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I wish I could affirm homosexuality, but can't

Sir Ian McKellan at The Gay Pride Parade in New York City after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages (Credit: AP Images/Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx)I want to affirm homosexuality. I really do. I want to tell people that have struggled their entire lives with the feeling that they were attracted to someone of the same gender that it's alright to embrace those emotions. That it's alright to live the life that feels most right to you. I want to say the same to the people that feel like they were born into the wrong bodies. I want to tell them that the surgeries and the hormone therapies will make their lives better and allow them to find the peace and sense of belonging that they want so badly. I want to say all of those things and I think every Christian should.

But I can't. We can't. At least, not unless someone can show us how our understanding of God's word is wrong. Personally, there's a part of me that hopes it is. There's a part of me that wants to be misunderstanding Paul when he calls such behavior unnatural in Romans 1. And there's a part of me that wants the prohibitions in Leviticus 18 and elsewhere to be contextually limited to that time and no longer relevant today. I've spent a lot of time researching and studying the subject hoping to find convincing, God-inspired evidence that that is the case. However, with every book, every prayer, and every minute spent in God's word seeking guidance, I simply become more and more convinced that the scriptures are clear on this subject and that acting on a homosexual orientation is against God's will.

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A cultural and theological response to racism

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Mathew Ahmann, Executive Director of the National Catholic Conference for Interrracial Justice, in a crowd, August 28, 1963 (Credit: Rowland Scherman via National Archives)Marcus Aurelius wrote, "The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts." The brilliant ruler of Rome provided this vivid observation that offered faint echoes of the biblical maxim, "as a man thinks, so he is" (Proverbs 23:7). For better or for worse, the introspective thoughts of a person have the capacity to make that individual and help clarify the reason they act as they do. Their thoughts clarify their confident actions, elucidate their insecure inactions, and shed light on their uninformed reactions.

Illustrative examples are littered throughout the American context.  For instance, it takes supremely confident thoughts to walk across the room and start a conversation with the most beautiful person in the room. Insecure thoughts abundantly explain the inaction to stay across the room, holding the wall up and becoming a type of wallflower. And what else can explain, besides wrong thinking and false encouragement from horrible friends, the reason certain contestants participate in American Idol.

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Millennials and tattoos

Tattoo artist working on a new project (Credit: LukaTDB via Fotolia)"Can I get a tattoo?"

If you are the parent of a child born between 1980 and 2000 and haven't been asked that question, then your day of reckoning is nigh.  Or perhaps it won't be phrased as a question.  Perhaps a statement, "I want a tattoo" or even better…"I got a tattoo."  I have had the conversation with our youngest son.  The final outcome may surprise you, but we will get there in a moment…

So take a deep breath for now and let's consider a few things.

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