Newsletter: January 6, 2016

Hello Church Family,

As we begin our Sunday morning study through the book of Genesis, it is important to recognize and to think rightly about the massive ways in which its teaching ought to impact our theology and thereby our lives. Within the first three chapters alone, we learn about the Creator of all that exists, when He created, how He created man, why man exists, God’s design for gender roles, the definition of marriage, covenant relationships, how all of creation was cursed by sin, and how God promised to bring about the restoration of His universe through the One who would crush the head of the serpent. If we do not firmly grasp and understand these chapters, at best, we will not see all of the intricacies and complexities behind the beauty of God’s plan.

To be sure, Genesis can often seem bizarre to us or maybe even behind the times. It may seem to you that Genesis is a collection of stories and accounts that make little to no sense once grouped together. Maybe you think, “These are wonderful for bedtime stories, but insignificant for real life.” Perhaps you are embarrassed when someone asks you to explain your beliefs about how everything came into being. Even more probable, you may find yourself sympathizing more and more to what our culture says about gender and less and less to what the Bible says.

On the other hand, there may be another group within our church. Typically, this group is not embarrassed—it is angry. Maybe you are outraged with the trajectory of the United States in regards to the “legalization” of same-sex marriage. You cannot believe children are taught evolution as fact in most public schools. Perhaps the more you think about the darkness in the surrounding world, the more and more you see “those liberals” as the problem that needs to be eradicated. You might not be able to explain why or how the Bible teaches homosexuality is wrong, but neither do you care to find out.

Where do you find yourself in this spectrum?

My purpose here is not to tackle each one of these viewpoints in all of their hues. Rather, it is my prayer that all of us individually would come together corporately with a God-given sense of expectancy that He will nourish us with His Word.

In the context of the famous passage of the taming of the tongue, James writes in 3:17-18 of his book, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” I would encourage you to meditate on those two verses slowly and carefully. Does this characterize your daily conversations and actions? How does this impact what you believe, think, feel, say, etc. about creation, gender, and marriage?

If we are trusting in Christ, we are God’s children. As God’s children, we are called to reflect and represent our heavenly Father. God is not scared. God is not intimidated. God is not rivaled. God is not challenged. God is not mocked. God is seated on His throne. Let us live accordingly.

Gentry