A Childlike Faith

As Relevant reminded me, today is GK Chesterton’s 140th birthday. I have been meaning to get to a biography about him but have yet to actually start it, but I read a quote of his in another book (Boring) a few weeks ago that’s been in the back of my mind since that I read again today. Chesterton said

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

I am someone who thoroughly enjoys spending time with children and I never tire of the endless “do it again!”s that characterize younger children. Yet how often do I spend the same energy both physically and mentally in awe of God’s grace in my life, which is new every morning? Moving from the midwest to a state full of mountains has been quite the transition, and every time I see the mountains I’m struck again at how beautiful they are. Those who grew up here don’t seem to have the same appreciation for these things that I do, but every trip I take to Denver where the Rockies are out my passenger window never ceases to amaze me.

There’s a certain amount of repetition in all our lives that quickly becomes monotony. We tend to wake up at the same times, do the same things at work and probably even eat similar things from week to week. It can be so easy for us to get into the rut of doing the same things while refusing to be at awe at what’s going on around us. Our bodies continue to convert oxygen to carbon dioxide which allows our heart to continue breathing which allows us to continue living. Most, if not all of us, have computers in our pockets that are more powerful than what put us on the moon. We can pull it out and text or call our friends in different parts of the world and and hear back instantly. And every day the sun rises and the sun sets. When is the last time you took some time to be in awe at what God does for us on a daily basis? Even though we sin he remains faithful. Even when we ignore him, he relentlessly pursues us. He daily lavishes his grace upon us. Through the work of his son we are now sons and daughters of the creator and sustainer of the universe. And what good is dwelling on all these wondrous things if we’re not using it as an opportunity to worship God? Worship should be relegated to Sunday mornings, but should define our entire lives.

So stop.

Right now.

Walk outside.

Behold God’s wonderful creation.

And worship.

Love God and Love Others

This has become one of the biggest themes I’ve heard repeated throughout the church recently. We are called to love God and love others. This is very true and what Jesus commanded in Matthew 22:34:40. In fact, Jesus said that those two commandments sum up the entire Law and the Prophets, so the message of the Old Testament is the same as the New: love God and love others. I worry that we have forgotten to first part of that phrase, and the only true way that we are able to love others, by loving God first and foremost above everything else. Jesus even takes it further than summing up the Law and the Prophets by telling his disciples in John 13 that love should be the mark of every Christian, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” This commandment is the very foundation of our faith and is revealed to us in the beginning of Scripture in the creation of the world. 

John 1, echoing the phrasing of Genesis 1 tells us: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through him…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” God didn’t have a need to create us to receive for honor or worship, but chose to create us from an outpouring of his love and perfect fellowship that he has experienced among the Trinity for eternity. Tim Keller in his book Center Church writes that, “he created us to share in his love and service.” The holy and perfect God chose to share his love in his creation of us. Then in the overflow of that love, he allows us to enter into a relationship with him as sons and daughters. He was the one who initially modeled the “love God and love others” within the Trinity. The commandments that sum up our entire Scriptures have been forever displayed by God to bring about his glory. Then as we continue to love God we are able to even more abundantly love others. The overflow of God’s love in our lives should pour over into the lives of those around us – both believers in the church, and nonbelievers we are sharing the Gospel with in word and in deed. 

This whole idea leads me to my focus the past few months – my love of the church. The way we are expected to show our love to our brothers and sisters is through the church. We meet together to: “encourage one another” (Heb 10:25), partake in the Lord’s supper (1 Cor 11:17-34), “address one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” (Eph 5:19) and “devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture” (1 Tim 4:13). These things should be a part of all of our meetings and allow us to grow and “stir one another up to love and good works” (Heb 10:24). Love is best demonstrated within the local church and helps us better demonstrate Christ’s love to the world. How have you demonstrated Christ’s love this week? How can you better demonstrate Christ’s love?

Coy Mathis and Sexual Confusion

Not to far away from where I live in in Cheyenne, is a little boy name Coy Mathis who has grown up acting and thinking he is a girl. The family was originally concerned with this, but as they took him to many doctors, they were told that Coy is simply a female trapped in a males body. He’s 6 years old. Before I get into the theological ideas behind this, what 6 year old knows the difference between the sexes? I don’t remember thinking anything was different until I hit puberty. Boys and girls were simply people that I was friends with. In the case of Coy, he apparently begin displaying feminine characteristics from the time he was 18 months old. He dresses as a girl, plays with girl toys and identifies himself as a girl. The school he’s attending has called his parents to inform them that Coy could no longer use the girl’s bathroom because he is a boy. The parents are now suing the school. What kind of a world are we now living in?

Looking in the Bible beginning in Genesis 1:27 we read, “so God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” This verse has far reaching ramifications for today, far more than most people realize. From the very beginning of creation we see that God created humans as male and female. There are only 2 distinct sexes within creation. So while this is the way God originally intended creation to function, the story does not stop there, and everyone knows the next part of the story in Genesis 3, Adam and Eve chose sin over God. Going on to the New Testament in Romans 1, we see exactly what this sin has done, a few excerpts, starting in verse 18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth…claiming to be wise, they became fools…therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves…for this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions.” This shows us exactly what the effects of sin are! Instead of using our bodies in the way we should and the way they are intended people instead use their bodies for their own glory and what God has never intended them to be. So a boy is created as a boy and a girl is created as a girl.

We see later on in Romans everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. David says in Psalm 51 “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” So even the cute little babies who are just born are sinners, just like you and me. There is a fantastic article exploring the original link between sexuality and spirituality. We shouldn’t be surprised that this is the direction our culture is going. Instead it should drive us to the cross and to our knees in prayer both for our culture and for us to have the strength to take a stand.

So what should our response as Christians be to Coy Mathis? Well for one, it shouldn’t surprise us. Our culture will push back to truth and will continue to encourage “expressing” yourself through your sexuality. I think the school made the right choice in not allowing Coy to use the girls bathroom, he is a boy whether he thinks so or not, and should continue to use the bathroom that has been designed for his body.