Rousing Her Radiance: Day 34
Courage and Common Sense
‘These men began to argue with Stephen, but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by which he spoke' (Acts 6:10).
While praying with the staff, I had a strong discernment of many—millions—of Christians who are strong in faith, clear in truth, and courageous. They love well. Familiar with sin and hardship, they do not discriminate against unrepentant sexual sinners; they just refuse to reward them ‘minority status’ or ‘marriage’ or pastoral ordination.
They see long range and think long term. Common sense demands clarity. Courageous like Stephen, they know compassion without truth is sentimentality. They consider generations-to-come who will need Church ‘light’ to be radiantly clear on the meaning of male and female, what defines sexual dignity, and why marriage matters.
They go against the grain. They speak up.
Courageous synodal members spoke up, so much so that the LGBTQ+ language employed freely in the ‘working’ document of the synod was stricken from its summary. I’ve yet to read the summary (not yet translated at the time of this writing) but apparently, the pre-synodal push for rainbow inclusivity was pushed back. Thank God for synodal members whose common sense prevailed. Thank God for their courage. Challenging the pope can be costly.
No rest please. We’ve got a year left of this synod, in which the pope and his new doctrine guy will write their conclusion. Our prayerful fight for clarity and compassion, expressed courageously to the pope and company, has just begun.
This fight extends far beyond the Catholic Church. I want to honor Abbey Foard’s parents, her father in particular, for embodying courage and common sense as Lutherans. Abbey writes:
“My Dad served faithfully at a local Lutheran church for over 30 years. He demonstrated his faith in time, talent, and treasure. People knew and respected his steady leadership and peaceable demeanor.
After decades, the longstanding pastor decided to bless same-sex couples without warning or much discussion. At a contentious meeting, before lifelong friends, my dad stood up and gently declared that marriage is between man and woman and that the Bible is God’s Word.
A same-sex-attracted teen looked ‘hurt’ as he spoke; Dad responded that ‘compassion’ rooted in untruth is no compassion at all. His opinion was not appreciated. But he loved this church more than himself. My parents left the church in grief. Friendships were strained, some were even lost, and they experienced disdain and judgment for their position.
Years later, that church sponsored “Youth Sunday” in which a teen sermonized on her ‘transgender’ journey. The message had nothing to do with Jesus Christ. The Gospel lost for the next generation! My parents could see it. And didn’t hesitate to say it.”
‘Since through God’s mercy we have this service, we do not lose heart. We renounce secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. Rather, by setting forth the truth plainly, we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God’ (2 Cor. 4:1-2).
‘Jesus, thank You for Your saints on earth, who don’t look out for their interests but Yours (Phil. 2:21). Rouse men and women in this hour whose commitment to truth and common sense make them dangerous to the enemy. Grant us courage to speak truth in love wherever deception distorts God’s Word. Thank You for life-signs from the synod, especially for courageous members who pushed back confusion. We want reform, not unreality. May clarity and compassion prevail in the outworking of this synod.’
‘Father, we thank You for Jesus who established the Church on a Rock against which hell will not prevail (Matt 16:18). We pray for every Christian leader to build on Her firm foundation of sexual clarity and integrity. Father, unmask the deceiver and divider of Christians and unite us in one Spirit. As weak members of Christ, we ask for truth to guide our pursuit of sexual wholeness, for grace to sustain it, and for spiritual power to transform us. May we reflect the chaste radiance of Jesus (2 Cor. 3:18) as we “shine like stars in the universe, holding out the word of life” (Phil. 2:15-16) to a lost and hurting world.’