Greg Wolfe on The MA

  • "An excellent example of a group blog, a true community of like-minded but highly individual writers. . . . Topics range from the state of Christian publishing to craft issues to lyrical meditations on writing as a spiritual discipline."

    GREGORY WOLFE in Christianity Today, March 2008

WELCOME

  • The Master's Artist is a group blog for writers united by the blood of Christ and a love for language. We come from different backgrounds, have different theological outlooks, and are interested in a wide variety of genres and artforms. The opinions expressed belong to their authors alone -- and you're welcome to share yours.

« All or Nothing | Main | Last post »

September 10, 2009

Comments

Nicole

Jeanne, well preached, Sister. Truth. Amen.

casual.remark

we should be saying God is good in what He forbids, true. however, if the audience isn't there in the pew listening, they won't know that's what we're saying...or will they?

Mary DeMuth

Well orchestrated and great thoughts, Jeanne.

violet

I couldn't agree more. You say it clearly and powerfully. Glad you took your courage in hand!

Wendy Lawton

You words speak volumes, Jeanne. And I read it applying it to my own too-numerous sin paths not the sins of others. It applies. Freedom for the captives. For those of us who have beloved gays/lesbians in our lives it makes me yearn for freedom for all the captives.

Jeanne Damoff

Thanks for the encouragement, Nicole, Mary, and Violet. It helps me more than you probably realize!

Casual.Remark, when I read your comment I was surprised to realize I hadn't been thinking of this as a pulpit-to-pew issue. I'm sure that's part of it, but I was referring to the church more in terms of all those in the body of Christ, not the assembling of ourselves together. I'm personally convicted about how I interact with the friends I mentioned who've turned their backs on Christ. I tell myself I avoid declaring God's goodness in what He forbids because I'm trying to keep communication lines open, but I really think my deeper, underlying motive is darker and more subtle. They think they're happy in their sin, and I doubt God's power or inclination to open their eyes to truth. I try to keep things pleasant, all the while sipping living water and ignoring the glass of bleach in their hands. As convicted as I feel about this, I still haven't approached any of them to initiate conversation. This is my weakness and selfishness, and as long as I continue in it, I can't truly claim to love them. Writing this post was my first step in obedience, and I hope and pray it won't be the last. Thanks for asking a good question!

Jeanne Damoff

Thanks, Wendy. Me, too.

Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista

"The forbidden fruit, like the Fixed Island in Perelandra, served one purpose. To see if man, in the face of temptation, would believe that God is good in what He forbids."

Faith is a curious thing. *Belief* the operative word. As much as reason leads us to the door of Christ, our minds can only bring us to step onto the welcome mat. With faith, this mysterious, yet wonderful key in our hands, we place it into the lock of our hearts and push the door open.

Prayer was the one word that came to mind as faces of friends, like yours, drifted in my thoughts reading this post. For this realm of believing God is good can only come from perspective. Like the one you gained reading Perelandra.

Thank you, Jeanne.

www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1418664475

Jeanne,

Thanks so much! Your comment about the question of our reaction to God being good in what He forbids helped me solve a question I always had about the forbidden tree in the Garden.

Melissa from the Blue House

Wow...that was wonderfully written, and I'm glad you had the courage to write it. :)
You are so right when you say that 'homosexuality destroys the homosexual;' I once worked in a psychiatric hospital, and always wondered why a surprisingly high percentage of the patients at any given time were homosexual (not that the hospital would ever admit such). You explained it: because its impossible to try to reconcile a lifestyle with the innate need for a Savior. No therapy or psychotropic meds can fix that.

Susan M

Everything you said was helpful. But what should we do next? What should we say to our practicing homosexual friends, ones who do claim a current relationship with Jesus, but just shrug and say that every believer has to deal with SOMEthing? If they say "You're not free in [name the stumbling block], so don't lecture me," what can the response be? Help.

Jeanne Damoff

Ah, Bonnie. Such a good point. Prayer is key. Only God can open and change hearts. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against "Dr. Westons" in heavenly places, and Satan never lets his captives go without a fight.

Wow, Dan. Given my respect for you as a great thinker, I'm beyond honored that something I wrote helped you solve a theological question. That makes my day. Thanks!

Melissa, I so appreciate your sharing from your experience in a psychiatric hospital. Another common thread I've noticed in the lives of homosexuals I know is a tendency to escape through alcohol or drugs, all the while claiming to be (and I think sincerely believing they are) perfectly happy. No wonder Satan is portrayed as liar and thief.

Susan, that is such a great question, and no doubt your dilemma silences many of us. All I know to do is to speak the truth in an attitude of humility, pray fervently for our friends, and to ask God to reveal Himself in His Word. I pray they'll not be satisfied to bear the name Christian on their own terms, but will hunger to experience the holiness and deliverance (aka, the abundant life) He calls us to. Every believer does face temptation, and every believer stumbles from time to time, but Jesus didn't say, "Go and sin no more as soon as everyone else does." The focus can't be on you or me. It has to be on Jesus. What we can't see is the inner working of the Holy Spirit. If your friends are really seeking Him, I expect they already struggle with the tension between His standards and their lifestyle. What I'm realizing in my relationships is that my refusal to stand for truth is no better than openly siding with "Dr. Weston," who is no doubt the one whispering, "Every believer has to deal with SOMEthing" in their ear. Oh, how I understand both your longing and trepidation. I'll pray for you. Please pray for me, too.

Lori Stanley Roeleveld

Thank you for this. I am similarly afflicted with a desire to stand on God's truth (believing it is best and embracing it for my life) and yet, wanting to keep the peace at the party. Your transparency is encouraging and your presentation of truth is fortifying. Thank you for this! (haven't read these books since college - now have put them on top of my to read list! I recently blogged about the difficulty of calling someone a sinner in modern times at http://loristanleyroeleveld.blogspot.com/2009/07/stones-throw-from-help.html
I'd love your feedback. :)

ldamoff

"She holds the only key to our deliverance, yet she reaches through the bars of our cage and hands us a free cup of Starbucks coffee."

Christ have mercy indeed.

love,
luke

Madison Richards

I don't know what can be said that hasn't been addressed, so I will merely stand and clap with the rest of the room. Even those who may disagree with your point of view cannot fault you for speaking boldly from a place of your convictions.

Bravo.

Sincerely,
Madison

Will Duquette

This is excellent.

I have a slight disagreement: it's true that the sin destroys the sinner—but that's not the only reason the Church is opposed to the sin. The sinner does not exist in a vacuum, but in a web of relationships with other people...and when the sinner is not who they should be, it affects all of those other people. There is no such as private sin; all sin is public, even if no one but the sinner knows about it.

But this is a quibble. "God is good in what He forbids": that's a keeper.

Jeanne Damoff

Great point, Will. Thanks for your comment!

The comments to this entry are closed.

THE COMMUNITY