This coming Sunday at Randall Church, we will finish the sermon series #ToughChoices where we look at the book of Proverbs, and use it as a launching pad for discussing many of the difficult topics of our day. We have talked about healthy parenting, life giving friendships, mental health and anxiety disorders, as well as modern child trafficking and sex slavery. This weekend we will close the book on Proverbs looking at sexuality, love and relationships, but will by no means have covered everything there is to discuss. 

As I prepare my thoughts and study the Scriptures this week with care, I felt it important to give our people opportunity to prepare themselves for the discussion at hand as well. Some of you will need to make decisions regarding your teenagers attending the service this weekend. While it is my intention to handle things with grace, and strive to be prudent with my word selection, there is no question this is a controversial and divisive topic. Yet, sex and sexuality is addressed multiple times in Scripture, and the conclusion is clear that Godly marriage between a man and his wife is to lifted high as an example to follow.    

In my study, I came across a recent article by JD Greear, pastor of Summit Church and current president of the Southern Baptist Convention by the title: Three Ways We Go Wrong When Discussing Homosexuality that I found particularly helpful. Maybe it would be helpful to you as well as you navigate conversations with those you love as well?

1. We're wrong if we believe God doesn't care about our sexuality. 
2. We're wrong if we think same-sex behavior is fundamentally different type of sin.
3. We're wrong if we assume it's harder for LGBTQ people to go to heaven.     

The good news is that Jesus came to save sinners... sinners of all kinds. My Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow. O praise the one who paid my debt; And raised this life up from the dead. Only Jesus. Please be in prayer. Pray that Sunday's sermon would point people toward our Savior. Pray that our conversations remain focused on Christ and Christ alone. Amen.  

Pastor Milo

If you ever talk to a person who does not know English as their native tongue, you will find that they often pick up on some nuances of our speech that we often miss. Sometimes, we would do well to point ourselves toward a dictionary and find out the "official" meaning of words. I was reading an article by secular author Ada Gonzalez, a family therapist, that reminded me about the importance of always choosing my words with care. Here are a few words we ought to care about in the local church. 

Independence: free from external control and restraint.
Dependence: reliance or trust on something or someone.
Interdependence: dynamic of being mutually responsible to sharing a common set of principles with others

Most people like to think that they are independent. In the USA,  our founding document is literally called the Declaration of Independence. As Christ followers, we embrace the vision that all men are created equal, yet recognize that too much independence can lead to lack of coordination and accountability. 

When someone is described as dependent, we often associate the word with negative connotations, as in people who are drug dependent, emotionally dependent on others for their survival. We Christians need to highlight more often where scripture teaches couples to be able to depend on each other for the family to work efficiently, or that reliance or trust in someone is a vital ingredient for successful relationships.  

Wise people, and healthy churches create interconnectedness in their relationships, which demonstrates itself in many forms but is ultimately measured in mutual collaboration. The Apostle Paul describes this relationship for believers as "the body of Christ." Each part is interdependent, because all parts are needed for survival and optimal health.    

Christians can't just depend on each other. We must interdepend on each other! In the local church, opportunities are all around you. How might you take action this week?

Pastor Milo