriage that the institution that will give marriage back to society will not be the government to be the church and that the church being able to exhibit the love of Christ and find ways to reach the LGBT neighbors with the gospel. It is business and there's there's there's no substitute for that something you know when you think about it, consider deeply is an repent of where where you and Sean writing the book. Christians should shift their mindset from preserving or conserving to proposing in building and use a Christian should no longer wish for a massive judicial or political victory to save marriage when an institution has been culturally compromised. The way that marriage has been really cannot be saved through those means it has to be redefined and reestablished all their other components to help Christians directing their activities toward proposing and building versus tried to preserve and defend something that has been culturally compromised. The way the marriage has been yeah you know any Chuck Colson used to say record status, one third said a million times culture built around the backyard fence and not an entity and around the barbecue grill, especially when we feel like culture is slipping away from us. Like many of us do it easy to look at the top of culture to that you have the power centers like Washington DC or Hollywood or New York City. You know it and look at that look at what they're shutting down our throats, but the most important way to shape and develop culture is not from the top down it's from the middle out when Alexis de Tocqueville came to United States and he looked it.
The American experiment one the things he noted that was so exceptional about American was really unparalleled in the European countries was the robust civil society that in between the radical issues meeting between the the individual and the federal government. In America there were all of these layers of what he called mediating institutions.
Things like family and church in Boy Scouts and the hurricane club and state government and county school board and things like that. And because this was so rich and robust. De Tocqueville set that was going to protect the individual from the government and was also basically give a catechizing influenced to develop the citizenry. You know I have my daughters love watching little house in the prairies. Everything happened in the church member that I mean everything but the soil unit at school there that County meetings there. They get from the blizzard there. Everything happened in the church today.
You know there is a radical divide in terms of what people think the church where the church belongs in society and shall I say all this to say you have faces some tough times but look at all of this room.
We have to work with all of this little space that's been emptied out that we can actually look and rebuilt and so what we need to do is not spent her time shaking our fist in and so on.
We need to vote.
We need to be involved in the political process certain extent. Some Christians are called to the very high calling and sacred work of being involved in an government works, but the rest of us are called to vote and to do the good that we can do around the backyard is one of things sonically need to be ready to do is have this conversation. I don't think an innovative overall heading in for Thanksgiving and in the holidays and Christmas that we have holiday parties with that crazy neighbor and never got that quirky aunt that took across the table for Thanksgiving that makes her views not many Christians are going to choose to be quiet because were not able to articulate and when suddenly defend what we believe and I'm not saying we need to make it into a battle we need to run the holidays.
I'm not sure we need to take every opportunity to have a global fistfight over these issues with when everyone is silent somebody else's opinion filled the void is one of things we gotta be able to do is to talk and articulate why we believe what we do about marriage and so I think we need to be ready to have the source of conversation. 1 Big Way to do it. Well that's grateful to close on John and unfortunately we are out of town for this week, but I do want to give you an opportunity to find out where they can get a copy of your excellent book, same-sex marriage, a thoughtful approach to God's design for marriage and if you would normally tell us where we can get a copy of the book, but also give us the website for breakpoint as well you better website break.org in the book. I would like Rick Michelle McDowell, "same-sex marriage thoughtful approach to God for marriage published by Baker books exam available really in the online venue where books are sold and why you're visiting breakpoint.org if you want to support smugglers to do it is to buy books through our online store. Great job. Thank you and I do and once again as we closed about the dinner that the North Toronto family policy Council has coming up in Winston-Salem on November 18. Again, John Stonestreet will be the keynote speaker at that event and if you would like more information on how to attend the dinner, please contact us at the North Anna family policy Council at 919-807-0800 or via our firstname.lastname@example.org, John Stonestreet, thank you so much for being with us on family policy matters.
We really appreciate your time and I appreciate your great insights and look forward to seeing you in Winston-Salem on November 18 particular work and on the board to me in there as well. Since family policy matters is information and analysis feature of the North Carolina family policy Council join us weekly discussion on policy issues affecting the family. If you have questions or comments.
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