The Importance of “TEAM.”

Baseball team, Football team, Basketball team, Lacrosse team, hockey team, soccer team….team, team, team.  We’ve heard it since our little league team, even in the neighborhood with “pick-up teams.”  Even when we watch great golf, tennis, and yes NASCAR athletes there is a team helping them be the best.  Let’s consider some “team” quotes by some famous team sports personalities:

“There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.”  George Shinn (owner of Charlotte Hornets basketball team)

“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”   Vince Lombardi (1913-1970), football coach for the NFL  

“The strength of the team is each individual member…the strength of each member is the team.”  Coach Phil Jackson, Chicago Bulls

Jesus provided us with a “team” approach model, His team was called “the disciples.”  If God has been speaking to your heart about a Clean Heart issue and you have been trying to deal with it on your own, ask yourself, “How are you doing?  What is your win – loss record?  As tough as it may be, consider joining the team.  A team with the goal of living with integrity in this sexualized world…let’s live with a Clean Heart.

Homosexual Code?

Yesterday while I was working on the house, my daughters were watching T.V. and stumbled across a daytime talk show, in which, the topic was homosexuality.  There were three people on each side of the issue sitting on the stage and the audience was divided with T-Shirts that signified which side of it they were on.   I debated whether to allow them to keep watching and decided to allow it as I watched from the stairwell.  After the show I initiated a conversation with the girls to teach them what the Bible said about homosexuality and sexual sin in general.  My daughters are 8, 10, and 12 years old.  I realize some may be wondering why discuss such topics with children who are so young, but I realize on T.V. (even kids shows), our music, even television commercials, they are being lead into certain ways of thinking, regardless, if I talk to them about it or not.

As we talked I attempted to share what the Bible had to say about the issue.  With one of my children, who is at the stage of determining her own belief system, this got me the role of the eyes, but she still listened.  As we talked, they were pointing out that God forgives sin no matter what it is and I agreed.  They pointed out that God loves people regardless of their lifestyle and I agreed.  They pointed out that we can’t treat somebody bad for the “way they are.”  Here I was not upset about the idea of not treating people bad, but what honestly disturbed me that somehow they have developed the mindset that practicing homosexuality or any other sexual sin is not something to say is wrong, “if that is the way they are.”

I then changed the conversation to all of us needing a “code to live by,” and in our family that code is the Bible.  I realize over the years many well intentioned people have given the Bible a bad reputation with what society views as debatable issues, but in our family and in our church we do everything possible to do our homework and present Scripture correctly, so they do not have that history.  My wife then joined the conversation and also communicated the need for having a code to live by.   Now our daughters are young and are in different developmental stages, so making the connection with different types of thinking can be difficult, if not impossible, for them right now. But this conversation caused me to think about how many of us adults live life without a code.

The reason this is important is because, if we live life by just listening to persuasive arguments or to what we feel is right in the moment, then we will be changing our views on everything based on the next excellent persuasive speaker or the way we are feeling at the time.   We can’t live by just what we think, here is what the Bible states concerning this type of a lifestyle in Proverbs 16 (ESV):

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit (v1).

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death (v25).

If we live according to just what we think is right, we will not achieve the results we hope.  What is interesting is that as I just presented a couple of Scriptures for the thought I am communicating, there is a part of me that feels that some will cast it aside and that is true.  Hopefully for you, the words of the Bible go beyond the sometimes bad advertisements of many who use the Bible in their arguments, but speak to your heart as God speaking.

The Bible also states:

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (James 1: 5 – 8, ESV).

I realize right now in our society the issue of homosexuality is a topic and lifestyle that is trying to move into the mainstream culture as a normal and acceptable way of life.  And for many who practice this lifestyle, this blog entry will generate some deep emotions.  I believe the church must become educated not only about how to treat and respond to those who are coming out of the closet, but for all sexual sin, for all sin in general.

I am currently reading and learning about homosexuality and how to help those who find themselves in this lifestyle.  I have also talked with a few friends who have divorced their wives to practice homosexuality, in an attempt to learn their thinking.  But please hear me, If we leave the Bible out of our thinking as we develop views on the issue, in the end no matter how persuasive we sound, it will lead to death.

It is not my current pursuit to learn to view homosexuality as acceptable, but to learn how to help those who for whatever reason, believe  the practice of homosexuality is the answer to their lives.  Now considering the Bible is my code for living, if the Bible were to say that Homosexuality is good in God’s eyes, then I will change my viewpoint; however, I already know what God’s word says on the matter.  The question for me now is how can I show the same Grace toward the person practicing homosexuality as God shows me for my sin.