The Happiness of the Christian Family

We have but one weapon left in our battle against gay marriage.

The happy Christian family.

We’ve lost the media, we’ve lost the polls, we’ve lost the courts, we’ve lost the major parties,  we’ve lost most politicians, we’ve lost the universities and colleges, we’ve lost the military, we’ve lost the workplace, and we’ve even lost many churches.

But we’ve not lost our families.

And the happy Christian family is potentially our greatest asset.

If there’s one thing that people are persuaded by, it’s happiness.

Our society has no idea how this terrible experiment with marriage and the family is going to play out in the coming years. No one can know the long-term consequences, especially for children. No supporter of gay marriage can predict the eventual impact of this massive cultural and societal revolution. It’s a fearful leap into the unknown that will result in unfathomable damage to innumerable multitudes of children (and adults). Our social services, our schools, our healthcare providers, and our criminal justice system are going to be picking up the tab for decades to come.

Incalculable Cost
If we thought the price tag of the 1960′s heterosexual revolution was high, get your biggest calculator out because the physical, emotional, societal, and psychological cost of this is going to be stratospheric and catastrophic.

And here’s where our opportunity lies.

Starting now, let all Christian parents double and triple their efforts to build Christian marriages and Christian families on the Word of God. Let’s demonstrate the superiority of God’s way. Lets prayerfully dedicate ourselves to loving one another as never before. Let’s call our children to be missionaries and witness for the power of Christian parenting. In private and in public let’s show how God’s way is the happiest and the healthiest way. If we’ve been bad examples and bad commercials for Christian marriage and parenting, let’s repent, seek God’s grace, and re-commit to God and to one another. Let’s show the world how happy our marriages are, and how happy the Christian family is – even through life’s ups and downs.

Two Models
Make no mistake, there are going to be two “models” of the family fighting it out in the coming years: the Christian model and the “everything else” model – homosexual, polygamous, polyamorous (don’t ask), and who knows what else.

Yes, we can and must protest and critique all these perversions of God’s order, but above all we’ve got to live out God’s order in as compelling and beautiful and persuasive a way as possible.

It’s going to take time. And there will be suffering along the way. Some of us are going to lose our jobs, our money, and even our liberty. But that’s just going to provide an even greater stage and shine an even brighter spotlight on Christian families to show the power of the Gospel in the family order that God has wisely designed and provided for humanity.

Anecdotes and Statistics
Initially all we’ll have are impressions and anecdotes, as people see, observe, and draw their own inevitable conclusions when they compare how the two models are working out. But eventually we will have statistics on our side as well, as sociologists begin to compile the facts and figures from our schools, our hospitals, our mental health institutions, our businesses, our social services, and so on. Eventually the case will be a slam dunk and there will be a frantic search for the rewind button.

Obviously this is all predicated on the assumption that God will continue to spare us, and not deal with us as He dealt with Sodom, while this awful experiment is played out. Abraham’s prayer gives me great hope in that regard (Genesis 18:22-33).

In the meantime, let’s make the happiness of our families our greatest aim in life and make it clear to all the world not just what we are AGAINST, but also what we are FOR, and to do so in a way that will persuade more effectively than any amount of blog posts.

Check out

Scargoyle Attacks the Family
Read on Saturday night to prepare for Sunday morning.

The “Well maybe…” of Redemptive History
A captivating piece by Jason Helopoulos that offers a unique summary of the Old Testament.

Professors, We Need You
Well, I would link to that wouldn’t I! But seriously, Patrick Schreiner has a good summery here of Nicholas Kristof’s NYT OP-Ed about the need for professors to start communicating better with the general public. I especially liked Tim Iglesias’s comment at the end about writing everything for three audiences. I’d like to propose a new rule for Christian publishing that every author who writes a book over 400 pages, must also write a cut down version of say 100 pages maximum.

7 Helpful and Overlooked Books on Preaching
I don’t know all of these but Carrick’s book changed my entire ministry.

Pastors and Mental Health
Very thankful to Thom Rainer for raising this and for offering pastors not just words but practical help.

No Roads? There’s A Drone for That
Andreas Raptopoulos, founder and CEO of Matternet, wants to use unmanned aerial drones to deliver supplies to areas without adequate road networks. By taking to the skies, he wants to “leap frog” past older modes of transportation towards the future.

Two Tattoos

Yesterday we had the privilege of having Pastor Al Martin preaching at our weekly chapel in Puritan Reformed Seminary.

Just before a classic Al Martin sermon on 2 Timothy 2:15, he disclosed how throughout his ministry he had labored to keep his pre-sermon prayer fresh and lively by keeping two verses “tattooed” on his mind:

He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing (John 15:5).

A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven (John 3:27).

I just got my first (and last) tat.

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Reading Reimagined
Have a look at this new way of reading and try the experiment at the top of the page. It sounds totally ridiculous, but you’ll be amazed when you try it.

It Matters Whom You Marry
A blog post that went viral and became a book.

