Culture says to cancel, but Christ says to redeem.
In our last sermon of this "Canceled" series, Pastor Kelly Nelson tackles a tough subject that is often avoided in our churches today: sex and gender identity. To understand sex and gender, we must first look at how God created human beings at the beginning of creation:
"Then God said, 'Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.' So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27 (NIV)
If God created us male and female, then that is an important part of our identity. We are the only creatures who bear the image of God. This means that biological sex (male and female) is an important aspect of human identity.
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
We have to surrender ALL of our lives to Christ. Not just our minds or our emotions, but our bodies, too.
What we do with our bodies is not morally neutral.
There is a big umbrella of people who identify as trans. But God's love and forgiveness is as big as that umbrella. We know that Christ's love is big enough for everyone. But is the Christ in YOU big enough to love everyone?
As the church, do we hold onto masculine and feminine norms to the point where we are ostracizing those who don't look or act like us? How can we love people like Christ if we don't welcome people who are not like us?
We don't receive cultural or social mandates that are not Christ-like.
There are biblical principles telling husbands how to act and wives how to act, but there are no biblical guidelines for what a "man" needs to be and what a "woman" needs to be. The fruit of the Spirit are for everyone (Galatians 5:22-23). They are not gender-specific.
"Jesus calls for Godliness, not cultural or social masculinity or femininity." ~ Pastor Kelly Nelson
When people join the Church, they are joining a flawed community that seeks holiness and repentance. Our "shade" of darkness is no different than anyone else's. We are all imperfect. None of us have a flawless view of God, each other, or even ourselves. But by the grace of God, we pursue righteousness and godliness so we can be who God created us to be - made in the image of Him.
"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NIV)
Are we giving people a chance?
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