“Even if others do, I will never deny you,” declared the Apostle Peter some 2000 years ago just hours before he did exactly that, three times, when the heat was on. Ten others boasted the same, but when the risk was more than theoretical, all deserted Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Only one was seen at the cross.
A fascinating story … the “old story” as the secularists like to call it. Barack Obama alluded to this in his speech in France. We need a new story, a discovery of “new ways” of thinking. We must throw off the old and embrace a much more enlightened, intelligent point of view. By doing so, we remove inconvenient barriers, cumbersome moral values and achieve self-determination with our new understanding of the world guiding the way. Surely we cannot be bound in this advanced new age by the old moral codes or put plainly, by what Jesus taught. Certainly not if we are to curry favor with the world in which we live.
This Holy Week, a key portion of the “old story” has been revisited in a very contemporary way. The last instruction Jesus gave as he left earth was Christ followers should tell His story of forgiveness and redemption not only in their communities, but to the “ends of the earth.” And as His followers told the “old story” they should not leave out all the other things as well. In the second part of the Great Commission, Christ admonished his followers to teach others “to obey all the things I have commanded you.” He wanted future generations to go beyond mere intellectual understanding and move to actually living out the principles … walking the walk.
One of those principles was marriage. “For this reason shall a man leave his parents and join with his wife and the two shall become one flesh,” Jesus instructed. One man, one woman, for a lifetime, with no sex outside of that union.
Fast forward to 2009: California voters of various religious persuasions, in a ballot measure called Proposition 8, held to the traditional view of marriage—a union between a man and a woman. Subsequently challenged in court, as the battle ensued, Pastor Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose Driven Life” and pastor of Saddleback, one of the largest churches in the country, deeply influential, rightly told his congregation “…if you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Proposition 8. I never support a candidate, but on moral issues I come out very clear.” Until this week … Holy Week.
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