Does This Look Like Jim Crow Discrimination to You?
Denny Burk exposes the lies in the media narrative about Christians who refuse to take part in gay marriages.

Overcoming Anger
Matthew Henry helped Joe Thorn tackle anger. Sounds like a book a lot of men would benefit from.

Crisis Survival For Parents
When Kara Dedert writes about dealing with life’s crises, I listen: “Do you have crisis in your life? Ones that leave you unable to catch your breath? Maybe your challenges are coming in waves and you wonder if you can keep your head above the water. Here are some reminders while you are treading in deep water.”

Amputation is Not An Option
Kim Shay reflects on a time when leaving the church looked like an attractive option: “When we are born again, we are born again into something: the Body of Christ. Amputation is not an option. If we isolate ourselves, it is as if we are amputating an arm or a leg. Limbs die when they are cut off from the body. When we cut ourselves off from the Body, we will not grow. Not only will we not be ministered to, we will not minister to others.”

I also appreciated much of what Jackie Hill said on the same subject in How To Heal When the Church Hurts You.

“A Paradigm Shift in Medicine”

One of the young men in my congregation is at Northwestern University in Chicago this week, starting an experimental stem cell treatment for multiple sclerosis that is his only hope of living beyond his twenties. Frustratingly late diagnosis, rapidly worsening symptoms, and disappointingly ineffective drugs had all combined over the past 12 months to produce a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.

Then through a member in our church listening to the radio one afternoon, Trent found out about the extremely rare but revolutionary treatment that the brilliant Dr. Richard Burt of Northwestern is trialling on a very few select patients. A number of amazing, we might even say miraculous, providences followed that have resulted in Trent not only being accepted for the trial but the $150,000 cost being met – partly by a generous donor, partly by a phenomenal church collection, and partly by a group of young girls in our church who caused a state-wide shortage of cookie dough!

The treatment involves “re-booting” Trent’s diseased immune system with a transplant of healthy adult stem cells harvested from his own body. Dr Burt hesitates to call the procedure a cure, but does say that it represents “a paradigm shift in medicine,” especially in the relatively short treatment times and in that no medications are required thereafter.

Big Question
Which all raises a big question: When was the last time you prayed for medical researchers? For sure, we pray when someone gets MS, Crohn’s, and other autoimmune diseases. We pray for their healing, or for their drugs to slow down the disease, or for patient endurance, and for faith throughout.

But why do we so rarely pray at the “front end,” for the thousands of doctors and scientists who are daily engaged in research into cures for the vast range of human ills. They spend hours and years peering down microscopes, running computer models, experimenting, testing, writing, questioning, consulting, conferring, and thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking.

Big Prayers?
And where are our prayers? Prayers for perseverance, prayers for funding, prayers for breakthroughs, prayers for ethical procedures, prayers of thanksgiving for every “discovery.” Because that’s what these gifted men and women are doing. They are not inventing or creating so much as discovering what God has already invented and created.

Dr. Burt’s “eureka” moment, when he realized that stem cell transplants could be used to treat MS by re-programming bad cells to lose their memory, was really a “revelation” moment; God revealed what He already knew to him, God shared His knowledge with Dr. Burt for the good of His suffering creatures. And who knows how many more “eurekas” would be heard in labs and hospitals around the world if more of us prayed for these amazing pioneers. Maybe someone is working on the cure for the disease that will eventually invade your life. Why not pray for them today?

And why not share this short video about the remarkable Dr. Burt with your friends and family and prayerfully worship Jehovah-Rophi, the Lord who heals (Ex. 15:26).

Here’s one of the MS success stories:

Further Information

You can find our more about the significance of this research for MS, Diabetes, Crohn’s, and other autoimmune diseases at Dr Burt’s Website, Division of Immunotherapy And Autoimmune Diseases. Or watch this three-part 25 minute presentation on how stem cells are being used to treat MS:  Part 1Part 2Part 3. Finally, here’s a short news report on the treatment.

Check out

$500 Library Giveaway
Looking for quality Reformed literature? Is there empty space on your bookshelf, waiting to be filled? RHB is giving away a library of its best books worth over $500! Enter by end of Friday.

How To Save Marriage in America
Well, it certainly isn’t this way, but the statistics will remind you of how much it needs saving.

10 Connections Between Jesus and the Kingdom of God
Phillip Bethancourt: “When we miss the significance of the kingdom to Jesus, however, we can miss the significance of the kingdom for biblical theology and ethics.”

Ranking the Nine Toughest Leadership Roles
#1 will surprise you, but it shouldn’t.

Jesus The Savior of Expository Preaching
David Prince: “Expository preaching is preaching that takes a particular text of Scripture as its subject, proclaiming the truth of that text in light of its historical, epochal, and Christocentric, kingdom-focused canonical contexts, thereby exposing the meaning of the human and divine authors for the purpose of Gospel-centered application.”

Stories of God’s Grace: Meet Arnaldo