Weekend Preview | Questions Without Answers: Part 2

By Matt Dawson

One day, Mark began to write a report about the moon for his class project at school. Andy also chose to write a report about the moon, and both had to deliver their reports on Friday. They didn’t know what each other had written until a conversation started at lunch on Thursday about the COLOR of the moon.

“I believe the crystals on the moon give it a predominantly blue/white color that our eyes detect from earth,” Mark said.

“No, that’s stupid. Haven’t you ever seen old pictures of moon rocks? The moon is a gray/black color clearly,” Andy responded back to Mark.

“Your face is stupid! How in the world would we be able to see the moon if it was gray/black in the night sky?” March shouted. “You’re wrong!”

“Your mom is wrong,” Andy angrily yelled back at Mark. “Why are you only going by what your eyes see at night and not the facts we have from bringing moon rocks back with us?”

Immediately, a teacher intervened and took them to the principal’s office for making a ruckus in the lunchroom. Outside the principal’s office they continues to fight with one another.

“You’re so wrong Mark,” Andy said. “I’m right and the principal is going to agree with me.”

“Whatever Andy,” Mark responded. “Your argument completely denies what people see everyday, and 99% of people would agree with me.”

The principal opened his door and invited the two boys in. The principal was already in a meeting with someone but interrupted it because he was used to seeing these two kids fight about the most inconsequential things. He couldn’t wait to see what they were arguing about this time.

The two boys stated their cases to the principal. Surely he would settle which one was right and which was wrong. He listened carefully to both arguments, and then began to tell the boys that they both had good points but that they were missing something essential.

“The truth is boys,” the principal said, “you are not able to understand all the facts needed to come to the truth about the moon. However, luckily enough, I happen to be meeting with someone right now about some questions that I have and can’t figure out. When this happens to me, I go right to the source of all truth and knowledge. Boys… meet Jesus.”

“Hi boys,” Jesus said. “Believe it or not, my Father and I created the moon and set it into place and I know exactly what color the moon is.”

“Really?” Mark said in shock. “How’d you do that?” Andy said with wonder!

“You see boys, whenever you guys fight about who’s right, you have to find some way to make sure the other person is wrong. As a matter of fact, the ONLY way for you to feel right about your answer is to MAKE the other person feel wrong about their answer,”  Jesus explained.

“Well, is one of us right?” Mark asked.

“It’s hard to say,” Jesus said. “Both of you have elements of your argument that are right. Then again, you guys are both missing a large amount of information that you couldn’t know without discussing it with me. After all, I created the moon and put it in it’s place. Some mysteries of the moon can only be explained by me. It does seem like gray dust on the outside when holding a moon rock in your hands, AND it does have multiple billions reflectors in that dust that give it a blue/white glow when it reflects the sun light back to the earth.”

“So, we’re both right?” Andy said confused.

“In a relative manner of speaking – yes,” Jesus said. “However, why settle for a relative truth as your answer? You have ME at your disposal and can ask me anything you want. After all…I created everything!”

The saddest state of the post-modern movement is society’s abandonment of absolute truth in exchange for subjective relative truths that must be argued and defended at all cost for them to remain true.

There is a better way!

Join us Sunday as we continue our series “Questions Without Answers” concerning the LGBTQ community.

Weekend Preview | Women Of The Bible: Part 3

By Matt Dawson

Do you know the DIFFERENCE between an Opinion and an Expectation? Do you know how it plays out in conversation, in relationships, and even in our spiritual thinking?

For instance, can you tell the difference between an opinion or an expectation when discussing current POLITICS on Facebook? How about when discussing NC HB2?

If you’ve found it difficult, then here is a good framework to help you understand it a bit better.

Difference of Opinions often generate conversation and use words like can, are, and could be based on the knowledge and experience we’ve attained thus far. Opinions can change and sometimes change often.

Difference of Expectations often generate arguments filled with frustration and/or disappointment and use words like should, ought, and can’t based on a conviction and/or conclusion about something that is black and white (crystal clear) to you. Expectations are much harder to change and rarely do.

Sometimes people don’t understand WHY they are fighting or WHY they are more relaxed about a particular difference than others. This Sunday we are going to look at the story of two sisters who ask Jesus to give his opinion on a growing difference in expectations between the siblings. Jesus gives his response… and it wasn’t an opinion.

Join us Sunday as we continue our series – “Women of the Bible.”

Politics, Transgender Bathrooms & Handling Your Opinions

By Don Gentry

On March 3rd, the Charlotte City Council voted on what will likely become a landmark decision.  Here is a link in case you don’t know what I am talking about.  You can also Google “Charlotte City Council” and you’ll find that the LGBT controversy is in the top five results.

Regardless of your level of awareness, the fact is that our city had to vote on an ordinance that would have mandated that transgender individuals would be allowed to use any public restroom.

This case has created quite a stir in the political community.  There has been some strong language used in opposition to and also in support of the proposal.  As followers of Christ we have to ask ourselves, how should we respond?

The Bible gives us clear directives as followers of Christ in response to the government:

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.  For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.  Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.  Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.  

1 Peter 2:13-17

What does this passage look like in your life and in your speech?

I did a little research of my own for this particular issue.  I am a numbers guy.  For fifty years the CDC, Center for Disease Control, has been conducting a survey of the American public.  It is called the National Health Interview Survey.  It is comprised of 33,000 Americans between the ages of 18-64 and is considered one of the most accurate surveys conducted.  You can read about the CDC results here.

The Washington Post writes, “The National Health Interview Survey, which is the government’s premier tool for annually assessing Americans’ health and behaviors, found that 1.6 percent of adults self-identify as gay or lesbian, and 0.7 percent consider themselves bisexual.”

I also read several articles on the percentage of men who are rapists.  The statistics are anywhere between 4.5%-10% of the male population are considered rapists. There are 350,000 men that live in the city of Charlotte (not necessarily Charlotte Metro), and if only 4.5% is accurate that leaves roughly 16,000 potential rapists capable of capitalizing on this current proposal.

America has adopted a form of Government that is by the people and for the people, and each one of us has to decide what we think is the primary role of government.  As I look at this current issue, I personally don’t think the ruling was aimed at the LGBT community.

I see how it has become an issue for this community of individuals, but this community reflects a very small percentage of our population.  According to these statistics, we’re talking about creating a law that mandates 99% of the population be put at risk of safety issues for the sake of the comfort of 1% or less of the population.

As a husband and the father of three girls, I am far more concerned about the voyeurs and criminals that could easily use this ordinance as an opportunity for perpetrating crimes against the vulnerable and innocent.  Public safety, in my opinion, is a much more important government issue than satisfying a small minority’s desire.  Concern for 99% of the population exceeds that of the 1%.

But that is my opinion.

When you adopt your own political views and stances on government issues, I cannot and would not tell you what to believe.  I do ask that you try to be as objective and loving as possible.  Politics can get us fired up (believe me I know), but let’s not use our politics to throw around hateful and hurtful words.

Our politics and beliefs often stand in opposition to another person’s convictions and beliefs.  It is important that when that happens, we use words that reflect our political stance while still communicating love and respect to our fellow citizens.  1 Peter 2 was written to a people group without much influence in their form of government.  As we look to our involvement, if we want to point people to Christ, then our speech and politics better not incite hate and hurt.